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Journey to Energy Independence

Gasification Technology - Page 7

 Introduction | History | Challenges | Benefits | Current Tech | Future Tech | Conclusions 

By Scott Miller — February 2011


Why does any of this matter? There are three basic necessities that are required in order for humans to survive and thrive on this planet – air, water and energy. Some like to throw food and shelter in the mix but in reality, these come from the combination of air, water and energy. Same with clothing, transportation and medical care. Without energy, mankind is just a bunch of Natives roaming the lands in loin clothes with spears.

But the unfortunate reality is that this critical resource is subject to the whims and mercies of governments. Events that shouldn’t impact a natural resource operating in a free market routinely cause oil and natural gas prices to spike 30-50%. Governments also come equipped with strong motivations to lie – to lie about costs of production, available reserves and potential capacity. Claims have been floating for years that Saudi Arabia is exaggerating their available oil reserves by as much as 40% in an effort to gain investors. And the simple fact is that when governments make these claims, we have no way to determine if they are right or wrong.

What is being proposed here is a program that could potentially meet most of the energy needs of the United States using a mix of domestic natural resources, existing wastes and renewable sources. The capital costs to build the infrastructure for this endeavor would cost significantly less (less than $50 billion per year vs. more than $90 billion per year) than what we currently spend on military protection for existing oil, much less than the foreign aid and other indirect subsidies the current industry receives. If we were to employ a simple approach of 50-50 matching grants to projects towards this program it would likely pay for itself over time ($25 billion per year spent against the taxes on the $250 billion per year currently going abroad that would go to domestic producers). Consequently, the savings from no longer needing the military and foreign aid abroad for oil could simply be cut from the budget.

As shown, gasification is a proven, mature technology that is capable of meeting the energy needs of the United States in the years ahead. It holds significant potential for improvement and growth while offering a better, cleaner and safer way of maintaining our current industries and activities. We don’t need a “New Manhattan Project” and we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We simply need the political will to do the right thing.

 Introduction | History | Challenges | Benefits | Current Tech | Future Tech | Conclusions 

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