DrumBeat: April 18, 2007

Energy diplomacy with attitude
When it comes to oil, Americans let markets and consumption set the agenda. The 1973 shock didn't change behavior in a durable way. Neither did the spike of the early 1980s. The post-September 11, 2001, trajectory saw the price of standard crude oil move from under US$25 per barrel in September 2003, tripling to around $80 per barrel last year.

Ethanol cars may not be healthier

Ethanol vehicles may have worse effects on human health than conventional petrol, US scientists have warned.

A computer model set up to simulate air quality in 2020 found that in some areas ozone levels would increase if all cars were run on bioethanol.

Deaths from respiratory problems and asthma attacks would increase with such levels, the researchers reported in Environmental Science and Technology.

Brazil Seeks Cut in U.S. Ethanol Import Duties

The United States may ease ethanol import duties by the end of next year, helping Brazilian producers gain access to markets in the world's largest consumer of the fuel, Brazil's top ethanol official said Monday.

Biofuel Bill to Go to Duma

The Federation Council, with the support of the Agriculture Ministry, has prepared a bill for introduction into the State Duma to lower the excise tax on bioethanol fuel to encourage the development of bioenergy in Russia. Tax breaks are being proposed for oil refineries that add alcohol to their fuel.

Big biofuel plant to be built on Canadian Prairies

North America's biggest biofuel refinery will be built in central Alberta near the town of Innisfail, and could be producing fuels in the third quarter of 2008, the plant's developers said on Tuesday.

Africa: Next US Oil War Venue

The Pentagon does not admit that a ring of permanent US military bases is operating or under construction throughout Africa. But nobody doubts the American military buildup on the African continent is well underway.

Fueling our Future Energy Needs

By 2030, the world will still be grasping for fossil fuels to meet its power demands. And despite the recent clamor for the development of renewable resources, the three major fossil fuels--oil, coal and gas--will be vital to the world's future energy needs.

This is from last year, but I hadn't seen it until EB posted a link yesterday: Risks of the oil transition

In our view, therefore, the oil transition brings more long-term environmental concerns than long-term economic or security threats because tradeoffs have strong potential to be resolved by accepting increased environmental damage in order to avoid economic or security risks.

Record profits from oil may soon ooze away

The doubling of oil prices over the past few years has produced enormous windfalls for oil companies. But those record profits are likely to recede in the years ahead - even if oil prices don't - as oil-producing nations increasingly demand a bigger share of the wealth.

Behind high gas prices: The refinery crunch

When gasoline prices surge, a lack of refining capacity is often blamed. What's being done, and is it enough?

Where next for crude oil and oil stocks?

The trebling of oil prices in recent years has left both investors and the broader public with the conviction that the world is facing an inevitable energy crisis.

Armenia, Iran, Russia to open talks on oil refinery

Government officials from Armenia, Iran and Russia will meet soon to discuss an ambitious idea to build a big oil refinery on the Armenian-Iranian border that would cater for the Iranian market.

Fossil Fuel Watch - Humbugs Along the Potomac

With a track record for erroneous forecasting that verges on the spectacular, why should anyone bother to listen to EIA when more reliable predictions can be found on the daily astrology page? When agency statisticians issue prediction like these, they are going well beyond the cut-and-dried world of extraction volumes, refinery outputs, fuel imports, and implied demand for refined products. Embedded in EIA’s monthly prognostications are assumptions regarding, for example, hurricane activity, geopolitical tensions, the structural integrity of key pipelines, and the veracity of OPEC’s communiqués. And every month these statisticians peer into the future and conclude, perhaps with the aid of tarot cards and/or tea leaves, that nothing that could go wrong will go wrong.

Betting on falling oil prices? Bet long

It isn't a scarcity that keeps crude prices elevated. It's an excess of crime and government -- along with, yes, record-setting increases in demand. Prices would nevertheless fall, notwithstanding crime and government, were the supply of oil increased -- and it will most certainly increase. These things take time. In the meantime, producer countries are content, consumer countries are complacent and the big oil companies (who are responsible for only 15 per cent of world oil output) are pleased to reward investors.

Funny Farms

Ironically, the family farm may become of vital importance just as it sings its swan song. In 1956, geologist M. King Hubbert correctly anticipated that US oil production would peak in the early 1970s. In his recent book, Hubbert’s Peak, geologist Kenneth Deffeyes applied his colleague’s methods and emerged with an estimate for when world oil production would peak—November 24, 2005, US Thanksgiving. While this date is being debated by oil experts, dire forecasts like Deffeyes’ seem plausible in light of oil prices of $65 US per barrel or more. With rising oil prices comes a renewed focus on localized, organic farming.

Chavez Says He Won't Kick Out U.S. Oil Companies

President Hugo Chavez on Monday denied that his leftist government plans to expel U.S. oil companies from Venezuela, althought he added that "there won't be another drop of oil" from his country for the United States should Washington launch a "new aggression" against Caracas.

Does Anyone Really Care About Global Warming

I watched a documentary the other day called “The Great Global Warming Swindle” from the BBC. The basic premise of the documentary was to show that carbon dioxide is not the main cause of global warming, that the sun’s energy output is, and it is not the threat that certain political interests would have us believe. The science of the documentary seemed sound and I would be hard pressed to argue against the data without more study. Much of what they said I was already aware of. They also showed how Al Gore had misused data to push a political agenda and a world government imposed solution. They discussed how certain scientists were included as authors in a United Nations report on global warming even though they had asked to be removed from the list of authors. They spoke of how they were not being paid by oil interests. It was all very interesting. They stated that there was no doubt climate change existed and that we were in the middle of it, the doubt was in what the main cause is. They gave me little reason to doubt them until near the very end. That’s when their true colors showed. They might not have been paid by oil interests, but they suddenly started advocating coal interests.

The vast power of the Saudi lobby

The long and corrupt history of American-Saudi relations centers around the kingdom’s vast reserves of easily extractable oil, of course. Ever since President Franklin D. Roosevelt met aboard ship in 1945 with King Ibn Saud, the special relationship with the desert kingdom has only grown stronger. The House of Saud is usually happy to sell us oil at a consistent and reasonable price — and then increase production if unseemly market forces drive the world price of a barrel too high for U.S. consumers.

Sustainable Living Book Helps Families Save Energy, Save Money

Sustainable Living: For Home, Neighborhood and Community is about using less energy, spending less money, and enjoying it more. It's about how neighbors can benefit from working and sharing together. And it's about how all of a community's neighborhoods and residents can benefit from cooperative effort.

The Airing of "The Green"

Robert Redford chats about the new green programming on the Sundance Channel.

Ghana: German legislator cautions on nuclear power

A German legislator, Dr Axel Berg, has advised the Kufuor government to be cautious in considering nuclear energy as an option in view of environmental, cost and accessibility implications.

He said maintaining and operating a nuclear grid can be very dear especially considering extending its facility to a vast span of communities in the country.

Chevron exec: Ethanol means no new refineries
Investment doesn’t make sense, despite U.S. need to import gasoline

A top Chevron Corp. executive said Tuesday the push to displace as much as a fifth of the country's gasoline with ethanol will make it less likely the industry will build new domestic refineries.

Mexico energy minister says no oil privatization

Mexican Energy Minister Georgina Kessel said on Tuesday the country would not privatize its energy sector companies but urged lawmakers from all parties to start a new debate on how to shore-up declining oil output.

...She said 55 percent of Mexico's current oil production comes from fields that are in decline and Mexico's oil reserves as they stand will last just over nine years.

"Even though work on exploration and production has not stopped ... it will not be possible to sustain the production platform at the historical highs registered in previous years," she said.

Outlook for hybrid sales iffy, polls show - Incentives boost sales of Prius, but performance questions persist

The 2007 Prius goes from 0 to 60 mph in a sluggish 10.1 seconds and achieves a top speed of only 105 mph, which could leave many new-car buyers cold.

Iraqi oil law nears final stage

Iraq's hotly debated draft oil law is to be sent to parliament "within the coming few days if everything goes well," the Oil Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

Governments in the U.S. Prepare for Peak Oil

A recent US Government Accountability Office report says that since most studies suggest decline of oil within around three decades, the US government must prepare the country for that eventuality. Here are links to this and other reports, plus articles that interpret them.

Venezuela threatens no oil takeover compensation

Venezuela threatened on Tuesday not to compensate some foreign oil companies in its planned takeover of their multibillion-dollar projects in the OPEC nation's vast Orinoco reserve.

EU should not discard military to secure oil, expert says

Simon Henderson, director at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that Europe should assess all options, including military, when looking at its oil-supply security in the 21st century.

Rebel leader warns foreign firms of exploiting Darfur oil

A Darfur rebel group has warned today foreign oil firms against exploring oil and Mineral in the western Sudan province, saying they would not allow it.

‘India’s energy use, growth de-linked’

Detailing the steps taken by India towards sustainable development, its United Nations Ambassador Nirupam Sen told the Security Council that it has delivered a GDP growth of 8 per cent with only 3.7 per cent growth in its total primary energy consumption.

Byron King: Oil booms and busts

When you go to the gas station to fill the tank of your car, do you really think about how it all happens? Do you mentally picture the tanker trucks, the storage terminals, the long-distance pipelines, the refineries, the gathering system that brought the oil ashore or the tankers that hauled the oil from some overseas loading terminal? Do you have a mental image of some oil well somewhere, lifting oil from the depths of the Earth? Do you appreciate that some geologist came up with a prospect and laid his or her reputation on the line to convince a financial backer to fund the drilling of an oil well? The crust of the Earth is, I assure you, pockmarked with the dry holes of failed oil exploration efforts. Like many things in this world, it only looks easy.

World now faces competition between food and fuel, expert warns

GLOBAL grain yields must rise sharply over the next 50 years to avoid food shortages as an increasingly rich population competes with biofuels for scarce resources, the head of the Scottish Agricultural College has said.

