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Posts Made By: Terry Friedrichsen

June 22, 2008 04:19 AM Forum: Polls

Drill ANWR

Posted By Terry Friedrichsen

Richard Wright said:
Because it isn't enough to bother with. ANWR has only a 50% probability of containing 2.6 billion barrels of oil.

Have you got a reputable source for this figure? This isn't even close to what the USGS says at

The total quantity of technically recoverable oil within the entire assessment area is estimated to be between 5.7 and 16.0 billion barrels (95-percent and 5-percent probability range), with a mean value of 10.4 billion barrels.

In other words, there's a 95% probability of an amount that's over twice as much as your "50% probability" figure.

At current prices, offshore and ANWR amount to *several trillion dollars* of oil. We can use it ourselves, saving us from sending all of that money to OPEC, or sell it to others if we can find effective alternatives, pumping up our own economy.

That amount of oil is simply nothing to scoff at.

Terry (astrotrf)

June 23, 2008 02:59 AM Forum: Polls

Drill ANWR

Posted By Terry Friedrichsen

Richard Wright said:
You need to multiply by 0.35 to convert the "Recoverable reserve" number to what will actually show up on the surface with current technology.

That number also differs from the USGS report. Referring to a chart near the bottom of the report, the mean "economically recoverable reserve" (this means to-market) approaches 7 billion barrels as the price of oil goes above $40. Of course, the much higher price now would justify even more expense in terms of recovery effort, so that 7 billion barrels would increase somewhat. So instead of .35, the factor inferred from the USGS report (not a factor they assumed, but one derived from analysis) is more like 0.7.

7 billion barrels of oil at $130/bbl is nearly a trillion dollars. It won't make the U. S. energy-independent, and that's not even the point -- but it would be a huge boost to the economy. And remember that this is just from ANWR; the offshore areas would provide even *more* oil.

Terry (astrotrf)

June 23, 2008 04:52 AM Forum: Polls

Drill ANWR

Posted By Terry Friedrichsen

Richard Wright said:
35% is the best anyone can do, anywhere, for any amount of money.

The USGS report disagrees with that assessment. Do you have references for the figures you use?

If the price of oil goes up, that doesn't make fluid dynamics change so the oil all goes running for the pipe. It does make it easier to make the case to fork out $8 billion on the 10 year program to run a drilling campaign and put in facilities to develop the field (which may be a non-starter with oil at $35/ barrel).

This is precisely why the graph in question shows economically recoverable reserves as a function of the oil price.

Terry (astrotrf)

June 27, 2008 02:52 PM Forum: Polls

Drill ANWR

Posted By Terry Friedrichsen

matt affenita said:
We have been cornered into this way of thinking by the current price of oil.

Well, "cornered" is not the word I would have used; it's simply economics in action. Back then, with a much lower oil price, we could afford to place the low probability of a small area of environmental damage above the national need for the oil. That's no longer the case; we cannot continue buying massive amounts of foreign oil at these prices. We need to mitigate that as much as possible with new domestic production, as well as reducing demand by developing alternatives to oil/gasoline.

We need domestic oil now, and, in all likelihood, we're going to *really* need it in 15 years, so we have to begin developing these new fields. This won't *solve* the problem, but amounts of dollars measured in trillions sounds like real money to me.

Terry (astrotrf)

June 28, 2008 12:20 PM Forum: Polls

Drill ANWR

Posted By Terry Friedrichsen

Nice bit of sarcasm, I'm sure ...

It is a huge mistake to argue that the alternatives are "don't drill at all" vs. "utter destruction of the environment". Aside from being completely false, that kind of extremism is not in any way conducive to a rational discussion, and does nothing to help find solutions to the problems we face.

Advocating drilling for oil in the Everglades, to take your example, doesn't mean defining the Everglades as "useless". Drilling for oil in ANWR does not imply the destruction of ANWR. Oil exploration *can* be done in an environmentally safe way, and it is quite evident that such safety practices would be *demanded* in ANWR and elsewhere.

A point I've made before is that other countries are drilling for oil offshore and in other environmentally sensitive areas, without significant environmental impact -- there's no reason the U. S. cannot do so as well.

And, yes, people are going to make money doing this. Some people are going to make a LOT of money doing this. That's just the way it is; there has to be a payoff for the huge up-front investment involved. That's true *everywhere*, not just in the oil industry. It's even true in the places where folks are working to come up with alternatives to the use of oil and gasoline.

Terry (astrotrf)

July 19, 2008 02:13 PM Forum: Polls

You have to choose one for your backyard to help in the energy crisis

Posted By Terry Friedrichsen

I have to apologize, I guess, for not being enlightened enough to want to return to the 1850s. I rather always thought that we should strive to *improve* the standard of living for the next generation, rather than telling them to learn to live with less. Demand for energy is going to increase as the years go by, if only because the population increases; that's eventually going to overtake any conservation efforts, and *then* what do you do?

