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Page added on February 11, 2020

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Democrats Trot Out ‘Peak Oil’ Again, and Are Just as Wrong as Ever

Geology

Just when we thought it was safe to assume a reliable supply of oil due to the miracle of fracking, liberals have come up with a new excuse to shift from fossil fuels to renewables.  They’ve discovered — as everyone invested in oil has known since before the early 2000s — that fracked wells are frontloaded, producing their largest return in the first year or two after completion.

The most productive fields at present are in the Permian Basin of West Texas.  So it’s not surprising to find analysts bemoaning “peak Permian,” as Julian Lee wrote in a Jan. 26 Bloomberg opinion piece.  The reality is that oil and gas production from the Permian Basin is at or near an all-time high and that any pull-back in the near future may be the result of low energy prices, which have discouraged new well starts.

But what happens if production eventually does fall off, as it will, from recent levels in the Permian?  U.S. production will fall — unless new wells are drilled to replace those just a few years old.  Unless…there’s more to the Permian than critics think.  Advances in recovery technology have steadily increased the percentage of reserves that can be recovered in any one field.  There is every reason to believe that more efficient methods will be developed in the future.

Unless…old fields, such as the Anadarko and Woodford shale basins in Oklahoma, are re-drilled using fracking techniques.  Unless…New York State and other areas now closed to fracking are opened up.  Unless…offshore fields, which, according the U.S. Minerals Management Service, contain as much as 115 billion barrels of recoverable oil (an estimate subject to increase), are opened up for drilling.  Unless, unless

The truth is that “peak oil,” the anti-drilling rallying cry for more than half a century, is an ideological concept, not a scientific fact.  U.S. production fell off after the 1960s because it was cheaper to obtain supply from the Middle East than to drill in North America.  Fracking has partially reversed that assumption, bringing with it a more secure and stable supply.

The idea that U.S. energy production will fall as a result of the frontloaded nature of fracking is like saying we’ll run out of food if we don’t plant new crops.  As long as we plant new crops, we’ll have plenty of food — and as long as we continue fracking, we’ll enjoy a reliable source of cheap fuel for a long time to come.

Just how long?  The latest U.S. Energy Information Agency report confirms the continuing importance of fossil fuels for our economy.  The 2020 report makes several key points: overall U.S. energy demand will grow more slowly than GDP through 2050 due to increased usage efficiency; use of coal and nuclear power will decline; the U.S. will continue “to produce historically high levels of crude oil and natural gas.”  And, according to the EIA, by 2050, even with substantial population growth, U.S. emissions of CO2 will be at 4% below 2019 levels.

Unlike the ill informed peak oil enthusiasts, America’s official source for energy information projects that fossil fuel production will continue to be “historically high,” so much so that the U.S. will become a major exporter of oil and gas.  Indeed, in its projection of total oil and condensate production through 2050, the EIA predicts rapid increases in oil and gas production between now and 2025, followed by a long period through 2045 during which oil and gas production plateaus, thereafter falling below current levels sometime about 2050.  That is not a peak oil scenario unless one means that production peaks in 2032 and remains high until at least 2050.

Contrary to those who now speak of peak oil, or “peak Permian,” the fact is that vast reserves of oil and gas still exist in the Permian Basin and in many other shale fields in the U.S. and Canada.  In fact, North America is especially rich in shale — no other region of the world possesses such a treasure of energy supplies.  Advocates of peak oil want to shut down this source of wealth and replace it with costly, and environmentally destructive, alternative sources of energy.  California is already firmly on that road to poverty.  According the EIA, the price of electricity in California is already 1.6 times higher than the U.S. average, and that price differential will increase as the state’s mandates for eliminating fossil fuels kick in.

There are many who believe that we must shift from fossil fuels because those fuels emit CO2 and contribute to global warming.  The reality is that clean-burning natural gas has helped bring U.S. carbon emissions down to the level of the early1990s (2017 figures) and likely beyond.  U.S. emissions are currently more than four times less than those of China and just above those of Europe overall.  According to the 2018 EPA report, “the US has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than any other country on Earth over the last decade.”  Without natural gas, electricity plants — the ones that are expected to fuel electric vehicles — would still be burning coal, and America’s air quality would be worse than it is.

Those who believe that greenhouse gases are causing global temperatures to rise (despite the fact that temperatures have barely budged in recent decades) should be cheering U.S. natural gas production.  The combination of the shift from coal to gas and increased efficiency continues to drive CO2 emissions lower.

