U.S. House files peak oil resolution
By Jean Klobnak-Ball
"... Whereas the energy density in one barrel of oil is the equivalent of eight people working full time for one year ..." Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) and Tom (D-N.M.) and Mark Udall (DColo.) have introduced into the House of Representatives a bill that calls upon the United States to, in collaboration with other international allies, "establish an energy project with the magnitude, creativity, and sense of urgency that was incorporated in the 'Man on the Moon' project to address the inevitable challenges of Peak Oil." Tom and Mark Udall are cousin and brother, respectively, of Randy Udall, who recently co-founded an organization in Denver, Colo. called Peak Oil- USA. Bartlett is the founder of a newly established Peak Oil Caucus, whose members include the Udalls and fellow co-sponsors Raul Grijalva, Wayne Gilchrest, Jim Moran and Dennis Moore. Other co-sponsors of the bipartisan bill are Representatives Virgil Goode, Walter Jones, Tom Tancredo, Phil Gingrey, Randy Kuhl, Steve Israel, G.K. Butterfield, Chris Van Hollen, Al Wynn and John McHugh.
The resolution begins, "Whereas the United States has only 2 percent of the world's oil reserves; Whereas the United States produces 8 percent of the world's oil and consumes 25 percent of the world's oil, of which nearly 60 percent is imported from foreign countries; Whereas developing countries around the world are increasing their demand for oil consumption at rapid rates ... ." It goes on to note that the U.S. consumed more than 937,000,000 tons of oil in 2004, a figure likely to rise in 2005. The resolution continues, saying that as fossil energy resources become depleted, new, highly efficient technologies will be required in order to sustainably tap replenishable resources. It notes the prediction of Shell Oil scientist M. King Hubbert that United States domestic production would peak in 1970, and that a growing number of petroleum experts believe that the peak in the world's oil production (Peak Oil) is likely to occur in the next decade while demand continues to rise. Natural gas production also has peaked, according to the resolution, and the United States is now the world's largest importer of both petroleum and natural gas.
"Whereas the population of the United States is increasing by nearly 30,000,000 persons every decade," the proposed resolution concludes, "Whereas the energy density in one barrel of oil is the equivalent of eight people working full time for one year; Whereas affordable supplies of petroleum and natural gas are critical to national security and energy prosperity; and Whereas the United States has approximately 250 years of coal at current consumption rates, but if that consumption rate is increased by 2 percent per year, coal reserves are reduced to 75 years: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that - "(1) in order to keep energy costs affordable, curb our environmental impact, and safeguard economic prosperity, including our trade deficit, the United States must move rapidly to increase the productivity with which it uses fossil fuel, and to accelerate the transition to renewable fuels and a sustainable, clean energy economy; and, "(2) the United States, in collaboration with other international allies, should establish an energy project with the magnitude, creativity, and sense of urgency of the 'Man on the Moon' project to develop a comprehensive plan to address the challenges presented by Peak Oil."