Exploring for American Energy

Exploring for American offshore energy is a good idea. Although my goal is to reduce all carbon-based fuels, I know oil is and will remain an important part of our energy portfolio. Since we WILL have oil in our energy portfolio, I want more to come from American sources. American energy will strengthen our hand against despots and dictators who control most foreign sources and allow us to move faster to alternatives. McCain Understands this; Obama does not.

Barack Obama wants higher gas prices. I do too. I have explained my position on many occasions. However, we disagree about the components of the price. Obama will allow foreign producers to drive the price rises and will actually increase their share by higher taxes on American producers. I want more of the money to go to American producers, American investors and American authorities, through carbon taxes.

We need a higher price to get us off our carbon/oil addiction. My ideal solution is that the price is driven higher by taxes so that the money goes to U.S. federal, state and local governments, not to foreign despots.

We do not have complete freedom of choice re oil. OPEC wants to keep the prices high AND keep control of supplies. The more of the total oil supply they control, the more they can manipulate the prices, DROPPING them to help bankrupt alternatives and then raising them to maximize revenue. They will resist attempts by the U.S. to reduce its oil dependence.

Increasing the U.S. supply gives us leverage when they want to raise the prices and a properly structured carbon tax will give us leverage when they want to lower them.

We cannot drill our way out of the oil dependence, but ironically if we don’t increase the American supply we are less empowered to develop alternatives.

I want to say a word about offshore oil exploration. I lived for four years in Norway, which is the cleanest country I have ever seen. Norway is also a major oil & gas producer and all of its oil comes from offshore wells. I saw some of the platforms, but most are well out of sight. Offshore oil exploration is probably the BEST way to get oil out of the earth, much better than terrestrial wells. Oil platforms are not only ecologically benign; they are actually beneficial, since they provide reefs and protection for marine life. We have learned a lot about energy exploration since big spills some of us older guys can remember. When Hurricane Katrina went through the Gulf of Mexico, it slammed into dozens of rigs with no significant spills.

The choice is NOT whether or not we will use oil. The choice is where it comes from. We can get more energy from American sources, where we create American jobs and where know firms will be subject to our own strict environmental standards. Or we can send out money to foreign governments, many run by despots who dislike the U.S. AND often in countries where protection for the environment is viewed w/o enthusiasm. Giving the job of energy exploration to foreign despots makes us poorer and the environment worse.

Exploring for American oil is clearly the right choice today. Back in the 1970s, with old fashioned technologies - maybe not, but we have learned a lot since then.

Posted by Jack at June 22, 2008 3:36 PM
Comment #256382


Has the lack of refinery facilities been solved? Or am I thinking of the refining as a huge issue here by mistake?

(Could have sworn refining was a major problem more so than the drilling, but I could be wrong.)

Posted by: Donna at June 22, 2008 4:11 PM
Comment #256383

Bush has called for more refineries, reiterated again this weekend on his weekly radio address, but the Democrats are lambasting him for it.

Go fig.


Stop using logic, you know that is an unfair and unappreciated tactic in politics.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2008 4:13 PM
Comment #256384


I hope you’re not aiming that smartass remark at my question. I was sincerely looking for information.

What I saw this week was a call for more drilling and the response to that. That seemed to be the focus.

I’m asking if there has been anything further on getting new refineries built…and a focus on that. Not one or two throw away lines in a speech.

Posted by: Donna at June 22, 2008 4:18 PM
Comment #256387


We need new and better refineries. But the big cost in fuel is the cost of oil. Billions are going to foreigners and often bad ones. I want some of that money to stay in America.

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2008 4:30 PM
Comment #256388


Thanks. :)

Right. I see where you’re coming from on that, but if we’re unable to refine down the crude, bringing in more crude won’t help (no matter the source).

So ultimately, wouldn’t it make more sense to ramp up the refinery situation and *then* address the source? And also, isn’t there a ton of leased land that is being held by the oil companies for various reasons but relating more to the profit margin? I ask that, because I’ve never seen anything cited that’s said that drilling in ANWR or off the coasts could actually be profitable enough for the companies to drill and bring in the product. So even if we opened up every last acre in the US to drilling, would it be enough to make the companies drill now?

