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The above graph, courtesy of data from the Energy Information Administration, reflects the country’s dependence on foreign oil — effectively petroleum imports as a percentage of petroleum consumed.
The graph reflects the country’s dependence on foreign oil, showing petroleum imports
as a percentage of petroleum consumed.
Like many of us, Brian Beutler is scratching his head over Mitt Romney's plan for North American energy independence by 2020. The plan is a joke consisting of about two-thirds filler and one-third environmental deregulation and fossil fool fantasy. With not one mention of global warming.

As Beutler points out, Richard Nixon and every president since has invoked energy independence as a goal but, starting with Ronald Reagan, they've all been careful not to establish a near-term deadline. Romney has broken that cautious three-decade tradition, actually placing independence within a time-frame during which he could be in the Oval Office were he to somehow beat the odds and win the election this year and for a second term.

Oil independence is what Romney is talking about. That's no surprise given that his top energy adviser is Harold Hamm, the shale-oil billionaire who is the 78th richest man in the world. The League of Conservation Voters counted 154 mentions of oil in the energy plan. It includes just 24 mentions of wind and solar, nine of them with a sneer.

No amount of drilling could make the United States oil independent unless consumption was drastically cut. Right now, the U.S. consumes about 19 million barrels of oil a day, producing 7-8 mbd and importing in the neighorhood of 11 mbd. Which is why North America was selected for the plan. The U.S. now imports a little less than 20 percent of the oil it consumes from Canada and Mexico.

So, how possible is regional independence? Could North America could become oil independent in eight years? This would mean current production would have to be doubled in that time frame.

Technically achievable, perhaps. Just build enough new drilling rigs and steamroll objections by decentralizing regulation and turning over to the states the permitting and licensing of onshore drilling on federal lands, as Romney has proposed to do. Paul Blumenthal pointed out last month that the huge booms now going on in Alaska and North Dakota under the current regulatory regime that Romney and his cronies like Hamm call too onerous would be allowed to expand with no supervision from Washington. Getting rid of such supervision over all resources on federal lands has been a dream of the right wing ever since the Sagebrush Rebelllion of the 1970s.

The oil the plan would require going after is a lot tougher to get at and, like the Canadian tar sands and high-sulfur Mexican oil, a lot dirtier. But then "pollution" is, like "climate," a word that doesn't appear in Romney's plan.

Getting at more difficult oil means spending more money to do it. Because oil is a global commodity, the price is set internationally. So, there comes a time when the price per barrel that can be obtained squeezes the return on investment to the point that investors will look elsewhere to put their money. That's when the technically-feasible-maybes collide with the financing-certainties. The cost of getting at that new oil is far more than pumping out the easy stuff we've drilled so far. Those record oil company profits we've been seeing are mostly a product of that easier oil in which the drilling and other costs have already been accounted for.

Even if every national forest and wildlife preserve were opened up to the whirr of the drill bit, the obstacles to doubling production at all, much less in less than a decade would be immense. Again, that's ignoring the environmental consequences, which, of course, Romney and climate-science denier Paul Ryan are all too happy to do.

Besides all its other smoke and mirrors, implicit in Romney's energy plan is the promise that the projected boom in oil production would drive down gasoline costs at the pump. This is baloney. While speculation and other matters such as refinery fires and maintenance play into the price at the pump in the short term, oil and gasoline prices have tracked quite closely over the years. More production in North America, especially more production of an ever-more-difficult-to-extract resource, will not bring the price of gasoline down any more than it will provide energy independence.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 12:54 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  But I've already stolen the underpants! (7+ / 0-)

    You're saying, No miracle happens? Dang!

    [Wanna buy some used underpants, cheap?]

    Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

    by Clem Yeobright on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 01:02:26 PM PDT

  •  Well, he could crash the economy (13+ / 0-)

    and reduce our energy needs that way.  

    The thing is, you see what you want to see, and you hear what you want to hear. Dig? - The Rock Man

    by BalanceSeeker on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 01:04:09 PM PDT

    •  Nuke Utah, Colorado, Wyoming For (Not) Oil Shale (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Judge Moonbox, TKO333

      There is a reason the Holy Grail of the Green River Formation is not called the "Green River Oil Field."  It's lignite, requiring strip mining that render vast swaths of the American west contaminated and permanently uninhabitable, as well as consuming all the available water.

