Friday, May 17, 2013

Do downsides of U.S. energy independence outweigh upsides? I think so

The more I think about the US being energy independent and the world's top oil and natural gas producer the more destabilizing I believe it will be to world balance if there in fact is such a thing.
Let's start at home. I do not like fracking one bit. There is nothing good about it except for the energy companies and their interests and Politicians and their interests. Once again despite the lies as to how good this is for you and the country there is nothing in this for the people.
From what I have seen already we are destroying peoples food and water sources making them dependent on who? and grossly destabilizing the ground. Everywhere fracking goes on earthquakes are showing up regardless of the fact that there was no earthquakes in the past and it is no ones fault of course, it is natural my rear.
To me for the people to think there is any plus at all at our becoming energy independent they would want to see the price at the pump go down. That you know will never happen because it is not in the interest of oil companies. As they do now, whenever something good or bad happens that may or may not even affect the industry they raise prices.
So self sufficiency is not to our benefit it is to the benefit of the energy industry alone in the long run.Politicians of course will take credit and for what is anyone's guess. Just imagine the change to the world's current energy leaders.
In a nutshell, the US will no longer need Africa's or the middle east oil or what little natural gas we get there. So what you say, they will just sell it to India and or China who are more than happy to get it. The middle east, China, and the entire world energy balance is changing as we speak.
 The US will be off the market as a user and will be an ever growing supplier competing with the world's top natural gas producer Russia along with the middle east, Africa, and the rest of the world for oil.

Just think of the monumental changes that have already begun: Japan to build LNG terminal for US shale gas

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I do not like Fracking or horizontal drilling but imagine the United States as the worlds leading gas And oil exporter? A headline on an old newspaper reads: Oil Shale Development Imminent,". That edition of the defunct Grand Junction News, was published at the dawn of the 20th century.

More than a hundred years later, instability is roiling world oil markets, and Americans are paying $3.50 a gallon for gas. And oil shale fever is again rising in the geologic region known as the Piceance Basin, part of the Green River Formation that stretches across the rugged plains of northwestern Colorado and parts of Wyoming and Utah.

There is no dispute that a thousand feet below the isolated ranch country here on Colorado's western slope lie almost unimaginable oil riches. It's locked in sedimentary rock -- essentially immature oil that given a few million years under heat and pressure would produce pools of oil easy to extract.

The Energy Department and private industry estimate that a trillion barrels are here in Colorado -- about the same amount as the entire world's known reserves of conventional oil. The entire Green River Formation might hold as much as 2 trillion barrels.

Supposedly secretly Pushed by the Bush administration and legislation from Congress , and spurred by oil prices above $70 a barrel, the energy industry is mobilized to unlock the secret of oil shale. Now Obama has made retrieving shale oil a priority. 

As it has before, shale oil holds out the hope of a USA no longer dependent on foreign oil. Shell Oil is engaged in a multi year test of a new technology for extracting the oil. Previous efforts that were uneconomical and environmentally destructive entailed mining the rock, crushing it and heating it above ground to release the oil.

Shell's new process involves sinking heaters deep underground, cooking the rock at 700 degrees and recovering the oil and natural gas with conventional drilling.

For a decade, Shell has been ramping up its research on private property here. It is also one of a handful of companies vying for research and development leases on larger tracts of federal land nearby. That could lead to full-scale development across 1,200 square miles of western Colorado.

Early results are promising, says Terry O'Connor, a vice president in the oil giant's unconventional resource division. But, he admits, "no one has been able to develop oil shale on a commercially sustainable basis.

That is $3.50 to $4 fuel that is here now. My question is have the oil companies purposely been driving up the prices in order to justify retrieving this huge reserves at our expense? Also at the expense of the environment and alternative fuel sources! What about world balance? I would prefer we stay status quo and keep our own ability to be independent active but as a big stick. What say you?

James Joiner
Gardner Ma

1 comment:

Demeur said...

I think we have several factors going on here. First is that all the easily retrieved oil has already been extracted. You will note that the wells are getting deeper and deeper. Even those in the Alaskan north slope are miles underground. That is if they can deal with drilling in the arctic oceans and the problems that go with it.
Second is the fact that what we think as "our" oil is not. It's sold on the open market to the highest bidder. So even building the XL pipeline will not lower our gas prices. That tar sands oil is to be sold to china for home heating oil. And you can just imagine the pollution they'll be sending our way if that happens.
Lastly the president of Duke Energy was all for renewable sources but stated that that would happen in 2050 (long after his death). So they seem content with squeezing every last penny out of fossil fuels and polluting the environment and damn anybody who gets in their way.
As for conservation I became certified in weatherization thinking that there might be a future or at least enough work to make it to retirement. That was quickly ended with so much red tape it would make a politician blush.
Concerning energy independence we'll only get there when people realize that it will be cheaper in the long run to save on a personnel level, insulate their homes and maybe produce their own energy because we know corporations and government isn't going to do it.