On air: Should the world increase its search for oil?

President Bush thinks so. He’s called on Congress to end a 27-year ban on drilling for oil in US coastal waters, to reduce dependence on imports. Is he on to something? While the world searches for alternatives to oil, should we not lose sight of the fact that increased oil exploration, means more oil, means cheaper fuel and a lessening of the pressure on the world’s energy requirement and on the cost of living for all of us?

Or is this at best a sideways step, and more likely a backwards one? Is a dollar spent on finding oil, a dollar that would be better spent on finding sources of energy that are renewable and that don’t harm the environment?

And one last thought. The traditional big guns of the world’s economy – America and Europe – are slowing down. The two major economies which are not are China’s and India’s. Their growth is driven by a voracious appetite for resources, including oil. If it’s in the world’s interests to have wealthier Indians and Chinese investing in and buying from every country in the world, isn’t it also in the world’s interests to make sure they have the resources to underpin their wealth creation? What’s more important a booming India and China, or a reduction in the consumption of oil?

257 Responses to “On air: Should the world increase its search for oil?”

  1. 1 Dennis
    June 19, 2008 at 13:43

    i think the world should increase the search for oil, as quickly as possible….

    onondaga community college
    syracuse, new york
    united states of america

  2. 2 Brett
    June 19, 2008 at 13:47

    Increase the search? Sure, but when do you stop and say “No, the risks are too great to some of the last pseudo-pristine habitats the US has left.” If we can drill for oil where the ban has been held in protected areas, when will we be able to log the dwindling hardwood forests and our national parks?

    This most recent stunt by Bush adds to the list of reasons I hate the man… Yes, hate. It’s a strong word, but well warranted.

    I cannot tell you how dissapointed and upset with the government I will be if the offshore ban is lifted. I still have hope in the US’ ability to maintain its environment, and while it doesn’t have a good track record, I have faith in its ability to stand ground on the policy we have and move forward with proactive policy in the future. Drilling ANWR and offshore oil here in the US will not only put our fisheries and wildlife at risk, but foster our dependance on cheap(er) oil only for us to be left high and dry when it runs out.

    “Oh but we just need more time with cheap oil to develop alternative fuel and forms of transportation…”
    Give me a break! It’s like an addict saying “Oh, cmon, just one more hit…” We had decades of cheap oil and fuel and lazily putted along in our trucks and SUV’s all the way back to the gas station.

    Sadly, I do not trust the greedy and irresponsible masses with finally standing up and putting the environment ahead of greed, laziness, convenience, and their own ignorance if it is not easy or if sacrifices need to be made which will compromise their utmost comfort and amenities.

  3. June 19, 2008 at 13:51

    Repeating what I had written in the “talking points June 19th because it is necessary to understand in order to answer this question.

    Economics tells you that markets will charge a price that the consumer is willing and able to pay. Guess what, we are “willing and able” to pay $4 a gallon. So even if some how we could increase the supply, and that would reduce the supply/demand ratio, it aint going to have any effect on the money in our pockets. Say that does drive the cost down to $80 a barrel. The only thing that is going to do is drive up profit margins along the supply chain. Unless you think that these nice oil generators have a soft spot for us consumers and are only trying to help us.

    It is funny how this administration used “spreading democracy” as a justification for war. Oil demand from the two fastest growing economies has increased exponentially over the past 10 years. As a member of the civilized first world countries, do you really want to see democracy and prosperity blossom around the world? That will be even more people competing in the auction known as “free market”.

    If you want a quick fix to oil prices, break the economy. No “gas tax holiday”. Raise taxes until it hurts. spread the economy out straight, and break it over the governments knee. Find out what point American are no longer “willing or able” to pay for gas. At least it will be our government collecting that money then. once we are severely broke and not buying gas anymore, our innovative forces will kick in, and we will be of our foreign dependence. I know pretty radical, but we are really in a Chinese finger trap here.

    The dollar is week, that is true but that is the effect of “republican taxing”. You all might recognize it as printing more money. The dollar needs strengthened, but while that will mean oil prices will physically stop raising, the actual cost of oil will continue to increase.

  4. 4 Hanson Klitte, Belgium
    June 19, 2008 at 13:54

    @Oil – George Bush says if America drills for oil closer to the coast we can have a good supply of oil for the next 10 years. America has the largest reserves of oil in the world. Most of it not declared. If you read geological science papers related to oil it will be very apparent that this is so.

    Ending reliance on fossil fuels, transfering the energy related technological know-how to the developing world, and paying the developing world to maintain the world’s lungs (forests), doing this for free and without profit aspirations or credit is the duty of countries that have been exploiting these precious resources without any care in the world for the past 150 years. If we include coal the timescale even more than that.

    The only way wars and the desire for oil which drove all the gulf wars in recent history under a cloak of various, and quite frankly, despicable and as time passes less effective political campaigns would end is if people realise that this world is no loner run for the sake of good ideal, but rather so, quite blatantly greed and pursuit of wealth. This is unfortunately unsustainable.

  5. 5 Bob in Queensland
    June 19, 2008 at 14:07

    It’s far more important to increase the search for ALTERNATIVES to oil.

    Forget mousetraps–build a better solar cell and the world will beat a path to your door.

  6. 6 Gretchen Eldrich
    June 19, 2008 at 14:08

    this bit of fitful wringing of every last drop of petrochemical out of the earth is just clinging to a bad habit, and putting off the work needed to move energy technology to more sustainable alternatives.

    I mean, how silly it sounds when you think about it, they are going to dig up rocks to squeeze oil out of it? I know you “can’t get blood from a stone” but oil? (yes I know what oil shale is but it has to be the most destructive possible way to get energy, right up there with mountaintop removal for coal.)

    Whether we extend our addiction to 2050 instead of 2045, will the future thank us for “keeping our economy strong” (ie. make sure big oil stays wealthy beyond reason) when these enormous resources could be being put to bear on solar, geothermal, wind, tidal…

    When the breadbasket of the united states becomes a desert and we are as at risk importing food as we currently are importing oil, will they thank us?

    The heirs of Exxon Mobil, maybe.

  7. 7 Will Rhodes
    June 19, 2008 at 14:11

    I’ll repeat, too.

    The hyperbole around the “lack” of oil is mystifying. There isn’t a lack of oil – the production of oil hasn’t dropped and the use of oil is, almost, exactly the same as it was 2 years ago – give and take a few thousand barrels – certainly not enough to effect the cost.

    What has effected the price of oil is quite simple but, for some ungodly reason, people cannot grasp. The very, very weak American dollar! Speculators are investing in oil rather than currencies – the US dollar specifically – and that in turn is making commodities rise.

    The world currency, the US dollar if weak will always make things seem much more expensive. It is simple economics. What would help is if the Euro was used instead of the US dollar – a much more stable currency, but that isn’t going to happen.

    You have a cartel controlling that oil production, NOT the free market, you have a cartel of oil companies controlling the supply to the customers and you have Wall St controlling the commodities market. Add to that the weak dollar – there you have the problem in a nutshell.

  8. 8 Dan
    June 19, 2008 at 14:21

    The overwhelming obvious answer is YES!!!
    Rather than listen to the emotional cries of uneducated environmentalists who are frightened of everything, project only destruction, try to lay their guilt for being successful on us all we should understand that the root cause of the industrial revolution was cheap energy and that to be able to lift those that live in poverty we continue to need cheap energy.
    Despite the irrational and totally NON-factual arguments of the environmentalists that wind, solar or happy thoughts can replace oil, they are, simply put, W-R-O-N-G
    Petroleum products are pervasive in the economy of the world.
    Certainly it is getting harder to remove this petroleum from the ground but the oil companies have the technology and resources to do this and are being stopped by feel good environmentalists who need to hide under their beds so the “monsters” don’t come to get them.
    Western civilization progressed because we did not listen to those who are frightened by everything around them but rather we listen to those that see the future and have a real vision.

  9. 9 Julie P
    June 19, 2008 at 14:24


    I agree with much of your statement. The same argument was presented during the early 80’s about the lack of oil, the world was running out.

  10. 10 Ana
    June 19, 2008 at 14:30

    No, I think the world should be spending all it’s money in searching for real solutions to oil and food shortage. The speculation in the market right now, regarding oil prices, is a scam to start drilling in Natural Reserves and actually destroy virgin land. Under no circumstance should we fall for such a blunt scam.

    If we don’t manage our need for oil, we will end up in a war with China and India in less than 20 years. If we think the solution is drilling in Alaska we end up with more environmental consequences. Oil is a problem, let’s find real solutions, even if they cost us our comfort.

  11. 11 Will Rhodes
    June 19, 2008 at 14:31

    @ Julie

    I, like Bob, am an old git – so I remember back in the 70s when we had black-outs because there was a fuel crisis, something should have been done in the last 30 years, but oil became cheap again so it was ignored.

    Maybe this time the politicians will listen (Obviously that doesn’t include John McCain in the US or much of the conservative party in the UK).

  12. 12 Julie P
    June 19, 2008 at 14:43


    I was a child in the 70’s, so I remember it the way a child does. I remember waiting in long lines at the gas station with my mother, and rampant inflation. After everything settled out over oil and there was the oil glut in the 90’s, people’s memories faded about the 70’s and early 80’s. I bought an economy car in 1997. I can remember the sales person being flabbergasted with my choice. I told the guy, I remember the 70’s, and one day we are going to rue our choices of vehicles. It’s going to be the 70’s all over again. True enough. I never saw the need for suv’s.

  13. 13 Bob in Queensland
    June 19, 2008 at 14:45


    The flaw in your argument is that, even ignoring the issue of global warming, petroleum products will never again be the source of “cheap” energy we’ve had in the past.

    You say yourself that getting oil from the ground is getting increasingly difficult–and, while the technology is there, it’s going to get more and more expensive. Far better, in my opinion, to put our efforts into finding alternatives.

    Will Rhodes is, of course, right that much of the present shortage is purely illusion. The weak dollar, coupled with huge profits for market speculators are far more to blame than any actual shortage. Couple these influences with the genuinely increased demand from the emerging economies of China and India and the present crisis is easily explained.

    However, this “crisis” may turn into a blessing in disguise if the high price of oil makes alternative energy sources, which were once ruled out on cost, economic.

  14. 14 Hanson Klitte, Belgium
    June 19, 2008 at 14:54

    If someone needs some education…

    Do we need to get into the argument of biogenic theory
    versus abiogenic theory of oil origin. The first theory states that oil starts as rotting and dying plant life, which through high pressure and thousands of years of geological processes is trabnsformed into oil. If this is correct we have been using oil created by the falling of premieval forests, change of different iceages and movement of continetal shelves and a shift of landmasses. This is why oil is found under the ocean floor.

    Abiogenic theory states that hydrocarbons of purely inorganic origin exist in the planet Earth. Methods exist out there which can be utilised to make hydrocarbons from inorganic material but no substantial proof exists that this is happening on any significant scale in the earth’s crust for any hydrocarbon other than methane (natural gas), which also has a finite supply.

    Unless we can find oil on Mars and lug it back to Earth i ask what is being done to end the reliance on it. Weak american dollar being tied to the price of an barrel of oil is indeed a major cause of the high price of oil but this does not address the issue of this unsustainable energy need for the world.

    Saddam Hussein wanted to trade Iraqi oil in Euros, I wonder has America invaded Iraq to prevent this from happening?

  15. 15 Brett
    June 19, 2008 at 14:57

    However, this “crisis” may turn into a blessing in disguise if the high price of oil makes alternative energy sources, which were once ruled out on cost, economic.
    Exactly! This is what I’ve been advocating for quite sometime 🙂

  16. June 19, 2008 at 15:03

    Should the world increase its search for oil? It does not matter if oil was the price of water. The crooks should keep their thumbs off the scales and provide a honest price for the oil. Don’t have any faith in the medias of any country. Cheap oil is being had by countries of their control. The over all consciences is to keep the world’s citizens mesmerized with dialogs that increasing oil prices are to prevail. OPEC is a monopoly of oil producing countries. That is just part of the tally of the price revealed to the public. The price quoted the world’s public is not how much it cost to obtain the oil but what the crooks have you to pay.

  17. 17 Venessa
    June 19, 2008 at 15:06

    Will has it right – production on a a few thousand extra barrels should not effect the cost.

    There are alternatives out there; unfortunately the people that own the oil are the same ones that own the technology ( http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/223/index.html ). Why give up the cash cow they have now when they are still reaping benefits.

    There are more things than just cars that use oil. People need to explore the benefits of geothermal, solar & wind. I have been doing just that for my own home. Although the initial cost is steep (the more this catches on the initial price will go down) the savings I get offset the entire expenditure within 5 years.

    Of course Bush wants to open drilling for his own agenda.

  18. 18 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 15:08

    We need to do more drilling, but also have massive funding to develop alternative fuel sources, because oil will run out one day. The business people need to understand that oil is finite, and if you wait for the last minute to switch to something else, you’ll be in major trouble. And the lefties need to understand the entire economy is run by fossil fuels and you cannot just switch over overnight without destroying the economy, which means massive job loss, which means no tax revenues, which means social programs cannot get funded. Short term solution is drilling, long term solution is developing alternative fuel sources.

  19. 19 Togo
    June 19, 2008 at 15:09

    Hi Ros,
    The voracious appetite of China and India is worth it, for parenting almost a third of the world. Who will come to their help when their demands cannnot be met.The traditional big guns should give way and allow others a chance. Oil is in abundance, but its only the method of manufacture that is being monopolised.Why is refinng such a big issue.If every country refined its oil things would be different.
    Who is fooling who?

    Togo Kasoro

  20. 20 Dan
    June 19, 2008 at 15:10

    @Bob in Queensland

    Thank You I appreciate a well mannered debate.

    Global warming is certainly NOT “settled science” . As an Engineer I know that the simplistic approach of Al Gore is simply not adequate to explain the Earth’s environment. Additionally Mr. Gore has made MILLIONS of dollars promoting nonsense.
    In the foreseeable future there is no alternative to fossil fuels other than using Nuclear power .
    You are however correct that the weak dollar along with uncontrolled speculators caused skyrocketing oil prices. Add to that an American President who is inept and does not understand that our economic system is grounded in confidence and when the initial credit crisis hit could not make any type of public statements to calm people and markets.
    While China and India are convenient excuses for an oil “crisis” we, as you so adroitly point out, need to marshal our resources to develop alternative power but know that will take decades and maybe a century.

  21. 21 Jenn
    June 19, 2008 at 15:12

    Cheers Ros!

    NONONONONO …….We need to stop raping this planet!!! This oil crisis is our own making from years of not caring enough to find alternatives. Until this issue reached our pockets we didn’t at all pay attention to how we consumed. Now we need to put that money towards a better alternative. It’s not like we’re not capable, we can do anything….we once created a machine to get us from one place to another without using horses……I think we can do this too.

    Can’t wait for today’s show!

    Jenn in New York

    BTW Ros,

    I’ve been having a quarter life crisis for the last 5 years or so…….and I’m 33.

  22. 22 Luz María Guzmán from Mexico
    June 19, 2008 at 15:13

    I liked your comment. I grew up in the 80s, but I remember my mother was very cautious about our car’s gasoline consumption and we only used it when we really need it. Many times we did carpooling with friends and relatives.

    So, I am glad that I don’t have the “need”, either, to have an SUV. Last year my car broke, so a relative lend me her SUV for a week. I was appalled by how much more money I spent in gasoline!

    It cannot be good for the world its insane dependency to oil. It has caused environmental problems, wars, terrorism, etc. We need to pursue the research of greener-alternatives.

  23. 23 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 15:15

    Everyone who is against drilling has lost their right to complain about gas prices. Remember, the oil companies don’t want to drill, it would mean more supply, hence less $$ for them as the price of oil would go down.

  24. June 19, 2008 at 15:18

    What is currently needed is transparency at the oil markets dominated by speculators, political stability in the Middle East, where the situation in Iraq and the West’s conflict with Iran over its nuclear issue affect prices.

    An increase in oil search is unlikely to have immediate effect as it takes years both to find oil and to commercialise it. For the case of the USA, drilling its coasts for about 19 billion barrels of oil, it wouldn’t see a drop of that offshore oil for at least a decade. Its coastal oil supply would translate to 2 1/2 years worth of oil at current consumption levels. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/367492_drillinged.html

    An increase in search for oil is just a long term strategy as drilling and producing will takes years. Speculators act on the spur of the moment. They are likely to continue to manipulate the market as long as there are no political measures to curb their influence. The producing states like Venezuela won’t miss this rare opportunity of price booms to make the biggest profit.

