May 15, 2010
Randall, you said
the Obama Administration silenced them.
Why do you attribute the pressure to the current administration? I'd say they're probably primarily talking about previous administrations.
The graph was in the 2009 report, mostly produced under the Bush administration. It was removed in 2010, under Obama's putative leadership. (I say "putative", because he's largely a figurehead. The executive branch is too much for any one person to control, and the interests which recommend appointees probably have a lot more control of low-level policy than the prez himself.)
Look at the date of my post and the follow-up. Both occurred during 2009. August and November. The report (minus the presaged change in Peak Oil date) came out between those two dates. If you believed political stereotypes (and apparently you do) then you'd naturally believe that Texas oil man George W. Bush would suppress the truth in order to protect the profits of ExxonMobil but left-leaning man-of-the-people Barack Obama would let the truth and light shine forth. But no. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
I'm not referring to the graph when I say Obama silenced the truth. I'm referring to how Fatih Birol in Aug 2009 presaged a shift of Peak Oil date from 2030 to 2020 and then the report came out the shift was not there. Instead we have some one hiding behind anonymity saying that the pressure came down from the US (and likely other governments) to suppress the truth.
But yanking the graph out was interesting as well.
The biggest of the oil biggies, ExxonMobil, was created in 1999 by a merger that was approved by the wicked Republicans of the Clinton administration.
I was just puzzled by the reference to a single administration. The suppression of concerns about Peak Oil is the historical pattern here. The "glasnost" of PO concern is the aberration, apparently muffled then becoming haltingly more public.
The closer the disaster looms the more the denial becomes a moral outrage.
Although peak oil from oil wells may well hit in the future any dire results will be strictly caused by the Greenies and politicians. There is plenty of oil that is easily and economical to extract from shale with In Situ methods(all shale oil extraction currently is banned by congress). Also synthetic diesel and jet fuel may be made from Coal for ~ $0.80 per gallon. Several relatively recent improvements greatly improve the efficiency of the conversion of coal to synthetic fuel. If all fossil fuel electric plants are replaced by nuclear power plants(recycle the waste)and shale oil or synthetic fuel from coal are used for propulsion we could even reduce US C02 emission by ~50-90% for those concerned by the possibility of Anthropomorphic Global Warming.
Oh, BS, JCee. You can't get anything right. Look at Shell's abortive efforts, repeatedly put off because of technical difficulties and with only about a 3:1 EROEI projected. It may make you feel warm to blame 30 years of technical failure on "Greenies and politicians", but that's not going to put gas in your tank tomorrow or ever. "Oil" shale has no oil in it. Kerogen can be cracked to oil, but it's a very expensive proposition if nature hasn't done it geothermally.
This is no secret, but tons of people still don't believe it. The scary part is that people are still buying the talk about floods of cheap oil out there, and blaming "them" for not delivering it to the pumps so they can drive to the corner store in 3-ton trucks. All this does is make certain that OPEC will have them over a barrel as far into the future as we can see.
JCee, I used to believe the hype about oil shale. Read what Shell was saying 5 years ago in my old posts. But Shell doesn't even believe it any more. They have delayed oil shale because it costs too much.
E-P is right abotu EROEI (Energy Returned On Energy Invested) for oil shale. The only way it could work would be if nuclear fusion worked and became cheap.
1)First lets not get personal.
2)Whether you believe or disbelieve shale oil extraction economically possible it is Still Banned by Congress(Fact "Politics"). If it is uneconomical to extract shale oil lifting the ban can't hurt anything as no company in the world would dump their money down the sewer hole you claim it to be. Let the market decide.
3)Conversion of coal to sythetic fuels via the Fisher Tropsch process is a well established method the Germans even used extensive amounts of sythetic fuel from coal in WWII after most of their oil supplies became tight. In the last decade alone several major process improvements have been made to greatly improve the efficiency of the method. Most of the studies I've seen place the fuel production costs to be ~$0.80 per gallon. If all fossil fuel electric plants are replaced by nuclear power plants and synthetic fuels from coal are used for propulsion we could even reduce US C02 emission by ~50-90% for those concerned by the possibility of Anthropomorphic. Synthetic fuel from coal is ultrapure when burned with generaly on CO2 for waste. Heck Synthetic Jet fuel is so clean it almost entirely eliminates contrail formation. The Air Force was until recently(last year) trying to build a synthetic jet fuel from coal plant in West Virginia (probably). Until it was banned by Congress(again Politics).
When you refer to anyone with a disrespectful tone, ("the Greenies"), you've started to get personal.
I'm not aware of either shale oil extraction or synthetic fuel from coal being banned. Could you provide sources?
Have you seen any recent cost estimates for capital expense of plants to produce synthetic fuel from coal?
Hyperion Small Reactors would make a great energy source for In Situ shale-oil extraction if shale-oil extraction proves viable (assuming Hyperion gets its reactor successfully licensed).
Oil shale was a political beast from the outset. The initiatives after the 1979 oil price shock animated the monster and saw it rise from the slab. It's never been viable on its own merits. Why do you think it would be any less political today... especially with the economy down and tax subsidies very contentious?
Hyperion reactors are going to be quite costly due, among other things, to very specialized fuel requirements. They're going to compete really well with oil, but not so well with cheap bulk fossil fuels like coal. They're going to be popular in places like Hawaii.
The Green River shale formation is within easy HVDC range of the entire Midwestern wind belt. Shell's in-situ retorting process uses electric heaters, which is well-suited to purchase of off-peak electricity from wind farms. If Shell can ever get the process working, it's very likely that a lot of the energy to drive it will come from wind.