Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Thing About Oil

Here's the thing: we're running out of oil. For the near-term new drilling isn't going to help; it's going to take years to bring in the first new oil. For the long-term new drilling is just grasping at straws because we're running out of oil. My advice? Get over the oil and get busy on alternatives.

Up in Santa Barbara, which led the charge against off-shore drilling after a nasty spill years ago, the Supervisors want to allow drilling now. The Government (Minerals Management Service of the Dept. of the Interior) estimates there are perhaps 5.7 billion barrels of oil to be had between Point Conception and Mexico, and the folks in Santa Barbara are having Jed Clampett dreams.

The problem is that, according to World Watch, global demand for oil was almost 86 million barrels a day in 2007, over 20 million a day for the U.S. Assuming that it all comes in with no hitches whatever, we're talking about 66 days worth of oil... 275 days if we don't have to share it with anyone else. What are you willing to destroy for nine months of oil? How hard will you fight to keep from sharing it? What will you do next?

Sadly we've become such passive consumers that we're willing to believe that the oil companies know best about oil... like the insurance companies know about health care. They're in the oil business and they know about making money. Remember a few months ago when they found the leaks in the pipeline coming out of Prudhoe Bay? Pipelines need maintenance? Who knew? Supervisor Brooks Firestone thinks technology will prevent a replay of the 1969 spill because he has blinders on.

There are people running for office who are willing to stand watch while international oil sucks the last bit of blood out of every square inch they can get to and then two things are going to happen: that oil is going to get sold to the highest bidder on the world market, and then the biggest shareholders will sell their shares at the top of the market and move on to the next market leaving you on your bicycles with a scorched earth.

Deal with it.


Blogger Kay Dennison said...

They keep talking about hybrid cars. Not a bad solution but with everyone going broke buying gas and food -- who can afford one?

12:07 AM  

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