EROEI is an interesting side note but it has little basis in real life decisions.
You are correct. I would say EROEI does not matter to our economic system on the way up the fossil fuel curve. At some point, EROEI will matter on the way down the curve as oil EROEI approaches 1:1. After 1:1 oil will cease to be an energy source and it will be an energy sink just as hydrogen fuel is now. Yes the oil, like the hydrogen will still burn after it becomes a sink. We still use hydrogen fuel in the space program, but it will never fuel our economy.
I suspect once the tar sands become an energy sink, it would be more cost effective to use the natural gas from the oil sands process to directly power vehicles.
Currently oil via tar sands is energy positive. What about corn ethanol? It may be slightly positive, but the EROEI is certainly less than the tar sands.
What about shale oil? Is it energy positive? Or is it an energy sink?
When I drive an extra two minutes in order to save 10 cents per gallon on gasoline ($1.50 in total savings versus a few cents in cost), I'm making the "EROEI inefficient" decision but I'm making the economically smart decision. All rational people do the same.
I don’t see the above having anything to do with EROEI, you are inserting money into an EROEI calculation.
The only problem I see with EROEI is nobody can agree on a definition. What information goes into the calculation, etc.
"Peak oil isn't more than an interesting industry factoid and doesn't have anything to do with the hysterics speculated on ad nauseum around here!" ReserveGrowthRulz