We need to move forward, not backward; we need to produce more energy, not just complain about the difficulties and tell everyone to make do with less. It's all well and good to point out the difficulties with various methods of energy production, but that just means we need to find SOLUTIONS to the problems rather than abandon energy production entirely. And at some point, choices are going to have to be made between energy production and environmental concerns; for too long, we've allowed environmental extremism to overrule common-sense tradeoffs.

Coal *can* be burned more cleanly, nuclear power plants *can* be built (even in the desert!), and yes, we can drill for oil so we'll have more domestic production available in 10 years. Wind power is great, where it's practical; solar panels on everyone's roof is a great idea. But the key to any solution is economics.

Saying "no" to every conceivable kind of energy production makes you part of the PROBLEM, not part of the solution. Like it nor not, we'll need more energy in the future, and refusing to countenance any method of producing it cheaply and in large amounts just perpetuates our current situation.

Like it or not, we live in a free market system. Nobody's going to put solar panels on their roof if wind-generated electricity is cheaper. Nobody's going to want wind-generated electricity if coal-fired power is cheaper. Nobody is going to buy electric cars if gasoline-powered cars are cheaper until (as we see now) gasoline prices become a significant factor. Etc.

So here's a challenge to all of the environmental types out there: let's hear a long-term solution that's economically reasonable, independent of conservation considerations. Stop, for just a moment, talling us what we *can't* do, and propose something we *can* do instead. Let me reinforce the fact that I'm asking for something economically feasible and independent of conservation. (I don't object to conservation as an idea; I just want to hear about *other* ideas.)

Terry (astrotrf)

July 20, 2008 05:09 AM Forum: Polls

You have to choose one for your backyard to help in the energy crisis

Posted By Terry Friedrichsen

Wow, you guys really don't like being challenged to solve a problem. I know that it's a lot easier to just sit back and shoot holes in other peoples' ideas, without coming up with any of your own. But I really thought that you'd have at least *some* kind of constructive suggestion, rather than just criticism.

But instead, I get greeted with the equivalent of "how dare you ask *us* for solutions"?

I'm not being belligerent; neither am I misinformed. I just want to hear an environmentalist try to help *solve* a problem rather than creating more of them.

My only criteria for a solution were to do or say something beyond "conserve", and be economically feasible. I never once specified that I had to *like* the plan. But I got nothing in response except attacks impugning my motives. I never said that it was "environmental types" *responsibility* to come up with a plan; I just wanted to hear whether you had one.

The answer, at least so far, is a resounding NO. You've got no plan for doing anything except nostalgia for the good old days of 1850. You seem to believe that we can get along indefinitely into the far future on even less energy than we have now; conservation is the only thing necessary to solve the energy crisis.

I even explicitly stated that I am not *against* conservation as a principle; I'm just saying that, even with conservation, energy demand is going to *increase* in the future, and challenged you to come up with some way of creating more energy at economically reasonable cost that you could accept. But there's no willingness to even expend a moment's thought in that direction.

> Does "cheapest" always take priority over every other consideration?

Patently not; there are always those who are willing to spend more money to buy energy-efficient homes or alternative-fuel cars. But "a lot more expensive" is simply never going to win; there has to be a condition of economic reasonableness.

> What are you prepared to trade off?

Simple. I'm willing to pay a little more for electricity and drive a (more expensive) electric car that doesn't have the speed, range, or convenience that I would really like it to have. In fact, I've already spent money to replace my HVAC system with a much more efficient one, and increased the insulation in my home; I'm already helping to support the conservation you advocate.

In return, I'd like you to acknowledge that we're going to need more electricity in the future, irrespective of conservation (in the longer term, demand will grow to overtake conservation savings), and acknowledge that we need domestic sources of oil to bridge the gap until the gasoline-powered vehicles can be transitioned off the roads. What are *you* prepared to trade off?

> ... come up with a plan that hands you everything you want while still not fatally
> screwing up the planet or turning most of it into an industrial zone...

Happy to make the attempt, but I'll want you to clearly define "fatally screwing up" and "industrial zone". There's no point in it if "fatally screwing up" is defined as storing nuclear waste in a geologically-stable formation, or if oil wells far offshore is defined as "turning most of the planet into an industrial zone".

I assert that offshore drilling and drilling in ANWR, with proper controls, is benign enough to meet your criteria to my satisfaction. I further assert that nuclear power plants are benign enough to similarly meet your criteria. (BTW, the Earth has vast amounts of water for cooling; we just need to site the plants and get the water to them.)

Battery technology needs to continue to improve so that electric cars are a viable alternative to current vehicles.

Research into new methods of providing plentiful and inexpensive electricity should continue apace, including fusion reactors and home-based power generation from fuel cells.
(Personally, I'd love to put solar panels on my roof, but the economics just isn't there; I hope it is sometime, but after, what, 40+ years, I don't think the prognosis is good.)

So that's an outline of *my* plan; what's yours?

