WEBCommentary Guest

Author: Alan Caruba
Date:  May 8, 2006

Topic category:  Other/General

Late Word from the Oil Patch

As I am sure you have read or heard somewhere, “the world is running out of oil” and we’re all doomed. Unless we can figure out how to run our cars on soy sauce, it’s back to bicycle and horses.

As I am sure you have read or heard somewhere, “the world is running out of oil” and we’re all doomed. Unless we can figure out how to run our cars on soy sauce, it’s back to bicycle and horses.

Well, not quite.  Here’s what a U.S. Energy Information Administration 2002 report had to say: “At year-2000 consumption rates, the world has many thousands of years of crude oil and crude oil substitutes (heavy oil, oil sands, and shale oil) remaining.”

When people tell me that America is too dependent on foreign oil imports, I keep telling them we have lots of oil, but thanks to the environmentalists, our own government has made it either too costly to get at it or access has been restricted because the bulk of our undeveloped energy resources is found on federal lands or federally controlled areas offshore. This is what happens when the federal government owns nearly half the landmass of the nation.

Myths about oil are constantly repeated by the mainstream media. The truth, however, is available from open sources such as a U.S. Geological Survey that estimates the United States has almost 175 billion barrels of oil reserves. The survey cites 21.9 billion barrels of known oil reserves and an estimated 150 billion of “undiscovered” reserves.

Why wouldn’t Big Oil go elsewhere to tap known or newly discovered oil reserves when faced with a government that is hostile to permitting access to our own? Alaska alone is still a treasure of oil and natural gas. Alaska’s North Slope, home to the Artic National Wildlife Refuge, is known to have the potential of providing millions of barrels of new oil production. If we started now, it would be available in ten years, maybe less. In reality, Congress has delayed access for some three decades!

Yes, you’re paying more for oil and, yes, you will continue to do so because the U.S. government has failed to grant access to our own known reserves of oil and created “environmental” roadblocks to the building of new refineries.

Meanwhile, we keep hearing that the world is running out of oil. I am not going to dispute geologists and others who know far more about these matters than myself, but I am encouraged by reports of new oil discoveries. Let’s take a look at what is actually occurring worldwide.

I know about the “Peak Oil” theory that says we either have or are about to reach the point of diminishing returns regarding the world’s oil supply, but these recent discoveries suggest there is still plenty of oil to be found. Alas, a lot of it is under the control of nationally run oil companies in countries that don’t invest in new production and don’t like the U.S. very much.

What is lacking, however, is the political will of Congress to remove the regulatory barriers that would insure an America less dependent on imported oil and with the capability to refine the increased supplies this nation will require. We don’t have an oil problem. We have a government problem.

Alan Caruba
National Anxiety Center

Biography - Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba passed on June 15, 2015. His keen wit, intellect, and desire to see that "right" be done will be missed by all who his life touched. His archives will remain available online at this site.

Alan Caruba was the founder of The National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about media-driven scare campaigns designed to influence public opinion and policy. A veteran public relations counselor and professional writer, Caruba emerged as a conservative voice through his weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on the Center's Internet site (www.anxietycenter.com) and widely excerpted on leading sites including this one.

A member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and a charter member of the National Book Critics Circle, Caruba applied a wide-ranging knowledge of business, science, history and other topics to his examination of issues that included protecting our national sovereignty, environment and immigration, education and international affairs.

Caruba resided in New Jersey and had served in the US Army, had been an advisor to corporations, trade associations, universities, and others who used his public relations skills for many years. He maintained a business site at www.caruba.com.

Caruba performed many reviews of both fiction and non-fiction at Bookviews.Com, a popular site for news about books of merit that do not necessarily make it to the mainstream bestseller lists.

Copyright © 2006 by Alan Caruba
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