With the following quote, which Anu K. Mittal, the GAO’s director of natural resources and environment provided in written testimony to Congress, forever kills the meme that we have only 2% of the world’s proven oil reserves:
“USGS estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions,” Mittal testified.
“The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, estimates that 30 to 60 percent of the oil shale in the Green River Formation can be recovered,” Mittal told the subcommittee. “At the midpoint of this estimate, almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.”
Of course the 2% myth has been useful to deny the viability of “drill, baby, drill”. President Obama has used it repeatedly (and I have no doubt he will continue to do so because he seems to come from the school that thinks if they repeat something that is untrue enough times, well, it becomes true, or something). The entire argument has centered around the premise, given the 2% figure, that even if we were to drill everything, we’d still be dependent on foreign oil. And so, the logic then goes, since that is “true” then it would seem we should instead concentrate on alternate energies, especially clean and renewable energies, to displace fossil fuel use, decrease our foreign dependence and replace oil with those alternatives (even if they’re more costly).
Naturally, this works perfectly into a further claim that we’ll also save the planet from warming, increase net job growth by creating domestic green jobs and everyone will live happily ever after.
None of it is true. Myth after myth has been shattered. Global warming, despite James Hansen’s insistence, is simply not happening the way he and his alarmists claimed. He continues to beat the same drum he was beating years ago as if nothing has disputed his initial theories. Just last week he doubled down with a NY Times op/ed piece that barely yielded a yawn.
Should we be pursuing alternate and so-called “clean” energy sources? Of course we should. And we will as necessity and markets guide entrepreneurs. But this myth that we must be a net oil importer forever and ever and can’t find ways to fully secure our own supply (i.e. not have to import oil from unfriendly or potentially unfriendly countries or be subject to their whims) is a myth.
That is, unless we don’t exploit this resource. And remember, the estimate Mittal is talking about covers one area in the US. We’re not talking off-shore, where most of the off-shore area also holds vast amounts of oil but remains off-limits. We’re talking right here on dry land.
The Green River formation is near where the state borders of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming come together. The unfortunate aspect of that is most of the land is owned by the Federal government. And, under this administration, anyone who has been following the energy policy of the administration knows that’s bad news for Americans.
“The federal government is in a unique position to influence the development of oil shale because nearly three-quarters of the oil shale within the Green River Formation lies beneath federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior’s (Interior) Bureau of Land Management (BLM),” she testified.
Again, with this administration, most know what that means. If history is a guide, little if anything will be done to take advantage of this petroleum windfall by Mr. “All-Of-The-Above”.
Look at the Bakken oil fields and their impact in this down economy for an example of what Green River could mean in real terms. Here’s blurb published today from a Billings, MT newspaper:
Thousands of workers chasing quick riches by flooding into the Bakken oil field have helped jump-start home sales in Billings.
And the wave is starting to make Billings houses harder to find — and more expensive.
Well-site geologist Joe Hallgren works under contract for SM Energy of Billings. He and his family live in Williston, N.D., the oil boom’s epicenter. But, they’re building a house in Billings and when it’s finished in July they’ll move here and Hallgren will commute to the oil patch.
“I’ve seen a few boom-bust cycles. This one is crazy,” he said. “We got to the point where, for our family, Billings is just going to be better for us.”
Last week, Bozeman resident Doug Pezoldt, who surveys land for local engineering firm Sanderson Stewart, and his wife started moving into their custom-built Billings home.
“Really, in one year’s time, the boom in the Bakken has increased the volume of work and we just need more people in Billings to support that,” Pezoldt said. “My wife and I just feel like Billings is where we want to make our home long term.”
That is the reality of Bakken and the potential of Green River in a very down economy.
Question: Do you think the administration will bother to take advantage of it?
This guy is so obvious it amazes even me at times.
He loses 41% of the Democratic vote in the West Virginia primary to a Texas jailbird and suddenly he’s all for “clean coal.” Does he really, honestly believe that now West Virginia will rally to his cause because he put “clean coal” on his campaign web site where it has been conspicuously absent prior to the primary? This is “smartest guy in the room” stuff?
After coming under fire for its consistent hostility to the coal industry, the Obama campaign quietly adjusted its energy policy website to include “clean coal” among the president’s energy initiatives.
The energy policy page of BarackObama.com now includes a section for “clean coal,” claiming the stimulus package “invested substantially in carbon capture and sequestration research.”
