Monday, May 14, 2012

The Good News, the Bad News

Well, here it is in one sentence!

The Green River Formation, a largely vacant area of mostly federal land that covers the territory where Colorado, Utah and Wyoming come together, contains about as much recoverable oil as all the rest the world’s proven reserves combined, an auditor from the Government Accountability Office told Congress on Thursday.

Since it's "mostly Federal land," it will stay right where it is--under the ground--until Obozo & Co. are completely, totally, wholly eliminated from any Federal office anyplace.


Anonymous said...

Of course, you forgot to mention in that same source that the GAO's reports on the potential impact on the environment in attempting to extract that natural resource, as well as the enormous amount of capital and technological know-how that is required to properly undertake such an endeavor.

Why am I not surprised?

Dad29 said...

OMG!! A chipmunk might die!!!

Starve the humans instead!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Flippant retort, per usual. It’s not as if a few critters are going to get in the way. We’re talking MAJOR environmental issues. Do your homework!

The traditional process used to extract oil from shale requires a tremendous amount of water and leaves behind a significant amount of hazardous waste materials, i.e. highly toxic dioxins. An experimental process called the in situ method MAY reduce those unwanted side effects, but oil companies are leery to hitch their financial wagon to it due to the extremely large set-up costs and uncertain long-term economic viability. That is, attempts to develop oil shale deposits have succeeded ONLY when the cost of shale-oil production in a given region comes in below the price of crude oil or its other substitutes on a regular basis. So there is a competition angle as well because oil shale has to duel with cheaper conventional petroleum producers.

BP and Shell have lobbied to Congress for subsidies because the first generation facility is the most challenging from a technical and economic standpoint. These two oil giants have received the necessary capital from other governments, notably Estonia and China, but financial results have been mixed, and the impact on the environment has been significant.

Dad29 said...

Really! Dioxins? The ones that can be eliminated by burning, like we do in Wisconsin? (See the Fox River/Appleton Papers case, e.g.)

Really? Competitive pressure? You're kidding!!

OMG!! Gummint support of R&D? Say it ain't so!!

So what?

You have a perspective problem, Anony. Petroleum is irreplaceable as a lubricant AND as a fuel--or nobody--including me--would give a rip about it.

Anonymous said...

“Really! Dioxins? The ones that can be eliminated by burning, like we do in Wisconsin?”

Now who’s being a child here? Do your homework!

The dioxins I referred to are highly toxic! The waste derived from the process involves heavy metals, alkalines, and phenols that are hazardous. Great care is required to properly dispose them, which is quite costly. Moreover, the process itself generates a tremendous amount of air pollution within the region that oil shale is produced, and also necessitates safeguards against ground water contamination. Concerns have been prominently raised over the oil shale industry's use of water, particularly in arid regions where water consumption is a major source of contention. In some cases, oil shale mining requires the lowering of groundwater levels below the level of the oil shale strata, which may affect the surrounding arable land and forest.

However, to be fair, a number of companies who engage in this process take the appropriate measures to combat these problems,
But oil shale liquefaction is more expensive, generates less oil, and creates more environmental issues than petroleum production, which are the reasons why oil companies are wary of NEW projects.

“Really? Competitive pressure? You're kidding!!“

Apparently, basic economic principles escape you.

“OMG!! Gummint support of R&D? Say it ain't so!! So what?”

You certainly have a conniption fit if our precious tax dollars go for alternative fuels, but it seems you are unconcerned if it is spent on this project. That would be hypocritical if it be the case if you are supporting subsidies for one industry and not another industry.

I have no problem if our government invests in this process, do you? But the initial start up costs are enormous, the dangers for environmental catastrophe are real (but manageable, perhaps), and the profitability for such endeavors, as I mentioned earlier, is guaranteed only under certain conditions.

Dad29 said...

One notes that you are spreading a lot of foofoodust around.

"....dangerous..." "...EXTREMELY toxic...." ".....risk...." "....air pollution...."

(and your grammar ain't too hot, either.)

Let me repeat--because you don't get it--I used the word "lubricant" for a reason. I didn't even mention plastics, which are also derived from petroleum.

At this point, it's only a guess that "alternative fuels" will be useful, and in some cases, such as wind, it's certain that there is no long-term benefit.

There is no 'guess' about petroleum.

So yes, I have a problem with "alternative fuel research", when compared against petroleum recovery.

As to the enviro-wacky Scary Monsters Under Your Bed stuff?

Jam it.

Anonymous said...

Again, do your homework. That "foo foo dust" regarding the environmental impact of oil shale to petroleum is well-documented. Several studies. All verified and cross checked. By other scientists. Acknowledged by big oil--why do you think it is trying to figure out a way to reduce that impact? There is a "guess" in this specific process regarding the financial viability for the long-term.

Note that I am in favor of this long as the environmental footprint is minimized. And big oil, to their credit, is trying to accomplish that goal.

"As to the enviro-wacky Scary Monsters Under Your Bed stuff? Jam it."

How mighty Christian and adult of you to say that!

"At this point, it's only a guess that "alternative fuels" will be useful, and in some cases, such as wind, it's CERTAIN that there is no long-term benefit."

Guess again!