      This is Croatia - only a silly backwards nation would commit to this madness without proper studies....oh wait.....

       

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:55:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Strip mining lignite... (0+ / 0-)

        ... is also what the "green paradise" Germany is doing.

        In 15 minutes, each BoA 2&3 unit can increase or decrease its output by more than 500 MW. This helps offset fluctuations in the feed-in of renewable energy.
        An important contribution to Germany's energy U-turn.
        http://www.rwe.com/...

        This is Germany's great plan, replace safe and clean nuclear with dirty and dangerous fossil fuels, with some wind and solar for greenwashing.

        The picture on the RWE site describes Germany's broken energy policy perfectly: A lignite plant with some windmills in the background buil on top of the spoil tip from the nearby strip mine.

  •  When one has (14+ / 0-)

    multiple homes, one in New England which needs heat from October to April (conservative) and one in California which needs air conditioning year round plus oil for all those cars in the elevator -- Romney should really just STFU about energy issues.  

    Gas in my town in CT increased 17 cents since yesterday.  I blame Obama for not buying me an electric car.  And how many Koch tankers filled with oil are floating around the oceans of the world right now?

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 01:10:39 PM PDT

  •  Hurricane Isaac was a small hurricane... (15+ / 0-)

    ...there were at last count, 93 rig, refinery, storage, & vessel accidents during the storm. In Louisiana alone.

    Sound like we need more drilling & pumping rigs in the Gulf?

    Cheers.

  •  It won't last (8+ / 0-)

    How long would US oil last?  Even if we drilled on every street corner and found every recoverable drop, it won't last long.  There isn't that much at current rates of consumption.

    We need to get away from 19th century energy sources.  Save oil and natural gas for uses more important than burning them.  Wind, solar-thermal, solar-photovoltaic,tidal, wave, maybe totally new and safe nuke if there ever will be such a thing, some hydro, ...we can do it.

    •  Even IF it could last a decade or so, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      and the production goal could be met, which it can't be, we do not have the refining capacity to handle it.
      When your allegiances are to big business, there really isn't anything else Rmoney can say  on this subject, eh.

      Fuck me! He made it. Will Scarlet

      by dagolfnut on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:10:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      Producing more local hydrocarbons faster just means that we will use up our own resources first.  How is that a good thing?

      As time goes on, oil and coal will be more and more valuable.  I live in Alaska, and I'm OK with oil drilling, but not all at once.  Not all of it NOW.

      "Don't touch your capital."  Every rich kid must know that advice by heart.  

      This summer my big purchases were a new high efficiency wood stove and $700 worth of LED lighting.  Efficiency and conservation come first.  Sustainable energy next.  Fossil fuels last.  

      How many wrongs does it take to make a right?

      by pdknz on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:01:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, accelerating drilling REDUCES Independence. (0+ / 0-)

      Cutting oil consumption increases independence ~ not wasting as much energy to do what we do is sustainable, long term.

      Increasing sustainable renewable energy harvesting increases energy independence ~ though we have to be careful that sustainable is really sustainable.

      But using up "use it once and its gone" at an accelerated rate ... how is that independence.

      This is another case of "I do not think that word means what you think it means." Consider whether we would think the following person is using "financially independent" correctly:

      "I'm financially independent. I've quit my job and am living off my savings. So I am financially independent for the next two and a half months!"

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 05:33:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How sad that Mitt Romney pays not attention to (4+ / 0-)

    the vast potential of solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, and efficiency through technological advance, all of which not only reduce atmospheric pollution, but create jobs and could accelerate our longer term conversion to a sustainable economy.

    Accelerating oil production over the next 8 years only delays the ultimate conversion we must make as finite production reserves are consumed.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 01:34:19 PM PDT

  •  Romney should go snipe hunting... (4+ / 0-)

    ...with Dick Cheney.


    Get Your Mitt Romney (RMoney) Original Bankster Stickers TODAY! Spread The Word.

    by News Corpse on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 01:37:55 PM PDT

  •  Carter's plan would have worked (10+ / 0-)

    Lest we paint everyone with the same brush, Jimmy Carter put so much emphasis on Solar/Wind and other ALT-E energy sources, that his plan would have worked, and we wouldn't be having the discussions about this today.  We also would be well on our way to preventing the looming Global Warming disaster.