Report: Global energy axis shifts

International consulting company Deloitte has claimed that the world’s energy axis is changing directions and will now point toward such places as Saudi Arabia, the Caspian Sea region, Siberia and Canada.

The Never-Ending Oil "Conspiracy"

The evil oil companies are at it again. The price of a gallon of gas has jumped by more than 30 cents in the past month. The gasoline gougers are busy reaping windfall profits.

Imperial Sunset?

A variety of factors have contributed to this question: the military debacle of the U.S. in Iraq and of Israel, its only 100 per cent ally, in Lebanon, which precipitated comprehensive domestic crises of confidence inside both countries; the immensity of U.S. deficits and instability of the dollar as the pre-eminent global currency; the challenges of the famous "pink tide" in Latin America; the resurgence of Russian power and high rates of growth in China and India; "resource wars", that is, the emergence of giant energy producers and consumers on the one hand and, on the other, what Michael Klare calls "energo-fascism" in which, he avers, the Pentagon has increasingly become a "global oil protection service".

Groups challenge Shell's Alaska drilling plans

Five environmental groups and an Alaska native organization said on Tuesday they were challenging the U.S. government's decision to allow Royal Dutch Shell Plc to explore for oil off the northern coast of Alaska this summer.

Chrysler set for two new Michigan plants

Chrysler Group is set to unveil plans to build two new factories in Michigan as part of a planned $3-billion investment in more fuel efficient vehicles, according to state and company officials.

Security Council tackles climate change

During the first U.N. Security Council debate on climate change, Britain argued that global conflicts are ignited over the issue, while developing nations said the topic didn't belong on the council's agenda.

Researchers debate warming, hurricanes

The debate over whether global warming affects hurricanes may be running into some unexpected turbulence. Many researchers believe warming is causing the storms to get stronger, while others aren't so sure. Now, a new study raises the possibility that global warming might even make it harder for hurricanes to form.

The MSNBC article didn't mention the Honda hybrids, which use the electric drive to enhance acceleration. In that sense, Honda is trying to sell their hybrids as competitive within current driving styles, while Toyota is going for the green status symbol.

Zero to 60 in ten seconds. Top speed 105. How lame.

Still, since I have the luxury of walking to work, and pretty much anywhere I care to go, I can't comprehend numbers like that.

I'm looking for a Masaratti Hybrid for those few car trips I take: Zero to 60 in 5 seconds -- now that is great! Much easier to kill dogs and kids and deer. Top speed 230mph. That will really cover the ground to Grandma's house at Thanksgiving. Even with bumper to bumper six lane traffic, I'll get there 10 minutes earlier. And Grandma will be so pleased that I beat my brother that she will cut him out of the will, and I'll take home all the cookies.

Never: Top speed of 105 is so lame. So what if the maximum legal speed in NA is 70 mph? What is crucial is that we prevent those evildoers under 25 from driving (LOL).

Let's make a person's speed limit the same as their age. The older you get the faster you can go. Seems fair to me. I'm 55... :-)

Should probably use some sort of bell curve to achieve a Peak Speed at around age 40.

Actually, 75 mph on Interstates in Nevada.

Those performance numbers are perfectly acceptable for a general purpose vehicle. In fact, those numbers don't necessarily capture the responsiveness of a vehicle off th eline since electric motors have a flat torque curve unlike ICEs. One could also argue that all gasoline powered vehicles have become increasingly overpowered. A Honda Accord V6 has around 240 HP and 7 second 0-60 times, comparable to expensive sport sedans of ten years ago. All the technological gains of the past two decades has gone into greater HP rather than fuel efficiency.

BTW, the hybrid Honda Civic is comparable in performance to the Prius. None of them focus on 0-60 times, which is just as it should be. The hybrid Camry posts numbers in the 7 second range, but its fuel economy is twenty percent worse than the Prius.

I would agree.

I used to own a 1994 BMW 325i convertible and its inline six had 194 HP and that car was pretty damn fast.

Now even the non-luxury, family sedans have substantially more standard horse power than my old BMW 3 series.

Rather than using advances in motor technology to increase fuel efficiency, the manufactures have chosen to raise HP.

I read somewhere that Honda was going for performance - perhaps it was only the Accord.

That is correct. The Accord Hybrid gets good performance but terrible gas mileage (< 30 MPG>) and does not sell well.

From one of Leannan's links above:

But the 2007 Prius goes from 0 to 60 mph in a sluggish 10.1 seconds and achieves a top speed of only 105 mph, which could leave many new-car buyers cold, Steinert said.

I think this sentence might win the WTF award of the day. A top speed of ONLY 105mph? Gawd forbid!

Somehow I doubt that buyers of the Prius are concerned about the fact that it won't go faster than 105mph. I mean, my Civic has a top speed of around 130mph, but believe me that top speed had nothing to do with my selection of the vehicle. I bought my Civic because it was the highest MPG car that wasn't an Insight. (I couldn't afford an Insight back in 2000)

Plus, 0-60 in 10.1 seconds isn't that bad. I can guarantee that my another one of my cars would be beat by the Prius on 0-60 any day, and it doesn't bother me any. All it means is that you don't pull in front of people that you shouldn't have been pulling in front of to begin with.

Acceleration and top speed are not everything in an automobile.

Alan Drake

Happy owner of a 1982 Mercedes Benz 240D (manual transmission which allows me to downshift going up ramps, etc.) 30 to 31 mpg in the city.

It is the muscle car crowd that turns up their nose at 0-60 in 10 seconds. I agree - people who want a Prius won't really care all that much about this.

Prius Outdoes Hummer in Environmental Damage By Chris Demorro Staff Writer The Recorder Central Connecticut State University

The Toyota Prius has become the flagship car for those in our society so environmentally conscious that they are willing to spend a premium to show the world how much they care. Unfortunately for them, their ultimate ‘green car’ is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer.

Before we delve into the seedy underworld of hybrids, you must first understand how a hybrid works. For this, we will use the most popular hyb rid on the market, the Toyota Prius.
The Prius is powered by not one, but two engines: a standard 76 horsepower, 1.5-liter gas engine found in most cars today and a battery- powered engine that deals out 67 horsepower and a whooping 295ft/lbs of torque, below 2000 revolutions per minute. Essentially, the Toyota Synergy Drive system, as it is so called, propels the car from a dead stop to up to 30mph. This is where the largest percent of gas is consumed. As any physics major can tell you, it takes more energy to get an object moving than to keep it moving. The battery is recharged through the braking system, as well as when the gasoline engine takes over anywhere north of 30mph. It seems like a great energy efficient and environmentally sound car, right?
You would be right if you went by the old government EPA estimates, which netted the Prius an incredible 60 miles per gallon in the city and 51 miles per gallon on the highway. Unfortunately for Toyota, the government realized how unrealistic their EPA tests were, which consisted of highway speeds limited to 55mph and acceleration of only 3.3 mph per second. The new tests which affect all 2008 models give a much more realistic rating with highway speeds of 80mph and acceleration of 8mph per second. This has dropped the Prius’s EPA down by 25 percent to an average of 45mpg. This now puts the Toyota within spitting distance of cars like the Chevy Aveo, which costs less then half what the Prius costs.
However, if that was the only issue with the Prius, I wouldn’t be writing this article. It gets much worse.
Building a Toyota Prius causes more environmental damage than a Hummer that is on the road for three times longer than a Prius. As already noted, the Prius is partly driven by a battery which contains nickel. The nickel is mined and sme lted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers. The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles.
The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius’ battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually. Dubbed the Superstack, the plague-factory has spread sulfur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist’s nightmare.
“The acid rain around Sudbury was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside,” said Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin during an interview with Mail, a British-based newspaper.
All of this would be bad enough in and of itself; however, the journey to make a hybrid doesn’t end there. The nickel produced by this disa strous plant is shipped via massive container ship to the largest nickel refinery in Europe. From there, the nickel hops over to China to produce ‘nickel foam.’ From there, it goes to Japan. Finally, the completed batteries are shipped to the United States, finalizing the around-the-world trip required to produce a single Prius battery. Are these not sounding less and less like environmentally sound cars and more like a farce?
Wait, I haven’t even got to the best part yet.
When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a Hummer - the Prius’s arch nemesis.
Through a study by CNW Marketing called “Dust to Dust,” the total combined energy is taken from all the electrical, fuel, transportation, materials (metal, plastic, etc) and hun dreds of other factors over the expected lifetime of a vehicle. The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles - the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.
The Hummer, on the other hand, costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles. That means the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use less combined energy doing it.
So, if you are really an environmentalist - ditch the Prius. Instead, buy one of the most economical cars available - a Toyota Scion xB. The Scion only costs a paltry $0.48 per mile to put on the road. If you are still obsessed over gas mileage - buy a Chevy Aveo and fix that lead foot.
One last fun fact for you: it takes five years to offset the premium price of a Prius. Meaning, you have to wait 60 months to save any money over a non-hybr id car because of lower gas expenses.

A friend of mine in the steel business was complaining about the rise in nickel prices and sent me this. I am sorry if it has been debunked or refuted on TOD during a previous drumbeat.

Just the differential life expectancies in this comparison are laughable. Giving the Hummer 3x the Prius allows the production costs to be spread over 3x the miles. There is no real-world basis for this. Many Priuses now into their 2nd and 3rd 100K miles. This 'report' is balderdash.

Thanks Cliff,

You are the person I need. I am trying to decide whether to buy an all electric Vectrix maxi scooter. I am at the decision point and I am wondering if the 10 year life span of the NiMH battery is valid. The retail price is $11k. Is this viable?

Sorry, I'm not a battery expert at all. But this link shows what is typical of what I find when I look for info - that these batteries will not need replacing in the short term - 5 years or less: http://www.hybridcars.com/forums/hybrid-battery-life-t836.html?s=2222309...

