Drilling the hole deeper!

If there reason for frustration with Democratic Party Senate leadership over messaging when it comes to energy issues, we should be beyond frustration about disastrous Republican substance when it comes to energy. When it comes to oil, the only solution: more supply, drill, drill, drill!!! Putting aside the question as to the sensibility of a supply-side answer in the face of Peak Oil, Global Warming, and rising global demand (can we increase fast enough), let us take a brief look at the linkage between drilling and oil prices.

Additional drilling doesn’t seem to drive lower gasoline prices, does it?

DRILL! DRILL! DRILL! does not make for sensible energy policy.

Oil is finite. We use more, faster, we run out faster. Should we think about keeping some around as reserves for future generations?

We cannot increase supply as fast as demand is rising. If we don’t do something about demand curves, prices are going to continue to escalate to higher and higher levels.

We can reduce demand for lower cost than creating new supply (if new supply is even possible). Why not take the cost-effective routes.

And, there is the little tickler of Global Warming. Increased oil use means increased pollution.

Point. Game. Set. Match.

Samuelson. Bush. The Republicans are wrong. More drilling is NOT the answer.

When you’re stuck deep in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging.  When we’re stuck deep in the hole of oil addiction, perhaps the first thing to do is stop emphasizing drilling?

Now, when we consider the failures of Republican-driven energy policies and the serious implications for American national security (from exporting dollars to global warming), perhaps the right way to think of the Republicans approach to energy is as the “Kill and Drill Republican” Party approach to energy.

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17 responses to “Drilling the hole deeper!

  1. Pingback: “Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.” Drill the hole deeper! « Energy Smart

  2. You are totally wrong and an enemy of the US. We must develop all resources asap including oil reserves in the US. Prices are set at the margin, a concept you are clearly ignorant of. More incremental supply will definitely impact price!

  3. Vinsant — your comment is insulting, on multiple levels.

    Take a look at demand curves. Take a look at global production levels. Are you serious in asserting that we have an ability to produce ourselves out of the problem.

    As to “enemy of the United States”, considering the national security implications, economic disruption, and other risks from unchecked global warming, you are absolutely choosing to ignore Global Warming implications from your feed the addiction path forward.

  4. drilling is admittedly long overdue, thanks to the myopia of our politicians.

    And we have people willing to bow before the idol of computer simulation and condemn all the ordinary people to freeze in a cave. Note that none of the AGW alarmists have moved to caves!!

  5. Paul. “Idol of computer simulation …” Science and data is religion? What is your basis for rejected fact and data?

    And, “condemn all the ordinary people to freeze in a cave”. Hmmm … that certainly doesn’t sound like any of the people that I work / interact with. That is not what we are working to achieve. Pretty ard to build 7.5 mw wind turbines wearing fur skins and shivering by a fire in a cave.

  6. Energy Smart, you are right on track! Jack Vinsant, you are about as far off base as anyone can be. I was in the oil & gas business for over 30 years. While that doesn’t make me an expert, I certainly have a great in sight into the business. I don’t know where Energy Smart got his graph, but if he went back over the past 30 years, he would find the same curve. Energy Smart, don’t pay attention to those like Vinsant. He has been assimilated; when you don’t like the facts and have nothing to back up his point, just attack the messenger. He’s probably one of those who gets his “facts” from a single “news” source.

  7. Pingback: House leadership to Fossil Fuel industry: Use it or lose it! « Energy Smart

  8. Pingback: Get Energy Smart! NOW!!! » House leadership to Fossil Fuel industry: Use it or lose it!

  9. As long as conservatives and liberals talk past each other, we’re never going to get anywhere. As long as we adopt an attitude of my way or the highway… things are only going to get worse. Why do we have to adopt one policy or the other simply because it matches a particular mindset? Why can’t we take multiple paths to solve the problem? If the law of supply and demand doesn’t work for you, can you at least admit that by purchasing foreign oil we are subject to the whims of foreign governments while simultaneously financing those who are buying out our country and wish to destroy or marginalize the US? By using our own supplies, we can uncouple ourselves from despotic regimes, while increasing overall world supplies and perhaps bring down prices in the short term. For God’s sake… China and Cuba are starting to drill off our shores. Wake up!!! Don’t you think we have a better record of environmental conscience than these countries? Wouldn’t it be better to produce this oil ourselves rather than buy it from Cuba?!?! While we are opening up our own resources, would it kill us all to reduce our energy consumption? We should press hard for reductions in energy use by maximizing our energy efficiency. Sure we can afford to drive SUVs and live in 5000 square foot homes, but just because we can, doesn’t mean we should? Mandate efficiency. Legislate it. Support it. To top it off, we need the mother of all Manhattan projects applied to energy… the Feds should seriously fund efforts to develop our future energy sources (wind, solar, nuclear, coal liquefaction, geothermal, bio-fuel, hydrogen, and whatever else we need to solve the long term problem). Nothing should be off the table. Nothing. Don’t expect the oil companies to do this. Why would anyone expect the oil companies to fund research into the demise of their own industry? Would you fund the demise of your own business? Unless there is profit in it for them, why would they do that? They wouldn’t, so expecting them to do so will NEVER solve our energy problems. Grow up folks. It’s the future of our country at stake here. It’s the future of your children and mine. You have to give a little to get a little… that’s the nature of compromise!!! So, my plan: increase domestic energy supplies (yes that mean drill), drive down our energy use through conservation (yes that means pulling back on our excessive consumption), and Federally fund the effort to develop the long-term solutions to the problem (yes that means new taxes). Ignore any one of these components and the future outlook for this country is bleak… We need to let go of our political dogma as it is simply used to divide and control us. Think, compromise and act! Stop letting our political parties divide us and paralyze us into no action.

