Thursday, July 13, 2006

"Junkies find veins in their toes."

Probably Al Gore's best line lately. Latest example of toe-vein plumbing: The US House of Representatives has passed the Deep Ocean Energy Resources (DOER) Act. Dave at The Oil Drum has an excellent piece on how ridiculous this whole search is. The papers have been reporting that America's offshore energy resources are estimated at 19 billion barrels of oil and 86 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Before we delve in to the problems with these estimates, let's just reflect on the fact that those two reserve estimates represent:

-2.5 years of American oil consumption.
-240 days of global oil consumption.
-3.13 years of American natural gas consumption.
-317 days of global natural gas consumption.

And for this meager find, they want to accelerate the pillaging of the oceans. Brilliant.

Of course, it gets even worse. In the absence of data, the USGS estimates the potential oil content of various provinces by a pretty bizarre method: assuming even a 5% chance of ridiculous reserves, the "mean" estimate ends up showing reserves that nobody actually thinks exists. So not only are we ruining the oceans, we're ruining the oceans for nothing. Nice.

Oh, and things get worse still: Antarctica might be on the chopping block.

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