Monday, May 12, 2008

Shale Oil

Robert Rapier has commented on his blog about Shell Oil's recent foray into water rights in Colorado. Apparently they are busy buying up water rights. Water will be a big part of the process in getting shale production online. Robert has concerns about the production of shale oil. I share those concerns. Given the situation with the tar sands in Canada, and the technology required to get the oil (actually kerogen) out of the shale, I can't imagine this being anything other than an environmental nightmare. If we pull 1-3 mbbls/day out of the shale (and that day is a long way off), we will doing real good. Are we so addicted that we'll risk the loss of valuable water to keep up with the Happy Motoring lifestyle? You can't drink oil and it has no nutritional value that I know of.

1 comment:

The North Coast said...

What we are doing is making the choice to collapse our water and food supply and devastate the environment in order to keep 5% of the population in their automobiles at ANY COST to the country as a whole.

If current political trends continue, we will divert our cropland to fuel production with the incentives of heavily-subsidized ethanol production, and cause half the population to starve. We will collapse our already-overtapped water supply to produce oil from the shales, and the population will still have to subsidize the effort with their taxes while they suffer for lack of decent food, water, or basic jobs.

It appears to me that we've settled our priorities, and chief among them is keeping the cars running and the highways smoothly paved at any cost to the general population, who will foot the bill- while starving public transit both intracity and long distance, and making food, water, medicine, and utilities impossibly expensive for most people.

Let's hope the country changes its political course. But that would mean coming out of denial and facing the fact that the fabled American Way of Live 1945-2005 is pretty much over. As long as the illusion that we can maintain it persists, the population as a whole is going to support choices and priorities that will prove murderously self-destructive as we continue down the slope of depletion.