Stormy Daniels and “Peak Oil”

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Everyone knows about Stormy Daniels. How many know that United States is on track to be a net exporter of oil by the early 2020s?

Whatever happened to “Peak Oil”?

Weren’t we supposed to be running out of oil?

They – the government and the mainstream press – have been saying just that since the early ’70s and their saying so served as the justification for velocity rationing (the infamous Drive 55 national maximum speed limit law, which abused motorists for 20 years before it was finally repealed in the mid-’90s) and for CAFE – the federal law which imposes fuel rationing on the car industry. It is compelled – by regulatory fiat – to find ways to reduce fuel consumption because the government says we’re about to run out of fuel.

Except that hasn’t happened.

The opposite happened.

Easing of the regulatory burdens on domestic oil producers combined with new methods of extraction have increased the domestic oil supply to an excess of supply. Crude oil production has almost doubled since 2008, up from just over 5.1 million barrels per day to an astounding 9.2 million barrels per day (see here).

The U.S. has been between 86-91 percent self-sufficient since 2016.

These are things the government and its media hyena chorus swore could never happen. Their mantra was that the U.S. is a spent hen as far as oil production is concerned and not only were we running out so was was the world.

Hence the austerity measures.

But things are no longer austere – so why the measures?

Because getting the government – and the mainstream press – to ever concede error or (in the case of government) close down or at least scale back whatever bureaucracy/regulatory regime was created to “solve” the no-longer-existing problem – is not unlike trying to get a duck to bark.

It is contrary to its nature.

This is why – at a time of oil abundance – the government is doubling down on its austerity measures. The fuel rationing regs – CAFE – are on deck to literally almost double, to 50-something MPG from the current 30-something.

And it is because of the threat of this doubling down that every car company is rushing electric cars to a market which doesn’t want them – chiefly (but not entirely) because it cannot afford them. The least expensive EVs cost more than twice what the least expensive non-electric economy cars do. Given how inexpensive – because abundant – gas is, most people reason that buying an EV makes no economic sense and so aren’t buying them, even assuming they could afford them.

Which most of them can’t.

Yet in spite of this lack of demand – and upside-down economics – the number of EV models on the market is expected to more than quadruple within the next five years.

If that sounds. . .  odd, it is. But keep in mind how CAFE works. It is based on something called “fleet averages” (hence Corporate Average Fuel Economy). If you sell six different models of cars and they average 30 MPG, how do you get them to average 50?

Well, you don’t.

It is effectively (but not mechanically) impossible – on account of other government regs. The saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety regs – which have fattied up the curb weight of cars, which makes them less fuel efficient. Countermeasures such as part-time cylinder deactivation, direct injection and steep overdrive gearing compensate somewhat – but the reason why most current economy cars just barely match the MPGs delivered by the much more technologically primitive economy cars of 30 years ago is because the economy cars of today are on average 500 pounds heavier.

Only three small hybrid cars – the Toyota Prius, the Hyundai Ioniq (my review here) and the Kia Niro get there – or get close. And even adding several hybrids that average 50 MPG to your lineup doesn’t do much for your CAFE average.

Not enough, anyhow.

Enter the electric car. The main merit of this  compliance car is that it gets infinite miles per gallon. It burns no gas at all – and that really helps the CAFE math. Which is why the market is about to be flooded with electric cars, at a time when there is less reason than ever to buy one  . . . if the reason for buying one is to get around the high cost of gassing up.

It’s a problem – for the government as well the car industry, which bought in (literally) and has now invested a fortune in EV technology for which there is no real market – on account of abundant and so inexpensive gasoline.

Even with all the regulatory cost-adders (including the ethanol mandate) and the disproportionate/regressive taxes added, gas costs less today in real terms than it did pre-“Peak Oil” – back in the ’60s, before the suggestion that we were about to run out was even made yet.

And that’s why all of a sudden – over just the past year or so – the government and the media have switched gears and now talk less about gas mileage and more about “greenhouse gasses.” This is their ultimate justification for the regime of rationing they’ve been pushing since the ’70s – and just in time to take over for the getting-soggy Peak Oil shibboleth.

