Energy: Testing Knowledge, Adding to Your Knowledge

By July 16, 2008Energy

The American Petroleum Institute has just released its second annual Energy IQ Survey, a national public opinion survey conducted by Harris International. As you might imagine, the public is paying a lot more attention to energy policy today than back in pre-$2 gas days, but there are still some misconceptions:

  • When asked how much more energy the U.S. will need in the next 20 years, 53 percent of respondents answered correctly that we will need between 16 and 20 percent more energy.
  • While the International Energy Agency projects that more than 80 percent of global energy demand in 2030 will be met by fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal, only 12 percent of respondents chose this answer. The majority believed it would be 60 percent or less.
  • There’s a nifty test-you-own-knowledge survey machine at the web site.

    The Institute for Energy Research has been working assiduously exploring the facts and fiction about energy exploration.  Lately any politicians have been repeating loudly the slogan, “We can’t drill our way out of this problem,” while at the same time saying, “We should drill in the Naval Petroleum Reserve Alaska” not ANWR. What the heck is the NPR-A? The Institute does the comparisons in the paper, “Alaska’s Northern Coastal Plain: NPR-A, Prudhoe Bay and ANWR“:

    Q: Would it be faster and/or more environmentally sound to drill in NPR-A instead of ANWR’s 1002 Area?

    A: No.  While both NPR-A and ANWR’s 1002 Area were set aside specifically for their oil and gas resources, NPR-A oil is spread out over its entire 23 million acre expanse.  The 10.4 billion barrels in ANWR’s 1002 area, on the other hand, is concentrated in one relatively small area and, as such, can be produced with far less surface disturbance.  Also, 21st century technologies enable companies to produce energy safely, as they have been doing in Prudhoe Bay for more than three decades.

    Q: Why isn’t oil being produced in the NPR-A today?

    A: Lawsuits filed by environmental organizations such as Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, and the Natural Resources Defense Council have stalled production in NPR-A.  In addition, a U.S. Corps of Engineers permit has not yet been granted to install a critical pipeline.  

    Wonder if the NRDC might retire its lawsuit. Probably not. The polar bear is its fundraising mascot.

    Finally, Investors’ Business Daily debunked the major diversionary tactics in this very good editorial from July 3, “Energy Myths.”

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