Monday, April 11, 2005

Drilling and Pumping...In Our Own Backyard!

These solutions are the kind of things that seem so practical and obvious that it is no wonder the powers-that-be take years to notice them.

Read this story in the Christian Science Monitor about the rebirth of the American oil industry in the West.

Seems to me that when the problem of "where do we get cheaper oil" crops up, the first reaction should be "let's see what we have sitting around" and not "let's deal with corrupt and repressive governments and pay out the nose." During the great Texas oil boom of the last century, the reason that it all ended was not that supplies ran out. It was because prices fell off sharply and it became a joke to invest in the petroleum industry.

It seems as plain as day that in these days of unstable geopolitics in oil producing regions and rising prices that these old operations would be reexamined.

I realize that we do actually get most of our crude oil from the Gulf of Mexico. There are also huge untapped oil reserves in the north of Canada. Why don't we look more into these issues? This feeds the possibility that we don't actually fight wars over oil. That is just a red herring. There are other reasons...scarier than any oil deal could ever be.

In any event, I don't own a car. The funniest side effect to all of this is those people who bought huge SUV's with their profits from trading Enron and WorldCom.

Ahh, for the good old times of 1999!


Aaron Cynic said...

Where's Doc from Back To The Future when you need him? We'd totally have that garbage fueled hoverdelorean by now if he was in charge.

Matt Jenks said...

One of the funnier things I've read about generating our own sources of fuel is the use of solid hog excretions as a source of hydrocarbons.

Beautiful. We've gone from digging holes in the floor of the world miles deep and sucking them dry to squeezing out a pig, taking the left overs of its gastrointestinal tact, and then squeezing it until we get something akin to gasoline out of it.

Yet think about it. This could be the greatest recycling scheme ever (insert picture of comic book guy here if you so desire). Following along the lines of Guy Ritchie's amusing cinema piece, Snatch, you can take your enemies out, kill them, cut them up, feed them to your hogs, refine the fuels out of the hogs' crap, and fuel your car. If you're a sick bastard like me, you drive your car to your enemy's house and pick up his girlfriend for a night on the town.

Alright, all joking aside, given the sheer amount of hog farms that dot this fine nation of ours, we could be at the edge of forming something truly innovative. It's no wonder this was done at Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which is smack in the middle of some of the largest stretch of land devoted to hog farming in the nation (I'm talking from Ohio to Iowa here, no smack toward the fine people of the Land of Lincoln). Who needs ANWAR or the Rocky Mountains? We have Iowa!

One final note, I've noticed the name biodiesel popping up around town here. I'm sure that it has something to do with appeasing the hippies of the greater Durham area (and it's rife with them can smell the stink for miles). Don't they realize that all diesel and fuels come from biological sources in the first place? Oh, what great plants those were that laid their lives down for us countless millions of years ago.