I'm not sure if 10 years is viable, but certainly something on the order of 7 or so. There are still Toyota Rav4 EV's in service with their original NiMH battery packs with over 100,000 miles on them. NiMH battery tech has improved since then as well. The number of years will depend more on the DOD (Depth of Discharge) more than the actual years. (Lithium Ion batteries will degrade over time even if they're not abused.) I believe that you'll be able to get at leaast 7 years out of the battery pack in the Vectrix. Plus, when it comes time to replace the battery pack, you will probably be able to replace it with an even cheaper NiMH pack, or Lithium Ion. (NiMH has been getting much cheaper over the past few years, with increased capacities.)

As with all batteries, the life will depend on how you treat them.

There is some interesting info on NiMH batteries from Stan Ovshinsky's(featured in "Who Killed The Electric Car") company at www.ovonics.com If you dig around, there are some presentations and things relevant to your battery life question.

I think 10 year lifetime is correct.

I can't really see it being a sure thing from a numbers point of view, even under a moderate "Doomer" forcast.

Consider that it is easy to find a 250cc Honda Reflex:

say 2-3 years old with a couple of thousand miles on it, for about $3,000.

Freeway legal, simple 4 cycle engine, lots of access to spare parts and folks who know how to service it etc. etc.

So, if we are assuming an ownership life of 10 years are you going to save the $8,000 difference in price on fuel costs?

The Reflex will give you about 70 mpg city / highway combined. If you drive 10K miles per year (which is a lot for most bikes) then thats about 150 gallons of fuel a year, or 1500 gallons for the 10 years you may operate the bike.

If you assume that the average price of gas over the next 10 years might be $5.30 a gallon then you would be somewhere near break even on the fuel (assuming electricity to be free).

Moderate Doom Model: Gas prices ramp up in a straight line from $3/gal now to $15/gal in 10 years. avg. price is thus $9 per gallon X 1500 = $13,500 lifecycle fuel bill.

In this case you would be ahead by $5500, or $550 per year by going with the electric. This is not as big a deal as it sounds given that no matter what bike you buy your going to be spending several $1,000 per year in fixed costs: Insurance, tires, helmet and leathers, routine service (Yes I know electrics are better there but not totally).

Further you are much more likly to be able to buy the Reflex for cash, avoiding debt and having a repo proof vehicle is a very good thing.

The Vectrix is still vapor ware i.e. you can't actually drive one off the lot right now, and the durability of its mechanical systems, and the long term availability of spare parts are unknown.

So you see where I'm going... anyway spring IS here and its a good time to be on a bike, good luck

Your analysis demonstrates why electric vehicles, of any type, will never be nothing more than a small niche market unless we see radical changes in the costs of EVs or radical changes in the cost of gas or both. I am a fairly early adopter and will spend extra money for environmental reasons (I own a Prius), but there are limits, even for me, and besides we cannot build a robust market on environmental issues alone.

But here's the other thing. Even if extra costs mean little or nothing, think what you could do with the price differential between the EV and the ICE. If carbon reduction is your game, you can do a lot of carbon reduction with the price differential . It might be more productive to put that money into solar panels, solar thermal, wind, insulation, etc. etc.

To a certain extent, a similar analysis applies to ethanol. Even if one concludes that the EROEI of ethanol is not a problem or an issue, what are the societal costs of investing in that approach versus investing in alternative approaches that are energy related. Just because on approach has a positive benefit cost ratio doesn't mean that is the best place to put your money.

I thought about this way also. I purchased a Honda Elite brand new for 2,000, I wanted the next model up for highway use, but I already own a BMW Rockster anniversay edition. I love riding the little elite. Depending on load I think it can get up to 100 mpg. Great for running errands. Though I would caution everyone that decides to get a bike of any type. Get a good helmet, spend some bucks on it. Don't ride in sandals try not to in tennis shoes (please), and be aware of whats going on around you. Watch your rear when your stop at lights, signs etc.

I looked at the electric bikes a couple of years ago, batteries, I use Nicads in video production. If you do them right then they will last. If you don't, they start to loose the ability to take a full charge. They are a collection of many cells. One of those big fat batteries ou see on the back of a professional video camera (called a brick) used to drive 12v's (charges to 16v)(many of your battery devices are able to work with higher voltage). Take it apart and its several C type's (the big round batteries generally used for flashlights wired together and put in a case). Your paying a lot for the less weight, gell cells are much cheaper, but heavier.

You can store 5,10, or more gallons of fuel easily for shortages, just remember you must add a fuel additive to keep the gas from turning to varnish.

If you buy a bike that can go on the highway and haven't ridden before. Find a bike training class at one of the bike shops around town.

One more thing to check is the insurance on the electric bike. Be interested to know. Liability isn't the issue. If you get collision, comprehensive, etc then it could be higher than you think. I would check Geico, they do have the best rates, at least for my bike (BMW) it was 900.00 a year at Nationwide, at Geico it dropped to $400.00. They do advertise (Hey, Im smokey) they do bikes.) The BMW was high because of parts and they are expensive. I was really surprised at the Geico rate, they specialize it seems. I checked many other companies than Nationwide and they were all in Nationwides ballpark.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

I have owned a few cars now in my life and I am not somebody who trades-in a car for a new model. I always want to keep riding them until they die of misery.

However, I have never owned a car more than 4 years.

Wrecked some of them, some died from heartattacks before their time, got a company car once, moved to another country and back and gave one away.

So conclusion: It's not so clear you will own a car for 10+ years, or a motor cycle for that matter.

I've only owned two cars in my entire life. The first one (a Ford Taurus) I used for 16 years, until it became so unreliable it started stranding me.

My current car is a two-year-old Toyota Corolla. I chose it with the idea that it would be the last car I own. If I drive it 25 years until I retire and move some place where I don't need to drive, great. If the gas stations run permanently dry this summer...well, at least I didn't spend too much on the car.

Thanks for the analysis and I have always assumed that the gasoline models would be cheaper, but have considered the other aspects as a balance.

1. Vectrix does not appear to be vapor ware as they have delivered in Italy and I may get on the list for delivery for $300.00.
2. I assume that because I can afford it I am "financing future cheaper production" as more become available. The first cell phone adopters virtually paid for several towers by themselves.
3. If gas does run short I would still be tooling around with out much guilt, while those with the scooters will be hunched over their neighbors car trying to siphon the tank.
4. Vectrix will drop ship the thing to my house, provided I have insurance and a motorcycle endorsement. They want to get the product in the hands of the public.
Thanks again for the love and I have until May 15 to determine if the ones rolled out in Italy really are as advertised.

Here's a link to slashdot that pokes the same hole in this story.


However in response to your assertion that you know of some Prius's into their 3rd 100k miles. Do you know of any Prius using the original battery after 200k miles? As I understand it, the Prius battery needs replacement after it's useful life. This would lend support to the original story as it's the nickle in the battery that is the biggest culprit in the cost and envirornmental comparison.

Vancouver taxis - leave it to the Canadians to be smart enough to use these as taxis... Here's the pertinent excerpt from: http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/hybrid-batteries-none-the-wor...

Toyota's Prius has been around for the last six years and is the U.S.' most-popular hybrid.
While Toyota's Prius wasn't the first hybrid to be sold in the U.S. (that honor goes to the low-volume two-seat Honda Insight), it was certainly the first to sell in reasonable numbers. Introduced in the U.S. for the 2001 model year, it was redesigned for 2004, offering more room, more power, and even better fuel-economy figures.

Helped by rising fuel costs, sales of the second-generation Prius took off. Toyota built about 52,000 of the first-generation cars, and so far has added more than 214,000 of the latest version. That means there have been well over a quarter-million Prius Hybrids sold in the U.S., making it by far the country's most popular hybrid.

And Toyota claims that not one has required a battery replacement due to malfunction or "wearing out." The only replacement batteries sold--at the retail price of $3000--have been for cars that were involved in accidents. Toyota further claims that the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery packs used in all Prius models are expected to last the life of the car with very little to no degradation in power capability.

For those of us who have cell phones and other devices with NiMH batteries, that claim may sound unrealistic. Over time, the battery's charge longevity seems to wane, resulting in shorter and shorter usage between charges. Eventually, the battery becomes worthless and we buy a replacement.

But in the case of most electronic devices, the batteries tend to get fully charged, then nearly fully discharged before being charged again. For the power pack in the Prius, at least, Toyota says this would greatly shorten the life span of the battery.

A navigation screen converts to show the driver what type of power the Prius is using, gas or electric.
To get maximum life out of the Prius battery pack, the car's computer brain does not allow the battery to fully charge or discharge. Toyota says that for the best service life, the Prius battery likes to be kept at about a 60 percent charge. In normal operation, the system usually lets the charge level vary only 10-15 percentage points. Therefore, the battery is rarely more than 75 percent charged, or less than 45 percent charged.

If you're familiar with the Prius, you know there's a battery-charge indicator on the instrument panel. Toyota says this isn't the charge level per se, but rather a state-of-charge window. The top of the window represents about a 75 percent charge, the bottom about 45 percent charge.

According to Toyota, the life of the Prius battery pack is determined more by mileage than by time, and it has been tested to 180,000 miles. Supporting this are first- and second-generation Prius taxis in Canada that have reportedly traveled more than 200,000 miles without suffering any battery problems.

The amount of misinformation on the Prius on this site bothers me. TOD is usually better. As an owner of a Prius since 2003 (one of the first in Iowa) with 60,000 miles on it I believe I know something about Toyota hybrids. I live in Iowa and see extremes of temperature from -15F to 100+ F air temperatures. I car pool with one passenger and drive 2-3 days each week.

I track my mpg every tank. Fuel in vs miles traveled. I have done this for all cars and trucks I have owned for 30 years. In the depths of winter at 15 below with head winds I had a low of 38mpg for a tank. I have an unheated garage and a wife that uses the Prius (instead of the Subaru Outback) when I don't drive it. She drives only short 2-5 mile trips dropping kids off at school and to her work. So cold short trips and the low was 38 mpg this winter using 10% ethanol gas.

