Putting the Mental in Evironmentalism

A good friend of mine once leveled that phrase at me and I thank him for it. Here I hope to adhere to it exactly; thinking deeply about environmental struggles and how we choose to react to them. Whether to simply count carbon reductions (which globally are insignificant year to year in an upward trend) or to see the big picture.

Coal to Gas

This all started with some hoopla over the US showing a positive trend in coal to natural gas switching which was equated by a few folks as at least partly responsible for a reduction in US CO2 emissions over roughly the same period. (7.7% down 2006-2009)

I’m not going to disagree with that really. Except that ..

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Drones, civil rights, energy and climate.

That is quite an expansive set of topics to include in the title of a single blog entry I realize, but I’ll do my best to tie them all together.

It cannot have escaped many of us who are not distracted by the Punch and Judy show featuring  Romney and Obama that during the last few years we have slipped into a reality where serious threats to the future of our democracy have arisen. These come not from terrorists or dangerous nuclear armed dictatorships, but from our own government.

There has always been a bit of background noise in any discussion by Republicans about Obama’s presidency that he’s shredding the constitution. Usually this is in reference to his “guns and religion” comment on the campaign trail and fear that he would eviscerate the 2nd amendment (laughably adhering to “Agenda 21”) which is utterly unfounded.

Rarely will you hear actual discussion about his administration’s Department of Justice’s actual attacks on constitutional rights from the left or right. This is sad as they are very real and very threatening.

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Letter to Explorer .. this is just getting old now…

Alright, so a confluence of factors made me write this. Jesse Kelly is the local teabagger rube running for office in my congressional district. I heard him spout a fox news report about dear old Obama holding back massive oil resources right here at home ! THE HUMANITY !

Of course its a crock of shit, if there’s one thing I try to stay on top of it energy realities. Bingo. Do all the digging you want on the Green River Formation; its not economically viable, if you want it go get it, Obama’s not going to stop you. Shell and Exxon have held development leases in the GRF for 30 years. 30! Years!


So when some dumbass writes into the local paper espousing the great Jesse Kelly’s plans for America including his “energy policy” I just about took a shit. I was quite proud of myself for the title and opening paragraph, suck those idiots in !!

Here ya go.


Agree with Kelly on Energy Independence

I agree with Jesse Kelly on this nation’s ability and necessity to use domestic energy to bring about energy independence. I doubt though that Mr. Kelly or the voters he’s attempting to woo know what this means. Discussing this goal many continually cite the Govt. Accountability Office report on the Green River Formation.

The GRF does indeed contain 1.5 trillion barrels of technically recoverable ”oil” this is where most reporters stop. We have more oil than the Saudis they trumpet. The reality is starkly different.

The GRF is filled with a substance called Kerogen, a substance which needs extensive energy intensive processing, and not an insignificant amount of water, to produce any refinable hydrocarbons, more than typical tight oil shale deposits such as the Bakken. A USGS survey of the GRF points to yields of 6 – 15 gallons of oil per ton mined.

Shell and Exxon have been testing technologies in situ for the best part of 30 years. Heating the resource 2 years before extraction, attempting to take the place of geologic processes which haven’t occurred yet to be able to extract useful components of Kerogen before processing or refining, mean this is not even near $100 a barrel oil. It will not bring low gasoline prices.

When we reach energy independence, perhaps as some nations continue to hit export peaks, we won’t be awash with easy oil and low energy prices regardless of who represents CD8, or the nation.