Tag Archives: Oil Shale

GAO: Green River Formation has more oil than the rest of the world combined

Remember when Obama said that we have “2 percent of the world’s oil reserves”?

This is an excerpt from his own speech:

As a country that has 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, but uses 20 percent of the world’s oil — I’m going to repeat that — we’ve got 2 percent of the world oil reserves; we use 20 percent.  What that means is, as much as we’re doing to increase oil production, we’re not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices.  Anybody who tells you otherwise either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or they aren’t telling you the truth.

Now let’s find out who doesn’t know what they’re talking about and who isn’t telling the truth.

The Government Accountability Office – a department of the federal government – tells us the facts.

Excerpt:

The Green River Formation, a largely vacant area of mostly federal land that covers the territory where Colorado, Utah and Wyoming come together, contains about as much recoverable oil as all the rest the world’s proven reserves combined, an auditor from the Government Accountability Office told Congress on Thursday.

The GAO testimony said that the federal government was in “a unique position to influence the development of oil shale” because the Green River deposits were mostly beneath federal land.

[…]It also noted that developing the oil would have an environmental impact and pose “socioeconomic challenges,” that included bringing “a sizable influx of workers who along with their families put additional stress on local infrastructure” and “making planning for growth difficult for local governments.”

“The Green River Formation–an assemblage of over 1,000 feet of sedimentary rocks that lie beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming–contains the world’s largest deposits of oil shale,”Anu K. Mittal, the GAO’s director of natural resources and environment said in written testimony submitted to the House Science Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.

“USGS estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions,” Mittal testified.

“The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, estimates that 30 to 60 percent of the oil shale in the Green River Formation can be recovered,” Mittal told the subcommittee. “At the midpoint of this estimate, almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.”

In her oral statement before the subcommittee, Mittal said that developing the shale oil would create wealth and jobs for the country, but also challenges for government.

“Being able to tap this vast amount of oil locked within this formation will go a long way to help to meet our future demands for oil. The U.S. Geological Survey, as you noted, estimates that the formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil of which half may be recoverable,” she said.

“As you can imagine having the technology to develop this vast energy resource will lead to a number of important socioeconomic benefits including the creation of jobs, increases in wealth and increases in tax and royalty payments for federal and state governments,” she said.

[…]In her written testimony, Mittal noted that three-fourths of the Green River shale oil is under federal land.

Is Barack Obama a good President? Does he know how to be President? Does he understand economics?

Let’s look at the national debt and the labor force participation rates in Obama’s first term. Recall that the Republicans lost the House and Senate in January of 2007. At the time of the Pelosi/Reid takeover, the national debt was $8 trillion. It is now almost double that at $16 trillion.

Obama added 5 trillion dollars to the debt since he took office
Obama added 5 trillion dollars to the debt since he took office
US Labor Force Participation down 4.9 million people
US Labor Force Participation down 4.9 million people

If these numbers seem bad to you, then I don’t think you should vote for Obama.

Is Obama telling the truth about U.S. oil reserves?

The Department of Energy's own figures

The Department of Energy’s own figures

Investors Business Daily explains. (H/T Master Resource)

Excerpt:

When he was running for the Oval Office four years ago amid $4-a-gallon gasoline prices, then-Sen. Barack Obama dismissed the idea of expanded oil production as a way to relieve the pain at the pump.

“Even if you opened up every square inch of our land and our coasts to drilling,” he said. “America still has only 3% of the world’s oil reserves.” Which meant, he said, that the U.S. couldn’t affect global oil prices.

It’s the same rhetoric President Obama is using now, as gas prices hit $4 again, except now he puts the figure at 2%.

“With only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices,” he said. “Not when we consume 20% of the world’s oil.”

The claim makes it appear as though the U.S. is an oil-barren nation, perpetually dependent on foreign oil and high prices unless we can cut our own use and develop alternative energy sources like algae.

But the figure Obama uses — proved oil reserves — vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country is awash in vast quantities — enough to meet all the country’s oil needs for hundreds of years.

The U.S. has 22.3 billion barrels of proved reserves, a little less than 2% of the entire world’s proved reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration. But as the EIA explains, proved reserves “are a small subset of recoverable resources,” because they only count oil that companies are currently drilling for in existing fields.

