Man's Eternal Need to Explore for Resources
Humans have always needed to explore for new resources -- new hunting grounds, new sources for tool-making flint, new sources of salt, of wild herbs and food plants, new sources of clay for pottery, of iron for blades.
Modern industrial societies have a driving need for energy. Humans stand at a fuzzy boundary between the age of large-scale hydrocarbon energy, and the approaching age of advanced nuclear fission, and fusion energy -- along with a tantalizing possibility of LENR energy.
Many restless and roving eyes are looking outward to space resources, to fulfill man's eternal needs. That is not a bad idea, but we are still taking baby steps in space. The need for resources exists here and now, which means that we will have to step our exploratory skills up a notch or two.
The geological substrate of Earth has barely been explored for its vast energy and mineral riches. The tools for geological exploration of the planet are still in the early stages of development, just as the tools for economical mining and production of the planet's mineral wealth are still being developed.
Fortunately, a few political leaders see the need for a comprehensive survey of energy resources, and have laid out plans to carry out such a crucial enterprise.
Although, the U.S. Geological Survey, a scientific bureau within the United States Department of Interior, does a remarkable job assessing domestic energy resources, much of its analysis and assessment is based upon scant, decades old data that possesses a high degree of uncertainty.One example of an aggressive approach to exploration of North American energy reserves comes from US presidential candidate Mitt Romney:
The complicated scheme of describing our estimated resource base combines statistical assessment, technological capability, and the economics of production only to baffle the public and confuse government officials tasked to divine an energy strategy.
If we are going to make sound decisions about our energy future, we sorely need credible, scientifically reliable data about the country’s resource base. The data gathering should not only include oil & gas, but also coal, uranium, water, wind, and geothermal resources. _JohnHRitcko
Romney's oil and gas plan is often deemed one of the most aggressive in presidential history, which is great for energy investors, at least.
According to the PDF summary of his plan:
Directs the Department of the Interior to undertake a comprehensive survey of American energy reserves in partnership with exploration companies and initiates leasing in all areas currently approved for exploration... Directs the Department of the Interior to implement a process for rapid issuance of drilling permits to developers with established safety records seeking to use pre-approved techniques in pre-approved areasCompanies poised to benefit from this include, well, oil and gas companies, especially service companies. Rig Zone explains:
Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney's proposed energy plan could be positive for the oil services and drilling industry, with its goals of streamlining and improving the permitting process, opening up new areas for drilling and boosting overall drilling activity, according to a recent research note from Barclays Capital._Seeking Alpha
Seismic companies and eventually offshore drillers could benefit from Romney's plan to open acreage offshore Virginia and the Carolinas for exploration, Barclays analyst James C. West said in the Aug. 24 research note.
Many politicians are timid about energy in the age of a media-driven carbon hysteria. Some like to play it safe to avoid media and faux environmental criticism, investing taxpayer funds in intermittent unreliable forms of energy such as big wind and big solar. But that is the path to energy starvation.
Smarter and wiser leaders understand that in order for advanced societies to survive to reach an age of clean abundant energy from advanced nuclear engineering designs, they will need to efficiently utilise existing plentiful sources of reliable energy -- such as conventional and unconventional oil & gas, coal, bitumens, kerogens, gas hydrates etc -- while at the same time developing next generations of energy and fuels of all kinds, particularly advanced nuclear.
The faux environmental path of carbon hysteria is the path of energy starvation, decline, and a world in decay. Citizens of democratic societies must make a choice as to the path their societies will follow.