Evening News Report: Angry Bears Testify on Capitol Hill

These are direct quotes from comments and testimony on this post.

Evening news segment: TODAY ON CAPITOL HILL

[roll tape]

Senator Sammmy: “Ladies and gentlemen, this op-ed in my hands says that the USGS has released a new exploratory study indicating that the Artic region may hold 90 billion barrels of crude oil. And a lot of natural gas.”

Senator Rdan: (whispering – “Hold up the USGS press release, Sam.”) “Yes, there is a projection that the region may also have 1,670 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of technically recoverable natural gas liquids in 25 geologically defined areas thought to have potential for petroleum.”

Senator Sammy: “Right, Senator Dan. These resources account for about 22 percent of the undiscovered, technically recoverable resources in the world. The Arctic accounts for about 13 percent of the undiscovered oil, 30 percent of the undiscovered natural gas, and 20 percent of the undiscovered natural gas liquids in the world. About 84 percent of the estimated resources are expected to occur offshore, according to the USGS report.”

CBS Reporter Walker: “Well…90 billion barrels/80 million barrels per day = 1000 days ~ 3-4 years additional supply.”

Senator Coberly: “Thank you, Mr. Walker. The point overlooked by Senator Sammy and others is that we don’t need to burn all that oil. There is some danger in doing so. And if we burn it now we won’t have it later…unless of course he expects infinite fields to be discovered. Sadly, we don’t have infinite atmosphere to be polluted. What we have here is another opinion which is little more than “this is what I want to believe” and there are sources I can cite that tell me what I want to believe.”

Senator Coberly (holding onto the microphone): “Finally, it seems that the recent price rise was a bit of overkill, and the market responded by consuming less gas, bringing the price down. Should be a message in there for someone, except the three year olds who want what they want when they want it and what they want is to drive their car at any expense to the planet they don’t give a damn you see… but they panic when the price goes up, because got promised them that the price would never go up, so it must be those damned environmentalists who made it go up.”

Representative Therapist1, Armed Services Committee Chairman: “However by lessening our need for consuming so much foreign oil, then we can hopefully decrease the market price by removing our demands from the foreign market. Maybe that will put incursions into Georgia out of the cost/benefit range of the Russians.”

CBO Director Spencer: “The question is not how much oil is in the ground. Rather, the question is at what price can this oil be extracted. The reason most of this oil is still there, especially the shale oil, is that it can not be profitably extracted at current market prices. Before I can understand the significance of any of the deposits I need to know what it costs to get it out of the ground. If it cost $200/bbl to extract shale oil it is not relevant that we have large shale deposits. Peak oil does not mean that we are running out of oil. We will never run out of oil. Rather, what it means is that we are running out of cheap oil. That is a very different thing.”

Representative Joel: “Bravo, Mr. Director. Was gonna say the same general thing, but you did it better. Thanks.”

House Democratic Whip Denny: “Oil, oil, oil. There are other methods of powering our ‘civilization’ without the attendant damage that oil does to our world. Oh, yes, Chairman Therapist1 – better read some more on the Russian/Georgian conflict and find out who was the original aggressor in all of it.”

Senator Muirgo: “Yep, lots of cheap oil to be had out West!”

(After testifying before the Energy Committee) Science Fiction Writer ScentOfViolets: “There is also the so-called ‘energy cost’ as well. It is possible to imagine a scenario where extraction is relatively cheap, but that it takes more than one barrel of oil to process a barrel of oil. If that happens, it doesn’t matter how cheap or expensive bringing the final product to market is. My guess is that in the future, stuff like this will be processed by nuclear energy. We can synthesize light crude right now using the Fischer-Tropsch process, but for the present, it is uneconomic to do so. I suspect that the future is going to be this route for automobiles; batteries just don’t seem to cut it without a change in urban/suburban planning.”

Nation Editor K Harris: “If one wants to avoid the impression of sloganeering, one should avoid a sloganeering tone. Refuting a watered down version of the other side’s argument is also necessary if one wants to be taken seriously. This piece gets both of these wrong. The first paragraph trivializes objections to arctic oil extraction. That’s fine if you are preaching to co-religionists, but this isn’t the NRO or WSJ editorial page. To sway those who don’t already share the dogma, you have to actually address the subtleties of the other sides views. In short, we’re not running out of oil, we’re swimming in it.” Nice slogan. No thought to the subtleties. The only thing here that needs to have been put in print was the estimates of reserves and expert commentary from Gautier. Everything else falls well below legitimate standards of discourse. I realize that is the norm in a lot of places, but that’s what’s wrong with those places.”

