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I began the first post in this series* with this observation: “Some day (soon, I hope) audiences for whom peak oil denial nonsense is intended will ask themselves: what are the reasons—and supporting evidence—for these kinds of assertions?*[Links below]

Earlier this year, I made this observation: continue reading…

I’m passing along some useful/informative Peak Oil-related articles of note which crossed my desk this past week… in case you missed them!

Enjoy. continue reading…

There’s been the expected, unfortunate, and misleading flurry of commentary about the demise of the peak oil “theory” [just like the “theory” of gravity, but I digress], from the usual assortment of industry shills and writers who prefer not bogging themselves down with facts. continue reading…

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An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Kevin Carson:

Peak Oil has nothing to do with the total size of oil reserves underground, or how many years of America’s present energy needs they could supply. What Peak Oil is about is the rate at which those reserves can be extracted, the cost in money and energy of extracting it, and the diminishing size of the net energy returns when the energy cost of extraction is accounted for. The Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) of the predominant sources of fossil fuel energy has been declining steadily since they first started distilling petroleum into gasoline. continue reading…

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I began the first post in this series [links below*] with this observation: “Some day (soon, I hope) audiences for whom peak oil denial nonsense is intended will ask themselves: what are the reasons—and supporting evidence—for these kinds of assertions?”

Another straight-from-the-playbook performance by a spokesperson for the fossil fuel industry came courtesy of this OilPrice.com interview with Chris Faulkner, CEO of Breathing Energy Companies, described as “a key player in Bakken with a penchant for leading the new technology charge.” Wow! continue reading…

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An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Michael T. Klare.

In energy terms, we are now entering a world whose grim nature has yet to be fully grasped.  This pivotal shift has been brought about by the disappearance of relatively accessible and inexpensive petroleum — ‘easy oil,’ in the parlance of industry analysts; in other words, the kind of oil that powered a staggering expansion of global wealth over the past 65 years and the creation of endless car-oriented suburban communities. This oil is now nearly gone….
Those who claim that the world remains ‘awash’ in oil are technically correct: The planet still harbors vast reserves of petroleum. But propagandists for the oil industry usually fail to emphasize that not all oil reservoirs are alike: Some are located close to the surface or near to shore, and are contained in soft, porous rock; others are located deep underground, far offshore or trapped in unyielding rock formations….
The simple truth of the matter is this: Most of the world’s easy reserves have already been depleted — except for those in war-torn countries like Iraq.  Virtually all of the oil that’s left is contained in harder-to-reach, tougher reserves. These include deep-offshore oil, Arctic oil and shale oil, along with Canadian ‘oil sands’ — which are not composed of oil at all, but of mud, sand and tar-like bitumen. So-called unconventional reserves of these types can be exploited, but often at a staggering price, not just in dollars but also in damage to the environment.

Not good, but this is where we are now.

Pleasant? Hardly. No one—not the most ardent of Peak Oil advocates—enjoys any of this. Knowing what we know, dealing with the facts and the realities of the current and future state of oil production rather than the misleading and disingenuous offerings by those unwilling or unable to deal with the truths, leaves us with more than a few concerns.

What kind of a nation will we be? What are doing now, and what will we bequeath to our children if we fail to make it abundantly clear to the public that “awash” is good PR but bad truth? Those of us committed to sharing information and encouraging both our leaders and the public to recognize what’s ahead and to begin planning remain convinced that there will be some semblance of reasonable adaptation if we make the collective effort.

We’re all in this together, and difficult and harsh as it is, the only way we reach those levels of successful adaptation is to start the process of critical thinking courage demands. Happy Talk has a short shelf life; facts remain. This is not rocket science or even model rocket science. The facts are telling us that our energy supplies are going to impose changes on us all.

Crisis, or opportunity? We have a say … if we choose.

~ My Photo: Gray Whale Cove, South Coastside, CA – 09.15.04

Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas,
Envisioning Better Tomorrows

Peak Oil Matters is dedicated to informing others about the significance and impact of Peak Oil—while adding observations about politics, ideology, transportation, and smart growth.
            – check out my new website!