Spring and Fall, like right now, I get 50-52mpg on a tank commuting 70 miles round trip on rural interstate. Of the 450 miles in a tank around 50 will not be interstate. So I get 45-50 on the interstate and a whole lot better in town. Intermediate driving in town is often above 70mpg for 25-20 minute trips. No car I have ever driven has the upside potential for miles per gallon.

Mid summer with the air on constantly I get dinged 2-3 mpg down to the upper 40's for the same driving. The electric air conditioner is much more efficient than most cars belt driven air. As in winter what dings the gas milage is getting the car into operating range and setting the cabin temperature to acceptable for passengers, 72-76 summer 68-72 winter.

As stated above by others the Prius manages battery charge to preserve the battery pack not maximize electric driving. The battery is constatntly charging and discharging but only in a band centered on 80% of full charge. The prius is astoundingly responsive at any speed. Acceleration is linear, not sigmoid. Cruising at 68 but needing to pass at 75 allows nearly instantaneous acceleration, no lag as in conventional drive trains. The constant accelaration from 0-35 is startling to people unfamiliar with the Prius. The car is quick rather than top end fast.

The Subaru has a milage meter on it like the Prius and I drive both similarly. The Subaru can get around 30 on the highway but mixed driving is low to mid 20's. The Prius is alway 20 mpg better minimum. I was in a very great hurry last week to get to a meeting and drove for 30+ miles above 90 mph in the Prius, with my passenger, the whole way. Surprising I didn't pass everyone on the road lots of people out there are driving over 80 mph daily on rural interstates, posted is 70mph. My gas milage dropped maybe 1.5-2 mpg for that excess. I just filled it and calculated 49.4 mpg for 430 miles.

The Prius weighs 3000 pounds but weight is not that relevant. Stopping all that weight recharges the battery more efficiently than a light weight car. What few people, who don't own hybrids, realize is that you rarely drive 100's of miles at very high speed. You have to slow down. The Toyota hybrids just shut of in that mode and burn no gas and recharges the battery top maximum allowed. At 400-500 mile on a 10 gallon tank of gas you ALWAYS have opportunity for slow speed hyper milage.

I know of dozens of people who have Prius's, four in the parking lot at work alone. ALl say the same thing. The hybrids allow very high milage with very little sacrifice in performance, if you need it it there. Driving it with a lead foot will give you gas milage in the 30's, but do that in a conventional car and you are in the teens or worse. No owner that I know of has had a battery failure and maintenance costs are LESS than a conventional car. Change the oil and rotate the tires every 5000 miles. Thats it.

I would love to use mass transit. It not available. I would love to get 100 mpg. Its not available. I would love to get 40 mpg with a 4x4 pickup truck because I go off road. Its not available.

What is available right now is a car that gets 45-50 mpg. Can cruise at 70 all day. Seats 5 comfortably. Hauls lots of stuff even with the 5. Is very reliable and has 10 years of testing now in Japan without battery failures. Why are people still saying this is bad technology and we should build Hummers?

The facts don't back up those statements and the Japanese are going to eat our lunch unless we stop looking for negatives and focus on the positives of high milage vehicles and transportation.

NC - Hoping your "misinformation" intro wasn't aimed at me in spite of its placement as a reply. I, too, own a Prius, and while I don't see it as the saviour of our society (we are going to have to get used to travelling less post-peak, to say the least) I concur with your 'it's what's best available now'. I get 53 mpg on an annual basis - high 40's in winter, high 50's in summer. I also find that the A/C drain is minimal. Much more than offset by the lighter air resistance. This guy's site is fascinating in that regard: http://privatenrg.com/ Also, since it's difficult to learn how to drive (pulse and glide) from Toyota, here's this:
My goal is a plug-in conversion to be charged from PV panels on the house...


Original post not aimed at you, just logical location at the end of the string. You had already provided a link I was trying for first person experience comment

I agree with plug in's and solar. It is the next logical step based on the Toyota Synergy drivetrain. It is obvious to me that if the power density of batteries can be improved significantly than the Synergy drive benefits. Nothing new needs to be invented. Charging the battery using PV, wind, or other just eliminates need to burn fuel as often to recharge.

I am convinced Toyota has a very long term strategy that they are working towards. Substituting stored energy in a battery for stored energy in a liquid fuel is the first critical step on that path. I believe Toyota will increase reliance on the electric drive while they decrease reliance on the gasoline engine side.

They will work out the real world bugs of power density, charging, heating, air conditioning, safety, towing stress, cold weather performance, etc. as they move towards a greater reliance on electricity and less on internal combustion. Maybe ultra capacitors have a place. Maybe on board solar films. Plug ins or rapid charging. Lots of details can be working on if you have a platform to change variables and measure success.

I do not see a similar coherent strategy from any of the American manufactures. The devil is always in the details and solving these takes time, money, and real world testing. Not theoretical concept cars that never get launched.

NC, thanks for this post.

I too am tired of all of the misinformation about the Prius. Its like someone wants to kill it like the electric car.

The Prius seats 5 comfortably. I am 6'2" and can sit in the back seat with the front seats fully back. There aren't many cars of any size that I can sit in the back of with the front seats fully forward.

I do not use any special driving techniques and consistently get 46-48mpg, despite a commute over an 1800' pass and mostly freeway speeds (and I'm not slogging along in the slow lane either).

At $3/gallon (its actually higher than that here) I am saving $1200 per year in gas bills over my former car (minivan). The Prius has an extremely low depriciation rate - I'll bet when gas prices go through the roof this summer that used Prius will again be selling for more than they originally cost.

The reason I bought it was because of the SULEV designation, but it is the best vehicle I have ever owned in every way.

The bottom line. The Toyota Prius ranks as the most satisfying vehicle overall for the fourth straight year, with 92 percent of owners saying they’d get another one.


Edit: In California, the battery is warranted to 150,000 miles.

I've owned many cars all the way from the bottom to the top of the line, and this is the best overall car I've ever owned. If the gas mileage doesn't convince you, the quiet and the room will. And, besides, it doubles as virtually a mini wagon.

Same here. Swiss Army Knife of vehicles. All weather. Take out the back covers and do some pretty serious hauling. We drive reasonable and pass 'em at the gas station :)

Interesting post.
Myself i am interested of buying a BEV(battery electric car), when the next generation of them comes out in the market. For example Mitsubishi says they will produce a Colt EV with Li Ion batteries somewhere around 2010.

Someone moore in the know of BEV:s than i am??

Building a Toyota Prius causes more environmental damage than a Hummer that is on the road for three times longer than a Prius.

I believe Odograph has addressed this before. The key figure in the calculations (justifications?) is that they are attributing vastly longer lifetimes to SUVs than to economy cars. I could see maybe 1.5 to 1 but not 3 to 1.

The environmental arguments against the Prius' battery technology are probably valid and would apply against any EV, but there are environmental arguments against internal combustion vehicles that are simply not mentioned.

Look at the CR repair rates for the Prius and compare them to the Hummer...

Another aspect of the Hummer argument that seems spurious to me is that the Nimh batteries are recyclable, and that Nickel isn't going to be thrown out if the Pack dies. Besides power capacity, one of the main benefits of Nimh's is that the Electrolyte is far less toxic to the environment than the Cadmium is in Nicads.

But the whole argument isn't about Hummers v. Hybrids. It's a culture war, a class war that the US is far from facing. Gun Control, Creationism in the Classroom, Roe v. Wade.. it's all proxy code for the 'City Mouse/Country Mouse' , Middle-Class/Working Class, Red-Meat/Blue-Blood divide that is kept ripped wide open so the Middle and the Bottom fight each other instead of stopping to look at what the Top goes on doing uninterrupted while we bicker. Same thing happened during slavery, where Poor Whites were set up to Disdain poor Blacks.. keep them busy busting each other, cause they'd be too powerful to contain if they worked together. I can't say that it was a fully conscious plan, but would you put it past them?

Sweetness and Light,
Bob Fiske

Wikipedia tells me that the Sudbury basin produces 189,000 tons of nickel per year, so about 1/2 of one percent can be attributed to Prius batteries. The worst of the localized environmental damage (loss of plant life, etc) occured prior to the construction of the Superstack in 1972, although acid rain remained a problem until sulphur-control equipment was added in the 90's. Bottom line: don't blame the Prius for environmental damage in Sudbury.

CNW's numbers are based on the assumption that the Prius will be voluntarily junked after 109,000 miles, while a Hummer will be driven more than twice as far. I looked in their paper, and it seems that they reached this conclusion because: households that own a Prius generally consider it their second or third car, and only drive it 7000 miles a year (although CNW admits that this only seems to be true for early model Priuses). Since most cars aren't driven longer than 15 years, they cap the Prius' lifespan at 109,000 miles. George Will cited this same study about a week ago in his attempt to debunk efforts at global warming mitigation, so I expect we'll see these numbers thrown around for a while.

However, I do agree with the conclusion: "it doesn't have to be a hybrid, small and efficient is just fine."


Sudbury is where a meteor landed long ago, and yes it USED to be a deadzone. My mother and father and both of their parents are from there. Back in the 70's 80's it was very bad. The sulphur in the exhaust of the stacks caused most of the local trees/bushes to die (exception of blueberries and some other species, birch maybe). However it has turned around with a scrubber stack added.

The nickel mine is now also one of the major sulphuric acid producers in Canada, a byproduct of the scrubbing.

The trees have recovered, and the enviroment has greatly recovered. There are indeed still large stacks of slag, however those will continue to pile up as nickel is processed. Trees are everywhere, and my parents agree that it looks much better than the past.

While regional environmental damage occurs due to nickel mining and processing this has to be weighted against the long term global effects of fossil carbon emissions. The GHG deniers are not about facts but about raising doubt. The Sudbury area has been a major source of nickel for the stainless steel industry for many decades before the NiMH battery was even invented. The article"s source of info has more to do with competition for a resource than about what has happened around Sudbury.