Secretary of Energy Unsympathetic: “Instead of throwing around words which ultimately are gratuitous for both “sides” of the argument.. just show the EROEI – Energy Returned On Energy Invested. Energy invested for Pennsylvania oil? Not much. Energy invested for shale oil? Until extraction techniques are improved/altered, the energy consumption utilized during the extraction process of “producing” one barrel of shale oil is more than the energy stored within that barrel. Peak Oil types like to throw around the total volume of reserves. However, what matters is rate of daily extraction – and that’s not increasing. It’s decreasing. We’re finding more oil by volume, yes – but the rate at which those new discoveries can be brought to market is significantly slower than the oil once found in Texas. But, as with all specious arguments, the tenor of the discussion won’t change, as anti-peak-oil people (anti-reality, really) continuously attempt to shift the discussion back to a point that nobody disputes.”

Senator Sammy: “This is just two areas in the US, not even considering worldwide potential. There are PLENTY of hydrocarbons available to fuel civilization, almost to the point that investment or technological breakthroughs would release a flood of cheap oil that would wipe out all kinds of investments.”

Senator Coberly: “Senator Sammy, that last quote sounded a bit bizarre. are we holding back on cheap oil to protect investors? Kind of like with diamonds? May i insist, sir, if we had lots and lots of cheap oil we would still have the problem of global warming and other pollution, destruction of the environment. [turning back to the news media] The Sammy’s of the world don’t give a damn about that as long as they can keep on doing what they have always been doing… even though most of that is just learned social display. “Civilization” is not the same as endless traffic jams and air unfit to breathe in most cities, and rumored to be killing the planet itself. There really are other ways we could be spending our time with great pleasure to ourselves, and even make a profit at it.”

Representative Joel: “As soon as there is a way to make energy cheap and abundant, it will become cheap and abundant.”

Green Party Director Ken Melvin: “Hear, hear; a toast to delusional kibitzing.”

Senator Sammy: “Knowing that there is that much oil out there, where do you run your investment analysis? At $120/barrel? or $50/barrel? I’m at $50, and there is a lot less investment at $50 than at $120.”

Representative Joel: “I don’t know the answer to your question. I do know that your comparison of US reserves in shale oil to the reserves of sweet, easily extracted oil in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, Iraq and Mexico only shows that you should stay out of petroleum investing. You don’t understand Peak Oil and you don’t understand the relationship between “reserves” and production.”

Nation Editor K Harris: “Any chance this could become a peer-reviewed publication? Having started out with a marketing piece for his own position, Senator Sammy is studiously avoiding answering the substance of questions which he cannot comfortably answer and picking oil prices out of the air. This piece was advertized as an editorial. What’s the point of running editorials? If that is what is needed to substitute unsupported opinion for analysis, then maybe editorials are a bad idea.” [a strange comment for a magazine editor]

Senator Sammy: “And you always like my press conferences. Senator Dan thoughtfully brought along the USGS press release supporting the Alaska oil segment. I don’t think the shale data is in dispute, although the posters are right, there are currently barriers to production. I just thought that the Investor Business Daily op-ed provided a good and provocative summary. Maybe it detracts. But heck, many of the liberal positions are just pulled from other liberals. Why the differing standard here, Mr. editor?”

Senator Coberly: Senator Sammy, maybe it’s the difference in quality. I’d have to disagree with Harris, as I am offering an editorial myself. One that is not especially well supported by data though I expect it to lead to the ability to understand the data I will offer subsequently.
Movie Guy Email 08.13.08 – 10:54 pm #


subsequent press conferences. Meanwhile, when I tell you I don’t give a damn if we are flooded in cheap oil, it is suicide to keep on burning the stuff, why do you come back and ask me what price I am willing to set on shale oil? The point of that last little cri de coeur was what is the point of talking to people when they can’t hear? An awful lot of the debate that goes on here is a debate of the deaf.”

CBS Reporter Walker: (repeating) “90 billion barrels/80 million barrels per day = 1000 days ~ 3-4 years additional supply.”

Senator JDF: “Walker, the U.S. consumes about 21 mil bpd, so that would give us – if we didn’t share – about 12 years. BUT that’s assuming we pumped ourselves 21 mil bpd from Alaska. The current pipeline we have in Alaska has capacity for about 1.5 mil bpd, but only pumps about half that. I don’t know if we could pump that much out of Alaska if we tried, I think it would surely jack costs higher. How much oil could Alaskans pump if Alaskans could pump oil?”

[fade to reporter] The press conference continued for another twenty minutes. Representative Curse said, “We should let Russia develop the Arctic fields and then buy oil and gas from them.”

Back to you, Tom.

Network Anchor: “Thank you, MG. See you tomorrow. And now a word from our sponsor.”

[commercial break]: IBD

and government sponsored USGS.

(This gives an entirely new meaning to lifted from comments.)

compiled and arranged by Movie Guy
formatted and published by Rdan
hat tip to sammy’s op-ed
comments by our readers