No matter how much oil is produced, the internal combustion engine will always produce “greenhouse gasses.” Whether these “greenhouse gasses” are just another bogeyman – like “Peak Oil” – is beside the point – which is that there will always be some ginned-up justification for limiting our mobility via regulatory fiat.

It’s not “saving gas” – or even “saving the planet” – that motivates the people behind the curtain.

It’s saving their control.

Our job is not to be suckers.

. . .

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54 COMMENTS

  1. A great Resistance manifesto. Better than anything uttered by those saying Trump should be resisted.

    But it does provide one of the best summaries of what is wrong with cars today: It’s the people who want to CONTROL what is accepted as “allowable.”

    And this permeates into almost every section of our lives.

  2. Agenda 21. Get us off the roads.
    Did you know Calif just passed water restrictions mandating your daily allotment of water?1st state to do so.
    That too is Agenda 21.

    • 100% correct…agenda 21 is of course not about anything “green”, it’s about control. In the end it’s all about the power to not only do whatever one wants, but to force others to do as one wants as well. As Winston learned, it is not good enough to say 1+1 is 3 when the state proclaims it, one must fervently believe it. This is ultimate power, and what the end of the road looks like. We are rapidly heading this way.

  3. At some point I see (in some cases local governments in hyper-liberal areas first) creating restrictions on retail gasoline sales. All designed to make car use more annoying, expensive and difficult.

    For example requiring all gas pumps to also have a electric charger on it for electric car users (probably a bad idea for safety reasons too, but you know how that goes). So when that rare electric car comes to charge, it blocks a gas pump as it slowly charges. Or make it so gas stations are considered a “pollution” nuisance so they are restricted to fewer areas.

    It doesn’t help that retail gas sales already is a very low profit endeavor for the retailer. Less then a penny a gallon in most cases. That’s why we have gone from service stations to convenience stores that happen to sell gas, sometimes as a loss leader. Most are operated by small businesses that will quickly have to fold their hands when it comes to selling gasoline if more regulations arrive.

    In fact the place where I buy gas most of the time, is seriously considering getting out of selling gas (since its already mostly a convenience store). It’s in the town’s downtown area, where officials would like to relocate most of the “car oriented” businesses out of (never mind it was never a walkable area ever, even historically). So they want a body shop, a used car lot, several gas stations, a taxi cab yard (got the ambulance garage to move) to all move somewhere else. Never mind there are plenty of vacant locations that other businesses can take, without having to make people move…..

    But yeah, that’s probably coming down the pike too.

  4. IC motors do not inherently create greenhouse gasses…just with traditional fuel. Hydrogen powered IC motors produce no co2 or other emissions. The reason for EVs and the demonization of IC is purely to control the population. Free movement is the last true freedom we enjoy. EVs coupled with autonomous technology will eliminate this freedom. They will say anything to set up and justify this endgame.

    • Actually one of the few greenhouse gases that really do something is water vapor. Which both IC and hydrogen powered cars certainly emit. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, is a very minor part of atmospheric composition and is particularly ineffective as a greenhouse gas.

  5. I remember reading somewhere that some scientists theorize that energy and chemistry inside the earth is actually producing oil and that it’s actually renewing itself and refilling the underground oil reservoirs that were supposed to be depleted by now. I also remember that the govt and oil companies know this. Has anyone else ever heard this? Take a look for yourselves and see what you think?

  6. 9.2 billion barrels would be astounding, but I think you make more than a good enough point without the typo (it’s 9.2 million). Sorry for the proofreading OCD.

  7. If the US is now produces so much oil and natural gas, why is the price of gas still $3.00 a gallon? Not enough refineries? No matter how much we produce, if we can’t refine it, it’s useless except to sell.

    • Hi Rex,

      It’s currently $2.59 in my area… and keep in mind, that’s with 50 cents federal tax, plus the local taxes. The true cost of gas today is less than it was 50 years ago.

