What’s the Solution to Our Energy Needs?

I’m getting sick of talking about oil. Why? Because NOT ENOUGH is being done. Oh sure, congress dragged in the oil executives and berated them over high fuel prices and threatened to slap them with windfall profit taxes (what the heck is that supposed to accomplish?). It was a great PR stunt to make it look like our elected officials give a flip about what the average American is going through.

Sadly, most politicians don’t have a clue and they don’t care that they don’t have a clue.

If they cared, they would be trying to strike a balance between meeting today’s needs with tomorrow’s needs. But, they aren’t doing squat. I mean, why the heck aren’t we drilling in America?

While energy “independence” is an impossible dream, there’s no doubt the U.S. has vast undeveloped fossil-fuel deposits. A tiny corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge contains an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil and would be the largest producing oil field in the Northern Hemisphere. Yet the Senate blocked that development as recently as last month. The Outer Continental Shelf is estimated to contain some 86 billion barrels of oil, plus 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Yet of the shelf’s 1.76 billion acres, 85% is off-limits and 97% is undeveloped.

Engineers recently perfected refining solid shale rock into diesel or gas, which may amount to the largest oil supply in the world – perhaps as much as 1.8 trillion barrels in the American West. That’s enough to meet current U.S. oil demand for more than two centuries. Yet as late as 2007, Democrats attached a rider to the energy bill that prohibits leasing the federal interior lands that contain at least 80% of America’s oil shale. The key vote was cast by liberal Senator Ken Salazar from Colorado, of all places.

Source: $4 Gasbags, WSJ

Granted, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board is usually going to side with business, but if what they say is true, then we owe it to ourselves to at least consider drilling in the U.S. Surely we have the technology to drill without jacking up the environment.

I think drilling along with developing biofuels is the way to go. Surely that’s got to be better than sending all that money to the Middle East.

What are your thoughts? How do we solve our energy needs? Do you think our government is doing enough?

Why Aren’t More People Talking About Biofuel From Algae?

Reading assignment: Cultivating Algae for Liquid Fuel Production by Thomas F. Riesing, Ph.D.

Read that article. I read it and my main question is:


Seriously, after reading that article along with all the other stuff I have been reading, I can’t understand why we aren’t moving full-force into getting this stuff into production.

Politicians and Oil

The price of oil has been on my mind a lot lately. This morning’s WSJ had an article about how Congressman Bart Stupak is looking for the villian responsible for high oil prices. He claims oil prices are being manipulated by trading houses and futures markets. He may be right but I think he and the rest of congress must share in the blame for high oil prices for two reasons:

1. They won’t allow our companies to drill here in the U.S.


2. They aren’t investing enough in other sources of fuel like biofuels.

Why can’t we allow companies to drill in the U.S. if they promise to do it responsibly AND require them to invest heavily in other fuel sources?

I have no idea how much oil is available here in the U.S. Some argue that there’s very little while others say there’s a lot. I don’t who to believe. All I know is that I’m tired of watching oil soar past record after record while our politicians do nothing but make it look like they are doing something.

Yeah Right – OPEC Is Unhappy with Recent Surge in Oil Prices

I was at a track meet this morning. My youngest son ran two events and did pretty good. They won the first relay race but didn’t do quite as well on the second relay race. It was fun but I forgot to wear a hat and now my forehead feels crispy.

Anyway, I find this very hard to believe:

OPEC unhappy with oil price surge.

What idiot is unhappy when the price of the good they are producing increases?

If they are really that unhappy, why don’t they produce as much oil as they can? Either they can’t because they are already maxed out or they don’t want to increase supplies. Either way, they’re lying if they say they are unhappy with the current price of oil.

I wish the US would quit dragging their feet and get us some alternative fuel sources (BESIDES ETHANOL) already!

Could Algae Be The Answer to Our Fuel Needs?

Watch this video and tell me what you think. I think it looks promising and it looks like it can be done for about $2 at the pump (I’m guessing here).

While you’re at it, watch this short video too:

I thought the last video was interesting when he talked about the gallon yield per acre of various biofuel crops:

Soy 48 gallons per acre
Rapeseed (canola oil) 127 gallons per acre
Algae 10,000 gallons per acre

For more information, here’s some other interesting articles I found this evening:

The first one is a blog post I found on Gas 2.0 (cool name for a blog) from late March about the first algae biodiesel plant going live on April 1st.

The second is an article from January, 2007 with some background information on making biofuel from algae.

The third piece is an interesting post highlighting 15 algae startup companies.