But until recently, that page made no mention of coal. Its Google cache shows a section for “energy efficiency” where “clean coal” now appears.
The change comes mere days after Obama lost 41% of the vote in the Democratic primary in West Virginia – a state heavily reliant on the coal industry – to a convicted felon and current federal inmate.
The chairman of the WV Democratic Party blamed Obama’s poor showing on his stance on coal energy. “A lot of folks here have real frustration with this administration’s stance on coal and energy,” said state Democratic chairman Larry Puccio. “They are frustrated and they are upset, and they wanted to send Obama a message.”
Of course everyone who has followed how Obama operates knows very well he’ll say anything. It is what he does (or doesn’t do) that matters. Just like being “for” gay marriage. That doesn’t mean he’ll do anything to make it happen. It is about how he calculates being “for” something will benefit him politically. The same holds true for “clean coal”.
Should he win re-election, “clean coal” will be removed as quietly as it was inserted onto the campaign web page.
Jeffery Folks at American Thinker begins his article with:
Imagine a president who gets behind drilling, welcomes the cutting-edge technology of companies such as ExxonMobil, and offers generous 15-year tax breaks to ensure that new drilling projects move forward. That’s the kind of energy policy America needs in order to achieve energy-independence.
I’d love to imagine that. In fact and unfortunately, we have a president who does exactly the opposite.
If you want someone like Folks is wishing for, you’ll have to go to Russia:
Unfortunately, it’s not Barack Obama who’s behind those positive energy policies; it’s Vladimir Putin.
As Russian president-elect, Putin has made it clear that he intends to open his country’s arctic and Black Sea regions to drilling. The potential is so great, and the necessary investment so immense, that even Russia’s giant state-run oil companies, Rosneft and Gazprom, lack the resources and technology to proceed. So, with Putin’s blessing, Rosneft and Gazprom have entered into joint-production agreements with Exxon, Italian major Eni, and other Western companies. The stakes are huge — not just for these companies, but for the Russian economy.
The arctic and Black Sea fields being jointly developed by Rosneft and Eni contain an estimated 36 billion barrels of oil equivalents. Those under development by Rosneft and Exxon, which may ultimately require an investment of as much as $500 billion, contain estimated reserves of 36 billion barrels in the arctic Kara Sea fields alone. (Total recoverable arctic reserves have been estimated at 134 billion barrels of oil equivalent but will likely go higher as exploration proceeds.) In addition to the arctic and Black Sea fields covered in the Exxon and Eni agreements, president-elect Putin has expressed an interest in the possibility of joint ventures to develop vast Siberian tight shale formations.
The US has an incredible amount of natural resources including huge reserves of oil and natural gas. We’re already the number 3 oil producer in the world. And guess who actually leads the world with recoverable fossil fuel reserves? Yes, that would be the US. Imagine an energy policy that made extraction of that fuel a priority? With aggressive exploration and drilling (as well as approval of the Keystone XL pipeline) we could have a 92% secure liquid fuel sources by 2030. Not to mention, in a time of high unemployment, a jobs bonanza.
But what do we get?
Not that, that’s for sure. We instead get a president who talks about an “all-of-the-above” energy policy while his actions belie his claims. He’s turned lose a executive agency (EPA) on the fossil fuel industry that has already been slapped down numerous times by the judiciary for over-reach. Drilling and permits on federal land have gone down dramatically.
In an oil market that has seen supplies tightening and prices going up, his administration has done everything to keep it that way.
And voters aren’t happy with his performance at all.
If this is going “Forward”, I’d hate to see backward.
Can’t pass a budget in three years, is pretty sure the biggest reason to keep the financially insolvent USPS open is senior citizens like getting junk mail and wants the government paying your tax dollars to keep cowboy poetry alive, Harry Reid is a poster boy for the arguments against seniority as a means of picking leaders.
But when it comes to screwing over the best interests of the United State, well, you can definitely count on Harry to be on the side of those doing the screwing.
Senate Democrats will hold firm and reject House Republican demands to include approval of the Keystone oil pipeline in transportation funding legislation, their leader said Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would not in any way help Republicans move Keystone approval across the finish line.
“Personally, I’m not — I’m not one of the conferees — but personally I think Keystone is a program that we’re not going, that I am not going to help in any way I can,” Reid told reporters. “The president feels that way. I do, too.”
