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[I]f this oil discovery turns out to fulfill its promise, it could have a large impact on oil prices, which tumbled by $1.10 today to close at $67.50. Last month, FP reported on the shrinking oil reserves around the world. It sure would be nice to add an oil field to the list that is actually growing in production, instead of falling off.

New oil discovery bad for oil addiction? The Environmental Economics blog.

So now what happens? If this discovery pans out early projections are it could increase domestic production by 50% the incentive for investment in alternative fuel technologies is diminished, or at least delayed and my SUV investment doesn’t look quite as bad.

Coming oil glut. The Stock blog.

At $10 a barrel it wasn’t worth searching seven miles down. At $70, apparently it is. How much more deep oil is out there that no company has ever bothered to try and find at previous prices. The fact that a company can find so much so close to hundreds of existing rigs suggests that there’s a heck of a lot of undiscovered oil out there and the real barrier to discovery is profit.

Oil bulls are saying, “Yeah, but it’ll be 2010 before they get this up out of there.” But, remember that when front month oil futures were soaring one of the many completely illogical reasons given for the rise was that we were supposedly going to be short on oil a few years from now.

Peak oil theorists don’t know Jack. The Peak Oil News blog.

Whatever the ultimate size of Jack, its true importance lies in when it was discovered earlier this decade, rather than in the 1960s or 1970s, said Mr. [Michael] Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research Inc. It is proof positive that higher commodity prices and improvements in exploration technology can result in major new discoveries, he said.

Good news indeed! I can even look at KOS anymore. Good news is given a sarcastic and bad news is trumpetted as proof that Bush is fascist or stupid or evil or greedy or megalomaniacal or . I can think of any more descriptions.

I read about a new hypothesis that oil is not actually rotten dinosaurs and plantlife, but instead just a natural byproduct of planet formation. As you know, many moons and planets in the solar system have vast quantities of hydrocarbons on their surface and, presumably, below them.

The hypothesis was being used to explain how we find oil at ever increasing depths, often in multiple layers. If true, it bodes well for future oil availability.

Free markets are wonderful at increasing supply when the price is right. People often underestimate that power. All of a sudden we getting huge “new” deposits, such as the Athabasca oil sands, which just wouldn exist at $10. If the price went high enough, people would find a way to make oil from banana peels and parking tickets.

The thing that markets won do for you is control externalities, byproducts that no one pays for. Since CO2 is one of those, it important to ascertain the long term cost (or conceivably benefit) of that byproduct to society and impose said cost on the producers. (We can keep the benefit.) If we impose that cost reliably, producers will invent a way to handle it, which could work out well for everyone.

Personally, I would prefer that we have a coherent energy policy that would lead to a sustainable future. The way to do that is to simply overtax less desirable energy sources in order to advantage more desirable ones. IMO, the biggest untapped energy supply in our present economy is conservation. The most important transition source is nuclear energy, which should be subsidized, and the most important ultimate source is energy from nuclear fusion. Alternative energy can play a supporting role.

I glad we have new oil from an American source. It will help with the political issues, but in the long run, cheap oil is harmful to sensible planning. oil use at the level 10 years from now.

The 10 year interim would give us time to build up alternatives, and after 2016, we have to focus only on those alternatives (including “clean oil”) for any increase in energy or energy efficiency.

Then we have a base on which we could make other energy decisions, including taxation and regulation.

The trouble comes from the irrational monkey wrenches. ANWR is off limits from oil drilling for absolutely no good reason. New nuclear power even a safer generation of nuclear generators is off limits for no good reason. And the list goes on.

The world is full of silliness. Often the solutions to the big problems are right in front of our noses, but out of superstition or whim, we choose to keep our problems.

Capping oil use by legislation is a very chancy business. Command economies do not work. Prohibition doesn work, and price controls don work. Goverment only hammer here is TAX. Taxes do work when not overstressed. People have been trained to think of “tax” as a bad word, but it is simply a tool. It can be used or abused.

As to nuclear energy, I predicting that it will be the trend in the future. Business Republicans have always believed in it, and increasing support from environmentalists will turn the tide. Rather than wishing the problem away, business interests are going to start selling nuclear as the solution to environmental problems. The necessary attitude change is already taking place.

Keep in mind, I for the cap in oil use only if we fairly sure that oil use is hurting the environment. I assume it is hurting the environment in a highly risky way, so the cap is not only an instrument of economic policy, it is a necessity.

If somehow oil use were discovered to be environmentally neutral, a cap would be difficult to justify, except to avoid subsidizing oil producing dictatorships.

As for command economies, we already see government commands when it comes to new nuclear power and ANWR oil. Regulations have made sure we haven seen a new nuclear plant in more than 20 years, and ANWR oil is offically taboo.
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