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By Robert Rapier on Jul 13, 2007 with no responses

A Seamless Transition to a Post-Fossil Economy?

I am going to be covered up through the weekend, but there have been some good discussions down the page that I want to bump up as stand alone posts. One is a discussion of the situation in Venezuela, and whether the IOCs were/are exploiting the people there. I will pull bits of that up at some point, but it will take more time to extract the relevant portions.

But, following my most recent essay, reader Benjamin Cole made some comments that are worth bumping up for discussion. I won’t have time until after the weekend to address them in detail, but maybe other readers would like a crack. And maybe some will agree with his assessement. Below are the relevant comments, which I have edited only slightly for some minor errors.

On the subject of low inventories, he wrote:

You have to back in ethanol. It is added into gasoline supplies, but not counted. I think ethanol is now about 3 percent of US gasoline supplies. If so, that brings us into five-year average range right now. Soon, within two years, ethanol will make up 6 percent of US gasoline supplies.

I would also be suspicious of seasonal adjustment factors. It looks to me like they are out of whack.

That being said, US consumers, evidently, will buy all the gas they can use at under $4 a gallon, although high mpg cars are selling well. At more than $4, I think we see serious mood shift.

On the other hand, you really cannot blame consumers for being “rational.” Until recently, a gallon of gasoline was cheaper than at any time since the 1960s. We simply will not tax gasoline like we should.

On the subject of where we are heading from here, he writes:

By the way, according to the Energy Blog, E3 has their new generation, cattle dung and corn stalk fired ethanol plant up and running. Also, a 100 mgpd ethanol plant going in Georgia, which will use heat to convert wood chips into ethanol. No enzymes.

If world fossil oil production really rises to 95 mbd by 2012, we are going to have a glut. Small additional demands for liquid fuel from here on can probably be met through conservation and biofuels.

At more than $60 a barrel, we are seamlessly transitioning to a post-fossil economy, with cleaner air and less wealth being transferred to those bastas in OPEC. How is this bad?

I have several issues with those comments, which I will get to on Monday. Until then, I toss him into the ring.

I want to also reiterate, which I did to my critic on the Venezuelan essay, that I am always open to posting guest posts – even if I strongly disagree with your opinion. I may open up a can of whoop-ass :) (this is how someone at The Oil Drum characterized my style yesterday), but I am not going to muzzle anyone unless they are making personal attacks.