      • Quite so, Eric. The price of motor fuels and everything else hasn’t gone up. All that’s changed is that the value of our currency has gone down, and by 1,000%. What cost one dollar three decades ago now costs ten dollars. The price of gasoline now is ten times what it was thirty years ago. When I was but a callow yoot gasoline cost about 25-30 cents a gallon. Now it’s ten times that. In truth what’s changed is the value of our currency. This all began when we went off the gold standard many years ago and thus adopted a purely fiat currency (not to be confused with Fiat cars which are equally worthless)

      • +/- 4 dollars here.We have prop 6 on the ballot to repeal the gas tax hike and car registration hikes.Wish us luck in Calif and folks,GET OUT AND VOTE! This election is HUUUUGE for our future!

  8. A “John” who has trouble with the truth , running the country, we shall seee how well things turn out for the Middle class.Are most of you Guys old enough to remember when there was a true middle class? When one person could do well enough to support a Family, plus a little extra? Do you really think the Tariffs will make the average person richer?( Haven’t seen the parking lot at Wal-Mart decrease much) Wal-Mart will have a hard time keeping clerks when the food stamp “entitlements are cut out”

    • Hi Kevin,

      I didn’t intend to defend Trump in this article; I used the Stormy Daniels reference to make the point that the media covers salacious gossip more than it conveys important – relevant – info, such as the fact that we are not “running out of oil.”

      And to his credit, Trump seems to be trying to dial back some of the things which have made life so expensive for the middle class – such as at gunpoint insurance and also the CAFE rigmarole. He is far from my ideal, but can you imagine how much worse it would be had she been (s)elected?

      The “individual mandate” would still have teeth. We’d absolutely get 54.5 CAFE.

    • The tarrifs haven’t really begun and I favor this way of raising money over taxing income. So did the founding fathers as they prohibited direct taxes and favored “duties and imposts.” Like Eric, I don’t think Trump has been perfect, but he is doing some of the right things. The idea of tariffs is to bring manufacturing back by making it more expensive to manufacture overseas. They have been in effect on Steel and Aluminum and 20,000 jobs have returned to the shores. They have been in effect against China for about 2 months. I’m expecting them to take longer, but they will work as well.

    • So tired of hearing about Middle Class. The only people who care are marxists interested in preaching class warfare, us vs them crap. Who honestly cares what class they are in?

    • China has tariffs,its called currency manipulation and state run businesses.Since trump cant do anything about our trade agreements,and china is in the WTO as we are,he is fighting back with our own tariffs.To level the trading field.
      We dont need any china bastardized ‘free trade’ trade,and the less there is the better off we are.

  9. We’re coming up on the twentieth anniversary of its publishing…
    https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Hot-Biosphere-Fossil-Fuels/dp/0387985468

    Suppose someone claimed that we are not running out of petroleum? Or that life on Earth began below the surface of our planet? Or that oil and gas are not “fossil fuels”? Or that if we find extraterrestrial life it is likely to be within, not on, other planets? You might expect to hear statements like these from an author of science fiction. But what if they came from a renowned physicist, an indisputably brilliant scientist who has been called “one of the world’s most original minds”? In the The Deep Hot Biosphere, Thomas Gold sets forth truly controversial and astonishing theories about where oil and gas come from, and how they acquire their organic “signatures.” The conclusions he reaches in this book might be at first difficult to believe, but they are supported by a growing body of evidence, and by the indisputabel stature and seriousness Gold brings to any scientific enterprise. In this book we see a brilliant and boldly orginal thinker, increasingly a rarity in modern science, as he developes a revolutionary new view about the fundamental workings of our planet. Thomas Gold is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and an Emertius Professor at Cornell University. Regarded as one of the most creative and wide-ranging scientists of his generation, he has taughtat Cambridge University and Harvard, and for 20 years was the Director of the Cornell Center for Radiophysics and Space Research.

  10. You know that you live in hell when the US is a police state and you are not allowed to say it.

    The US is a bankrupt warmongering police state, but Americans think everything is just fine.

    Anyone who challenges the narrative will be called a nutjob or racist and will be banned, get an IRS audit, be arrested, or be killed.

    Doesn’t the collapse of the US bother you?

