Skip to comments.Shale Oil Works in Estonia...Yes, Estonia
Posted on 07/26/2011 11:30:24 AM PDT by Kaslin
In the midst of the debt ceiling debacle (I refuse to call it a debate at this point) Senator Marco Rubio declared We dont need new taxes, we need new taxpayers, people who are gainfully employed, making money, paying into the tax system.
I majored in religion in college, not finance or economics so I am reasonably proud of myself when I can make the quantum leap that more taxpayers requires the creation of more jobs, and also requires lower prices for goods and services.
To steal a now hackneyed phrase Theres an app for that. Coincidentally it is right down the road from me. I mean literally right down the road. Its called shale oil and my county happens to be in possession of quite a bit of it.
When the discussion of energy options turns to shale oil, the Environmental Left predictably goes to It uses too much precious water! Its unproven technology! And they invariably base that assumption on conclusions drawn by the Rand Corporation. In the 1980s. And in the 1980s, the conclusions drawn by the Rand Corporation regarding shale oil were fairly solid.
However (and I do feel somewhat embarrassed in having to point this out) this is not the 1980s, it is the 21st Century. And one does the community at large a disservice by using the Ghosts of Data Past to justify shoddy policy.
If we accept that data from the 1980s is automatically relevant to 2011, then it stands to reason that using data from the 1860s; I and 10,000 of my closest friends should storm Atlanta to ensure that the Union remains intact and slavery is abolished.
My point is that what has been commonly accepted as gospel in the past can become useless in the present. Such is the case with shale oil.
Dont get me wrong, I respect the folks at Rand. They are on top of their game and in the 1980s their assessment of oil shale was spot on.
However, like the political landscape of America and like the practice of bloodletting, society has progressed since those concepts were a part of contemporary thought. And we know a bit more about oil shale than we did when I graduated high school. (That would be 1985 for those of your keeping score.)
For advancements in oil shale, we need look no further than the country of Estonia. And yes, I said Estonia.
You see as it turns out, Estonia happens to be in possession of oil shale. And while we have whittled away our time doing the environmental hokey pokey, dithering about where when how and why to develop resources all the while quaking in our boots over the fear that we would invoke the wrath of the Environmental Left, the country of Estonia got down to the business of making oil shale work.
A company in Estonia is mining a 9 foot high seam of oil shale. From that seam the company has created a plant that is producing something on the order 25 thousand barrels of oil per day. And while environmentalists would tell you that it uses up that most precious of resources: water, water is not used at all in the extraction process. In fact the drier the shale the better. So much for the myth of water going down the proverbial dry hole. Additionally, the Estonian plant meets the exacting air quality requirements of the European Union, which is no small feat in this day and age.
But is it useable? Well, unless the laws of physics in Estonia vary wildly from those in the United States, the Magic Eight Ball seems to say YES. The country of Estonia has a total of eight power plants running off of oil shale. Six of those are in operation and two are in the process of being refurbished. Construction is underway on a new power plant that will generate 600 megawatts of electricity when it goes online.
Impressive numbers? Yes. But a drop in the bucket when you consider that the seam of oil shale in my part of the world is not nine feet high but 70 feet. Consider the possibilities.
But the land! The irreparable harm that will be done to the land! What about such endangered plant species as the Grahams Penstemon? Never heard of the Grahams Penstemon? Im not surprised. You wont unless the news of the latest environmentalist lawsuit against the Federal government reaches your ears. In this particular case, if oil shale development is allowed to proceed in my part of the world, it will put at risk the Grahams Penstemon. A flower you have never heard of and whose absence will likely not impact your life one wit.
Except for the fact that when an experimental oil shale retort was put up amongst the Penstemon, far from being extinguished, it bloomed with a vengeance! A fact conveniently omitted in the lawsuit. It would appear the presence of an oil shale retort in fact urged the flower on to greater things.
But what about the ugly scars in the land that will never heal? Well, the company in question makes a point of reclaiming the areas in which it has mined. It fills in the holes it has left in the ground with the spent shale and plants grass and trees in the places in which it has worked. In point of fact the company has even gone so far as to create a ski slope out of the spent shale. A rare treat in a country as flat as Estonia. One would think that as enamored as the Left is of skiing this would be seen as nothing but a boon to the slope deprived people of Estonia.
But of course there are the awful carbon emissions. After all, they create a horrible barrier in the sky, which prevents the escape of greenhouse gasses causing the earth to warm.
Until two weeks ago, at which time we were presented with evidence showing that evil industry was preventing the earth from heating: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/04/us-climate-sulphur-idUSTRE7634IQ20110704
Amazing thing this climate change, it cools as it heats! No doubt Vince the Sham Wow guy will be hawking it on late night TV soon. Whatever happened to him anyway? Last I heard he had been beaten up by a hooker. (Insert slap-chop joke here)
But seriously, folks
Despite what the environmentalists will tell you, oil shale works. And it works well. And the proof lies in Estonia, of all places. Oil shale means job and it means you can pay less at the pump.
The key to a bright future lays at my feet .Literally at my feet. It is up to you to go and claim it for your own.
Yeah but......they don’t have our President that doesn’t want to produce our own oil.
if america does not rely on the rest of the world for its energy needs, the rest of the world will be irrelevant and unnecessary.
we need to colonize the world now...
Science has demonstrated that even as we speak, more oil is being manufactured by natural causes in regions of the earth. IOW we ain’t even near running out of oil.
They probably don’t have the environmental wackos either
I went to Estonia a few years ago, I would love to go back.
The U.S. had an operational oil shale plant in Elko Nevada from 1916-1924!
It failed as it could not compete with oil drilling, but the technology existed it DID work.
We have better technology now, and the oil shale deposits in the U.S. are massive!
Elko details at link.
Thanks Kaslin. I wish these enviormentilists would find a REAL job. I wish our government would push them out of our pockets. I really hate using our tax money to pay them. They cry and whale over the damage done to our environment with oil, coal, manufacturing plants, refinery plants, bbq smoke etc. I would truly like to know how they get to work each day. Do they ride their bikes, and what are the bike tires made of? HMM, When they travel to far off places, ie, dc to TEXAS, ride their bikes on tires made from oil byproducts, walk down here in a pair of Nikes, whose soles are made of oil by products, sleep in motels where the motels use many objects made of oil byproducts, watch tv which is probably powered by electricity from coal/oil/nuclear? All BAD, BAD. Are all of their clothes made of organic cotton. The cotton made with machinery powered by oil/coal/nuclear? How do they prepare their food? What do they use to cook with? If they use wood, they’re helping to destroy our forests. I could go on, but my silliness must come to a halt. Just curious how these environmentists rectify their movements, existing in a world powered by natures energy.
How viable is this cost-wise in the US? Anyone know the real details on this? It would of interest in the coming years...if not for the security it offers, but the potential investments.