The Instigator
thethinker12345
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
J.Kenyon
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

A Resolution to Increase Natural Gas Production

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/13/2010 Category: Technology
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 877 times Debate No: 13371
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

thethinker12345

Pro

WHEREAS US demand for oil continues to grow, and

WHEREAS the United States furnishes just two percent of its supply from native sources, and much
of the oil in the rest of the world exists in conflict areas, and

WHEREAS the price of oil will likely rise as the finite global supply dwindles further, and

WHEREAS the United States economy could be bankrupted by attempts to purchase this
unsustainable resource from hostile foreign powers,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Student Congress here assembled that significant monies be
spent to increase research and development of Hydraulic Fracturing or "Fracking," a process which
releases and captures underground reserves of natural gas. Our estimated 2587 trillion cubic feet of
natural gas would produce enough energy for US consumption for years to come, during which time
more sustainable resources can be developed to replace fossil fuels entirely.

Start off, con!
J.Kenyon

Con

Thanks, Pro, for instigating this debate challenge.

As is customary in National Forensic League topics (congressional format included), I'll allow Pro to write his constructive speech first.[1] This is necessary as the burden of proof is on the maker of the proposition.[2] Con's sole duty is to refute Pro's claims. Obviously, it is impossible to do this when the affirmative has yet to lay out his case! With that, I defer to my opponent.

Regards,
J.Kenyon

-- References --

1. http://www.bedford.k12.va.us...

2. http://www.nizkor.org...
Debate Round No. 1
thethinker12345

Pro

Let's begin.

To start off, according to recent studies, the world oil supply is dwindling and has recently achieved the point where it's use has overcome the amount of oil left. As any supply disappears, the prices on it become higher and higher due to it's increasing value, and over the course of a few years stock markets of the world will raise up oil prices to radical highs that have been untold of.

Other countries, for example, rather than buying fossil fuels to their last drop will chose to invade other countries for oil. This has been presented in cases such as the conflict in the middle east between the United States and Iraq. Studies show the greatest amount of oil is found in countries like russia, saudi arabia, canada (one of the US's top exporters), and so on and so forth. If countries start to fight over the diminishing resource, a war will most likely break out between some of the superpowers of the world. America's interest in Russia due to it's exponentially large amount of oil could create a possible war between two nuclear powers and lead up to exactly what their names are.

Also, Co2 is released in often very large amounts during the use of oil, as well as it's gatheting. Co2 has suffocation abilities, creates an unhealthy enviorment, such as the one in Los Angeles and other poluted cities. Medical studies show that the pollution not only affects the lungs, but the brain as well. this could slow down metabolism and create a less healthier population and workforce, which directly affects the revenue of companies.

you would also have to consider the recent oil spill in the gulf of mexico. Naturally, oil's density is larger than that of water, so it will tend to stay down in the water and must manually be removed. on the other hand, gas will float up to the surface and will exterminate less forms of life than the incident caused by BP.

Jobs. Since the amount of oil left in the world has decreased dramatically, there is a lower requirement of people that have to work to gather crude oil. on the other hand, gasses that can be fracked from the earth have almost never been collected before, which means there is a massive amount of them in not only the US, but the world. the gathering of natural gasses shall require Large amounts of workers, which will not only give people job oportunities in a recession like the one in the US, but the money gathered can be used to bring down the debt of 1.6 trillion down if not a couple billion dollars.

Space.
Since oil is a fluid, a certain amount can fit into one barrel. on the other hand, a gas takes up less space than a fluid and can be concentrated in larger amounts into one storage unit. this saves companies money on storage units, tankers that carry these gasses across to other countries, and the unused money can be employed for different and beneficial uses that positively affect the enviorment.

Unlike oil, fracking does not require conflicts between countries, save on storage, creates jobs, does not produce the amount of Co2 like fossil fuels when used, saves money for fuel companies, and can be used as a temporary solution to a permanent problem until that problem is solved by any other means.

sincerely, the thinker.
J.Kenyon

Con

Pro has made a rather ridiculous claim that I'll address briefly before entering into the body of my case. Natural gas does not "take up less space" than crude oil. Solids and liquids are much more dense than gases.

1. Pro claims that we are rapidly approaching Peak Oil. While this is widely believed by environmentalists everywhere, it is absolutely false. Over the past 33 years, we have consumed three times the world's proven oil reserves known in 1976. In addition to the new fields discovered on a regular basis, new technology allows us to tap into reserves that were previously inaccessible (or accessible, but only at a prohibitively high cost). Additionally, as demand rises, leading to a concurrent rise in price, more oil becomes technically recoverable (ie. companies can turn a profit by drilling in certain areas where in the past they would operate at a loss). http://oilprice.com... Recent developments in the refinement of shale oil and tar sand have also tremendously increased the amount of technically recoverable crude.

b. The risk of war with Russia is virtually non-existent. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) has successfully kept the peace for decades. There is no reason to believe it will suddenly fail. Moreover, as I pointed out earlier, oil reserves are not nearly as scarce as my opponent would have you believe.

