Monday, April 2, 2012

Energy Independence - Is it real or a Holy Grail?

Energy independence appears to be more and more achievable everyday.  The question is how long with the federal government keep its finger on the scale in favor of "green energy" solutions the market has proven are not ready for prime time?  Readers know I'm all about sustainable solutions in the built environment.  But that doesn't always mean green solutions.  In fact, far too often so-called green solutions cost more and deliver less value.  Such solutions hardly qualify as green.  Someday solar, wind and other alternative energy solutions may be viable.  Today, unfortunately, they are not.  Accordingly, those who are interested in sustainable solutions need to engage the fossil fuel based energy producers in a substantive conversation about how to develop energy in an environmentally and economically responsible manner.  Shrieking, wailing and stomping your feet is not a viable response.  As noted on this blog before the ability to extract oil and gas from tight shale formations is a game changer that has substantially altered the geo-political chessboard.

The article excerpted below, from the Washington Post's Samuelson, is an indication that the main stream media is finally recognizing this reality.  Let's not ignore the value we can add to this processes through the use of IPD, BIM and lean business processes.

The National Petroleum Council -- a group of industry officials, consultants and academics that advises the government -- puts oil resources at 274 billion barrels, including 100 billion in the Arctic and 60 billion in the waters off the lower 48 states. Onshore, applying fracking and horizontal drilling to shale oil already has already stimulated a boom in North Dakota; Texas and California have similar formations. Meanwhile, U.S. oil use -- reflecting high prices, more fuel-efficient cars and a weak economy -- is falling. Finally, oil from Canadian "tar sands" (whose natural market is the United States) is estimated at 300 billion barrels.

Here are the ingredients for greater security. Getting to Nixon's no net imports is not necessary if most imports come from Canada and other friendly countries. The true foolishness of Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline was to encourage Canada to look elsewhere to sell its surplus oil.

Promoting production also involves jobs. Aside from hiring more geologists and roustabouts, energy investment creates demand for ancillary manufacturers. Low natural gas prices will promote "the re-industrialization of America" by favoring U.S. locations for petrochemical plants (gas is a feedstock) and industries with high-energy costs, says a study by Citigroup. A Wall Street Journal headline about the steel industry affirms the point: "Natural-Gas Boom Begets Low Prices for Fuel, Strong Demand for Piping."

Read the whole thing.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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1 comment:

international library service Canada said...

Maybe real, technological advances and more researches will make energy independence common.