Peak oil in the Congressional record 2013

Peak oil in the Congressional record 2013

Also see: Peak Oil in the Congressional record: Overview

Scorecard from 7 documents: 6 denials, 2 affirmations of peak oil

Denials

  1. United States Secretary of Energy Moniz
  2. House of Representatives David Schweikert, Texas
  3. House Representative Pete Olson, Texas (2 times)
  4. Jeffrey B. Hume, vice chairman, Strategic growth initiatives, Continental Resources, Inc., Oklahoma city, OK
  5. Adam Sieminski, Administrator, Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. Department of Energy
  6. House representative Dana Rohrbacher, California.

Affirmations of Peak Oil

  1. Randy Udall (Read into the record by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico)
  2. Jefferson Keel, President, National Congress of American Indians

2013/6/18 House Hearing – Department of Energy Science & Technology priorities

Denial by United States Secretary of Energy Moniz & House of Representatives David Schweikert, Texas

House of Representatives David Schweikert, 4 denials in 2014: If I were to hop in the literature right now and go back a dozen years ago, whether it be you or many of the smart people who you hang around with, what would you have written about peak oil?  Small problem is we got it wrong. And we built tax codes here, we built environmental codes, we built regulatory codes, actually even foreign policy based on a premise that was absolutely wrong ().

United States Secretary of Energy Moniz:  Sir, that is exactly along the lines of what I was trying to emphasize, that I think we don’t know the future. We always think of the future as a linear extrapolation of the present, and it is not. And it is those innovations that do so much to change the future. I will just say one thing, however, in terms of peak oil. I have witnesses; I was never a peak oil believer.

Schweikert:  I Googled you and I did not see you pop up. I did see the guys just down the hallway from you at MIT writing huge articles about how, right now, we should be about $200 barrel in oil as of this month.

Moniz: We didn’t even get close. But on peak oil, I mean, our view was always that it is not molecules you run out of; it is at what cost can you get the molecules?  And also just to reinforce your point, in natural gas, of course, it was very recently when major heads of major corporations not only got it wrong but put their money in the wrong place.

Schweikert:  But you have to agree it is a brilliant example of technology is faster-moving and smarter than we are because someone out there is coming up with it. It is—you know, when I hold up the book of—you know, the Population Bomb from 1968, the only thing they got right was the author’s name. Everything in the book got wrong because the arrogance of not knowing what the next breakthrough is.

2013/9/13 REMEMBERING RANDY UDALL

Affirmation of Peak Oil. Excerpts of Obit in the Aspen Times: James “Randy” Udall, a native son of the American West, died June 20, 2013, on the eve of the Summer Solstice, doing what he loved most, hiking in the remote Wind River Mountains. He was 61 years old. In 2005, Randy co-founded the Association for the Study of Peak Oil-USA to track the shifting balance between world oil supply and depletion. Randy Udall told hard truths: “We have been living like gods,” he often said. “Our task now is to learn how to live like humans. Our descent will not be easy”. Randy did not hesitate to go toe-to-toe with oil executives, calling for accountability, when discussing the realities of peak oil (Read into the record by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico)

2013/7/31 THE ALASKA NATIVE TRIBAL HEALTH CONSORTIUM LAND TRANSFER ACT

Affirmation of Peak Oil. As tribal communities grow, it is essential to look at economic and environmental realities in order to make critical decisions about our future. That means tribal planning must address issues such as climate change, peak oil and food insecurity. Food and energy consume huge portions of tribal economies and must be considered in relation to tribal self-determination. The new millennium is a time when we are facing the joint challenges of an industrial food system and a centralized energy system, both based on fossil fuels, and both of which are dam- aging the health of our peoples and the Earth at an alarming rate. Tribal communities have long supplied the raw materials for nuclear and coal plants, huge dam projects, and oil and gas development. These resources have been exploited to power far-off cities and towns, while many tribes remain deficient in sources of heat or electricity (Jefferson Keel, President, National Congress of American Indians)
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2013/7/23 OVERVIEW OF THE RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD (RFS)