 

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This is a continuation of a subset to this series, taking a final look at samplings from a Forbes piece published a few weeks back by David Blackmon.

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I began the first post in this series [links below*] with this observation: “Some day (soon, I hope) audiences for whom peak oil denial nonsense is intended will ask themselves: what are the reasons—and supporting evidence—for these kinds of assertions?

Double Standards

It’s curious but hardly surprising that while Mr. Blackmon has no problem criticizing the observations of another contributor warning of peak oil, he offers no facts to contradict the assertions. Likewise, he never points out that the target of his criticism mentions the very relevant truth about depletion—an inconvenient reality the Right almost always ignores—and actually put in energy supply context what the vast-massive-whatever of the Bakken Formation translates into. Facts do suck, and they especially suck when they interfere with ideology on a roll.

Apparently this statement: “Nor is there any mention of the fact that the shale oil and gas industry is barely beginning to scratch the surface on producing potential, given that it is barely a decade old” is supposed to be the be-all and end-all of discussions about the shale potential of the Bakken. Mentioning rapid decline rates, the high costs of drilling wells, the limited number of prime “sweet spots” and related considerations would also get in the way of fact-free ideology. Hate when that happens….

I guess this other-side-of-the-barely-beginning-to-scratch-the-surface observation [re: fracking in Pennsylvania] wouldn’t do much for Mr. Blackmon’s argument:

Yet, because the industry is still so new and the implications of what it does are still not completely understood, the overriding reality is that residents are making monumental decisions about their own and their neighbors’ long-term health without complete information. Because drillers themselves, as well as researchers and analysts, don’t fully know what the long-term impact of fracking will be, any resident’s decision in the here-and-now is a dice roll. [1]

Environment? Who Cares?

And what good a good piece of industry propaganda be without some reference to “hyperbole about supposed, but unquantified, threats to the environment.”

Mr. Blackmon seems to think his argument about water usage concerns is another be-all and end-all statement about “supposed” environmental concerns:

First, in Texas, representatives from the state’s Water Development Board told multiple recent legislative hearings that fresh water usage by the oil and gas industry in Texas – home to 40% of the nation’s active drilling rigs, 30% of US natural gas production, and 32% of US oil production – is less than 1% of the state’s overall fresh water consumption. So while each hydraulic fracturing job uses a significant volume of water, that pales in significance when put into a real context.

That’s just fine and dandy if “state-wide” water usage were the issue, but unfortunately for this writer, it’s not. Again with the damned facts….What’s happening locally—where fracking actually occurs, and where local water supplies are impacted, along with truck traffic, road damage, illnesses, etc., etc.—that’s what matters. “Context?” Whose?

Nothing like a good bit of hypocrisy to round out the edges of ideological pronouncements, Right? Where is the mention of how many millions of gallons of water are used per well?  There’s your “context!”

Unfortunately, this comment also fails to supply-some-facts-and-genuine-context criteria:

Also, Mr. Ayres naturally fails to mention all the myriad efforts within the industry to conserve and recycle water, nor does he point out that the percentage of brackish water used in frac jobs, as well as other substances like propane and carbon dioxide, is steadily on the increase.

Are these “myriad efforts”—which means what, exactly?—solely out of the goodness of the fossil fuel industry’s heart? No concern for bottom lines—just do what’s best for the local communities? Sure….And while we’re looking for definitions, how about “steadily on the increase?” I won’t hold my breath.

Perhaps this writer didn’t have time to read this; or this. [There’s plenty more just like them, by the way, but I wouldn’t want to overload anyone averse to evidence.] And as for this contention:

Second, the ‘shale-gas industry’ has in fact worked diligently with policymakers to get workable requirements governing disclosure of chemical content in fracturing fluids put into place in well over a dozen states to this point, with several more states to come this year. In addition, the “shale-gas industry” funded and worked with the Groundwater Protection Council to establish FracFocus.org, the voluntary disclosure website….

