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Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Doug_G, Jan 24, 2013.
Australian shale oil discovery could be larger than Canada's oilsands - CBC News
Going back to my original degree in Poli-sci International Relations (fat lot of good that turned out to be), this would be a huge win for U.S. national security. Combined with the Canadian Oil Sands, and the vast shale resources in the U.S. there would be no particular need for the U.S. to secure the oil fields in the Middle East.
Completely destroys the rationale for our security investments in the Middle East, which amounts to ~$100bln/year, not counting actual war costs. Makes Obama look smart(er) for cutting out of Iraq completely, and putting Middle Eastern defense policy on ice. Makes Obama look smart(er) for pushing our center of gravity out of CentCom and into WestPac. Makes us look better politically for doing so, as now we are securing our primary energy sources and not just containing China.
And speaking of China, this helps us in any future dustup with them as it would be awful easy for the PLAAF and PLAN to interdict the Straight of Malacca and shut down Japanese and S. Korean energy supplies. They would need to be re-routed south of Australia and up into the Central Pacific, which would drastically cut the throughput. This shortens those lines and allows the U.S Navy to consolidate in WestPac outside of the range of the DF-21D ASBM, instead of getting attrited all to hell and gone in the South China Sea. I can't begin to quantify how much goodness there is in that.
Of course, I assume you posted the OP because of environmental impacts
I had my hopes pinned on near term peak oil, but that ship looks to have sailed into the latter part of the century. I'm putting a lot of hopes and dreams into Tesla changing transportation, while solar gets cheap enough in the next few years to start winning in the marketplace. Protesting new oilfields seems like a losing strategy. China and India don't give a crap with nearly 3bln people just starting to rise out of poverty.
We're maybe a decade away from the point where their most economical path to prosperity will be a solar electric infrastructure. If that project fails, its probably time to research geo-engineering to give us the time to bring green energy costs down.