Posted by: Donna at June 22, 2008 4:38 PM
Comment #256389


First, my comment was ‘smartass’, it was a statement of fact of what was being said this week. And not just this week, anytime Bush says anything on oil he is accused of being ‘in the pocket of big oil’ and rejected by the Democrats. One of the reasons no progress has been made.

Second, the cost would go down if the oil did not have to be transported from overseas locations, the cost of propping up unstable regimes in order to keep the oil flowing and the uncertainty of the market when the source of the goods are subjected to uncertain markets.

So, what I am saying is, that just increasing domestic production would give us more jobs at home, a lower cost for gasoline (and other things that oil is used for, like computers, plastics, etc) and reduce our need to prop up societies that need to be allowed to move into the 20th century. In addition, new refineries need to be built so that we aren’t importing REFINED oil, as we are now.

As for it being profitable, if the companies feel that their investment will be returned, in other words that oil is not going to be made illegal tomorrow or any ‘windfall profits’ will be confiscated much like FDR attempted to do in the 1930s with most businesses, then they will be confident enough to invest. However, if the market becomes business unfriendly or remains highly volitale, then most likely they will not.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2008 4:50 PM
Comment #256390

The supply of oil is the supply of oil. It is not as though the refineries are backing up the processing of petroleum energy to the point that a bottle neck is created. Increasing refineries would in no way increase the availability of oil in our present situation.

Posted by: Zeek at June 22, 2008 5:07 PM
Comment #256402


Exploring for OIL on the millions of acres of ALREADY obtained federal leases is a great idea.

Opening vast new oil drilling leases on the East and West Coasts BEFORE tapping the millions of acres of on and off shore leases already available to the OIL industry, is a very, very BAD IDEA. The oil industry is trying to usurp and undermine the entire concept of public resources and privatize them for its own profits in perpetuity.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 22, 2008 6:42 PM
Comment #256403

Rhinehold, the Dem’s are calling for new refineries too, but out of the OIL industry’s profits, NOT the public tax dollar subsidies which is really what Bush and Republicans are pedaling here.

And here I thought you were opposed to mismanagement of tax payer dollars. My Bad.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 22, 2008 6:44 PM
Comment #256406

Why exploring for energy in America is important, I have to ask who does keeping America dependent on oil help. For with gas being more expensive to make than the current market will allow I think that it is funny that the Republicans and not the Democratic are requesting that the oil companies be allowed to drill.

No, America does have the ability to create the energy that she needs from bio-mass generators and CO2 Collectors; however, the problem with both political parties in Washington is that they are not willing to give up central control of power. For can you see the day when the mighty corporations of America and Humanity have to pay the Consumer instead of each other for the energy needed to make the products that they sell to the Individual and other Nations?

Yes, carbon by any other name is carbon and why it will probably take a Child of the 21st Century to explain how Pure Carbon and Crystal Motors works in Nature. I have to ask you and other Americans if they think that investing Billions of Dollars in new Drilling and Refiners just to see the product go up in smoke is a good use of a product that does more than just make fuel the transportation systems of the world.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 22, 2008 7:29 PM
Comment #256408

Gosh Not 1 word about conservation. Privatize the ANWR and maybe if your nice to us we will explore and drill for oil seems to be the energy policy of the oil companies, repubs and libertarians, but not 1 word about conservation. Such short term thinking. No wonder your energy plan is not given much attention.

If we are exporting the same amount of oil we were exporting from Iraq pre-war shouldnt we figure out why and maybe keep it in this country afterall whose to say the oil companies wont export from here once they have drilled ANWR?

Why should oil companies spend money on refineries they dont need? Wouldnt we be wiser to buy up older low milage vehicles and recycle them into more fuel effiecent vehicles. As a stockholder in an oil company would you think it a wise investment to spend years and millions to build a new refinery using oil company money? More power to you if you do but as an American citizen I think its a bad use of taxpayer dollars.

