Monday, June 16, 2008

Why The Capitol Remains Ignorant

Checking in on a seemingly innocuous local story, we find good reasons why the truth about peak oil remains hidden in plain sight. Ostensibly about the now becoming widespread practice of US motorists close to the border obtaining their liquid fuel from the "other side," thereby taking advantage of the lower (somewhat subsidized) price of our southern neighbor, the article delves a little deeper and even interviews some semi-local experts to give some context (emphasis is Chaos'):

"But [Mexico's] proven oil reserves are shrinking, and it lacks refining capacity, particularly for low-sulfur diesel being phased in under the North American Free Trade Agreement. (This mysterious phrase enables the author to dance around the fact that Mexico oil production has peaked and is in rapid, irreversible decline.)

"So even while the nation still exports crude oil, it imports about 40 percent of its fuel"


"Pemex has been having difficulties. According to the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration, Mexico's net oil exports dropped from 1.7 million barrels a day in 2006 to 1.46 million per day in 2007. A 28-year graph of proven reserves shows a sharp downslide." (Yeah, a 13% yearly decline in productions of one's largest oil field tends to produce a few "difficulties." And again with the proven reserves language. Did the author pick that up from some expert or what? Keep tapdancing...)

Concluding with some nods to the impact of higher oil prices on the poorer citizens of Mexico, the article ends on a slightly confused note, i.e., was the point the cheap Mexican gas, so attractive to American motorists close to the border, the declining production (although this word appears nowhere in the piece), the impact (and potential riots) on the poor, or something else?

Well. Chaos has many thoughts for such an article, most strikingly that it somehow left out some rather important facts about Mexico, one of the top 5 sources of oil for the US. How an article concerning itself with this subject could somehow fail to mention Cantarell, one of the largest oil fields in the world and source of a majority of Mexico's oil production. The field has peaked and entered a rapid decline such that Mexico is on track to move from an oil exporter to an oil importer in the next five years. New discoveries may slow the decline but will not affect the end result. Be assured, readers, that these facts are not unknown, or obscure in any way; a few seconds of "googling" will call them up. In Chaos' humble opinion, when the one of the top ten oil producers peaks and begins a catastrophic decline, it should in fact be a front page headline for pretty much the entire nation. The fact that it is not, and further, that this muffling by the so-called media "watchdogs" continues, serves to reinforce Chaos' view that, for whatever reason, the facts will not be faced in the US until they are so blatantly obvious that they can no longer be ignored, even by the most somnolent of the public. Want more proof? Check out this ridiculously irresponsible opinion (by a "business columnist") as to why $200 oil just won't happen. Really. It just won't. Look for the Faux News "kill the messenger" fallacies, the Las Vegas-style gambling that apparently constitutes the current corporate culture, the ad hominem attacks, and (get ready) even a reference to the viability of shale oil. Yikes! This columnist's solution for the public? "At a minimum, we'll buy a more fuel-efficient car or even go the extra step and car pool!" (Chaos cannot help but be stunned at this person's energy illiteracy, but then again, it's quite obvious that most folk in the Empire are equally delusional).

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