    How can you sleep at night now?

    Are you going to speak up while the USA collapses or are you just another mindless zombie?

    Those who stay silent today are no better than the elites who have turned the US into a bankrupt police state, are pushing for a civil war, and are doing everything they can to start WWIII.

    • Libertarian writes:
      “You know that you live in hell when the US is a police state and you are not allowed to say it.

      The US is a bankrupt warmongering police state, but Americans think everything is just fine.”

      What you are observing is the collapse of the American empire. There’s nothing so special about the USA that absolves it as a political entity from the results of empire building. You will not find any positive reception for reasonable rhetoric among the authoritarians, left, centrist or right, who are in power or who desire to be in power. This is a process that’s been set in motion for a couple of hundred years and it picked up pace in post WWII times when England handed over its role to the U.S. Raging against the machine and declaring others to be zombies will not stop the process….OTOH it could end up with something better on the other side….Russia nominally did. Meanwhile, grab the popcorn and beer, tis gonna be a wlld ride.

  11. These facts, and the existence of the “newly discovered” oil reserves in North Dakota, were known by geologists and select politicians for decades. As Eric has stated, the “peak oil crisis” has always been about economic and political control of the resources, not the actual amount, as we are led to believe. Even a perceived shortage of anything in demand tends to drive up prices, and a known abundance of such tends to do the opposite. This is why big government is always wanting to manage any crisis, manufactured or otherwise, for the opportunity of control.

  12. I don’t think the US is a net oil exporter though. I know oil is exported but oil is also imported. It’s about what grades, geography, distribution, and so on. However in the net I believe more is imported than exported still. Not that it matters much. There’s lots of oil and where it relative to infrastructure and customers doesn’t matter much.

    That said this idea of peak oil traces back to the 19th century. It’s not new. The global warmist followers don’t even understand basic chemistry much of the time which is why so many fall for the scam. Many others accept it as part of a political belief package. Again they don’t care if it is a scam so long as it works towards ends they agree with.

    Anyhow we’re fighting a scam which in its most basic form has been on-going for at least six thousand years. A priest class tells the people that if they don’t obey the ruling class there will be bad weather, storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and so on. So the people obey. Those who say ‘the priests are lying’ are attacked and blamed for the bad weather. Ug. Six thousand years and nothing really changes.

    • You are correct that the US is not a net exporter of oil. In rough numbers, the US produces about 10 million barrels/day but consumes about 20. We export some of our production because we produce too much very light oil (the oil that comes out of fracked shale) for our refineries to handle, which were mostly built in an earlier era to run on heavier grades of crude.

      Also, while the idea of peak oil is on hold for now, the idea of peak cheap oil is very much operative. The price of oil is affected by many things over the short term and as a consequence the price of oil undergoes huge ups and downs, but extracting crude from the earth is becoming more difficult and costly over time. Advancing technology mitigates this, but the very long term trend is clearly up.

      Unless, of course, the demand for oil dramatically shrinks. Then the price crashes and stays down just about forever. And the people who own and have profited from oil resources suffer huge financial losses and probably bankruptcy. And who are these people? The Koch brothers. Conservative Texas billionaires. Evil right-wingers (and libertarians!) of every stripe.

      Who owns and profits from alternative energy companies? Elon Musk. Jeff Bezos. The boys at Google.

      In a nutshell, that’s the whole story. That’s what the war on oil is all about. As always, you find the truth by following the money and asking “Cui bono?”

  13. I don’t believe the 300 has been canceled yet. Until you see the Charger/Challenger cancelled or moved to another plant the 300 will remain. 50K units a year alongside the Charger/Challenger (approx. 150K per year total). They share almost everything except sheetmetal and a dash cover. They can’t let the plant take a 50K/yr hit in current form.

    • Hi Chris,

      I pray to the Motor Gods you’re right… but things do not look good. Keep in mind that the number of jobs involved – and whether the car is selling well or not – are side issues; they take a back seat to political considerations.

