Listening to the two clowns running for President discussing energy policy is like listening to those babies on the internet babbling jibberish as if it means something. One clown babbles about renewable energy and green jobs. The other clown babbles about drill, drill, drill and 100 years of supply under our feet. These two lying sacks of shit are telling the American public that America can and will be energy independent any day now. You see stories in the MSM that we have become a net exporter of “petroleum products”. The clueless masses thinks this means we have an excess supply of oil. What it means is that our economy is so bad, we have gasoline left over to sell other countries because we don’t have enough business to generate demand in this country.

The fact is that the United States uses 18 million barrels of oil per day. We import 10 million barrels of oil per day. We export 2 million barrels of petroleum products per day. We extract 5.7 million barrels per day from our soil. Do these facts support the idea of energy independence in the near future? Ever?

Is fracking going to save the day? When was the last time you filled up your tank with shale natural gas? How will our glut of shale gas save us? I haven’t seen the plans for converting gas stations and vehicles to natural gas. Have you? Obama wants you to plug your cars into an outlet and use coal to power your cars. The 2,000 Chevy Volts that Government Motors has sold this year will surely save the country from Big oil.

The dishonesty and lies spewed by both parties regarding U.S. energy independence benefits no one. An honest discussion about the implications to our society of much more expensive energy is too much to ask in the land of delusion.

DON’T WORRY, DRIVE ON: Fossil Fools & Fracking Lies from MONSTRO on Vimeo.

 From both political parties come cliches on energy policy

Monday, September 24,2012


We’ve heard it all before. Over and over for most of the last 40 years.

From politicians of both parties, cliches and nonsense on energy. Take the biggest cliche of all: U.S. energy independence. The candidates are all for it. Mitt Romney says he’ll make us independent by 2020, conveniently at the end of his second term. President Barack Obama says the route to energy independence is an “all-of-the-above” strategy and a “doubling-down” on renewables, especially if, as Obama has argued at various times, we have “Apollo” programs for new energy technologies.

These pronouncements are imprecise to the point of being meaningless.

Virtually any policy could be attached to the slogans, and their interminable restatement seems mainly an effort to produce a few uplifting sound bites on the evening news.

So Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are for U.S. energy independence.

How original! This has been proposed by, well, just about every politician since Richard Nixon. He came up with the idea in 1973 (to be achieved by 1980). Romney’s only innovation is an eight-year time frame and he has called for “North American energy independence,” to include Canada and Mexico, both major energy exporters. Nixon wanted independence in seven years, but since Gerald Ford, the standard energy independence time frame has been 10 years. When Ford’s aides first looked into the matter, they felt their first goal was to redefine “independence” and their second was to redefine “10 years.”

The pained effort to define energy independence has been ongoing. In the 1970s Nixon’s (and Gerald Ford’s) Treasury Secretary William Simon thought energy independence meant having diversified sources of oil supply. By that definition we’ve been energy independent for about 25 years.

I have no idea what Romney means by it, especially since he seems to want us to only be independent of such countries as Venezuela (at least under Hugo Chavez) and of the Middle East.

Of course, the simplest definition is one Nixon first used: We would only use energy supplies produced in and by the U.S. This is possible; we could forbid imported energy supplies. Period.

It would also be almost unspeakably stupid. It would mean, for example, if world energy prices were low, we would forcibly lower our standard of living and put American firms at a great competitive disadvantage by choosing expensive energy over cheaper. No doubt other nations would send us a “thank you.” Complete energy self-sufficiency was tried in Romania under the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

Ask any Romanian who lived through that time how well the experiment worked out; you won’t get a recommendation.

A few politicians and pundits argue that our engagement in the global energy market does cost us. That is why we went to war, in 1991, most notably. But does anyone seriously believe the U.S. (the world’s only military superpower) would just stand aside while the global economy fell to pieces because of a major disruption of the oil market?

Of course, Obama also touts energy independence on his campaign website along with a few new imprecise energy slogans.

“All-of-the-above,” for example, could mean “anything-I-like-to the extent-I-like it.” “Doubling-down” could mean spending twice as much money as we already have or just reinforcing some nebulous commitment with twice as much rhetoric, uttered twice as loudly.

Obama also has the burden of having spent billions of taxpayer dollars already on his fantasies of renewable energy “Apollo” programs, programs that were supposed to create millions of “green jobs.” Like energy independence, as studies have shown, it’s unclear just what constitutes a green job.

