Oil extraction equipment is silhouetted on this ridge line that runs alongside U.S. Highway 40 just outside of Milner in West Routt County. Recently, a Texas-based limited liability company paid about $30.5 million for sub-surface mineral rights in the area - a sign of expanded interest in oil exploration in the county.

Photo by John F. Russell

Oil extraction equipment is silhouetted on this ridge line that runs alongside U.S. Highway 40 just outside of Milner in West Routt County. Recently, a Texas-based limited liability company paid about $30.5 million for sub-surface mineral rights in the area - a sign of expanded interest in oil exploration in the county.

Interest in oil rising

Texas company pays $30.5 million for mineral rights west of Steamboat

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— Driving from Steamboat Springs west to Yampa Valley Regional Airport, it's difficult to envision the giant lake of oil beneath the surface of U.S. Highway 40 and the winding Yampa River.

But the oil is down there, and there are increasing signs that the escalating price of crude is sparking fresh interest in getting at Routt County's natural supply.

Less than two weeks ago, a San Antonio-based limited liability company, NRC-CO 1, created by another LLC in San Antonio, Texas, paid $30.5 million for subsurface mineral rights beneath 12 parcels of land. The parcels are in the vicinity of Milner and the abandoned coal mining town of Mount Harris. Timothy Hasler, a Fort Collins attorney who is the registered agent with the Colorado Secretary of State for NRC-CO 1, declined to characterize his clients' interest in the Routt County mineral rights. The San Antonio entity that created NRC-CO 1 is called NRC Group, LLC.

There is a large Russian holding company also called NRC Group that has interests in oil exploration as well as banking, hotel development and commercial aviation. Hasler said he is unaware of any connection between the company he represents in Texas and the Russian company.

Routt County Assessor Mike Kerrigan says he sees the evidence of increased interest in energy exploration every day in his office at the Routt County Courthouse.

"For the last month and a half, we've had at least two land men in our office daily," Kerrigan said. "Sometimes, there are five or six. We aren't equipped to handle them, and they take turns," using computers to research the status of mineral leases in the valley west of Steamboat.

Land men, in industry parlance, are agents who seek to tie up oil and mineral leases and then market them to oil exploration companies.

"These people are looking for oil," Kerrigan said.

A Web page maintained by the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission confirms that a well on Wolf Mountain Ranch in North Routt consistently has produced between 5,000 and 7,000 barrels of oil a month since May 2005. That well recently changed hands from Infinity Oil to Forest Oil.

Andy Lydyard told the Steamboat Pilot & Today in the summer of 2007 that there could be nearly 200 million barrels of oil - enough to meet U.S. demands for about 10 days - underground between Steamboat and Hayden. It's contained in a geologic feature known as the Tow Creek Anticline.

"It's a very large anticline cut through the middle by the Yampa River," he said at the time. "When you drive from Steamboat Springs to Hayden, you go right through the middle of an oil field."

Lydyard is the managing director of an Australian exploration company, Comet Ridge Limited.

Comet Ridge currently is reopening old oil wells that were capped in the 1940s and using modern technology to get at oil that wasn't accessible 60 years ago.

Routt County Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush said Comet Ridge is an example of a responsible energy exploration company.

"They've been very good to work with," she said. However, learning from the experience of neighboring Rio Blanco County, she and her fellow commissioners have been tightening county regulations. The commissioners are preparing for the day when the number of energy exploration companies working here could boom as it has in nearby counties.

"Several years ago, we saw an increase from almost no drilling permit applications to several," Mitsch Bush said. "We were already acutely aware of the boom in Garfield and Mesa counties for oil, natural gas and coal bed methane," she said.

Routt County has tightened up its energy exploration regulations particularly when it comes to protecting water quality, she added.

One of the lessons Routt County has learned from Rio Blanco County is that coal companies are relatively easy to deal with because they are large and there are only one or two of them in a county. When it comes to oil, gas and coal bed methane, Mitsch Bush said, local governments can find themselves dealing with dozens of companies.

Routt County Planner Chris Brookshire said her office has not seen a rush of oil exploration companies applying for permits this year.

