Earth To Chuck Baldwin!

15 08 2008

From If I Were President, by Chuck Baldwin, candidate of the Constitution Party:

…There is absolutely no reason for us to be dependent upon OPEC. There is enough gas and oil under the soil of Alaska (not to mention the Dakotas and the Gulf of Mexico) to meet the energy needs of the United States for the next 150-200 years. There is also no reason that gas should cost more than $1.50 a gallon (which is about what it was before Bush became President).

Th Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has between 5.7 and 16 billion barrels of oil available, according to U.S. Geological Service estimates. Their estimated peak production of the region is 1.45 million barrells per day.

The Lower Tertiary Region of the Gulf of Mexico is estimated to have anywhere from 3 to 15 billion barrels of recoverable oil. A Chevron-led joint venture built the Jack-2 test well at over 28,000 feet deep, compared to the majority of offshore oil being drilled at less than 1,700 feet.

In 2007, the US consumed approximately 20.68 million barrels per day, over 7.5 billion barrels for the year. So, even with the most optimistic of estimates, these areas might have 31 billion barrels of recoverable oil. In American oil years, if we could suck it all out in demand it would cover our current needs (with zero demand growth, is it possible for a fiat-financed economy to survive at zero growth?) for about 4 years. But maximum production would actually be only about 2.5 million barrels per day – or 10% of our 2007 daily consumption levels. So the idea that we’d be “energy independent” if we drill in these areas falls flat on the numbers alone – even if production from other sources remains constant, which is unlikely. Likely any increase from ANWR and the gulf would just go towards replacing declines in current sources of supply.

But Chuck says there’s enough under Alaska to meet the energy needs of the US for the next 150 to 200 years. Right. Is he planning on following in the footsteps of Reagan, and hiring a psychic advisor for the White House, perhaps to divine the amounts and location of recoverable oil?

Aside from the inadequacy of supply, its also highly doubtful that these new domestic supplies would lower the cost of oil – in fact I think they would likely increase it. Drilling for oil has not gotten cheaper over the decades. It takes a lot of oil to produce the oil drilling equipment. The oil in the Gulf is far deeper than existing wells. It is also spread out over a vast area, it would take many many wells to extract it. Some of that oil will be located in numerous pockets too small to economically justify extracting.

Furthermore, how can Chuck assert that gas shold cost no more than $1.50 per gallon? We don’t need to analyze this in depth, one need only consider inflation to see that there indeed is a very good reason that gas costs more than 1.50 per gallon. The dollar is worth much less. Combine that with demand increasing faster than production, and you need more than platitudes and pie in the sky political slogans to explain why the price of gas shouldn’t be what it is today. The ANWR and offshore oil wouldn’t make a noticeable difference in the price, and might not be lower at all. It certainly wouldn’t make much of an impact in current US consumption let alone replace the increase in demand in growing markets, foreign as well as domestic. Of course, none of these new oil-pipedreams will come online until well after the end of the next President’s term(s) of office, so they can keep saying this stuff and blaming Big Oil, OPEC, and the Sierra Club for the high price of gas, and not have to face the facts.

We must begin drilling for the domestic oil that we know exists; we must build more refineries and nuclear power plants. There is no reason why the United States cannot be mostly energy independent. It is time we started putting the people and interests of the United States ahead of the CEOs and interests of international corporations.

The 800-pound gorilla here is this – Who is this “WE“? Typical conservative non-sequiter campaign garbage.

Chuck’s running with the Constitution Party, so I’m curious as to how he’s going to deliver on all his implied promises (gas at 1.50, domestically produced oil going to America only) within the constraints of the Constitution.

I am one of those that looks for a “third-party” candidate to support. My first vote for president was cast for Charles C. Collins. The most mainstream candidate I ever voted for in the presidential race was Pat Buchanan. The problem is, I’m looking for someone that makes sense, and doesn’t spout off nonsense. If they don’t know what they’re talking about, they need to hire someone that does. His inability to do that before going on record about energy policy makes me more than a bit concerned that he won’t do that when he needs to as President.

Chuck, here’s a tip from Floyd Turbeville, American. If you can’t afford to hire an energy advisor, try to befriend one, and have him help you revamp your energy strategy. Come up with something that doesn’t make the Constitution Party a laughingstock among people that can read and use a calculator.

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2 responses

16 08 2008
Homesteader Life » Blog Archive » “What’s Chuck Smoking” and a Word or Two about Politics

[…] friend Floyd recently wrote about something stupid that Chuck Baldwin, the CP candidate for President, said about oil. Its worth […]

16 08 2008
Boyd Livingstone

I happen to rub shoulders primarily with Americans who have calculators, but fail to do any research when they are told what to believe. And speaking of big gorillas, they really think Bigfoot has just been found down in Georgia and that gas will drop back to $1.25. They agree with Chuck – let’s pillage American soils and be independent of foreign oil for thousands of years, driving down the costs of gasoline to $.39 in the process. Awhile back, a guy at work as speaking to me of a huge 1 billion gallon deposit that was just found but untapped. When I doubted that the 10 million it might take to develop the infrastructure over the next five years to access it and get it on line for an end result of a mere two month reprieve in supply would result in any meaningful deflation in price, I was greeted with a vacant stare. “Ooh, you must have stock in BP!”

No, I fear Chuck will accomplish what he is seeking. Most folks are angry when they leave the pump and are grasping at any news that is pleasing. But to check facts with figures? No, that is too exerting, particularly when the prime time programming is so thoughtful and provoking. It’s also time to get stocked up on fantasy football periodicals, which may require a calculator, but for little meaningful purpose.

While the recent spike in crude oil may be somewhat of an aberration in the short term, it is too bad that the recent spike in price has done so little to address the intrinsic issue of peak oil. Sure, we might come up with a short term solution that could ease things for ten years, but what about our children? Our grandchildren?

Now if Chuck would just pledge to make the oil companies pay for the gasoline tax, then maybe we could get somewhere. Hhmmm… is that Constitutional?

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