Drill here, Drill now

A couple of trenchant observations from Sarah Palin:
Petroleum is a major part of America�s energy picture. Shall we get it here or abroad?
By Sarah Palin

Given that we�re spending billions of stimulus dollars to rebuild our highways, it makes sense to think about what we�ll be driving on them. For years to come, most of what we drive will be powered, at least in part, by diesel fuel or gasoline. To fuel that driving, we need access to oil. The less use we make of our own reserves, the more we will have to import, which leads to a number of harmful consequences. That means we need to drill here and drill now.

We rely on petroleum for much more than just powering our vehicles: It is essential in everything from jet fuel to petrochemicals, plastics to fertilizers, pesticides to pharmaceuticals. Ac�cord�ing to the Energy Information Ad�min�is�tra�tion, our total domestic petroleum consumption last year was 19.5 million barrels per day (bpd). Motor gasoline and diesel fuel accounted for less than 13 million bpd of that. Meanwhile, we produced only 4.95 million bpd of domestic crude. In other words, even if we ran all our vehicles on something else (which won�t happen anytime soon), we would still have to depend on imported oil. And we�ll continue that dependence until we develop our own oil resources to their fullest extent.

Those who oppose domestic drilling are motivated primarily by environmental considerations, but many of the countries we�re forced to import from have few if any environmental-protection laws, and those that do exist often go unenforced. In effect, American environmentalists are preventing responsible development here at home while supporting irresponsible development overseas.

My home state of Alaska shows how it�s possible to be both pro-environment and pro-resource-development. Alaskans would never support anything that endangered our pristine air, clean water, and abundant wildlife (which, among other things, provides many of us with our livelihood). The state�s government has made safeguarding resources a priority; when I was governor, for instance, we created a petroleum-systems-integrity office to monitor our oil and gas infrastructure for any potential environmental risks.

Alaska also shows how oil drilling is thoroughly compatible with energy conservation and renewable-energy development. Over 20 percent of Alas�ka�s electricity currently comes from renewable sources, and as governor I put forward a long-term plan to increase that figure to 50 percent by 2025. Alaska�s comprehensive plan identifies renewable options across the state that can help rural villages transition away from expensive diesel-generated electricity � allowing each community to choose the solution that best fits its needs. That�s important in any energy plan: Tempting as they may be to central planners, top-down, one-size-fits-all solutions are recipes for failure.
The full editorial is available at The National Review On Sarah's FaceBook page, commenter Patrick shines a light on the mindset of those people trying to hold us back:
None of the above. I believe we should decrease fossil fuel usage incrementally. All while offering more funding to worthwhile, carbon-neutral renewable energy entrepreneurs.
To those of his ilk, I would remind them of the following facts. We get about 2% of our energy needs from "alternative" sources which are greatly more expensive than conventional sources. There is no way that a crash program would move this number much beyond 10% in 20 years and the cost would be staggering. Alternative energy has never taken off because it is so much more expensive than the conventional sources. Nuclear -- we have well over 500 years of known reserves of domestic nuclear fuel. Thorium is a very common element in our crust. Natural Gas -- we have about 300 years of known reserves with more being discovered every month. Coal -- we are not even close to tapping our coal reserves. The alternatives: Photo-Voltaic -- manufactured with the same nasty chemicals as used for computer chips and only has a 30 year lifespan. That plus, at the very optimum, you can only get 1,000 watts per square meter of land, at high noon, near the equator. I don't run my welder all the time (or my water pump) but each requires about 6K watts and I live in the Pacific Northwest -- latitude 40 and dark and rainy. I am lucky to get 300 watts/sq. meter on a good day. Hydrogen -- see: Joke; an energy transport mechanism, not a fuel. Ethanol -- propped up by our tax dollars thanks to the Government Lobbyists at Archer Daniels Midland and other large grain growers. It takes about 110 parts of energy to produce sufficient Ethanol to yield 100 parts of energy. see: Joke Wind -- fine in some places although these places are too far from the established grid -- see: Pickens, T. Boone; no good for baseload and too intermittent for peak. The real answer to the energy question: Drill here, drill now and build nukes...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 16, 2009 9:57 PM.

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