    What drives the prices up, in addition to increasing demands, is the lack of stability. In Nigeria, for example, there arte attacks on oil installations and strikes halting the production. In Iraq, the lack of security hampers full capacity production. In case of a military attack on Iran, the prices will even go higher. It is also used as a weapon by other states like Russia.

    Other sources of energy should be explored and developed like solar, wind and hydro energies. The Congo River can generate electricity for 500 million people in Africa. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7358542.stm. But DR Congo first needs peace and stability for the realisation of this project. If these sources are used to produce electricity for homes and other small electric gadgets, there will be less pressure on oil as it can be used for big machines, which currently can’t be run with the alternative sources mentioned.

    As oil isn’t everlasting, it can create more problems. Its shortage can cause a big economic crisis, not to mention the ecological disasters ensuing from its extensive use. More efforts should be done to develop the alternative sources although it will take a long time to make them the principal means to produce energy.

  25. 25 gary
    June 19, 2008 at 15:22

    Oh goody! Let’s follow another of Bush’s retreats into conservative lunacy and burn all the oil on the shelf in our SUVs and Golf carts!

  26. 26 Shirley
    June 19, 2008 at 15:27

    It should not matter whether oil is about to run out, or whether there were tobe some magical endless supply of it. The process of extracting it is harmful to the local ecological system and often impinges on land rights and self-sufficiency, especially of the indigenous. The processing of oil is one of the major sources of air pollution on the planet. People who live next to refineries develop lung cancer and asthma at rates that far exceed the average. And the use of oil results in even more pollution, not to mention global political upset. Our continued use of oil; and the pursuit of it by our governments, is inexcusable; and as a religious person, I fully believe that we will be held to account for it in the end. We need to switch to sustainable energy methods that have less impact on the environment.

    I would like to see much more focus on developing windmills that had less impact on migrating fowl life. I would like to see more research devoted to more efficient and powerful solar panels. I would like to see discussions on how to harness geothermal and water power without disrupting ecological systems. We have to learn to build houses and other buildings in such a way that uses less energy and water. We need to learn to plant and grow, not only for our own self-sufficiency, but also in order to establish more carbon absorbers. We need to learn or re-learn the value of extended family and commnunity and wean ourselves off of false technological entertainment.

    Rather than seeking and drilling for more oil, we should be revolutionising our way of life.

  27. 27 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    June 19, 2008 at 15:29

    I don’t think the BBC has ever asked a more foolish question. Big Oil corporations keep claiming, and the media (universally) keeps mouthpiecing, that it’s windfall profits are needed to develop new sources of energy. But where is the analysis? Have these companies proven themselves to be interested in long term social well being, or whatever strategy increases their short term profits?

    This may just be left wing rhetoric, but I’ve been hearing for decades that oil companies have been buying up patents for solar technologies and then letting them sit on the shelf until such time as solar might become more profitable than pumping crude.

    One fact which I’ve only heard one outlet report on so far (I think it was NPR) is that West Texas oil fields which had been idled because they had become too expensive to tap, are now generating employment again. Is this a good thing?

    And for whom? What will digging deeper for oil do for lives two to three generations down the road? Answers please? And do kindly stop to think of the children first.

  28. 28 Bob in Queensland
    June 19, 2008 at 15:33

    While China and India are convenient excuses for an oil “crisis” we, as you so adroitly point out, need to marshal our resources to develop alternative power but know that will take decades and maybe a century.

    Of course, bringing totally new oil fields online would also be long-term projects (a decade or more) when you factor in exploration, drilling, building pipelines, etc.

    I also have an engineering background (in my case broadcasting and communications) and I suspect that the development of alternatives might happen rather more quickly than you’re predicting. The example I always trot out when I have this debate in the pub is the mobile phone. Two decades ago a few early adopters were carrying about a device the size of a brick, powered by a battery half the size of a brick that might last eight hours if you were lucky.

    Today my phone fits in a shirt pocket, uses far less energy despite having a colour screen and a camera on board and is powered by a match-book sized battery that lasts for days. If there is demand, development happens quickly.

    In the case of energy, my suspicion is that the short term solution isn’t going to be any large or dramatic project. Rather, my guess is that small, individual sources will be the way forward for the time being. If every home had a few solar panels on the roof and a small wind turbine in the garden, just think of the savings that could be found. The cost of doing this would have been prohibitive when electricity was generated with oil at $15 a barrel but will probably seem attractive with oil at ten times that cost.

    You also mentioned nuclear power and, while I dislike the legacy (in terms of waste products) that will leave for future generations, I certainly don’t rule it out as a stop-gap source..

  29. 29 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 15:33

    @ Shirley

    Something tells me that most cars, boats and airplanes are not powered by windmills, nor could they be. Oil is a necessary evil for people who don’t wish to return to the middle ages, until an alternative is developed.

  30. 30 Angela
    June 19, 2008 at 15:33

    I agree with Jenn of NY, that we need instead to develop alternatives to oil –immediately, not 10 years from now.

    Meanwhile, why don’t they put into service (1)the cars that get 85 miles per gallon (as written about by Thomas Friedman in a column some time back) and (2)the electric cars that were snatched away from their users and crushed like recycled tin cans (see the film “WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?)

    The truth of the matter is, we’ve had the knowledge and ability all along to wean away from oil completely, but the blood-sucking profiteers, like the big car manufacturers and oil companies, (and anyone who sits on their asses in coffee bars all day because they don’t work, as their dividends from these companies keep them wealthier than most people) are having too good a time raping the planet that it will never stop, until we have a system of government that can shut those activities down for the benefit of the masses.

  31. 31 Janet T
    June 19, 2008 at 15:36

    I guess what I want to know is this-
    how much could we produce and will it get us out from under the thumb of the Saudi’s?

  32. 32 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 15:38

    @ Angela

    Talk about instant gratification! What you suggest would take time, even if those cars existed, they would have to be built, which inherently means is cannot happen “immediately”. Things take time, that’s why drilling is needed, to buy the time that alternatives will require to be developed.

    An electric car still isn’t going to be a viable solution because the ranges are so limited, and where will the electricity come from? The left is against building more nuclear reactors, and the left seems to think windmills are ugly. NIMBY causes a lot of the problems.

  33. 33 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    June 19, 2008 at 15:39

    To Gary: @15:22

    Golf carts are usually electric, meaning they usually burn coal. But then I guess Big Oil owns all the coal, too. And they’ve got centuries of that to burn. How long is ceturies in the life of a planet?

    We are so obsessed with our (own) youth, aren’t we?

  34. 34 Bob in Queensland
    June 19, 2008 at 15:43


    Something tells me that most cars, boats and airplanes are not powered by windmills, nor could they be. Oil is a necessary evil for people who don’t wish to return to the middle ages, until an alternative is developed.

    Nope, but if your home was powered by electricity NOT generated by petroleum products, then there would be more oil to go round for needs that can’t be switched over.

    Heck, you might even recharge your electric “town car” with wind or solar power, keeping your gas-guzzler for longer trips only!

  35. 35 Anthony
    June 19, 2008 at 15:46

    Why increase it when they are going to start producing water fueled cars in Japan, and nuclear power is so efficient?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  36. 36 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 15:48

    @ Anthony

    Most people don’t have $500,000 to spend on a hydrogen powered car, and given that nuclear power generates electricity, not gasoline, nuclear power has no impact on automobiles.

  37. 37 Dan
    June 19, 2008 at 15:48

    @Bob in Queensland

    I am an Electrical Engineer specializing in power conversion.
    The cell phone example does not quite hold up. The issue of technology does not revolve around generating energy but the storage of such.
    If there was a battery that was able to power my car for 350 – 500 miles I switch in a heartbeat as electric cars are much more fun to drive.
    Fuel cell powered cars as are being introduced by Honda are a wonderful start but the hydrogen infrastructure is simply not there and in any event it takes a lot of energy to separate hydrogen from water. Where does that energy come from?
    Wind, solar wave generation are all wonderful but how do you store the excess energy to be delivered in times of peak demands? The technology is simply not there.
    Nuclear is a short term answer until fusion is developed wherein, as I understand it, the waste from nuclear fission can be burned safely.
    For me the bottom line is to educate ignorant politicians to understand the technology ans issue so that they can fight off the environmental radicals with facts and make intelligent decisions.
    This is not an easy issue but thankfully we have forums like this so that we can share ideas and educate one another.

  38. 38 krisjanis
    June 19, 2008 at 15:50

    Unfortunately the most naive of people will have to cope with reality on no oil, meaning: no cheap food, no travel, loads of pollution.

    Many accuse mass media for trying to magnify the scale of this particular problem, but I think that some kind of global crisis (like in CRISIS) is inevitable. No oil drilling company will drop it’s huge income. I am just hoping for oil to run out, then maybe the military will have to learn to use swords again and we will have at least a chance to turn our ‘brain power’ towards miraculous ‘green’ inventions.

  39. June 19, 2008 at 15:55

    Sadly it is what your government will get you to allow them to do to justify their actions. Although it is just the carrot before the horse that pulls the carriage. That is the truth about any burden upon any government world citizen, such as oil being over priced, the snow ball effect on all prices and other gainsaying crooks. Cheap oil is being had by countries under their control. The price quoted by OPEC is not how much it cost to obtain the oil, only the price that is set and forced a world citizen to pay. The profit gains of Oil Companies are exceeding past and above all time’s, profit percentages’.

  40. 40 krisjanis
    June 19, 2008 at 15:58

    Indeed, nuclear is the short term answer!

    And why do not we just send depleted uranium etc. to drift in Space, instead of burying it down? It is understandably cheaper to dump it in the back yard, but would not it be wiser to get rid of it once and for all?

  41. June 19, 2008 at 15:59

    @ Steve,

    The use produces only 2% of the world supply but consumes 25%. That might jump up to 3.5% if we open up drilling. Of course it would take at least 5 years to get the equipment built, and then get the platforms online. That supposes 2 things. 1) Oil companies are in business to improve our living standards. That lowering cost of crude oil will not just result in higher profit margins. 2) They actually will drill. It turns out your companies market value is driven up by the amount of reserves your company has access to, and not by how much you pump. That is all before you talk about the lack of refineries.

    Also, the Saudis are pumping at about 1/3 capacity at best. What makes you think they just won’t shut down supplies? This is what they have done to corner the entire OPEC sphere of influence. We increase the supply 2%, the Saudis decrease 2%, the same problem that existed, still exist. Only the Saudis will then be saving more futures. While the US is spending my children’s futures to feed a destructive addiction.

    Anybody who thinks they can solve the high gas prices by increasing supply, please tell me how? Can you guarantee that there is going to be an immediate drop back to even $2 a gallon? How is that going to put money in my pocket? Because what you are asking is for me to give up my children’s future security. What can you promise me for it?

  42. 42 Colleen
    June 19, 2008 at 16:03

    No we should not increase the search for oil. We need to CHANGE our ways, not waste money trying to prevent the inevitable….

  43. 43 Venessa
    June 19, 2008 at 16:05

    “This may just be left wing rhetoric, but I’ve been hearing for decades that oil companies have been buying up patents for solar technologies and then letting them sit on the shelf until such time as solar might become more profitable than pumping crude.”

    John D. Augustine ~

    You are correct. I posted a link to “Who Killed the Electric Car” above. I highly recommend watching it. Angela also mentions it above.

  44. 44 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 16:07

    @ Dwight

    I have a feeling you are confused. The US produces a lot more than 2% of the world’s oil. Perhaps you meant the statistic that the US is 2% of the world population but uses 25% of the world’s oil?

  45. 45 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 16:09

    @ Vanessa

    Perhaps the creater of the technology for electric cars/solar should have taken a “moral high ground” and refuse to sell to the auto companies so that the idea doesn’t get shelved? You shouldn’t put all the blame on the auto industry.

  46. June 19, 2008 at 16:10

    Why should we pay for Bush’s mistake; it won’t lower prices in the amount of time it’s going to take to produce sustainable electric and alternative fueled cars. So because Bush failed to break up OPEC we should take the chance on barely enough oil to last for 30 more years on speculative estimates. We stopped it under Reagan when I was 7 right here on the Pacific coast of N. California and we’ll stop it again.

  47. June 19, 2008 at 16:12

    @ Dan,

    The answer to the storage problem requires thinking outside the box. However, the major energy companies can’t afford us to do that. However it would require a completely different perspective on how an electrical grid is run.

    Communal production is an answer for the future to be considered. This is an idea born in my own head. So I am still debating people to get the flaws exposed. However, the basic concept is if we all have small energy collecting systems on our house that we use when we need it, and then back feeds into community wide storage facilities when we are not using it, we can maintain a large amount of on hand electrical power. In theory New Orleans could still be using electricity gathered during Katrina. The problem is that there is considerably less money for the utilities to do nothing but store our self produced energy then there is to supply us with stuff they produced.

    I recently saw a show were they are working on batteries that have the capacity of a car battery but the thickness of a piece of paper and the weight of a blanket.

  48. 48 Venessa
    June 19, 2008 at 16:13


    Did I post that I blame on the auto industry? Please tell me where? I am suggesting there are technologies out there although people have been led to believe there are not. I also suggest that there are other things we use that burn fossil fuels and there are alternatives for those as well. See my first post.

  49. June 19, 2008 at 16:14

    Abdelilah said
    In Nigeria, for example, there are attacks on oil installations and strikes halting the production.

    Indeed; just today Shell has stopped producing after an attack by militants. Where’s the incredible hulking US military to defend the 25% of crude oil we get from there- ridiculous.

  50. June 19, 2008 at 16:21

    i think the world should increase the search for oil, as quickly as possible….

    And then…when all that oil has been used up in SUV’S and semi trucks getting 4 mpg? That’s nuts. You can build an all electric semi, they have 20 of them at the Port of Longbeach CA. It’s those trucks that won’t change until oil changes and until that happens the planet will suffer enough that we won’t have to worry about more oil, we’ll have to worry about not getting killed off.

  51. 51 Julie P
    June 19, 2008 at 16:25

    I find it interesting how it is overlooked that oil is not just used for fuel for our cars, and for heating. Oil is also used to produce a myriad of products, from our plastics, to roofing shingles. We may be looking at an entire structural change.

  52. June 19, 2008 at 16:31

    No, reduce the use of oil.

  53. 53 Jessica in NYC
    June 19, 2008 at 16:33

    No, we should not dig for oil the risks are too high and it’s only a temporary fix, like putting a bandage on a gunshot wound. Some things will not be able to change it’s dependency on oil, but those that could change to alternative fuel should. In the mean time resources should be spend searching for alternatives should not be wasted damaging the the environment.

  54. 54 Janet T
    June 19, 2008 at 16:33

    electric semi- trucks?? Cool- tell me more- what is their range, weight they can pull etc…….costs??

  55. June 19, 2008 at 16:35

    @ steve,

    The facts are right as stated. You can find hem at your favorite website. I found them here http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/index.cfm#countrylist.

    You have to gather information on production from every country that is listed, then divide that into US production. But it ends up being about 2%. I like gathering my facts in as raw of a state as possible when it comes to issue like these. This is the most recent facts I could find here at home. I know it is hard to believe, but that is why President Bush was groveling on the ground at the feet of the Saudi king like some crack addict.

  56. June 19, 2008 at 16:36

    What happened to peoples economic sense? You can’t reduce cost until you reduce demand. Does anybody actually fall for the lies that Bush and Cheney’s oil buddies are not going to rip everybody off as much as OPEC?

    Cartoon characters often show the red in the face that those oil execs are displaying right now; so frustrated they cannot guarantee they’ll be able to keep selling oil, making such absurd amounts. But even if they do get more oil it won’t be the price that comes down, that price has been set and now it’s standard higher regardless of supply or demand.

  57. 57 Janet T
    June 19, 2008 at 16:40

    @Julie P- good point as usual- I forget that not everyone knows this- we use plastic pots and the price is going thru the roof, as are wire hangers and cardboard boxes- hangers and boxes have almost doubled in the last 3 years- raw materials are more expensive as well as energy costs to produce. Trust me- we reuse and recycle all we can-just to stay in business

  58. June 19, 2008 at 16:41

    Janet T

    The Port of LA is doing some really great stuff, they have built that fleet in Long Beach but all throughout LA ports now they’re buying old trucks up from the workers and in a few years time they’ll have only 2007 trucks and newer.

    The electric trucks have the same hauling capacity of regular 18 wheeled semi’s. If you’re really interested get the podcast Living on Earth, I’m trying to find the episode to get the specs but they’ve done both stories about the electric and the phasing out of the old trucks.

