Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Matt Simmons on Peak Oil

Here is an interview with Matt Simmons in regard to the CERA report, which basically pushed Peak Oil off to 2030 and beyond. He has some significant comments to make about the state of our oil infrastructure, and other infrastructure issues.

Also, the Energy Descent Action Plan. It seems to me that if our city and county governments were interested in our collective future they would be pushing this process. Right now I don't know of any initiative to do this, and given that Chicago failed to meet Da Mayor's loudly trumpeted Green initiative I certainly don't expect any leadership from that quarter. This is something that should appeal to JoMo's desire to be taken oh so seriously by the DNC. It has far more impact than foie gras.


Paradise said...

Another really relavent post. You are far ahead in posting these sites.

Just finished Matt Simmons' TWILIGHT IN THE DESERT, which is stuffed with arcane details regarding oil production allover the world and that paints a very chilling picture regarding our prospects for regular electricity and heat, let alone motorized transportation, in another 10-20 years if we don't radically alter the way we do things, in every way, immediately.

Wish I could believe the CERA report. However, the estimates of the costs of extracting usable liquids from the Alberta tar sands are escalating. At first, it was thought that the cost of recovering everything up there that could reasonably be hoped for was about $3.5 billion. Now, as work progresses, estimates of the cost are at $12B, which makes fuel from that source expensive and scarce.

Kheris said...

I didn't believe CERA the minute I read what they were proposing for new finds. Based on what?! I haven't read Simmons' book, Kunstler scared me plenty. I sent the link to a cousin in Texas who works for Deloitte and Touche. He wants more info on what's going on. Guess some clients are waking up.

At lunch I peruse The Drumbeat over at The Oil Drum. The news pieces they find are very interesting. One of the denizens over there intends to post a study next spring, after the Energy Info Administration (EIA) posts their year end numbers. He's expecting the data to prove we passed peak. I hope he's wrong.

Paradise said...

I made some comments regarding Chicago's 'green' status vs. our mayor's profound lack of interest in taking serious action when it is so much easier to do 'window dressing' such as green roofs, at my new blog, The North Coast. It's at There will be more substance in weeks to come, because I am seriously interested in getting Chicago on a course that could reduce automobile use by 50% or more over the next 10 years, and in the near suburbs as well. All municipalities in the region should be working together to make the city and suburbs more compact, more walkable, and completely liveable without a car.

I hope the Peakers are wrong, but Simmons provides a pretty convincing array of evidence that they are correct, and every one who says we are NOT reaching or passing peak points to all the shales and sands as proof that the peakers are wrong, or even more comically, they point to pathetically small discoverires in difficult to access places, such as Chevron's 'Jack', that is a deep-sea well and is good for 15 billion barrels at the most.

What I really hope is that our leaders really are cognizant of the situation and are making plans that include us, that will keep us running and the economy functioning. Business leaders seem to be somewhat in touch, in that you hear of more and more utilities taking a serious interest in building solar power plants, and large improvements in the efficiency and cost of solar and other renewables.

However, if any one is making plans to rebuild, expand, and electrify our railroads that could save millions of barrels of fuel per day over cars and trucks, I have not heard of it. I have heard some loose talk about nuclear, but no plans for any nuclear plants at this date. Most of all, I hear no plans to improve and expand public transit in cities that are already built around it, such as Chicago, and will be needing much more to accomodate the hundreds of thousands of people who will not be able to fuel their cars as gasoline ratchets northward in price, or who wil lhave to choose between their cars and a place to live as the cost of maintaining both skyrockets.

Kheris said...

The Washington Post had an article about Gazprom, which is a state owned entity. Pretty scary reading. They want "security of demand" and are in a position to really mess with the European energy demands. They want to control the pipelines in Belarus as an exchange for providing natural gas. Can we all spell "hostage"? This is just another aspect of what we will need to address if we are serious about moving away from carbon, at least oil based carbon, as a primary energy source for fuel.