I’m sure the president does indeed feel the way Reid does.
Which should tell you all you need to know about where the President’s priorities are as well.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
The other day this sort of slipped under the media radar:
First Solar Inc. will lay off 2,000 workers and close its factory in Germany following a collapse in solar panel prices that has erased the industry’s profits and forced some smaller companies into bankruptcy.
America’s biggest solar manufacturer said the layoffs amount to 30 percent of its global workforce.
B..b..but why!? Green shoots, alternative energy, clean energy, what the frack?!
This is the future, the government says so! How did it all go so wrong? How in the world could solar panel prices “collapse”?
An influx of Chinese competitors has led to a rapid buildup in supply. At the same time governments in Europe, the biggest market for solar power, are reducing generous subsidy programs that had fueled demand. From March to December last year, solar panel prices dropped 50 percent, said Aaron Chew, an analyst with the Maxim Group.
That damn “supply and demand” thingy again, right?
So let me get this straight … cheap foreign product (subsidized by the Chinese government) flooded the market created by government subsidized demand, driving up supply while lowering the price. Meanwhile the false demand that had been supported by “generous [government] subsidy programs” ended (thus ending the “demand”). Consequently there is no demand for the current over supply and no one is buying the stuff?
Wow … who could have seen that coming?
And the current producer can’t make a profit and thus has to lay off people?
You know, when you’ve seen the same thing over and over and over again (see Einstein’s definition of insanity), sometimes you just have to resort to sarcasm.
By the way for the terminally slow – news flash – that supply and demand thingy also seems to work in the petroleum market as well.
Scapegoating oil speculators–Obama counts on public’s economic ignorance to shift blame for high gas prices
Icould pretty much stop there and say the title tells you the story. Obama knows high gas prices are not good for his re-election campaign. He also knows his energy policies have actively worked against ameliorating or lowering the price of gas.
Therefore, it is necessary to find a scape-goat. Someone or something he can shift the blame too and demonize. In other words, the usual disingenuous attempt at distraction.
David Harsanyi explains what “speculators”, otherwise known as commodity traders, do:
Let’s start by being thankful for oil speculation — no matter what the motivation of those involved might be. To begin with, speculation allows companies with exposure to fluctuating commodity prices to hedge against rising costs by locking in. Sometimes the bet pays off; other times it doesn’t. But risk and profit are not yet crimes.
Oil speculation also offers consumers and investors information about the future that can help them make informed long-term decisions. Speculators trade commodities based on the information available in the marketplace. They reflect reality; they don’t create it.
But sometimes, unfortunate as it is, prices will rise. "Gouging," the close scaremongering cousin of "speculation," helps persuade consumers not to use what they don’t need. It incentivizes to modify behavior — our driving habits or the size of our cars. We conserve more when prices are higher, so we avoid shortages, and producers intensify their production. (Funny how Democrats get this concept when writing energy policy designed to artificially spike fossil fuel prices.)
In reality, this sort of trading helps moderate the market. And, being a zero sum game – i.e. if you make money someone else loses it – it is done carefully. As Harsanyi explains, they “reflect reality; they don’t create it”. In essence you’re seeing a relatively free market work as it should.
Of course, what Barack Obama wants to do is have government intrude on that market because politically he doesn’t like the reality it is reflecting because it is politically damaging to him. So:
Speaking from the Rose Garden, the president announced a proposal to spend $52 million to fund increased government oversight of oil futures market trading in addition to harsher civil and criminal penalties for manipulation in energy markets. “We can’t afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions, while millions of American families get the short end of the stick,” Obama said. “That’s not the way the market should work.”
Or, said another way, if you make a profit based on your foresight, you’d be considered a criminal. If you lose money, I suppose, that’s ok in Obama’s world.
Of course, it’s all nonsense (I mean how would Mr. Obama regulate oil trading in foreign exchanges?). It is a calculated attempt to use ignorance of how these markets work to cause voters to shift their rage from him to his designated target. Successful scapegoating means one less issue the opposition has to use against him (not that he doesn’t provide a target rich environment anyway). He’s counting on this sort of populism to work.