    Update for electric truck specs: 68,000lbs max so far
    Also they’ll be powered by solar soon. The sound is what’s most incredible, they start one up on the show and it’s very, quiet. 70,000 more than diesel, but with fuel savings: 35,000 a year.
    Living on Earth
    The show on 5/16 has electric trucks, they also talk about the Japanese Nissan electric car.

  59. 59 John in Salem
    June 19, 2008 at 16:45

    To paraphrase my earlier comment in Talking Points –

    You can’t cure an expensive addiction by providing the junkie with cheaper drugs.

  60. June 19, 2008 at 16:47

    And what happens when all of this resource is depleted? I know nothing lasts forever, so rather than delude ourselves with finding more oil, we should resort to getting alternatives which are viable.

  61. 61 Dan
    June 19, 2008 at 16:48

    I have had my say and even a good debate but it is interesting to watch others talk about “technology” they saw on TV and then declared it a commercial certainty or blame SUV’s or cannot bypass their own prejudices to understand that SUV’s get better than 4 MPG.
    What is appalling is the contempt for the US Military and the overriding hatred for Bush & Cheney who they claim are the demons that have caused all the ills in the world.
    Energy is such a complicated issue that it reduces the argument an infantile level to lay blame on one or two people, claim that there exists technology that no one has heard of or that there is a worldwide conspiracy.
    In another forum the BBC asked if we are overeducated. Looks like the answer is a definite NO.

  62. June 19, 2008 at 16:56

    You may have had good debate but apparently you forgot to read:
    Semi’s get 4 to the gallon, the super charger rig that pulls the race car my friend drives gets 6 to the gallon. How do I know this: because I watched the test results from the Hydrogen fuel cell battery that he’s put into that super charger rig which makes it get about 12mpg- right not over educated- just ignorant.

    BTW: I also know my friend has patent on that invention so when your just skimming don’t be stealing ideas now, that would make it even more embarrassing than a misquote.

  63. 63 Vijay
    June 19, 2008 at 17:00

    In whose interest is it to search for oil?
    Non-OPEC countries and large oil consuming countries(eg.China in Sudan).
    The real question should be who is manipulating the oil market and how are they doing it and what is the difference between the “real “price and the manipulated price.

  64. 64 Julie P
    June 19, 2008 at 17:04

    @Janet T,

    I recall seeing a sign posted at my dry cleaner on a recent visit. The sign stated there was an impending wire hanger shortage resulting from an importing policy being enforced with China that produces 98% of wire hangers for the US. (I forget the specifics of what was on the sign.) The business is asking their customers to recycle their wire hangers with them. Do you know anything about this?

  65. June 19, 2008 at 17:04

    OPEC is manipulating the market, inflating dollars. The problem is we’ve been at war for 8 years to try to change that, and for all the Kings army and all the Kings men: we can’t knock that wall down.

  66. 66 Dan
    June 19, 2008 at 17:06


    You have much to learn but first you need to throttle down. [edited out personal attack].
    Glad your “friend” has a invention. There are of millions inventions that are not commercially feasible. However stating an anecdotal incident into a statistical certainty is specious.
    If you understood how a product in R&D becomes a commercial product you might be able to make better arguments. Until then you arguments are very weak.

  67. 67 Anthony
    June 19, 2008 at 17:13

    @ steve

    I said water, not hydrogen powered. Here’s one of the first links that came up:


    so if we had this technology (which we should have had years ago, if GM, Ford, and Dodge along with big oil companies hadn’t allegedly keep the system down), along with water current power, nuclear power, and trash power, I don’t think drilling new spots would be important. 😉

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  68. 68 Robert
    June 19, 2008 at 17:14

    What nobody seems to remember is that question before congress will not solve the immdeate problem. From the moment a license to explore is granted it can be 10 – 15 years before any oil there makes it to market.

    Todays problems started in the 1990’s when oil was $10 a barrel. Investment in the industry was cut, it simple couldn’t be justified. Without that investment the fields are now falling into decline. Infrastructure is inedequate both in terms of the dumb steel and trained people. All this means that the industry just can’t produce more than it is already doing. Even the investment being made today won’t bring production on till 2011 at the absolute earliest.

    Should we drill in natural reserves is a question I can’t honestly answer, but politicians must remember that the oil industry has the momentum of their own tankers. If president Mcain or Obama make a decision on day one of thier first terms, they might just see the effect on oil prices towards the end of thier second term.

  69. June 19, 2008 at 17:16

    Too bad: some were part of the debate on WHYS when I explained how my friend, is a pro race car driver on the Nascar circuit N. CA league, you can look him up Junior Roddy. He also owns the local NAPA auto parts and is a professional mechanic and his invention of a Hydrogen Fuel cell battery is very similar to the fuel cell engine. He’s had one of these in his super charger rig for a year now. Soon he’ll be giving classes on installing them, bridging hydrogen into the intake giving a car the capability to get 2x the mpg- and in reality I’ll be there at those classes, that’s not a specious notion either.

  70. June 19, 2008 at 17:18

    @ Dan,

    Exactly where does somebody gather information about all of the emerging technologies. Maybe take the word of some politician or some one commenting on a blog. There is a huge field, and a very demanding industry in this area that is studying batter technology. This company already exist. http://www.thinbatterytechnologies.com/products.htm . If you just search for Thin battery technology, you will find that there is a huge participation into this kid of research. What made this show special is that it demonstrated a doubling of the current capacities of most products on the market today that fit this technology. Normally a mention of a subject should send an interested party off to find out more for themselves.

    Question: How do most people know that Saddam was such an evil person, that the middle east is full of crazy Islamic extremist, and that you can carry a nuclear weapon in a suitcase? TV I suppose. So I agree that what you see on TV is dangerous if that is all the further you take you interest before you turn it into a belief.

    The oil industry is the root of all the evil in the world. The US has propped up and supported more oppressive governments then one can count on one’s digits. Saddam was one of them. It turns out that if you want to drill for oil in the middle of a country run populated by technology fearful goat herders, you need to have a trading partner. (This is as so not to bee seen as invading somebody’s sovereignty which was important during the post WWI era. Now we don’t seem to care.) The best people to do these jobs are the local thugs who have been oppressing and extorting the people for so long anyway. They also have the ability to protect you precious oil wells. You might recognize the names of some of the more recent thugs. The Taliban, Saddam Hussein, and King Abdullah. Look in the real near past and you will find they were our friends. Then their confidence outgrew their stature.

  71. 72 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 17:19

    @ Anthony

    I have a feeling that car is a false claim. It takes lots of energy and time to break water up into Hydrogen and oxygen. you cannot burn water, you can only burn the hydrogen after it has been separated out, by electrolysis.

  72. 73 Jens
    June 19, 2008 at 17:24

    we do not need more oil, although reserves are obviously desirable. we need to re-think the entire energy consumption system and strike a blance between waht we need and what we waste.

    eg construction should rethink the use of woodframe buildings or just start insulate the buildings better. changing the building code would save buckets of oil, by having insulated walls

    cars could be infinetly more fuel economic, just look at european cars or japanese ones. i had cars that did 40 to gallon 15 years ago.

    not everything has to wrapped in plastic ten million times. do not use plastic bags to bag you veggies etc, bring in your own bags when shopping, stop drinking botteled water that is transported half way around the world.

    all simple little contributions that sum up at the end….

  73. 74 Anthony
    June 19, 2008 at 17:27

    @ steve

    You’re absolutely correct, it burns Brown’s Gas (Oxyhydrogen) which is taken from the water. The only speculation is that a certain metal part depletes over time, but it’s still better for the environment, and relieves some over the oil pressure on our country.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  74. 75 Mark from kansas
    June 19, 2008 at 17:28

    Absolutly not.
    the hig price of gas and oil really stinks, and it is causeing a tremendous financial burden to me and everone I know. This is the only way to motivate the world to find alternatives to crude oil. The polar Ice caps are going to disapear during the summer in the next five to ten years. Frankly we may be to late. When the Europe and the costal reagions around the world face massive flooding, the price of oil wont seem like such a big deal. It has been to cheap for to long and we are all going to pay the price. “Further study” has come in, and it’s not pretty.
    There have been many alternatives to oil out there for many decades, and we have failed to develop them, because we are lazy and greedy by nature. Here is evidence of a car and technology developed that run on H2O


  75. June 19, 2008 at 17:32

    Yes we should mine more of our own oil where ever we can find it.

    In addition we need to search for alternatives after oil, and to help us make the transition.

    We need to say after 2010 no cars or small trucks can be produced in America unless they get at least 50 miles to the gallon of gas.

    If we won’t or can’t the other guys will and they will take care of our needs.


    Nehalem, Oregon

  76. June 19, 2008 at 17:33

    Converting H20 in H is all relative, in battery form it can be done with simple 12 V electrical regeneration. The issue after that is adapting the larger technology to an entire engine.

    LI automotive batteries are coming out at the end of this year and proposed to sell for around 5000. But they will dramatically increase the power of electric potential.

  77. 78 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    June 19, 2008 at 17:43

    We have to take a look at this issue is more complex the just looking for and drilling oil.

    Oil refining capacity and the number of plants doing this have not increases. I remember a few years ago there was a slowdown in production in the US because some pants needed to perform maintenance, which caused the price to go up some. So just getting more oil out of the ground may not increase the usable gas we all need at the low prices we are use to. It is estimated by some that building new plants to refine oil would take years so just getting more oil out of the ground is not going to help in the short run.

    The word has to take a look at other firms of power for our cars, homes, and businesses. While we look for oil at the same time. We will never have chep oil again so we have to lower our need for it.


  78. 79 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 19, 2008 at 17:43

    More then search we need technology advansment & alternates.

  79. June 19, 2008 at 17:49

    @ troop

    Can you explain to me how drilling for more oil is going to reduce the cost or our need for it? I am confused. it will at least 5 years to bring any oli production online. Then there is the problem with not enough refineries. There is also the problem that we have a free market that set the price. Then there is the fact that we will still be depending on 50% imports on our busiest day.

    So how is drilling going to reduce cost, make us more secure, or plan for the future? WE have something that these oil companies want pretty bad. What am I getting for it? Just to give it to them sounds an awful lot like welfare.

  80. June 19, 2008 at 17:52

    We need to say after 2010 no cars or small trucks can be produced in America unless they get at least 50 miles to the gallon of gas.

    That’s a pipe dream unfortunately, otherwise the argument could stand, but the latest estimates have us at possibly 25-30 avg by that time.

  81. 82 Venessa
    June 19, 2008 at 18:00

    @ Jens

    I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s amazing how little change people could make to generate a positive environmental impact. Unfortunately I don’t think some people care because they are living in the now and have what they need. No need to worry about future generations when you have all you want now; no matter the monetary or environmental impacts involved.

    I have thought about my impact and in the last few years I have made choices to reduce my waste of resources. I take my own bags to the grocery store (if I forget them I request paper), grow veggies in a garden, quit drinking bottled water (a pitcher with a filter works just fine), walk when I can, recycle absolutely everything I possibly can (I have an entire recycling area set up in my home) and changed my purchasing habits (I buy local first and also quit buying products based on their wasteful packaging). I am in the process of remodeling my home; we are converting to natural resources for heating & cooling (geothermal & PV solar), using recycled paper products for insulation, installing bamboo flooring & paper stone countertops etc. These things are not very hard; they just require a little more effort and thought. Of course I am still guilty of being wasteful or buying things that come from far away, but at least I’m making a conscious effort to reduce my waste instead of doing what is most convenient all the time.

  82. 83 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 18:01

    I have a question for those on the left: I relize you’re anti oil and want oil to no longer be used, hence you don’t want drilling. I ask you though, how will airplanes fly if you don’t use oil? There will ALWAYS be a need for gasoline, at least for air travel. Remember, you cannot have electrical powered jet engines. You need fuel to burn in it. I’m sure ethanol could be use for piston engine airplanes, but I have a feeling it wouldn’t work well or at all in turboprops and jet engines. I do hope you dont want the aviation industry to be dissapear, which is going to happen if gas prices keep on going up.

  83. 84 Janet T
    June 19, 2008 at 18:01

    @Julie P

    I guess I should clarify- our wire hangers are for plants not clothes. I just ordered some from a company that makes them in LA- they said they had a price increase in January, another in March and one every 2 weeks since then. So wire/metal is not any cheaper to produce here.

  84. 85 Andrew
    June 19, 2008 at 18:04

    America must lessen its dependance on Middle Eastern oil, by tapping its own reserves, but simultaneously enact policies that favour oil-cutting measures (like a super tax levy on new SUVs).

  85. 86 Jens
    June 19, 2008 at 18:04

    the ever so touted H2O technolgy is just a scam. I wish it was true but trust me it is not. hydrogen power as it stands right now is unfeasable as well. ethanol from corn crop is a sure way of running into dead end, plus the energy efficiency is abysmal, soy diesel is a lot mor energy efficient but is destroying the rain forest all over the world, leading to net negative CO2 balance and algae biodiesl is in its baby steps and is currently only feasable if the barrel of oil cost $800.

    Now what are the current alternatives. the most obviouse one is the plug-in/hybrid car. the energy for these is obviously mainly produced by coal. neverthelss nuclear power (i can already hear the screams), solar power and wind power are viable alternative. solar power has reached a over 30% efficiency in converting solar energy to electric energy, usin sterling engiens. both forms will need specific sites (sun and wind) and are far from estetic point of view.

  86. 87 Dan
    June 19, 2008 at 18:05

    The only thing I agree with you is your observation about fuel economy.
    The fact that one person put something in their truck or that someone who owns a NAPA store with an invention to increase fuel economy is anecdotal (based on personal observation, case study reports, or random investigations rather than systematic scientific evaluation) and since they cannot become yet a statistical certainty have no real position in any energy debate. It is akin to the video that shows an inventor burning water to fuel a car.
    Zak you have great passion but I think that more facts that cover a broader range would support your arguments better.

  87. June 19, 2008 at 18:09

    US is dependent on the airlines for transportation around the States.

    There needs to be additions to our transportation infrastructure to in the US. We need a high-speed rail and cars that can get 60+ MPG like there is in Europe.

    I think with these high fuel prices will spur innovation in alternatives to fossil fuel based energy.

  88. June 19, 2008 at 18:10


    You’re going to have to do better than that: look up JP-8 jet fuel
    Then substitute the Kerosene which is cleaner than diesel to start with and uses less with oil from sources such as algae and other renewable sources.

    Then look at how this company has implemented the fuel, it’s already happening on a small plane scale all around the world.

  89. 90 Brett
    June 19, 2008 at 18:10

    @ Janet
    The price of some of the metal and products which my company works with and sells (Steel Alum and Brass) has nearly doubled in the Richmond area depending on the supplier within just the past year. Partially due to the high transport costs due to the sheer weight, the demand for many of the metals both domestically and internationally, and the cost to operate the mining and processing facilities (which are heavily energy intensive) have shot through the roof.
    It will only get worse as the price of oil increases. Most people don’t realize the span of oil in our processes and products. A product which has no petroleum in it may require more oil to produce than its own weight in oil.

  90. 91 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 18:11

    What?? Not drilling in Alaska because Alaska is beautiful??? That’s silly. Paris is a Beautiful city but they still put up the ugly eifel tower. ANWR is a tiny portion of the state.

  91. 92 Mason, Park City, Utah
    June 19, 2008 at 18:12

    Oil is poison!  There are so many reasons to stop using it, including national security and the environment.  More drilling is NOT the answer, the answer is to remove all tax breaks and other benefits for the Oil comapanies, and to begin a global Manhatan Project style program dedicated to finding a Clean, Renewable way to power this country.  The US unraveld the secrets of Nuclear power in under a decade, you can not tell me that we can not do this!

  92. 93 Jens
    June 19, 2008 at 18:13


    that is exactly my point. i have a recycling area in my house and have finally found a place that takes glass, as well. unfortunatly i live at 7500 feet in a dester hot state and my vegetable garden is basically a rather poorly looking patch. tomatoes, peppers and herbs do ok, but the rest is, hmmmm rather sad. we have some upgrades coming at one point and depending on my job stability we will go green, as much as we can afford. solar here in the SW is a certain way of saving energy, but the 3-5 feet of snow we get migh pose a problem. geothermal is out of the question at my alttitued and area. i guess we will be looking into spraying isulation into our wood frame etc etc

    the changes are not massive and the effort is neither a pain. i actually enjoy doing it since i challange myself to find more and better ways. it’s almost like a little hobby, even my wife has finally joined in and has stopped buying stupid water produced in italy….

