running out of gas

From today’s “Seattle Times“:

Bill Reinert, who helped design Toyota’s Prius hybrid, hovers in a helicopter 1,000 feet over Fort McMurray, Alberta.

On this clear November morning, he’s craning for a look at one of the world’s largest petroleum reserves where there’s not an oil well in sight.

Instead, in a two-mile-wide pit below, trucks head to refineries with loads of sand weighing more than Boeing 747s. Yellow flames shoot skyward as 900-degree heat liquefies any embedded petroleum.

Floating scarecrows and propane-powered cannons do their best to chase migrating birds from lethal wastewater ponds.

Eventually, nuclear reactors may surround the crater 270 miles northeast of Edmonton, Alberta, delivering the power required to wring oil from sand.

“This is what the end of the age of oil means,” says Reinert, who plans the vehicles Toyota will make in a quarter century as national manager for advanced technology at the U.S. sales unit in Torrance, Calif. “The car-based culture, the business-as-usual of building cars and trucks, is going to change dramatically”…

[This post was brought to you by the only member of Congress to miss every key environmental vote last year, John “fuck the lobbyists” McCain.]

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  1. Nuke
    Posted February 25, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I like the idea of using nuclear to power the extraction of petroleum from oilsands. It’s a good first step. In order to be really efficient, however, you’d want to power the nuclear reactor with ethanol. This, however, could be done very cost effectively by using sugar cane grown by African slaves. What we need to do immediately is establish plantations in the south for this purpose.

  2. mark
    Posted February 25, 2008 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    I had a long post that I was working on about McCain, his alleged affair with Ms. Iseman, and how it reminded me of the hit piece that came out about John Kerry during the 2004 campaign. That time the story involved an attractive young intern. It proved to be false, but the damage was done. In one deft move, Rove tied Kerry to our elder statesman of intern-fucking, Bill Clinton. I suspect in this case there might be something to the rumor though. I’d just like to know who was responsible. Seems likely that it’s Huckabee. Maybe that’s why he stayed in until Romney dropped out. Maybe that was his plan all along – just stay in till it’s a two person race, and then destroy the other guy by questioning his morality. Who knows? I wouldn’t have written about it here at all if McCain hadn’t, over the past few years, turned into a huge fucking hypocrite – a former prisoner of war who votes to legalize torture – an advowed hater of lobbyists whose campaign staff is full of them – the list goes on. It’s also worth noting that McCain voted to impeach Clinton for having lied about receiving a blow job. It would be ironic if a sex scandal brought him down.

  3. Ol' E Cross
    Posted February 26, 2008 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Three thoughts on Canadian gas:

    -Not to make this an east coast/west coast thing, and I know snail mail can be a little sluggish, but I’m glad the Seattle Times finally received their copy of The New Yorker.

    -God squeezed water from a rock. We’ve called and raised by squeezing oil outta rocks. Hah! Your move, God.

    -I know a couple folks who’ve recently moved to New Orleans to work for Shell Oil, including a UM PhD in Geology. As was explained to me, we used to call a well “dry” when like twenty percent of the oil was harvested (i.e., we used to hunt and gather only the easy, Beverly Hillbillies style of bubbling crude). We now have the technology and barrel price to extract ninety percent from wells. Which means, if we can’t quench our thirst, we’ve still got 70 percent of our black gold waiting to be sucked up like a Frosty through a swizzle stick.

  4. God
    Posted February 26, 2008 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Impressive. But my son turned my water into wine.

  5. Human
    Posted February 26, 2008 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    Not bad. But my sons turned wine into oil.

  6. God
    Posted February 26, 2008 at 12:47 am | Permalink


  7. Conspiracy
    Posted February 26, 2008 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I make nasty places fresh and clean.


  8. John on Forest
    Posted February 29, 2008 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    The idea of using Nuclear power to extract oil from anything seems all wrong to me. The fact that there is oil in them thar hills should say there is sufficient energy available to power the endeavor. Put the nuclear power plant somewhere where electrical power is needed.

    Use a portion of the oil extracted from the sand to power the oil extraction process. If it’s not self sustaining, i.e. uses less oil to power the extraction than what is extracted, then it’s not worthwhile in the first place.

    I suppose one might argue that the nuclear energy is being converted into liquid fuel to power our transportation systems, which can’t be powered directly by nuclear power. Hmmm, I’ve argued against my own argument.

  9. Dr. Smith
    Posted April 8, 2008 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    This makes no sense, everyone knows that McCain loves that cunt he’s married to.

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