It seems the American oil companies are in the final stages of aquiring Iraq’s oil fields. Hopefully they should be able to up production soon. Do we really need to lease out ANWR now? Is it in the best interest of this Country or the best interest of the oil companies to do so now?

Posted by: j2t2 at June 22, 2008 8:49 PM
Comment #256409

“If we are exporting the same amount of oil we were exporting from Iraq pre-war” should be “If we are exporting the same amount of oil we were importing from Iraq pre-war”

Posted by: j2t2 at June 22, 2008 8:52 PM
Comment #256413

Oil shale economics
Medium-term prices for light-sweet crude oil in US dollars, 2005-2007 (not adjusted for inflation).The various attempts to develop the world’s oil shale deposits, over a period of over 150 years, have experienced successes when the cost of shale oil production in a given region was less than the price of crude oil or its other substitutes.[33] According to a survey conducted by the RAND Corporation, a surface retorting complex (comprising a mine, retorting plant, upgrading plant, supporting utilities, and spent shale reclamation) is unlikely to be profitable in the United States until crude oil prices range between “”“US$70 to US$95 per barrel “”“”“(in 2005 dollars).[24] Once commercial plants are in operation and experience-based learning takes place, costs are expected to decline in 12 years to US$35–US$48 per barrel. After production of 1,000 million barrels, costs are estimated to decline further to US$30 – US$40 per barrel.[34] Royal Dutch Shell has announced that its in-situ extraction technology in Colorado could be competitive at prices over US$30 per barrel, while other technologies at full-scale production assert profitability at oil prices even lower than US$20 per barrel.[35][36][37][38] To increase the efficiency of oil shale retorting, several co-pyrolysis processes have been proposed and tested.[39][40][41][42][43]

A critical measure of the viability of oil shale as an energy source is the ratio of the energy produced by the shale to the energy used in its mining and processing, a ratio known as “Energy Returned on Energy Invested” (EROEI). A 1984 study estimated the EROEI of the various known oil shale deposits as varying between 0.7-13.3.[44] Royal Dutch Shell has reported an EROEI of three to four on its in-situ development, Mahogany Research Project.[45][35][46] An additional economic consideration is the water needed in the oil shale retorting process, which may pose a problem in areas with water scarcity. “”“IS THIS A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TODAY ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENT???”“”

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 22, 2008 9:57 PM
Comment #256414


Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 22, 2008 10:06 PM
Comment #256417


I can see no good coming from furthering the empowerment of the oil industry. They are playing unscrupulous games in an attempt at acquiring the rights to land they have proven no particular need for. We are currently subsidizing their industry to provide for exploration and drilling on currently available land they have failed to explore to date. Imo they have not proven responsibility or given any reason to believe that they would do the right thing once given rights to land that is not guaranteed to produce.

It is time to shift subsidies away from an industry that records record profits on a consecutive basis, does not need it and is not using it wisely. The dems have the right idea in shifting subsidies to the alternative industry. They can use that money to jump start more efficient clean air methods of energy supply.

It is time to wean ourselves of an industry that only hopes to further our dependence on oil by means of our tax money. In my mind their motives seem ethically challenged. I can not support a transaction tax while we continue to subsidize a self serving industry with a seemingly less than honorable agenda. I think you are reaching when implying that they are the good guys in the oil industry. I am not convinced there are any good guys. I believe it may be an industry in which guaranteed sustainable profits trump decency.

It is my opinion that it would be irresponsible to continue investing our future in an unrenewable dirty energy source that is the crux of this worlds problems.

Posted by: RickIL at June 22, 2008 10:58 PM
Comment #256418

Might be an answer to the big Diesel trucks CLOSER THAN YOU THINK..Sturman Digital Engine to be Unveiled at DEER Conference
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At the heart of the Sturman Digital Technology Platform is the Sturman Digital Valve technology. In the case of the Digital Engine, the latest- generation Digital Valves are integrated into both the Digital Fuel Injectors and the Hydraulic Valve Actuators. “This hydraulic system is very efficient,” said Sturman, “as it operates the injectors and valve actuators, and it is available for hydraulic hybridization of the complete vehicle.”