"We saw some seismic (testing) and oil drilling in the 1980s, but then it dropped dead for years," Brookshire said. "Lately, it's been slowly gaining speed heading up from Garfield" county.

- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

JustAsking 6 years, 6 months ago

... and Standup, would you please move from where you are living because a group of anti business unrealistic radical environmentalists want to restore the area where you live back to the way it was 200 years ago?

By the way, they really don't care where you move just so they can't see you for the time being.

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lessworkmoreskiing 6 years, 6 months ago

more texans in Steamboat? awesome.

STAY OUT OF THE BOAT! FIND OIL SOME WHERE ELSE!

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standup 6 years, 6 months ago

goodbye pretty mountains and unspoiled waters.

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cmc13 6 years, 6 months ago

So where should we get the oil? Yes someone elses backyard. Then we bitch why our troops are all over the world and why people dislike the US. We have had so many viable options to do something in the last 30 yrs. Nice to see the Auto industry starting wake up, time to use that technology of 50 yrs ago. Oh yeah those pure streams are long gone not because of oil but domestic livestock.

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coolerguy 6 years, 6 months ago

How about we keep sending our money to the Middle East for oil? The worth of this at todays market is over 20 billion dollars. That way they can come back over here with the money we sent them and buy the mountains, ski slope, most everything in the valley. Oh yeah, they would most likely drill for oil then. They have their sides hurting now from laughing at the President going over to ask, "gee guys, would you increase the oil for us--we don't want to drill in our country?"

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JustAsking 6 years, 6 months ago

Standup, Why do you automatically think that extracting resources from under the ground will have an adverse effect?

I'm more inclined to see streams spoiled by mudslides from unchecked beetle kill pines and fires than from the highly regulated and controlled extraction of minerals and oil.

Are you one of the same who will want the government to somehow "fix" the price of everything you buy because prices have increased dramatically because of limited energy supply?

Are you one of those who think that wind turbines should be banned from the vistas of American because they spoil the view or are you just concerned about your own back yard?

Just what is your solution to provide electricity and fuel to this country? Are you one of those who consume but only want the source in "somebody else's back yard?"

Do you want to have the government limit supply like it has in communist countries? How has that worked out for the majority of people who live in those places?

Are you ready to sacrifice electricity, heat , fuel, food , and limited supply and higher prices for everything else you buy in order to ban the companies who provide these things to you from your back yard?

Should we increase supply by allowing a few billion of us die off due to hunger, disease or disaster or should we make use of the resources we have to prevent this?

Consider even if we would all go back to living in caves there would have to be a whole lot of new holes dug to accommodate the world population!

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ybul 6 years, 6 months ago

Oh yeah those pure streams are long gone not because of oil but domestic livestock.--

Domestic livestock managed properly do not degrade the water. There are good examples of how properly managed cattle actually reduce the silt loads in water ways.

--Are you ready to sacrifice electricity, heat , fuel, food , and limited supply and higher prices for everything else you buy in order to ban the companies who provide these things to you from your back yard?--

As the oil in the Valley will provide 10 days of US consumption, do you not think it is wise to do something to alleviate some demand. Move away from conventional agriculture to sustainable agriculture? Conventional ag uses about 25% of oil in the US. Moving to grass based farms with crop rotation, keeping yields at industrial ag levels or better, would go a long way to solving many energy problems we face today.

Couple that with moving homes to hydronic geothermal heating reducing energy demand by about 60% for heating and cooling. Or going to earth sheltered homes.

Without a plan to go forward, and just drilling will do no more than delay the problem and leave us in worse shape as there will no longer be untapped areas to drill in.

The issue of consumption needs to be addressed at the same time as drilling occurs.

Peace,

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justathought 6 years, 6 months ago

justasking, I like your attitude and agree with you on this subject but looking at our future, allowing for the "sky is falling" crowd's lack of common sense, their propensity to blindly follow anyone promising "change" and their belief the government "shall provide" I seriously have to ponder that part of your statement about increasing supply by allowing a few billion of us to die off....

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standup 6 years, 6 months ago

justasking

--obviously you have never lived 'of the grid' and are one of those still nursing off the skills of others with no wit of your own to sustain life and know when to protect basics. go to carbondale and take some alternative energy classes.