      • Im about to sound like a broken record but I’ll say it again.
        Agenda 21.
        Get us out of our cars and restrict travel.Thats only for the Algores and cronies.
        Jobs? Hahahahahahaha!!! Thats not even a consideration for us cockroaches.We are to live at a Soylent Green level.The elites,they get it ALL.Feudalism is the goal.
        Agenda 21 is the blueprint and while we split hairs in the useless public debates of the medias control…. its in overdrive and completely unnoticed lately.
        Hail the Georgia Guidestones. 🙁

        • If environmentalism restricted itself to truly caring for our natural resources, I would have no problem with it. However, with the secret science and questionable funding that these environmental groups possess taints the whole barrel. It turns out that many claims that environmentalists make have no basis in fact and are not based on good, honest, scientific investigation. This is why environmental scientists have to hide their data, as it does not fit their agenda. A good example of this is the so-called global warming crap, now renamed climate change. For one, the climate is always changing. The East Anglia emails in which data was purposely falsified by climate scientists comes to mind. Not only that, the climate scientists purposely installed temperature monitoring sensors in cities, contrary to manufacturers recommendations and good scientific practices, in asphalt-covered parking lots, and other heat sink areas in order to prove their (faulty) hypothesis. This is scientific dishonesty at its worst.
          It turns out that the solar system is in a cooling cycle due to decreased solar activity. There are two long-term solar cycles that reinforce themselves when in phase and cancel themselves out when out-of-phase. Look up the Maunder minimum. There are no SUVs on Mars or other planets, yet they are also experiencing the same solar variability.
          Environmentalism has been the method used to impose communist principles on western society, especially in the USA.
          Environmentalists are not content with promoting clean water, air and land, but are hell-bent on controlling human behavior, and yes, promoting extermination plans for much of humanity as these anointed types consider mankind to be a pestilence (except for themselves) to be reduced in population by any means necessary.
          Environmentalists HATE the God-given concept of private property and have imposed government-backed and enforced land use controls on private property owners without compensation, clearly an unconstitutional taking of private property. If environmentalists want to control land use, let them purchase it themselves, not by government force. Today the only method of negating government-imposed land use restrictions is shoot, shovel, and shut up.
          If environmentalists had their way, the earth’s human population would be reduced by approximately 90%, with the remainder to (be forced) to live in cities, in soviet-style high rise apartments, utilizing bicycles, buses and trains for transportation. The use of automobiles and access to pristine wilderness (rural) areas”would be off-limits to us mere mortals, and would only be available for these anointed environmentalists.
          The endangered species act is another abuse of environmentalism. Species are always changing, to adapt to their environments–survival if the fittest. In fact, the hoopla over the spotted owl (that placed much northwest timber land off-limits to logging) turned out to be nothing but scientific misconduct and arrogance. There are virtually identical species in other parts of the northwest.
          More scientific malpractice occurred when government biologists attempted to plant lynx fur in certain areas to provide an excuse for making those areas off-limits for logging or development. Fortunately, these scientists were caught, however, no punishment was given.
          In a nutshell, today’s environmentalism IS communism, like watermelon–green on the outside and red (communist) on the inside.
          It is interesting to note that communist and third-world countries have the WORST environmental conditions on the planet. Instead of the USA and other developed countries spending billions to get rid of that last half-percent of pollution, it would behoove the communist countries to improve their conditions first. Here is a question for you environmentalists: Why is there a push for restrictive environmental regulations, but only on the developed first-world countries, and not the gross polluters such as India and China?

  14. Just like Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear” – the state must keep everyone in fear all the time. I doubt they’ll make that one into a movie…

  15. “We’re going to run out of oil” always had a strong hint of “Mom nature doesn’t make oil anymore” to it.

    I always wondered: Why did Mom Nature all of a sudden stop making oil? And don’t give me that “no more dinasaurs” bullshit.