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Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 22, 2008 11:04 PM
Comment #256420

I heard that it will take a quarter of a trillion dollars to drill per hole. Just two weeks ago, McCain himself was saying our money would be better spend on developing alternative fuels. Furthermore, this oil will just be a drop in the bucket, we consume 25% of the world’s oil, and develop 2%. We need to change that number. I have no problem with drilling for more oil, but I would rather put our resources to lowering the percentage of oil we use as quickly as possible. This just seems like common sense to me.

Posted by: Max at June 23, 2008 12:06 AM
Comment #256424


We can do all these things at the same time. They are not sequential.

Re leased land – some places have oil; others don’t. They need to be explored. It is not like Jed Clampett shootin’ at some food.

Energy firms lease land from the Federal government on condition they explore. If they do not start producing within 10 years, the leases revert to the Federal government. It would be like you renting a house and then just not living there for the energy firms to lease w/o the desire to explore. If they are not producing oil, it is because they cannot find enough to make it worth getting. The whole idea that they are “sitting on leases” is just illogical. If they are paying rent to get nothing, we should thank they for their contributions and if they want to rent even more land and pay more money, fine.


Please see above. The idea that energy firms already have enough is just a red herring. If they can make money off the places they have, they are doing it. Otherwise, they are paying for leases they are not using and we may thank them for the contribution, but wonder why they are so stupid. The leases revert to the government if they remain unused.


Conservation is part of a total energy portfolio. We need not and should not choose to overdo any particular part of that energy portfolio. They are not mutually exclusive. The beauty of a market economy and pluralism is that we have many choices.

Re ANWAR – There are places we should use, places we should conserve and places we should preserve. These are all valid questions. My personal opinion is that we could use parts of ANWAR w/o causing significant or lasting damage, using new technologies, but I have no personal knowledge of that. I am less interested in exploring in ANWAR than offshore, which can be done very cleanly.


With current technologies oil shale is a bad choice for the environment. So are oil sands.


The governmental remains the landlord. If you rent an apartment, are you exploiting the landlord (that is, if you are not in a rent controlled house)? If the “don’t need” them, they won’t use them and the leases revert to the government if they don’t produce within ten years.


We have an energy mix. We do not have to go with any particular thing and can have choices. That is why the free market works. Freedom & choices beat command and control. When we give people and firms choices, they choose what works best for them based on their greater knowledge and commitment to their own business. When experts like you, me or the government make the choices, it usually does not work out so well.

Remember Jimmy Carter if you want to see the future we avoided.

Posted by: Jack at June 23, 2008 2:06 AM
Comment #256426

Why the same thing could be said about President Ford, Americans do need to take a serious look at why “We the People” pay for the Personal Energy our families require. For I have not heard a single Energy Plan from Senator McCain or Senator Obama that can deal with a Comprehensive Energy Plan that would free up the billions of dollars Consumers spend on gas and electricity and turn that Cardinal Knowledge into billions if not trillions in profit through Bio-Mass Technology.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 23, 2008 3:07 AM
Comment #256439

“For I have not heard a single Energy Plan from Senator McCain or Senator Obama that can deal with a Comprehensive Energy Plan that would free up the billions of dollars Consumers spend on gas and electricity and turn that Cardinal Knowledge into billions if not trillions in profit through Bio-Mass Technology.”

I’m not sure this is our Government’s responsibility.

Posted by: BOHICA at June 23, 2008 5:46 AM
Comment #256440

Jack said: “If they are not producing oil, it is because they cannot find enough to make it worth getting.”

That is illogical. If they can’t find enough, it is because they are not doing the exploratory drilling they need to on the millions of acres currently going unexplored. Not finding enough creates the perception of supply shortages, which raises the market cost of oil being produced, which in turn raises their profits without having to drill those leases.

