Independent Guestatorial: Crude Reality


“There’s somethin’ wrong with the world today

I don’t know what it is

Something’s wrong with our eyes

We’re seein’ things in a different way

And God knows it ain’t his

It shore ain’t no surprise

We’re Livin’ on the edge

Livin’ on the edge”

Livin’ on the Edge – Aerosmith 1993

Trading our land, water, food, and survival for barrels of crude oil is treason. Oil is an abundant commodity. The price of oil is highly variable, a function of the world’s supply, politics, and economies.

Crude insanity

Under the umbrellas of energy independence and energy security, the executive orders to drill ignore the environmental destruction.

Ignoring 21st century technology and the enormous value created by scientific discoveries, Trump declared war on science and ordered unrestricted off-shore drilling and fracking. Under Trump, fuel efficiency and conservation are no longer a priority and environmental rules are dismissed.

Crude Climate

Scott Pruitt, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said he would not agree carbon dioxide has been proven a primary contributor to global warming. Could it be Evil Kermit? Pruitt tried to explain, “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. But we don’t know that yet. We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.”

Crude off-shore drilling

The Gulf of Mexico was the scene of one of the worst environmental disasters in American history, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill off Louisiana that spewed about 215 million gallons of crude from a damaged underwater well. Seven years later, the ecosystems are still feeling the effects. British Petroleum’s penalty for causing the explosion reached $61.6 billion in July.

Crude economy

Four years ago, Venezuela, one of the OPEC countries, had the world’s largest oil reserves. Today, Venezuela’s economy is in ruins, without enough cash to ship their oil.

Pretending we are running out of oil, ignoring greenhouse emissions, and ignoring electric cars and other alternatives for transportation sets the stage for over-production of crude. Over-production is the root of high cost and waste. Frackers paying for oil leases keep drilling new wells, pipelines are built to transport crude shale oil, and storage farm tanks are filled to the brim.

Oil terminology is misleading and the estimates are unrealistic. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, provides the official statistics on oil and gas. High estimates are preferred. To inflate the numbers, EIA counts natural gas liquids and Biofuels as oil. Oil Resources is the estimated number of barrels that with the current technology cannot be extracted economically. Oil resources is a meaningless concept; is like knowing there is oil on Mars, and no way to use it. Oil Reserves is the estimated number of barrels that could be extracted with current technology, economically, at the current crude price.

Creating a better future

Lithium-ion batteries are the key component for off-grid solar power systems and electric vehicles. While Trump and Pruitt declare war on science, last Friday, a team of engineers led by 94-year-old John Goodenough, engineering professor, University of Texas Austin and co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery, announced his team has developed the first all-solid-state battery cells for safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for handheld mobile devices, electric cars and stationary energy storage. The new batteries have three times the storage capacity of current batteries. The world’s largest lithium producers are Australia and Chile with a total of 72 percent; the U.S. imports 100 percent lithium.

Irrational beliefs, impulsive decisions, and intimidation have replaced scientific evidence, logical thinking, and compassion. Ignoring the climate emergency and pretending clean drinking water is abundant, and all is well in nature, sets the stage for intense shale oil fracking and new high-pressure, bulk, transportation pipelines. We have all we need, and the power to create a better future.

Dr. Luis Contreras


  1. TRUMP’S ENERGY PLAN: ‘We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves’. Here are the five easy steps:

    1. Eliminating “harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the US rule,” which would increase American wages by more than $30 billion over the next seven years, according to the administration.

    2. Embracing US shale and gas and taking advantage of “the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves.” US shale has finally become cash flow neutral after years of living on debt.

    3. Having a commitment to clean coal technology. States like West Virginia and Pennsylvania have been devastated by the collapse of the coal industry.

    4. Eliminating US dependence on “the OPEC cartel and any nations hostile to our interests.” While the US has eliminated a good portion of its foreign dependence, it still imports 9.4 million barrels a day, according to 2015 data from the US Energy Information Administration.

    5. Protecting our environment.

    Only Trump would come up with these five points. Electric vehicles, new solid-state Lithium-ion batteries, distributed solar power, wind power, increased fuel efficiency, energy conservation and energy efficiency are missing from Trump’s plan.

    Only Trump would pretend to protect the environment while increasing the rate of burning fossil fuels.

    His plan to lose 40 lbs, includes fried chicken, french fries, white bread, and 8 hours sitting on his … plane

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