Matthew McFeeley had a very nice piece about FracFocus.org. His conclusion [assuming a factual study means anything, of course]:

[R]equiring disclosure to FracFocus would run directly counter to the Administration’s pledge to increase transparency, instead handing over public records to a private, unaccountable website.  FracFocus does not meet basic standards for records management, and, in fact, its use hinders public access to information.  Without major improvements in how FracFocus is operated and additional safeguards to ensure proper oversight of fracking by regulators, FracFocus should not be used for mandatory public disclosure.

Matthew had some trouble with the fact that some of the funding for FracFocus was supplied by two fossil fuel industry lobbying groups, and that it was not clear safeguards existed to prevent those lobbyists “from influencing how disclosure on the website functions.” FracFocus’ limitations on access to public information, its prohibitions on sharing/circulating “publicly-mandated disclosures,” as well as the hideously poor controls over record-keeping and record-maintenance—as Matthew detailed—didn’t help to convince him about the integrity of FracFocus’ methods. Go figure!

But credit where credit is due. Straight from the right wing playbook, Mr. Blackmon ended his article with this snide nonsense:

But then, this is ‘peak oil’ theory (or is it ‘peak gas’?), where every day and everything is a crisis, the world is always about to run out of oil (or is it gas?) ‘soon’ (whatever that word means), and such inconvenient questions never need be asked, much less answered.  As it has been since the late 19th century, ‘peak oil’ (or is it ‘peak gas’?) theory is based on highly selective use of data, lack of understanding of resource assessments, lack of understanding of how investment decisions are made within companies, and most importantly, lack of vision about the future.

I wonder how many times he had to practice saying and then writing that without laughing out loud. Sentences like this ought to be the first paragraph in any definition of right-wing hypocrisy.

Who benefits? Who doesn’t?

{Check out my new website going live today!}

~ My Photo: Mt. Zion, Utah – Sept 2007

 

Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas,
Envisioning Better Tomorrows

Peak Oil Matters is dedicated to informing others about the significance and impact of Peak Oil—while adding observations about politics, ideology, transportation, and smart growth.

 

* links to prior posts in this series:

http://peakoilmatters.com/2013/06/17/different-peak-oil-denial-nonsense-is-still-nonsense-pt-1/
http://peakoilmatters.com/2013/06/24/different-peak-oil-denial-nonsense-is-still-nonsense-pt-2/
http://peakoilmatters.com/2013/07/01/different-peak-oil-denial-nonsense-is-still-nonsense-pt-3/
http://peakoilmatters.com/2013/07/08/different-peak-oil-denial-nonsense-is-still-nonsense-pt-4/

Sources:

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/fracking-pennsylvania-natural-gas-lease-landman_n_2546824.html; Fracking In Pennsylvania Sets Up Dilemma For Locals: Quick Money Or Long-Term Health Concerns? by Lynne Peeples – 01.25.13

 

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An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Kurt Cobb.

[H]ere is where we get to the motivations behind the sunny optimism of the oil industry. If the public understood that oil supplies might be nearing an irreversible decline, it would demand the deployment of alternative fuels and efficiency measures to soften the blow in order to give us time for a transition to a society based on something other than oil. That would ultimately reduce demand for oil products and eventually end our dependence on oil. Oil companies might get stuck with significant inventories in the ground that they cannot sell, at least not at the prices or in the quantities they would like.
The more immediate problem for oil company executives is that their companies may soon find it impossible to replace all their oil reserves

Still trying to figure out the benefits of withholding facts….Haven’t come up with anything solid as yet.

There’s little doubt that the public is going to suffer needlessly in the years to come if the oil industry, our political leaders, and the media don’t declare a moratorium on fact-free Happy Talk about our vast, massive resources. It’s long past the time when we need to respect the citizens of this country and start sharing facts—all of them, not just the specially-selected ones which keeps the oil industry afloat, business media at bay, and politicians safe for one more term.

