Monday, July 12, 2010

What price energy independence?

In a politico arena debate "with policymakers and disinformationopinion makers", Myron Ebell wrote:

The U.S. has only 3 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves. That is because many of the most promising areas, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and off the coast of southern California, have never been explored. There are estimates of potential reserves in those places, but they cannot be counted as proven reserves.
Hey, Myron, what do you think this a map of? Disneyland?

Myron went on to outline his plan for the extinction of about 90% of the species on the planet, merely for the convenience of fat Americans driving their fat unemployed children to fat shopping malls in order to make fat coal company executives fabulously wealthy.

In 60 years' time, when your grandchildren will be living a period of could-have-been-avoided desperate crisis, they will thank you for the pleasure you gave to these dead pathetic people lying in their graves.
After producing more oil domestically, the next step would be to develop competitive alternatives. At present, there is one alternative that makes economic sense: producing liquid fuels from coal. The U.S. has the world’s largest reserves of coal. And beyond coal, the U.S. has colossal unconventional reserves in oil shale, most of which is under federal land in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming. At the same time as we produce more oil and oil alternatives, demand is likely to go down in the medium to long term (by which I mean 30 to 60 years) as alternative auto technologies become affordable and attractive to consumers.
Meanwhile, further down the hopeless debate thread that just shows how irrevokably detached from reality and its consequences we now are, Dean Baker produced the one straightforward post in the whole lot:
The country is not going to be energy independent and everyone who is serious knows this. The only reason why this even comes up is nonsense from the oil industry and the drill everywhere crowd.

We have to get off fossil fuels because it is wrecking the planet. It will cost money to switch to cleaner energy sources and conservation, but it will also create jobs. It would be great if we could have a serious discussion about this, but the BP crew lie about the issues, and the way the media in this country work, any lie from a major industry group must be treated as a respectable opinion, no matter how outrageous it is. Therefore we will continue to hear nonsense on energy issues, not serious debate.
The fact that Myron Ebell gets quoted on the front page of the New York Times, and not Dean Baker, is evidence that we are completely screwed.


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