Expedited oil shale development a matter of U.S. national security

To the editor:

If I had talked at the meeting (an April 16 hearing of the Mesa County Commission on an oil shale resolution), I would have stressed the need for expedited oil shale development as being of the highest priority for national security.

Thirty percent of the world’s oil comes out of the Persian Gulf. The entire north shore of the Persian Gulf is Iran. The most dangerous threat to interrupt that supply of oil is Iran using small boats and shoulder-fired weapons, explosives to damage and sink oil tankers. Think of the impact on all countries if that 30 percent of oil supply were to be delayed for weeks, months? Thus, the urgent need to expedite oil shale development.

Why are Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and his Obama friend ignoring national security? Answer: To appease Islamic countries? Further, federal bureaucrats invent work to keep themselves busy. The employees of environmental corporations need “projects” to identify and crow about to keep themselves busy and justify their existence.

I like the statement of a former U.S. governor: “The human race is to be at the head of the food chain” and not the Colorado jumping mouse or the three flowers that might get harmed from oil shale development. In decades ahead, the time will come when energy needs will trump and sacrifice the mouse and flowers. Without food production, requiring vast amounts of energy, there will be no humans alive to look at the mouse and flowers.

Some of the world’s largest oil-producing countries are beginning to run dry of best-quality oil. The Saudi supply of best-quality crude is nearly depleted. And now sea water is being pumped hundreds of miles and forced down into the lesser-quality Saudi crude oil fields to force up its oil.

Already, some oil refineries at the Texas Gulf Coast have altered their refineries to process that lesser-quality crude oil coming from the Middle East. The location of those refineries was the need for constructing the Keystone pipeline from Canada to Texas. Salazar and Obama prevented the construction of that pipeline.

Sometime in future decades, the U.S.A. eventually will have no alternative than to have oil extracted from oil shale. Oil from oil shale may be our only salvation for energy to produce food and hope the U.S.A. can keep a high standard of living.

I was here when Exxon and Chevron were closing down their operations after the 1982 layoffs. I became a friend of both of their top executives. They were still here in 1983 to finalize their closedowns.

With Jimmy Carter’s federal subsidy (started when he was president) being about $45 per barrel and the cost of production being about the same amount, no profit was apparent. Oil at that time was selling far below $45 per barrel.

The significant fact is that they were producing oil from oil shale rock. It was a very dirty process and the “dust” (residue) from that had to be deposited in ponds (lakes) of water.

If a more advanced oil shale process for production is not invented, we (the U.S.A.) will eventually need to go back to that early method of producing oil from oil shale rock mined in open pits. What a sacrifice for the Colorado jumping mouse and three flowers.

Ken Robar, Grand Junction