    • Oil (hydrocarbon products) are abiotic in nature and are constantly being created by yet unknown processes, deep within the earth. Russian (and other) oil interests are drilling oil wells miles into the earth, well below the depths of “decayed fossil plant and animal material” and are coming up with oil. In fact, many of our old, depleted oil wells are “filling back up”, oil IS migrating from the depths.
      The term “fossil fuel” came into being in the 1950s, when little was known about the dynamics and origin of hydrocarbon products.
      The “peak oil” proponents and others who HATE hydrocarbons being a “renewable resource” are livid over the concept that oil is constantly being created deep within the earth.
      Observations by scientists of other celestial bodies note that some of them are showing evidence of massive hydrocarbon deposits.

      • You wish, it is axiomatic in the Universe that lighter elements were formed in the supernova. It stands to follow there would be more lighter elements like carbon, the Hydrogen was already here.

        • You must not be a scientist…Pure elements may have been initially formed in the “big bang”, but do combine with other elements which enhances their stability.
          You forget that elements are usually not found in their pure state in nature, usually combining in convenient arrangements. Thus, hydrocarbons are more plentiful throughout the universe than you realize. It is scientific common sense.

      • Yeah, a magical process that requires no carbon. Right.

        No, petroleum was created as the earth formed and seeped into the fissures in the ground.

  16. Machine learning, Big Data, and GPU processing. All the major oil and oil field service companies are pouring millions into this technology and essentially gouging down the price per barrel to drill. There are apps and docker services that can do predictive fault and horizon interpretation with minor errors. Big Oil is investing in Big Tech and luring people out of silicon valley. Cheap energy is the backbone and driver of economic expansion.

    On another note on Linkedin yesterday they had a double whammy on promoted (marxist) articles that Linkedin likes to stir up. The first was that Porsche is moving away from diesel in europe and starting on electric cars. The short article said it was because consumer demand was geared towards electric vehicles now, and the chorus of brain dead that commented on the article all confirmed that apparently everyone wanted electric vehicles. I laughed, I bet you could put a correlative graph of consumer demand and EU legislation on diesels together and see where that demand went. The second article posted on the same day even was that USED VEHICLE PRICES WERE RISING. I was shocked that even Linkedin would even admit that but I think they have short memory else they’d realize that doesn’t fit the narrative. Month or two months back I made several posts on Linkedins promoted articles about new driverless technology and EV’s that the auto debt bubble, CAFE, and consumer preference for older cars would cause the next big implosion. My posts didn’t get many upvotes compared to the fanboys squawking for EVs and proCAFE laws.

    • Exactly! I work with a guy who did satellite work up in the oil patch. The rigs had a 2 way satellite data link back to Houston and a room full of geologists and engineers who monitored the drill head. If that link went down he got the call, day or night, because the drill stopped.

      I live out in gas well country. I have a well pad about 500 feet from my house. When the company announced they were going to put it into production the neighbors raised hell. But they put in a pipeline to handle the fracking fluid, and have been fairly good about noise and even installed a odor mitigation system (that works about 80% of the time, but that’s better than nothing). They’re drilling 16 wells to cover most of the neighborhood and then that’s it. They probably will have this site producing for years without having to do anything major to it.

      The only thing I don’t like about it is the gas goes to Exxon-Mobile and the money goes to Uncle, not me or my neighbors.

  17. Here, here. To his credit, President Trumps EPA froze gas mileage requirements at 37.0 mpg to 2026, which is 1.5 above the 2016 requirement. It is attainable with today’s flawed technology, which makes Chrysler’s “decision” to cancel the 300 vexing and enraging. I am done waiting for the average American to figure out this game. Automakers, the baleful lot they are, have been complicit in hiding the truth from Americans and would rather make these over teched, complicated blobs of metal, sodium azide and plastic rather than build what the real opinion leaders like us want.

        • They also have to deal with the all the many uncles of the world. So even if we deregulated all this nonsense away, they still have everybody else. When Germany and China are seriously considering not allowing new IC cars at all…..

      • Thats true,but for now trump has put the NWO on hold.Redo nafta,stopped the TPP.Stop the mpg standards will be a huuuuuge win for we the people.
        This election is the most crucial of our lifetimes.And getting trump re elected will be next.At least some of the globalists and senate traitors will die in that time frame,thats a good thing.
        How trump is still alive beats the hell out of me.

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