    Ronald Reagan reversed what Jimmy Carter was doing, and stuck the oil needle deep into Americas arm.

    •  Agreed about Carter. His focus put me into ... (3+ / 0-)

      ...a job for three years at the Solar Energy Research Institute.

      But, it should not be forgotten that he also pushed synthetic fuels (oil shale, which is not the same as shale-oil) and "clean coal."

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 03:27:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In Golden CO. ? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright, Churchill, David54

        Also remember the long gas lines and tripling of oil prices.  The conditions back then were much more severe than they are now.  Everything was on the table back then, but it seems we learned nothing.

      •  Just out of curiosity, how many hundreds (0+ / 0-)

        of billions euros, dollars, yen, yuan, pesos have gone into paying for these "x year stints" at "Solar Research facilities" and the like?

        The solar PV cell was invented in 1954, almost 60 years ago.   Presumably hundreds of thousands of salaries have been paid - often from government budgets that might have gone to provide medical care for the poor, food for the poor, basic shelter for the poor, education for the poor and middle classes alike, and even to support more parochial things, like the development of medical science, and support for the arts - and how much energy, with this kind of investment being carried out around the world, does solar energy produce?

        Humanity now uses 520 exajoules of energy each year, and this with more than half of humanity lacking access to basic needs, like sanitation, like clean water, like shelter, like food.

        It is 2012.    This year, much of the American grain crop failed.   In Europe, crops also failed this year.   The 2003 crops also failed in Europe, and as can be found many places in the primary scientific literature, the death toll exceeded 70,000 in Europe during the summer of 2003 (with this one link to Comptes Rendus Biologie being representative) from heat.

        In the last ten years there have been heat/drought related crop failures in Australia (several years), Russia, Argentina and of course in the United States.

        You're, um, proud of your work at the Solar Research Institute?

        Do tell.

        How many of the 520 exajoules of energy did solar energy provide in 2010, after 56 years of unrestrained cheering?

        How many?

        Do tell.

        You look it up on the EIA website, or if your a qualified energy researcher, in lots of other places.

        I know.   I do it all the time.

        I hate to repeat the obvious, but there's that very famous Einstein quote, "Repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity."

        Solar energy continues to be an expensive and wasteful failure by which, in effect, the bourgeois rob the poor.

        You had a lot to say, as I recall, about your journalistic investigation of the fate of uranium miners.   I believe over a 50 year period a few people actually developed cancers from these mining activities - although we had an interesting talk at the recent American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, about houses that were built from uranium containing stones hundreds of years ago, but we won't discuss that.   It's science, after all, and why should science count in this culture?

        Where I live, on the, reading pronge - a huge natural uranium formation that has been in equilibrium with its decay products for millions of years, gas companies are shattering the rocks to get gas.     How come we don't have any concern troll journalists looking into the radon from this enterprise, Radon that will now leach out - until the uranium is removed - for millions of years, if not billions of years?

        I guess we can't raise a fetish for these people, any more than we can raise a fetish for the 70,000 dead in Europe in 2003.

        But the radioactive tuna?   That we can all care about.

        Humanity is getting what it deserves mostly because the conversation is about the radioactive tuna as opposed to stuff that really matters, and because many people who want to pretend they care do so in an environment of repeating chants and rhetoric that makes no sense.

        And one form of the chant goes like this:   "If only we'd listened to Jimmy Carter about solar energy?"

        We can all deplore - easily Romney's glib garbage - but, speaking for myself, and apparently, from what I gathered at the nuclear sections of the American Chemical Society meeting that I was able to squeeze in while I did my real job - for much of the rest of the scientific community that gathered to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Glenn Seaborg, who besides being one of the greatest American scientists who every lived, also oversaw, at least in the United States, the construction of the world's largest, by far, source of climate change gas free primary energy to this day.

        You took money for the solar enterprise and you're proud of it.

        Last spring, I asked David Eaglesham, the former CSO of First Solar - he gave a talk at Princeton's Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment - whether he favored the phase out of natural gas.   He had just completed a great talk about First Solar's plants next to gas plants, the point being that the solar industry would collapse in a New York second without gas.

        His answer to my question about a gas phase out:  "No."

        Do you favor the phase out of gas?   Any fossil fuel?  