When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S., according to various government reports. Among them:

At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered, according to the government’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

About 24 billion barrels in shale deposits in the lower 48 states, according to EIA.

Up to 2 billion barrels of oil in shale deposits in Alaska’s North Slope, says the U.S. Geological Survey.

Up to 12 billion barrels in ANWR, according to the USGS.

As much as 19 billion barrels in the Utah tar sands, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

Then, there’s the massive Green River Formation in Wyoming, which according to the USGS contains a stunning 1.4 trillion barrels of oil shale — a type of oil released from sedimentary rock after it’s heated.

[…]All told, the U.S. has access to 400 billion barrels of crude that could be recovered using existing drilling technologies, according to a 2006 Energy Department report.

When you include oil shale, the U.S. has 1.4 trillion barrels of technically recoverable oil, according to the Institute for Energy Research, enough to meet all U.S. oil needs for about the next 200 years, without any imports.

Please share this article, because it is unlikely that Obama’s Solyndra-supporting buddies in the mainstream media will report the facts on domestic energy production.

Production of oil, gas and coal on federal lands sinks to 9-year low

Obama claims that production of oil, gas and coal is up since he took office. It’s true that areas under state control are producing more, but what about energy production on federal lands? That’s the part of the country that Obama is responsible for.

Let’s see what two recent studies from the Energy Information Administration and the Institute for Energy Research found.

Excerpt:

The updated EIA report revealed a 12 percent decline in production for coal, oil, and natural gas on federal and Indian lands from fiscal 2003 through fiscal 2011.

During this same period, production on state and private lands has increased, boosting overall production numbers for the United States. That’s a point even President Obama will acknowledge: “Under my Administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up,” he said upon announcing his rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Obama is correct. He just can’t rightfully claim the credit, since the vast majority of America’s new oil and gas production is happening on private lands in states like North Dakota, Alaska and Texas.

The administration, meanwhile, has also taken several steps to limit production…

  • Withdrew areas offered for 77 oil and gas leases in Utah that could cost American taxpayers millions in lost lease bids, production royalties, new jobs and the energy needed to offset rising imports of oil and natural gas.
  • Cancelled lease sales in the Western Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic coast and delayed exploration off the coast of Alaska and kept other resource-rich areas off-limits.
  • Finalized rules, first announced by Secretary Salazar on January 6, 2010, to establish more government hurdles to onshore oil and natural gas production on federal lands.
  • Withdrew 61 oil and natural gas leases in Montana as part of a lawsuit settlement over climate change.

“The big picture is clear that government policies undertaken by the Obama administration have produced a significant decline in offshore oil production on federal lands in fiscal year 2011,” the Institute for Energy Research said in response to last week’s updated EIA analysis. “That is certainly not a way to increase domestic production of oil and keep oil and thus gasoline prices in check.”

While it was waiting for EIA to update its numbers, the Institute for Energy Research conducted its own analysis of Department of Interior data in February. It came to the same conclusion: “Production on federal lands is down, while production on state and private lands is up.”

That’s the real story behind Obama’s claims about higher energy production. He’s doing his best to block energy production in the areas under his control. His energy plan is Solyndra, Solyndra, Solyndra – paying off his rich Democrat buddies with taxpayer money.

How to easily develop your knowledge of the way the world works

If you’re not reading IBD editorials every day, you are missing out. I agree with them on practically everything they write. I try to stay in touch with what’s happening in the world, with respect to economics and foreign policy, and Investors Business Daily is indispensable. (And sometimes, they even cover social issues like school choice, affirmative action and stem cell research). It’s not just the news that I want, it’s the analysis. They fit every data point into an argument – and that makes the world a very interesting place.

Here are four sample articles.

Did the latest European bailout fix anything?

Excerpt:

Led by the Fed, top central banks added dollars to the global financial system on Wednesday as Europe’s crisis deepened. We hate to rain on anyone’s parade, but this won’t solve the EU’s problems.

The central banks’ bold action, though met with wild enthusiasm by financial markets, amounts to little more than a multibillion dollar Band-Aid on a deep, dangerous wound.

