Guest post written by Marjory Wildcraft
Last week I attended several talks presented by ASPO USA – the Association for the Study of Peak Oil. I like the ASPO group as they are level-headed, asking only what is the situation, and not going off on flaming tangents or panic. In fact, I like them so much I am becoming a sponsor of ASPO.
Everything in modern life is based on energy, and ASPO tries to get intelligent answers to questions like “how much oil is there on the planet and how available is it?”. The answer to this is surprisingly difficult because each Gov’t, and the oil industry as a whole, tends to keep things as secret as possible. Sort of like a global poker game where no one is going to show all of their cards, but they do like to brag about their hand.
I went to the meeting because I’ve heard so much about the US becoming energy independent… especially this last election cycle there was a lot of talk. Uh, even Newt Gingrich was saying it could be possible for the US to be energy independent in a year or two. Hah, Newt, I want some of what you are smoking.
There have been some sizable finds in the Dakotas and South Texas. So how big are these finds and how much will it impact you? Is Peak Oil over?
Well, here is the really short answer. The US produces about 6 million barrels of oil per day. And we consume about 15 million barrels per day. The most the US ever produced (back in the 1970’s) was 11.6 million barrels per day. So we are big time short.
The new finds coming online are estimated around a half a million barrels per day – and we don’t know how sustainable those levels are.
Ohh, that’s not good is it? No.
Energy independence ain’t going to happen. In fact, every presenter on the panel adamantly stated the US would not attain oil energy independence. Ever.
Another take away from the sessions is that the US does have a lot of natural gas. But, converting our infrastructure to use it is a massive undertaking.
It was also noted that world-wide there is a lot more energy to be found. But it is very ‘dirty’ and expensive to get. And If we do use it, no one knows what effects that will have on the planet, but it ain’t likely to be good.
So no matter which way you dice it, we are in for a future with more expensive energy. That means more expensive transportation, food, heating…
If you would like to check out the proceedings from the ASPO conference, click here: www.aspousa.org. There are some realy heavy hitters on the board there, oil men, university professors, and geologists. Lots of good solid resources for answers on energy questions. I like them.
Marjory Wildcraft is the creator of the video set “Grow Your Own Groceries”. Marjory says that growing your own food is surprisingly fulfilling. You can find out more about Marjory at www.GrowYourOwnGrocerceries.com