That is dead on as Thomas noted where I got the article, from a tool steel salesman.

Back in the day, 0-60 in about 10 seconds with quite good. It is just that our expectations for power have increased exponentially over the last few decades. I find that I get to my destination about the same time as everyone else in my Prius. And who in hell punches their vehicle for the first ten seconds, anyway?

Most people spend much of their times in traffic jams, anyway, so let's get over our juvenile obsession with super speeds. Grow up, America, and do just a little bit for the planet.

Oh, and yeh, even if the Prius did 0-60 in 7 seconds, this would not affect my actual acceleration time one iota.

I mean, my Civic has a top speed of around 130mph, but believe me that top speed had nothing to do with my selection of the vehicle.

Most speedometers in non hi-performance sedans display a top end speed that the car can not get to. Auto manufactures do this because they have found that in marketing studies, men subconsciously prefer the car that displays a higher top end speed on the speedometer, even if it is not the final and only reason why the car was selected to be purchased.

All Toyota has to do, is change out the speedometer in the Prius so that it reads as though the top end speed is 150mph, even though, the car may actually max out at 105mph. Most meat heads would not know any better.

The Prius has a digital-display spedometer. There is no visible "top" speed.

Top speed in my Prius = 106 mph (twice).

While I have not had my 2000 Civic HX up to 130mph, I have had it up to 125mph, and I had no doubt (as in the car didn't seem to have any problems going faster) that it could have reached the 130mph mark if not faster. The speedometer only goes to 130, but the RPM's were only at 4600 RPM when I was going 125, so with a redline of 7200 RPM, I think I could get beyond that 130. (Assuming I wasn't going up an incline. It would have to be flat.)


Just in case you didn't know, the tires on your car are "speed" rated. I doubt your tires are rated for that speed. They can fail at that speed. I once worked on a video for Cooper tires and watched/shot tires being made in their plant. You are not driving on racing tires, be careful.

Now my Stealth which is a true GTO car which means its ready for race off the assembly line, it could hug a corner and fly, and it gets 20mpg around town. My Geo Tracker I use now gets 25, but its a fun little thing. 4 wheel drive (auto) too, if I need it. Some wind deflection would help its mileage, its a flat windshield, box.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

While I have not had my 2000 Civic HX up to 130mph, I have had it up to 125mph, and I had no doubt (as in the car didn't seem to have any problems going faster) that it could have reached the 130mph mark if not faster.

Wind resistance increases at the square of velocity. Those first notches above 100 are pretty easy, but after that you start hitting a brick wall. You may find out that your car tops out a little sooner than you think. Also, because most engines make their horsepower at the top of RPM band (near redline) you may find yourself in a struggle between wind resistance and RPM. That is, the wind resistance may keep you from reaching the higher RPM necessary to make more power to battle the wind resistance to go faster. You could find yourself at "the brick wall" at 5,400 RPM...the extra horsepower will essentially be "trapped."

My 1967 Austin FX-4 will get to 60mph if I flog the bejeesus out of it but it is not recommended. More impressive is that no one has ever died of other than natural causes in the rear compartmnt of an FX-4. If that's something anyone cares about.

hey my 87 Toyota Tercel had that speed, brand spanking new, driven on the German autobahn, my top out was 105mph.I thought it took longer than 10.5 sec, felt more like 5 mins. While Mercedes and Bmw, they were doing 130 or better. Blew my doors! ahh the fun!

Some Republican lawmakers have cited the shortage of U.S. refining capacity as one reason for high gasoline prices, and the recent run-up in gasoline costs has been partly linked to unexpected refinery shutdowns.

No new U.S. refinery has been built since the 1970s. And while larger refineries have been expanded, U.S. demand for gasoline consistently requires some imports.

When asked if the company might invest in a new U.S. refinery, (Chevron's vice chairman)Robertson had a quick answer:

"Why would I invest in a refinery when you're trying to make 20 percent of the gasoline supply ethanol?"

Hey-ho, the "free market" alive and well in the oil industry.

Why invest in new refineries when production of the primary feedstock, crude oil, is presently declining worldwide?

The recent supply shortage in Ontario should be a warning of how tight the supply chain is all over North America. Are the gasoline inventories stored near the consumption outlets and how much, like Ontario, depend upon a more "just in time" from refineries and a rail distribution system to bring in back up supplies when necessary? This year back up supplies may not be available if the refining situation keeps devoloping the way it has been. A series of random problems could spell major disruption.

I wish we could afford the life we are living.

The industry used to routinely keep 27 to 30 days of gasoline supply on hand. Currently we are down to about 21 days. That's why these five year numbers don't mean a whole lot. The same thing is true for crude oil.

This number regarding a loss in 6-9 days in gasoline supply is often trotted out. I hypothesize that it is the same storage capacity as the previous 25-30 years, and gasoline use has RISEN instead, resulting in a deceptive loss in gasoline supply.

To summarize, in 1970 we had 100 units saved and used up units at the rate of 3.33 per day. Today we have 100 units saved and use up 5.00 units per day.

It would be quite the capital investment to upgrade the supply. If someone more knowledgeable than myself could determine the actual LEVEL of supply storage that would be more than sufficient to disprove my hypothesis.


This is effectively what has occurred. There has been some storage capacity increase but it has not kept pace with rate of growth increase.

This is very curious if you believe CERA, that oil is going to be very abundant, that we will pump 100 mbpd by 2020 and 120 mbpd by 2030, etc., etc. In that scenario you clearly have a need for over 50% more storage than today, over 50% more refining than today, over 50% more pipelines...

Do you see where this is going? Even if the IOCs could not obtain reserves and became refining companies buying crude from NOCs, they would still need to massively upgrade their capacities and they should be doing it right now. Yet in the face of record profits they are not doing this. Why do you not build capacity when you are telling the world that we will need 50% more capacity in the next 23 years? Maybe they do not really believe their own nonsense?

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

I know that EIA statistics show a peak of oilproduction in may 2005. How sure are you that it was THE PEAK????

Re: 2005 peak of crude + condensate

More likely than not (preponderance of the evidence), but not beyond a reasonable doubt.

In the US, this is the difference between civil justice and criminal justice standards.

I still think the bottom up process has immense value.

The megaprojects database does not show exceeding the 2005 number and only produces potential new Peak Total Liquids in 2009, before heading downhill.

This is where I get confused why people are still predicting a peak in the future - 2010+. The database runs out to 2014.

Obviously, Ace's work with revising the graphs to include new decline numbers makes it even more ugly.

Revised Megaprojects production Graph

That said, it looks like we will know by June 30th(arbitrary, sure, but appropiate). IF KSA cannot ramp up pumping significantly (2MMBPD+), then we're all pooched.

Oh yeah, hurricane season starts June 15th.

Captain...Iceberg ahead!

Khebab's work on the Hybrid Shock Model also predicts a peak right now. We are getting this message via multiple pathways, coupled with reinforcing secondary circumstantial information.

You can choose to believe the data in front of you or you can choose to believe otherwise. However, if you choose to believe otherwise even in the face of substantial circumstantial information, you cannot say you were not warned.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

Greyzone, I think you know where I stand...

But just so there no confusion on my position/post for others.

I believe we are PAST PEAK.(Deffeyes/Bakhatari/WT/Ace/Khebab/etc camp).

Or in simpler terms, PANIC NOW(Ace's graph should frighten you, we can count down in days if you like).


But just don't whine WTSHTF.

I remember reading in Energy Assurance Daily back in March (don't remember the exact date)that a refinery expansion in Quebec was going to be delayed a year and an expansion by the same company in Texas was to be cancelled. I think it was Valero but am not sure. Maybe they are becoming peak aware.

Hi WT/Jeffrey,

Just because I know you value accuracy...I thought quite a while back, someone said the existing US refineries had essentially been retro-fitted, adding real capacity (a lot, if I recall), just not by means of brand new refineries. I believe in order to get around having to deal with all of the obstacles to building a new refinery. Just my impression, but thought I'd mention it, in case it's relevant to something.

Also, wondering...change of subject, you asked (thinking aloud) the other day if it's wise to own non-ag property at all. My Q was (don't know if you saw it) - what about ag property? Is that better? (for a new purchase?) It seems most of the posters here who farm (farmer-owners) purchased quite a while ago.
Just a curiosity Q. I wonder what the finance folks here would say.

Along these lines, also wondered if you've thought any more about your idea of co-ownership of farm land? And if so, could you share your thoughts? (And where you might be thinking of?)(if you are.) (Hope this isn't too personal a question.)

I'll post a note on the 4/19 thread

No new U.S. refinery has been built since the 1970s. And while larger refineries have been expanded, U.S. demand for gasoline consistently requires some imports.

HowTF is another US refinery going to redeuce our imports? Oh and SOME imports? You mean nearly 2 of every 3 barrels burned!

I think they are referring to imports of gasoline (i.e. domestic refinery capacity is not sufficient).

Right! Currently we are producing about 8.7 million barrels per day of gasoline and importing another .975 million barrels per day.

Those are the last four week averages from "This Week in Petroleum."
Those numbers will change when the new report comes out later today.

Ron Patterson


US produces almost half of the US demand of oil and gasoline. You should not have too big problems to adjust to PO. By conserving to the european level of oilconsumption, you could almost be selfsufficent with oil, and have time to mitigate the impact of PO far better than many other countrys.
In Sweden we have ZERO oilproduction. We are really going to be screwed when the crisis really arrives.

But your GOOD friends the Norwegians has lots of oil :-)

Best Hopes,


I have ties to Iceland and am aware of some of the Nordic relationships. I have spent over an hour with 5 Icelandic engineers being informed of the many and various character faults of Norwegians. Stealing Icelandic fish ranks VERY high !