--secondly it appears the feet of justasking have never visited rifle/grand junction lately to first hand review routt countys future. oil/gas wells everywhere, the scent of oil in the air, the local governments stay in turmoil as do citizens against huge canadian oil companys along with others.

--why would justasking sell out his soul for 10 days of oil? makes no sence unless justasking could finanacially benefit. stock? current company in business could grow?

-- for a month and a half men secretly while citizens were not aware gathered their armour for the oil/gas war. justasking opened the paper sunday to find $30 million paid. but finds it to be agreeable?

--never understood why people buy land w/o mineral rights just thankful my land is one of the rare ones with mineral rights. heart still goes out to those who did not plan.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 5 months ago

For all those interested in drilling, how about smack-dab in the middle of the mountain, in Ski Time Square? Would that be an okay place to drill? What about at Romick Arena or at the base of the 90m jump? Maybe instead of the Health & Rec looking to take over the Post Office land at first bite, we can put an rig right there. H&R can use it as a new high-dive! Works for everyone! (Yes, yes- we all know some idiot will say, "Sure, put'em in," never truly meaning it. It's always easy to say put a rig in there when it's not your own back yard.)

For those interested in being off the grid or using wind/solar power, how do you propose everyone subsidize this venture for all us heathens? (Yes, it's always easier to say "Go Green," when you aren't the one paying for it.)

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JustAsking 6 years, 6 months ago

Does Standup suggests we should all live 'off the grid?" What a CROCK!!!

The horse has been out of that barn for at least 150 years in the USA. Admitedly there are plenty of people in China that are still getting by with Ox carts but that is rapidly changing also.

At this moment water filters are being delivered to very remote villages in the Amazon that will drastically reduce infant mortality ultimately resulting in more demand for food and fuel in those areas. Is Standup actually suggesting that we all isolate ourselves and pretend that things never need to change?

Yes, I know the Pensylvania Dutch and some in Iowa still use horses to plow and move around but take a look at the other 250 million people.

How fortunate for Standup to live with out the responsibility or benefit of others. Where is it you get your fuel, food, and electricity again?

Gee isn't it terrible that you have to look at a few windmills, pump jacks, and how about those unsightly hay fields? Don't you just miss all that chest high prarie grass and the sweet smell of buffalo?

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JazzSlave 6 years, 6 months ago

Anyone who opposes developing our own resources has no business complaining about fuel prices. Especially the anti-carbon Chicken Littles, who have been urging higher taxes to suppress consumption by the great unwashed.

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standup 6 years, 6 months ago

justasking

--windmills go with sustainable energy. would like see more of them. easy to make the smaller ones . larger ones had trouble fabing the angle just right.

---primative skills must scare justasking. it only takes a 25 foot water drop off a hill to generate power. do you ever try to provide food to yourself or others instead of buying? ever owned a bicycle ? ever used dead trees for energy consumption?

---did justasking come from new york or a big city? mountain areas are mainly for those ranching or those who enjoy prestine mountain air, sking down glissing mounds of snow, peaceful fly fishing, a chance for easily attained employment that doesnt destroy surroundings a place for manifesting peace, a second home to escape the rat race of city life, a safe place to bicycle around town and not get mugged. not a place to be a thoughtless rip and snort follower of big industry.

---sometimes people are not taught the importance of sustainable living skills because no one believes they will ever be needed. better to learn new skills to be comfortable and ready for change. the oil will run out before long no one denys that. start today reversing everything oil requires to work. dont know about you. but most of us are busy inventing and trying to fab ideas together.we are late but must say the oil alarm causes all of us to get serious finally. life today has to be both primative and modern. change is the mix of new and old.

---finding magnetic energy to be exciting. 5 years ago would have thought it to be a joke.

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forreal 6 years, 6 months ago

i've got an idea. why don't we just turn the middle east into a parking lot and take their oil. just kidding. there are many alternatives that have been developed for energy, but we can't have access to them because all the oil and energy companies buy the patents to them so they don't lose any money. they don't care about us, if you haven't figured that out by now. i've got a better idea. let's find out what those alternatives are and then turn all the rich oil and energy companies into a parking lot.

