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Energy Tradeoff

| April 30, 2018
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“The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.” – Edward Teller

As a nation we are producing more oil and at a lower cost than ever before. The known and reachable oil fields with current technology in place, put us on par or ahead of any other oil producing country. Now, I am not saying that is good or bad, it just is. It changes world economics and world politics. It reduces the OPEC nations abilities to firmly control the price of oil, and places the United States in a position where we could be oil independent. Let’s also think of this another way. As we have lowered the cost of oil for users, we have also lowered the acquisition cost of oil at the oil companies. When we free up working capital, that allows more money to be spent on research in other areas. Such as new technology to continue to lower the cost and improve the technologies for harvesting oil, and also for research into alternatives. I mean oil alternatives.

Energy companies and Oil companies continue to put more money in alternative fuel options. We will not be “free” from petroleum any time soon, if ever. However, the cost for and the efficiency of electrical production from wind turbines have both improved greatly. Companies are looking at bio-fuels like algae as a supplement if not replacement for crude. These are just the beginning and it will take some time. This is the research and development phase, and it must be funded. The profits of one area fund the research and development of another. The limited number of street-legal electric cars 15 years ago were not much more than glorified golf carts. Now, in 2018 many of them are more like cockpits in a fighter jet. If you question the power of an electric vehicle try one of the new indoor go-kart tracks. Most use electric carts, and these are not “your fathers” gas powered kart. They are quiet, they are quick, and they are fun.

Yes, we typically create the energy to charge the electrics with fossil-fuels. But improvements are happening, battery life and longevity is improving. The bottom line is this is not one or the other, it is one and the other. Both will co-exist for some time, probably a long, long time. The person I saw on Cable news this morning talking about a pending oil crisis, well I am not saying he is wrong, but I certainly don’t agree either. I will continue to drive my gas-powered truck and continue to sail my wind powered boat. Have a great week.

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