  10. Kevin,

    Thank you for the comment which I find mixed with things that are absolutely right and that I agree with, while also having material that is incorrect.

    If “bipartisanship” were what went on in the Congress 25-30-35 years ago, then we should have bipartisanship. Open, real, substantive discussion and cooperation. The demise of that is the responsibility of one party. (A good discussion on this to read from just yesterday, passionate/partisan, but basically on target: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/6/14/133545/717/17/535936.

    Let me point a factual error: The China/Cuba talking point is basically that, a talking point that is not rooted in fact. See: http://www.speaker.gov/blog/?p=1379

    Finally, the challenge of “increase domestic energy supplies” needs to be placed into context of the US having perhaps 3% of the world’s reserves of traditional oil while using 25%. “Drilling” far more aggressively, especially in face of a global market for oil, would do relatively little to solve the problem.

    I am not arguing that “drilling” is absolutely not part of a solution path toward energy prices, what I object to are the calls that it is THE solution.

    But, the far (FAR) more productive path to be emphasizing is efficiency (including electrification of transport) and conservation, along with work toward alternatives (including for products that we currently make from oil that, such as plastic bags, can be greatly reduced in use and for which alternatives exist).

  11. Then we have some common ground, and that gives me hope as I suspect we have opposing political views. All too often though, I’ve noticed there is a tendency to claim the mantle of truth and support it with articles found on the Internet. I’ll admit, I’m as guilty as anyone in this regard. Unfortunately information can be a nebulous thing. We could parry and thrust back-and-forth serving up Internet articles to support our points and would likely lose sight of the problem. For instance, here would be my response to one of the web links you provided.

    http://money.cnn.com/2006/05/09/news/economy/oil_cuba/index.htm

    Now CNN certainly cannot be accused of being part of the vast right wing conspiracy. The article may be a bit dated, but it certainly indicates that Cuba has signed agreements with a number of countries to find and develop oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico. Maybe they aren’t drilling… yet. Be assured if they find oil, they will tap it, no matter what Dick Cheney said. Regardless of what articles we could find on the subject, we only need to understand the nature of humanity and Cuba’s economic plight to come to the logical conclusion that Cuba is looking, and if they find it, and can make money from it or improve their national stability, they will drill. What would stop them? I don’t need an Internet article to draw this conclusion, nor any politician to tell me they are or are not going to drill. It is likely a matter of survival for the Cuban government.

    So, we could quibble about this fact or that fact found on the Internet, or about which political party is good and which party is bad, but in the end it only serves to drive a wedge between people and paralyze us (which I believe is exactly what politicians want as it transfers power from us to them and enables them to tell us what to do). Me, well I choose not to listen to Hillary, George, Barak, John, or any other politician. I think for myself. I read as much as I can and look at what’s happening around the world, and I draw my own conclusions. If enough people can get to this point, then we can tell the politicians what to do rather than look to them to save us.

    As we appear to agree the future of this country is in jeopardy, and that we need a comprehensive energy policy which includes increased supply, decreased demand, and oodles of research and development, we can free ourselves from party politics. If enough of us come together, then we can tell our elected officials what to do and we take the mantle of power back. If we can get there, then there is hope. If we entrench ourselves behind political parties, and the mistrust between them, then we’re doomed.