Yes, we have abundant resources underground. That’s not the end of the story and it’s barely the beginning. It’s hard to imagine that oil industry officials are not painfully aware of the fossil fuel supply challenges looming. It’s just as difficult to imagine they’re not making a contingency plan or two for themselves (whatever the hell that might be).

Waiting until their problems are nearly insurmountable before they begin a massive overhaul of what they do seems fairly idiotic—my limited oil industry experience notwithstanding. The benefit to the public in not laying out all the facts while failing to enlist commercial and political assistance across the board to start planning for a different energy future … this strategy will make things better … how?

~ My Photo: el Conquistador, San Juan, PR – 02.24.06

 Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas,
Envisioning Better Tomorrows

 Peak Oil Matters is dedicated to informing others about the significance and impact of Peak Oil—while adding observations about politics, ideology, transportation, and smart growth.
            – Look for my new website going live next week

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I began the first post in this series with this observation: “Some day (soon, I hope) audiences for whom peak oil denial nonsense is intended will ask themselves: what are the reasons—and supporting evidence—for these kinds of assertions?

This is a follow-up to last Monday’s post, offering more samplings from a Forbes piece published a few weeks back by David Blackmon.

What is Massive?

As is all-too-typical by media beholden to the fossil fuel industry—facts-be-damned—the author cites one “of the many other massive US oil shale reservoirs like the Cline Shale” as further evidence that peak oil is nothing more than nonsense orchestrated by a group of observers who apparently take great delight in making things up to satisfy a doom-and-gloom outlook on life.

In the world of fossil fuel supply, we speak of “resources” or “reserves.” “Reservoirs” doesn’t mean anything, but when you add “massive” to the word, well then … now we’re talking!

A Fact or Two

Given that this Forbes piece neglected to enlighten us about the Cline Shale—not a single fact—I did one of those whatchamaccallits … “Googlings” I think they call it, to get some info. [Also overlooked was any explanation about the significant difference between “oil shale” and “shale oil”—also referred to as ‘tight” oil. See this from Chris Nelder.] The Cline Shale’s very own alliance website was nice enough to offer this:

The Cline Shale on the eastern shelf of the Permian Basin in West Texas is an emerging oil shale development region with tremendous projected potential. The Wall Street Journal’s ‘Market Watch’ in November 2012 estimated that the Cline Shale could become the largest oil play in American history — much larger than the Bakken in North Dakota, the Eagle Ford in South Texas, etc.  Even being equivalent to those major shale production regions demonstrates that the Cline Shale is a force to be reckoned with, a source of business opportunities, and a region with which to become familiar.

Wow! Perhaps I stand corrected….The Wall Street Journal’s ‘Market Watch, that bastion of independence and energy expertise, has “estimated” that the Cline “could become” yadda, yadda, yadda. So perhaps it is possible that the Cline might have the potential. That clinches it!

But if that’s not enough to convince my peers and I, “the Cline Shale is a force to be reckoned with.” Wow again! Who needs facts, evidence, or truth when we have forces with which to be reckoned—which not coincidentally are also sources of “business opportunities” and a place we should all “become familiar” with. Who knew the Cline was such a unique “reservoir?”

We should also keep in mind that:

Major producers estimate 15 years or drilling activity and at least 30 years of oil production [1]

and, as an “industry player noted”:

If it’s all drilled out at 40-acre spacing, it should recover about three billion barrels of oil. [2]

Wow for the third time! Three billion barrels of oil adds up to almost 6 months of U.S. demand, and all we have to do is wait for “15 years of drilling” and “at least 30 years of production” to get all of that outta there! That is some kind of massive.

Good thing none of us will need those three billion barrels soon.