Yes the norwegians are our best friends(truly), but then we are a member of the EU community, and i do not think that the norwegians are allowed to supply only us with oil.


Yes, Sweden is a full member of the EU, but Norway is not.

The Prime Minsiter of Norway called the Prime Minister of Iceland when Morgunblad ran an article about Iceland joining the EU. The Icelandic PM assured the Norwegian, Iceland will never join the EU.

If Norway sells Sweden oil, must you share it with Greece ?

Best Hopes,


No i hope not. When we had a referendum in Sweden about if we should join EU, i voted NO. But the Yes voters won with a small margin. Then we had a referendum about joining the EURO currency, and i voted NO. This time we won, and we have yet our Krona as currency(one of the six currencies in the USDX).

I believe, that the European union and EURO will collaps when PO and TEOTWAKI and WTSHTF fulfills.


Swede, not quite. The US produced, last week, 5.125 million barrels of oil per day. Total imports of petroleum products to the us this past week was 13.451 million barrels per day.

So last week we imported and produced about 18.58 million barrels per day of petroleum products. (Crude oil, gasoline, diesel, kerosecne, etc.) So we imported 72.5 percent of our petroleum feedstock and produce 27.2 percent.

27.5 percent is not quite "almost half".

Ron Patterson

OK, i got it wrong.

Not completely wrong, he forgot NGPL they are also part of the petroleum feed stock to produce petro products.
The latest data 2004 is 2.9 million Brl's per day.


5mb/d split up among 300 million Americans... That's not so bad. Gives you about 30-35 miles per day to drive around in your Prius. Of course, that's assuming Wal-Mart starts to ship goods ala Matt Simmons.

So its probably more like 15 miles/day national alotment(assuming you car gets 50 mpg) Better start working at home!

You forget that the US uses about half of its oil for non-transportation purposes. Try cutting all that industry and agriculture to nothing so you still have 5 mbpd to drive around on. It's not going to work without massive changes to our lifestyle.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

IMO we've already seen absolute proof that the whole domestic refinery capacity issue is bunk: Katrina! Before Katrina there was all this bleating that the high cost of gasoline was due to "no new refineries being built in the US since 1970-something", ignoring the fact that existing sites were significantly expanded to meet demand. But then Katrina knocked out, what, 20% of our domestic refinery capacity? And there were NO SHORTAGES! None, anywhere. How could this be?? Of course, we simply imported more refined product. Probably cheaper being refined in some poor country with no unions anyway...

Building a refinery is like any other business: it'll be done if there's money to be made. If there was a gusher of new oil expected they'd be falling over each other to get the first new refinery online, probably on one of those abandoned military bases - remember that one??

"we simply imported more refined product. Probably cheaper being refined in some poor country with no unions anyway..."

Yes no unions, and weaker environmental laws. This is an example of the US and europe exporting its pollution elsewhere. No one wants to refine Saudi heavy with vanadium in part bc/ of the environmental issues, so SA will refine it themselves, sell it at a profit but stick their country and people with the pollution.

Aaahhhhhh....those externalized costs....

This begs the question, "why invest in new exploration and production when you're trying to make 20 percent of the gasoline supply ethanol?"

In any event, this is an interesting twist. Could the push for more ethanol be increasing our imports of final product, gasoline? The answer seems to be yes, in which case, increased ethanol will make us more, not less dependent upon foreign suppliers that we thought we would be.

This all, assumes, of course, that Chevron is telling the truth. Or could it just be another excuse for not building new refineries?

Interesting also, that Chevron, did not provide the usual answer-- environmentalists.

Volkswagen Resurrects Plan for 200+-MPG Small Car


WOLFSBURG, Germany — The head of the Volkswagen Group's supervisory board, Ferdinand Piëch, used celebrations surrounding his 70th birthday over the weekend to point at the resurrection of plans for a new super-economical small Volkswagen.

In an interview with the Braunschweiger Zeitung newspaper, Piëch said the production of a car capable of traveling 100 kilometers on just one liter of fuel (the equivalent of 235 miles per U.S. gallon) is now achievable, citing advances in materials and general reductions in costs.

Piëch hinted that newly installed Volkswagen chairman Martin Winterkorn will likely make the car a reality, although he declined to provide any time frame for its introduction or price. The paper quotes Piëch as saying: "I have spoken with a manufacturer. He believes he can deliver components within two years for €5,000 rather than €35,000 [U.S. $6,775 rather than $47,400]. It then comes into the sort of territory where a normal customer can afford it. That was at my time [as chairman] not possible."

FWIW, this is *not* a hybrid. The powerplant for this is a 1-cylinder 0.3l diesel engine.

I found another article archived from 2002 that describes a lot more of the details.


Now that looks like a dream car.

On the outside, it starts to resemble a sleek velomobile, like the Flevobike Versatile. Inside, it looks like a Twike.

Looks like a coffin.

Yes, I agree. Has that Darth Vader, don't mess with me look. Save gas or die!!!

It lacks the cutesy bug look.

Looks nice.

Just like the Messerschmidt Bubble Car of the '50s and '60s.

...Well they had to do something with all those spare cockpits :-)

Ericy, thanks for the link. The VW's engine + alternator weighs 83 lbs for for 8.5 hp. The Tesla's motor weighs 70 lbs for approx 30 times the power, ie 250 hp!

A 30th of Tesla's battery pack would weigh about 33 lbs. The VW's fuel weighs 10 lbs. Put this battery in the VW and you would have a 10 lb cost in weight so similar performance to the diesel VW with the Tesla's max range (250 miles). Or, Tesla performance with a much shorter range :)

Please note: no air conditioning or power windows. Unsure about radio & speakers. Surely a heater though. No 5 mph bumpers.

Single cylinder diesel (even a small one) should run fairly rough.

I would want one in white with reflective film of the canopy. And a decent crash safety rating.

Best Hopes,


Given my low annual mileage, I could not cost justify a new car even @ $15/gallon. Reducing vehicle miles traveled is important as well.

Yeah, I know. At this point it is a functional prototype that is apparently street legal in Germany. Some things - such as a radio wouldn't be hard to add I imagine. Others like AC would be real tough as the engine wouldn't have enough juice to drive the compressor.

I am seeing more interest in these types of vehicles though. From an aerodynamic point of view, a lot of the drag is in the rear of the car - having a really skinny back end helps a lot to reduce the turbulence and thus the drag. I have seen a couple of other outfits with ideas/plans for 3-wheelers with a single rear wheel in back that also essentially accomplishes the same thing - a 3-wheeler is technically a motorcycle and isn't subject to many of the same stringent requirements that a car is subject to.

To me it is only of academic interest anyways - I only buy fuel for my VW about once every 3 weeks, so direct fuel costs are something I barely notice. As it is, I am working myself into shape where I can commute to work by bicycle, and I can work from home if I wish, so I can cut down even further if I like...

I have bought electrical bikes for me and my wife, as an interim solution while we are waiting for the next generation of BEV:s to come to markets.


You want it in black, like in the sample photo. Black warms the air near the bodywork, making that air a touch thinner and reducing aero drag. Plus it's stealthy.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Rising gas prices do little to dent driving habits
"Report shows fuel consumption is actually higher now than last year"

I guess there's little demand destruction so far, at least in H-town...

How do you think it would be received if the fellow pictured was holding a sign reading "Honk if you think the gas is too low"?

The future of oil? "Soylent Black is peeeeoppplllle!!!!"

I've personally noticed recently that it is not a very popular thing to say "petrol is way too cheap". A peaceful demonstration in favour of higher oil price may provoke some serious police brutality, more than the average riot... :)


This post from Ace was at the bottom of yesterday's Drumbeat http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2467#comment-181158

Can it be set up as a separate post? I think a lot of people would have comments to make.

E-mail PG with your request. The editors do not necessarily read the DrumBeats.

Chevron, an oil company, sees no need for new refineries because of ethanol. Hmmm.

Due to rising material prices, an analyst believes no new refinery construction is in the offing. Hmmm.

In the past, according to the oil industry, 'greens' have been responsible for holding them back from building new refineries. Hmmm.

Anybody starting to notice a pattern? That is, how creative can the excuses get?

One of the most telling signals concerning peak oil in my eyes has been the lack of refinery building. Refineries get shipped around (one was shipped near where I live to India, for example), and you would need to talk to someone much more familiar with the oil industry about how to extract maximum profit from refinery operations in terms of influencing price.

But the lack of any major investment in new general refining capacity (obviously, refining facilities connected to specific fields are being built) would seem to be a signal that the oil companies don't see a future with increasing amounts of oil in it.

Follow the money is always a fine way to look at events - and when it comes to building new refineries, there just isn't that much money to follow.

Edit - I forgot to add that America seems to import twice as much gasoline now as ten years ago, according to a CNN item - the demand seems to exist, but none of the major oil companies seem interested. Of course, when ExxonMobil pockets a cool $10 billion profit in a quarter, I guess a few billion dollars a year revenue stream just isn't enough for them to get out of bed for, to paraphrase a super model.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending April 13, 2007

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 1.0 million barrels compared to the previous week. At 332.4 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories fell by 2.7 million barrels last week, and are below the lower end of the average range. Distillate fuel inventories declined by 0.8 million barrels, and are just below the upper end of the average range for this time of year. Heating oil inventories (high-sulfur) fell last week, while diesel fuel inventories (the sum of ultra-low and low-sulfur) inventories reported a slight drop. Propane/propylene inventories rose by 0.2 million barrels last week. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 0.3 million barrels last week, and are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year.

Is it just my memory or did the EIA (is that the right agency, I get lost with all the TLAs around here) not predict a vastly smaller drop in gasoline inventories this time last week?

The big drop was a surprise.

But refinery output was up as well, so oil prices actually fell on the news.

Oil falls as refineries come back online

Gasoline stocks expressed in days' supply are down from 23.4 days to 21.6 days, ie almost 8% year-on-year.