David Kruetzer asks some questions I’d like to see the press ask:
If speculators are making unconscionable profits on energy, why are they only doing it occasionally and not all the time? Why are there only speculators in oil, not natural gas (whose current price is about half of what it averaged over the last decade)? And given how the petroleum market works — for every speculator who makes money on a trade, somebody else will lose money — the president’s theory “requires an endless string of chumps to take the other side of the speculators’ deals.”
And Kreutzer points out the basics of any commodities market, again something of which Obama banks on your ignorance:
For speculation to drive up prices, the speculators must either cause oil production to slow down (which they haven’t) or to pull oil off the market. If the flow of petroleum and its products remains unchanged, the price at the pump will not change. If petroleum is pulled off the market, which can happen even though there are limits to what can be stored, it will eventually come back on the market.
The question becomes, ‘When the oil comes back on the market, is the price higher or lower than when it was pulled off the market?’ The price will only be higher if the amount supplied at that time is lower or the demand is higher. In either of those cases, speculators have helped moderate price fluctuations and will be rewarded with profits. If the price is lower, then the speculators did a bad thing and will be punished by losing money.
So those are the basics of the issue as it concerns such trades and markets.
As can plainly be seen, Obama hasn’t a leg to stand on. But that doesn’t stop him from claiming that government is the answer to this made up problem.
Why? Well other that it is his political nature, he can’t sell the nonsense without some sort of “action”. It becomes much more believable to those who don’t know better if he’s going to spend millions to regulate the contrived problem out of existence.
Of course he knows his actions will not have any positive effect on gas prices, and, in fact, may actually have a detrimental effect, which is why he couches this attempt at scapegoating the problem via government with “none of these steps by themselves will bring gas prices down overnight”.
But he can claim to be taking action while continuing to blame speculators for the problem and counting on general economic ignorance to carry the day for him.
Pretty typical of the man, I’ve come to learn.
Pew Research as a survey out today that is one taken after Romney became the presumptive nominee for the GOP. It compares its numbers to a survey taken while the GOP’s nomination was still contested.
Pew entitles it’s piece about the survey, “With Voters Focused on Economy, Obama Lead Narrows”. It subs it with “Social Issues Rank As Lowest Priorities”.
Hello out there GOP – are you reading this? There’s your campaign. What to stress. What to avoid.
Any chance they’ll actually figure that out?
I mean so far we’ve talked about sluts, contraception, race, wars on women, stay at home moms, even about dogs riding on roofs (well at least the Romney’s didn’t eat the dog).
We’ve been distracted by the outrage of the week – Rush Limbaugh, Hillary Rosen, Ted Nugent, Bill Maher, etc.
That’s the left’s game plan, for heaven sake – Obama has a dismal, in fact awful economic record. Horrible.
And yet the GOP is walking into every distraction trap the left sets like they haven’t a clue.
As I’ve been saying for months, once the nomination is settled, regardless of who the nominee is, and the focus begins to turn on Obama and his record, there will begin a shift in voter preference that should (note the word) carry the GOP nominee to the White House - if the GOP plays its cards right.
Here’s what I mean:
Obama’s lead over Romney has narrowed since last month, when he had a 12-point advantage, though it is comparable to margins from earlier this year. While Obama’s advantage has declined since March, there is little to suggest a specific problem or campaign event as having a critical effect.
While there have been debates over issues related to gender, the rise and fall in Obama’s support has largely crossed gender lines, with a fairly consistent gender gap over time. For example, since March, Obama’s support among both men and women has slipped five percentage points.
Independent voters remain up for grabs. In the current survey, 48% favor Romney while 42% back Obama. A month ago, it was 47% Obama, 44% Romney.
If anyone would not expect an incumbent president to have some sort of lead at this point, I’d say you don’t know much about American politics.
That said, as you can see by the change in a month, the lead is at best tentative, soft and narrowing.
But … there is still a way to absolutely screw up this chance at making Obama a one-term president and, unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the GOP manage that.
That is, to concentrate on the wrong issues. They have a track-record of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory doing exactly that.
I’ll make it as simple as possible.
Limit the main issues of the GOP campaign to three themes: the economy, jobs and the debt. Talk about how to improve the first two and reduce the third. Talk about getting the hell out of the way while giving business the green light to lead us out of this economic morass. Declare the war on fossil fuel to be over. Talk about exploiting our natural resources and the jobs that will bring. Put confidence back in the business sector that expansion and hiring will be enabled and supported, not killed with more and more regulation. Talk about repealing ObamaCare and draconian regulations. Talk about bringing America back.