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bubba 6 years, 5 months ago

Just asking, do you mean to suggest that the modern agricultural techniques were developed to increase food production, not as some evil conspiracy between the government and those horrible 'corporations' that everyone seems so opposed to? Is this possible?

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JustAsking 6 years, 6 months ago

Is Standup the Czar of what is permissible to spot the vistas of America?

Windmills are OK...as long as they are small? Are the super efficient ones with the 100 foot plus blades that dot the farms of the Midwest off limits? Cattle ranching is Ok but to what extent? Can you feed them out of a truck in the winter, plant and harvest hay, round up with motorized vehicles or does it need to be open range and horseback?

Interesting that Standup makes unwarranted suppositions as to the motivations and back round of JustAsking. Absolutely all in error by the way but more to the point; What does it have to do with the question being debated?

A common tactic used by those like Standup is to try to divert the focus from the futility of their position by making outlandish statements concerning the character of anyone who opposes their dogma.

Just how realistic is it to expect the world population to return to the ways of the 1600's? The "primitive skills" advocated by Standup are not scary at all (actually can be fun) but it is obvious to all but the most isolated mind that it is absolutely impractical as a solution to our situation.

(Should we limit the number of bicycles because after all they are manufactured out of natural resources most probably in places that have a few muggers!)

Solutions must be practical. Using finite resources are necessary in order to develop the technology of renewable ones. Becoming energy independent is the only way that we can have any hope of preserving as Standup says "a place to escape the rat race of life." Other wise those who own the oil will own our country and they don't give a damn about preserving and restoring the landscape or anything else we favor.

Unless you favor Islamic fundamentalist calling the shots we must move to develop our own resources as quickly as possible. This requires some sacrifices. Standup will have to make some as well as a few polar bears!

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ybul 6 years, 6 months ago

Just Asking, I have to ask have you heard of Peak Oil? As oil is a finite resource, as it is currently produced, at some point in the future we will have reached the point of having used half of it and then oil gets very expensive.

The best way to develop more resources is to conserve. Stop the insanity of growing corn to feed to cattle. Let the cattle eat the grass, increasing the water holding capacity of the soil, reducing the runoff from the soil, increasing drought tolerance, decreasing energy consumption, reducing the carbon in the atmosphere.

The list goes on, get the government out of the subsidy business as they jack everything up. Demand that your food is grown by sustainable methods. Drive a diesel car, eliminate the tax exemption for oil wells and use that money for retrofitting homes with a more efficient heating/cooling system.

We could cut consumption by 30% if the government focused on that, however, they would prefer to encourage alternative production as it does not reduce tax revenues, and they also favor the status quo in agriculture as it supports big corporations, as opposed to small sustainable farmers.

Developing resources will do little but delay a major problem, if a new energy source is not developed (many promising ones are out there) however, conservation will do far more to increase domestic independence than putting a well in every 80 acres as is the stated goal in Moffatt County.

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JustAsking 6 years, 5 months ago

Yes, I am familiar with peak oil. Developing the reserves we have could delay the peak oil point another 50 years. Absolutely agree that some conservation methods can be implemented but bringing up "small sustainable farmers" shows that you know nothing about what it takes to run a successful agri business. Just how do you propose running back the clock to 1952? Just how do you propose making a living plowing, planting and harvesting enough acreage to make a living let alone pay for the land costs? Want to volunteer to buy 80 or so acres and see how it goes? Just who do you expect to take this job?

You have NO concept of what would happen to food costs if we returned to the methods of days gone by. We couldn't grow enough food to feed ourselves let alone export rice, beans, and other staples to the rest of the hungry third world.

So you want to grass feed beef cattle? Ok, how about chickens and hogs? Any ideas there. Any idea how this would impact the food supply? Just multiply what has happened when a percentage of corn production was diverted to make ethanol which is proven to take more energy to produce than it provides!

Now roll back yields to the days of the "small farms" you suggest. Think not only of domestic food prices increasing four or five fold but the beneficiaries of our excess production (Haiti, for one) literally starving. Sorry, but your utopia is just impossible unless you are willing to kill off a significant portion of the world population beginning right here in the USA.