c. Whatever dubious effects the release of carbon dioxide may or may not have on the environment are irrelevant to this debate. While it's true that burning oil creates CO2, Pro's plan does nothing to solve this. The burning of *all* hydrocarbons, natural gas included, releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Replacing oil with natural gas is no more beneficial than an alcoholic switching from Bourbon to Whisky. If anything, it will only allow us to continue burning fossil fuels longer than we would otherwise be able to, forestalling the transition to renewable sources.

d. The effects of the Gulf oil spill are greatly exaggerated. most of the heavy components have dispersed into the ocean sediment where it will be digested by bacteria. http://www.lewrockwell.com... The harmful benzene has mostly evaporated into the upper atmosphere where it will have no noticeable effect. Moreover, any harms created by the risks of offshore drilling are at least counterbalanced if not outweighed by the problems associated with fracking. http://www.slate.com... The chemical solvents involved in the fracking process can seep into the aquifer and contaminate the groundwater.

2. Subsidizing research into fracking is unnecessary and uneconomical. As I pointed out earlier, we are nowhere near the point of exhausting our crude oil resources. Even if, as Pro claims, oil is on the verge of a massive price surge, this will be moderated by the corresponding increase in technically recoverable reserves.

Even ignoring these (not insignificant) points, Pro's case is still economically unsound. In a free market, self-interested individuals will attempt to employ their resources as efficiently as possible so as to maximize their own benefit. Oil companies have geologists employed to gather and interpret data about various energy reserves, economists to analyze market conditions, and a whole host of other professionals as well. While no person or group of persons can lay claim to omniscience, private companies generally understand the nature their respective industries at least as well, if not better than any central economic planner. Moreover, private companies are solely occupied with maximizing their profits while central planners invariably are affected by political interests. Finally, every dollar the government spends must be taken from the private sector. At best, reinvesting tax money into research on fracking would be to return to the taxpayers a portion of the money that was stolen from them in the first place! This is tantamount to taking money from your left pocket, placing it in your right pocket, and calling it a loan!

3. "Corporate welfare" of the kind proposed is both unethical and unconstitutional. People are beings of intrinsic value. It follows that they are to be treated as no mere means, but ends in and of themselves. This is absolutely necessary, lest we run the risk of negating value entirely. What one receives without earning, another must earn without receiving. To subject a person to serve as means in this manner is to make him, in essence a slave. This is unethical even if the outcome of government theft is to increase the wellbeing of the people from whom the money is stolen.

b. There is absolutely no constitutional basis for corporate handouts. It does not fall within the enumerated powers for Congress to subsidize the natural gas industry, or enter into joint ventures with automobile companies, or guarantee loans to favored business owners. http://www.cato.org...

== Conclusion ==

At the core of my opponent's case are two arguments. First, the world's oil reserves are rapidly approaching depletion. Second, our continued use of crude oil is damaging the environment. I have fully addressed both of these claims, as well as the ancillary arguments regarding war, job creation, etc. subsumed within them. In addition, I have shown how my the proposal is unconstitutional as well as unethical.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 2
thethinker12345

Pro

thethinker12345 forfeited this round.
J.Kenyon

Con

The link to the original source I used in 1D apparently is broken. The following article provides better support for my contention. http://www.msnbc.msn.com...

The resolution is negated. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by TheAtheistAllegiance 6 years ago
TheAtheistAllegiance
Yes, the Associated Press is pretty reliable. I looked up some of the stuff myself, and most of the wildlife is okay, and the relatively thin crude is dispersing. I just wanted the link to see for myself; J.Kenyon already had the debate won -- with or without sources.

As for the outrage, I think most of it is derived from the fact that BP's negligence is mainly responsible for these sorts of things happening: http://money.cnn.com...
Posted by Mirza 6 years ago
Mirza
Whereas a forfeit is not so good!
Posted by LaissezFaire 6 years ago
LaissezFaire
http://www.msnbc.msn.com...

I couldn't find a link to the actual models used, but the Associated Press is a pretty reliable source.
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
Hmm, it was working fine when I posted it. I just copied it from the other debate I did on offshore drilling. I don't think it really matters since this guy probably isn't going to respond anyway. If he does I'll strengthen that section of my case.
Posted by TheAtheistAllegiance 6 years ago
TheAtheistAllegiance
J.Kenyon:

The source you cited in reference to the BP oil disaster is linked to a website that isn't credible. Plus, the link within the link that you posted is not even working, so the source is pretty much hollow. I don't doubt the spill's exaggeration, but to accept such an extent, a better source is necessary.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by djsherin 6 years ago
djsherin
thethinker12345J.KenyonTied
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Vote Placed by LaissezFaire 6 years ago
LaissezFaire
thethinker12345J.KenyonTied
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Vote Placed by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
thethinker12345J.KenyonTied
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