Sneaky Harry Reid Oil Shale Update

I write below about the egregious, execrable Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, and the epic lack of character and utter creepiness of being that he exhibited in exploiting the distraction of a serious crisis to sneak into new legislation a ban on oil shale mining.

The execrable Harry Reid is a fiend. While we’re facing gasoline and home heating oil shortages for this winter and who knows how far into the future, he’s still playing games, still working to make us more dependent, rather than less. In the middle of a financial crisis that should be taking all of his attention, he – as majority leader – still has time to toddle over and sneak in a bit of confounding legislation meant to hobble, not to help, his own nation!

Luckily, Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina was apparently keeping his eyes on creepy Harry, and he caught him.

In response to a concerned constituent, Reid wrote of his sneakiness and the oil shale:

There is a possibility the Senate will be asked to vote on reestablishing the moratorium on oil shale extraction. Although Senate Democrats support measures to increase this nation’s energy supply, oil shale extraction has not been proven to be economically viable, will produce more greenhouse gases, and will significantly decrease the West’s water supply.

One of my readers,who is deeply involved in energy exploration and refining, read Harry Reid’s offensively condescending response and emailed the following:

Talk about being out of touch with technology, this is it.

In the late 70s and early 80s, oil shale extraction was water intensive. It required the mined shale to be turned into a slurry before the refining process to remove soil, etc. At that time, costs ran about $40 per barrel of oil from shale – which would boost a refined product like gasoline from shale to around $1.50 – 1.75 per gallon.

The technology that would be used today liquifies the oil locked in the shale by the use of heaters. Several holes would be drilled in a designated area and the heaters inserted. The oil is liquified and pumped to the surface by “grasshopper” pumps. With this method, there’s no mining and no worry of ground subsidence. Cost wise and emissions wise, it’s on par with any other oil field development using grasshoppers.

The amount of oil locked in shale is estimated to be nearly 1 trillion barrels, which is more than the proven reserves in the entire Middle East, before development, in the 1930s. The recovery rate using the heater technology is estimated to be around 80%, or 800 billion barrels of crude.

Wow. Strictly from a laywoman’s perspective
this sounds a lot like hope, to me.

Hope that something like this could help to end our dependence on foreign oil. Hope that as we take the ten or fifteen years (or more) we’ll need to transition to cleaner fuels, we won’t have to suffer economic devastation (beyond the obvious) and see our industries and jobs dry up. Hope that new jobs and new opportunities will be created through the increased production. Hope that people without means do not have to freeze in what some meteorologists (and the Farmer’s Almanac) promises will be one of the coldest winters in memory.

Yes, I know we won’t have oil from offshore drilling or from oil shale “tomorrow” but simply by beginning those processes, we will change the psychology of the energy market and increase competition and oil production in other lands, which should lower prices.

My Auntie Lillie used to say “begin as you mean to continue…” It’s excellent advice. If we mean to continue as a self-sufficient nation of enviable resources and opportunity, we’d better damn well begin to get serious about using our own oil fields and our shale deposits. No one is going to “continue” America for us.

I’m sorry if I sound preachy or scolding, but reading about Reid’s perfidy – and that’s not too strong a word, nor is “iniquitous” – really set something set me off, today.

Now, since Atticus Finch is my adopted father, I try to do as he says and “love everyone.” Like him, I am “hard pressed, sometimes,” but I really do try. Still, I have come to the conclusion that you cannot say enough bad things about Harry Reid. Especially when we are facing both financial and energy breakdowns, and he’s playing his games.

I said earlier that I am out of sympathy with 90% of the clowns in Washington, and that is true. But this Reid, he’s the top bozo; he’s the one. I say flood his office with phone calls, email him into stupidity, if he’s not already there. Call his colleagues, left and right and let them know you’ve had enough of this buffoon, and all of his ugly, useless machinations. He’s up for re-election in 2010? Fine! I’ll send money to whoever is running against him, I don’t care if it’s a blonde transsexual named Micheline-Vivienne who works the Caesar’s Palace Baccarat room as a honey-shill and collects old TV Guides; I’ll donate.

Slightly O/T but a good (and smart) rant given the turn of the day
, read Vanderleun on the Googlerands.

Bookworm says: progressives are regressive

Laura Lee Donoho brings a mind-clearing story to light.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Acer Palmatum

    Why would Reid do this? To appeal to environmentalists in Colorado? I suspect most Coloradans welcome oil shale development (they don’t want the state trashed but they don’t want to block it either–especially with all those jobs that could be generated).

    Oil shale is actually years away. The current process is not economical. Getting that oil out of the shale is much harder than dealing with Albertan tar sands. But that said, technology is improving. Eventually there may be a way to get this oil cleanly.

    Why would Reid try to block it?

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  • E

    This brunette transsexual engineer who leads a mundane suburban existence like most other transsexuals agrees with you – apart from the remark I’m referring to, of course.

    [I mean no disrespect to my transsexual friends - unless they collect TV Guides! -admin]

  • lourdes


    I think we need another retreat!! This election stuff is starting to make me crazy, but I can’t stop listening and reading. Do we live in a parallel universe??…the networks are not reporting reality.

  • Gayle Miller

    “I don’t care if it’s a blonde transsexual named Micheline-Vivienne who works the Caesar’s Palace Baccarat room as a honey-shill and collects old TV Guides; I’ll donate.” Beloved friend, this is without a doubt the most entertaining column you have written in forever! And that mind picture is priceless. I e-mailed part of the post to my sister and she said she can’t stop giggling in spite of the fact that she completely agrees with every word you said. It’s just the WAY you said it! I must now go get the monitor cleaner so I can get the coffee from it!

    This election has been endless, and the exhaustion of it all is worse because at long last we can see the finish line. I wish my trepidation weren’t so huge. Guess we’ll just have to place our trust in the Lord and help it along by being sure to VOTE.

  • JuliB

    The only think I can think of is that Mr. Reid is possessed. I don’t think I’m being sarcastic, though I am too angry to be sure.

    St. Monica, pray for us.

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