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Fossil fuel economy is far from becoming extinct

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Modified: March 15, 2010 at 4:08 am •  Published: March 15, 2010
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/articleid/3446507/1/pictures/882396">Photo - ConocoPhillips chairman and chief executive, James  Mulva speaks during an industry luncheon in this Jan. 31, 2007 file photo in Houston.  (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)
ConocoPhillips chairman and chief executive, James Mulva speaks during an industry luncheon in this Jan. 31, 2007 file photo in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)
In fact, the administration is delaying the latter well beyond a reasonable standard. Mulva said that of the 2.4 billion acres of mineral properties the federal government holds, only about 3 percent has been leased for energy development.

The "hydrocarbon deniers” believe economic growth can continue apace without bringing additional oil and gas to the market. This pipe dream goes against all logic. What the world can do is start using less coal and oil while increasing reliance on natural gas. Ah, but aren’t we running out of gas? That question is the stuff of another pipe dream.

The planet’s "conventional” gas reserves of 6,500 trillion cubic feet, Mulva said, are enough to meet our needs for 60 years at current levels of demand. Unconventional deposits, such as those found in shale formations, increase the reserves to more than 38,000 trillion cubic feet.

Is that reserve estimate a pipe dream in itself? We think not. As technologies develop, the estimates may actually prove to be low.

Regardless, the fossil fuel economy is far from extinct. It’s time to stop denying that fact and fashion policies that would pipe cleaner fuels to consumers rather than Washington piping its dreamy fantasies to the people.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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