What Do You Want To Ask Richard Heinberg? Author of “Snake Oil”

Do you remember back in 2006 or so when oil and gas prices were rising and the mainstream media was talking about the reality of peak oil and how production wasn’t keeping up with demand?  Then in 2008 there were those brutal highs of $140 per barrel of crude and the the world economy started to shut down.

Since food is basically oil, the prices of food skyrocketed too.  Costco was limiting panic buyers to only 3 sacks of rice per family.  Low priced rural properties flooded the market as long commutes suddenly became too expensive.

Banks and financial markets teetered and the talking heads started discussing the real possibility that your credit card might not work anymore.

Preppers were nervously wondering if it was time to load up the family and head to the bug out location.

And then suddenly we were being told about this new technology of fracking and shale oil.  And because of this new discoveries, America supposedly has over 100 years of fuel.

The price of crude dropped back somewhat to the current range near $100 per barrel and everyone has relaxed.

But where did that 100 years of fuel suddenly come from?  Sure enough production levels in the US have come up somewhat, but are they as substantial as the industry claims?  And at what cost?

I’ve lined up an interview with Richard Heinberg, author of “Snake Oil: How Fracking’s cover of Sanke Oil Fracking bookFalse Promise Of Plenty Imperils Our future”.  It’s a thin book which tries to avoid hype and only focus on actual, measurable data.  The book sheds some very interesting light on the huge claims being made by the oil industry.  You can pick up a copy of the book at Amazon here http://astore.amazon.com/wwwbackyardfo-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=10

As with all of the in-depth interviews I conduct, I would love to get your input.  Have you or your community been impacted by fracking activities?  What questions do you have for Richard?  Put your comments down below!

Rate this article:

 

Marjory Wildcraft


Contributor

Marjory Wildcraft is an Expedition Leader and Bioneer Blogger with The [Grow] Network, which is an online community that recognizes the wisdom of "homegrown food on every table." Marjory has been featured as an expert on sustainable living by National Geographic, she is a speaker at Mother Earth News fairs, and is a returning guest on Coast to Coast AM. She is an author of several books, but is best known for her "Grow Your Own Groceries" video series, which is used by more than 300,000 homesteaders, survivalists, universities, and missionary organizations around the world.


8 Comments
  • Trisha

    I understand enough on the fracking to get myself in trouble…but I do have a question…and that is what your guest thinks about the new “sun” oil. It is a new process using sunlight to make fuel….not bad for the environment and not only could America become free from other countries whims and demands on fossil fuels – so could any other country that would invest to develop the process…so I would like to know his take on sun oil. Thank you.

  • John

    Ask about the EROEI {Energy Return on Energy Invested} of shale or fracked oil. Its not just finding oil that is important, its how much energy does it take to harvest it. In 1900’s Texas oil cost about one barrel of oil in energy to harvest 100 barrels. Look at the photos of simple wooden drill rigs compared the the multi-billion dollar deep water drilling rigs of today. It is not that oil will not be around for the next 100-200years, its just that most people will not be able to afford it. Cheap and easy oil is nearly all gone, that means cheap and plentiful food is nearly over, which means our population overshoot will need to “adjust”.
    Also ask about the declining curve for discoveries of known oil reserves. The super oil fields that we are currently living on; are no longer being found (for decades now). The finds of the last decade that are called big and huge are generally equal to a few days to a few weeks of global consumption.

  • Mac

    Fracking can be done safely. First you have to realize there is no natural gas that has not been fracked. It is an old technology that has been around for a long time. The basics of fracking is using water, sand, and high pressure to open the rock at the bottom of the drilled gas well to allow the gas to flow up to the surface in the well head. At the surface the well has an outer casing concrete, then another casing concrete, then the well head and that all is set in place to protect the ground water. In NY where I am from, we have had gas wells in different parts of the state for over 60 years, and all of them were fracked. If the liberals really hate fracking so much, they should stop using all natural gas. I believe we need to take care of the environment, but let us use real science to make our policy decisions, not political BS.

    Another point, the deepest water well in NY that I know about is about 260 feet down from the surface. The very same property has two gas wells at 2500 feet from the surface. There is no contamination from the gas well drilling or gas wells in the water on the land.

    If people do not like the new chemicals they are using in the current fracking technology, then use the old technology and get the gas out.

  • Profile photo of Marjory Wildcraft

    Linore wrote this comment is via email and I am posting for her:

    > Before you knock fracking, see the film FRACK NATION. Why shouldn’t the US provide itself with oil when we have it in abundance? Do you prefer relying on Arab nations and enriching them? The very nations we pay billions of dollars to for oil are the ones who hate us with a passion. We ought to keep American money in America and use the natural resources that are God-given. The claims of environmentalists about the dangers of fracking are in many cases downright fraudulent, especially if the fracking is done properly. Please–watch FRACK NATION.

  • Denis

    I have to comment on the statement above where the talk is about the cost of oil and gas production has exponentially increased over the years. In one sense it has, but if you read any of the articles in the Bakken Magazine (which is a free on line subscription) the oil companies are making great strides in reducing drilling cost, even when drill 18,000 feet deep, as is being done in the Bakken oil field. I believe, in the next few years it may cost the same or less to drill to the next oil level at 27-30,000 feet to extract oil and gas. These tracked holes are being used to store a lot of natural gas for later use. I also want to ask “How much oil does it take to produce some of these “so called” energy saving gadgets etc. I reference two government subsidized projects that are just ludicrous, these being the Chevy “Volt” car and ethanol producing plants. We need to become more fuel efficient, but not when these projects are subsidized by the Government. None of these companies would even make it on their own without the government intervention. There are many more such “energy saving” subsidized projects in this country. I say “Make it useful and cost saving or LET IT DIE.”

    • Profile photo of Marjory Wildcraft

      Hi Dennis,

      I totally agree that ethanol, and electric vehicles aren’t energy saving. And the Gov’t subsidies aren’t really helping the situation.

      I have a lot of difficulty believing that drilling costs for deep wells will drop that dramatically. The whole focus of the industry – since its inception – has been to reduce drilling costs. They’ve made great strides for sure. I know quite a few drilling engineers who deign and builds down hole tools. These guys do everything from mechanical engineering to actually spending time on rigs when testing out new tools. They say that drilling to 28,000 or 30,000 has been done, but the costs aren’t going to drop that dramatically any time soon.

      But, it will be interesting to see what Richards take on it is.

  • John

    Hi Marjory – you might find this one by the Archdruid interesting. It takes him a while to get to the point about the fracking boom.

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2014/08/heading-toward-sidewalk.html

    • Profile photo of Marjory Wildcraft

      Hi John,

      That was a long post and it did take a while to get to the point. Here is an excerpt for everyone reading these comments (I don’t think the Arch Druid would mind)

      “The one detail that sets the fracking bubble apart from the real estate bubble, the tech stock bubble, and their kin further back in economic history is that fracking wasn’t just sold to investors as a way to get rich quick; it was also sold to them, and to the wider public as well, as a way to evade the otherwise inexorable reality of peak oil. 2008, it bears remembering, was not just the year that the real estate bubble crashed, and dragged much of the global economy down with it; it was also the year when all those prophets of perpetual business as usual who insisted that petroleum would never break $60 a barrel or so got to eat crow, deep-fried in light sweet crude, when prices spiked upwards of $140 a barrel. All of a sudden, all those warnings about peak oil that experts had been issuing since the 1950s became a great deal harder to dismiss out of hand.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *