A Start on Solving Our Energy Crisis

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Adam's Apple, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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  2. Toro
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    Toro Diamond Member

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    I was listening to some conservative talk radio blowhard the other day talking about this exact topic. He said that opening up ANWR would eliminate our need to rely on oil imports.

    The person, apart from being a moron, is completely wrong. The US government said so itself.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4542853/

    At its very peak, ANWR would represent only half of the imports from Saudi Arabia alone.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/...ons/company_level_imports/current/import.html

    This stuff drives me nuts.

    I'm all for drilling in ANWR. Stopping production in a 10 billion barrel field because of the mating habits of a moose seems ridiculous to me. But the idea that America is going to be energy independent any time in the next few decades is nonsense, and these idiots on talk radio should stop saying this will be the case.

    Having finished my rant, I generally agree with the article. We here in Florida, however, don't want offshore drilling. That is pretty unanimous across party lines.
     
  3. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    1) We should follow through on the original plan by requiring Iraq to at least help pay our expenses by routing some of their oil to us.

    2) We should drill in ANWR. 10 billion barrels is not chicken feed and would produce about 1.4 million barrels a days for several years - Texas, our biggest oil producing state, produces something less than that per day.

    3) Discovery of 500 billion barrels of shale oil in South Dakota should be exploited immediately. We have the horizontal drilling technology to go after it.

    4) Americans everywhere should be rising up to condemn the radical environmentalists and others who make the cost of building new refineries prohibitive, and we should applaud any incentives the government might provide to the oil companies to increase and expand their refining capacities.

    And then for the rest of it, all we have to do to improve the economy is to believe in it and participate in it. Most recessions end not because of any artificial stimulus but because the people perceived things to be better and went back to working and buying and investing per usual which is, after all, what makes an economy strong.
     
  4. Toro
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    Toro Diamond Member

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    The Green River Shale is thought to have a trillion barrels oil equivalent. However, the technology to massively exploit shale is decades away.
     
  5. Warner
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    Warner Member

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    Well, I have mixed opinions on this issue.

    1) We should buy Arab oil as long as we can. Use up their oil as long as we can afford it, save our domestic oil for emergencies and the future. This means we should drill enough to plot out the available supply and also to position us to negotiate, but when it comes to production lets save our reserves as long as practicable.

    2) While we do have the horizontal drilling tech to get and oil such as that in SD, it is expensive, especially if your talking about shale bound oil, and the quality of the oil is not what you get out of most Arab fields. It is thick heavy oil full of H2S, and thus expensive to extract and expensive to refine.

    Finally, in order to improve the economy we have to do more than just "believe". We have to be productive and we have to stop piling up both international and future debt. If we don't get the debt situation under control we will never have a strong economy.
     
  6. Warner
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    Warner Member

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    As for long term oil supplies, I believe there is at least as much undiscovered oil as all that has been found and predicted. I believe there is a huge amount of oil below 20-25 thousand feet from the first epic of life on Earth (before the ice-ball). We just have to find it and develop the tech to get it.
     
  7. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    We should do whatever we are physically and economically capable of doing to be as independent of ME oil as possible, while we pursue alternate, scientifically proven-to-be INFINITE sources of energy.

    Solar, wind, nuclear, hydro. I like hemp as well. Its cultivation for energy, and many of the other uses it provides, would not intrude upon our food supply as ethanol currently is.

    I also say we build "Mr. Fusion" devices for our cars, as seen in Back to The Future. I mean, shit, if you're out of plutonium you can add random trash, and whatever's left in disposed of cans of beer.
     
  8. Warner
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    I disagree. We should develop the capacity to be (at least temporarily) self-sufficient in order to prevent being held hostage by ME countries via oil. However, as long as they will sell to us at any reasonable price (for right now, lets say under $150 a bbl) we should buy and use ME oil and save what we have for the future. Domestic oil supplies should be developed but not over-utilized except to force the ME to keep prices reasonable.

    Solar power is a nice idea. However when you look at it practically if we were to tap this source to anywhere near what we need, given even double the efficiency of the current best technology, the environmental consequences would be catastrophic. You cannot suck up all the sunlight falling on a large desert without it having major effects on the climate.

    Wind power, like solar, has environmental consequences. Pulling energy out of the climate system effects the climate system. In small doses it has negligible effects, but at the scale required to satisfy any significant part of our energy demands the consequences would be likewise significant. The same holds true for tidal power generation.

    Ion based technology (i.e. hydrogen) currently utilizes platinum as a catalyst, and if all the cars in the USA were to run on this technology within less than 5 years all the known platinum on Earth would be spent.

    Hydro-electric power likewise has sever environmental consequences, and also slows the Earths rotation (though admittedly we could probably tolerate this effect for a very long time).

    Fission power ends up being a break even technology when fully analyzed. The net power output, after you consider all the energy spent to build the plant and to mine and transport the uranium, and then to decommission the plant at the end of its life, ends up creating little reduction in the use of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels power the vehicles and other mining and transport equipment. And you create a nuclear waste problem that must be dealt with to boot.

    Fusion power would be great, but thus far it is still science fiction.
     
  9. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I'm pretty sure that solar panels or harnessing wind power do not have any significant effect on the climate; however I am highly skeptical that, short of triggering a nuclear winter, humans have any ability to affect long term climate trends at all. I do know that enough hydro, solar, or wind power to meet the needs of America alone would wipe out so much land area for other uses that it would unacceptable to everybody.

    Nuclear is the most efficient and safest way to go, but American phobia seems to override common sense there.

    So that leaves us with oil, gas, and coal as the fuel of freedom, democracy, security, and the American way. So long as we are dependent on others for that fuel, we are never independent nor secure. I support doing whatever we have to do to make ourselves energy independent so that we don't have to worry every time the Middle East hiccups or some new dictator comes to power. We have the technology to exploit our own resources in environmentally friendly ways and also the ability to develop even better technology, and we should demand that this be done.

    Humans have been the most efficient of all high life forms on Earth to adapt to a changing environment. I have every confidence that by the time we have exhausted our existing coal, oil, and gas reserves we will have developed new and better energy sources for all our needs.
     
  10. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Just for information, here's an article about alternative energy sources which makes you aware of some sources that we hear very little about--if ever. Interesting that cars can run on alcohol (as stated in the article, cars and alcohol do mix in the fuel tank) and that a French company has developed a car that can run on compressed air.

    www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlpubs/crlnews/backissues2005/january05/alternateenergy.cfm
     

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