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(Popular Mechanics)   Recent news reports claim the U.S. will surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production within a few years. Lets take a closer look at the government report that made the claim and see what it really says   ( popularmechanics.com) divider line
    More: Followup, Saudi Arabia, United States, U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric energy consumption, Bakken, barrels of oil, Current sea level rise, gross world product  
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10128 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Nov 2012 at 9:43 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-11-21 09:50:14 AM  
3 votes:

Seriously.... that article was a wall of text.

Somebody needs to tell the author to GET TO THE POINT.
2012-11-21 10:01:37 AM  
2 votes:
For the U.S. to become energy self-sufficient, it needs to do three things:

1. Find more domestic sources of energy production, be they oil, coal, solar, wind, nuclear, whatever.

2. Continue to look for improving efficiencies in our energy consumption.

3. Understand that doing #1 and #2 means money for research and development, whether it is from the private sector or the government, and we can't slack off in either department. Yes, that might mean more oil rigs off shore. Yes, that means you get used to not having incandescent bulbs.

It's easy to say, harder to do, but we must do it or suffer the consequences.
2012-11-21 11:42:18 AM  
1 vote:
The unadulterated fact is that the supply of oil is finite. Laid down millions of years ago, it's not been replenishing itself.

We may have X billions of gallons in the ground yet, but once it's gone, that's it.

50 years ago, no one considered the impact that developing nations would have on the consumption as they worked to increase their standard of living. Just as no one expected water shortages in assorted states until their populations exploded.

Florida is an excellent example. Between 1960 and now, including a big drive to attract a bigger residential population, the population has more than tripled, creating a never expected water shortage in many areas and problems like an increase of sink holes, the destruction of wild lands which helped replenish the water and the discovery that the state actually depends on much of it's water coming through cave systems from other states.

Around the 70's, there was a huge push by the automotive industry to sell cars to nearly every member of a family. Where, in the 50's, an average family might have one car, by the 70's, that increased to around three and, shortly after, along came gas powered toys, like ATVs, dirt bikes, boats the size of portable ocean liners and personal water craft.

At the same time, more and more homes included electric air conditioners, more lights, more fans, much more electronics and a host of gas powered yard tools. In colder areas, winter heat systems were developed to push hot water through tubes sealed into the floor, heating units for swimming pools became more popular and personal and public night time lighting just exploded.

So, as the decades have passed, the consumption of fossil fuel based power has gone up far faster than expected.

Even with more efficient engines and electronics, the demand remains high and will continue to do so.

Unfortunately, if the public gets lulled into complacency by reports of new oil fields and the promise of somewhat cheaper gas prices, they'll do as they always have done: start using more.

Plus a positive spin on oil availability will undoubtedly slow the development of efficient and reliable alternative energy sources.

So, basically, don't get too comfortable with reports of vast new oil resources, because (1) they have limited capacity also, (2) third world nations are rapidly becoming consumers of larger volumes of fuel as they upgrade, (3) much of the global economy is now based on the cost of crude by the barrel and (4) the global population is exploding.

We may develop a car that gets 100 mpg, but then gas will be $10.00 per gallon. Look how fast cheap diesel fuel rose in price and how equally as fast, the cost of biofuels made from used grease and oil.

Decades ago, the push for development in Florida was a good thing. Now, it's an expensive, resource draining, ecological nightmare. Ample, cheap land is gone and resources are consumed faster than ever thought.
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