    Be they Republicrats or Demicans, the vast majority of our politicians care about one thing… maintaining power. Politicians will only work in a bi-partisan manner if the people who elect them demand it. I’ll agree with you. Republicans lie and twist the facts to meet their objectives; however will you spot me that for every corrupt, lying, self-absorbed Republican, that I can show you a lying, no good, self-serving and corrupt Democrat? What does this prove? In my mind it proves that we, the citizens of the United States, need to solve the problem because the politicians won’t. What we need is an angry, motivated and loud electorate that tells them all to shut up, stop pointing fingers, stop gumming up the works for political gain, and implement all energy options right now. As long as we refuse to think for ourselves and simply tow the party line we will get nothing but words, finger pointing, division and paralysis. United we stand, and divided we fall. I pray it is not too late for us. I’ve written my Senators and Representatives, Republicans and Democrats alike, and told them to support domestic drilling, conservation and expanded research right now. I hope that you will add to my voice and do the same. Furthermore, I’ve traded my SUVs in for more fuel-efficient cars, and I’m doing my part to reduce my overall energy consumption. As I can figure out more ways to conserve energy, I will because I want to pass along a strong and viable United States to my children and my children’s children… and energy seems to be the dilema of our generation.

  12. Kevin,

    I would probably put my priorities in the direction of efficiency (nega-gallons, nega-watts), moving toward cleaner electricity (think electrification of transport, rail/autos/buses), cleaner fuels, and have ‘drilling’ in the end of the queue. (For a good discussion, check things like: Winning the Oil Endgame: http://www.oilendgame.org ; very interesting discussion about wide range of options for cutting oil requirements. Now, at that point in time, the study team wasn’t too interested in PHEVs, they are now.) In addition, while I support a major investment in research on energy issues (with some particularly passionate areas of concern, such as power storage (mobile (batteries) and stationary) and recycling of carbon (whether out of smokestacks or directly from the atmosphere)), the truth is that we have a tremendous amount of things ‘on the shelf’ that we could profitably be deploying to shift our energy paths toward more positive paths.

    Even if oil is $135 / barrel, do we expect it to be $250 tomorrow (e.g., in the future)? If so, is not domestic oil in the ground a form of reserve against future risks and future problems? Now, perhaps, it might be the time to be ready to drill more domestically, but I would support that only if we are partnering this (VERY) heavily with quite serious efforts to move us off oil (across the full spectrum of uses).

  13. Kevin,

    By the way, I would subscribe fully to: “because I want to pass along a strong and viable United States to my children and my children’s children… and energy seems to be the dilema of our generation.”

    I would add, however, that Global Warming is the very dangerous wildcard on top of this. If it weren’t for Global Warming, coal-to-liquids and tar sands for liquid fuel could look great. However, unless we can do something about the processing emissions, these will be catastrophic in implications in the worsening of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.

  14. I’m not a subscriber to the theory of man-made global warming, so for me it’s not a concern. But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume carbon emissions are the main ingredient to global warming. Even if we were to drop our carbon output to zero… the developing nations of the world won’t follow suit and any gains we make in driving our carbon emissions down will quickly be overtaken by China, India and other developing economies. So… do we unilaterally choose our economic death by hamstringing our use of carbon-based fuels while the world still belches out CO2 and counters all our reductions? I say no. I say we use the carbon-based fuels we have, combined with our know-how and determination to take us through the gap between the carbon based fuel economy and lead in the development of whatever energy solutions follow. Regardless of whether anthropogenic global warming is real or not, what is a certainty is that carbon based fuel is limited in supply (well perhaps it’s a certainty, there is that pesky theory of abiotic oil, but that’s another topic). Hence the reason why I feel we need the mother of all Manhattan projects to solve our long term energy needs, If we are successful in developing sustainable and clean energy sources, it will be well worth whatever carbon we burn to get there. What if we aren’t successful? Well then mankind goes back to the dark ages sooner rather than later and that will make VHEMT very happy (google it if you don’t know what it is).

  15. Kevin,

    Putting aside Global Warming Theory (and it matters that it is capitalize, Theory is a very serious word), what you seem to be buying into is that paths for dealing with Global Warming are somehow bad for America. In fact, they will strengthen the nation. See, for example, Making Climate Policy Economically Profitable (http://getenergysmartnow.com/?p=16).

  16. When have we ever had sensible energy policy?

    Obviously not up to now.

    We have ethanol from corn to attest to the virtues of sensible energy policy.

    Government economic policy is a sick joke; the descriptive “sensible” need not apply.

    Government is a devastating failure at making economic policy.

    This was predicted in a long-forgotten document called the US Constitution; although briefly and weakly disputed by Marx, Lenin, and American Journalist (lucky matriculate) mentalities.

    Government’s next failure, possibly (actually already) fatal? Fixation on carbon dioxide instead of sunspots.

  17. ChillGuy: want to talk about acidification of the oceans and the implications of that acidification for the human species? Concerns about Co2 are not limited to “global warming”, but the impacts are multifaceted.

    Sunspots … sigh …

    Want to talk, by the way, about focusing on improving the things we can control while being ready to deal with those we can’t? We can have an impact on CO2 levels (oops, we already are); we can have an impact on efficiency of energy use; we can …

    At this time, we cannot control the sun.

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