What’s the best way to get people to stop bitching about ever-higher gas prices and their fallout in the ethanol market? The EPA seems to think it’s to just jack up the minimum amount people are allowed to buy — to four gallons:
With prices at the pump worrying Americans, Republicans have railed against the Environmental Protection Agency’s new gas mandate that requires consumers to buy at least four gallons when purchasing from stations with hoses containing 10 percent and 15 percent ethanol-blended fuel.
On Monday, Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Chief Administrator Lisa Jackson criticizing the agency’s approval of the sale of gasoline containing 15 volume percent ethanol.
Specifically, the EPA will require that consumers purchase a minimum of four gallons when buying from a gas station that sells gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol and 15 percent ethanol — also known as “E15″ — out of the same gas pump.
A black market will undoubtedly emerge for people who just need less than four gallons. I look forward to seeing the skeezy onesies pushers, stinking of petroleum as they rush to your car with liters of gold liquid sloshing around in their large jackets.
Ultimately, the EPA will have only themselves to blame when customers find themselves caught between two unfree markets (the gas station tasked with enforcing silly federal laws and the bootleggers ignoring them) and it starts to slowly dawn on them who the lesser of two evils really are in that hilarious instance.
Brian Wang at Next Big Future provides a ten-point list on the U.S. energy situation that should help put to bed the belief that we’re running full speed off the energy cliff (he also makes a strong case for more nuclear research).
Here’s some ridiculously high numbers of untapped oil in the U.S.:
10. Assigning estimated barrels of oil to various basins and shale oil plays plus including an estimate of yet to be discovered shale oil, I came to an estimate of oil in place. Oil in place in the continental US is from about 3 trillion to 5 trillion barrels of oil not including the 4.5 trillion barrels of oil shale.
1.53 trillion barrels Piceance Basin of Colorado (USGS, June 2011 oil shale)
1.44 trillion barrels Green River formation (USGS, June 2011 oil shale)
1.32 trillion barrels for the Uinta Basin of Utah and Colorado. (USGS, June 2011 oil shale)
260-500 billion barrels Monterey Formation (tight oil)
271-503 billion barrels Bakken Formation (tight oil)
Aggressive use of new fracking technology and combined with fire flooding and water flooding could enable 20-30% recovery rates. Large amounts of the Oil shale is likely recoverable with fire flooding. So 6.5 trillion to 9.5 trillion barrels of oil, with 20-30% recovery rates is 1.3 to 2.8 trillion barrels of oil. Oil Shale like in the Green River Formation cannot be recovered with horizontal drilling. It will require fire flooding or some other likely insitu method.”
Our current global burn rate is estimated to be 85-90K barrels per day. Doing some back of the napkin math — 1.3 trillion barrels of oil from the U.S. alone would last the entire world well over 39,000 years at current consumption levels.
Even accounting for a world population that consistently expands, it’s a solid cornucopian case for oil.