We Are Here

We Are Here
Originally uploaded by ianqui.
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), right now speaking in front of Congress on C-SPAN, just informed us that "the elves, or God, or whatever, are not refilling the wells with oil."

Some live blogging (there are probably typos; the whole transcript can be found by following stepback's instructions in the comments):
  • Oh! And "just like the cocaine addict, we are addicted to this energy!"
  • BTW, Bartlett is down on biofuels. He "recently read an article by some scientists at Stanford and Berkeley" that bioethanol takes more energy to produce than it provides. He is also saying that hydrogen is also too energy intensive to produce to make it worthwhile. "It is no solution to our energy crisis."
  • When noting that Europeans use about half the amount of energy that Americans do, Bartlett says we'd be hardpressed to argue that their lifestyles aren't as good as ours. "I see as many smiles on their faces as I see on American's faces," he remarks.
  • "You're almost literally eating oil, Mr. Speaker, when you eat that food on your plate!"
  • "I want to make the point that we're not running out of oil. Half of the oil that was ever there is still there. But we're not going to be able to use it at the quantities we're used to."
  • "Matt Savinar may be correct, Mr. Speaker, when he says that life as we know it may be coming to an end, soon....I urge you to go read him."
(This post is gratuitous, but if you're new to this site, take this as an opportunity to read up on Roscoe Bartlett's efforts to educate Congress.)

Taking a look at that graphic and where that arrow to peak oil is pointing, I'd say I admire the man and his efforts but Bartlett is a few bricks shy of a load 8).

Well, you don't know what the scale is, exactly, or if the curve even is to scale...Maybe the peak is tomorrow, or maybe it's in 5 years. The rest of his graphics were considerably more informative (but this one was funniest).

He's on the extreme end of things, but I think you still have to admire him and his balls for standing up in front of Congress and discussing this (not that there were many people in the room at all).

I would rather Roscoe would use the words "crack whore" to describe us, but otherwise, it was a good presentation... :)

Don't get me wrong, I love the guy.... "crack whore!" there it is. god damn, PG, I'll go to sleep with a smile on my face tonight....

I posted today on this remark by Roscoe

BTW, Bartlett is down on biofuels. He "recently read an article by some scientists at Stanford and Berkeley" that bioethanol takes more energy to produce than it provides.

in a comment on the thread Listening to the Experts. Its about ethanol fuels and uncertainty about the energy miracle they create for fueling our cars, SUVs and trucks.

Hi everybody

Where 's the link?


Richard from Japan

Richard--Well, I was just liveblogging the presentation as I was watching it on C-SPAN, so there's no link to that per se. But you can read previous congressional addresses of Bartlett's here:


Here is the transcript from Thomas.

Bartlett has our respect, and the brassiness of his testicles in dealing with unpleasant issues should earn him respect, and at least an audience. Unfortunately, the audience is what was missing. He got the same short shrift that congressmen get when dealing with pork issues - an all-but-empty chamber.

On the bright side, when the excrement encounters the air movement device, he will hopefully become the go-to guy. Then he may have the opportunity to derail bogus crap from the corporate lobbies. That might let something actually useful issue from the Washington Whorehouse...

It is a dynamic search result:

[Page: H6097] GPO's PDF


The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 4, 2005, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Bartlett) is recognized for 60 minutes.

Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland. Mr. Speaker, if you go to your computer this evening and do a Google search for peak oil, you will find there a large assortment of articles and comments. Like every issue, you will find a few people who are on the extreme, but there will be a lot of mainstream observations there.

One of the articles that you will find there was written by Matt Savinar. Matt Savinar is not a technical person. He is a lawyer, a good one, and he does what lawyers do. He goes to the sources and builds his case.

I remember in another life I was involved in morphing some of my knowledge of human physiology into the practical world, and I was awarded 20 patents. For every one of those I had a lawyer. I knew that he knew absolutely nothing about the subject that he was helping me on before he came to work with me. By the way, Mr. Speaker, the 20 patents I had, 19 were military patents so these were military lawyers. I was really impressed with how quickly they caught on and knew what was going on and were able to contribute.

I think that Matt Savinar has done that, and I wanted to begin this discussion this evening with a quote from Matt Savinar because it kind of grabs your attention and makes you either want to put down his article with the statement that gee, this guy cannot be for real, or you want to finish it to see the basis for his statement because he begins his article by saying, ``Dear Reader, Civilization as we know it is coming to an end soon.''

When my wife read that she had the first reaction that I mentioned, Gee, this guy is a nut. I am not going to read any further.

I said, Please read on and reserve judgment until you have finished reading his thesis.

for more, go to the Thomas Main Page
pick Browse Congressional record
pick house representative Bartlett ROSCOE
look for "Peak Oil ---July 19, 2005"

PO folks should also read the comments of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan in his semi annual testimony on Monetary policy before Congress today:


Selected snips:

In recent weeks, spot prices for crude oil and natural gas have been both high and volatile. Prices for far-future delivery of oil and gas have risen even more markedly than spot prices over the past year. Apparently, market participants now see little prospect of appreciable relief from elevated energy prices for years to come. Global demand for energy apparently is expected to remain strong, and market participants are evidencing increased concerns about the potential for supply disruptions in various oil-producing regions.

But, going forward, because of the geographic location of proved reserves, the great majority of the investment required to convert reserves into new crude oil productive capacity will need to be made in countries where foreign investment is currently prohibited or restricted or faces considerable political risk. Moreover, the preponderance of oil and gas revenues of the dominant national oil companies is perceived as necessary to meet the domestic needs of growing populations. These factors have the potential to constrain the ability of producers to expand capacity to keep up with the projected growth of world demand, which has been propelled to an unexpected extent by burgeoning demand in emerging Asia.

Now Mr. Greenspan is not signalling he's a peak oil believer at all, only identifying what he sees as the major risk - geopolitical turmoil preventing adequate investment overseas to find and develop more capacity.

This just underscores something we all likely intuitively know... Peak oil has an additional time pressure working against it - if its too hard to get at some of the remaining capacity, PO time frame advances...

Yes. Greensapn is a brilliant mind and wants everyone to understand what it is that he is communicatiing --not.

just pulled out the Greenspan stuff to the front page (thanks Mike).

Dang, I missed his presentation this time.

He's used that"screenshot" chart in previous presentations, it actually does a fair job of representing three facts: Consumption growth has been exponential, Oil will peak, and 'demand'* may outstrip supply well before supply peaks. I think it's a simple, yet elegant chart.

*I've seen some economists argue that by defenition, demand cannot exceed supply - a kind of ohm's law of economics. I've replaced enough burned resistors in my time to know that the concept of 'resistance' is simple, but that in the real world, 'resistors' are more complicated.


Some simple searching reveals that this Bartlett guy is not what you call an enlightning example to all of us. Just look up his voting record on google.

Maybe in the US this is an acceptable poilitician, but in the rest of the world, we would call this a right wing religious nut.

I tell you, the P.O. movement is in serious trouble if we have to depend on guys like that. We've got to be a bit more selective about the friends we choose.

Just my 2c's,