McQ gets into a fairly well detailed examination  of our energy policy woes:
We hear (and have heard) political promises to make the US “energy independent” by x number of years coming from all the current presidential candidates. And they’re also concerned with breaking the hold of foreign oil dependence. Two worthy goals – if they allow what we have already available to be exploited. And what we have available is massive: 
In a massive new multivolume report on energy strategy in the United States, a high-powered federal task force puts “peak oil” into perspective. On the one hand, it says, the country has already consumed, in 150 years, 446 billion barrels of its own fossil-fuel endowment. On the other hand, it says, the country has 8.59 trillion barrels left – or more “oil equivalent” than the rest of the world combined. More than 95 per cent of America’s oil reserves, in other words, are still in the ground.
Key phrase? “Oil equivalent”. Wrap your head around that – “more “oil equivalent” than the rest of the world combined.”
At the end of the day, what has to happen is no energy policy at all.
I know… shock and dismay on the part of some, so let me repeat that… what has to happen is the removal of any energy policy. PAW, All that really has to happen is government has to get the heck out out of the way.
One troubling point about the post, which I alluded to in the comments over there… (Once the damned dictation, here, started working again… I had to start a new voice profile this week…) …is that even the report that Bruce cites, plays the game of “sustainability ” …. (Spit) When you see that code word, you know that what they’re really arguing for is the continuance of an energy policy based on the power of government. Not good, and here’s why:
The point that I made, essentially, is… Who is it that gets to decide what is and is not “sustainable”?
For some reason the responsibility for those determinations always seems to come down on some international agency or other, usually made up of people who live outside of the developed regions, who would just as soon that the developed regions of the world… IE; the US… weren’t quite so developed. Yes, we’re talking about the ‘United Nations’ mentality…
Certainly, the accuracy of these agencies is left in question with recent developments… for example…
We just got through being told, recently, about how the international organizations responsible for such things have been lying to us about AIDS. The suspicion almost immediately cropped up that AGW was being similarly “stretched”. That was soon confirmed. On what basis do we make the assumption that the pronouncements of such people as regards what kind of energy policy is going to be “sustainable” has any more credibility than these?
I believe, in fact, we have much that indicates exactly the opposite ; that they will be exactly as credible. Or, more correctly as incredible)
To the point; We have been told on almost continuous basis for most of 100 years that our energy policies are not “sustainable”. Even leaving aside that these are the same people who’ve been telling us about how our energy use is contributing to “global warming”, it seems to me their credibility as regards what is and is not “sustainable” is severely strained, based on the length of time alone. Add to that how many times their gloom and doom forecasts have been revised another 25 year into the future, as our technology for drilling improves, and you could hardly have a less dependable source for such pronouncements.
If the idea is in fact to limit our energy use, as I suspect it is, they could hardly have engineered it better; their simultaneous insistence on both seriously limiting our domestic drilling capacity, and insisting that we “wean ourselves off foreign oil”, tells me that what’s really going on here is there trying the limit our energy use altogether. I will leave it to your own fertile minds as to why they might wanna do that. But these mutually conflicting policies, have resulted in the price structure we see today. Certainly, a limit on energy use.
I note with some degree of amusement the comments regarding shale oil meeting today at $310.00 a barrel to be profitable enough to bother with. This attitude disregards the improvements in retrieval technology. It is those improvements, which kept the naysayers looking like fools these last hundred years. And to that recent finds and Brazil and in Mexico, and the projection for “unsustainability” gets pushed down the road further still. to back that point, I note that another commenter there brought up the figure of $40 or $50.00 a barrel for shale oil being profitable. Quite a swing from the $310.00 quoted above, huh?
What I am suggesting is that the free marketplace will make these determinations. Assuming, of course, that the eco-energy nazis will actually allow the free market to occur.
Domestic drilling being increased would be a start. For that we need to get government out of the way.
More locationally diversified refining capacity would also be a help. For that we need to get government out of the way. (how much of our energy instability is caused by refining capacity which is in majority centered on tornado alley?) Again, getting government out of the way. Stop empowering the NIMBY monster that’s held us back as a nation for so long.
Getting government out of the way in terms of energy policy, really should be the goal, here. In the end, it will be the only solution possible. The question is, do any of the presidential candidates actually have the stones to say such thing as aloud?
Fred? Are you listening?