Archive for the ‘energy’ Category

The Bounty of Green River Formation: Hyping America’s Vast Oil Shale Reserve

July 20, 2008

We’ve bad mouthed the use of oil because it pollutes the environment. Yet for a time, in spite of our need to clean up the atmosphere and help lessen global warming, we’re still stuck with fossil-fuel based technologies. Until we perfect our cleaner alternatives of solar, electro-magnetic, nuclear, wind, hydroelectric, hydrogen, fuel cell etcetera versus the use of oil, there’s always this temptation to tap the bowels of the earth for precious combustible hydrocarbons to fuel the world economy.

The United States of America is ambivalent about drilling, but right at the heartland, the nation which owns 25% of the world’s wealth, has a vast reserve of shale oil that boggles the imagination of dreamers, prospectors, and entrepreneurs.

Oil shale is hard to unlock and stubborn to get. That’s the downside. But if this reserve is extracted and utilized (with utmost care to spare the environment,) the benefit will not only be for Americans, but for the world as well. The fast growing economies of China and India alone have astronomically raised the world’s need for oil and there is little indication that it’s abating.

While oil shale is found in many places worldwide, by far the largest deposits in the world are found in the United States in the Green River Formation, which covers portions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

The estimates of the oil resource in place within the Green River Formation range from 1.2 to 1.8 trillion barrels. Not all resources in place are recoverable; however, even a moderate estimate of 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from oil shale in the Green River Formation is three times greater than the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.

Present U.S. demand for petroleum products is about 20 million barrels per day. If oil shale could be used to meet a quarter of that demand, the estimated 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from the Green River Formation would last for more than 400 years.” –Oil Shale Resources of USA, Source: ostseis.anl.gov/guide/oilshale/index.cfm =0=

Wow Words For Al Gore’s Climate Agenda

July 19, 2008

There is little argument against Al Gore’s call for a shift from fossil-fuel based energy sources to environmentally friendly fuel alternatives to preserve the planet. His ambitious target date for the next US president to accomplish this is 10 years. But those who know Gore and his gas-guzzling life-style know better. He isn’t immaculately in synch with his climate agenda making them suspect politics or hypocrisy to be partly behind his high-brow rhetoric.

As a famed leader of the environmental movement, the Nobel prize-winner Gore joins California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats, and Liberals to promote clean sources of energy by tapping on solar, wind, hydroelectric, and hydrogen power. Surely, this is good to the environmentalists’ and green planet-savers’ ears. However, for practical purposes, these energy sources aren’t well-developed to meet our present requirements. It will take sometime, most likely exceeding the timeline Gore has envisioned, before sanitized technologies will dominate our energy consumption.

Many experts believe the rational approach to the energy shortage is to do everything. We require all technologies and means: oil drilling, methane gas, coal, electro-magnetic, bio-fuels, and nuclear power (in addition to what the Democrats prefer) for us to be energy sufficient at this time. Others advocate to open USA’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves to ease up the price of gasoline.

Drilling oil in the vast continental USA, off-shore reefs, inland Utah-Wyoming-Colorado shales, and the Alaskan National Wilderness Reserve is basically what the majority of Americans want. They know these resources have to be tapped, sooner or later. They think it’s cost-saving and time-efficient to have them set up ahead, anytime we need them.

But the lawmakers, influenced by lobbyists and interest groups, have been indecisively slow. People complain why these authorities aren’t listening. There appears to be a big gap to bridge between them and what the government decision-makers plan to do.

Hampered by the fear of adding more damage to the environment, the Democrats like Gore who resisted oil exploration, are being blamed for having dilly-dallied since 10 years ago, against the proposal of Pres. George W. Bush and the Republicans. As the energy crisis comes full-blown to a level which hurts, we’re caught flat on our noses.

Many believe, had we started tapping America’s rich energy reserves earlier (as carefully as we can to avoid unduly adding to the destruction of the planet,) pipes could have been in place to gush oil needed to solve our present fuel problems. But excuses are commonplace in politics. The gamut of reasons why they can’t do the drilling now is as strong as our fear of global warming—as many as the bewildering explanations why oil prices continue to rise.

Overcoming political party squabbles and setting aside the environmental debacle, we must do everything to solve the present energy crisis. While we start cleaning up our planet of pollution and avert the deleterious effects C02 emissions in the environment, we can’t escape using oil for awhile. Without perfecting the technologies of other sources of energy, we can’t focus in tackling the issue of global warming right at the core.

We’ve been trying to tap energies from solar, wind, water, and nuclear to run our industries and light up our cities. When done in a large scale, this will surely rebalance the equation of energy supply and demand. Alternative sources of energy will lessen speculations in oil futures—one of main reasons which drive worldwide fuel prices sky-high.

We’ve made in-roads to replace our cars with the hybrids, the plug-ins, the bio-fuel driven, and the ethanol-powered. Yet it will take sometime before clean, efficient, and less costly hydrogen and fuel cells will be in wide use to free us from our dependence on gas. Al Gore’s audacious target is fine, but can we do it? When the private entrepreneurs and government doers ride the wagon, maybe we will.=0=