  93. 94 Will Rhodes
    June 19, 2008 at 18:13

    @ Steve

    9/19/2006 – EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFPN) — The Air Force accomplished another aviation first when a B-52 Stratofortress flew using an alternative fuel Sept. 19.

    The flight test involved running two of the bomber’s engines on a synthetic fuel, made from a 50-50 blend of traditional crude oil-based fuel and a Fischer-Tropsch fuel derived from natural gas. The jet’s other six engines ran on traditional JP-8 jet fuel.

    Undersecretary of the Air Force Dr. Ronald M. Sega was on the mission as a crewmember.

    “This test sets the stage for a more comprehensive plan the Air Force has toward conservation,” he said. “This test fits into this overall vision and is the first step in a long process for looking at the viability of alternative fuels.”

    You will also find that it isn’t just the people on the left who want to get away from the yolk of oil.

  94. 95 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 18:14

    @ Zak

    Very few airplanes are diesel powered. And that website you provided is for biofuels for airplanes. Don’t forget that the left get frothing mad that food will go to make fuel rather than feed poor people. It also tends to increase the demand, so food prices go up. So you want biofuel powered airplanes instead of gasoline powered ones even if it means people cannot afford food?

  95. 96 Matt
    June 19, 2008 at 18:14

    The Bush/McCain plan to increase the oil exploration will do nothing to ease the price of fuel for consumers, it will only provide increased assets for the oil companies. It is not in the interests of the oil companies to have the price of oil go down and even if the price was to drop and oil companies profited through an increase in consumption, it would only serve as an encouragement to continue on the dangerous path of energy use and pollution that we are on now.

    The issue of oil shortage is going to have to be faced. Even if they did find a 10 year supply of oil, it will only serve to delay the inevitable. This issue would be better addressed through government relief for fuel critical industries such as farming and shipping. Rather than passing the problem onto future generations.

    Necessity is the mother of invention and until there is a financial motive to change the way we live no real change will come and this problem is not just going to go away.

  96. 97 Kelly
    June 19, 2008 at 18:14

    If Bush got his way and the U.S started drilling for oil in protected areas, it will do absolutely nothing to address the current energy crisis. These new wells would take years to develop and then only provide enough oil to prolong our dependaence for a short time – it’s estimated that the oil in hte ANWAR preserve would only yeild enough oil to power the U.S. for a few months, and that pristine environment would be gone forever.

    We need to move AWAY from oil dependence now to fight global warming and other envorionmental damage, not pillage new areas to extend our addiction for a little while longer.

  97. 98 AJay, Chester Connecticut
    June 19, 2008 at 18:14

    Instead of drilling in environmentally sensitive areas, we should be drilling into the books of the major oil companies and Wall Street speculators that have inflated the cost of oil. Bush is taking advantage of a bad situation for political gain and as a red herring to push a pro-big-oil agenda. Remember that Bush and Cheney are both, first, last, and always, oil men.

  98. 99 L. Walker
    June 19, 2008 at 18:15

    drill for more oil? it’s a moot point. opec increases production and the price of oil and gas still goes up. increasing production will do nothing to the price.

    the problem lies in the weakness or the US dollar, with the fed dropping the rates to record lows, cheapening america’s currency, so people want more dollars for the same actual value.

    it’s called inflation.

    if the fed would raise interest rates and return the dollar to it’s old value, i guarantee the price of oil would drop, and not at the expense of america’s wilderness.

  99. 100 Dave Nelson
    June 19, 2008 at 18:15

    This shortage or economic crisis is a sign of things to come. Scientist estimate we’ll run out of oil by 2050. Shouldn’t we be using this crisis as a time to reflect on what it means to have economic stability and long-term continuity? If we just continue pushing the problem further and further into the future, its solution will be more dire and more catastrophic.

  100. 101 Vijay
    June 19, 2008 at 18:16

    Give Scotland independence once the oil and fish have run out.
    It should outplaced to the EU and a long frontier fence built to keep them out of England.
    China has announced,its intention to buy agricultural land around the world to insure its food security ,just as it is already exploiting oil and minerals,would they be allowed to buy up scottish coal fields?India is along way behind China ,in just about every index of development.you can’t eat or drive democracy.

  101. 102 Jens
    June 19, 2008 at 18:16


    tell me who producess algae biofuels in any larger quantity than a shootglass.

    the stuff you read are companies that are touting a concept, not a product. we are still far away from algae biodiesel. the discussion is still on, open pond or bioreactor growth.

  102. 103 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 18:17

    I don’t get it. Drilling for oil will buy is time to develop practical alternatives. The people against drilling want a substitute for oil right now, even though it doesn’t exist, and will take time. Do you just like complaining? You cannot magically create a susbtitute for now, it will take time, and drilling will allow to develop the substitute without destroying the world’s economy because of high fuel prices.

    Can any of you who don’t want drilling, and want an instant solution, please tell me how this is going to occur?

  103. 104 Ashi in New Jersey
    June 19, 2008 at 18:17

    I believe that drilling for oil would be a small term solution to the energy crisis and would be detremental to the enviorment. As Americans I believe we should use our scientific resources such as NASA to develop efficient and clean energy resources, instead of spending billions of dollars trying to find the proof of past life of Mars. Also doing so would allow for the government to regulate this research and not oil companies. R&D for effecient energy is against the interests of oil companies and therefore we should leave it to the government.

  104. 105 Anthony
    June 19, 2008 at 18:17

    Anyone remember the subway system in Los Angeles that was shut down in 1955, even though it was carrying 100,000 people a day? Yeah, I get really upset when I think about that.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  105. 106 Earl, Maryland, USA
    June 19, 2008 at 18:17

    I am a registered independent voter in the United States. I will be casting my vote for the person and the party who supports drilling for domestic oil and building more nuclear power plants. I want that person to also support, including financial support, hydrogen, solar, wind and other alternative power as well as electric cars. I want to see a massive government/private partnership to bring viable electric vehicles to the market.

  106. June 19, 2008 at 18:19

    President Bush is an idiot. There is no real shortage of oil. If Nations, especially the U.S. would quit hoarding oil for some ill-percieved future threat, we would have what we need for the next thousand years. The future is here. The problem seems to be REFINEMENT, not availability.Just like in the ’70’s, it IS shortage of thinking properly; hold back the oil, and drive up the prices. Is it any wonder the Mid-East has taken a page from our own book, and started doing the same.
    Maybe this is just what the world needs to kick ’em in the arse, and start, really start, expanding alternative energy sourses. If we’d have ‘jumped on the Alternative bandwagon 30 years ago, we not have this problem now. And we knew it was coming. We all did.
    (To quote Roger Waters: “Is it any wonder the monkey is confused?”)

  107. 108 Tiffany
    June 19, 2008 at 18:20

    In the 50s and 60s, the US turned our hearts, minds and budget toward the moon and we achieved great things in space exploration.

    If we could convince our government to make a similar investment in alternative energy, instead of foolishly chasing a diminishing supply, we could again achieve great things.

  108. 109 Gabriel in Boston, Massachusetts USA
    June 19, 2008 at 18:20

    I believe one issue, is how uncomfortable can you make the average American car owner/driver other than $4.50 a gallon for gas to have him/her stop being selfish and think about someone or something other than their person wants and perceived needs.

    I don’t know if the same can be said about other developed countries and their respective drivers?

  109. June 19, 2008 at 18:20

    Steve. Again look at what I said renewable sources like algae for veggie oil. The point about diesel is relative to Kerosene which is the primary component in JP 8 fuel one of the most common, a petroleum derivative that’s easily substituted with vegetable oil.

    And whether or not the big companies will adopt it is all a question of whether or not they can get petroleum, even with another 30 years supply it’s irrelative.

  110. 111 Denise, San Francisco
    June 19, 2008 at 18:21

    Number one, we need to change our lifestyle not destroy our quality of life by destroying the very environment that sustains us.

    Number two, it will take 10 or more years before the oil drilled will come on line and reduce the cost.

  111. 112 Ben Mokaya
    June 19, 2008 at 18:21


    Seeking to produce ethernal should stop though. Its quest is impacting the availability of food and destruction of virgin forests for cultivation. It’s destroying the environment.

    Although, if the oil producers in Africa can channel the oil proceeds to its people, there will be no shortages.
    Nigeria for example, produces the so called fine crude oil, which is easily refinable and therefore very markatable——- but look at the African leaders,in general, a disgrace. why should their people live in poverty?, why should there be destruction of the environment? Why can’t you invite oil experts to manage the oil and distribute the revenue? We have enough oil, the OPEC cartel simply is to blame for the shortages.

  112. 113 Hal
    June 19, 2008 at 18:23

    The experts are saying that 80% of the US oil reserves are available and not being utilized.

    Drilling in Alaska is simply a moneymaking opportunity for the big oil companies.

    We should be talking about the disgraceful profits that the oil companies are making.

  113. 114 Bob, Lynnwood, WA, USA
    June 19, 2008 at 18:23

    Come on, if you live in the western world, you use oil. How many of the panel who came from Africa walked to Glasgow… or did they fly on an airplane? Can we use it better, yes we can but as long as it is available it will be used.

  114. 115 Katharine Cato
    June 19, 2008 at 18:24

    If we start to use oil reserves it would be equivalent to digging into our savings account while still supporting an extrememly expensive lifestyle without change. I believe we need to alter our habits to a more modest way of living.

  115. 116 Jens
    June 19, 2008 at 18:24


    lowering the oil price will reverse the invetsments into alternative fuels since they become less viable. so DO NOT drill for oil, let the oil price be the driver for alternative fuels. if we can put a man on the moon in the sixties, we can find alternative fuels.
    your thinking is conceptually flawed.

    the oil price is not destroying the world economy. what is destroying the world economy is the greed and the perception that anything below a 5% growth rate is not acceptable. i am sick and tired of the consumeism of us lot (and i include myself here). why do we need to have a new cell phone every 2 years, because the companies and adverts tell us so? why do my washing etc maschiens breakdown 1 year after the warrenty has run out. this never happend before, my mom has a 25 year old machine that is still doing fine.

    i don not want them drilling off-shore, the only way people stop wasting energy is when it hurts the pocket-book.

  116. 117 erlinda
    June 19, 2008 at 18:25

    I dont think they should start drilling on the coast again. I lived on the coast and saw the living creatures and the plants die. We need another alternative.

  117. 118 Brett
    June 19, 2008 at 18:25

    With all due respect to the caller from Kansas, Brian: drilling on land is quite a bit different from drilling offshore, especially in regards to environmental risks.

  118. 119 Ernie Wright
    June 19, 2008 at 18:26

    The abusive use of hydrocarbons of all sorts by American consumers is indefensible. The average American is ignorant of world affairs and as ignorant of personal financial matters as evidenced by their tax phobia which prevented us from applying gas taxes when it would have benefited the movement to alternative energy sources, our government’s inability to raise fuel mileage standards to at least 40 mpg, the surge in purchases of extremely large, heavy trucks and SUV’s which todayahve dropped in value by a factor of 50%.

    The waste in the States due to simple greed and poor education would be laughable if it were not so deliterious to our future and that of the world atlarge.

    Our oil companies are also complcit in this abuse. Their chant of demand oer reaching supply depends totally on the waste of hydrocarbons and they do nothing to insure that their product is used efficiently.

    Recent Congressional investigations and economic hardships have done little.

    We are in such a state in the United States and it is our own doing.

  119. 120 Anna, Houston, Texas, USA
    June 19, 2008 at 18:26

    I grew up in Texas where oil is part of the culture. The men in my family still insist on driving gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs because it’s also part of that culture. They would not welcome a discussion on fuel alternatives but would support finding more oil. However, this is not what everyone is like in Texas. I only bring up this example because even with unbelievable gas prices, there are still people who are afraid of change -and using alternative fules, taking the bus or riding your bike to work are all enormous changes. But I do believe that as more people begin to insist on alternatives and it becomes part of the norm, people that would never have considered these things will start to accept the change. I’ve seen it happen, it just takes time.

    I agree that we should seek other alternatives and provide training to those who work in oil-related jobs the opportunity to learn new skills with these alternatives.

    Enjoy the show!

  120. June 19, 2008 at 18:27

    I think that Africa has an advantage when it comes to looking for new sources of energy. Because Africa is still largely a “developing” continent, experimenting with solar and wind farms could greatly effect the direction in which the continent looks towards energy efficiency.

  121. 122 David
    June 19, 2008 at 18:27

    George W Bush wants to drill oil to feed America for 10 years?! What is wrong with him? 10 years??! He is not looking beyond his remaining life, is he? Very mean indeed.

    What is causing all this heart ach of oil prices? Is it greed and wars we have had to have?

    As a physicist, I recognise what we call a point of no return. This point is as close as the nose and the mouth for America. Can’t the elections in America be brought forward?! The democrats may be able to save US, and help the rest of the world, but only if the democrats are in power.

  122. 123 Valerie
    June 19, 2008 at 18:28

    It is urgent that the world places emphasis on finding and bringing new solutions for energy. There are many examples of research being done now including the use of algae as well as solar solutions, We can no longer rely upon remaining oil reserves. It is time to focus on future solutions. This is a world issue and just the concern of individual countries.

  123. June 19, 2008 at 18:28

    Denise; agreed.

    Even when and if they get oil out in 10 years it will take at least 3 more to affect the market. BTW: the estimate difference is about $.06.

  124. June 19, 2008 at 18:28

    Good point Brett! : drilling on land is quite a bit different from drilling offshore, especially in regards to environmental risks.

  125. 126 Eric, Oregon
    June 19, 2008 at 18:29

    I feel we have to realize that oil supply is a hose in a water bottle and not a straw in a water trough. It is going to end and then what do we do? I have no answer but feel that we are not accepting what is going to happen.

  126. June 19, 2008 at 18:30

    ANWR would be a drop in a bucket and, unless changes are made, the amount of oil the US and the world uses will just increase by the time that oil will be in the system.

    Oil companies see $140/barrel in the ground and profits to be made.

  127. 128 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 18:30

    @ Ernie

    You’ve won the socialist of the day award! Were you humming The Internationale when you wrote that?

    Ignorant of financial matters due to their taxphobia? Not everyone is into the redistribution of wealth, comrade. A better example of ignorance of financial matters would be the suprime mortgage crisis, where people borrowed more than could afford to, and couldn’t repay their loans when housing values dropped. But of course, a socialist would only blame the banks, and not the borrower making poor decisions, they need to be bailed out!

    Quit generalizing the entire US population

  128. 129 Andre
    June 19, 2008 at 18:31

    I think there is a general consensus that the use of oil as a major energy source is highly damaging for the environment. However, during the time when oil was relatively cheap, there was comparatively little research into alternative energy research. Therefore, alternative energy sources, while highly touted by environmentalists, are simply not ready to replace oil. Solar, wind, geothermal or tidal energy does not provide nearly enough energy for the world’s needs

    What is needed is a global legislative mandate to directly tie the amount of money spent on oil exploration and production to the money spent on alternative energy research. As an example, for every $100 spent on oil exploration, the oil companies should be either be taxed an additional $15 or $20 for alternative energy research.

  129. 130 Jonathan, San Francisco, USA
    June 19, 2008 at 18:31

    I don’t want to cloud the issue with facts, but opinions aren’t worth a fig without them. Here’s one example plucked at random from today’s deep pile of compost:

    FICTION: “The use of oil is, almost, exactly the same as it was 2 years ago – give and take a few thousand barrels.” (Will Rhodes)

    FACT: In one year from 2006 to 2007, consumption grew by 1.1%, or one million barrels per DAY. That rate will double over the next few years. Supply is not growing as fast (and almost certainly can’t), hence the price rise. Cartels and speculators and the rest don’t drive the price. They lost gobs of money when the price fell by 60% in the early 1980s, and it stayed flat for the next 20 years.

    FICTION: It would “help” to price oil in euros vs. dollars. Help who, and how? It clearly wouldn’t help the US, since dollars is what we’ve got. It doesn’t really matter, since currencies are convertible, by both buyers and sellers of oil.

    Properly informed, we can more usefully debate the matter. There is no practical alternative to oil for the near term. We’re all going to have very hard times if we don’t produce more oil. Yes, ecology is important, climate change is a serious threat, and worst of all, I HATE to agree with George W. Bush about anything, but facts are stubborn things.

  130. 131 Jay
    June 19, 2008 at 18:32

    Even if we agreed to begin sourcing and drilling in new locations right away, the effects of that would not be felt for another 8-10 years. In that timeframe, there has to be a better solution.

  131. June 19, 2008 at 18:34

    theres technology thats out there that works, like the links below:



    water is better to burn than oil.

    this is a solution.