[…]But even as they juggle and sell off their portfolios of bad loans, major banks in Europe, the U.S. and Asia are being forced to raise capital to meet new international banking standards. The result: a credit crunch.

In short, the global financial system is near collapse, and the central banks are madly pumping dollars into it to keep the collapse from happening.

It’s an emergency, we get it. But while such actions might help in the short run, they won’t in the long run.

The EU faces the same problems today as it did yesterday, and no amount of central bank money-printing changes that.

Namely, its 17 members, used to an ever-expanding welfare state and leisure-class lifestyle, can’t sustain that way of life with their chronically weak economies and aging, low-productivity workforces.

Contrary to recent actions, the EU’s problems aren’t short-term and financial, but long-term and fiscal.

The same kind of problems that we are having USA, as we have moved from 160 billion dollar deficits under Bush in 2007 to approximately 1.4 trillion dollar deficits in ever year that Obama has been President. Maybe we can learn some lessons from the mistakes that others have made and are making instead of making those mistakes again ourselves?

If global warming is real, where are all the hurricanes?

Excerpt:

Sunday will be the 2,232nd consecutive day that the U.S. has gone without being hit by a major hurricane. This is a big enough deal to be covered by the mainstream media. But of course it won’t be.

On Dec. 4, a new record will be set for the number of days between landfalls of category 3 or stronger storms. The previous streak, according to Roger Pielke Jr., began on Sept. 8, 1900, and ended on Oct. 19, 1906, when the Great Galveston Hurricane hit.

The record won’t be broken by just a day or even a week. Pielke, a professor of environmental studies at University of Colorado, says it will be crushed.

“Since there won’t be any intense hurricanes before next summer, the record will be shattered, with the days between intense hurricane landfalls likely to exceed 2,500 days,” he writes in his blog.

Why is this significant? Because the global warming alarmists have been telling us that man’s carbon dioxide emissions would bring bigger storms.

[…]The mainstream media has happily trafficked this nonsense, but it’s not likely to mention Pielke’s point even though it would be appropriate in stories covering our very mild hurricane season, which ended Wednesday.

Why won’t they do it? Because it’s inconsistent with their narrative. It’s like the latest batch of Climategate emails, which show again a group of scientists manipulating the process for political gain. News that contradicts the alarmists’ tale simply isn’t news to the media.

If you think that global warming alarmism has no effect on you, then you need to realize that it is being used to justify all kinds of job-killing regulations. If you want to know why companies ship jobs overseas and expand their operations outside the United States, then look no further than the EPA.

Is existing U.S. oil drilling in the EPA’s crosshairs?

Excerpt:

The latest salvo in the administration’s war on energy may be new rules and permits to regulate a process to get oil and gas from porous rock, sacrificing jobs and economic growth while under review.

There are a few areas of the U.S. that are booming. Two of these are in North Dakota and Pennsylvania, states that sit atop two massive shale rock formations, the Bakken and the Marcellus.

Extraction of oil and natural gas from these formations have created jobs and economic growth in the midst of a stagnant and parched economy.

[…]Yet the Environmental Protection Agency, bowing to environmentalists’ pressure and faithful to the administration mantra that fossil fuels are harmful and obsolete, is preparing to nip this economic boom in the bud by regulating it to death.

[…]Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry estimates fracking in the Marcellus created 72,000 jobs between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2011. Drilling in the Bakken formation along the North Dakota-Montana border helps explain North Dakota’s unemployment rate of 3.2%, the nation’s lowest.

The Gulf Coast energy industry has never fully recovered from a similar moratorium and a new glacial permitting process.

Similarly, the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline project to bring Canadian tar sands oil to American refineries is stalled on environmental grounds.

It’s not enought that Obama blocks the creation of hundreds of thousands of new energy sector jobs – and wastes money on alternative energy companies connected to his campaign fundraisers – but now he might be going after existing energy production jobs, too.

Should we continue to send our “ally” Pakistan foreign aid?

Excerpt:

In what’s become a common occurrence, the Pakistani military — in an unprovoked attack — fired on coalition troops based across the border in Afghanistan. We responded by hitting two Pakistani border posts. The airstrikes killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers, sparking anti-American riots and threats of reprisal by Islamabad.

