July 31, 2006

A Tank of Gas, a World of Trouble. "Pulitzer-winning correspondent Paul Salopek traced gas pumped at a suburban Chicago station to the fuel’s sources around the globe. In doing so, he reveals how our oil addiction binds us to some of the most hostile corners of the planet—and to a petroleum economy edging toward crisis."
  • He went to Canada?
  • In Canada, for instance, oil companies must use huge volumes of valuable fresh water to steam-blast the syrupy goo out of the ground. The landscape is strip-mined. And the fuel needed to heat the steam, Canada's once-abundant natural gas supply, has already peaked. Now tar-sands companies are talking of building nuclear plants nearby to help power the oil mining effort. "People like to think technology will always rescue them," said Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), a senior member of the House Science Committee. "But if it still ends up taking two barrels [worth of oil energy] to pump a barrel out of ground, you're in a losing game." But nice try.
  • My comment was re the "most hostile corners of the planet", and was plainly in jest. But since you've got the snark thing on, chrominance, didja enjoy the Molson Indy?
  • I suspect as the price of electricity and fuel go up the demand for more nuclear plants, in spite of the waste problem, is going to reach a tipping point. By then these hybrid lithium batteries ought to be a bit better for energy storage (maybe flywheels replace them). Perhaps the end of cheap air travel, but rail will make a comeback.
  • What i find strange about this article and most of the media coverage is the talk of oil prices being horribly high. Oil prices aren't high. If they were, we'd be seeing less driving.
  • The newest conspiracy theory I heard was that we invaded Iraq not in order to get cheaper oil, but in order to make sure that Iraq's oil was contained and the price went up resulting in higher prices.
  • You forgot the part about the oil companies whining about financial hardships and upping the price of gas, and then recording record profits in the next breath. Yeah, I loved that part.
  • Yup, oil companies and BushCo are gettin' while the gettin's good.
  • Remember, first one to use all the oil wins. Thats why I've got an SUV built on the chassis of a Terex Titan.
  • What struck me most in the article was the mammoth technology. Digging down kilometers under the ocean floor and then tunnelling sideways for five miles. We can do that but we can't do "Middle East".
  • MonkeyFilter: We can do that but we can't do "Middle East". *dusts off hands, hands invoice clipboard to GramMa*