dimanche, avril 02, 2006

Thoughts on "Crude Awakening"

If you don't have a subscription to the WSJ, you're in luck. My Pa is their second editor. Just kidding.

What he is, is a truck driver. Also a very fast reader who happens to retain everything. I wish my college education could have been a fifth of his.

The WSJ has some really great guest columnists, and now and then Pa sends me something that is incredibly insightful. A few weeks ago he gave me an article called Crude Awakening and I've kept a copy of it with me ever since. I can't post it here of course, but since someone else has taken the risk I'll link to it.

Here is the premise. We need to diversify our energy portfolio. Think about it, if we're too heavily invested in any one source of energy we're putting ourselves at risk. Especially if it's not the sources that yield the most energy - I'm talking about uranium and coal. Not wind, not ethanol, or solar.

You should really read the article for full context... but there are two things that jumped out at me:

- Our problems with price are not the result of importing "Foreign Oil" from the Persian Gulf (and furthermore, we are not dependent on Persian Gulf oil). In fact only 5.6% of our oil comes from this part of the world. The rest comes from North American countries. Switching 5.6% of our consumption doesn't seem like such a large number does it? Yet the collective "We" makes such a big stink about emboldening the middle east and going to war for oil.

- We need to rethink the way fuel the power grid and... motor vehicles. In this article the author proposes moving our natural gas to the highway instead of using it to heat buildings. I'll go with him on that because if we power the grid with coal and uranium there would be a significant cost savings (and therefore electricity would be the cheaper way to heat - I'm all for that). The part about natural gas on the highway is still up for grabs as far as I'm concerned... I'll be sold on it when we build more NG refineries. But he makes his points well and maybe I just don't get it yet. After all, I don't have Pa's education. Instead I was taught to feel good about myself for trying. And vindicated for complaining about gas prices in spite of the cost of warm fuzzies like ethanol.

Don't get me started on all the crying over the oil company's profits, either. The government made 2.5x what the oil companies did last year through gas taxes alone. Who's really the greedy entity here?


Blogger Aaron said...

I'm talking about uranium and coal.

The United States has its own resources for Uranium and coal. If we started using those we would become more energy independant, and we'd stop promoting the global economy.

Why, that would be as nutty as drilling our own oil.

Great post, Jones.

7:24 PM, avril 02, 2006  
Blogger Phelony Jones said...


Yes I can't imagine why we would work harder and not smarter...(and at less cost and impact on the economy)

11:20 AM, avril 03, 2006  

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