RUSH: Let me dig out that story here and then go back to the phone calls. It’s in The Economist, which is a British publication, magazine, pretty high repute, and the title of the story, “A Bottomless Beer Mug: Why the World is not Running Out of Oil.” Let me just read to you an excerpt.
“Peter O’Dell of Rotterdam’s Erasmus University points out that since 1971, over 1500 billion barrels of oil have been added to our worldwide reserves. Over the same 35-year period, under 800 billion barrels were consumed. One can argue for a world which has been running into oil rather than running out of it. What makes the estimates go up continuously is a combination of economics and innovation.” Let me give you a word for that. It’s called capitalism. “The IEA explains the process this way. Reserves are constantly revised in line with new discoveries, changes in prices, and technological advances. These revisions invariably add to the reserve base. A few decades ago the average oil recovery rate from reservoirs was 20%. Thanks to remarkable advances in technology this has risen to about 35% today.” Let me give you another word for “advances in technology.” It’s called “capitalism.”
Capitalism is out there finding all this oil. He also says this under the section called The New Age of Discovery. “But there is a more practical fallacy embedded in the gloomy forecast, too. ‘I challenge the idea that the era of discovery is over in oil,’ says one expert. Thanks to the Cold War and other political constraints on western investment, much of the world has yet to be explored with the aid of the latest technologies. Most of the oil still undiscovered thanks to the Cold War and other political constraints on western investment, called environmentalism. New word for political constraints on western investment, environmentalism. Already, the industry, (the oil industry), is exploring underwater at depths that were unimaginable a decade or two ago. In the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, oil rigs now float atop 3,000 meters, or 10,000 feet of water. These marvels of engineering [capitalism] are stuffed with the latest in robotics, electronic sensors, and satellite equipment using fancy multilateral wells that twist and turn in all directions, they can hit giant underwater oil pockets miles away from the rigs.”
There’s more oil being discovered out there. It’s just a question of profitability and getting it, and eliminating the political constraints of western investment, i.e., environmentalism. Because that’s what’s holding us back. There’s so much oil out there that we have enough that we could go get on our own, that we wouldn’t need to be nearly as dependent on the Saudis and other foreign sources as we are. But it is my contention, folks, that the people on the left in this country who are bemoaning our dependence on foreign oil actually wish to encourage it. They want us held hostage, particularly when a Republican is in the White House.
RUSH: Mark in Midland, Texas, it’s your turn. Welcome to the program, sir.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, mega dittos.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: We just wanted to let you know, not only are they drilling offshore now in deeper depths, but I’m actually in the oil industry, and here in Midland, Texas, which is the only place that you’re more popular than George W. Bush, I think he’s the only man that is as popular as you are out here, but we are drilling in areas out here horizontally that are thought to have been drained years and years ago. So there’s an awful lot of technology moving forward because the price will dictate it now.
RUSH: It’s called capitalism.
RUSH: But how much opposition do you face? How many hoops and hurdles do you have to jump through to get your process restarted?
CALLER: Well, there’s quite a bit of government opposition even with the current administration. We do a lot of drilling on federal lands and it just takes forever to get permits to get things drilled, but overall things have been better since Bush has been in, but it’s obviously still just a matter of time.
RUSH: Well, it’s a matter of time. It’s a matter of necessity. But it’s interesting to note the obstacles in your way generally come from liberals in government. You know, there’s all kinds of liberals that are in permanent positions in these bureaucracies like the EPA.
RUSH: The EPA is probably the primary bureaucracy you deal with in trying to bring this oil out. And believe me, it’s just like the state department, they’ve got people in there, career people been there a long time that openly despise the president’s policies, openly despise the president for not signing Kyoto and this sort of thing, all over the place. But it’s a sign also that all these discoveries are taking place, and that we are going to get the oil eventually. It’s a sign of triumph over all of these environmentalist wackos, despite their best efforts. The way to explain this is this guy is in business. He’s in Midland, Texas. He’s in the business. It’s a tough business. Domestic oil is a tough business. They’ve done their best to shut it down, cap wells back in the seventies when the price skyrocketed, and there was no way that domestic oil could compete on the world market given the production costs and so forth. But what’s happening is, what you need to consider is, that conservation, while laudable, and while conservation is of course makes sense, it’s not the answer to fuel an ever-growing economy. You have to have new discoveries and if an economy is going to grow, all aspects of it must grow, and especially that aspect that provides the fuel. Whether people want to admit it or not, fuel and oil are the — well, oil is the fuel of democracy. You take oil out of our equation, like fossil fuels out of our equation, out of our economy, and you tell me the number of businesses that are going to survive as they currently are.
