Richard Ha writes:
Who will be our true leaders?
From International Energy Association data, we know that future oil supply will start to decline in a very short time. Oil fields age and decline naturally. It is estimated that all the world oil fields combined decline in production at the rate of 4 million barrels per day every year.
Today we have about 6 million barrels of oil per day of spare capacity, mostly in the Middle East. In a year and a half, due to the natural decline rate of 4 million barrels per day, we will use up all the 6 million barrel spare capacity.
When that happens we will start down the back side of the world oil supply curve -- never to return. This means that every two and a half years we will need to find the equivalent of a Saudi Arabia (which produces a little more than 10 million barrels per day) just to keep up with aging and declining oil fields.
But it is estimated that we will only be able to bring on 2 million barrels per day in new production when we need 4 million barrels per day just to keep up with the aging oil fields. After we go through the spare capacity, in about a year and a half, we will then be short two million barrels per day every year after that. In short time we will see $200 oil. That will mean gas will be higher than $7 per gallon. It will cost more than $100 to fill a small car's gas tank.Folks who can afford to will leave the electric grid as fast as they can, leaving the rubbah slippah folks and small businesses to pay for the cost of the electric grid. We cannot let that happen if we can avoid it.
Unlike most of the people in the world we in Hawai‘i are very fortunate; we do have a solution.
We can go to cheap geothermal for our base power. If we get cheap electricity as a result, then more people are apt to stay on the grid. Cheap electricity makes electric cars more attractive. More people on the grid spreads the cost of the grid, resulting in lower rates for everyone.
As we all know, it's the folks on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder that will get their lights turned off first. It’s a good chance they will be our Hawaiian brothers and sisters.
And here is a practical benefit: When the price of oil rises over time, as we know it will, our stable electricity rates will make us relatively more competitive to the rest of the world. Our people will have a higher standard of living compared to others.
For the sake of our future generations here, let’s get off that oil train and switch to geothermal.
Many of our leaders know about the oil situation. But many of them are afraid to take a stand, fearing that it might be too controversial.
We will soon find out who our true leaders really are!