A few words on President Obama’s ramp to nowhere from America’s Frac Sand Land

The mustachioed futurist Thomas Friedman interviewed Obama recently.

Which gave Obama a chance to say this about fossil fuels,

We’re not going to be able to burn it all.”

“Over the course of the next several decades, we’re going to have to build a ramp from how we currently use energy to where we need to use energy. And we’re not going to suddenly turn off a switch and suddenly we’re no longer using fossil fuels, but we have to use this time wisely, so that you have a tapering off of fossil fuels replaced by clean energy sources that are not releasing carbon. … But I very much believe in keeping that 2 [degree] Celsius target as a goal.”

It’s very nice that he “believes” in it but the slope of his imaginary “ramp” isn’t very steep. U.S. output is at an all time high.

From the U.S. EIA’s July Short Term Energy Outlook: “U.S. oil output in 2015 will likely average its highest level in 42 years, while also raising its forecast for U.S. and international oil prices.

U.S. crude oil production is expected to increase from an estimated 7.4 million barrels per day in 2013 to 8.5 million bpd in 2014 and 9.3 million bpd in 2015. “The 2015 forecast represents the highest annual average level of oil production since 1972,” the EIA said.”

See if I were sitting there I’d have to ask the President if the fact that there’s a finite amount of oil accessible wasn’t making him nervous enough to ramp faster.

Because when I read the quote below in comments at PeakOilBarrel (Thanks Bobby) I thought, “I see. The oil-based economy is done by 2030”. Of course I know that such an assumption relies on no major global disruption between now and 2030. Political and economic shocks to the global system (that would either deplete reserves or cause a reduction in global use of oil) are not found in these sorts of models.

“…the projected rate of decline in the GNE/CNI Ratio puts us at a point in 2030 at which we cannot arrive, but the 2013 data will almost certainly show that we continued to slide toward a point at which we cannot arrive.”source

 

Meanwhile Wisconsinites are figuring out that this place is a Koch sacrifice zone. It’s mined for frac sand used in the shale oil boom and it’s a major thoroughfare for Enbridge pipeline 61 — which is getting more oil pumped into 40 year old pipes at high pressure. And that will means spills.

And then there’s rail.

Steve Horn has more on Wisconsin’s “Oil-by-Rail” routes at DeSmogBlog including the fact that oligarchs don’t have to be Kochs to make money from oil. Warren Buffet owns the Burlington Northern Santa Fe company which ships Bakken crude oil through Wisconsin. Buffet has been a key financial supporter of both Obama and Clinton.

Remember how we thought Buffet was such a nice guy for wanting to get taxed more like his secretary?

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