Thursday, March 13, 2014

Keystone is a fatuous lie

For those of you who miss my blog, I'm still here. I'm just working a lot. I'm sure it's only temporary, but it's taken time for me to put two minutes together and rub them for a blog.

I've been seeing a lot of commentary on the Keystone XL Pipeline. It's a dream and a lie. Anyone who says that the shale oil from Canada is going to lower gas prices hasn't noticed worldwide demand for oil. They might not have noticed that the pipeline heads straight to the Gulf of Mexico, either. Isn't there an international port down there? I think so.

Here in Utah, we have Chris Stewart in the House of Representatives, pushing hard for approval of the Keystone pipeline. Stewart would have us believe that Keystone will create jobs. Oh, there will be jobs. Temp jobs. Then when the pipeline is built the oil will be sold on the world market where it will fetch more money than we're willing to pay here. Why?

Because the US is a tiny influence on the price of oil. The world has grown dependent on oil around us and though we suck 20 million barrels of oil a day, that is only a tiny fraction of world demand. Even if we produce more, and we are by any measure, that hasn't decreased prices at the pump.

When my wife and moved to Utah, we saw gas prices at about $1.73 a gallon at the low, long before we hit production numbers like we're seeing now. We're now producing more oil than at any time in recent memory, just ask Obama, and yet, gasoline prices are well above $3 a gallon in many places around here, higher still in California.

Any politician who is serious about energy production needs to start talking about thorium. We have enough thorium to last for thousands of years at current energy use. Yet, we don't see anyone in mainstream politics talking it up. No, they're talking about Keystone if they're conservative and solar and wind if they're liberal.

Thorium isn't the answer to all of our problems, but if you're looking for a reliable source of base load energy, thorium is it. It's widely distributed around the world, so there won't be any wars over thorium for quite some time. Thorium reactors are far safer than the pressurized water vessels we use for burning uranium because they operate at normal pressures. Thorium molten salt reactors won't go boom when they fail and they won't leak because the fuel is drained from the reactor in failure. Waste? About 1% of what a uranium reactor produces. Thorium, baby, thorium.

So, yes. I've been away. I'm working 50 hours a week for awhile, but I will get my digs in here from time to time. Thanks for coming by.
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