        If so, how?   More solar and wind rhetoric?   You do realize that the portion of German electricity generation has risen since the nuclear shut down, and moreover that Germany can no longer export electricity to Eastern Europe, with the result that they are burning more coal?

        You could look it up.

        I do know how gas, oil and wind might have been phased out - although the die is cast and it will not happen - but I also know how fear, ignorance and superstition have prevented what might have been, thus dooming many, if not all, of the members of future generations to short and brutal lives.

        I keep track of the monthly data for concentration of the  dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide as measured at Mauna Loa, and have imported the data into an excel spreadsheet for analysis in particular to produce the year to year figures for each month.   This data for the 2011 to 2012 months has produced for January the 17th largest, for February, the 14th largest, for March the 12 largest increases ever recorded.

        No year to year increase in a particular month - with the exception of a few months of 2009 when many world factories shut - has been below the average recorded for the last decade has been below the half a century average at Mauna Loa but a reasonable understanding as to why the increases were not spectacular is the fact that many parts of the world - New Jersey included - didn't really have a winter, hence no heating.

        Then we get to April of 2012 compared to April of 2011.   The year to year increase was 2.05 ppm, in a single month, the second largest ever recorded, and May the 4th largest.    There has been only one month since, July, that wasn't in the top 8 for year to year increases in particular months.

        Pourquoi?   Let me tell you what I suspect:   Those were the precise months that Japan shut its nuclear plants for "stress tests" even though it is now clear that no one has died from the grand inability of Japanese nuclear plants to withstand a 9.0 earthquake and a 15 meter tsunami without producing any risks.

        Heckuva job anti-nukes.   You all must be very proud.

        How come?   Selective attention.   Twenty thousand real dead don't match the possibility of one nuclear death, just like the deaths of ten to fifty uranium miners don't count as much as the 3.3 million people who die each from air pollution.

        I suspect that the stress tests actually killed people, since there is not a single dangerous fossil fuel plant on this planet that doesn't automatically kill every time it's turned on.

        Guess what?   Japan didn't replace the shut reactors with solar and wind.    There is no industrial society on this planet that operates on solar and wind.   Zero.   None.  Zilch.

        Everything else was safe though, right?   No one died from buildings in the event with the earthquake and tsunami, no one died from dams, and no stress tests were required for buildings, and no one is talking about phasing out coastal cities, no one was injured by exploding refineries.   Am I right?

        Look it up.   Get back to me on it.   Inquiring minds want to know.

        You may look up the EIA figures for solar energy production if you wish, or you can take my word for it.    After more than half a century of unrestrained and uncritical cheering, it doesn't produce half an exajoule of usable energy on the entire planet.

        We're saved.

        Solar and wind will save us?   How come it hasn't done so after all this money and effort over the last 5 decades?

        Let me guess:  Because of Ronald Reagan.

        I am inclined to use the famous line of Joseph N Welch, used in another, completely different, context:    You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?  

        I voted for Jimmy Carter twice, but the truth is that his real energy policy involved kissing the ass of the guy who ran Savak, while all the time lecturing us on human rights.  He was also big on "setting an example" on nuclear fuel recycling because nuclear fuel reprocessing causes nuclear wars.    England, France, India and China couldn't care less about his christian example.  It seems though that France, Britain, India and Japan all reprocess used nuclear fuel.  

        How many nuclear wars have been observed since Carter was President?   How many oil wars, and oil derived terrorist attacks?

        We like to make fun of the Repukes and their scientific ignorance, but personally as a member of the party of Seaborg, I wonder about stones and glass (passively solar) houses.

        The public respect for science, left and right, is absymal, and that bodes poorly for the American - and the world - future.

        Anyway, thanks for reminding us how wonderful solar is, even if I for one doubt that solar energy could power even half the computers dedicated to telling us how great it is.

        Heckuva job.   Congratulations.   You must be very proud.

        Have a nice day tomorrow.

        •  Pretty much killed the credibility of this ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... blog post within the comment thread with:

          Solar energy continues to be an expensive and wasteful failure by which, in effect, the bourgeois rob the poor.
          Where you combine ignoring the fact that passive solar by design is already economic in much of the country, the dramatic price drops in PV solar power in the past five years and the neoliberal fantasy that government spending in an economy spending over 90% of its time far from full employment is somehow "robbing the poor".