Even those of us who know that global temperatures are not skyrocketing — and that natural forces contribute more to warming or cooling than do anthropogenic causes — can cheer the increased U.S. production of fossil fuels.  Lower energy prices ripple through the economy, lowering the cost of everything produced or transported.  Low U.S. energy prices are one reason why the real standard of living is far higher in the U.S. than in Europe.  In fact, the U.S. ranks higher than every country in Europe (50% above France) on the OECD Individual Consumption Index, a reliable measure of real living standards.  And yet Bernie, Pete, and Liz want to turn us into France or Sweden.

Environmentalists should be careful before they talk of peak oil.  They’ve cried peak oil so many times in the past that their warnings are no longer credible.  Fossil fuels will remain a major contributor to our energy system well into the 21st century if not beyond.

Americans should be cheering the increased supply that fracking technology has made possible.  In contrast to Europe, China, South Asia, and other parts of the world, America possesses a reliable and inexpensive supply of energy to run our economy.  We are richer and more secure as a result.

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination: Conservative Values in American Literature from Poe to O’Connor to Haruf (2011).

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17 Comments on "Democrats Trot Out ‘Peak Oil’ Again, and Are Just as Wrong as Ever"

  1. PeakOilDemandIsBS on Tue, 11th Feb 2020 9:39 pm 

    “U.S. Minerals Management Service, contain as much as 115 billion barrels of recoverable oil (an estimate subject to increase), are opened up for drilling.”

    Even if this was true, what is that, like 3 or so years of global oil consumption? Hardly a dent when you view human civilization in total. Hardly a drop when it comes to our hunger for oil.

    “That is not a peak oil scenario unless one means that production peaks in 2032 and remains high until at least 2050.”

    Gee, let’s hope we can find the over 650 billion barrels we need in the next 20 years alone. Also, let’s hope by 2050 we can find an amount of oil greater than all of the oil used on Earth up until this point (considering that’s how much we will need).

  2. Mick on Wed, 12th Feb 2020 2:32 am 

    Yes I totally agree with you I just look at the source of the artice before i bother reading it its a load of B.S
    We totally screwed we won’t have enough cheap recoverable oil in a few short years so buckle up son.

  3. Sissyfuss on Wed, 12th Feb 2020 8:20 am 

    A BAU conservatar baying at the moon. And environmentalists don’t speak of peak oil, they pray for it.

  4. Harquebus on Wed, 12th Feb 2020 2:27 pm 

    “The truth is that “peak oil,” the anti-drilling rallying cry for more than half a century, is an ideological concept, not a scientific fact.”
    Hubbert’s analysis was pure ideology. Yeah, right.

  5. I AM THE MOB on Mon, 17th Feb 2020 6:09 pm 

    Zionism!

    We are closer than ever!

    The NWO is within reach!

  6. makati1 on Mon, 17th Feb 2020 8:23 pm 

    MOB, the NWO is an elite wet dream that will not happen in your lifetime. Get real. Countries are regaining their sovereignty, not giving it up.

  7. I AM THE MOB on Tue, 18th Feb 2020 2:19 am 

    There was a Danish company that mass produced child pornography in the 1970s: No one involved was ever charged with a crime, and the company still exists today.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_Climax_Corporation

    White European are such bottom feeding trash.

  8. makati1 on Tue, 18th Feb 2020 2:36 am 

    Hmm, and Amerikans aren’t. LMAO!

  9. Abraham van Helsing on Tue, 18th Feb 2020 3:19 am 

    There was a Danish company that mass produced child pornography in the 1970s: No one involved was ever charged with a crime, and the company still exists today.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_Climax_Corporation

    White European are such bottom feeding trash.

    Quite a statement coming from a kike like mobster:

    #Polanski
    #Weistein

    Here two jews, Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Volker Beck pleading for pedophilia and incest:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxsF9PKRMdU
    [0:26]

    America is the #1 producer of porn and jews play a central role in it:

    https://forward.com/schmooze/310041/7-jews-who-made-it-big-in-porn/

    (Forward is a jewish magazine!)

    https://www.sailanmuslim.com/news/feature-news-updates/jewish-professor-says-porn-industry-is-a-weapon-used-by-jews-against-gentiles/

    “Jewish Professor Says Porn Industry is a Weapon used by Jews Against Gentiles”

    It is typical that mobster can invade a white-American-centric forum and attack whites around the clock and that a European has to do the defending because Americans are too lame to defend themselves. For starters they have big trouble to even identify the attacker. Instead they rather let them being send themselves into wars by “(((neocons)))”, preferable against their European “brothers”, because Americans love to imagine they are “morally better”, or “exceptional”, another thought planted in their receptive brains by jews as a little reward for doing the geopolitical bidding of the kikes.

