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Tour de Logic
In a recent post from, a comment like no other from Carbonates.
David Blakmon, I really appreciate your work. As someone who has spent a career in the oil industry, first as a commercial oilfield diver working in the Gulf of Mexico, then many years as an exploration geologist and currently as a production geologist, I do love the industry (it has always been an adventure) and your commentary and publications help support my job. The industry has always done a very bad job of promoting its own virtues, to the point that some majors seem to have lost their purpose in an effort to fit in. Few realize that the oil industry has the highest paying jobs of any industry, including Big Tech, per the WSJ study done a few years ago. Few appreciate that "oil is the economy." And few appreciate the idea that has been made visible by writers like Alex Epstein that human flourishing is more important than this fallacious idea that climate is a static system and should never change. Human flourishing is clearly the greatest benefit that the oil industry has given the world. I do like to add that the oil industry is really the one responsible for saving the whales. Whales would have gone extinct in the 19th century if not for oil and natural gas competing with whale oil for lighting.
I once had aspirations to take gas and oil shale to the world, with the idea that if developing and undeveloped countries could build their own gas supplies, they could electrify their populace with economic power plants, and create manufacturing, even improve their agricultural production (people often do not realize that fertilizer is a product of natural gas). I got to try, and got to travel to great places like The Netherlands, and Paris, France to work with companies there, but soon realized that the barriers were not in geology or in engineering. I got to work in places like Eastern Europe, North Africa, and even South America (I studied Russian hoping that it would be the next frontier, and it still is the next frontier, but for Westerners nyet). The geology is there in many places in the world and the gas deposits are abundant in many countries. Engineering is simply a matter of bringing in the right technology. But the real barriers are political. The United States is the only place in the world where we had the foresight to make mineral rights private property, and when the government owns all mineral rights, it becomes almost impossible to develop resources. The true oil curse is one created by governments that refuse to understand economics of resource development. Some parts of the world have done it, but the hurdles take decades to overcome when dealing with government and a citizenry that gets no direct benefits from oil production such as royalty payments. Royalty payments distributed great wealth to many landowners in the US, and in turn supported many others. I used to say that every time I found another Trillion cubic feet of gas, I created a few billion dollars of new wealth, and probably several times more than that in GDP. When you realize it is actually not that hard to find hundreds of Tcf (1 Tcf is about a quad BTU) it becomes apparent that many parts of the world are not wealthy (and healthy) only because they won't use those resources. We have a third world because of politics, not because of unequal resource distribution. I have lived and worked among the two billion people on this planet that still don't have a reliable source of electric power or any at all. Places where they burn cow manure to cook a meal, and "gas stations" are kids on the side of the road selling two liter bottles of diesel and gasoline. Places where they only have fresh meat if they kill something because they have no refrigerators. Places where the "hotel" owner hunted rabbits during the day to be able to feed me dinner at night. They deserve more (and they far outnumber the First World people who have the luxury of buying electric cars and putting decorative solar panels on their roof, a roof made of oil, so they can virtue signal).
I am not a politician and I don't have a voice that can be heard by the political class. You are actually doing that so I will continue to support you, and thank you for your courage to support common sense about an industry that so many people treat as bad and like to characterize as destructive. They truly don't understand that they are biting the hand that feeds them and that their entire standard of living is dependent on their access to the cheap energy from oil and gas. Most of them probably wouldn't have even been born, without the improvements in standards of living brought about by oil and gas. And we probably would not have won the First World War, much less the Second. U.S. oil production that supplied Allied Forces is probably the main reason the Germans and the Japanese were defeated. Sometimes it is truly tempting to say "let them starve in the dark."
Oil is stored solar energy, with some geothermal input, which is heat generated by radioactive decay in the Earth (nuclear energy). It was almost all created by biologic processes using photosynthesis. Oil is organically grown, natural, solar power stored as a liquid, and is a natural part of the carbon cycle. It is even a sustainable resource, as many basins in the world are generating new oil and gas as you read this, and the plankton and other organisms in the oceans are storing the raw materials at similar rates to the past that will become future oil and gas resources. Known resources of oil and gas have tripled or quadrupled since the year 2000. How much better can it be?