Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Xmas from OPEC: $100 Per Barrel

   Today Kuwait's oil minister suggested that the world economy can withstand $100 per barrel petroleum. 

   The Village Elliot is quite angry about this on two accounts:  first, the rapid rise in oil prices, necessary to fuel the world's economies, is certain to cause painful repercussions around the world.  Second, the majority of the people in the United States still subscribes to a fairy tale version of energy, in which solar and windpower are supposed to somehow replace the 11 million barrels per day of oil that we currently import.  To put this into perspective, 11 million barrels * $100 * 365 = 400 billion dollars a year that goes overseas for oil.  That's $1300  per year for every man woman and child in America.  That's how much you are paying for the privilege of using oil from other countries, while you wait for some other energy source to appear.  The granola heads tout wind and solar power, along with teeny little cars, but it says here that it ain't happening. 
   America is in real danger of being ruined economically  We are afraid to drill in Arctic wasteland, fearing that caribou quality of life might be affected in a very small area.  We were also hurt by the BP Horizon fiasco, which has raised legitimate fears about the competence of the petroleum industry to safely carry out drilling in deep water.
   Meantime, researchers know how to convert natural gas and coal to liquid fuels, but we are paralyzed with fear, believing that increasing levels of carbon dioxide will set off an economic catastrophe, causing the heat death of the world.  These fears, it says here, are grossly overstated, as the global average temperature has stabilized even as carbon dioxide production has increased. 
   Nevertheless, the American public has been fed a series of half-truths about energy for years.  The fact is we can not use energy sources like solar, wind or ethanol to make up a substantial amount of the energy we currently import.  We are still a petroleum based economy despite two decades of song and dance about "getting off petroleum."  The reality is that it isn't happening, and we can not "get off petroleum" unless we are willing to "get off money."
   $100 per barrel oil ought to be a signal that it is time to develop new sources of North American oil, including coal and gas liquefaction, shale oil, Anwar drilling, and even deep sea drilling. 

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