Denial. The RFS was designed for a U.S. energy future that no longer exists, that of a peak oil and increasing demand. The RFS mandate will be met this year using most of the older excess credits in the system. In future years, if unchanged, this will be much more difficult. Compliance costs are spiking, especially for small refiners who don’t blend fuels and generate their own credits. The RFS has helped increase corn prices, and that has hit consumers back home, at Kroger’s, at Safeway, Wendy’s …With all due respect to some of the panelists who said that there is not an impact on food prices, RFS does have that impact. Wendy’s came into my office a month ago, wanted to talk about Federal issues. You think they want to talk about Obamacare, increasing taxes, all sorts of things? No. They wanted to talk about RFS corn-based ethanol and how it has increased their cost of doing business (House Representative Pete Olson, Texas)

Jack Gerard,  CEO of the American Petroleum Institute: The cost of pure ethanol has always been higher than a gallon of gasoline. Consumers are figuring this out. That is why even with flex-fuel vehicles, they are not buying E85, even though it is available. In Minnesota they have increased the number of E85 filling stations, but the demand for E85 is going down.

2013/7/16. Gas Prices

Denial. These are truly are exciting times in the energy business. Each day at Continental, we witness the assumptions underlying “peak oil” theories crumble under the power of creative minds and pioneering technology. (Jeffrey B. Hume, vice chairman, Strategic growth initiatives, Continental Resources, Inc., Oklahoma city, OK

2013/6/26 HOUSE Hearing OVERVIEW OF THE RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD: GOVERNMENT PERSPECTIVES   

Denial. We owe the American people a thorough review of the RFS for one simple reason: The American energy outlook that drove the creation of ethanol tax subsidies in RFS is in the dustbin of history. Tax preferences for corn-based ethanol were created last century and mutated into RFS this century. Why the spur of government activity? Because we thought we hit peak gas. Meaning that to feed our ever-growing demand for gasoline we had to buy more and more oil from foreign sources that weren’t reliable. Our production was going down every single day. But the American innovator, with new technology, has pushed peak oil back to the next century. And while I think the best solution to this problem is to repeal RFS, my mind is not closed. But it is not empty either (House Representative Pete Olson, Texas)

2013/2/13  HOUSE Hearing – American Energy Outlook: Technology, Market & Policy Drivers

2 Denials from Adam Sieminski, Administrator, Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. Department of Energy and House representative Dana Rohrbacher, California.

ROHRABACHER.  I would like to ask, a few years ago we were gloom and doom about peak oil and how we are going to be energy-wise, things are going to get worse and worse. What about peak oil and gas? Is that just a false alarm?

SIEMINSKI.  The problem that I saw as an energy economist, the problem that I always had with the peak oil hypothesis was that it was entirely geology-based. The view assumes that the resource base is completely known, and once you produce half of it that you inevitably are on a downturn. I think that this Committee particularly understands that there is a role for both prices and technology to dramatically change our understanding of the resource base. And that is what we have seen.

ROHRABACHER. When you talk about price, which is one thing, we heard it earlier about the importance of efficiency. Well, assuming that mandates and regulations are what causes efficiency as compared to price, and when you allow the price to go up, there is going to be a great deal more efficiency. People will turn off their lights. Actually, we found that out in California. If indeed the price of electricity goes up, again, we go back to market-based solutions. Rather than having the government step in to try to mandate what direction we go, quite often, the market-based solutions actually get the job done better.

Also See:

Peak oil in the Congressional record 2015

Peak oil in the Congressional record 2014: 7 denials, 1 affirmation

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One Response to Peak oil in the Congressional record 2013

  1. yvesT says:

    Thanks a lot for these quotes.
    Always quite amazing these kind of saying :
    “The problem that I saw as an energy economist, the problem that I always had with the peak oil hypothesis was that it was entirely geology-based. The view assumes that the resource base is completely known, and once you produce half of it that you inevitably are on a downturn. I think that this Committee particularly understands that there is a role for both prices and technology to dramatically change our understanding of the resource base. And that is what we have seen.”

    As if oil was getting out of the ground on its own in “Hubbert” kind of modeling, in fact these models are about human behaviour as much as geology, in fact they primarily describe “typical human behaviour” with respect to non renewable ressources under geologic constraints.
    In other words they fully integrate the “desire or natural tendency for growth”
    (just like the limits to growth study basically).

    Not even talking about the “once you produce half of it that you inevitably are on a downturn” which isn’t at all the point of peak oil

    The point being just about that if the integral of a positive function is finite, then this function has a maximum.

    Or the average of the function on any non null interval, to be mathematically precise, and to avoid “pathological cases” such as a function in the form of a series of triangles getting higher and thinner, but which sum of areas makes a convergent series.