We begin to know about a resource only when we begin to use the resource. Knowing about that resource includes a cursory calculation of its quantity. The more we use of it, therefore, the more adept we become at finding it and calculating its quantity, extracting it and refining it. Thus, the more of it we use, the more of it we’re able to find.
No matter how closely it is defined, the physical quantity of a resource in the earth is not fully known at any time, because resources are sought and found only as they are needed. Even if the quantities of a particular resource were exactly known, such measurements would not be meaningful, because humans have a near-limitless capacity for developing additional ways to meet our needs: developing fiber optics, for instance, instead of copper wire … (Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource 2).
Quoting now from The Old Gray Lady:
The Texas field, known as the Eagle Ford, is just one of about 20 new onshore oil fields that advocates say could collectively increase the nation’s oil output by 25 percent within a decade — without the dangers of drilling in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico or the delicate coastal areas off Alaska.
There’s a catch, of course: as you would suspect, the Religion of Environmentalism — of which church the socialist Barack Obama and his clownish administration are great devotees — fight tooth-and-nail to prevent such extraction. Why? Because extracting oil from rock requires hydraulic fracturing — a process known as fracking — and this in turn means that we must actually use our environment. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.
Such is the nature of environmentalism.
In related news, check out this gorgeous photo of some real alternative energy: turning natural gas into diesel.