Here it is: the Genie is out of the bottle. Sure it was a kinder, gentler existence when there was only 100 or so million of us in the US but it just isn't so anymore. Too many mouths to feed now.

The solutions are far from the simply returning to the "Happy Days" gone by. We need the breathing room that developing our resources provides to implement alternatives to fossil fuels.

What is your objection to a "well on every 80 acres" if it is no more than a temporary situation? The fact is "Reality Bites."

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JustAsking 6 years, 5 months ago

Bubba, do you think that those who are so vehemently opposed to those "horrible corporations" have stopped to consider that's where their computer came from? How about their stove and frig? I wonder, do they make their own light bulbs? Wonder what they are using for toilet paper?

Perhaps some of them are 'rolling their own" (as a form of protest?) but I'll bet they are still buying the Zig Zag from one of those evil paper corportaions.

I wonder do they get to pick and choose which technology is evil and which is OK? Is it really too much to expect them to think beyond their own little sphere? Apparently so.

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nikobesti 6 years, 5 months ago

Where has the middle gone on this issue? Why is it always "Drill it all" or "don't drill anyting?"

Doesn't everyone agree that America should strive to be energy independent? Okay, let's start from there then. Can we also agree that fossil fuels are a finite resource and that one day, oil and gas will become so scarce that it won't be economically viable to develop those last few pockets? Doesn't that then lead us to the conclusion that we MUST wean ourselves off oil eventually?

Alright then. Let's also agree that there is no silver bullet that's going to help us transition from oil to alternative sources overnight. We are way behind the 8 ball on alternative energy sources and I'm glad rising prices are finally kicking us in the butt to get moving. Can we agree that most Americans are not willing to take drastic measures to reduce their consumption? That leads me to the conclusion that we must use ALL the energy options at our disposal. We must at least take a very good look at every option.

Therefore, we do need to drill for oil and gas on our private and public lands. I am in favor of this, as long as these caveats are met:

1) We put important places off limits to drilling and where we do drill, we force companies to develop in way that reduces impacts to other important resources; 2) We aggressively pursue alternative energy sources in the meantime.

The problem is, during the Bush administration (and even before), we have not done these two things. Of course, the devil is in the details concerning which places are off limits and what restrictions are necessary. If you asked every person in NW Colorado to mark on a map where they think development should not allowed, then combine all those maps, you would have very little/nothing left to develop. Sorry, but that's not going to work folks. IMO, the important sagebrush habitats rank right up there with places that we need to protect. I don't care about Junction's watershed or North Routt. These are areas that can take some low-impact development without much risk. As far as forcing companies to develop the right way, I think the State's rulemaking endeavor is mostly on the right track. Spend the money, do it right.

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SilverSpoon 6 years, 5 months ago

Wind power is $1 million per mega watt(about 700-1000 homes). So they could have installed $30 mega watts on the surface. But instead, they are going to drill and pull up the brine, and make the surface toxic, and eventually run into wells.
Ask anyone at ACZ about how clean the discharge of oil explorers is. Oil wins over environment every time. At $5.00 gallon, we'll get every redneck from texas tearing up the valley. Steamboat 700 should change its name to Rifle II.

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id04sp 6 years, 5 months ago

With modern technology, it's possible to drill at an angle from a single site and tap a lot of oil-bearing strata with minimal surface impact.

I'm hoping they find oil in the Elk River Valley and drill under my house from a site hidden off of CR-129 somewhere. (Come and listen to my story 'bout a man named Jed, a poor mountaineer barely kept his fambly fed . . . )

It doesn't have to look like Bakersfield, CA or Midland, TX to produce oil. It's been done quietly and mostly invisibly all around us already.

People want jobs with wages to provide "affordable housing," and HERE THEY ARE. Now people are going to complain about the jobs . . . some people just can't be pleased.

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JazzSlave 6 years, 5 months ago

"The problem is, during the Bush administration... "

Yep. All Bush's fault. He's the reason China & India are using so much oil.

Show me what the following administrations (and accompanying Congressional sessions) have done differently and better: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush.

It's taken half a century to get where we're at. Blaming it on Bush may be fashionable, but it's not realistic. All we've accomplished since 1970 is to hamstring development of our own resources. The left has done it deliberately; the right is equally complicit by being ineffectual. There's plenty of blame to go around.