Dante over at PO.com is predicting gasoline shortages in the U.S. and Canada this year.

It looks like at some point this year we will find out what level of inventories result in outright regional shortages. It would probably take a drop in gasoline inventories to near 190 million barrels (7 million less) for spot shortages to start in some locations across the country, although the minimum may be a tad less – if people don’t start to panic.

Oil inventories in the area where the West Texas benchmark price is determined continue to build, so much so that storage may be nearing capacity. This is sending the wrong signal to the markets, and obscuring developing gasoline supply problems.

On a Days of Supply basis, US gasoline inventories are about one-third below the April levels we had in the early Nineties.

With refinery utilization up, and with gasoline inventories still falling, it would seem to me that we are going to have to bid the price of gasoline up if we want to continue consuming at this rate, or to put it another way, the price has to go up to allocate reduced supplies via higher prices.

One of the problems is that we are to some extent bidding against consumers in some exporting countries that pay a heavily subsidized price for gasoline.

Today's EIA report is positively psycho!
Since high prices increase supply, we should see prices dropping very soon, if not next week!
Forget that gas is far below average and continuing to fall despite increases in refining, and that refinery increases that do happen will drop crude stocks and still may not stop declines in gasoline supply (summer demand hasn't begun).


I really hate to think what shortages would do to the farmers for FOOD, and ethanol production.

Where is that white horse?

Scroll down

by James Howard Kunstler

[B]ut the American public remains ignorant of the tragic futility of this project, which depends on oil-and-gas "inputs" to keep the crop yields up and ultimately is a net energy "loser." As the world crosses into the uncharted territory of "The Long Emergency," Americans will find themselves having to choose between eating food and making fuel to keep the car engines running. ...

How is it that crude oil inventories dropped by one million, gasoline by 2.7 million, distillate by 0.8 million and diesel and heating inventories also fell and yet "Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 0.3 million barrels last week"?

Unfinished Oils stocks were up by 3.6 million. I think that is partially refined products.

This from Bloomberg

Russia Plans World's Longest Tunnel, a Link to Alaska (Update2)

By Yuriy Humber and Bradley Cook

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Russia plans to build the world's longest tunnel, a transport and pipeline link under the Bering Strait to Alaska, as part of a $65 billion project to supply the U.S. with oil, natural gas and electricity from Siberia.

The project, which Russia is coordinating with the U.S. and Canada, would take 10 to 15 years to complete, Viktor Razbegin, deputy head of industrial research at the Russian Economy Ministry, told reporters in Moscow today. State organizations and private companies in partnership would build and control the route, known as TKM-World Link, he said.

A 6,000-kilometer (3,700-mile) transport corridor from Siberia into the U.S. will feed into the tunnel, which at 64 miles will be more than twice as long as the underwater section of the Channel Tunnel between the U.K. and France, according to the plan. The tunnel would run in three sections to link the two islands in the Bering Strait between Russia and the U.S.

``This will be a business project, not a political one,'' Maxim Bystrov, deputy head of Russia's agency for special economic zones, said at the media briefing. Russian officials will formally present the plan to the U.S. and Canadian governments next week, Razbegin said.

The Bering Strait tunnel will cost $10 billion to $12 billion and the rest of the investment will be spent on the entire transport corridor, the plan projects.

Siberian Commodities

The tunnel would contain a high-speed railway, highway and pipelines, as well as power and fiber-optic cables, according to TKM-World Link. Investors in the so-called public-private partnership include OAO Russian Railways, national utility OAO Unified Energy System and pipeline operator OAO Transneft.

Russia and U.S. may each eventually take 25 percent stakes, with private investors and international finance agencies as other shareholders, Razbegin said. ``The governments will act as guarantors for private money,'' he said.

The link will save North America and Far East Russia $20 billion a year on electricity costs, said Vasily Zubakin, deputy chief executive officer of OAO Hydro OGK, Unified Energy's hydropower unit and a potential investor.

``It's cheaper to transport electricity east, and with our unique tidal resources, the potential is real,'' Zubakin said. Hydro OGK plans by 2020 to build the Tugurskaya and Pendzhinskaya tidal plants, each with capacity of as much as 10 gigawatts, in the Okhotsk Sea, close to Sakhalin Island.

Angora to Fort Nelson

Russian Railways is working on the rail route from Pravaya Lena, south of Yakutsk in the Sakha republic, to Uelen on the Bering Strait, a 3,500 kilometer stretch. The link could carry commodities from east Siberia and Sakha to North American export markets, said Artur Alexeyev, Sakha's vice president.

The two regions hold most of Russia's metal and mineral reserves ``and yet only 1.5 percent of it is developed due to lack of infrastructure and tough conditions,'' Alexeyev said.

Rail links in Russia and the U.S., where an almost 2,000 kilometer stretch from Angora to Fort Nelson would continue the route, would cost up to $15 billion, Razbegin said. With cargo traffic of as much as 100 million tons annually expected on the World Link, the investments in the rail section could be repaid in 20 years, he said.

``The transit link is that string on which all our industrial cluster projects could hang,'' Zubakin said.

Japan, China and Korea have expressed interest in the project, with Japanese companies offering to burrow the tunnel under the Bering Strait for $60 million a kilometer, half the price set down in the project, Razbegin said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Yuriy Humber in Moscow at yhumber@bloomberg.net ; Bradley Cook in Moscow at bcook7@bloomberg.net .

Last Updated: April 18, 2007 08:29 EDT

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Trademarks

I wondered when this would be announced. It has been my contention that the Missile Defense System was a way to get qualified construction crews to Alaska on the Government nickel. The election of the pro western Governor for Siberia several years ago cinched the deal. The equipment is in place and the personnel are in place; let the digging begin.

Bob's Earthmarines have the link to energy.

Letter sent to Tony Knowles (democrat challenger for Senate) on February 2, 2004.

Alaska is a pivotal state for all of the issues that face America. It is wonderful, but it is being transformed by exploitation of resources, natural and man made (taxes). The federal government is investing a large amount of money in transportation devices to insure the import of "lower 48" people, so that development can continue. The ferry system and the logging roads on National Lands will be converted to state roads and then developed. The increase in amenities will bring non-natives into the state, which will change the state politically and economically. It will be come the "last frontier" of consumption. Due to the set up of the Alaska Native Corporation, the natives will lose their land and heritage, because the non-natives were shrewd enough not to set up a Reservation system. It has also continued to lose the fishing industry to the fish farm consortium. Has any body eaten a farm-raised salmon? It is disgusting and it is fed corn.

The drive to change politics and increase consumption is also being funded by the Military. The quest to install the Missile Defense Shield is just a way for the Federal Government to subsidize the transfer of men and materials to Alaska for sub surface work. The Star Wars SDI is a stupid system (Think Faulty Patriot System) that is being used to finance labor and equipment transfers to Alaska for the Oil Industry. The goal is not ANWAR, the goal is a Bering Strait Pipeline to move oil out of Siberia. (Why did one of the richest oilmen in Russia spend 10 million to become Governor of Siberia?) The Korean’s and their supposed Missile capabilities are so convincing that Barbara Boxer is supporting the system. WAKE UP!!

I would find it hard to believe that the Democrats can win this unless they make a lot of deals that would compromise the “long term” future of the state as a natural wonderland.

If you want to exploit the environment, make money and see the last Grizzly, get on board because the US and Corporate America are going to finance one hell of a ride? But what happens after the gold rush?

Good Luck Mr. Knowles.

Given the "Law of Receding Horizons," what will the final cost of this project be? $650 billion? More?



Is that $650 billion before or after terrorists have bombed it (for the first time)?

If this project gets off the ground, it wil be the biggest Islamo-terrorist target in the world, bar none. A chance to hurt the "Great Satan" and pay the Russians back for Chechnya....

I'm not likely to be using the transport part of it..... ever.


In my interpretation of my own law, I'd say the chance it'll ever be completed is essentially zero, due to two different factors that will increasingly converge: money costs and energy costs. The importance of money costs will disappear within ten years, as total energy supply declines. And the world will be a very different place, with entirely different paradigms.

From a political point of view, I'd say the only reason these projects are even considered is because they offer oppportunities to drain huge amounts of money away from "ordinary" people, the last wealth they have left.

For the same reason, ethanol is developed and, more importantly, media, industry and politics have started to embrace "green" issues: they have seen people can be lured into paying for it, and fooled into thinking they're getting something in return.

To turn back to the Receding Horizons: the developers will bet on the fact that rising energy prices will make the project economically viable. But that runs into the foundations of the Law: project costs rise as energy prices rise.

Does anyone really think this will ever be built. $10 to $12 billion dollar?! the 3.5 mile "big dig" in Boston has already hit around $15 billion dollars and it's a fraction of the length/ depth of this tunnel and built in an area with better access to proper equipment and trained workers, not to mention the much harsher environment in the Bearing Straight.

A huge tunnel from nowhere to nowhere with big money behind it.

Probably just foolishness and it'll never be finished, but say, if you want to start a good rumor, how about the notion that this is a cover story for the giant underground habitat to be built for the ruling elite of the US and Russia to survive the upcoming SHTF. Might actually wind up used for that, in the long run.

Nuclear powered underground cities far from the madding crowds. What's not to like?

Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!

Dr Strangelove

cfm in Gray, ME

Bloomberg is running articles from The Onion?

This reminds me of Bakhtiari's comments on the new rail line across Europe. He classifieds that as a mega project that will never be completed.

Every project that is uncompleted is a waste. Iraq and Africom come to mind. But Cheney is too smart. Won't be that simple.

cfm in Gray, ME

I missed yesterday's discussion of the Chevy Volt plug-in car. I'd like to fill in some blanks in my understanding of the batteries in hybrids, PHEVs, and EVs like the Volt.

Lithium-ion batteries (proposed for these vehicles) wear out, based primarily on the number and depth of charge/discharge cycles. Secondary wear factors include temperature cycles and calendar age.