~ My Photo: from Good Harbor Beach, MA – 07.20.09

Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas,
Envisioning Better Tomorrows

Peak Oil Matters is dedicated to informing others about the significance and impact of Peak Oil—while adding observations about politics, ideology, transportation, and smart growth.
– Look for my new website going live next week

Sources:

[1] http://www.clineshale.info
[2] http://theclineshale.com/The_Cline_Shale/Facts.html

I’m passing along some useful/informative Peak Oil-related articles of note [and some political ones, too, which in one way or another will have considerable bearing on what we do and don’t do as Peak Oil makes its presence felt], all of which crossed my desk during the prior month … in case you missed them!

Enjoy.

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2013/06/05/dangerous-times-as-energy-sources-get-costlier-to-extract/

Stephen Leeb
06.05.13
Dangerous Times As Energy Sources Get Costlier To Extract

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http://www.businessinsider.com/conservatism-is-the-problem-2013-6

Josh Barro
06.06.13
I’m Not A Conservative And You Shouldn’t Be One Either

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http://www.nationalmemo.com/the-grand-old-party-needs-a-reboot/

Cynthia Tucker
06.01.13
The Grand Old Party Needs A Reboot

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http://www.postcarbon.org/blog-post/1674152-post-carbon-institute-goes-to-washington

Asher Miller
05.31.13
Post Carbon Institute Goes to Washington

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http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2013/06/04/about-those-plunging-oil-prices/

Robert Rapier
06.04.13
About Those Plunging Oil Prices

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/06/04/the-morning-plum-behind-jubilation-about-scandals-gop-is-rudderless-and-adrift/

Greg Sargent
06.04.13
The Morning Plum: Behind jubilation about scandals, GOP is rudderless and adrift

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http://truth-out.org/news/item/16757-exposed-fracknation-deploys-tobacco-playbook-in-response-to-gasland-2

Steve Horn
06.04.13
Exposed: “FrackNation” Deploys Tobacco Playbook in Response to “Gasland 2”

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http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-06-03/will-the-eagle-ford-shale-bankrupt-local-communities/

Deborah Rogers
06.03.13
Will the Eagle Ford Shale Bankrupt Local Communities?
[Original article: http://energypolicyforum.org/2013/06/02/will-the-eagle-ford-shale-bankrupt-local-communities/]

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http://blogs.law.widener.edu/climate/2013/06/02/the-anti-agenda-21-disinformation-campaign-part-2/

Donald A. Brown
06.02.13
The Anti-Agenda 21 Disinformation Campaign, Part 2

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/opinion/blow-a-nation-divided-against-itself.html

Charles M. Blow
06.19.13
A Nation Divided Against Itself

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http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/15/2163531/fracking-is-already-straining-us-water-supplies/

Tom Kenworthy
06.15.13
Fracking Is Already Straining U.S. Water Supplies

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/06/13/why-americas-shale-oil-boom-could-end-sooner-than-you-think/

Christopher Helman
06.13.13
Why America’s Shale Oil Boom Could End Sooner Than You Think

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/earth-insight/2013/jun/21/shale-gas-peak-oil-economic-crisis

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed
06.21.13
Shale gas won’t stop peak oil, but could create an economic crisis

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/11/transcanada-whistleblower-pipeline_n_3415701.html

Lynne Peeples
06.11.13
TransCanada Whistleblower Warns Of Shoddy Pipeline Practices

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http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/26/2202141/the-anti-science-climate-denier-caucus-113th-congress-edition/

Tiffany Germain, Ryan Koronowski, and Jess Spores
06.26.13
The Anti-Science Climate Denier Caucus: 113th Congress Edition

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http://www.onearth.org/blog/this-is-your-town-on-fracking-williston-north-dakota

Elizabeth Royte
06.13.13
This Is Your Town on Fracking

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http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/big-oils-big-lies-about-alternative-energy-20130625

Antonia Juhasz
06.25.13
Big Oil’s Big Lies About Alternative Energy

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Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas,
Envisioning Better Tomorrows

Peak Oil Matters is dedicated to informing others about the significance and impact of Peak Oil—while adding observations about politics, ideology, transportation, and smart growth. (Sarcasm at no charge).
            – Look for my new website coming soon