Worldwide demand exceeds global supply. Anyone opposed to increasing supply has no business complaining about fuel prices.

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nikobesti 6 years, 5 months ago

JazzSlave, did you read that bit the parenthesis about these issues existing even before the Bush administration? Besides, I'm not talking about the price of oil; I'm talking about sensible drilling on US soil. China doesn't have a damn thing to do with US Department of Interior policies.

Yes, there is plenty of blame to go around. Oil companies have their greasy hands in every politician's pocket, including our current Dem candidate. I agree that Clinton also did nothing to help wean us from oil. However, at least he created several National Monuments that are not available for oil and gas development. Clinton's Department of the Interior under Babbitt was a completely different beast that the one we saw headed up by Ms. Norton and now Mr. Kempthorn. I would be happy to detail the long list of grievances I have with the Bush Administration's "environmental" record/"energy policy." They are unparalleled by any other administration in the recent past. But have a read of my post again and tell me why I'm wrong in stating that, "The problem is, during the Bush administration (and even before), we have not done these two things."

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skygazer 6 years, 5 months ago

I read that places like the wildlife reserve in Alaska will at the tops only produce about 1% of the oil used in the world, even after the years it will take to get it flowing. If we put the money spent on production, pipelines, development, etc. into research for renewable new technologies instead of "developing the resources" wouldn't we be better off in the long run? We should wean ourselves off of the incredible thirst for all oil, not just foreign oil; it has a finite amount available. Drilling for more oil is a bandaid on the problem. Let's reward the car companies, scientists, tinkerers, engineers, or anyone else who can come up with viable alternatives to energy production. Let's have increased tax credits for individuals and companies who use alternative fuels. The drill more mentality will never increase the production of new types of energy sources, it will only postpone the inevitable for a few decades (the let the grandkids worry about it scenario).

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housepoor 6 years, 5 months ago

We will never become energy independent regardless of how much we loosen the drilling restrictions. We can live with $5 gas for awhile but how much longer can we survive being a slave to the Arab Nations? Without our oil addiction we could tell Iran, Iraq, Saudi, Afghanistan UAE and the rest of the Arab Countries to go screw themselves . I certainly hope I live to see that day.

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JazzSlave 6 years, 5 months ago

nikobesti:

"I'm not talking about the price of oil; I'm talking about sensible drilling on US soil."

If "sensible drilling"=restrictions that limit supply, then it has EVERYTHING to with the price of oil. China certainly has nothing to do with the US Dept of the Interior (I never claimed it did), but her and India's demand on supply has more to do with current pricing than American oil companies.

You say we should "strive to be energy independent." Fine & dandy. Jonah Goldberg framed it perfectly this week:

"We need to be energy independent, but we can't use the energy sources we have. We need to switch to ethanol fast, but we can't import cheaper ethanol from Brazil. We must increase gas taxes to wean ourselves from fossil fuels, but when gas prices go up for any other reason, it's a crisis, even a crime. We're told we'll get nowhere drilling our way to independence or lower prices, as if windmills will do the job (stop laughing)."

We are decades - not years - DECADES away from being able to walk away from a petroleum based economy. If your concerns are environmental, more power to you. If you endorse the restrictive regulation on domestic development that has landed us where we are, then you have to accept higher prices as the trade-off.

skygazer:

"Let's reward..."

You and Newt Gingrich are sympatico. Gingrich & Terry Maple have proposed a market based initiative - a partnership between government and the private sector. A combination of aggressive tax incentives and public & private awards (as opposed to taxes, regulation, & govt bureauacracy) to stimulate the kinds of new technologies necessary to make the transformation everyone says we need. A $1 billion prize, for example, would be one heck of an incentive.

That's the most interesting proposal I've heard from anyone. If the Uber Socialist (Obama) has anything to offer beyond rhetoric & tax hikes, I'm all ears.

In the meantime, drill, drill, drill!