What is really unfortunate about the president’s policies is that he could actually do some good on the energy front by ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend the pernicious Renewable Fuel Standard — a.k.a. the ethanol mandate. He could even blame George W. Bush since the 2007 ethanol bill was one Bush strongly endorsed.

Then again so did Sen. Barack Obama and many other Democrats in Congress.

Of course, that bill had a lofty goal beyond ethanol: As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described it, this was the U.S. “energy independence day” bill.

And who opposes that?
Peter Z. Grossman is a professor of economics at Butler University in Indianapolis and the author of “U.S. Energy Policy and the Pursuit of Failure.”

25 thoughts on “U.S. ENERGY INDEPENDENCE”

  1. Does anyone remember the hacker’s video montage in Die Hard 4 where every president from LBJ to GWB promises American energy independence? Classic.

  2. The US uses too much oil right now. Families waste it left and right (I am as guilty of this as anyone)

    We need to start shifting the public towards public transportation (rail systems, trolleys, trams etc) while we still have the oil to fuel the construction equipment to build said infrastructure.

    We won’t though. Forward thinking is not mankind’s strong suit.

  3. Jim,

    Apparently, one of the most important things on the minds of Americans today is the NFL referee replacements.

    CNN and Fox repeatedly showing the botched Green Bay end of game call. Even Fox Business News ran it several times already.

    Get with it, man! I expect a 7,000 word new thread from you by the end of the day. It’s what America wants.

  4. Admin, I am disappointed that Bob’s Burgers/Family Guy (even if it was reruns) was lower than the 60 mins piece on Rombama and Obamney.

    This election probably is the most important one “EVAH”, which is why they’ve made sure we don’t really have a choice.

  5. When Mittens take Earth back to orbit around the mother planet Kolob, there will be no further need for oil.
    We will all travel as the Kolobian gods do, by shooting an unlimited supply of compressed hot methane gas from our rectums which will propel us around the globe at or near the speed of sound.



  6. It will all too soon be considered a travisty that our leaders are ‘leading’ us headlong into the abyss by promising “energy independence”. Most, if not all TBP shit throwing monkeys know the reality that is now upon us , and it is this – Our new energy future awaits us – it is a future where there is each year less petroleum available while the world’s demand continues to rise. No one in the mainstream media mentions the ‘depletion profiles’ of the mature oil fields. Any new discoveries must first offset this depletion of the mature fields before they could be considered adding new supply to the world markets. Also of note is that these “ultra deep water” and “shale plays” (as they are called) will never produce oil or natural gas in the volumes that we have been accustomed to. In addition, these shale plays have a very steep ‘depletion profile’ – which means they will ‘peter out’ in a few years or less – not over decades as the mature fields did. Let’s face it folks, the new reality is that all of the giant, high flow rate fields such as “Spindle Top”, Canterell, Ghawar, etc., etc., have been found – there are no more such easy to produce ‘elephant’ deposits left to be discovered. I work in the shale gas industry and I can assure you that the amounts of energy required to drill the wells and then “frack” are TREMENDOUS ! The ‘frack pumps’ alone consume 15,000 to 20,000 (yes thousand) gallons of off road diesel per a 24 hr day. Not to mention the gas and diesel consumed by all of the on site well pad service and support vehicles. This fuel that is consumed is gone forever ! And it is used just to get at other fuels that will then be used up and thus gone forever. It is very costly to ‘frack’.
    As a world society we are rushing at internet speed into a future that is presently ‘right in the room’ with us, but most fail to see this. What else is to be expected from a society that waits in line for days to get the new “IPHONE”, spends more time on FACEBOOK telling every ‘friend’ their every move then living in the real world, can’t wait to watch “Dancing with the Stars” or a NASCAR race and then tramples (almost to death) their fellow humans at Wallmarts’ on “Black Friday” shopping freak shows.
    In addition to these problems, we have the “methane releases” from the melting perma frost to give us the final death blow. Many scientists are stating that in 30 years or less this methane will suffocate ALL LIFE ON PLANET EARTH, and we will start feeling the effects of these methane releases in ten years or less. (You can survive a few extra years in misery by moving to the southern hemishperes). I cannot tell you in words how painful it is for me to look at my children and my grand daughter knowing that they will most probably never see ‘old age’. And also envisioning for them on the road to demise a future of food, water and energy shortages and major wars over all three.