  132. 133 Krista
    June 19, 2008 at 18:35

    It is an unfortunate reality that few of us, in the developed world, is willing to change or force our government to change when our lives are good. We truck along focusing on our day to day lives, getting our children to day care, spending time with friends and family, and driving all the while.

    It is when our day to day lives are made uncomfortable that we are willing to look for and be open to alternatives. This is a growing pain that we as a world have to get though. Yes, many people are going to suffer; it is not a question of if but when. Even if we explore for more oil it will not prevent pain, because by easing the problem we are only delaying it. We will be in the same situation 10, 20, 30 years from now with a tainted Alaska. We were given the opportunity after the oil crisis of the 1970’s to push for alternatives, but when oil was affordable again consumers stopped demanding energy efficiency and turned to convenience.

    Without the pressure to change we will not.

  133. 134 Tom, Bend, Oregon, USA
    June 19, 2008 at 18:35

    You can talk all you want about what to do about Oil but Big Oil has run the world for well over a hundred years, corrupting governments and using the British and US militaries to fight wars for oil. Big Oil has sabotaged every attempt to develop alternative energy sources, build more efficient cars, or any other wise choice. Big Oil will continue to run the world and you can’t do a damn thing about it.

    In other words, you just look silly with your yak, yak, yak!

  134. 135 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 18:36

    @ Jay

    I have a feeling that 8-10 years is going to be a lot quicker than the time to find a “better solution”. You people are all about instant gratification. There is No quick solution to this. You have to think longterm and short term. Drill for oil while looking for alternatives. @ Jens people will still need to get off oil, and cheaper oil isn’t going to prevent that because everyone knows oil is finite. But harming the economy is not the way to go about it, because there’s not going to be an alternative for many years.

  135. 136 Skip – Chesterland, ohio
    June 19, 2008 at 18:37

    Oil is not only used in cars, but plastics, and many, many other products. It has become integral to our lives and therefore we should continue to search for it. Yes we need to find alternatives also, but oil is necessary and plentiful.

  136. 137 Shawn, Portland, Oregon, USA
    June 19, 2008 at 18:38

    If we had put the resources into alternative energy that we have in to the war, we would not be having this discussion. It seems Bush allowed the oil crisis to get this severe so that he could force the democrats to allow drilling in the arctic. This “solution” only buys time while damaging our environment even further, which will, in the end, hurt us even more.
    Portland, OR

  137. 138 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 18:38

    The oil companies don’t want to drill. Come on, high oil prices are good for them. Why would they want to spend money in exploration if it would increase supply and drop the price of oil?

  138. 139 Matt in Portland
    June 19, 2008 at 18:38

    “America is addicted to oil.” – W

    Addicts only change their behavior when they have hit rock bottom. Increasing oil reserves is simply going to enable our destructive lifestyle. We can change now or wait until it all comes crashing down around us.

  139. 140 Anthony
    June 19, 2008 at 18:39

    We just all need to buy Segways! Those are going to change the world 😉

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  140. 141 Adam
    June 19, 2008 at 18:39

    I think that the world really should think about if more oil will solve our problems. It won’t fight world hunger, because the pollution will get worse effect weather patterns, effecting crops. It won’t help the economy, because at a simple rule it’s still going away so the price will keep going up. It’s really frustrating that everyone keeps seeing the environment as the ground under your feet. It’s more the air we breath, the clouds we see, the rain we feel and most importantly, the people that interact with it.

  141. June 19, 2008 at 18:40

    again, the answer to solving the US gas price crisis is to tax it. tax it until you find the breaking point. this will force a new approach in a hurry.

  142. 143 Tiffany
    June 19, 2008 at 18:40

    Does is seem curious to anyone else that, with 2 oil men in the White House, the price of oil has skyrocketed?

  143. 144 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 18:41

    @ Dwight

    Solving problems by taxation? Yes, that’s a great way to get mass unemployment and more people dependent upon the state, which the left wants, as it gets them votes.

  144. 145 Venessa
    June 19, 2008 at 18:41

    I must have missed the memo – humans have the right to use and destroy everything on the planet for monetary gain and convenience.

    It is this short sightedness that has gotten us into the situation we are in today. There has been plenty of time to explore alternatives and I suspect there is enough oil available while the alternatives are developed. However profits go up if you create a crisis.

  145. 146 Tom in Portland, Oregon
    June 19, 2008 at 18:42

    I apply the law of ‘inverse Cheney’ where I make my moral/ethical decisions. By taking the inverse of Vice President Dick Cheney. He made a statement a few years ago that ‘conservation is not sound energy policy’. Apply the inverse Cheney law and you get ‘conservation is sound energy policy’, it also has the benefit of being sound foreign policy, sound humanitarian policy, and sound ecological policy. Further exploration???

    I live in Portland OR and can say that there is ample capacity for conserving oil in this society.

  146. 147 Simone
    June 19, 2008 at 18:42

    Our president is incredibly shortsighted if you haven’t guessed by now.

    Oil is a finite resource that is costly to extract and refine. It is also an environmental and social nightmare in many respects for developing countries.

    For those who believe drilling in the arctic circling would pose no problem, the fragility of the arctic has only one time to be shattered with incredibly long lasting consequences before certain people realize the foolishness of their opinion.

    Instead of pumping money into discovering a dwindling resource how about looking to the future for cleaner, safer, sustainable types of energy? It will allow the oil that currently exists to last longer without going around pock marking our plant in the search for oil.

    Is our imagination and ability to innovate so lacking or will we turn into pathetic hording masses?

    Simone, Olympia, Washington, USA

  147. June 19, 2008 at 18:42

    The need for fuel is the magic wand when there’s no oil. This company has sustainable renewable algae technology: Aquaflow Bionomic

    They are possibly 2 years away from production and actively seeking investment, imagine what a grant from Boeing would do to their operation.

  148. 149 Tim in Vancouver, Washington, U.S.A.
    June 19, 2008 at 18:43

    As in almost everything he has said or done, George Bush is WRONG.

    Oil is a limited resource. How can we justify using it all in just a few generations. What are those in 100 or 500 years going to do? Oil is used for more than just energy. It is a raw material for most synthetics. Are we just saying to future generations – tough? Find you own resources, if you can.

    I’m in favor of the higher cost of oil. Maybe this time it will actually succeed in forcing the development of alternate energy sources and real conservation. We got a start in the 1970s but after we adjusted to higher oil costs, we went right back to our old ways. Without high oil costs, the economics do not allow for alternative source development or drive conservation.

  149. 150 Shirley
    June 19, 2008 at 18:43

    Hi, Steve,
    That’s why I referred to revolutionising our lifestyles. I agree with what Bob said: If there is demand, development happens quickly. Battery-powered cars are already improving to the point of feasable usefulness. People are already pumping electricity back into the system with personal windmills and solar panels. This is happening on a small scale, but if my little revolution grows, so will the demand for these kinds of changes. Imagine your own personal windmill supplying the electricity that you need to charge the battery on your car – a windmill-driven car. Entonces, ¡viva la revolución! Bring it on, sí se puede. [Bob, you so totally bet me to the punch. :=s]

    So, about container gardening to raise our own vegetables, and raising our own herbs in our kitchens. And what kinds of things can we use to replace plastic? I know of some mothers who are returning to glass bottles. Of course, many mothers that I know nurse thir babies. There is also the reusable fabric shopping bag. But shampoo? Lotion? Does anyone else have ideas?

  150. 151 Julie P
    June 19, 2008 at 18:43


    Wasn’t there a recall on Segway in 2006 for unexpectedly going into reverse and throwing the rider of the vehicle? Segway: Changing the world one law suit at a time! 😉

  151. 152 Kit, Berlin, Germany
    June 19, 2008 at 18:43

    I think any proposal for oil exploration and exploitation should be subject on a case by case basis to a rigorous test which includes the level of available reserves, plus the level to which alternative energy sources have been developed.

    I’m an American formerly of Colorado, who now lives in Berlin. The contrast between the two on this issue is stark. A significant proportion of Germany’s energy now comes from wind farms, and there are solar energy panels dotted around on the streets. Yet in Colorado, oil drilling is being forced on the population, and alternative energy sources are not being explored, in spite of the considerable potential. (and the locals look likely to vote Democrat for the first time in decades in rebellion against the injustices visited upon them by Republican-supported oil speculators)

    Presumably Bush is proposing this bill only because he opted out of Kyoto. Otherwise it would be unlikely to meet global standards. It was also interesting, and hardly surprising, to hear your guest assert that there are sufficient oil reserves. Such rogue actions have no place in global strategies to combat climate change.

  152. 153 Jack
    June 19, 2008 at 18:45

    Everyone agrees that we need to develop alternatives to oil but what most do not understand is that you can not accomplish this by spending more money. Cost effective alternatives need time not just money. The technology is just not there yet for cost effective alternatives. More money will not fix that. We already spend billions and trillions will not speed this up. Would those same people say to stop spending money on existing cancer cures and spend it on the efforts to find new cancer cures. No. You need to do both. Let us drill for oil and also continue to search for altentatives to oil.

  153. 154 tikkooo
    June 19, 2008 at 18:46

    Suppose we discovered an ocean of oil, dropping the price of crude to $10 or less, would that be a good thing?
    Certainly not. The issue is not economic only- it is the environment.
    Therefore, oil should be replaced sooner than later. The most viable energy source at the moment is nuclear. France have been using allot of that without serious incident. Why don’t the world take a serious notice.

  154. 155 Alex G
    June 19, 2008 at 18:47

    How can we be so short-sighted?

    Bush has easily manipulated and bamboozled half of he U.S. citizens for years. That the rest of the world would suddenly forget about all the reasons for reducing our dependence on oil and not drilling in these reserves disappears when there is a suspicious hike in oil prices is sad.

    Bush has been promoting oil gluttony his entire time in office. He has strong ties to the oil industry and is well known for his cronyism.

    His suggestion is blatantly short-sighted, arrogant, self-serving and no guarantee that his buddies will lower prices. As Bush has answered over and over to oil prices, “market prices”.

    He has wanted to violate these reserves since he got into office. Does no one find this suspicious? Will we let him create one more catastrophe when there are merely months before someone else takes office?

    Please don’t let this happen.

  155. 156 Eric, Nederland, Colorado USA
    June 19, 2008 at 18:48

    The idea that drilling off shore will somehow lower our gas prices is ridiculous. This ineffective proposal risks pristine regions and will contribute little to the overall oil supply – its a political solution!

    Let’s subsidize renewable fuels like we subsidize oil, gas and nuclear!

  156. 157 dale coberly
    June 19, 2008 at 18:48

    It sounds to me like most of the commenters are not taking the climate crisis seriously. Perhaps all the other problems can be solves… though a farm in Kansas may not have the environmental issues as the Alaska Wildlife Reserve.

    But in the end the question is do we want to destroy the planet through global warming just so we won’t have to change the wasteful way we use gas.

    And in america we waste it. And from what I hear the people in China and India are not going to use it to make themselves richer, they are going to use if for stick in the eye conspicuous consumption.

    So we need to forego new drilling until we get control over our wasteful use.

  157. June 19, 2008 at 18:49

    @ steve,

    Oh yah I would hate for that to happen. Mass unemployment, economic decline, and more dependence on government programs. I am in Ohio, the” Auto Belt”. That situation is already going on. the only difference is that right now the Saudis and OPEC and its
    European counterpart, are the recipient of our economic raping. I would like our government to do it instead.

  158. 159 mick, berkeley california
    June 19, 2008 at 18:49

    Because oil is a finite resource, and its value will only increase in the future, why do we not consider it as interest bearing savings?

    We focus on gasoline prices, but oil’s real value is industrial: lubricants, petrochemicals, etc. In this era, we waste tremendous quantities to fuel our vehicles which deliver very low efficiency.

    Why not go slow, stimulate alternative energies, take advantage of future drilling technologies and spend this dwindling resource with care?

  159. 160 Louisa Arndt
    June 19, 2008 at 18:49

    Oil (also coal, natural gas, forests) is a finite natural resource. No matter how much of it is found, it is not a sustainable resource. The result will be enormous environmental degradation, and global warming will increase to the point of making Earth uninhabitable.
    We humans MUST use our knowledge and our intelligence.
    First, acknowledge that we use far more energy than we need! We – especially those of us living in industrialized countries – must become far more responsible in our use of energy.
    Earth receives more than an adequate supply of energy from the sun. Solar power systems are becoming better and cheaper.
    Wind energy also has become cheaper and more efficient, with new generator design.
    Research on tidal power shows promise.
    Geothermal power can be tapped in appropriate locations.
    These are all sustainable, Earth-friendly sources.
    Their biggest drawback? They don’t offer the bazillions in profits as does oil!
    Nuclear energy? NO WAY! Mining of uranium despoils the environment and causes cancer in nearby communities, there is NO SAFE DISPOSAL of wastes, and people don’t want a nuclear plant in their own neighborhood.

  160. 161 Hal Johnston - Portland, Oregon
    June 19, 2008 at 18:50

    I think it is a bit unfair that I am hearing that Americans want to drill for oil.
    It is not Americans, it is the big oil companies.

    I don’t believe that this oil field will lower the price of oil any more than the Alaska Pipeline project did. We heard the same promises.

  161. 162 Wil, Traverse City, Mich.(usa)
    June 19, 2008 at 18:50

    Let us face facts: we could double exploration, triple drilling, and quadruple production, tomorrow, and the price at the pump is NOT going to come down. At BEST, they will raise it 20 dollars, and then lower it ten, in an attempt to make us believe they have reduced it. It’s what happened in the 70’s. It’ll happen agin now.

  162. 163 Ryan, Portland, Oregon USA
    June 19, 2008 at 18:51

    The USA has some of the largest oil reserves in the world, not just in the Alaskan wilderness.
    Like someone in Congress said yesterday, “You can’t have dessert until you are finished with
    what you have on your plate.” We shouldn’t drill in our few remaining pristine places
    while we still have other opportunities for oil to tide us over until we have other workable
    forms of energy.

    Artic drilling has long been a goal of the Bush Administration; high oil prices are just
    providing another window of opportunity for this cheap shot.

    Our present administration has focused solely on aiding the oil industry with subsidies for
    drilling and deregulation, and not aiding consumers’ access to cheaper energy.

    This is a last ditch effort by a lame administration.

  163. 164 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 18:54

    “tax cuts for the rich”

    The wealthy pay a higher % of their incomes in taxes than do the “non rich”. The highest rate now is about 35%, and you have to make over $250k or so to ever reach that tax bracket. Why not lower it? Do any poor people pay at such a high rate? Because they are rich they should pay at higher percentages? That’s like saying good looking people should have to pay more for drinks at bars because other people desire them, so they don’t really need the drink as much as compared to an ugly person.

  164. 165 Vijay
    June 19, 2008 at 18:54

    Increased energy stabilty can be achieved by having more diverse ownership of oil reserves and greater oil reserves .
    Coal and nuclear would be great for Scotland.
    Here in India ,dried cow dung cakes are used for cooking fuel when LPG is not available,plus there are LPG cars and vans ,CNG buses and tuk tuks(motorised rickshaws) Electric scooters are becoming very popular(people can steal electricity very easily if they want to)

  165. 166 kalypso - vienna, austria
    June 19, 2008 at 18:54

    no. no. no… of course not!!
    We just cant continue with business as usual!!
    Look at whats happening all around the world because of climate change.
    Instead of distroying the environment even more by drilling for oil, we MUST invest the money in the development of green technology (solar power, wind power, water power, bio fuel…) of course!!! no question!
    The people who argue bush is right, are really living somewhat in the past, i dare say. sorry… but we obviously just cant continue with fosill fuels.

  166. 167 Jack
    June 19, 2008 at 18:55

    One more point that I think people need to understand is a law of nature. Energy can neither be created not destroyed. Everyone thinks that wind or solar energy is free but it is not. If we convert wind energy to electrical energy (which everyone thinks it is creating it but it is just converting it), what happens to nature as a result of that loss. Wind energy is used to cool the earth as well as clean the earth. People react to quickly. I can just see it now. 50 years from now, the headlines read, “the use of wind energy has caused some other problems because us humans never learn to think before we do”.

  167. 168 Adam
    June 19, 2008 at 18:55

    I think when it comes down to it, if we keep drilling, we keep digging ourselves deeper. This is a prime opportunity to take the first steps for moving towards an unavoidable truth. We need to move to more sustainable energy, if not for the cost, than for our planet. Whats the point of delaying, when we’ll still be polluting, making out job harder in the end, giving us less time to research and catch up. With more drilling, we’re taking away our safely margins. It’ll be one shot, and that’s a hard shot when you’ve never done it before.

