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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Beware the Ides of March

An interesting confluence of events surrounding Peak Oil made the news today. Kind of a royal flush.
Congress
US Congressional Record on Peak Oil, highly informed house representatives speak out.
Investors
Herold Inc. called out Enron first, Peak Oil next?
Industry
ChevronTexaco Chairman and CEO calls for U.S. energy independence at oil industry shindig.
Media
CBS MarketWatch mentions Peak Oil extremists (in a positive light!)
BushCo
Not a peep

How deep does Bush's cluelessness extend? From the Salon article:
Last week, President Bush gave a speech on energy policy in Columbus, Ohio, in which he encouraged Congress to pass an energy bill. Once again, he touted his plan to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a move he said would "eventually reduce our dependence on foreign oil by up to a million barrels of oil a day." The key word here is "eventually." Even if approvals for drilling ANWR were granted immediately, the first oil from the refuge would not reach the continental United States for years. Furthermore, as the New York Times reported last month, it appears that the major oil companies may have cooled in their desire to drill in the refuge. During his speech, Bush also talked about efficiency measures that could save homeowners electricity. But during his 4,600-word, 35-minute-long speech, Bush uttered the words "hybrid vehicle" exactly one time.

It's astonishing that Bush, the former Texas oil man, still doesn't understand the fundamental problem of America's imported oil addiction. Nor does he appear to grasp the threat that is posed by the possibility of peak oil.

The majority of the oil that the United States imports from places like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela is used as motor fuel in automobiles. Yet the president conflated the idea that burning more coal and building more nuclear power plants will somehow allow America to reduce its oil imports. In his speech, Bush refused to discuss the obvious: We cannot cut our oil imports (read: gasoline addiction) without dramatic changes to our auto fleet. At some point, the United States will have to force the automakers to build more efficient automobiles. And a key part of that efficiency changeover will mean replacing increasing numbers of America's 200 million cars and trucks with hybrid vehicles.

A select few of the nattering neo-cons have started to join the soft parade, but you still won't hear them talking about the issue on nutjob sideshows such as buddy Hugh Hewitt's radio sermon (I listen so you don't have to)
Even some of Washington's most hawkish neoconservatives are embracing the idea of high-mileage hybrid vehicles. Former CIA director James Woolsey, a key backer of the war in Iraq, is driving a Toyota Prius. Woolsey, along with neocons like Frank Gaffney have begun preaching the Greens' gospel of energy efficiency. The neocons haven't joined the Sierra Club. Instead, they're arguing that energy conservation is simply smart strategy when dealing with the Muslim extremists who reside in the oil-rich countries of the Persian Gulf. But so far, the neocons haven't been able to get Bush's ear.
They don't get Bush's ear, because they have to first proceed through the Hewitt -> Limpball -> Norquist -> Luntz -> Dobson -> Moon -> Cheney -> Rove marching Wurlitzer band first. And that aint gonna happen soon.

The 15th




Update: Yoo-hoo, Hugh, over here! On AirAmerica Radio's Majority Report tonight guest Flavia Colgan mentioned Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil reserves as a drop in the bucket.

4 Comments:

Professor Blogger Bubba said...

Interesting panoply of articles. It is always amazing how $50/bbl brings the petroleum pundits out of their holes. There is also an interesting well researched scientific article in one of the recent issues of the Oil and Gas Journal predicting Non-Opec Peak oil at between 2008 and 2010.

As far as Bush goes, I am personally convinced that his administration (if not he himself) has a fully thought out and partially executed energy strategy. It is called Operation Iraqi Freedom. They know that Peak Oil is coming and they wanted to secure a reliable supply well into the century - especially after Saudi Arabia erupts in civil war.

8:03 PM  
Professor Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Thank goodness for the House. There are people there, not just politicians.

A double scoop of ice cream would be if C-Span picked it up. Probably be one of those jobs where dude is talking to the carpet and empty seats. It is about time the word started getting out.

I hear "greedy oil company blah blah" every day. That is the first thing people think.

10:24 PM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

I heard the congressional session was fairly late in the day and not well attended.

10:37 PM  
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