Saturday, November 25, 2006

Oil and Gas-We Have It, Let's Use It

American consumption of gasoline is up, so is China's which is fueled by their incredible growth. In fact the whole world's need for oil is rising. So what should Americans do about our growing need for more oil? Should we bury our heads and become anti-growth and deny future generations the comforts, inventions and medicines brought about by a booming economy fueled by energy as the environmentalists would have us do? Makuben T. Owens writing for the Ashbrook Center (read) asks the same question and then answers it with the obvious - WE HAVE OIL ON AMERICAN LAND!!! LET'S USE IT!!!

"What can we do? Conservation—like the improved fuel efficiency so beloved by environmentalists and politicians—can get us only so far. We need to tap our domestic supplies, too. This will not only offset price hikes caused by ever-growing global demand, it will reduce our dependence on imported oil and gas—a boost to national security. "

"The U.S. Minerals Management Service (a branch of the Interior Department) estimates 102 billion barrels of oil and 635 trillion cubic feet of gas beneath federal lands and coastal waters. By way of comparison, the reserves lying beneath the North Sea, a major source of oil for Europe, are believed to contain a total of 18 billion barrels of oil.

"Geologists estimate that another 300 trillion cubic feet of gas and 50 billion barrels of oil are waiting, yet to be discovered, off the "Lower 48" states. The American Petroleum Institute (API) notes that this is enough oil to replace current imports from the Persian Gulf for 59 years.

"Overall, experts estimate that the undiscovered resources on the federal Outer Continental Shelf that could be recovered with today’s technology are some 420 trillion cubic feet of gas and 77 billion barrels of oil—as much oil as Canada and Mexico combined, and almost three times their gas resources. (Generally, the OCS begins three to nine nautical miles from shore, depending on the state, and extends 200 nautical miles outward.)

"Yet almost 90 percent of the OCS acreage is off-limits to production—on essentially spurious environmental grounds. With a peak output of 6 million barrels of oil a day in 1999, North Sea production has not caused environmental degradation; there is no reason to believe that OCS production would be any more environmentally damaging. "

The environmentalists have a history of wanting to take us back to the Pleistocene (pleistocene). It is time we take them forward to the 21st century

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