You talk about staggering, and yet there are people out there that are attempting to get this done over time, not overnight, but over time, and that’s not the answer to our problems. And of course all of this business of conservation and hybrid cars, it’s all based on the fact that, “We don’t have much oil left, we’re going to have to do something fast.” It’s just the opposite. There’s all kinds of oil out there so then the environmentalists say, “Well, it’s polluting, it’s dirty, it’s like filthy,” blah, blah, blah, “it’s exploitative,” all of that, and yet it is what our society is built on, and the world’s as well. As long as there’s plentiful supply we continue to make progress in cleaning up our messes. We’re now able to drill in places that actually provide interesting cohabit.
In fact, there was a story, this was about a month ago now but it was a story about an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, I believe, and they made the most amazing discovery. It was akin to the discovery they were afraid that the caribou would be wiped out by the Alaska pipeline and in fact the caribou population tripled because of the heat and other environmental aspects associated with the existence of the pipeline. They found all kinds of fish species that were growing and coral, all kinds of things that were attaching themselves to the rig and using the rig for protection. It made a huge positive difference in the ecology of the oceans. And that’s one story. We’ll have to do a Google search and find this, if you can. I had it in my stack and I had it for two days, and I didn’t use it, because the circumstance never came up. I know it has to be in the last month, maybe two.
RUSH: Yes, my friends, once again my memory serves me well. The story was from Monday, April the 11th. It was in the Washington Post, “Marine Life Complicates Removal of Old Oil Rigs.” We’ve got some old oil rigs out there in the Gulf of Mexico, and some people, well, you know, these things may be polluting, they may be disturbing things down there. They need to pull them out.” So they went down there and they looked.
“A rusting oil rig perched on the muddy bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, notorious for its vast ‘dead zone’ off the Mississippi Delta, might seem an unlikely setting for a thriving ecosystem. But that is exactly what Paul Sammarco has found on more than a dozen of the 4,000-plus drilling platforms that dot the Gulf. Sammarco, a marine biologist at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, has discovered that the rigs have spawned lush marine habitats that are home to a profusion of rare corals and 10,000 to 30,000 fish each. The results of his research, which he will publish later this spring in the journal Marine Biology, have thrown a surprising new wrinkle into an ongoing debate on how best to dispose of the thousands of old rigs due to be abandoned as oil and gas production winds down. His work has also raised questions about the ‘Rigs to Reefs’ program under which states bordering the Gulf have been turning old rigs into artificial reefs designed to sustain fish, sponges and other marine life.”
So, I mean, it’s just goes to show that all of these horror stories about the oil drilling in the Gulf and how it’s destroying the ecosystem, it may be just the opposite.
I gotta great e-mail here from one of our subscribers at RushLimbaugh.com, Lawrence Hicks from Philadelphia. He says, “Rush, maybe we should consider these old oil platforms old growth rigs as an endangered species.” We’re not allowed to remove them, because look at all the fish that can’t live without them? If you talk to an average fisherman they will tell you that fish — well, they’ve told me, anyway — that fish congregate or gather around structure. So if you’re a fisherman and you have a man-made lake in your reservoir, in your housing development or whatever, and you want to have the easy way out of fishing, throw some junk in there. Throw some old tires in and fish in the area where you threw the junk in and you’ll strike gold, because they gather around it. Rather than forcing them to flee and run off, it does just the opposite. So I don’t know how we can remove these rigs. They’ve become a life support system, if you will, for ten to 30,000 fish per rig, maybe more, and new species of coral. I love this term, “old growth rigs.” Can’t touch ’em. Pristine. There from the beginning of time, folks.