  168. 169 Aussie Phillip in Budapest
    June 19, 2008 at 18:56

    If price is the prime motive & not geopolitik (in spite of Dubya’s now fervent need to be remembered favourably), restricted supply is the only way to accelerate demand & uptake for alternative energy solutions.

    Transport will continue to be the largest consumer sector of oil however it is not the most irreplaceable despite what we are led to believe. The petrochemical industry may not be the most topical nor attractive but consider the value these products add to the lifestyle aspired to by inhabitatants of ‘southern’ or developing nations. Similar could be said of natural gas in regards to power generation/heating.

    Hence a bank or storage should be maintained for this & other uses instead of simply burning this ultimately invaluable energy source.

  169. 170 Mason, Park City, Utah
    June 19, 2008 at 18:57

    The problem with drilling while we develop a new source, particularly in the US is that the money being spent on finding new oil will take away from finding that new source and it will allow the Oil companies to squeeze every drop that they can, stalling and slowing the process of new source development so they can make as much money as possible, additionally, Bush’s plan will not have an effect on the global system for many , many years, it is not simply turning on a switch.

  170. 171 Rebeka
    June 19, 2008 at 18:58

    I think it is only fair to know how much oil President Bush needs for his military efforts in Iraq. Is it more about fueling this project which keeps the multinationals grossly disproportionately living higher than the rest of the world?
    There are an abundance of alternatives at our fingertips that are being kept quiet from the general public and why? One includes using there throw away oils from fast foods. Korean police are already fueling their police cars with it. We all know how Americans love their fast food. If it is working so well to fatten their bellies, why not tank up their vehicles with it?There are no logistic excuses for compromising our environment. We are being fooled by the leaders and I am sick of it!!

  171. 172 Scott in Salt Lake City
    June 19, 2008 at 19:00

    I hope that the rest of the world realizes that most people in the US don’t agree with much of anything that President Bush says with regard to energy policy except those who live in oil and coal producing areas like Texas. This will be shown in November when we do not elect John McCain, who agrees with Bush.

    The only long term solution is investing in renewables.

  172. June 19, 2008 at 19:00

    Taxes? The main problem with taxes is that there’s nothing in them in this country like Europe to fund biofuels. Only if you run more than 400 gallons of biodiesel per quarter do you even have to pay taxes on the road fuel beyond production tax. That means only commercial drivers are really even paying tax to fund biodiesel.

  173. 174 Mikayla from the US
    June 19, 2008 at 19:01

    Economically viable petroleum extraction will most certainly come to an end in the very near future, and so it is obviously important to look into alternative sources of energy if we intend to comsume at current and ever increasing levels. But in order to maintain our current and growing standard of living, is it really necessary to increase our energy supply? Instead of focusing on the supply side of energy usage, we should be focusing on the demand side of the issue. It is most profitable for energy companies to keep the public’s attention on increasing supplies, whatever they may be, instead of decreasing demand of energy. Reducing consumer usage of energy through increasing energy efficency would give consumers immediate and significant savings on their energy bills, result in a net decrease of green house gases, pollutants and environmental impacts from energy exploration, and would eliminate the need for the new oil explorations that are being proposed. However, to energy utilities and oil and gas companies, this would mean decreased energy consumption and decreased profits, and to them this of course is undesirable even if consumer satisfaction increases and risks to the environment by energy exploration are eliminated. Thus, in the international energy debate you may hear little to no comment on increasing energy efficiency to decrease demand. However, there is in fact corporate profitability in increasing energy efficiency through encouragement of research and development of new technologies, appliances and services that can be sold to consumers. The sad thing is that there are currently viable technologies to significantly decrease world oil consumption, but their existence and dissemination onto the global market is being suppressed by oil companies and other industries who have vested interests in the inefficient usage of pertoleum products. American car companies in Detroit, for instance, now have the technologies available to raise their fuel economy standards to over 60 mpg, but choose not to because of manufacturing costs, and have continually lobbied congress to suspend increases on the national corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. In conclusion, global citizens need to stop mindlessly feeding the corporate energy machine, need to look into the causes of the current energy crisis and consider the need to undercut corporate profit-taking by standing up for our rights as consumers and demanding more energy-efficient appliances and services.

  174. 175 Guilherme Mello
    June 19, 2008 at 19:02

    USA can’t expand their drilling overseas in small amount of time because the companies that produce these kinds of ships are overloaded, building ships specialy for Petrobras.

  175. 176 Alex
    June 19, 2008 at 19:02

    In the U.S., cheap fuel and a lack of fossil carbon regulation, or incentives for buying more economical cars, have helped encourage high consumption. While car companies on average are inching forward on fuel economy, people are just starting to reconsider their attitudes about massive vehicles. Now President Bush wants to open up protected lands and waters to drop prices, when oil companies are apparently sitting on leases they’ve yet to drill. I would support some supplemental drilling only if it’s accompanied by a serious, scientific effort at boosting fuel economy and developing commercially viable alternatives.

  176. 177 Don, Portland Oregon
    June 19, 2008 at 19:04

    One of the things that is not being talked about it the desire by corporations to maintain their hold on energy production. It is possible to develop ways for people to develop their own energy and sell their excess to others. This would be by developing solar and fuel cell technology. This would democratise energy rather than give more power to large private interests that don’t have a social interest. More oil, nuclear, dams, etc. all require large corporations or governments to develop. Investments should be made in small scale answers not problematic large scale soluntions.

  177. 178 Beth Tacoma WA, USA
    June 19, 2008 at 19:05

    There is already off shore drilling in the US off the coast of Florida.
    There has not been any impact to the environment that we have heard of in the press. So why are we so stressed when it is already happening.. We have to do something we are not going to snap our fingers and be oil free we have to have a supply to ween ourselves off with. and even the threat of having our own supply would drive the costs down.

  178. 179 Jay, Portland, Oregon USA
    June 19, 2008 at 19:06

    This idea is fed by our current gas price crisis. However, our gas prices will not be reduced by drilling for new oil until after years have past. The oil companies are showing windfall profits – rather than driving the development of new wells, we should be monitoring these companies and putting caps on oil prices.

  179. 180 Ricardo from Portland, Oregon
    June 19, 2008 at 19:07

    Why would oil companies use new tech when they’ve got “billions” investd in old tech?

    How would you deliver any kind of technology to remote PROTECTED areas such as anwr? There is no infrastructure in place to support these efforts. Lastly they are all promises and there’s always something that is “out of their hands” and foils their “environmental-sound” plans in favour of something that offers much less protection.


  180. 181 Jim, Cleveland, Ohio
    June 19, 2008 at 19:08

    I believe high oil prices are the best thing to happen to American since our Civil War 160 years ago. Americans must feel the pain in their wallets, and it is very painful, so change takes place. This pain will create change, instill innovation, and a paradigm shift in our energy usage. We are gluttonous when it comes to cheap energy. The greater the pain the faster the change will occur. Decreasing oil prices will lessen the pain and thus lessen the rate of change. America and the world must reduce human populations to reduce the environmental stresses we place on our planet.

    Bush is crazy if he thinks a 2-3 year supply of off-shore oil is going to save his legacy. Rational thought is to let the high cost of fuel drive innovation and positive sustainable energy policies and infrastructure.

  181. 182 Bruce Aleksander
    June 19, 2008 at 19:09

    The oil companies are sitting on tens-of-thousands of acres of government land on which they have leases that they have NOT explored. They don’t need more areas opened up to them. They need to develop the areas they now lease (for very little money) and we need to get off this oil addiction and do a better job of controlling the wild market speculation that has led to these high oil prices. That, couples with switching to clean sources of energy and conservation, are the solution to this problem.

    Bush is disingenuous in using high oil prices as an excuse to open environmentally sensitive areas of the US. This reminds me of his using 9/11 as an excuse for invading Iraq. Some of us in the US reject his “bait & switch” the same way as we tried to avoid Iraq. I can only hope that we (as a nation) have learned not to trust the scoundrels this time.

  182. 183 Sheila, Oregon, U.S.A.
    June 19, 2008 at 19:10

    While Bush tells us that drilling for more oil will relieve the current oil crisis and bring down prices, he neglects to say that it will take at least three years before that oil will be available to us.

    Prices will NOT come down now and who knows what the prices will have risen to in three years time?

    Meanwhile, every barrel of oil we purchase from the mid-east provides money to them to oppose the US.

    In my opinion, Bush’s plan will help the oil companies make more money.

    What this country needs is a Manhattan Project to discover alternative energy sources and also ways to produce the products that are derived from crude. But Bush does nothing of the sort.

    Additionally, the emphasis on the pollution caused from driving is a red herring. Most pollution comes from industry, which is poorly regulated.

  183. 184 Jens
    June 19, 2008 at 19:11

    the equation is simple

    low fuel prices = little research for alternative energy sources

    high fuel prices = investments increase

    to all the ones who think biofuels from algae is a reality, stop dreaming. it is not yet reality. trust me i know this field realy well….

  184. June 19, 2008 at 19:11

    Aquaflow Bionomic
    Once again please; I heard calls that algae biofuels were non-existent?

    Why don’t the supporters of this drilling want to see the algae alternative developed, especially if it can be done withing a few years? Even Boeing has funded them. What makes you think a 6 cent drop in oil prices are going to make it any more viable for fuel. Unless you’re getting rich off oil you really have nothing to gain from it. It’s better to have these renewable alternatives; no one can disagree with that. It makes 0 sense not to invest in anything else but oil which is basically the Bush plan.

  185. 186 Tom, Bend, Oregon, USA
    June 19, 2008 at 19:12

    If you develop the world economy on the back of oil what will happen to all those newly rich people when the Oil runs out and drops them back into poverty?

  186. 187 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    June 19, 2008 at 19:14


    Hi there, Venessa! I was hoping you’d have something to say today, and I just knew that you’d be doing the responsible, correct things, and that you’d be kind enough to tell us all about it, in grand and glorious detail. The warm glow of your self-congratulation dazzles like a thousand suns. Shine on, you irrepressible renewable energy source! You are in every sense a star.

  187. June 19, 2008 at 19:17

    the equation is simple

    low fuel prices = little research for alternative energy sources

    high fuel prices = investments increase

    to all the ones who think biofuels from algae is a reality, stop dreaming. it is not yet reality. trust me i know this field realy well….

    Trust what, that whole statement contradicts itself unless you think the price of oil is coming down in the next few years. Do you really think you know more than the Boeing experts, do you think they would take a risk in todays market where they’re losing contracts to outsourcing frequently?

  188. 189 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    June 19, 2008 at 19:19

    “President Bush thinks so. He’s called on Congress to end a 27-year ban on drilling for oil in US coastal waters, to reduce dependence on imports. Is he on to something?”

    Many people from Texas (an oil State) and from other parts of the USA & the world are the running dogs for business & monetary/investment interests which are far beyond their personal wealth & even further away from their intellectual capabilities (or rather disabilities).

    Unfortunately, WE THE PEOPLE, elect buffoons to secure and maintain our future little realising that they’ve sold their Soul to the Devil long long ago! The NET result is that WE SUFFER & THEY PROSPER! (Think about it!)

    The most powerful source of energy called the SUN stares us in the face every waking day! BUT rather than learn from the Sun and figure out how to create a similar & controlled source of energy we (well, at least some of us!) have decided to call Sun-worshippers as pagans!??

    The KEY Q is: How can the ordinary people of the world dismantle this unfair trade / market / stock market system whereby speculators create false peaks & shortages or spectacular hikes in prices?

    I think it will happen very soon! There are two ways ONLY! They are:

    >An alien race with far far superior firepower & armaments forces us to do so!
    >The oil runs out WITHOUT our having developed an alternative & sustainable source of energy!

    In any case, the ‘Mad Max’ series of movies (with Mel Gibson – a really superb / fantastic actor) give us all the clues we need!

    Max Maxmilian Maximus I, Indian Caesar in, Singapore

  189. 190 Madeleine Morris
    June 19, 2008 at 19:26

    Catherine from Oregon emails…

    At best estimate any new exploration for oil would take at least 20
    years to impact the market and reduce demand in the United States.
    That would translate into 20 years not searching for alternative sources for energy, 20 years not developing new modes of travel, 20 years not working on reducing the carbon footprint of the United States. The win-win situation would be to invest heavily into research for renewable, non-polluting sources of energy, cleaner mechanisms of travel, and using those 20 years to introduce those products into the market and phase out our current model for travel and energy. As long as people have the ‘hope’ that fossil fuels will be found and made cheap they will not change from the gas-guzzling, polluting, global destructive modes we have become accustomed to.

  190. 191 John in Salem
    June 19, 2008 at 19:28

    A month ago I flew from Oregon to Arizona for a family reunion to see people I hadn’t seen in 40 years. I didn’t have to – I did it because I wanted to and I could.
    I’m as guilty as anyone else for treating mobility as if it were a birthright, but the cold truth is that it isn’t – it is a luxury that we take for granted.
    If cars become too expensive to drive people won’t drive when they don’t have to. If air travel becomes too expensive people won’t fly when they don’t have to.
    As Americans we face an unknown future with fear because we can’t imagine life being different from what we know, but the truth is that the world won’t end if we are forced to change our habits. We just have to face the reality that we didn’t get where we are now by using energy, we got here by WASTING it, and that is what has to change.

  191. 192 Matt in Portland
    June 19, 2008 at 19:30

    @ Steve

    Clearly, you are not your brother’s keeper.

  192. 193 John in Salem
    June 19, 2008 at 19:34

    A footnote to my last post~
    The only reason I could afford to fly to Arizona is because I bought my ticket in February – by May the price had gone up over $100.

  193. June 19, 2008 at 19:38

    I’d also like to mention that recently I had to lock my vegetable oil barrel at the restaurant I collect from because people are stealing oil, 2 years ago that wasn’t even a consideration. So if people are willing to do that because of gas prices alone, then what does that tell you about the desire for this fuel source?

    If you get enough demand the product will follow, didn’t Bob say that, isn’t that a fact?

  194. 195 Dennis
    June 19, 2008 at 19:38

    i think that all sources of getting more oil should be look at….

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  195. 196 Mark from kansas
    June 19, 2008 at 19:42

    The higher it goes the more it hurts, the more it hurt the less we’ll use, the less we use the cheaper it will be. This is a problem with a bottom up solution every one wants a top down. The IFTC and other commodity regulators are not doing their job so we all must take personal responsability and use less. The fuel industry will eventualy not have as much money to purchase governments, and they may actually act in the intrest of the people. That is the only way to solve this problem in our current enviroment.

  196. 197 Susan, Vancouver, Washington
    June 19, 2008 at 19:47

    Who in his right mind would recommend investing more money into acquiring more oil, when it is clearly the fuel of our past!!

    Who in his right mind would recommend using more oil, when the burning of fossil fuels is one of the leading causes of rapid climate change and global warming, and global warming is the top environmental crisis of our time.

    Is Bush once again seeking to take advantage of a crisis to benefit his oil-company cronies… to leave a legacy to them in the last few months of his presidency?

    For the world’s sake, let’s use what we have learned… We must say NO to more oil drilling!!!!

  197. 198 Eric, Redmond, Oregon
    June 19, 2008 at 19:48

    your show should be an eye opener to the people that run the world but instead it simply gives the working people an opportunity to state the facts. I wish the governing bodies would be as open to this forum as the people are, as they lay their beliefs out and are willing to accept the repercussions immediately and not by votes down the road. As with oil, your guest are open, but I did not hear from any political people what they want to do if the oil ends,— say today?!?!???

  198. 199 Erik, San Francisco, USA
    June 19, 2008 at 19:49

    I wish the media was more courageous in reporting the fact that the Bush administration has so clearly shown to have no interest in conservation and instead likes to support their big lobbying friends in the oil and energy industry. Oil is a dead end road that the bush administration wants to pave all over again. Without conservation the issue of high oil prices can only be delayed for a little while.

  199. 200 Catherine, Portland, Oregon, USA
    June 19, 2008 at 19:49

    At best estimate any new exploration for oil would take at least 20
    years to impact the market and reduce demand in the United States.
    That would translate into 20 years not searching for alternative sources for energy, 20 years not developing new modes of travel, 20 years not working on reducing the carbon footprint of the United States. The win-win situation would be to invest heavily into research for renewable, non-polluting sources of energy, cleaner mechanisms of travel, and using those 20 years to introduce those products into the market and phase out our current model for travel and energy. As long as people have the ‘hope’ that fossil fuels will be found and made cheap they will not change from the gas-guzzling, polluting, global destructive modes we have become accustomed to.