They are scamming the public and taxpayers through oligopolic agreements to create artificial scarcity. I see the Saudis put a crimp in their profits yesterday by upping their output. But, the Saudis are making it abundantly clear they will NOT allow American oil companies to deplete Saudi oil reserves at today’s prices while sitting on untapped and unexplored oil reserves in America awaiting the future of higher profit margin prices.

The Saudis know what is going on. They are giving the U.S. government a reprieve here on the condition that it resolves this issue of lack of production by the American Oil Companies.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 23, 2008 5:54 AM
Comment #256452


Not every place has oil under it or not much.

Do you remember the old joke re the drunk searching for his car keys? A passerby wants to help and ask him where he lost them. “Over there,” the drunk points. “Then why are you looking here?” the man responds. “Because the light is better.” is the response.

You are asking energy firms to explore more in places where they have less chance of finding anything Asking them to look harder will still not produce more oil if there is none there.

Posted by: Jack at June 23, 2008 10:12 AM
Comment #256467


If that’s the case, why did they take the leases in the first place?

Posted by: womanmarine at June 23, 2008 1:05 PM
Comment #256470

The problem the democrats have is they are looking for fig leaves to cover the fact that they are keeping America from it’s huge oil reserves. So they are looking for logic that makes it sound as if they aren’t, or that those reserves aren’t needed.

IF something like Anwar were out there on that already leased land, they would be pumping it…..if they could defeat the environmentalists who would suddenly decide to contest the lease, now that oil has been found!

We know where the oil is, we know the democrats don’t want us to get at it. And they “progressive” left has done a good job of confusing the public and keeping us from our own oil for decades.

Too bad, for all of us.

Posted by: Stephen at June 23, 2008 1:15 PM
Comment #256483

I don’t see how increasing American oil production by a mere 7% by the year 2030 will be much of a benefit (see the U.S Energy Information Administration for the estimates). I certainly don’t think a literal drop in the bucket (or barrel) in 22 years is worth wreaking the coast lines and other natural habitats. But the oil companies and their political cronys seem determined to leave no stone unturned in their quest for profits.

Posted by: Michael at June 23, 2008 2:53 PM
Comment #256488


But…. your post is about a public bailout of the oil industry by subsidizing drilling…. It’s about supporting a handout. My point is that our public money is better spent on reducing the amount of oil we consume by other means. Just for the record, I’m not against drilling at all - I’m against drilling when that will waste a ton of money and resources that could be better used. As far as I’m concerned we should do everything - even things I am not comfortable with - more drilling, more nuclear energy, but… we need a SERIOUS push toward developing alternative energies, because that’s what’s really going to get us out of this mess at the end of the day.

You should understand all this, since my position was McCain’s exactly as of two weeks ago…

Posted by: Max at June 23, 2008 3:27 PM
Comment #256494


Because you have to look first. Exploration for energy is just that.


I don’t want to subsidize drilling. The energy firms pay for the lease. Charge them what you think is a market price. I don’t care. Just make it so. We are developing alternatives. But our energy consumption is a mix of products that includes wind, solar, oil, nuclear and even conservation.

Read the whole article I wrote and maybe you will change your comments.

Posted by: Jack at June 23, 2008 4:06 PM
Comment #256503

“The problem the democrats have is they are looking for fig leaves to cover the fact that they are keeping America from it’s huge oil reserves. So they are looking for logic that makes it sound as if they aren’t, or that those reserves aren’t needed.”

Stephen its not a problem when you consider its in the national interest. The repubs are looking out for the oil companies not the American taxpayer.

“IF something like Anwar were out there on that already leased land, they would be pumping it…..if they could defeat the environmentalists who would suddenly decide to contest the lease, now that oil has been found!”

Pure speculation Stephen? Does the crystal ball say anything about exporting the oil to other countries? If you dont explore the already leased land how do you know whats out there?

“We know where the oil is, we know the democrats don’t want us to get at it. And they “progressive” left has done a good job of confusing the public and keeping us from our own oil for decades.”

More speculation Stephen? Are you saying oil companies but up leases in areas without oil? Why would they do that?

