Social Question

tinyfaery's avatar

Did Obama know that oil would not be found in the Arctic?

Asked by tinyfaery (42693points) September 29th, 2015 from iPhone

He approved the drilling after years of saying no and a few months later Shell pulls out because what they found wasn’t worth the money. Did he somehow know? Did anyone know? Was it a political move?

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46 Answers

janbb's avatar

From something I heard today, it doesn’t seem that Shell has pulled out permanently; at the moment oil is so cheap, that it is not worth their time and money to drill there. But they probably will again in the future. I feel like Obama got more black marks than strokes for the approval – at least from me and other environmentalists – so I don’t know why he approved it.

majorrich's avatar

Too bad this isn’t in social, so I won’t say “He waved his magical bad mojo stick and moved the oil under a national park somewhere drilling is really not allowed” . Instead I have to go with what @janbb said

Darth_Algar's avatar

We need oil like a junkie needs another fix.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We need oil, @Darth_Algar. It can’t be compared to a junkie who can actually live without his dope. We may squander it, but we also need it.
Until we can make other sources of energy viable, we need oil. Obama has done more than any other president to move the alternate energy agenda forward.

ibstubro's avatar

GA @janbb.

Shell has spent billions and they will eventually move to take oil from the Arctic. They just need $100+ barrel oil again.

I imagine that Obama finally approved Arctic drilling as a reward to the oil companies for pumping so much oil that we’re under $50 a barrel. Oil is the chief funding for ISIL and Russia, 2 entities we’re very much against at this time.

We don’t need oil, @Dutchess_III, or gas would be $5–10 a gallon instead of $2. We need to leave what’s untouched, untouched, for future generations.
Jimmy Carter did more for alternative energy than any other president has since.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Carter reduced the speed limit and urged us to conserve our energy. That isn’t enough. We have technology available now that Carter didn’t have access to.

@ibstubro…hopefully future generations will have alternative energy sources because the oil is finite. It won’t be much longer before it is gone, period. Right now it’s the only option we have. Our society would collapse without oil.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III

A junkie needs his fix in order to function at the moment. As do we. We need oil to function at the moment. However, I don’t think anyone would consider it sound to advise the junkie to seek out ever more sources of his drug. The sound advice would be to wean himself off his drug. Likewise, the sound thing to do is to wean ourselves off of oil rather than seek out more and more of it. We have alternate technologies now. Right now. Oil is far from the only option.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What alternative technologies are up and viable now to run this earth? Wind is slowly making headway, as is solar, but it’s far from what we need to function.

The junkie comparison just isn’t valid.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Run? Is any single one by itself going to run the planet? No. Can alternates that we have now decrease our dependence on oil if we would seriously implement them now? Yes. Would the serious implementation of alternate lead to further breakthroughs in alternate energies that would reduce our dependence on oil ever further? Yes. But we’re not doing that. We have technologies now that we could implement now, but we’re not doing it on any real serious level. Instead we have a few token wind farms, one person here and there puts a solar panel or two on his roof, and we as a society keep kicking the can down the road while dreaming of a mythical “someday” and telling ourselves that this is just how it has to be for now.

(Note how in my previous post I used the term “wean”)

Dutchess_III's avatar

If you’re so certain we could just do it now, bam, what’s the hold up in implementing it, @Darth_Algar?

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_III Cheap oil is the hold up!

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III

Do what? Implement alternate sources, such as solar and wind, on a larger scale?

talljasperman's avatar

Oil comes from squished plant and animal matter over time. You would have to have settled life matter and from what I know their wasn’t much life in the northern part of the planet. Unless the oil moved with Pangea.

ibstubro's avatar

Carter created the Department of Energy.
He set a goal of 20% solar by 2000, and set up incentives.
He tried to raise the fleet auto mileage standard to 48 miles per gallon by 1995.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory had a huge budget under Carter, while “in 2011 anticipated congressional budget shortfalls led to a voluntary buyout program for 100 to 150 staff reductions.”

The speed limit was set to 55 in 1973 and Carter took office in ‘76.

YES! @janbb, cheap oil is limiting what alternative fuels can achieve.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, somebody fucked up the speed limit the year after I started driving @ibstubro! That’s all I know. Thanks for all of the other information. I’ll read a bit later.

Yes, @Darth_Algar. Why don’t we implement it on a larger scale now?

stanleybmanly's avatar

A different way of looking at this, and a very reasonable assumption,( proving that Obama’s a lot smarter than his opposition) is the fact that he waited til the market was glutted with oil to approve exploration. I think he knew full well that at current prices, no one is going to take him up on it. Pretty slick.

ibstubro's avatar

We don’t implement large alternative energy initiatives at this time, @Dutchess_III, because we are pumping every available ounce of oil out of the ground and pissing it away.

Huge windfarms were built while oil was $100+ a barrel because they could set up the infrastructure and still break even, paving the way for future profits. The current wind power can probably compete with oil-fired electricity generation, but there’s not the money there to pay for more new development.

