Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Steve Zorichak

“World’s running out of oil, consultant says,” reads the Vail Daily caption. “Because so few Americans really do worry about the future of oil supplies, it’s good that there are people like Andrews who do.” How many residents of Eagle County follow the annual world oil production totals? Very few would be my guess.The shape of the curve plotted by year since oil production began at the start of the last century and peaks after one century within the next year or so is one half of the classic Bell shape curve. The curve has already flattened at its peak and will rapidly decline to a very low steady rate within 15 to 20 years. The last half of the oil reserves will cost much more to develop and produce than the first half of the oil reserves already produced.In May, a book titled “The Long Emergency,” written by James Howard Kunstler, was released. The startling dislocation of our lifestyles is discussed, with the next five years being the most crucial shocking awakening of the Americans that their consumption will be surpassed by China’s consumption, which just knocked Japan out of being the second largest hydrocarbon consumer. The impending energy crisis cannot be solved and it will never go away once it begins.I have followed these totals since my graduation from the Colorado School of Mines in 1959 with a professional engineering degree in petroleum production. My following of the Denver oil refining capacity allowed me to advise the Adolph Coors Co. to drill 93 gas wells northeast of Denver in Wattenberg in time to deliver 8 million cubic feet of gas per day in time to overcome the 1974 Arab oil embargo.USA Today had an article titled “Oil worries airlines more than terrorism.” The text states “Delta airlines has repeatedly warned that high oil prices might drive it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this year. United Airlines, in bankruptcy organization for two and one-half years, blaming high oil prices for preventing it from exiting last summer.” The putative notions of public transportation will be revolutionized by resurgence of the most economical form of mass transportation: the railroad industry, with the gradual reduction of the least efficient forms: the auto, diesel semi-tractor truck and the jet airplane. The average 30-mile metro commuter will be greatly discouraged and the financially feeble airlines will disappear.The notion of Wal-Mart’s survival is questioned with their dependence on truck transportation for their 12,000-mile-long supply chain. Also, all other large chain store corporations supplying the big box stores, and large organizations such as the military and the school busing systems (which make up the highest percentage consumption of transportation fuels across the entire United States), will rapidly be altered.I-70 expansion discussions will not be out of the talk and idea stage ready to go to planning when this epiphany of fuel supply understanding occurs in the next few years.An extant full-size rail system presently existing will not only be utilized for passenger and mail service, but also for the efficient hauling of semi-trailers replacing many of the long distance over the road diesel trucks. It will be no surprise if the Dotsero to Canyon City rail system will be reactivated in a one-way west configuration of traffic with the bulk of traffic being an empty train of 100 coal gondola cars rattling by the new 1,400-home subdivision in Minturn every 45 minutes, within the next five years.All high-quantity energy dependent users need to respond to the information contained in this book. I would hope to see Vail Resorts with dozens of wind turbine electrical generators scheduled each year in their several resort ski areas, each year for the indefinite future (a profit center for seven out of every 12 months.) My first letter to the Vail Daily of Jan. 3, 2003, was complimenting Cliff Thompson on his excellent article on Vail Resorts’ proposed wind turbine electrical generators.I am comfortably confident that our innovative and inventive society, and a highly modified lifestyle will survive, but with a much greater concern for recycling and conservation, as well as more natural and less synthetic materials in their products, and much greater planning for activities involving the use of hydrocarbons.Please consider that 6 or 7 pounds of recycled plastic hydrocarbons can make the savings equivalent of crude oil required to make a 6.5 pound gallon of gas.Steve ZorichakVailVail, Colorado

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