[…]So why still coddle Pakistan, diplomatically? Several reasons, not the least of which is Pakistan’s arsenal of nuclear weapons and cold war with India. But it’s mainly because we need its permission to transport military supplies across its border into landlocked Afghanistan, the terror swamp believed most worthy of draining.

More than 40% of the fuel, food, ammunition, equipment and other supplies sent to U.S. forces in Afghanistan are shipped via Pakistani ports and roads. Islamabad also gives us access to airspace — including landing rights at three air bases, where we launch the Predator drone aircraft targeting Pakistani-based terrorist camps in lieu of U.S. boots on the ground.

Islamabad could easily deny us those landing rights and cut off supply routes at any time, hamstringing our Afghan operations. Sure enough: Islamabad did exactly that over the weekend. After the coalition air strike that killed 24 of its troops, Pakistan blocked two coalition supply routes running through Pakistan. It also gave the U.S. two weeks to vacate the Shamsi air base in Balochistan, which has been used for drone sorties.

These moves make reducing our dependence on Pakistan all the more critical.

The Pentagon should hike supplies coming into Afghanistan from the north through Central Asia. To fund the added expense, it could use the billions in aid Pakistan is secretly using against us by funding and arming Afghan insurgents. It could also use a chunk of U.S. aid dollars to build larger fuel-storage facilities on the ground in Afghanistan, so that military operations can withstand major disruptions to supplies.

So there you have it – four great articles on the European crisis, global warming science, the employment situation at home, and foreign policy. And you get this analysis for free every day with Investors Business Daily. You can check out their editorials at this link, and bookmark it. Even if you don’t read the Heritage Foundation’s blog “The Foundry” and the American Enterprise Institute blog “The American”, you can still stay well informed by reading IBD every day. If you are interested in raw news without the analysis, then read CNS News.

It’s very important for Christians to understand that we have to be seen by others as aware and informed on other topics in order to be seen as aware and informed on religious issues. Part of that involves studying apologetics and being familiar with opposing arguments and evidence. Part of it is being informed about social issues like abortion, marriage and education. But part of it is just being a well-informed person in general. When topics like politics and economics and national security come up, our goal should not be to take whatever position is popular, or whatever position will make us look “nice”. We should have our own position, and we should be informed enough about the world to participate in – and even to dominate – conversations on those topics. We have to be the people who know how the world works.

Obama administration may miss deadline on Keystone pipeline approval

Actress/Idiot Daryl Hannah protests low unemployment rate
Actress Daryl Hannah demands higher unemployment

From liberal Reuters.

Excerpt:

The State Department may miss a year-end target to approve TransCanada Corp’s Canada-to-Texas Keystone oil sands pipeline, a U.S. official told Reuters on Tuesday, risking a further delay to the most important new crude oil conduit in decades.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the State Department still hoped to make a decision by the end of this year, which has been its target, but that its highest priority was to carry out a thorough, rigorous review. The decision has already been pushed back once.

A further delay would not only be a blow to TransCanada, it could also prolong a massive gap between U.S. and global oil prices because oil traders are counting on Keystone’s 700,000 barrel-per-day capacity to relieve a build-up of crude in the Midwest, which doesn’t have enough pipelines to ship growing Canadian output to Gulf Coast refineries for use around the United States.

The ruling, which falls to the State Department because the line crosses national borders, is forcing President Barack Obama into a decision that effectively pits environmental safety against job creation and energy security.

The Independent Women’s Forum comments:

[B]usinesses actually want to do something with the oil that would be transferred on the pipeline, and the delay in moving the oil through the refining process and to market will impact those businesses, the energy supply, and ultimately energy prices and the broader economy.

Reuters describes the Administration’s dilemma in ruling on the Keystone pipeline as pitting “environmental safety against job creation and energy security.” That may be how some environmental extremists are trying to frame it, but it’s really a false choice. As I wrote before, Canada’s oil sands are going to be developed one way or another. The State Department’s decision is whether the U.S.—with our many environmental regulations—will being doing the job or if Canada will find another, much less environmentally-friendly, partner.

Barack Obama is blocking job creation in order to appease his environmentalist constituents.