  7. Stuck is absolutely correct to post the B-52 pic. THAT is our national energy policy. If it takes bombs and cruise missiles to claim ours and Baby Jesus’ oil out from under the homes of brown people, then so be it. That we get to rid the world of a few more brown people is just an added benefit, eh?

    [At this point, due to the number of neo-cons at this site, I need to issue the standard disclaimer and point out that I am decidedly not an Obama supporter. Having said that, I would vote for him over Romney – who is even worse.]

    Other than the obvious insanity of handing Wall Street the ENTIRE government via Romney, one of my pet peeves with standard Republican/Tea Party rhetoric is this line:

    “If they’d just let us drill, we’d have energy independence.”

    This is utter horseshit.

    I work supporting the oil industry. I’ve been tied to it for over 30 years. Most of my friends are involved in it, their jobs encompassing everything from production workers to exploration engineers. These people are pros …and they talk. If there is one single thing I have learned from them, their knowledge and experience, it’s this: We could drill in every national park, off every coast, in every single back yard – and we still will not even come close to producing enough energy for our vast demands. Why? IT ISN’T FUCKING THERE!

    Right this very moment, friends of mine are risking their lives in the far Arctic attempting to punch holes in the sea floor to somehow find more oil. The cost for this is astronomical. The situation is beyond the harshest imaginable. While these people know what they are doing, do you really think the petroleum producers would take the tremendous risks associated with this type of exploration/production if they could simply punch a few holes next to Yellowstone – or suburban Virginia?

    We now see new production in the Gulf of Mexico that is so far south, that we would would probably be ahead to move personnel to/from the rigs and platforms from South American bases rather than the American Gulf coast. The new finds are getting more and more rare, and the production costs to access the fields nearly beyond comprehension. Remember the great Alaska Pipeline, supplying us with oil from the great Prudhoe Bay Oil Field? The Prudhoe Bay Oil Field that held over twice that of the next largest US field? Guess what. Almost gone, and very soon will be. British Petroleum estimates there is less than 2 billion barrels left recoverable. You will be astounded when you research how quickly this nation can burn through 2 billion barrels of oil.

    When I hear some loudmouthed Republican espousing that all we need to do is be allowed to drill, I know I am listening to an out-and-out liar who cares only about his election …a liar who could not care less about the nation.

    So, yes, Stuck’s pic of the B-52 is the correct one. It appears to be all we’ve got as policy.

  8. “You will be astounded when you research how quickly this nation can burn through 2 billion barrels of oil.”

    Well, no I won’t. The answer is 111 days. In his prefacing remarks, Admin stated that the U.S. consumes 18 million barrels of oil a day. And that is a accurate figure (it’s actually declined during the recession from about 20 million barrels a day). 2 billion divided by 18 million is 111.

    Anyway, energy independence means more than just the transportation sector, which consumes 90% of the oil we use. It also means a self-sufficient ability to produce enough power needed for our homes, businesses, and factories.

    We clearly have more than enough natural resources right here in the U.S. to do just that. For many decades to come, in fact. Now if we can just get a sane national policy to do it. Instead, we’re looking at government regs so bizarre that we’re taking power production from coal off the grid without replacing that power with a cleaner alternative, such as natural gas or nuclear. That shit’s gotta stop, or this country is going to be in big trouble in a very few years, as in 5 or less.

  9. Terry, you are very very wise!!!

    Regarding the bombs falling from the B52 …. assuming the B52 is flying at 500mph, how is it that the bombs are aligned in a straight line? Shouldn’t the bottom bomb be all the way to the left? hmmmm?

  10. The other day, I thought I spruce up the kitchen garden with some compost.

    All I could get was Unicorn poop to start the pile.. After a week, it all evaporated and only a little golden printed card was on the ground where it had laid.

    It said, “Dumbshit! Unicorn shit does not compost.. It just evaporates like subsidies to gas and oil companies! Fool you!”…

    Learn something new with every pile of shit you turn over!


  11. Funny, how the push for eletric cars, wind farms keeping your air pressure in your tire correct, we have overlooked taking the speed limit back to 55 mph. We are on the road to no where. I say we should slow down little bit. Anybody know how much that might save in bpd for the USSA.