In the continuing assult on all things Americans share in common the repubs feel the need to trash ANWR and the coastline of this country. Using the Exxon Valdez as an example, why would the American people want resources to be tied up for years in court cases becuase the oil companies dont want to pay for their messes. By giving away the leases to ANWR and the offshore areas currently protected to the oil companies doesnt guarentee any oil for Americans, it just puts the oil companies in the position to explore and/or drill if they choose to do so.

If a mircle occurred and we started drilling in ANWR tomorrow we would have more oil but demand is now staring to come down. With more oil wouldnt demand just go back up and production slowed down elsewhere? With the processing bottleneck at the refineries would Americans see the oil or would it be exported? Shouldn’t we, as a Country, think a little more strategically about energy policy and move forward in a realistic direction with a long term plan.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 23, 2008 4:46 PM
Comment #256543


If you dont explore the already leased land how do you know whats out there?

According to Jack they have to lease the land first to explore it. Are they exploring what they have leased? If they do have to lease it first, how do we know there is oil in ANWR? Who explored it and when?

Just a few questions I have.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 23, 2008 8:16 PM
Comment #256547

The real question here is why we should be so eager to wring the last drop when the reputable science and the economics both point towards conservation and conversion of our energy sources.

My sensibility is that this should be a period of transition, not of desperate last minute exploitation. Our energy policy has followed the lead of the oil companies for far too long. The time has come for our spending on energy to become more efficient, and less detrimental to the climate and geography that our economy and even civilization depends upon.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 23, 2008 8:36 PM
Comment #256554

And to think that energy for mankind once meant self-locomotion, river currents, Sun and moonlight, and fire!

Perhaps relying more again on self-locomotion and Sunlight would be very, very good and healthy for us all, energy corporate profits excepted of course.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 23, 2008 9:47 PM
Comment #256653

The reputation of the oil companies is such that they will never be trusted. The Bush43 administration is in it’s final throes, and shows more interest in those companies than in the American people. I like the proposal for a $300 million prize for a better battery.

On ANWR, we should go ahead with drilling, if it could be tied to the strictest CAFE standards, requiring any company selling vehicles here to have a percentage of their fleet with zero emissions, and we should have some kind of plan to buy back the least fuel efficient vehicles from the people who were stupid enough to purchase them, and convert them to other uses.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 24, 2008 3:50 PM
Comment #256667

ohrealy, ANWR should NOT be touched nor should the virginity of our daughters without consenting approval and right and justified motives.

Arctic National Wildlife Reserve is a title given to that land to designate its purpose. A safe haven for the wildlife of that region around which pipelines and drilling rigs, and spills have and continue to occur. It should remain a wildlife reserve for practical and principled reasons.

The practical reason is that leaving ANWR alone now when world supplies of oil are meeting world demand, preserves the possible oil in ANWR for a future in which such a reserve could mean salvation for our nation.

The principled reason is that America and the public’s assets held in trust were never meant to be sold to the highest bidder. “Held in trust” had a meaning when Yosemite, Yellowstone and ANWR were set aside to be “held in trust” for the benefit and enjoyment of all Americans present and future, and preservation of some small areas of our country’s pristine beauty and original state.

Such principles and pragmatism should not be sacrificed for nothing more than the wanton greed of some CEO’s and shareholders. America will stand for her principles, or be doomed and buried by their abrogation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 24, 2008 6:34 PM
Comment #256672

Hope this doesn’t post twice, but Firefox couldn’t find the site.

DRRemer, virginity is very highly overrated. Rode hard and put away wet are much better. Our daughters should be raised to be able to take care of themselves. I’ve never been to Alaska, and probably never will go there, and neither will very many other Americans. Better drill in Alaska than in the Gulf. I went to Florida for the first of many times at the age of 6 months, and eventually lived there for 15 years, and have many friends and relatives there. My preference would be to sell Alaska to Canada, to help pay down the Bush Rpblcn debt, and get the stars on the flag down to an even seven rows of seven.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 24, 2008 7:52 PM
Comment #257809


Posted by: John Doe at August 5, 2008 10:20 PM
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