    For us Europeans we shouldn’t feel too much pity for our white American “brothers” to become submerged by darkies. Perhaps someday they will even fight back, giving Eurasia the opportunity to break up the joint and bring our European-American “brothers” into a somewhat undeserved safety and park them in a white-ethno state where they can’t do any further harm to European civilization or themselves.

  10. Abraham van Helsing on Tue, 18th Feb 2020 4:26 am 

    Mobster cries victory:

    Zionism!

    We are closer than ever!

    The NWO is within reach!

    With whom? All you got is empire dave and joe esquire. Not even anonymous is with you.

    That’s not going to cut it.

    The jewish dream of total control of the world is history. Time to retire.lol

    https://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/styles/1200xauto/public/qlzwzRQ.jpg?itok=di5P-ECq

  11. Abraham van Helsing on Tue, 18th Feb 2020 4:44 am 

    Here is why Bloomberg is not going to win, because he talks like mobster:

    https://www.infowars.com/bloomberg-bashes-farmers-blue-collar-workers-as-primitive-idiots-in-unearthed-video/

    “BLOOMBERG BASHES FARMERS, BLUE COLLAR WORKERS AS PRIMITIVE IDIOTS IN UNEARTHED VIDEO”

    Haha, this is how once powerful jews are these days: pushing a rollator into court to hear their sentence:

    https://images3.persgroep.net/rcs/nq_O4IPTU9Q28yvo4uQ37wTxoUw/diocontent/163828939/_fitwidth/763?appId=93a17a8fd81db0de025c8abd1cca1279&quality=0.8

    LOL

  12. Abraham van Helsing on Wed, 19th Feb 2020 4:10 am 

    German Greens successfully blocked chopping an entire forest in Brandenburg for the construction of a huge 500,000 Tesla/year plant:

    https://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/wirtschaft-warnt-vor-scheitern-von-tesla-fabrik-a-bc4fdc22-0798-4846-af35-3851e3db9ccd

    We don’t need no Tesla’s. Let North-Americans drive in a Tesla. We Europeans build our own self-driving cars.

    Down with globalization in favor of “big tent identitarianism”:

    Greater Europe (PBM)
    China
    North-America + UK (Anglosphere)
    Muslim world
    Africa
    India
    Japan

    Zero to little trade must be the new target in a post-globalist world.

  13. Davy on Wed, 19th Feb 2020 5:29 am 

    “German Greens successfully blocked chopping an entire forest in Brandenburg for the construction of a huge 500,000 Tesla/year plant:”

    More like a wood lot. Forest are large, cloggo.

    “Down with globalization in favor of “big tent identitarianism”:

    bye bye cloggo techie dream

  14. Davy on Wed, 19th Feb 2020 5:57 am 

    “EU Auto Registrations Plunge In Dismal Pre-Coronavirus January Numbers”
    https://tinyurl.com/wk36jvv zero hedge

    “Now, the numbers out of Europe – where they can’t just turn around and place the blame on the coronavirus, are looking equally as awful and are sounding a much bigger alarm about the global automotive industry. New car registrations fell 7.5% on the year to 956,779 vehicles. The data is ex-UK, which is no longer a part of the EU.”

  15. Abraham van Helsing on Wed, 19th Feb 2020 6:41 am 

    “EU Auto Registrations Plunge In Dismal Pre-Coronavirus January Numbers“

    It is wrong to attribute this solely to a “recession”.
    A far more important factor is the energy transition in Europe. Folks POSTPONE buying a new car, because they are waiting for e-vehicle prices to come down and at the same want to avoid buying a gasoline car that has no future anyway.

  16. Davy on Wed, 19th Feb 2020 7:28 am 

    “It is wrong to attribute this solely to a “recession”. A far more important factor is the energy transition in Europe.”

    I never said it was. That is something you would do to make your numbers have a greater effect. There is multiple reasons for this slow down and it is global. China’s economy is stalling, the China virus, Europe’s economy is stalling, and EV transition. The US is also slowing down for same reasons but not as quick as China and Europe.

  17. Harold on Wed, 19th Feb 2020 8:30 am 

    They are always wrong. Here is how https://topspyingapps.com/catch-cheater/ to catch a cheater!

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