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Energy Independence NOW!

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  • Energy Independence NOW!

    Energy Independence NOW!

    Energy is the root of many of our problems today. The United States is the (Second) largest oil producer in the world; however, we are also the greatest consumer of oil. The US has not been energy independent since 1970. Today we consume approximately 22 million barrels per day. That is a lot of oil, about quarter of the world’s total daily production. Our ravenous appetite for oil contributes to our huge trade deficit. Inflation is on the rise because of oil and so are interest rates. We are spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars trying to stabilize the Middle East. Our national deficit is on the rise. Iran can thumb its nose at the UN and continue enriching Uranium because it knows we will not dare risk taking their 4 million barrels per day off the global market. We are propping up oppressive dictators and funding radical Islamist. The economy is raked with energy uncertainty. We can do something about it.


    1. Produce 100% of our electricity from none-fossil fuels. We should make Hydroelectric and Nuclear power plants the backbone of our electricity grid. Use Renewables like wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal where possible. However, we have to get comfortable with Nuclear energy and build more plants. This solution would produce ZERO greenhouse gases and free up natural gas as well as our considerable coal reserves for other uses.
    2. Produce 100% of our domestic transportation fuel through a combination of CELLULOSE ethanol (not to be confused with the corn-based ethanol) and synthetic gas, diesel, and aviation fuel produced from coal. Cellulose ethanol can be produced from grass, leaves, agricultural waste, wood scraps, and yard trash, anything with cellulose in it. The cost is about 50-70 cents per gallon. Mix it with 15% synthetic gas made from coal and you have E85. It only cost approximately $200 more to manufacture an engine design that is E85 compatible. Require all domestically sold cars to be flex fuel compatible. In addition, E85 produces 80% less greenhouse gases then petroleum so it’s good for the environment. The result will be stable transportation fuel prices and lower greenhouse emissions.
    3. Raise taxes on imported oil and the consumption tax on gas bought at the pump. First, the proceeds will be used to build the infrastructure needed to make America energy independent and then poured into alternative energy research such as fuel cells, hydrogen production, and fusion technology.

    The technology is on the shelf. We can do it. All we lack is the will. To say we are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraq because of terrorism is like saying the American Civil War was about state’s rights. We are in Iraq and the Middle East because of oil, plain and simple. As global demand for oil increases so will our economic uncertainty. We have to eliminate our need for foreign oil, and ultimately our need for fossil fuels. Think about it, billions of dollars spent in America employing Americans instead of billions of dollars leaving our country for Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Nigeria. Instead of propping up oppressive governments, we will be employing Americans. Instead of building Iraq’s infrastructure, we will be building our own. No one's family member or friend will have to go overseas only to return disabled or in a body bag because of oil...

    You need to write all of your state and federal political representatives. Let them know this issue is important to you. Educate yourself on the issues. There is a lot of misinformation out there. Oh, and tell a friend to do the same!
    Last edited by Qweevox; 08-12-2006, 09:20 AM.

  • #2
    Agreed, but if we replace oil as a transportation fuel then we cut global oil consumption by almost 8%. Oil doesn't have to run out for things to get very bad, production only has to peak. We have plenty of oil for plastics and products if we only curb its consumption in transportation. Some say we are near peak global oil production, if the last decade is any indication they may be right.

    In any case, coal can be made into synthetic oil, as can the shale and the tar sands in Canada. Synthetic oil can replace petroleum oil. It is estimated that the United States has at least a 200-year supply of proven coal reserves, and that there might be as much as a 1000 year supply in the ground. In any case, we have to take steps now. Replace the imported oil we use for transportation first, and then ramp up supply of synthetic oil from coal as needed for plastics and products.

    Ultimately we will ween ourselves off fossil fuels for energy altogether. Fusion technology is probably 50 years away. At that point we will manufacture all the energy we need. In the short run hydrogen fuel cells and better solar cells are probably just around the corner as well as improved wind and tidal generators. Its this transition period which we must worry about.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Qweevox
      Energy Independence NOW!

      Energy is the root of many of our problems today. The United States is the largest oil producer in the world; however, we are also the greatest consumer of oil. The US has not been energy independent since 1970. Today we consume approximately 22 million barrels per day. That is a lot of oil, about quarter of the world’s total daily production. Our ravenous appetite for oil contributes to our huge trade deficit. Inflation is on the rise because of oil and so are interest rates. We are spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars trying to stabilize Iraq. Our national deficit is on the rise. Iran can thumb its nose at the UN and continue enriching Uranium because it knows we will not dare risk taking their 4 million barrels per day off global market. We are propping up oppressive dictators and funding radical Islamist. The economy is raked with energy uncertainty. We can do something about it.


