I sent the following email to a local talk radio station host this morning. He had as a guest on his show some Senator who believes the answer to our "oil/energy" problems are in "more oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico."
My email response to this follows. Your comments agreeing or disagreeing are appreciated!
Announcement made in 2006 by Chevron….
“Investors cheered last week's news that Chevron and its partners had discovered potentially the largest U.S. oil find in a generation, a deposit of as much as 15 billion barrels deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico. “
Our oil consumption today…
“The nation consumes nearly 21 million barrels of oil every day -- a quarter of global supply. “
Regarding the most significant news about oil drilling in the Gulf…deep water drilling….
“According to Cambridge Energy Research, the newly discovered oil fields could eventually produce up to 800,000 barrels per day -- a small fraction of the country's daily fix of 21 million barrels.”
Ok. Let’s get “crazy” and just double that output from the Gulf….say 1,600,000 barrels a day. That 800,000 barrels figure could be a bit skewed since it comes from a somewhat potentially biased source…Cambridge Energy Research. The daily consumption figure seems to be accurate (21 million barrels) by anyone’s estimate. So let’s double what the output could potentially be and now we have 8% of our daily oil usage supplied by the Gulf oil drilling expansion…in the very best, “dream” scenario. Again, transportation uses 67% of the oil consumption….with light vehicles (automobiles) using about half of that…or about 34%. If only half of those automobiles were electric (or any other alternative like hydrogen, etc.), consuming no gasoline….then that’s a 17% saving in total oil consumption. So, are you a “betting man?” Where would you put your money? In producing possibly 8% of our total oil use…for all uses….or, on saving 17% on the total oil we currently use simply by moving half of all light vehicle transportation to something else? And this is just about “money.” This doesn’t even get into the environmental aspects of the argument (natural impact, global warming, etc.).
Once again, people like the “good Senator” just speak without doing the math! Certainly you can find some differing figures that skew the math in a more favorable or less favorable direction. However, most of the figures out there today on oil usage are fairly well known and therefore folks can’t easily do that anymore. The facts, if you do the research, will support exactly what I’ve pointed out here. Lower consumption, especially in our “automobiles” is the single most effective way to address the increasing cost of oil. So what does your good sense tell you? Shouldn’t we put our effort where the most effective solutions are? Or, should we continue to live in an illusion that “more oil” is the answer!!??
END OF MY EMAIL *******************