  200. 201 Paul, Albany, California, USA
    June 19, 2008 at 19:53

    McCain snidely referred to Barack Obama as the second coming of Jimmy Carter. He conveniently forgets that Carter put Solar Panels on the White House. He also had a conservation program! Reagan destroyed the whole process. EXXON SPENT MORE MONEY BUYING BACK STOCK LAST YEAR THAN IT DID ON EXPLORATION !!!!!

  201. 202 William
    June 19, 2008 at 19:54

    Let’s look at the big picture. Alternative, sustainable, energy is the future not only of energy, but of investment, as well.

  202. 203 John
    June 19, 2008 at 19:55

    If Bush got his way and the U.S started drilling for oil in protected areas, it will do absolutely nothing to address the current energy crisis. These new wells would take years to develop and then only provide enough oil to prolong our dependaence for a short time – it’s estimated that the oil in hte ANWAR preserve would only yeild enough oil to power the U.S. for a few months, and that pristine environment would be gone forever.

    We need to move AWAY from oil dependence now to fight global warming and other envorionmental damage, not pillage new areas to extend our addiction for a little while longer.

  203. 204 Ryan, Kalamazoo, Michigan
    June 19, 2008 at 19:56

    As an American I think that opening more land and sea area to oil exploration is a terrible idea. It would take years to see any oil from these new areas and it does not solve the larger problem America, and the world’s addiction to oil. What America should do is spend the time, effort and money that President Bush and John McCain are talking about and use it to develop the current alternative energy solutions.

    The United States and the World cannot sustain it’s current consuption rates.

  204. 205 Dean, Los Angeles, CA
    June 19, 2008 at 19:57

    Re: President Bush destroying the 27-year-old ban on offshore drilling
    Just the next step in Mssrs Rove, Cheney & Bush’s long range, strategic goal of increasing the power of big oil.
    If, of course, the Saudis are onboard.

  205. 206 Cara in washington, DC
    June 19, 2008 at 19:57

    Its a horrible idea. We are just avoiding the inevitable by expanding oil exploration rather than concentrating on alternative energy source. We have reached a turning point in our lives, and need to adjust our lifestyles. We have already consumed over half the earth oil, so we should start learning how to live without of it now, while we still have some left so we can have a smooth transition when it finally runs out.

  206. 207 Jason, Hood River, Oregon USA
    June 19, 2008 at 19:58

    Bush said we’re addicted to oil, now he wants more supply closer to home. Isn’t that a little like a heroin addict deciding to become a poppy farmer?

  207. 208 Eliel From Brooklyn
    June 19, 2008 at 19:59

    Bush wants more Oil. Really? I would’ve never guessed.
    Although this is an important topic, when will we stop taking George Bush’s words with any seriousness?

    There is plenty of Oil in reserves. Venezuela has tons of it as well, and they aren’t selling it for $140 a barrel.

    Alternate Energy is obviously the way of the future in all directions.

  208. 209 James, Portland Oregon, USA
    June 19, 2008 at 19:59

    No, we need less senseless commuting !…. why should this generation, deprive the next many generations of having oil as a resource to use as our technology develops !… use less not look for more…

  209. 210 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 19:59

    I’m curious, if Bush cured cancer, you’d find a way to criticize him for it.

    Again, everyone on here opposed to drilling has lost their right to complain about gas prices.

  210. 211 Jens
    June 19, 2008 at 20:00

    “Do you really think you know more than the Boeing experts, do you think they would take a risk in todays market where they’re losing contracts to outsourcing frequently?”


    at least equally as well, i work in the field….

    the issue is that it NOT YET EXISTS. nobody has made mor than a couple of hunderds milliter

    i should have a very high interest in oil staying high since my livelyhood depends on research dollars

  211. 212 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 20:03

    @ James

    Less senseless commuting? I love seein the liberals in their Priuses driving from their McMansions 20 miles away to their jobs. Save money on gasoline, but use lots of energy to heat and cool your status symbol. Getting people to live closer to their jobs? For all the talk of diversity, especially from the left, the lefties apparently don’t like living amongst other races. Telecommuting? If you can telecommute, you can be outsourced.

  212. June 19, 2008 at 20:03

    I honestly thank everyone who does not support oil drilling, in the long run the best can be said is that it’s the least viable solution. As a resident along the Pacific coast where oil spills would just destroy our already fragile over-fished waters. A 67,000 gallon spill in the SF bay should serve as enough warning to what can happen, there are criminal charges standing against the pilot of that ship.

    A note on Exxon: thankfully they’re going under in the gas retail business. Now if they only repay the Alaskan industry workers the money they owe in the lawsuit; is it any wonder after the fishing industry was lost there that they don’t want to take that chance again.

  213. June 19, 2008 at 20:05


    No complaints here, Brett has also voiced this, that argument is losing steam all the time.

  214. 215 Julie P
    June 19, 2008 at 20:06

    I’m curious as to how far people will go to change their lifestyles to have with conserving energy? speaking for myself two years ago I noticed the shift in what I thought was its infancy. Since that time, I have cut my driving considerably. Two years ago I was driving 29K in a 2006 Mazda 3, recycling very little, and doing pretty much whatever I wanted. Today I am driving 8K miles a year. I changed jobs, which my prior job required a lot of commuting, took up a realistic recycling program (one I know I would stick with) and reduced my trash by two thirds, I finally cut out my every six week trips of 700 miles round trip to visit a friend in another state, combine errands, and I have become for more consciencious about the food I buy, meaning how it was grown, or where it is from. We’re spending a lot of time worrying about our resources and what’s next. What are we doing now to help ease the problem?

  215. 216 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    June 19, 2008 at 20:09

    John in Salem
    June 19, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    “We just have to face the reality that we didn’t get where we are now by using energy, we got here by WASTING it, and that is what has to change.”


    I like your comment John! I like the intellectual depth, analysis & depth behind your comment! Are you a relation of ‘John the Baptist!?!

    ‘Pink Floyd’ have an album called ‘Wish you were here’! Your comment makes me want to say: Wish there were more intellectuals like you’! Take care!

    Max Maxmilian Maximus I, Indian Caesar in, Singapore

  216. 217 Venessa
    June 19, 2008 at 20:19

    @ Jonathan (sunny San Francisco) ~

    I hardly think having a discussion with Jens and pointing out simple things I have done is an indication that I am superior. Perhaps instead of attacking me personally you might want to argue the actual points I am making.

  217. 218 John in Salem
    June 19, 2008 at 20:29

    After making trillions of dollars in profits and combing the planet for oil for the last 100 years, Exxon justifies it’s $44 billion profit last year, the largest of any private company in U.S. history, by saying that it’s prices are driven by the need for exploration.
    Where are they exploring that they haven’t already? Mars?

    And by the way, Steve – if Bush cured cancer we wouldn’t hear about it. There’s no way he would risk angering the cancer research industry or the drug companies that make up his “base”.

  218. 219 Venessa
    June 19, 2008 at 20:30

    Be careful Julie P about discussing the changes you have made in your life! Jonathan (sunny San Francisco) might think the “warm glow of your self-congratulation dazzles like a thousand suns.”

  219. June 19, 2008 at 20:31


    My problem is the pessimistic expert view, call me stupid, but no one, no matter how much knowledge they have, solved anything without the desire to do it.

    Boeing in my view is acting out of necessity and there’s no greater driver.

    Without making accusations I also think that plenty of researchers would rather keep the product in it’s ‘research’ phase. Kind of like oil companies want to keep selling oil? So I do not understand how you can offer nothing positive in your own field, that doesn’t speak very highly of it to say the least. There’s no question oil companies want to keep on selling oil and keep stringing us along as long possible. Aquaflow is the one company I found in doing extensive research that has the guts to speak up about what they’re doing.

    Again you can put me down for saying this although I’m not accusing anyone; but you really haven’t volunteered anything that’s encouraging in the field where I have heard multiple people speak on cellulosic ethanol as being the only viable route.

  220. June 19, 2008 at 20:38

    Vanessa I assumed Johnathan was being serious, indeed I do appreciate people who do what you do, I can add running a vehicle without the need for oil but minus the solar just yet. So there’s certainly need for encouraging that more and it’s generous of you to share that knowledge, many people can’t even do simple recycling and that I find ridiculous when you know that the recycle then has to be picked out of the dumps.

    If there’s some prejudice shown there you should bring that to the attention of mods, no matter how sarcastic, personal attacks are not allowed on the blog and if mods can see that clearly the posts will be deleted or edited.

  221. June 19, 2008 at 20:45

    Basing taxes on a percentage in our current system is misleading at best. Lets face it, when a person making minimum wage fills up their gas tank for $40 it cost them 7 hours of labor to fill it. When a person making $40 an hour fills up their gas tank for $40 it costs them one hour of their labor. Don’t tell me how bad the tax rate on the rich is. That not even remotely comparing apples and oranges. That is similar to the oil companies saying they are only making 15% profit like every other American company.

  222. 223 Venessa
    June 19, 2008 at 20:48


    May I ask: how are you running your vehicle without oil?

  223. 224 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 20:52

    @ Dwight

    So it’s okay for the person who makes minimum wage to have a 10% marginal tax rate, but okay for the person who maked $250,000 to have a 36% marginal rate simply because one person makes more? According to that logic, should I be able to break into rich people’s homes because they probably won’t miss as much what I steal as much as I would becuase they are richer than I am?

    Believe in redistribution of wealth eh? You resent that others have something you want, and hence it has to be taken away from them?

  224. June 19, 2008 at 20:55

    @ Steve

    Tell me how drilling is going to lower gas prices. it just won’t. If anything the oil companies will say they have to raise the price to pay for the new equipment. Why in a free market would an oligopoly lower the prices when they know we are willing and able to pay more? Point out one economic principle that would demonstrate that increasing supply in the oil starved market in 5 years min. is going to reduce the price at the gas pump.

  225. 226 Julie P
    June 19, 2008 at 20:57


    “Believe in redistribution of wealth eh?”

    Yes, and we’re starting at your house. 😉

  226. 227 steve
    June 19, 2008 at 21:02

    @ Julie P

    Cool, I’ll have borscht and tea waiting for you all, and I will download The Internationale for you all to listen to as you take my things from me.

  227. June 19, 2008 at 21:05


    Well I am just over the line of breaking in a motor on regular oil because at this point you can’t do it with synthetic straight, it’s too viscous (that also tells you what a grip the oil company has). But from now on I’ll only be using synthetic oil.

    I use primarily veggie oil for fuel though, and for a startup/shutdown fuel biodiesel for the most part as a substitute for diesel. With a 2 tank conversion on a diesel you have to run a thinner fuel to startup and shut down otherwise the injections system gets clogged. There are single tank ways to do it, I’d recommend looking up a company called VegRev on youtube they’ve got a cool video.

    Otherwise for 2 tank conversions this site will give you the basics:
    http://www.greasecar.com/tech.cfm that page will show you a lot about alternative fuels, why veggie is the best and the standard biodiesel which is called ME biodiesel is not as good, there’s a trade off with it, while it reduces CO2 it increases NOX (nitrus oxide) but since I run only about an 1/8th of a gallon at most every time I drive no matter how far it’s better and at this point cheaper too.

  228. 229 Julie P
    June 19, 2008 at 21:09


    Great, I’ll bring the sauerkraut.

  229. 230 Venessa
    June 19, 2008 at 21:40

    Thanks for the link Zak! I have some reading to do. We have moved to synthetic oil as well in our car.

  230. 231 Jens
    June 19, 2008 at 21:46


    in response to

    “Again you can put me down for saying this although I’m not accusing anyone; but you really haven’t volunteered anything that’s encouraging in the field where I have heard multiple people speak on cellulosic ethanol as being the only viable route.”

    the issue is that even after a decade plus the entire research into algae biofuel is still in in its infancy. there are mutiple issuse that have not been address from growing to haversting to extraxtion to gentically modified algae, to land requirmnents etc etc. the potential is hugh considering that many algae species can consist of upto 50% oil and that they can grow very fast. my point is that we need to do research in this field to push it faster forward.

    cellalosic ethanol is fraugh with an entire different set of issues. the extraction so far is very intensive in solvent use and energy, and therfore not only not carbon neutral but also potentially enviromentally damaging. i have friends working on natural digestion, but that is still very expensive AND time consuming.

    regarding algae and cellulosic ethanol reminds the question, how many people are willing to live next to a cesspool full of brackish water (the size of half of New Mexico)or a rotting pile of wood the size of Iowa. both methods have tremendeouse eniviromental impacts, which have to be address. it is nobodies interest to destroy more of our enviroment, prior to having analysed all the options.

  231. June 19, 2008 at 21:53

    You know, still nobody has yet to explain to me one crucial fact. If we increase our supply, what stop the Saudis from decreasing theirs?

  232. 233 Jens
    June 19, 2008 at 22:02


    they will decrease it, since they are as dependent if not more than on oil as a source of revenue. it will be a cat and mouse game of who will have the last drop, and we all know the dynamics which come into play in case of a scarce supply……..

  233. 234 Zak
    June 19, 2008 at 23:05

    the potential is hugh(huge) considering that many algae species can consist of upto 50% oil and that they can grow very fast. my point is that we need to do research in this field to push it faster forward.

    it is nobodies interest to destroy more of our enviroment, prior to having analysed all the options.

    Nobodies interest, then how do you explain tens of millions of acres of Rainforest in Indonesia lost under the pretense of EU mandates for biofuel now reversed to call for the use of WVO?! That kind of disregard incenses me! How do you justify analyzing while those trees are being cut down because you’re not sure which method will work?! Because the fact of the matter is oil will work, all we have to do is figure out how to produce it sustainably. The EU was pretty sure it would would work anyway, perhaps you should have informed them of your inclement need for research before they began the destruction. Since you need to get paid for doing your job and the EU thinks: we’d better produce more oil, here’s an idea, why not cut down the Rainforest, ingenious. Instead of being presented with a range of options that would have allowed them to bank on recycled WVO until the real thing comes along.

    And as for the sewage to grow on, what do you suppose is being done with all the existing sewage storage plants? There’s only probably a billion gallons a day produced in the US alone and it’s all going out to sea and rivers and that’s just grand for the environment. Let’s not even think in terms of having algae to treat that water until enough researches have analyzed it, even if it just cleans the water. If you’re telling me you’d put your research on the line if it meant stopping all the oil exploration of both petroleum and vegetable I don’t believe it. The facts of why there’s no push behind it happening beyond a few qualified research projects; money, money, money.

  234. 235 Jens
    June 19, 2008 at 23:48


    in indonesia the rain forest was hacked down because of palm oil production. in my opinion a total waste.

    algae is a great opportunity without a doubt. i think you miss the point of algae growing and the sewage. algae are temperature sensitive and light sensitive, hence you cannot grow them everywhere. furthermore you need to have a large, sorry very large area to grow them in open ponds to cover all of our transportation fuel needs. the area is about half the size of New Mexico. Think about the health implications of having massive open pond filled with brackish water. think about pathogen development, we drained areas to make it safe for people to lif in. think mosquitos, malaria, dengue fever etc etc, since these ponds have to be in moderate to warm climates. even new mexico or arizone would be too cold in the winter. these are all issues that are either forgoten or ignored in the algae euphoria.

    i am not saying i put my research on the line. all i am saying is that with high gas prices people start demanding alternative sources of fuel and with that more money will be made available for research. trust me i know how little money is available, since i compete for it on a daily basis.

    maybe i am not expressing myself clearly enough or may you just want to argue with me who’s sky is more blue, since i think we both are tugging on the same side of the rope.

  235. 236 Jeff Christman
    June 19, 2008 at 23:51

    This is nothing more than Political Propaganda, Bush has started in an effort to ensure a Republican victory in the fall. However I do feel that supplementing the current oil demand with our own Oil will help bring down the “Hype” of Supply and Demand and help regulate prices in the future. If we show that we don’t need as much oil from the Oil Producing Nations then they might stop charging us $130 Bucks per barrel when it only cost them less then $5.

  236. 237 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    June 20, 2008 at 00:26

    To: Angela @ 15:33 & Venessa @16:05

    I did see Who Killed The Electric Car, and I think the most interesting point it made is that it required so fewer moving parts, and would have dealt a massive blow to the US economy, which was built around car manufacturing. There is a much bigger picture here, but blinders won’t protect us from it.

    The big picture would include looking at mass transportation. Not easy, when cities in the US have been built for cars, but does anyone really believe the problem will be easier to fix forty years from now?