      1. Produce 100% of electricity from none-fossil fuels. We should make Hydroelectric and Nuclear power plants the backbone of our electricity grid. Use Renewables like wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal where possible. However, we have to get comfortable with Nuclear energy and build more plants. This solution would produce ZERO greenhouse gases and free up natural gas and our considerable coal reserves for other uses.
      2. Produce 100% of our domestic transportation fuel through a combination of CELLULOSE ethanol (not to be confused with the corn-based ethanol) and synthetic gas, diesel, and aviation fuel produced from coal. Cellulose ethanol can be produced from grass, leaves, agricultural waste, wood scraps, and yard trash, anything with cellulose in it. The cost is about 50-70 cents per gallon. Mix it with 15% synthetic gas made from coal and you have E85. It only cost approximately $200 more to manufacture an engine design that is E85 compatible. Require all domestically sold cars to be flex fuel compatible. In addition, E85 produces 80% less greenhouse gases then petroleum so it’s good for the environment. The result will be stable transportation fuel prices and lower greenhouse emissions.
      3. Raise taxes on imported oil and the consumption tax on gas bought at the pump. First, the proceeds will be used to build the infrastructure needed to make America energy independent and then poured into alternative energy research such as fuel cells, hydrogen production, and fusion technology.

      The technology is on the shelf. We can do it. All we lack is the will. To say we spending hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraq because of terrorism is like saying the American Civil War was about state’s rights. We are in Iraq and the Middle East because of oil, plain and simple. As global demand for oil increases so will our economic uncertainty. We have to eliminate our need for foreign oil, and ultimately our need for fossil fuel. Think about it, billions of dollars spent in America employing Americans instead of leaving our country for Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Nigeria. Instead of propping up oppressive governments, we will be employing Americans. Instead of building Iraq’s infrastructure, we will be building our own. No ones family member or friend will have to go overseas only to return disabled or in a body bag because of oil...

      You need to write all of your state and federal political representatives. Let them know this issue is important to you. Educate yourself on the issues. There is a lot of misinformation out there. Oh, and tell a friend to do the same!
      falacies here.

      The US is the largest producer of PETROL (we have the refineries)

      OPEC is the largest producer of OIL. (and it behaves like a Cartel, raising prices whenever we do something they don't like. We protest for religious freedom in Saudi Arabia, and they raise the prices in retaliation - this has been going on for years and years.) OPEC == Saudi Royals proxy.

      If the US was the largest producer of OIL - we wouldn't be so dependant on the Middle East - and we wouldn't be having to pussyfoot around every disagreement with their leaders.

      Comment


      • #4
        I stand corrected. The United States is the SECOND largest producer of crude oil in the world: http://www.photius.com/rankings/oil_production_0.html

        However, we consume almost 25% of the world's total production that is the problem. In other words, we burn everything we produce and then some. It’s the “…and then some” that is the problem. We have become energy dependent. Aside from Alaska, it looks like most of our proven reserves have been tapped and are in decline. The problem is consumption of oil. My main point is we can significantly replace our need for oil in transportation by moving towards alternative energy sources that do not rely on petroleum.

        In addition we can free our electrical grid from fossil fuel altogether. We can make an electrical grid that produces zero greenhouse gases and provides an almost limitless supply of power. If we did we could use our considerable coal reserves for transportation fuel and supplement that with cellulose ethanol as well as bio-diesel. Ultimately, we will free our transportation from fossil fuels altogether as well, but need a bridge technology to hold us over until that day arrives.

        wood->coal->oil->nuclear fision->nuclear fusion
        Last edited by Qweevox; 08-04-2006, 11:15 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Biodiesel is a way for the owners of the current oil infrastructure to maintain thier interest, and for car companies to not have to do anyhting at all. It is more expensive for us and better for them in the long run. We can convert a lot of barely used farmland into energy:

          http://itotd.com/articles/509/vegeta...as-diesel-fuel

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree about biodiesel...it is more expensive to produce biodiesel then conventional diesel. However, biodiesel is cleaner and doesn't come from other countries.

            The real solution on transportation fuel is "cellulose" ethanol and the Fischer-Tropsch technology for converting coal into gas, diesel, and aviation fuel. Montana's governor is pushing hard for this...

            HELENA, Montana (Reuters) - Montana’s governor wants to solve America’s rising energy costs using a technology discovered in Germany 80 years ago that converts coal into gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel.

            The Fischer-Tropsch technology, discovered by German researchers in 1923 and later used by the Nazis to convert coal into wartime fuels, was not economical as long as oil cost less than $30 a barrel.

            But with U.S. crude oil now hitting more than double that price, Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s plan is getting more attention across the country and some analysts are taking him very seriously.

            Montana is “sitting on more energy than they have in the Middle East,” Schweitzer told Reuters in an interview this week.


            If Montana has more energy then the Middle East....think about the rest of the coal producing US...

            Our civilization is on the verge of manufacturing energy (i.e. fusion technology). We only have another 50-100 years where harvesting energy is essential. It’s the next few decades that concern me. If we haven’t become energy independent when “peak” oil production is reached, we could be looking at a depression the likes of which would make the 1930’s look like a mild recession. It takes time….we have to go with what works.

