An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Arthur Berman:
The EIA estimates that U.S. crude oil production will increase to nearly eight million barrels per day by 2020 and then decline. Present consumption is almost 15.5 million barrels per day. If EIA is correct, the United States will still have to import about seven million barrels per day allowing for demand decline, and that does not look like energy independence to me.These same optimistic reports almost never consider cost, price or profit margins.
Most of the exuberant reports about energy self-sufficiency from domestic production lump crude oil, natural gas liquids, refinery processing gain and biofuels as ‘liquids.’ That is fine, but we must bear in mind that what we import is crude oil and today, we cannot use other liquids for transport – the main use of crude oil – without massive equipment and infrastructure changes that will cost trillions of dollars and take decades.
“Energy Independence” is an admirable goal in and of itself. What it would say about our continuing innovative and technological capabilities is another important statement—providing assurances to this nation and to others that the United States remains the undisputed economic and technological powerhouse.
The deep-water sources, as well as the extraction of tight oil from shale formations via fracking, are important contributions to maintaining some “balance” between our energy supply and demand. But costs, effort, quality, time factor, rates of production, and a host of other fundamental factors required to sustain production suggest a very different story about what we should expect in the years to come.
Curious how that information seems to disappear quite often these days, isn’t?
Damn that reality! Facts continue to suck, too….
Given our society’s reliance on transportation, it would seem that Plan B for supplying the energy needed to power our transportation options (and what kind of options we’ll have to begin with) ought to be more of a priority than it is.
Apparently shortsighted considerations and denying anywhere near the kind of funding needed is more important … we wouldn’t want added spending and greater federal involvement, would we? Success would destroy some great talking points, and when all is said and done, isn’t that what really matters most?
If we don’t provide the means for the government to work, then we can criticize the government for being inept, and thus provide even less thereafter, so that we can….
Failing to prepare is a choice. It’s not a very good one, unfortunately. And every day that passes with citizens left uninformed or misled by assurances based on only a few—and not the important “all”—facts is another they are left both uninformed and unprepared to deal with the consequences of reality. That will not be a happy place….
Adapted from a recent blog post of mine