January 31, 2011
Energetically Mulling Over the Mullings Mullings...
I love reading Rich Galen's webzine Mullings; he always has about the purest "Beltway bombast" available on the internets!
For example, in his most recent Mullings episode, he frets about the Tunisian and Egyptian riots, uprisings, conflagrations, whathaveyou, warning of the dire consequences should the upheavals against Arabic tyranny continue:
- Southwest of Egypt is Nigeria. If the riots spread there (and to Angola and Algeria) disruption of oil production would have a massive impact on the U.S. economy. Why? Because we import about 1.5 million barrels of oil per day from those three countries.
- And, if the riots spread east to the Gulf States of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that could disrupt another 1.3 million barrels per day.
- Together those five countries provide 2.8 million of the 10 million barrels of oil we import every day. Cut oil imports by 28 percent and it will make the $4.00 per gallon price spike of 2008 look like the good old days.
So wait -- you mean OPEC might collapse, and we might actually have to cease importing so much oil (4.5 billion barrels per year, ~ $400 billion), and instead be forced to begin exploiting the staggering proven and prospective reserves of oil (134 billion barrels), shale oil (2.6 trillion barrels), and natural gas (2.6 quadrillion cubic feet) we have in this very country?
Not to mention expansion of Generation IV nuclear reactors, such as Pebble Bed and Integral Fast, for generating grid-feeding electrical power; and fuel-saving developments for automobiles, such as high-temperature ceramic engines and flywheel technology to store angular momentum.
And perhaps even the ultimate power source: solar-power satellites that beam microwave energy to Earth from satellites with several square miles of solar cells in geosynchronous orbit, far beyond any rational measure of "atmosphere."
Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire! How will we ever survive?
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 31, 2011, at the time of 5:42 AM
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The following hissed in response by: LarryD
Molten Salt Reactors are also Generation IV.
Space Based Solar Power (SBSP) absolutely requires cheap access to orbit, the 2007 Interim Assessment explicitly admits that.
I believe we get our oil imports from counties in this hemisphere, but shortages anywhere will affect the price everywhere.
The following hissed in response by: snochasr
Ah, but what you forget is that none of these miracles of free-enterprise capitalism would be possible without Big Government choosing to "invest" billions of tax dollars that it doesn't have and cannot get. If it wasn't mentioned in Obama's SOTU, it's not possible.
The following hissed in response by: GW
Dafydd, do you honestly see Obama taking any single one of those actions? Unless someone is holding a literal gun to his head, I don't. His goal has long been to make energy in America so expensive that his favored industries, wind, solar and bio-fuels, become cost competitive. Not only is this joker the penultimate pin-headed academic, he also appears to lack any empathy for, or understanding of, middle class and lower class America.
The above hissed in response by: GW at January 31, 2011 8:38 AM
The following hissed in response by: Bart Johnson
But, but, but, it will take at least ten years to exploit any of America's resources, or build new refineries, or build new Nuke plants...
We are Doomed! Just ask any liberal and they will tell you all this.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
I'm not actually expecting us to do any of these things in the next couple of years; but I want to see the House pass as many of them as possible, send them to the Senate, and dare the Dems to take vote after vote after vote knocking down energy production and sending ever more money to our enemies.
(LarryD, I think we buy oil on the world oil exchange, like a commodity; which means that every oil exporter benefits from our payoff, including Iran.)
I expect the Senate, at least, will go Republican in 2012... after which, if Obama manages to squeak through reelection, I want to see the full Congress pass bill after bill, forcing Obama to veto every single measure that might help the economy, energy production, national security, real affordable health insurance, and so on.
Who knows? We might even get enough representatives and senators by 2014 to be able to override those vetoes, especially if nervous Democrats start voting with the GOP and the American people to avoid being Obamaed in their next elections. And in any case, I believe that even if Obama gets himself reelected, he will be followed by a Republican in 2016.
And of course, there's always the possibility that Obama will lose in 2012; in which case, we're well positioned to do all of these things -- well, except maybe the solar-power satellites, at least not for a while.
Think mid-run for the energy and health-insurance crises and long-run for the economy and the War Against Radical Islamism.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at January 31, 2011 3:06 PM
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