            If we said, go with coal and cellulose ethanol now it would take 5 -10 years to build enough production facilities. If we wait until peak oil production is reached then…god help us.
            Last edited by Qweevox; 08-12-2006, 09:29 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              ....I'm sorry; I am very passionate about this because I see it as the root to so many of our problems today. While I don’t believe in a massive conspiracy on energy, I do think that many wealthy individuals don’t want America to be energy independent because it’s not in their selfish best interest. While I am a freedom loving capitalist I feel that the needs of the many outweigh the needs (or desires…) of the few. Energy is too important.

              It’s simply really. The oil companies aren’t going to invest heavily in cellulose ethanol or the Fisher-Topsch refineries because oil and natural gas is just too damn profitable. It only cost about $3-$12 to take a barrel of oil from the ground. That cost remains constant no matter whether the global oil price is $30, $70, or $150 per barrel. The cost on society is great.

              Right now $792,000,000.00 leaves our country each DAY, and that’s not counting the extra $5-7 million of our tax dollars we are spending on the Middle East to try to stabilize oil production. That’s almost $25 BILLLION per month. If we could produce all of our own energy that would mean $25 BILLION dollars per month stays in the United States employing AMERICANS.

              Reduced trade deficit
              Reduced Inflation pressures
              Increased employment
              Better stock market
              Better wages
              Lower interest rates
              Lower national deficit
              More money in YOUR pocket
              Cleaner Air
              Lower Greenhouse Gases
              Fewer body bags
              Less demand for artificial prosthetics
              Reduced funding for dictatorships around the world
              Reduced funding for radical terrorist groups
              …a MUCH better world.

              That’s why I am passionate…aren’t you? Educate yourself, write your political representatives, tell your friends, family to do the same. We have to do something.
              Last edited by Qweevox; 08-12-2006, 10:18 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                In any way, petrol will disappear or become too expensive one day. And petrol is only one of raw materials problem...... Think about Van Vogt novel ( Phtah )where iron has taken the place of gold, technology having regressed to pre metal age.

                The matter is not only about substitutes but also about our way of living. Even if susbstitute are found, 100 % of the world cannot live as 100 % of the U.S.A. inhabitants or even europeans do .today......

                Comment


                • #9
                  I love thought experiments and science fiction. Both share the same vision of some distant future that is currently unattainable. To me people fall into one of two camps, they are either pessimist or optimist... I happen to fall in the latter camp, the optimist. If I where to sight a some inspirational vision of the distant future for mankind it would be in the vein of the physicist Freeman Dyson, or the science fiction author that inspired him Olaf Stapledon. I think humanity is following the path laid out by astronomer Nikolai Kardashev. We are far from “harvesting” the total energy output of the planet Earth.

                  In any case, our problems are short lived from an historical perspective, in another century or so we will be able to manufacture all the power we need. I am worried about the brief, painful, “in-between” time. The decades where energy and resources become very expensive and the ultimate economic hardship faced in the transitional period.

                  We have lots of oil. However, we don’t have to run out of oil for a problem to arise. All that has to happen is for global oil production to peak. I know we are closer to peak oil production then we were in 1970, have we reached it…maybe not. The demand of China, India, and Southeast Asia is going to help expedite the problem. As long as 1.6 Billion Chinese where happy riding bikes and letting oxen pull their carts we where fine, but now that more and more of them are driving Toyotas….Houston…we have a problem.

                  Nuclear energy, “cellulose” ethanol, and synthetic transportation fuels are our “bridge” to the future. With them, our standard of living can be maintained until the point where we can make our own energy.

                  Thanks for your comments!
                  Last edited by Qweevox; 08-15-2006, 07:05 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't disagree with any of this. Of course, there will be very few infrastructural changes as long as oil companies are creating US energy policy.

                    As an aside, one of the reasons that I admire Willie Nelson is that he promotes biofuels by owning a station and using it on his tour buses. You have to live it...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Doc
                      I don't disagree with any of this. Of course, there will be very few infrastructural changes as long as oil companies are creating US energy policy.

                      As an aside, one of the reasons that I admire Willie Nelson is that he promotes biofuels by owning a station and using it on his tour buses. You have to live it...
                      You are correct...

                      That is why I posted this under "Activism". It is going to take the action of VOTERS to get the country motivated in the right direction. Capitalism will eventually kick in and replace oil as our primary energy source, but not until the register has stopped ringing on our current state of energy dependence. Once that happens its going to be too late, the average American will suffer and our economy will suffer. Building the required infrastructure is going to take some time, we can’t just flip a switch.

                      Educate yourself on the alternatives. Write you’re your state and federal political representatives; tell your family, friends, and co-workers to do the same. If enough people scream loud enough it can change.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sorry if I came across as too defeatist, Qweevox. I couldn't agree with you more

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