There has to be some willingness to make concessions on the part of the environmentalists. They've certainly gotten their way for a long time -- for example, it's been decades since we built a new oil refinery in this country.

> For clean coal, all I have to say is: SHOW ME.

Well, for me, fluidized-bed combustion with sulphur removal is clean enough. Older methods were definitely too dirty, and I'm glad that a better way was devised. I'm sure more could and should be done, but this way is good enough for now, to my mind.

> ... your ridiculous assertion that no one would build wind generators while coal was
> cheap ...

No, you misunderstand. Clearly wind generators *are* being built; I'm just saying that coal won't be abandoned in favor of wind generators so long as wind-generated power is more expensive.

> Exactly how do you think that is going to happen, slick?

You know, in my entire post, I never belittled anyone. I didn't call names and didn't use pejoratives. Putting words in my mouth and then labelling those words "ridiculous" is interesting and often effective as a political tactic, however, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by it.

I disagree with your opinions, but I won't denigrate you for holding them. I'm interested in meeting in the middle, not promoting "my way or the highway". The problem I have with most environmentalists is that they utterly refuse to adopt the same attitude.

> The free market has no mechanism to provide masses of cheap anything ... it provides the
> highest price the market will bear.

But this is wrong. You're looking at the production side of the free market *only*, and you assume the absence of competition. From the consumption side, cheaper wins a vast percentage of the time. If your assertion was correct, I wouldn't be able to go to an electronics store and buy a progressive-scan DVD player for $29 and change. Yet that's not the *highest* price the market will bear: I can buy other DVD players, of arguably higher quality, for much more than that.

> Yeah, it's nice to imagine everyone being able to drive all they want, keep a 20,000
> sqft house at whatever temperature they like please, and eat as much as they want of
> anything. But that isn't the hand of cards we were dealt.

The difference between you and I is that your attitude towards this is one of acceptance, while my attitude is that we should work to make it happen instead of abandoning all hope. Even you admit that it's a nice thing to imagine -- I say, "why not try?"

Terry (astrotrf)

July 29, 2008 02:19 PM Forum: Polls

THE QUESTION - some of you shouldn't look - you have been warned

Posted By Terry Friedrichsen

Nick Lloyd said:
Anybody is better than who we currently put up with.

Oh, I probably should just ignore this whole discussion. But I cling to some small hope of a calm, sane, and rational discussion not involving name-calling and invective ...

Let me presume that you disagree with the President on the decision to invade Iraq. Put that aside for the moment (we may come back to it if this discussion proves to meet the above criteria). Can you give a few other *specific* issues on which you disagree with the President?

Terry (astrotrf)

July 29, 2008 02:58 PM Forum: Polls

THE QUESTION - some of you shouldn't look - you have been warned

Posted By Terry Friedrichsen

Carl Stanley said:
I bet you wont say that in 4 years! Democrat or Republican, either way, we will probably be even worse off!

I don't share this pessimistic view. The economy's gone through both major and minor downturns before (and, I hasten to add, we are still seeing a small amount of economic growth each quarter) and always rebounded. The price of gasoline is up, but European economies have been dealing with much higher prices for years (granted, they've got much shorter transportation distances). The housing market is down, but will recover; eventually, the current spate of foreclosures will be processed through the system (the inventory of homes on the market is decreasing). And eventually, investment institutions will regain some measure of the trust they've lost.

There are a few weak banks, and there may be a few more closures. But there are a lot of strong banks, too ... and most banks will weather this storm.

Other than the probability that we won't see a major decrease in gasoline/oil prices, I just don't see anything fundamental and long-term to justify all of the pessimism ...

Terry (astrotrf)

July 29, 2008 03:18 PM Forum: Polls

THE QUESTION - some of you shouldn't look - you have been warned

Posted By Terry Friedrichsen

Joe Bergeron said:
It seems to me that one good reason to collect taxes is to reduce the incredible growth of the federal deficit over the past 7 years and prevent the country from sinking even deeper into debt to foreign powers of uncertain intent.

I second that notion, and if I thought reducing the national debt (not merely reducing its *growth*) would actually HAPPEN, I'd be happy to pay increased taxes.

I was always taught that spending vastly more than you take in and living by borrowing was unwise. But of course, I'm only a naive "liberal", and thus these matters of high finance are probably beyond me.

What has always frustrated me about this, however, is that "liberals" are the ones who fought tooth and nail to defeat a balanced-budget constitutional amendment. If they all thought like you do, that amendment would be a reality now. (Of course, that is not to say that Congress wouldn't pass law a law declaring an "emergency override" or some such thing every year ...)

But "conservatives" don't do anything to reduce deficit spending, either, so I don't know *what* to do. I really hate it when I look at my nephews and realize that we're saddling them with a near ten trillion dollar (and rising) debt ...

Democrats and Republicans are all politicians -- and therefore none of them can be trusted with money ...

Terry (astrotrf)