And @Dutchess_III, you need to keep in mind that although ”...future generations will have alternative energy sources because the oil is finite. It won’t be much longer before it is gone, period” energy is not the only use or need for oil. We need to start using alternative energy sources asap so they have longer to come up with alternatives to other petroleum products. The problem is that we’re currently literally ‘burning through’ a finite resource that very necessary for our society.

ibstubro's avatar

I disagree, @stanleybmanly. I think Obama made a deal with the devil, knowing that the devil wouldn’t strike on his watch. He sold his girls out, IMO.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If what you’re saying is true, that sounds like a pretty shrewd plan, @ibstubro, if I understand it right.

Cruiser's avatar

From what I last read the price of oil has to be at least at $77.00 per barrel to support driling in the Arctic and it is well below that price and thus Shells move to mothball their efforts. There is more oil in the Arctic than in all of the Middle east and why the Arabs have lowered the price per barrel in order to halt any further drilling and exploration which kinda forces us Americans judge the success of our Government by the price at the pump.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@ibstubro It amounts to the same thing. The man may very well be feathering his nest. I certainly expect him to. Even if he entered the office with the best of intentions, the last 7 seven years was pretty much a lesson on the futility of idealism in the face of dull and sluggish mentality. @Cruiser You have an excellent point. The Saudis have the ability to hamstring everything from solar development to fracking, to shale extraction in Canada unless the world economy is booming. And from the looks of things, a booming world economy is nowhere in our near nor medium term future. Hunker down folks!

stanleybmanly's avatar

When was the last time anyone even mentioned the formerly hot topic of the Keystone pipeline?

Cruiser's avatar

@stanleybmanly The last time anyone mentioned Keystone crude oil was $85.00 per barrel.

ibstubro's avatar

What shrewd plan, @Dutchess_III? Or are you ignoring my direct post answering your specific question about the present state of alternative energy development?
Petroleum Based Products or, if you will, “A List of Shit Your Kids Will Need Oil For If They Survive The Global Warming Burning Oil Products Has Caused”, @@Dutchess_III.

If you read up, @stanleybmanly, I don’t think Obama signed the deal with the devil for personal gain. I think he signed on to an alliance that sought to weaken ISIL and Russia through cheap oil. He didn’t sign on to Arctic drilling to get cheap oil, but once the price of oil was low enough that Arctic oil was unnecessary, he signed away the future.

Keystone? As of this writing, one hour ago in the WSJ.
“New strategy strives to push approval after Obama’s presidency, when debate simmers down”

Dutchess_III's avatar

If a person makes a promise that he or she doesn’t really want to keep, and they gamble that making such a promise will actually result in the desired outcome (it won’t happen,) that’s shrewd, in my book. That’s the game of politics.

I’m not ignoring anything intentionally, @ibstubro. Please repost the comment you felt I ignored, which I probably simply overlooked.

ibstubro's avatar

@Dutchess_III:

We don’t implement large alternative energy initiatives at this time, @Dutchess_III, because we are pumping every available ounce of oil out of the ground and pissing it away.

Huge windfarms were built while oil was $100+ a barrel because they could set up the infrastructure and still break even, paving the way for future profits. The current wind power can probably compete with oil-fired electricity generation, but there’s not the money there to pay for more new development.

And @Dutchess_III, you need to keep in mind that although ”...future generations will have alternative energy sources because the oil is finite. It won’t be much longer before it is gone, period” energy is not the only use or need for oil. We need to start using alternative energy sources asap so they have longer to come up with alternatives to other petroleum products. The problem is that we’re currently literally ‘burning through’ a finite resource that very necessary for our society.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, @ibstubro, you made my very argument very succinctly. Thank you.

Jaxk's avatar

I think a little corrective surgery is required here. WE DON“Y USE OIL TO GENERATE ELECTRICITY. We use coal. The price of oil has no impact on wind or solar. There are no real alternatives for oil. And just for good measure we are not running out of oil any time soon. We have enough oil here in the states, to last us more than 500 years at our current consumption. As for the Arctic, either we drill for oil or Russia will. Either way drilling will occur once it becomes profitable.

Cruiser's avatar

@Jaxk The irony is we need that oil to manufacture the alternative energy windmills and solar panels as they both are made from plastics that take lots and lots of oil by products to produce. If we every run out of oil we most certainly will run out of windmills and solar panels. Then you better be proficient at bee keeping unless we destroy bee populations with all our pesticides. Ah…the law of unintended consequences.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Coal. Oil. FOSSIL FUEL. What ever! It’s finite!

majorrich's avatar

Gas and coal reserves in the US will last for centuries and can generate enough electric power to offset the costs to make them clean. So far as I can find, wind can’t make enough to offset the cost to build them. They are begging for another like 5 billion in subsidies to keep the farms running. This comes from an article on Forbes. Don’t know how to post links from iPad.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Centuries” is not that long, @majorrich.

