IRVING, TX—In what Exxon officials described as "an urgent wake-up call to the nation," scientists from the oil giant's paleontological-research arm released a report Monday calling for an "immediate and substantial" increase in U.S. fossil production.
"America's fossil deposits are running alarmingly low," said Dr. Jameson Lamm, head of Exxon's paleontological research and development team. "At the current rate at which we are producing new fossils in this country, we will not have enough to meet the next decade's fossil needs for another 12 to 15 hundred million years."
Fossilization, the report said, represents America's best method for converting organic plant and animal remnants into exploitable chemical-energy sources via the pressure of miles of layers of rock over millions of years. Describing the fossilization process as "virtually free, except for digging, pumping, processing, storage, by-product-disposal and shipping costs," the report stressed the importance of maintaining a high overall fossil yield to the long-term reliability and availability of chemical energy sources.
"Without fossils, all the pressure of all the crust of all the Earth doesn't amount to a thing," Lamm said. "All it does is compress layers of runoff sediment into a useless underground strata of sedimentary and metamorphic rock. It doesn't provide electrical power, heat, plasticizers, synthetic rubber or space-age synthetic petrochemical fibers. For that we need fossils and, to be frank, plenty of them."
According to the Exxon study, Earth is currently producing newly fossilized material at a rate of 550 pounds per year—919,450,000,020,000 percent slower than the rate needed to meet the nation's minimum fossil-related needs for the next decade. "The dire need for faster fossil production in the United States cannot be overstated," the 400-page report concluded.
Exxon paleontologist Dr. Richard Oliva said that the roots of the current fossil shortage lie in years of fossil waste.
"Gross fossil misuse and mismanagement, such as the reckless, irresponsible practice of digging up dinosaur bones and other remains of prehistoric lifeforms for useless, trivial and unproductive display in museums, must not be tolerated," Oliva said. "Left undisturbed, as intended by nature, such residue of long-extinct lifeforms may have eventually matured into valuable deposits of coal and oil. Sadly, though, for the many fossils currently on display in museums or in use in scientific studies, this will never happen."
"We may enjoy the selfish pleasures of viewing exhibits of dinosaur skeletons and studying prehistoric biology," Oliva said, "but every time we do, we are robbing our children, and our children's children."
In addition to advocating the elimination of fossil waste, the Exxon study called for the government to immediately prioritize the creation of new fossils. The study urged Congress to establish federal economic incentives that would encourage prairie, forest and wetlands regions to deteriorate, decay, become buried in the accumulated silt of rivers, and be crushed into fossil fuel by the accumulated weight of miles of rock layers above, ideally "within the next seven to 15 years."
"America does not need ecosystems on the surface of the earth, where they do no good," Oliva said. "We need them buried under miles of rock strata, where they can be converted into valuable energy resources."
Calling the current fossil crisis "a threat to the future of us all," Oliva described the relocation of vast tracts of surface terrain to new zones deep within the earth's crust "the responsibility of each and every one of us."
In a joint statement, spokespersons from 91 of the world's top 100 leading oil corporations hailed the Exxon proclamation as "a whisper of sanity in a self-destructive world."
"Sure, we could try to develop other energy sources, but we have no way of knowing if they would sustain us in the long run," Global Tetrahedron CEO Hank Blakeley said. "Yes, solar energy looks good on paper, but how do we know the sun will continue to shine at its present rate? Much of the sun remains unexplored, and our information about it is sketchy at best. Our sun could dim drastically over time, or even wink out entirely tomorrow, for all we know. Only by ensuring the continued transformation of our nation's ecosystems into subterranean strata of raw, non-renewable chemical fuels can we ensure a future for our children and our planet."