Land of Make Believe

For the moment, it’s back to business-as-usual for Easy-motoring Nation.

Yet 73 percent of oil from the Gulf
of Mexico remains “shut in” or unavailable because of hurricane damage,
and about 63 percent of natural gas production.

Emergency supplies are coming from the EU and the Strategic
Petroleum Reserve. But these won’t last. Global production has peaked.
There isn’t more to be found.

What’s happening,
therefore is that we have entered an eerie hiatus. Some band-aids have
been applied to our oil and natural gas supply injuries and the
bleeding seems to have stopped. But the truth is that our energy
supplies are badly compromised and at the worst time of the year —
just as we slide into the home heating season

Another unpleasant truth about the situation is that the US public
wants to pretend that everything is okay as much as its leaders do. The
public is not so much being misled as demanding that its leaders in
government, business, and the news media continue a game of
make-believe — that we can still run a cheap oil economy without cheap

From Matthew Simmons of Simmons & Company, “Investment bankers to
the energy industry”, comes this chilling and quite extraordinary
policy briefing in bullet-point PDF format. Keep in mind as you read it that this is from a big league major player in the energy business.

Today’s Energy Reality:”We Are In A Deep Hole”

Katrina was our energy 9/11

Katrina took away more capacity than we had left.

Full impact still emerging.

Time frame to “rebuild” is hazy.

Natural gas far worse risk than oil.

A local emergency will spin into a global issue.

How and why did we dig such a deep hole?

Two decades of poor data.

Even worse analysis of poor data.

The Generals were fighting the last war.

Low prices created wrong signal.

Strong opinions overruled fundamental facts.

Transportation energy use must be reduced.

Movement of goods: by trains and boats

Movement of people: stop long commuting

Distribution of food: eat local produce/goods

Globalization: manufacture things closer to home

This from an investment banker! Build things close to home. If implemented, it would shoot globalization in the head.

Natural gas problems are not easy to fix.

Every energy source I’ve been tracking echoes this. The real shortages will be in natural gas. And soon.

R&D explosion must occur
Can the job get done
It has to.

Ingenuity is the by-product of panic.
The alternatives are too bad.
The longer we wait the deeper the hole becomes.
TODAY is when Plan B should begin.

Hybrid sales soar

Sales of the
General Motors Corporation Envoy and Chevrolet Tahoe fell more than 50
percent compared to last September, while Toyota’s Prius sales
increased by 90 percent from the same period last year.