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 05:39:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well, he's somehow gotten the Canadian (0+ / 0-)

    media to get in on the scamming:

    A torrent of oil pumped from new wells across the U.S. is setting in motion a decade of dramatic change that promises to wean the country off OPEC, and threatens the growth of energy imports from Canada.

    The U.S. is now staring at an energy future awash with its own crude, with far-reaching consequences for Canada’s oil sands, the U.S. economy and global geopolitics. This massive shift has been sparked by changing political sentiment and technological advances that have allowed crude to be tapped in new places – from North Dakota to Oklahoma, Colorado, Michigan, and even Florida.

    link
    •  The tapping of that crude has been accompanied... (3+ / 0-)

      ...with ridiculous accounts of how much can actually be recovered economically. The fact that wells in shale-oil in North Dakota's Bakken formation tend to dry up fairly fast after the initial flow is one of the reasons for this estimates being off the mark.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 03:30:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Domestic Oil Production Down 50% From 1970s (4+ / 0-)

    We're drilling more than ever, but the big pools of cheap oil are gone the way of the buffalo.  Even the North Slope of Alaska only stopped the slide for about 5 years.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:50:57 PM PDT

    •  yeah but it's all because of liberals and (0+ / 0-)

      regulation.

      as soon as we finish destroying the environment we'll have enough oil forever and ever.

      well, long enough to fatten some 0.1% bank accounts.

      and that's all that really matters.

      not only are the 1% stealing from us now, they are stealing our future too.

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:49:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My iPad is currently being charged by: (3+ / 0-)

    Approximately

    8% small hydro
    24% large hydro
    60 % landfill methane
    8 % industrial scale wind.

    Not a perfectly pure portfolio, put better that that fucker Romney's plan. No?

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:54:32 PM PDT

  •  It's important to point out... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OregonWetDog, Calamity Jean

    There is something to note from the graph here. Who are the only two presidents in the last 40 years to see an actual drop in oil imports as a share of total consumption? Democrats (Carter and Obama, specifically), that's who!

    As usual, the GOP talks a big game on energy independence, but the Dems are the ones with the track record of actually getting it done. (See also: jobs, the deficit, health care reform, immigration reform, finding/killing OBL, etc etc etc.)

  •  America becoming dependent on foreign oil (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Calamity Jean

    was an explicit choice after WWII. The military saw the problems Germany and Japan had in the war without a domestic source of oil, and was afraid that they would run out of US oil before the next war if they used the domestic oil for consumption.

    Republicans believe you need an ID to vote but you can donate millions to any candidate completely anonymously. (h/t jbou)

    by Calouste on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:58:12 PM PDT

  •  Romney once again shows that he is simply (4+ / 0-)

    not a serious person. I have studied North American energy policy since 1971. With a flat out total, going to the moon, committment energy independence for the USA might be achievable by 2050. It would need to include radical innovations in energy efficiency (which most Republicans would oppose) and massive use of fracking, coal and tar sands oil (and counting Canada as America). It is a dumb idea. I'd go with a slow process emphasizing renewables and efficiency and getting to 25% imports.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:59:07 PM PDT

  •  Snipe, Baby, Snipe! /nt (0+ / 0-)

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:59:51 PM PDT

  •  The Oil Drum link, but oil website EVER (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, squarewheel, BruceMcF

    80 % of success is showing up

    so SHOW UP on election day

    by Churchill on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:00:54 PM PDT

  •  energy independent US: Back to the 19th Century nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:03:06 PM PDT

  •  15-20 Yrs-not much oil left them, 300/barrell (0+ / 0-)

    it's a matter of huge increases in oil use and a decrease in oil supply, the Hubbard's Peak Oil

    80 % of success is showing up

    so SHOW UP on election day

    by Churchill on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:03:44 PM PDT

  •  Dr King Hubbard's Peak Oil cira 1960, it's true (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF

    80 % of success is showing up

    so SHOW UP on election day

    by Churchill on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:04:40 PM PDT

  •  Can't help but notice that the point where (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill, Egalitare, mightymouse

    oil imports began to rise sharply again was the exact same time the national speed limit was lifted.

