Free Markets, Free People

The Future Consequences Of Energy Stupidity

I’m not sure how else to characterize this in a strategic and national security sense:

Canada, faced with growing political pressure over the extraction of oil from its highly polluting tar sands, has begun courting China and other Asian countries to exploit the resource.

The pressure is coming from the United States. The “pollution” is carbon. But the bottom line is the tar sands are going to continue to be exploited in Canada. The question is, to whom will the oil extracted go?

With the US backing away, the answer, apparently, is China.

In the most significant deal to date, the Canadian government recently approved a C$1.9bn (£1.5bn) investment giving the Chinese state-owned oil company Petro­China a majority share in two projects. Prime minister Stephen Harper said: “Expect more Chinese investment in the resource and energy sectors … there will definitely be more.” China’s growing investment in the tar sands is seen in Canada as a useful counter to waning demand for tar sands oil from the US, its biggest customer. The moves, which have largely gone unnoticed outside north America, could add further tension to efforts to try to reach a global action plan on climate change.


The projects, which will begin coming on line over the next decade, are seen as crucial to a long term strategy of finding new sources of energy as China’s economy continues to expand.

How about that … a country with a “long term strategy” in which it seeks sources of new energy for future growth. Not so in the US where Ken Salazar’s Interior Department seems to be using every means available to it to slow down the possibility of finding and bringing new carbon based resources on line for future consumption:

The Interior Department has informed Congress that it will take over two years to complete an environmental study needed to allow major seismic surveys of Atlantic coast oil-and-gas resources – a timeline that industry groups allege is too slow.

In an early February letter to House and Senate appropriators, Interior provides a timeline for completing a “programmatic environmental impact statement” on the effects of seismic testing and other assessment techniques.

It anticipates a “record of decision” – which is the final agency sign-off – in mid-April of 2012.

If I’m not mistaken, that will put us 4 years into the decision to allow drilling in the OCS. And, of course, seismic surveys and their effects are well known and have been for decades. The seismic surveys would update decades old surveys.

The point, of course, is these new Interior requirements completely derail the timeline established by the Interior Department in 2007:

Interior’s 2007-2012 offshore leasing plan calls for a lease sale off Virginia’s coast in 2011, although the sale could be delayed.

No company is going to bid on leases until those seismic surveys are complete.

The long range consequences for the US of these sorts of short sited policies should be obvious. And I don’t expect them to get any better any times soon despite the promises President Obama made in his State of the Union address.



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15 Responses to The Future Consequences Of Energy Stupidity

  • China’s growing investment in the tar sands is seen in Canada as a useful counter to waning demand for tar sands oil from the US, its biggest customer. The moves, which have largely gone unnoticed outside north America, could add further tension to efforts to try to reach a global action plan on climate change.

    Why, it’s almost as if the Red Chinese don’t believe in climate change or, at least, don’t consider “a global action plan” more important than their own economic well-being.  Surprise, surprise…

    / sarc

    And let’s throw the Canadians into this, too: if they thought AGW ACC was such a huge deal and We Gotta Do Something (TM), they wouldn’t sell their blasted oil to anybody: they’d leave it “sequestered” in the sand where it can’t cause the earth to get hotter colder hotter colder whatever.

    This is such a scam.  Again, I think that professed belief in AGW should be used to diagnose idiocy, pathological dishonesty, or both.

  • Is there any coastal state in the Union that will finally have enough of this utter nonsense and tell the feds to go pound sand and start drilling off their coast?  This is absolute insanity!

    • Hasn’t California already done so, or were those just rumblings I heard about them drilling offshore, as a desparate attempt to shore up their financial “difficulties”?

  • This must be part of Obama SmartEnergy (aka whatever George Soros sez goes).

  • Allow me to point out that Texas and Louisiana have always loved offshore drilling – and the jobs that come with it!

    Can’t explain why nobody else can figure out that with the royalty payments from state controlled land, this is a financial gravy train for the State Government. 

  • If you were going to intentionally, systematically destroy the economy of the United States, how would you go about doing it?

  • Greybeard beat me to it.  These people are either insane or WANT to destroy us.  One of the things that happened during the financial crisis was that oil went to $140 and gasoline was $4.00/gallon.  That was piled on top of the mortgage meltdown and the banks’ falling apart. 

    Add higher prices for our gas and electric and gasoline and for every single product transported by truck or air that use diesel and aviation fuel respectively…and the higher prices for coal and natural gas that ultimately will also result from government policies…add that on to the higher taxes, economic woes of small business already running on money fumes…how is any of this supposed to help us? 

    It’s not.  It’s supposed to bring us down.  It will just be another few nails in the coffin. 

  • I’m from Alberta, where we have all that oil in the sand.
    Thanks for the $, American fools.
    And if you Americans won’t keep me in beer and pizza money, the Chinese will. And, how very odd, there seem to be polite Germans all over the place quietly making long term deals in our oil patch, usually in the name of corporations with un-teutonic names, often muttering in German something about verdammte Chinesiche schweine and dumme Amerikaner.
    You do realize that we supply something like 30% of your energy? And if the Chinese/Germans/French/Japanese (Yup, they’re both here too) buy the production you’ll get none of it? How will you do with 30% of your energy supply gone? The breakpoint will come when the Chinese finance a pipeline from Alberta to a pacific port, likely Vancouver. You watch the news carefully for that, because if it happens, you can kiss that 30% supply goodbye.
    Oh well, you can always buy from the Arabs instead of your old friends and neighbors, you know, the ones whose boots you’re pissing on.
    Don’t be so paranoid about Obama and the Dems intentionally trying to destroy your economy. Never find conspiracy where stupidity will do. I have been posting for years that Obama’s basic fault is that he is stupid. Poor guy, his one talent is speaking well, so affirmative action pushed him way beyond his competence.

    • Fred, remember that your own government is a bigger threat to your province than anyone else is.   But America will come back around to O&G, since all the alternatives will fail

      Obama announced some big support for Nuclear Power today – he doesn’t even realize that unles he’s willing to override Harry Reid and restart Yucca Mtn, this nuclear push is doomed to failure.

    • This is great news. Once the Chinese start depending on Canadian oil, in case of conflict we can seize the oil field and pipeline and cut off their supply. Buuuuhahahaaha. (evil laugh)
      Oil is fungible and an international market. Those Chinese companies may end up selling that oil to the United States and not back home.

      • Oh, and maybe they will import thousands of Chinese to do the work cheaper than Canadians can, and undercut the price? Hope the Canadians have signed contracts that don’t allow that.

  • People are missing the most important point. Drilling is good no matter what nation does it. Expanding supply is the goal. Would I like to see more domestic oil and gas exploration? Absolutely. Failing that I’m good with China or any other nation making the pie bigger.
    Now if we can just convince Mexico to invest in modern drilling technology…..