Jaxk's avatar

@Cruiser – Yes and all the infrastructure projects that everyone keeps screaming, guess what is used to create the asphalt? So even if your good at bee keeping and we don’t kill off all the bees, you’ll have no trucks to get your product to market nor roads to drive on.

@Dutchess_III – Centuries don’t seem like a long time until you realize that we’ve only been using oil for a little more than one century.

Cruiser's avatar

@majorrich You are so right and only scratching the surface of the boondoggle wind energy is. The carbon footprint to make the resins and heat the molds to cast those massive towers and blades is enormously wasteful and as you point out the amount of electricity added to the grid is done so at a loss which then requires Federal subsidies that WE pay for!

And the demand glut that Siemons and GE impacts on the resins industry directly affect my business when epoxy and aminoethylpiprizene go short because they are buying up all that is available in the market and my costs for the products I make skyrocket that YOU pay for.

Cruiser's avatar

@Jaxk Thankfully I live 2 blocks from a major river waterway and know how to row a boat.

majorrich's avatar

Hopefully a century or two is long enough to find some way to make wind and solar or find tech that is efficient enough to pay its way.

Jaxk's avatar

@Cruiser , if they want to redirect thier efforts on wind power back towards boating, I could get behind that. I love sailboats.

Buttonstc's avatar

Why is there no sizable effort to develop Biodiesel?

Last time I checked, Brazil is way ahead of us on that. They plant fields of Switchgrass which are then converted to Biodiesel.

Why aren’t we doing more in this direction? Considering the fact that there are already lots and lots of vehicles already in existence with diesel engines, wouldn’t that make it more viable than electric (which requires a totally different type of engine?

Am I missing something here?

Cruiser's avatar

@Jaxk I want a sail board so baaad! But I will take a Lazer in a heart beat just so I can sail until the lake freezes over

Cruiser's avatar

@Buttonstc Sadly biodiesel is a worse offender than ethanol as far as carbon foot print is concerned. Think of it in simple terms. A farmer has to till the land, plant the seeds…WATER the seeds, then harvest and combine the seeds. That requires lots of time, resources and Diesel gas….then those beans have to be driven to a prep-plant that has to extract and react the oils from the beans and then be refined similarly to plain ol’ crude oil. Skip the first 8 steps and just refine crude oil. Less carbon foot print and less pollution less subsidies and less expense passed on to the consumer. A win win??? You decide….

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Jaxk I said“Centuries” is not that long, ” We need to get our stuff together now. After I get rid of the possums.

tinyfaery's avatar

Somewhere this thread took a turn.

GA’s to a lot of you. The issue seemed too contrived to be accidental.

longgone's avatar

[Mod says] Moved to Social with OP’s permission.

msh's avatar

• Have the US refineries stop selling oil to the Far East. It would change things dramatically.
These wells are already established, and shipped away. ( PC- I believe one is not to use the term ‘Far East’ anymore. I don’t know the current phrasing- mea culpa)
• No one but political lobbyists would pull back on an issue as divided as this during an election. Not this hot potato. No way.
• Dutch Shell Oil left behind open pit oil run off that they left behind after the oil drilling- areas tapped out, in different parts of the world, NOT as regulated- in enviromental disasters zones. Pictures of children playing nearby abandoned areas and open pits, were very upsetting.
• Putin, that crafty devil, is running amok the northeastern and tundra areas (think Siberia) without regard for anything nor any environmental impacts- including endangered wildlife and habitats. Scared yet? His oil- where is it all going… Any guesses?
Oh, and check the oceanic currents from any of his close coastal drilling around there. Oopsie!
• Alaskans garnered record amounts of money refunds this year, for profit payout-‘reimbursements’ for each individual as a yearly ‘take’, such as exists in this resources race there. That’s why they welcome drilling.
This fight. All fights. We’re not looking healthy in the future.
Well- I could add that stupid, stupid fracking is wrong, causing earthquakes and ground poisoning in areas they’ve never recorded such occurrences before? No One is paying attention. More resources…
A portion of eastern Ohio- the natural gas companies paid workers to go through all property ownerships and deeds records forcefully claiming the rights under these people’s homes and farms! To frack! Many of these properties had been owned for generations. Some were making some extra $ by having an old oil well on their properties. A paltry amount- but helpful in poorer areas…but to be told you only own your land down to a certain level? Forced fracking right from the big boys- those same oil bits and dabs-were shut down. Gotta frack! On these folk’s own properties!
No conscience. Anywhere.
The best of all- our great and wonderful Governor John Kasich- the Republican presidential hopeful- what a guy! He made a deal$ with Pennsylvania to accept their dirty fracking water for places which he said were ok to dump that dirty poison underground within Ohio! Toxic, much? Even when PA stopped the fracking because of the dangers- Johnny ok’d more fracking in Ohio- attempting to get state/national parkland’s rights to go and frack there!

Obama being able to control this???
Are you kidding?
Sorry for length.
Upset- a bit. Sad, a lot.
As the old Pogo comic strip once said: “We have met the enemy- and he is us!”

ucme's avatar

How the fuck should I know.

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