Peak Oil Was Peak Idiocy...

America’s production of crude oil over the past decade has increased by 140%. This is due to old-fashioned American ingenuity which has unleashed the power of innovation and technology, bringing to fruition high-efficiency oil and gas extraction methods to power our big machine.

Check out this chart below:
About 10 years ago when America was producing around 5 million barrels per day, oil industry analysts and critics were warning about "Peak Oil". I pointed out repeatedly at the time that "peak oil" was peak idiocy. And it was.

How did I know that when other "energy policy analysts", including those at the well-funded Community Environmental Council, didn't know? Because I never doubt the ability of America to solve problems and to get the job done.

I never bet against American ingenuity, nor do I ever bet against American exceptionalism. And today's remarkable American energy success story is a perfect example of both.

Our energy sector's incredible growth in daily crude oil production is perhaps the most phenomenal private industry success story in our nation's history. America's oil and gas sector is the New England Patriots of the world's energy producers. They simply dominate the competition.
And this is a very good thing for a variety of reasons, but perhaps most of all because, as the chart above shows, by the year 2050 fossil fuels will account for nearly 80% of the energy that Americans consume on a daily basis.

America's energy producers are doing what it needed and necessary to assure that our energy supply is abundant, reliable and affordable. This is obviously good for our economy, but it's especially important and good for America's families who rely on an affordable, reliable, and abundant supply of energy to power our cars, our homes, our businesses, our schools, and our hospitals. In others words, our lives.
Take a close look at the chart above. Remove Canada, Brazil, and maybe Kuwait, and ask yourself, do we want America's energy supply to be at the mercy of any of these other foreign regimes? Should America rely on China? or Russia? or Iran for our energy security?

Because California politicians and green activists refuse to allow California's oil producers to produce all of the energy we use on a daily basis, California residents send almost $60 million a day to foreign governments, nearly 60% of which are in the Middle East. There is nothing progressive about this.

Now I know these same politicians and green activists will immediately say that is why we need to switch to renewables including solar and wind. Fair enough. But first, they can't overcome the following stubborn facts: We are only getting about 11% of our energy supply from renewable sources and this percentage will only increase to 15% by 2050.
Finally, here's an interesting fact surrounding solar panels which is one of the environmentalists favorite renewable energy sources.

According to the above chart, solar panels require 17-times more raw materials to produce than nuclear plants do. And yet in California politicians are tripping over themselves to subsidize solar while shutting down nuclear energy plants.

The point is, solar, and as you can see from the illustration, wind as well, have a lot of waste associated with them. Environmentalists say solar is "clean" but the truth is there is no plan to deal with solar panels at the end of their 20 or 25 year life.

A lot of experts are very concerned that when solar panels reach their life expectancy they will just be shipped them off to some poor countries in Africa, along with the rest of our electronic waste stream, to be dissembled which would almost certainly expose people in those countries to high levels of toxic elements, including chromium, lead, and cadmium.

But, who cares? As long as it's not in your backyard, right?

This actually raises what I consider to be a profound question. In their tireless efforts to save the climate, are environmentalists destroying the environment?

To be sure, every energy source has its negative impacts. Fossil fuels certainly do, but so does wind and solar, and of course nuclear as well. But since nuclear isn't likely to enjoy a renaissance in California any time soon, and wind and solar due to their low intensity, meaning they only produce energy 20 to 35% of the time, California needs a reliable, affordable and abundant energy source to help us maintain our higher than average standard of living.

The only energy source currently available today that is abundant, reliable and affordable, is fossil fuels, particularly oil and natural gas.

And because America, including California, is blessed with an abundant supply of both oil and natural gas, that is not only good for our country, it is also good for the world as America continues toward becoming a net exporter of energy.

By becoming an energy exporter, as America has now been able to become thanks to our fossil fuel industry, this will allow other nations to buy their energy from the U.S., rather than from rogue states who use the money from their oil exports to create instability and mischief around the world.
Joe Armendariz is the Executive Director of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association and director of business development for Armendariz Partners.