Create a petroleum reserve?

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, I attended a press conference in Buncombe County where most of the elected officials and heads of government offices, schools and safety, along with the Buncombe County Sheriff, discussed the gas shortages. The conclusion was that we needed a committee.

I totally disagree. We do not need to study the problem. Houston: We have a big problem, and we are not prepared for it in any fashion.

The slow-acting power structure in this county and state need some octane booster. I propose the following:

1. Drill for oil and gas off the coast of North Carolina.

2. Create incentives to encourage construction of oil refineries in the Wilmington area.

3. Create a petroleum reserve in Western North Carolina.

These items should be a joint effort of Sens. Burr and Dole and Rep. Shuler, and they should act as a team and ask both McCrory and Perdue to step up to the plate and promote such a plan.

We do not need to worry about politics and credit—just do the job of providing service to the people. I will—as a county commissioner candidate, and more importantly a private citizen—push for and promote such a plan. In a few short days, I have learned that refineries were once considered for the Wilmington area, and they should be located far enough inland not to be a hurricane magnet.

Questions are now being asked about a gas-line spur. The petroleum reserve could be placed atop the dioxin-filled sludge in Canton. Floating foundations would provide the support for the tanks and offer a cushion from earthquakes. This is close to the interstate and would provide storage for Western North Carolina.

In simple terms, we do not want or need a committee to study the problem. We need action to solve the problem.

— Don Yelton
Weaverville

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5 thoughts on “Create a petroleum reserve?

  1. nuvue

    Not bad ideas. It will be years before any oil hit a new refinery in Wil. What do you propose for the short term? What about your mass transit ideas? Do you want any bike lanes? What is your stance on them? How do you feel about an electric car plant somewhere in WNC? Wind turbines on ridgetops or in gaps?
    A huge gas tank on a dioxin sludge pond is a bad idea, maybe next to it….It would be adding fuel to the fire so to speak, and be way to easy a target.

  2. tatuaje

    We do not need to study the problem. In simple terms, we do not want or need a committee to study the problem. We need action to solve the problem.

    That might be the craziest talk I’ve heard since the movie Idiocracy. Don’t discuss the problem, just start trying to fix it willy-nilly WITHOUT discussing it with the people! BRILLIANT! Who needs a plan? Who needs to hear differing viewpoints?

    1. Drill for oil and gas off the coast of North Carolina.

    As nuvue pointed out, drilling for oil brings fuel in 10 years.

    And as Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, points out:

    “What I am going to report today is sort of the official study, if you can call it that, actually from the U.S. Department of Energy. And they have looked at the situation, and they have looked at what would be the impact of drilling offshore on energy supplies as well as prices. And what they have concluded is that if we started right now and expanded the range of drilling that companies could do off the coast of the U.S., first of all, we probably would not get any additional production until about 2017. And secondly, once that production was in full swing – again, U.S. Department of Energy estimates – that the increase in domestic oil production would be in the range of 2 to 3 percent. And they conclude the impact on, therefore, the price of oil – which, of course, is set in the world market – would be very, very minor. Now that said, there are certainly a lot of debates about this Department of Energy report and their conclusions. First of all, many people in the oil business say, ‘You know, you really don’t know how much oil is down there until you start to drill.’ So anything based on some estimate of how much is – in this case – under the ocean is just that, an estimate.”

    Also, the risk of spills would threaten the state’s beaches, which drive an annual $14billion tourism industry. Not to mention there is also the impact of produced water, which is excess water from well drilling or production and which contain varying amounts of oil, drilling fluid or other chemicals used in or resulting from oil production. The platform is typically given an allowed quota of produced water that can be emptied in the ocean. According to the organization Culture Change,[2] a Gulf of Mexico rig dumps about 90.000 tons of drilling fluid and metal cuttings over its lifetime, with its wells also contributing with heavy metals.

    Among other issues…

    2. Create incentives to encourage construction of oil refineries in the Wilmington area.

    Obviously, this suggestion hinges on #1….

    3. Create a petroleum reserve in Western North Carolina.

    This idea I agree with and, as you have mentioned, could be achieved with infrastructure already in place.

    However, I would like to reiterate nuvue’s questions:

    What do you propose for the short term? What about your mass transit ideas? Do you want any bike lanes? What is your stance on them? How do you feel about an electric car plant somewhere in WNC? Wind turbines on ridgetops or in gaps?

    Which is why we DO need to study the problem. Your suggestions are controversial, to say the least, and you never even mentioned alternative energy sources….a glaring omission.

    Your very attitude of not feeling the need to discuss makes me, frankly, wary of having you Buncombe County Commissioner…

  3. tatuaje

    So, Mr. Yelton, do you disagree with Mr. Salley?

    Meanwhile, city and county officials are also looking ahead, holding meetings to consider the lessons to be learned from the predicament and identify ways to make things work more smoothly in the event of future shortages.

    “Over the next three weeks, we’re going to be putting a comprehensive plan together,” says Buncombe County Deputy Fire Marshal Mack Salley. “There are three areas we really need to address: how to keep emergency services running, ways to help the public, and making sure we communicate with the dealers [distribution companies such as Biltmore Oil and Asheville Oil, which supply much of the area’s gasoline] to be cognizant of what their issues are,” says Salley, who’s heading up the county’s efforts to deal with the situation.

    http://www.mountainx.com/news/2008/100808gas_pains

    Sounds like a pretty darn good idea to me….Putting a comprehensive plan together in the next three weeks sounds reasonable. Why do we need action in the next three weeks before there’s a plan?

    You even seem to agree that we’re not ready to take steps yet:

    “We have a big problem, and we are not prepared for it in any fashion.”

    The more I read your letter, the more it sounds like mere grandstanding…

  4. Dave

    Don,

    Why would you assume that oil gained from the NC coast would even necessarily end up in the states? The companies that would do the drilling would sell it anywhere in the world were demand was high enough. It could very well end up in China. Or Iraq.

    Unless, of course, you are suggesting we Nationalize these off-shore sites, requiring the companies to supply us with oil.

  5. tatuaje

    Why would you assume that oil gained from the NC coast would even necessarily end up in the states? The companies that would do the drilling would sell it anywhere in the world were demand was high enough. It could very well end up in China. Or Iraq.

    Excellent point, Dave….

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