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housepoor 6 years, 5 months ago

how much research would this get us? http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home and where is all that Iraqi oil anyway??? halliburton selling to China? I guess I'm a little bitter today....lol

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seabirth 6 years, 5 months ago

we import approx 10% of our oil from arab nations

http://middleeast.about.com/od/oilenergy/a/me070905e.htm

we certainly can have a debate about becoming more energy independent, but let's stop pretending that we are slaves to arab nations, even though it's a great soundbite.

more drilling permits have been issued under the bush administration for public land, and yet oil companies are drilling on these permits less than the years prior to the bush administration.

a serious push for conservation and getting rid of the enron loophole would have as much or more impact on gas prices than opening offshore areas and anwr to drilling.

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grannyrett 6 years, 5 months ago

Alternate forms of energy would be wonderful. Research needs to be done. But--I and many others can't afford a hybrid car. My gas and diesel vehicles will have to do until they fall apart. No matter what, I need oil. Arizona uses nuclear power. That has its drawbacks too. I crack up when I see the commercials about how clean nuclear power is so clean. What do we do with the waste? How long of a life does it have? There are wind power farms in California, but, there you get everyone crying "not in my back yard." It is not possible to make everyone happy. We need to do the best we can and realize that not everyone is going to be happy. Oh well.

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ybul 6 years, 5 months ago

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Yeah sure, you sure know the geological facts. Especially if China and India start to really suck down oil.

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I am not suggesting returning to the days gone by. The technology we have today did not exist 20-30 years ago. The New Zealanders have the most cost effective/productive dairying operations in the world, all of which are grass based.

You want chickens, then view what Joel Salatin is doing in Swope, VA and many are copying. He has reduced his feed costs on a dozen eggs by $1.00/per dozen 4 years ago by having his chickens follow hiss cattle, which precondition the grass for the chickens to eat, while also eating the bugs that thrive in the crap. Pigs, are being used back east to control the under brush in overgrown forests. Goats could be used to eat the weeds that the county is striving to eradicate using chemicals that have known side effects. Why pay to kill the weeds when you could use an animal to eat them, making milk or meat in the process?

As far as buying 80 acres, I have plenty of acres already. The simple energy costs of shipping food across the country/world so we can have everything all year is part of the problem. Why not have a green house in the valley which is productive 10 months out of the valley. Use some TC money to build that, so that as opposed to when money comes into the community it does not immediately leave, and creates additional jobs.

As far as the studies on organic production vs industrial production. An organic corn grower in Ohio, beat the best years crop yield for the entire state using organic production methods. So we can feed the world, it just takes opening your mind to the possibility that maybe the solutions pushed by agribusiness intend to make them money and not necessarily the farmer. In addition if you give me 10 million and a lab I can prove whatever you want, used to be a million but that will not suffice any longer.

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two_planker 6 years, 5 months ago

who cares about the oil. Americans need to look at our consumption. We drive huge cars and waste everything. If you dont know what I mean...get a clue!

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nikobesti 6 years, 5 months ago

Sensible drilling restrictions do not limit supply. There are a limited amount of drill rigs running in the western US right now, and companies don't have a hard time finding somewhere to send it to drill a well. If Questar can't drill for gas in the Piceance in February, they'll drill in Jonah. If they can't do that, they'll drill that same well they would have in Feb in Piceance in June. Timing limitation do not affect supply. Neither do soil or wildlife No Surface Occupancy restrictions. Sure, companies might have to spend a bit more money to drill directionally, but they can still get to every cf of gas. (See Pinedale). Even in the governor's "severely restrictive" plan for the Roan Plateau, almost 90% of the gas is extractable with today's technology.

The neo-con/Johan Goldberg strawman argument is "Dems won't let us develop our own resources, whaaaaaaaa!" Horse****. There have been more oil and gas wells drilled last year in America than ever, and that's not going to stop anytime soon. Those envirowhackos that resist ALL development of any kind drive me nuts too. But they are a very small minority and their unrealistic opinions will never make the national stage. We just want to safeguard other resources important to us and develop our energy resources at the same time. Yes, it CAN be done. Go visit the Jonah field and tell me we're not impacting our natural resources. Not every place is like Jonah, but that's the exact reason why we need to make sure those don't pop up all over the west. Yes, nuclear has drawbacks, but we need to seriously consider some more nuclear power plants. More incentives, more research, and (hopefully) more expensive gas will finally get things moving.

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