  •  Romney's plan elegantly explained... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    Mitt Romney treats people like things. And he treats things - corporations - like people.

    by richardak on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:07:16 PM PDT

  •  Okla, most oil from there in 1910-1925, no oil now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    Glennpool, Oklahoma doesn't have any more oil, it's drilled out now.  

    80 % of success is showing up

    so SHOW UP on election day

    by Churchill on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:09:07 PM PDT

  •  I thought commodities were fungible... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    how many carbon atoms in a molecule of foreign oil?  There's no such thing....

    No matter how cynical you become, it's impossible to keep up; no matter how cynical you are, you have no idea...

    by ChristopherMays on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:09:51 PM PDT

    •  This argument is a phurphee ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... if the production were sustainable, and if the production were not suicide for an industrial economy to engage in due to climate impacts ...

      ... no net imports of oil would be oil independence, no net imports of energy would be energy independence.

      Energy independence does not require autarky any more than food independence requires no trade in food.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 05:44:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How do the Koch Brothers make their money? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, squarewheel

    Oh, yeah, oil.

    Mitt Romney's moral compass points to the Cayman Islands.

    by captainlaser on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:13:35 PM PDT

  •  Romney: "Free crack for everybody!" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, mightymouse, Calamity Jean

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:23:51 PM PDT

  •  I once went on a snipe hunt (0+ / 0-)

    "did a snipe at a thousand yards in high wind (just after running a 2:50ish, under three hour marathon).  Eight, maybe ten, people in the world coulda sniped that snipe."

    Jimmy Carter coulda...but stoopid libtard that he was he wanted to do it with scawy scawy renewable energy sources.  An that type of sanity don't go around these here American States of America where "ohl" is master of our fossil fueled dreams.  

    Luckily, St. Ron of Deregulation was up to the task of ensuring that we abide by the economics of the "suppliers make the demands."

    But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have laid my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams. – Yeats

    by Bill O Rights on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:43:50 PM PDT

  •  Shouldn't it be noted (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Calamity Jean

    that 5 years after Carter's energy independence speech where he told the Nation that the Energy Crisis was real!

    Oil imports had fallen by half, consumption began to go down, MPG went up, all causing the price of oil to plummet

    The trend was only reversed when Reagan abandoned these policies

  •  Energy Independence is just a slogan ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, Dbug

    Even if 100% of oil we use is domestic, we still import a LOT of energy embedded in goods we purchase from China.

    Enjoying driving the electric Nissan Leaf as the primary car from Feb '11

    by EVNow on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:00:12 PM PDT

  •  The joke oil plan is really stupid (0+ / 0-)

    As some have pointed out here, the calculations must assume a relatively modest growth in oil consumption.  But they assume U.S. oil consumption, not world oil consumption.  With China and India growing like mad, and africa set to undergo a growth in oil needs, it is difficult to predict anything near a linear growth in oil demand.  In fact it looks to be far greater than linear.  Add to that increases in world populations, and the moving target you are aiming at is greater than doubling production by the time we get there.

    That means, with known and estimated reserves, we will not be able to sustain this position for very long.  So millions will be spent, the land will be devastated, and huge amounts of public wealth lost to a few, all for less than 5 years of independence if it could be "technically achieved" as stated above, at all.  

    Moreover, OEPC and Venezuela will try to put a halt to this by increasing production and dumping cheaper crude onto the markets. Canada and Mexico will also see growth in revenue as well as energy needs.  So when they sell on the open market they will also be buying more.  

    We havent gotten to the environment yet...

    Oil is of course openly traded and that means manufacturing bases, suppliers, will demand more energy and get it for fear of raised consumer pricing.  Countries like China will compete  more effectively for Canadian, Mexican, and OPEC oil, quickly gobbling up market excess to fuel government engineered manufacturing growth.  Artificially cheap - scant resources will be burnt at an unsustainable rate.  This will be another factor in off shoring of domestic manufacturing, thereby enhancing an energy situation spiraling away from the U.S.  The structure of the markets do not work in our favor, and again if we did achieve oil production as we might want, how long would it be before we demanded the flow of this oil toward China to keep our ipad prices low?

    And at some point, as we increase refining capacity, the cost of oil will rise to a level in which refining can be cost effective far away from the point of use, so we can expect for China and India to get into this business rather fast.  

