There are 5 popular claims in regards to America's energy crises circulating the internet that are to say the least, deceptive. I've decided to
address each of them and I'd like input from ATSers as well.
1. The federal government charges 50 cents to the gallon! They could bring the cost down by simply eliminating the fuel tax!
Wrong. While there is a Federal fuel tax in place, it's 18.4 cents to the gallon. The rest usually comes from a State fuel tax (excluding Alaska). For
example, the State of Texas charges 20 cents on top of the Federal fuel tax!
What difference would eliminating the Federal fuel tax make? Well let's take an example; in January of this year a gallon of crude was $3.39 at
average. By March 2012 a gallon of crude amounted to $3.86, there was a change of 47 cents in the cost of crude within a matter of 3 months. So what
amount of difference would eliminating the Federal fuel tax make in the cost of crude? Not much, especially considering that the price of crude is
influenced by international demand:
2. There are trillions upon trillions of barrels of crude reserves hidden below the rockies!
No, those aren't crude reserves, those are shale oil
reserves, and the USG estimates around 1.5 trillion barrels. Shale oil (otherwise known as
Kerogen) is a non-renewable alternative energy source to crude oil, it is a different type of oil all together. Shale oil can be converted and used in
the same manner as crude oil, but it takes a considerable amount more in energy to convert, as well as in extraction.
Oil shale is an inorganic rock that contains a solid organic compound known as kerogen. Oil shale is a misnomer because kerogen isn't crude oil,
and the rock holding the kerogen often isn't even shale.
Liquid crude oil consists of organic material--plant and animal remains--that's been exposed to heat and pressure over millions of years. The slow
transformation of organic material into oil progresses through a number of stages. Kerogen occurs relatively early in this process. To understand
where kerogen fits into the developmental timeline, consider that bitumen--the hydrocarbon found in Canada's oil sands--represents a later stage in
the process. In a sense, bitumen is a higher-quality and more useful hydrocarbon than kerogen.
To generate liquid oil synthetically from oil shale, the kerogen-rich rock is heated to as high as 950 degrees Fahrenheit (500 degrees Celsius) in the
absence of oxygen, a process known as retorting.
Ironically it was Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, who first lead government support towards tapping into the vast shale oil
reserves hidden beneath the rockies, however it didn't work out. Exxon and other oil corporations soon pulled out years after when their investment in
shale oil as a viable alternative to crude didn't pan out all too well:
3. Increasing or mainting subsidies for oil corporations will be a key factor toward American energy independence.
Carter insisted that U.S. automakers build more fuel-efficient cars, with a goal of 27.5 miles per gallon over the following decade - a
requirement passed under Gerald Ford but put into force by Carter.
He offered incentives for getting oil from shale, creating a boom initially in the Rockies - and a bust when it failed to be cost-effective.
Not really. During the last 10 years that oil subsidies were steadily on the rise, American oil producers more than quadrupled
the number of
domestic crude oil exported abroad. In 2011 when oil corporations made record profits, and gained billions of dollars worth of oil subsidies, they
were also exporting more than 4 times as many barrels of domestically sourced crude oil than they did in 2002, that number has been on a stead
4. There are billions of barrels of crude hidden in Northern Alaska, most of it within the Arctic Wildlife refuge.
Yes this is true. As an estimated range, the USG calculates that there are some 6-16 billion barrels of crude oil reserves hidden below the Alaskan
National Wildlife Refuge. Putting aside the years it will take to extract the crude resources hidden up there and the possibility of a negative
environmental impact, and if we were to calculate this to the higher end of the range, 16 billion barrels, we're not looking at a long term solution
to America's energy concerns. Assuming that all those barrels of crude oil are all used just for American energy needs, we're looking at around 3
years tops. To supply just to 20% of America's energy demands daily, we will exhaust the estimated crude reserves hidden in ANWAR by just under 13
Remember, these calculations assume the estimated reserves are to the higher end of what the USG report, and we're also assuming here that all those
reserves will be used to suppliment America's needs only. As a side note, America consumes more than 18 million barrels of crude a day, 6.57 billion
barrels a year. This number has been on a steady increase for the last century.
5. Wind turbines are responsible for an estimated 40,000 animal deaths yearly in the United States alone!
Yes. There is also an estimated 60-80 million animal casualties as the result of Automobiles a year, around 130,000 animal casualties as the result of
windows, yes windows, and another 40 million animal casualties as the result of lighting towers.
edit on 5-5-2012 by Southern Guardian because: Fixing