  237. 238 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    June 20, 2008 at 00:55

    Dwight– Hey there. Nobody has taken up your challenge to explain why producing more oil (or anything else) makes the price lower, probably because they don’t think you’re seriously expecting an answer. The principle is pretty well established as of the last 230 years or so. If you haven’t encountered it, the definitive book on the topic is Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations,” written in 1776, a good year for the Enlightenment overall. It’s a settled issue, like gravity, or that the earth is round. Do your own homework.

    I don’t have to “point out principles” when I can–and already DID–point out actual fact. Specifically, again, that oil prices were fairly flat at about $20 a barrel for the better part of 20 YEARS, in the 1980s and 1990s. In fact, I’ll ask YOU to explain how and why the oligopolists and speculators who (you think) can control oil prices chose to reduce prices so much, and to keep the price so low for so long. I’m just sayin, if I wuz a big bad oil tycoon controlling prices, I’d have kept them high for those 20 years. I may have a healthy self-regard, but I don’t think I’m smarter, or greedier, than those guys. I’m sure they thought of it.

    What “principle” could have motivated the people who (you think) manipulate oil prices at their whim to lose hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue, to make their stock prices fall through the floor, to miss out on a whole generation of geologists and other experts, lost because the industry couldn’t employ them? Nobody wants his company, or country, to lose money if they can make money instead.

    Of course, the answer is that speculators don’t and can’t move prices at will. If they could, they’d never lose money, and oil would be $1,000 a barrel. Heck, a gazillion dollars!

    But I’m talking to a guy who thinks taxes are a great “investment,” and real estate is a bad one, because somehow we get more services from government than we pay for, which is sort of impossible, and because your analysis of the value of a house over 30 years omitted entirely the house’s appreciation in value over 30 years, which is sort of the whole point.

  238. June 20, 2008 at 03:48

    Sheila, industry is a significant part of the pollution picture, but so is personal transit. The U.S. consumes around 388,000,000 gallons of gasoline/petrol a day. That’s about 7,372,000,000 pounds of carbon dioxide daily (total weight: fossil carbon + the atmospheric O2 used to oxidize it = about 19 pounds of CO2 per U.S. gallon). It’s easy to point a finger, but there’s more than one important source. We should all ask ourselves if on average we’re using more resources and fuel that really necessary.

  239. 240 Bob in Queensland
    June 20, 2008 at 03:50

    Good morning all! What a lively overnight debate! Let’s do a bit of summing up here:

    Does the technology presently exist to completely eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels for energy? No..and such technology is years (decades) off)

    Will opening new oil fields in areas previously considered too sensitive or too expensive solve the present price crisis? No, the first production from any such new oil field is also years (decades) off.

    Is it practical to make an instant shift to alternative energy sources? No. Any such shift will be staged and gradual and phased as technologies become available. Questions like “What about airplanes? They need to burn petroleum fuel.” are just diversionary tactics. If they need to burn Jet A1 then so be it. Moving to alternative sources where it CAN be done will simply preserve and prolong the supply for the planes. Just because we can’t eliminate the use of all oil products TODAY doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start the process.

    Is President Bush solely responsible for the present situation. Of course not. However, as President of the USA he certainly has to shoulder part of the blame. In his case, his historic family interests in oil companies probably increase the level of responsibility.

    Finally, back to the original question: should we drill for more oil? Well, in the case of existing fields, of course. Maximise production. However, should we be investing in new, harder to develop (or sensitive) oil fields? Nope. The benefits are too far off and the expenditure and effort should be directed at reducing then eliminating our dependence on oil

  240. 241 Zak
    June 20, 2008 at 04:12

    My only claim to saving the planet is that I didn’t drive for 10 years until I was able to run a vehicle without using petroleum ultimately and I’ll never go back. And while I don’t condescend to ridicule people who want to say they have the solution on the road in a gas friendly this or that I find that it’s not the truth.

    Cellulosic ethanol I’ve heard recently on NPR Talk of the Nation’s Science Friday can be made by genetically engineering plants to retain cell structure adding an enzyme normally found in a cows stomach, Miriam Sticklen has this plan.

    Then there’s the best idea of heating biomass waste from lignocellulose raw material into hydrocarbons that replicate gasoline in the form of ethanol pioneered by George Huber. This process can extract gaseous CO and H into ethanol after distillation and the excess of CO2 from the process is negligible. Even Pres. W. has been hot on that switchgrass plan.

    But of course there’s so much more research to be done to give the oil companies time to run more scams. Really we don’t want the solution, we just want the problem of not enough oil.

    There’s a company that’s been converting smokestack steam into electricity from factories across America. They estimate they can power entire states, many in fact, from the steam in factories, this could supply a major amount of electricity across the nation. But nobody knows about this because we need more R&D.

  241. 242 Zak
    June 20, 2008 at 06:34

    Want more proof; some dealers are refusing to take SUV’s back for tradeins. I can see the scrap pile now, if not on the freeway in the car lots.

    And the land that was destroyed in Indonesia isn’t just a waste, it’s 10M of carbon reserve stored in tree roots burned and all that carbon released back into the atmosphere. Equivalent to 30 years of pollution at the current rate is what that means so far.

  242. 243 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    June 20, 2008 at 07:52

    @Bob in Q.~~

    Good morning to you too. Since we’re summing up, let’s get it right. You sound reasonable, but you’re quite wrong in saying that additional oil production would not relieve the current oil price crisis because the first actual oil pumped would be “years (decades) off,” whatever that might mean.

    The price of oil is determined in futures markets, where contracts are bought and sold for delivery of oil at some point in the future. The price incorporates informed speculation about future conditions. Currently, the consensus expectation is that demand will rise faster than supply, for various familiar and convincing reasons on both sides of the equation. As a consequence, prices today are higher in anticipation of even higher prices to come. An announcement of firm plans to produce additional oil, thereby increasing future supply, would (notwithstanding the fevered fantasies of some bloggeristas) immediately reduce the current price of crude.

    Once more: MORE OIL PRODUCTION, even years into the future, WOULD BRING LOWER PRICES NOW. Absolutely, reliably, as predictably as the sun rising in the East.

    I will leave questions of alternative fuels, conservation, virtue, vice, guilt, the web of obligations between individual and society, and the rest of it to the theologians for now.

  243. 244 Pangolin-California
    June 20, 2008 at 08:11

    Global Warming is quite real and you will feel it’s effects soon whether you believe in it or not. Increased storm activity in the US has been destroying crops for years and the world has no excess grain in the silos.

    For each liter of gasoline we burn 1.2 kg of carbon in the form of charcoal or biomass has to return to mineral form for the atmosphere to balance out. Since we are already well above the geological norm of 280 ppm CO2 i n the atmosphere we should assume that the balance point is more like 2 kg of charcoal buried per liter of gasoline burned.

    You will pay now and pay later whether you drill for oil or not but I assure you that wasting resources chasing oil will cost you more than if we used those same resources converting to using the planets solar energy income. For all of you
    betting on biomass to replace oil burning ask why the worlds biomass cannot absorb our current carbon output. If it can’t absorb the carbon we emit it certainly cannot replace it.

    @Zak- The device you seem to be describing is commonly called a hydrogen boost system. It uses hydrogen added to the air intake to burn a higher percentage of the fuel used in a shorter timeframe. Thus the engine delivers better economy because more of the fuel is burned during the optimal portion of the power stroke. If your friend has good data he should publish it. Otherwise you have another rumor.

    @Steve- Air travel as we know it is a dead horse. There will be some surviving commercial jet aviation for the very wealthy but middle class trips to Hawaii are done until lighter than air passenger craft are built in large numbers. Zeppelins can be largely solar powered.

    @Economy- The most effective fuel economy measure is to SLOW DOWN as Force equals mass times the velocity squared. Reducing the velocity of a vehicle is the easiest means of reducing the force needed to push it. Notice there are no international programs to slow down drivers.

    @Jens- look to a geo-exchange system to heat and cool your house at the lowest energy input. This is a heat pump that trades heat with the ground instead of the air. These systems could feasibly be solar or wind powered and I know of a local house that has exactly this combination. A wind turbine and a geo-exchange thermal system all grid tied. They sell more power to the utility than they use. It should be noted that George Bush has a solar/geo-exchange system at his Crawford Ranch house. One he never mentions during energy discussions.

    @Dwight- As far as the people over at The Oil Drum website are concerned we don’t currently have any exploitable technology that will allow us to replace petroleum. What we can have are all of the services petroleum provides in other forms. We can transport ourselves, just not in private automobiles, jet aircraft and diesel powered trucks and trains. We can heat and cool our houses. We can make plastics and lubricants with biomass sources.

    What we cannot do, in any scenario, is maintain or export American car culture and jet airline travel. It’s a dead issue.

  244. 245 Zak
    June 20, 2008 at 08:53

    Zak- The device you seem to be describing is commonly called a hydrogen boost system. It uses hydrogen added to the air intake to burn a higher percentage of the fuel used in a shorter timeframe. Thus the engine delivers better economy because more of the fuel is burned during the optimal portion of the power stroke. If your friend has good data he should publish it. Otherwise you have another rumor.

    Dwight has mentioned some other companies that may be selling kits. Junior Roddy races on the N. Cal Nascar circuit in yours and my area. He has a patent on the actual 12 V battery which replaces the existing in the vehicle. It’s a vacuum sealed Hydrogen fuel cell, it bridges the fuel intake with H output. Most inventors don’t tend to publish the details of their inventions premarket but patents are a matter of public record and you can find him online through Nascar.

    BTW: Pangolin, Jr. and I drink the same beer!

  245. June 20, 2008 at 09:02

    The effort called forth is not for more oil but for greater responsibility and greater sanity, for a healthier planet and a sustainable way of life. Our worldview, our mind-set, the principles, guidelines, assumptions built into global and local economies, social and poliitical systems, all of it has become obsolete, in need of revision and change and FAST IF CIVILIZATION IS NOT TO COLLAPSE.

    Every problem and every crisis we’re facing is telling us our ways have exceeded the carryting capacity of Earth’s systems. We are living beyond ecological and human means. Our systems are destroying the Earth’s systems and so have ceased to be sustainable. The ‘isms’ we have lived by and take for granted are no longer viable. The premises we rely upon have become toxic, deadly deceits. ALL OF IT is in urgent need of revamping, rethinking, recreating.

    We may or may not do it. BUT… we shift the direction of the global road we travel or we’ll arrive at journey’s end and Civilization’s collapse. The choice is ours. Though, personally, I fear we are beyond Civilization’s tipping point already… We move too fast, think too slowly, prize ‘things’ beyond their worth…, are too attached to the ways we know… Persistance in not recognizing signs and signals does not change the Reality we live, but robs us of the time to act.

  246. 247 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    June 20, 2008 at 09:16

    ZEPPELINS?? Oh, too cool! Put me down for that!

  247. 248 Pangolin-California
    June 20, 2008 at 09:26

    @Zak- Your description of the device wasn’t useful. A battery may use the properties of hydrogen to store an electrochemical charge but the hydrogen usually stays within the battery. Certain types of fuel cells can run both ways generating H + 2O with the addition of water and electricity and reversing the process but the round trip is not as efficient as current battery technology. A fuel cell that generated hydrogen would have to have a supply of water to continue but it wouldn’t function as a battery.

    I think your friend has a variation on an electrolysis hydrogen generator that feeds hydrogen rich gas to the air intake. How such a thing would replace a battery is beyond me. In the past lead acid batteries would sometimes emit hydrogen if charged to quickly but it was usually a short lived situation. The battery ran out of water and failed or it exploded.

    Btw- Inventors release performance details of their patents all the time and usually got to great lengths to have these verified by reputable labs. It makes the money flow so much faster.

  248. June 20, 2008 at 13:11

    the world doesn’t need oil alone or mostly to develop.furthermore,the developed nations mainly moved forward by using coal.it would be a disaster if there was a scarcity of fire.

  249. June 20, 2008 at 14:06

    @ Jonathan

    Thanks for the response. First of all, Oil is not “anything else”. This is the most common mistake that is made. It is not a durable good that people can not regulate the purchase with in a long time frame. It is technically a commodity, however the definition doesn’t fit there either. A commodity is anything for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market. But what makes it different then fruit, meats, metals, grains or even cocaine is that it has no “substitute” good. That, for the economically blissful, is a good that can be substituted to suit the purpose and need of another good. (Well there are, and when they are discussed they are shunned. There is human power, solar, wind, bio-diesel, and electric energy.) If Apple prices go up, buy pears. If cattle prices got up, eat more chicken. If gold prices go up, invest in silver. If wheat prices go up, eat more rice. If cocaine prices go up, you have two choices. Buy crack (a derivative of cocaine) or switch to heroine. If oil prices go up, what do you witch to?

    The answer to that question is the snag in your 230 year old theory. 230 years ago there was nothing like oil, global markets, or rapid transportation. Reading a book from 230 years ago to understand oil would be like reading a book about how to change your wheel from 230 years ago.

    At $20 a barrel lost of other factors that would require more then just remedial economics were at play. One is that demand has risen an average of 2% per year since 1984. it was rising at about 1% average before that. It would have been faster, but the Russians dropped out of the consumption picture in the late 80’s through the 90’s. To understand all the growth effects between 80’s and now we would have to delve into things like NAFA, WTO, emerging economies, the internet, and a bunch on contributing factors. The second thing that happened in the last 8 years, was that the last remaining superpower exposed itself as not being so “super”. War in the Middle East is a price increasing factor for oil anyway. As I had mentioned earlier, the oil tycoons that exist in the Middle East are the result of western and eastern block powers propping up thugs to trade and guard their oil. Russia is gone. These thugs bowed down to the United States. They feared we could just come in and remove them and put some one else in their place. This is where George Sr. was brilliant, and George Jr. was a drunken bumbling idiot. We proved to them that our bark was worse then our bite. We showed the oil producing powers that we need them as much as they need us.

    So recapping oil is not “anything else”. It has no substitute. Demand has risen way at a rate that we can’t match with supply. Also, our prestige in the major oil producing areas has been severely diminished. Even if you account for the fact that an increase in supply would reduce raw costs, what guarantees can you make that these global trading oil companies, that sell a finite commodity, and are in business for profit are going to pass that cost savings onto us? It hasn’t addressed the fact that the refineries are at full capacity now. This still hasn’t addressed the fact that if we increase supply, the Saudis can decrease it and at the end of the week they get the same paycheck because of the price increase.

    lol@ me doing economic homework. That is great.

  250. June 20, 2008 at 14:32

    @ Saudi Math

    Here in as quick of fashion as I can will explain why I keep binging up the Saudis and their production. First one must understand that the Saudis are not producing oil at capacity.

    Story problem: Lets say that at $2 a gallon a gas station has a 100 consumers willing and able to buy a gallon of gas. (we will make it a gallon for ease of math.) But let us say that at $4 a gallon only 50 of the consumers are willing and able to pay for a gallon of gas. Guess what! The gas station is making $200 either way!! Now if you are talking about an industrial venture such as oil drilling, selling less product means less overhead cost, which mean you are actually pocketing more money.

    If the US produces more, the Saudis will just decrease production, prices at best will slow their increase, and in the end The Saudi oil industry will make more money. They didn’t even need Sally Struthers to show them how to do it.

  251. 252 Jens
    June 20, 2008 at 15:27


    the CO2 release from cutting down the rain forest in brazil is even worse. as far as i know it will take 130 years to compensate for this, ie is net negative. nevermind all the species we lose.

  252. 253 Robert
    June 20, 2008 at 18:13

    To World Have Your Say:

    No, the world should increase its investment in solar power, wind power, reduce its population, increase its use of mass transportation, put penalties on profligacy. The world should increase recycling, composting and should teach buying and living on less.

  253. 254 Shakhoor Rehman
    June 21, 2008 at 11:58

    No. It should increase its production of electrical transport.

  254. 255 Ogola Benard
    June 22, 2008 at 08:59

    The problem of oil search should be handled with wisdom,property research to that effect and other consquences visionalised.
    The current source of oil now is in saudi arabia – a country with some unknown problems at jeddah maybe due
    the poor jewish relationship.
    You see the whole thing should be looked at in this way! who has the oil? who dictates the terms? who is the policy?
    At this crucial stage, it makes no clear meaning to start a search or a nother drill because there is an
    increase in the price of fuel.
    Now who is manipulating who?

  255. June 23, 2008 at 03:05

    Oil is a lifestyle drug. It’s very addictive. Most people hooked on it aren’t even aware of their dependency.

  256. 257 goodtimepolitics
    June 23, 2008 at 10:44

    Well we have a good idea why Obama does not want to drill for oil don’t we! Yes we should be drilling off shore and in Alaska. We could enjoy some of that oil money in this country!

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