    And then of course, there is the environment - destroyed for the price of a barrel of oil.  The ramifications here are pretty clear. A gutted country with a bloated set of oil execs and no middle class to buy the oil.  In the long run, relying on oil independence by producing more oil for the open market is an economical disaster waiting to happen - even if we could do it.

  •  Current oil fields are in decline (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, squarewheel

    While production would have to double to become energy independent, that assumes that current production remains steady. It isn't.

    The North Slope peaked in 1998 at 60 Mbpm and has been in decline ever since. Today it is less than 15 Mbpm.

    Some shale plays have become sipper wells within a year of first production.

    Natural gas production from Marcellus shale wells peak in the first 30 days of production and decline 70% or more in the first year.

    So it is more than just doubling production, it is sustained production at twice the current rate while replacing the decline of existing fields.

  •  once again we have the lesser of two evils (0+ / 0-)

    Romney would be a disaster.

    Obama has provided funds for alternative energy, but is 100% behind more drilling, including in the artic waters, and is MIA on climate change.

    oh well, Obama it is.

    big badda boom : GRB 090423

    by squarewheel on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:47:34 PM PDT

  •  Bakken and Eagle Ford tight oil is way overhyped (0+ / 0-)

    They've increased US prod by about 5%.
    The US uses about +17 million barrels of crude per day and US production is about 7.3 mbpd with another 1 mbpd from Canada and .5 mbpd from Mexico.
    We'd have to double production or add  another Saudi Arabia to do that.
    Rmoney will say anything..even blowing kisses at Rahm.

  •  Independence from oil (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF

    As we all know, the important thing is to increase our independence from using oil, regardless of the source.
    This, of course, is one of Obama's greatest successes so far. Several rounds of mileages standards, pushing Detroit on electric vehicles, passenger rail stimulus spending, and DOT pushing transportation plans to be be less auto-centric.
    He really needs to push another round of rail investment in term 2, but I know the tea party will be fighting it.

  •  We’re exporting more gas than we import (0+ / 0-)

    Here’s the thing: The U.S. is a net importer of crude oil. About 11 million barrels of crude oil per day (as this diary points out). We import more crude oil than we export.

    But once the oil is turned into gasoline, diesel, heating oil, etc., the U.S. exports more of the finished product than we import. Here’s a February 2012 story from Bloomberg: U.S. Was Net Oil-Product Exporter for First Time Since 1949. You can google it and find lots of other verification (including stories from Fox News and the Wall Street Journal).

    The U.S. exported more gasoline, diesel and other fuels than it imported in 2011 for the first time since 1949, the Energy Department said.

    Shipments abroad of petroleum products exceeded imports by 439,000 barrels a day, the department said today in the Petroleum Supply Monthly report. In 2010, daily net imports averaged 269,000 barrels. U.S. refiners exported record amounts of gasoline, heating oil and diesel to meet higher global fuel demand while U.S. fuel consumption sank.

    So we’re importing more crude oil than we produce. But once it’s turned into gas and diesel, we export more than we import.

    Want to know why? Because oil refinery companies don’t give a fuck about making the U.S. energy independent. They want to sell their product at the highest price. They sell to South America, Europe, China, whoever the highest bidder is. As the global price of oil (and gas) goes up, the price will continue to go up in the U.S.

    The Republican claim of getting “energy independence” by drilling for more oil is a chimera. The way we get energy independence is solar, wind, hydro, etc. And by building electric and/or hybrid cars. And by forcing car makers to get more MPG.

    Think about it. Why does the Keystone pipeline take crude oil from Alberta, Canada down to Oklahoma (and thence through existing pipelines to the refineries in Louisiana)? So the gasoline can loaded onto ships and sent abroad. It has nothing to do with “energy independence.”

    But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

    by Dbug on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 11:57:31 PM PDT

    •  Add in the oil and oil products ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... imports and exports, we are a net importer.

      For Energy Independence, that's what matters. If we were a net oil exporter, then we would be oil independent, whether or not the crosshaul trade existed.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 05:50:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Drain America First" policy, h/t Sen Paul Tsongas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Willinois
    No amount of drilling could make the United States oil independent unless consumption was drastically cut.
    And even if was accomplished, how long would it last?  Tsongas also proposed (tongue-in-cheek) legislation to clone dinosaurs so they could then die and turn into hydrocarbon fuels for us.

    "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

    by bartcopfan on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 07:21:18 AM PDT

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