What the Frack is up with oil? – 23

In the drive back to New Jersey Kevin and I talk about oil, fracking, electric cars, and our energy use in general.

Our energy use from about 1965 to 2015 from Wikipedia

At the time of this post the price of WTI crude oil (as of August 23, 2017) is $47.70 per barrel.

Interesting article on how the efficiencies of electric cars compares to gas engine (ICE) cars:

Pilot from my reality TV show Backyard Genius:


By |2017-08-23T21:57:03+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Podcast, Politics|2 Comments


  1. Maury Markowitz August 24, 2017 at 12:00 PM - Reply

    Just got a pingback on the link.

    Perhaps mentioning that ethanol outside the US is pretty green. In Brazil, they use sugar cane for the sugar source and then burn the dried cane stock as the heat source, so it’s a pretty closed-cycle process. It’s also a much more efficient process, due to the much larger sugar content per unit mass. Something like 5x better, IIRC.

    I once calculated that Cuba’s peak cane output in the 1980s would produce 15% of Canada’s gasoline use, which made sense in the days when Canada was alone in the West in having a business relationship with that country (you could buy our bad pizza in Havana).

    Throttling nuclear is an issue in most designs. This is very true for the Canadian designs, CANDU, where the large size of the reactor leads to slow throttling on the order of 24 hours. As a result, Ontario also hosted the largest coal fired plants as well, these were used to generate during peak times because the reactors couldn’t. Those have now been replaced by gas and PV. I understand one of the common designs in the US is much better at this, I think the BWR but I’m not that familiar with those designs.

    • Kevin Ledig August 24, 2017 at 4:09 PM - Reply

      Hi Maury, thanks for listening! The intent of our podcast is to make them aware of what’s going on and to do the research themselves. We don’t want our listeners to just take what we say, or what other talking heads say as gospel, but rather, we want them to figure it out for themselves and make informed decisions. This caveat, however, doesn’t go for experts. If an expert says it, like a doctor or a scientist, take their word for it!

      That said, I’m a firm believer that algae is the future of biofuel, as it can be made cheaply with a net-neutral carbon footprint. However, I also believe we need to move away from the internal combustion engine as soon as possible, since we already have readily available sources of energy in solar, wind, geothermal, and water, and we’re coming upon the threshold where harnessing the energy isn’t so much the issue, it’s storing it for later consumption. So while fuel from sugar or switchgrass may be preferable to fossil fuels, there’s still the impact of farming them, diverting resources away from other more important crops, and the fact that you’re still burning something the releases some forms of pollution.

      Nuclear is generally a safe and clean source of energy, except for the times when it’s not…and when it’s not, it really isn’t! Plus, storing used fuel rods is going to be a significant issue, both in terms of environmentalism and terrorism.

      Granted, I’m taking the much more idealistic approach, and I’d be 10000 times more satisfied in a world where we use renewable resources for our internal combustion engines than our current situation.

      And I must apologize for how U.S. Centric our podcast is. I love Canada!

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