Unfortunately, and despite all that talk on the dangerous US dependence in foreign oil (to run our cars, trucks and industry) US energy policy has not changed much during the last 25 years.
I am an Electrical Engineer. My professional fields are Telecommunications and Software. I am not a Chemical Engineer nor a Nuclear Scientist per se. Yet, I worked in a Nuclear Center (of the US Atomic Energy Commission -please see my resume on the main campaign site), and since my adolescence I have been concerned with the fast depletion of oil (fossil) reserves. I am -even more- preoccupied with its pernicious saga on our environment:
I used to have carton boxes filled with newspaper cutouts, with all kinds of data relating to these topics of fossil depletion. Two years ago I reserved an internet domain name ( www.OilDepletion.com ) where some day -soon- I will offer to the public some of this information as a service to the nation.
If you knew about my inquietudes, then you would not be surprised that in 1979 ( 23 years ago ) and just four years after graduation, I wrote an article on Energy, which I sent to the media, and to the White House.
It was written in an era when we had a terrible oil crisis. Carter was President, and the "crazy" Ayatollah of Iran and "greedy" Saudi Arabia were looked at as the culprits of the whole crisis. Or -at least- that is what everybody was saying in those days. The public, the Media, the Congress, and even the White House. I was not in agreement with that myopic view of the problem.
For more details about the "energy article" story, you could visit www.xuna.net/_main_pages/oildepletion.htm
Clicking above the button titled "Warning (1979)" you would be able to read that educative article on energy (sent to the White House on June 16th, 1979).
How things have changed since my article was written? Not a bit!
We are now even more dependent on oil that we used to be two decades ago. We consume about 20% of the oil produced in the world. We produce 40% of our needs, and we need to import 60%, and since our fields cannot milk anymore, we will continue importing even more as the years go by.
We continue bleeding our dollars -mostly to Arab nations- to keep our dependence, and is hurting our economy. Europe and America keeps provides the acquisitive economic power of those habitants in Arab nations. They have few factories, and little agricultural output in those arid lands. In those desert Arab lands, population used to total 60 million two decades ago, they are 250 million today, and they will be almost 500 million in two decades. This oil habit is extenuating for our economy.
Our domestic oil fields are practically dry. With tertiary methods they keep on dripping a few barrels per day (15.8 bbd on average). We have about 500,000 rigs in operation, that adds up to almost 8 million barrels per day. The calculated years to depletion is just 8 years, but thanks to tertiary methods, it has remained in 8 years for the last two decades (please see graphs.)
Compare that with the healthy yield of the Saudi fields. They have less than 1,000 rigs, but each one produces almost 8,000 barrels per day (bbd). And they could crank them up a few more notches.
Are these high production rates responsible? In my opinion they are not!
Dividing the Estimated Oil Reserves (EOR), by the current Yearly Production (YP) we arrive to what I call the YTD (Years to Depletion). Please, look at those YTDs on this spreadsheet:
If you ask me, I would have to say that we live in a crazy world without much leadership!
The illustration above includes all types of energy, not just oil, but coal, atomic, and so forth.