  12. Muck

    Good to see you posting. Hope you’re doing OK.


    Here’s a photo of the bomb craters left by a B-52 Arc Light mission in South Vietnam. Got to witness (from the air, thank goodness) several Arc Light strikes. A very spectacular sight. Arc Lights dropped 84 500# bombs and 24 750# bombs, all tickling Mother Earth in about 10-15 seconds. The bomb “box” was 1.5 miles long and 1/2 mile wide. Anything inside that box was, well, unfortunate to be there.


  13. “We have overlooked taking the speed limit back to 55 mph.”
    —-Hollow Man

    Where do you live? Out West, 55 mph is insane and totally unenforceable. I can go 75 mph (typical speed limit on most western interstates) and still get 29-30 mpg with either of the cars I own. And they both have rather beastly 270 hp V-6 engines. (As an old fighter pilot, I adhere to our profession’s adage of enjoying “Fast planes, fast cars, and fast women.”)

    Look, I’m all in favor of conserving energy wherever it is practical and market-based. Cars, homes, buildings, you name it. But you need to do it smartly and not smother people with stupid, feel-good laws. If you disagree, I sentence you to drive from Midland-Odessa, Texas to El Paso at 55 mph. 10 times!!!! Guaranteed you will totally snap.

  14. My uncle was a highway patrolman in a deserted area of the country, so we knew how many were on patrol (one!), and roughly when/where he would be. When driving along a stretch of road, we would see the lone patrolman pass us, and then it was yeehaw! Pedal to the metal, to whatever top speed was or we crapped ourselves. Some of those old cars sure could fly. Hate to think what would have happened if we had a blowout or a crash. Nevermind. We survived.

  15. Natural gas is good.I just want the fracking chemicals worked out to stuff that dosent screw up the water supply.NG pumps are starting to get built and distributed.Then again im not worried about this stuff at all.
    I got to witness a b-52 drop bombs down a valley like this,about a mile in front of me.Yeah we know how to kill people real good here in the usa.

  16. The ablity to build nukes Nuke are more important to the MIC congtrolled US government than a cheap ,safe and sustainable energy source.

    via http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=211959

    There is, however, a better way.

    We experimented with Thorium as a nuclear fuel in the 1950s and 1960s. Carried in a molten salt there are a number of significant advantages to this fuel cycle. Chief among them is that the reactors operate at atmospheric pressure, have a strongly-negative temperature coefficient (that is, reactivity drops as temperature increases) and because they operate with their fuel dispersed in the coolant and rely on a fixed moderator in the reaction vessel shutting them down is simply a matter of draining the working fuel into a tank with sufficient surface area to dissipate decay heat. This can be accomplished passively; active cooling of a freeze plug in the bottom of the reactor vessel can be employed during normal operation and if for any reason that cooling is lost the plug melts, the coolant and working fluid drains to tanks and the reactor shuts down.

    In addition thorium is about as abundant in the environment as is lead, making its supply effectively infinite.

    Finally, these reactors operate at a much higher temperature; the units we have run (yes, we’ve built them experimentally in the 1950s – 1970s!) run in the neighborhood of 650C. This allows closed-cycle turbine systems that are more efficient than the conventional turbines in existing designs, making practical the location of reactors in places that don’t have large amounts of water available. That in turn means that the risk of geological and other similar accidents (e.g. tsunamis!) is greatly reduced or eliminated. Finally, the fuel cycle is mostly-closed internally; that is, rather than requiring both fast-breeder reactors and external large-scale reprocessing plants to be practical, along with a way to store a lot of high-level waste these units burn up most of their high-level waste internally and produce their own fuel internally as well as an inherent part of their operation.

    So why didn’t we pursue this path for nuclear power?

    That’s simple: It is entirely-unsuitable for production of nuclear bombs as it produces negligible amounts of plutonium.

    That’s the bottom line folks.

  17. SSS,
    I live in that very area, around The NM line. Your right. It just seems the polticos pick and chooose what policy they want to enforce or create based on popular sentimet. But…… It does several things, cuts down on travel, lessens severity of accident. Puts less money in the goverments acccount, not that really matters. bernak factor! We do need to sacrifice a little to leave something decent behind for those that follow us. Buy them some more time to figure out what to do because of us stupid boomers shelfishness. Lol.


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