Once the incumbent has given his concession speech, talk about whatever else tickles your fancy then. But discipline yourself until then. Until then narrow the focus and be relentlessly on message. Refuse the distraction traps. Just flat refuse them.
Do that and the GOP has a shot. The numbers will continue to improve.
Fall into the distraction traps and kiss victory goodbye. If the other side is allowed to frame the campaign and establish the narrative and avoid examining Obama’s record, the GOP loses.
We’ll see which course they choose.
Yes, he’s apparently finally realized that as goes coal, so goes his union (via Labor Union Report). Interesting comparison to Osama Bin Laden. My guess is the administration see’s coal in the same sort of light as they viewed bin Laden – an enemy. And thus, the results of their campaign against it – the loss of jobs, even if they’re union – are acceptable “collateral damage”.
The coal industry will suffer the same fate as Osama bin Laden under new climate regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the head of the United Mine Workers of America said this week.
“The Navy SEALs shot Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington,” Cecil Roberts, president of the powerful union, said during an interview Tuesday on the West Virginia radio show MetroNews Talkline.
Roberts blasted Jackson, the EPA administrator, over the proposed regulations, which would limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. Opponents of the regulations, including Roberts, say the new rules would be the death knell of the coal industry.
But, will Mr. Roberts actually do anything to actively protect the jobs of his union members?
While the United Mine Workers of America likely won’t actively oppose President Obama’s reelection bid, Roberts said the new EPA regulation could prevent the union from endorsing the president.
“That’s something that we have not done yet and may not do because of this very reason. Our people’s jobs are on the line,” Roberts said, adding that Obama has “done a lot of great things for the country.”
So United Mine Workers, why are you paying the dues to pay this man’s salary?
He certainly has made his choice hasn’t he? Unquestioning party loyalty over your jobs. He doesn’t care about them and obviously neither does the president.
I’m sure you’re surprised.
In Nebraska, where environmental groups had protested the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline because it would pass through the “environmentally sensitive” Sand Hills, they are now protesting a proposed solution as well.
The legislation is designed to restart a state review of a pipeline route that avoids Nebraska’s ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region.
Gov. Dave Heineman has indicated that he would sign the bill. He supports getting the Keystone XL pipeline built as quickly as possible.
But, say the environmental groups, this is just not acceptable:
Such eagerness was one of the concerns expressed by the groups. Under LB 1161, the governor would make the final decision on whether to approve a crude-oil pipeline route through the state.
Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska said that would be a clear conflict of interest because an agency under the governor — the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality — would oversee an environmental review of the new route.
Using Kleeb’s logic, Obama had no right to refuse it in the first place because the agencies that conducted the review process for the pipeline at a national level worked for him.
Regardless, the environmentalists intend to try to tie the law up in court:
Kleeb and others said they would prefer the pipeline regulation bill that was passed during last November’s special session, which would put the Nebraska Public Service Commission — an independent agency with elected commissioners — in charge of reviewing the Keystone XL.
Ken Winston of the Sierra Club said he expects a lawsuit to be filed challenging LB 1161′s constitutionality.
Of course Nebraska, as those who’ve followed this story know, is criss-crossed with multiple oil pipelines, none of which have caused the catastrophic environmental problems the environmental groups claim will come with the approval of this pipeline.
The obvious point, of course, is this has never been about “environmentally sensitive” areas. It has been about stopping this pipeline because it will be carrying crude that comes from an area environmentalists have decided produces “dirty” fuel and that we should be denied its benefit. For whatever reason they seem to think if they stop this pipeline, the oil sands in Canada they will come from will simply cease to produce. Of course that’s poppycock. Canada has already said it has plenty of other customers for its oil, to include China.
So this is the latest in the battle to deny this country a safe and secure fuel source for groundless practical reasons, but instead based in ideology which refuses reality for some asinine utopian fantasy world. They would deny this country the benefit of 800,000 barrels of oil a day because they have decided we shouldn’t have it.
Yet my guess is they’d also claim to be big proponents of “democracy”. The only problem, as poll after poll demonstrates, “democracy” firmly backs the construction of the pipeline by huge majorities.
So to hell with it. It’s off to Plan B as outline by Saul Alinsky – use their own rules against them.
Or, in other words, instead of letting the democratic process work and accept the results, tie it up in court.