The cost, in terms of "wear and tear", of a deep charge/discharge cycle, is substantially more than the value of the energy stored. Therefore, any talk of cost per mile must consider this wear, or "battery depreciation" in addition to the cost paid to your power company for the recharge.

This is why it's a terrible idea to hook cars to the grid to supply power at peak demand times. Any profit you could make by buying cheap off-peak energy and selling it at retail would be overwhelmed by your "overhead expense" of battery depreciation.

I'd like to have numbers to put on this. For example, "it costs $1.00 in battery depreciation (wear and tear) to store and use just 20 cents worth of electric energy." Anybody have info on this?

Of course the cost per mile of any car, gas or electric, must include depreciation, of mechanical and electrical components. But I fear the claims of 50 cents/gallon equivalence for electric cars might need some adjustment for battery wear.

I've seen between 300-20000 cycles quoted for Li-Ion batteries, but I suspect 10000+ will (need to) be achieved for electric vehicle applications. More worryingly, Li-Ion battery capacities decay with age regardless of use, this is why you should not buy a spare battery for your phone, but should just buy a new one when the current battery wears out.

I can't offer more solid figures, but the lifetime of the battery will probably depend on how it's used in any particular application. Higher powered applications will result in a shorter lifespan.

Do you know how a conventional leadbattery holds in lifetime. I have bought a battery to propel an electric outboardmotor for my boat. Does it hold longer if you do not use it so often?

Lead Acid battery lifetime is primarily determined by the number of charging and discharging cycles, assuming that you take good care of it otherwise. Here is a good guide to longer battery life.

I assume you bought a "deep cycle" battery and not a regular engine cranking one?




Good points, Bob G. Tesla claim 1 cent/ mile running costs. But, IIRC, the battery is warranted for 100k miles and replacement cost is $10 - $20k. So, cost per mile ranges from $0.21 to $0.31 when adding the battery 'depreciation' in.

Regarding the financial cost of EVs… another factor that I have never seen addressed is:

What about the taxation on the electricity used to recharge the batteries? Currently governments apply special taxes to petrol & diesel to (supposedly exclusively ) cover the costs of road infrastructure maintenance etc.

This is especially true in Europe… where the price of petrol is ~ $6.50 US gall (In UK they even “tax the tax”….VAT is levied on the petrol duty!!!)

Do we really imagine that governments are going to forego this revenue in an EV world…

One of the expected developments as peak oil hits and we move into decline is the progressive removal of petrol consumption taxes. Let's face it, if you are the UK, the easiest route to keeping the wheels turning, the economy running and the elections in your favour is to reduce petrol taxation in line with rising oil prices. That way you can cushion somewhat the transision to an oil poor economy. If you don't the memory of the fuel protests will be mild relative to the general groundswell of anger.

Not sure the treasury have quite woken up to that, but its an expected behaviour none the less (note the scrapping of the fuel escalator). My guess is taxation will transition to a CO2 carbon trading approach, and that government spend will have to fall in line with a failing economy. I'd expect this to happen anyway before 2010.

The US, of course, by having such low tax on fuel in the first place has no scope to reduce the impact of the $200 barrel.

Except that global warming seems a larger concern than peak oil - especially in Europe. And the fact that governments rarely give up any source of revenue.

That's why I guessed it would move to a personal/business carbon trading approach. You get X units of carbon allowance, then have to buy more if you need them. Its already half way to a tax, its not difficult to see how they could go the whole way and it makes the fuel tax>carbon tax/trading an easier transition.

If controlling the mint is like printing money, controlling the creation of carbon credits is very similar.

Upshot is you can tax CO2 producing electricity production AND petrol consumption, and still look like the good guy for doing it.

global warming seems a larger concern than peak oil - especially in Europe

Globally, I would say. Nobody's predicting coal less than today's figure by 2050. ASPO has oil and gas down 40%, ie less than 1% per year by 2050. But we need to reduce CO2 by 80% by 2050, approx 2% per year. Hence fossil fuel reduction to prevent runaway global warming needs to happen faster than the fossil fuel supply losses. Peak oil is a non-issue (given C2L).

The UK government are very keen on road pricing - I wonder why. The type of fuel used won't be relevant then, as you pay by the mile.

Currently governments apply special taxes to petrol & diesel to (supposedly exclusively ) cover the costs of road infrastructure maintenance etc.

I always thought that it was to "internalize the externalities". Gas production and use have many costs (ecological, political, even technological) that are not reflected in the market price. So the government puts a tax on it that reflects these costs.

One of the most important intended effects of this tax is to discourage the use of gas. Truckers in Spain protested the recent rise of gas prices, asking the government to lower the gas tax. The economy minister responded, very judiciously, that if something had to be done was to raise the gas tax, to get people to use other means of transport, both of people and of goods.

The Airing of "The Green"

Robert Redford chats about the new green programming on the Sundance Channel.

Anybody see this last night? I don't get Sundance, and am curious what folks thought both of "Crude Awakening", The Green's first feature, and of how it was framed by Sundance.

I saw it...none of the content was new (to me) but the visualizations were scary and effective. If you can corral your family and friends in front of the tv, this would be something to wake them up with. Really liked the comments of Matt Savinar, sitting with his emergency stores of water in the background (awesome use of "framing").

Articles of Impeachment To Be Filed On Cheney

Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to impeach the president, vice president and "all civil Officers of the United States" for "treason, bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

In light of the mass killings at Virginia Tech Monday, Kucinich's impeachment plans have been put on hold. There will be no action this week, they say.

But Kucinich shouldn't hold his breath on getting anywhere with his impeachment plan. "We'll see a Kucinich Administration before we'll see a Cheney impeachment," quipped one Democratic aide.

April 17, 2007

Dear Colleague:

This week I intend to introduce Articles of Impeachment with respect to the conduct of Vice President Cheney. Please have your staff contact my office . . . if you would like to receive a confidential copy of the document prior to its introduction in the House.



Dennis J. Kucinich

Member of Congress

Hi americans

Because english is not my native language, i would like to have some help.
I have read in the threads sometimes, the short LOL.
Can you tell me what it stands for??


Thanks, appears to be a not so good new internet language.


Some help

LOL = Laughing out loud
LMAO = Laughing My Ass Off
LMAOROTF = Laughing My Ass Off Rolling on the Floor


AFAIK - As far as I know
WTSHTF = When the Sh-it hits the fan (the dash is to get through any school/library filtering software)
TEOTWAWKI = The end of the world as we know it
ASAP = As soon as possible

Thanks, i had also problems with the shorts you listed there.


For all these and much more, 4.159.000 acronyms and abbreviations at last count, you can always turn to:


The Oil Drum's Acronym Guide includes these and more importantly, plenty of energy industry acronyms used on this site.


Robert Hirsch has authored an article, Peaking of World Oil Production: Recent Forecasts in the April edition of World Oil magazine.

In the article Hirsch states:

It is noteworthy that a number of industry insiders have now expressed the view that the era of easy, low-cost oil is past. This, in itself, heralds a fundamental change in the world oil outlook.

He also discusses the difficulties associated with Peak Oil mitigation and concludes:

There will be no quick fixes. Even crash programs will require more than a decade to yield substantial relief. It is our sincere hope that readers will look beyond the conflicting forecasts and focus on the consequences of underestimating the enormity of the peak oil problem. Effective mitigation means taking decisive action well before the problem is obvious.

Interesting stuff. He's got an overview of peak oil forecasts. The EIA and CERA are more optimistic than ever.

Does Anyone Really Care About Global Warming

I watched a documentary the other day called “The Great Global Warming Swindle” from the BBC. The basic premise of the documentary was to show that carbon…

Leanan… it is great picking up all kinds of stories related to PO/GW… but unfortunately it is easy to pick up the erroneous along with the accurate.

We discussed this documentary several weeks ago when it first aired.

This documentary was not “from the BBC” but aired on Channel 4 in UK… a whole different ball game. The programme has been thoroughly debunked by George Monbiot amongst others…

This is a familiar story to those who have followed the career of the director, Martin Durkin. In 1998 the Independent Television Commission found that, when making a similar series, he had “misled” his interviewees about “the content and purpose of the programmes”. Their views had been “distorted through selective editing”(18). Channel 4 had to make a prime-time apology.


If you read the article...it did not support the documentary.

Yes, Leanan...

I did read the whole thing but the main reason he did not support the documentary seems to be not because of misrepresentation of the facts but because he felt that it was that it was being promoted by “coal interests”…

My point however (other than the incorrect reference to the BBC) was regarding the use of data… particularly where he states in his opening paragraph:

The science of the documentary seemed sound and I would be hard pressed to argue against the data without more study. Much of what they said I was already aware of. They also showed how Al Gore had misused data to push a political agenda...

When in fact it was the programme itself that had used data that has already been debunked… as Monbiot states:

The problem with “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, which caused a sensation when it was broadcast on Channel 4 last week, is that to make its case it relies not on future visionaries, but on people whose findings have already been proved wrong…

When in fact it was the programme itself that had used data that has already been debunked…

I think his point was that the average person would have no way of knowing who was right. And he's correct.

The average person has no way of knowing who is right when a Holocaust denialist presents their case. That any sufficiently involved claim sounds plausible to the ignorant is no excuse. The article makes a POS hatchet piece seem like reasonable science. The bigger story is that the producers of this POS have the gall to threaten Carl Wunsch with legal action for saying he was misrepresented and quoted out of context.

New article posted by Samsam Bakhtiari


He is calling Peak Oil as past, in Summer 2006, the defining event of the 21st Century

Great article. His discussion of "Roots" has started me thinking about what outcomes may happen in America, compared to other industrial nations...



Pretty obvious,

We already have the robber barons but it will be the Wild West for all. Pretty much there now.

Your link brought me to his home site (in hard to read white on grey) but not the specific document. Could you post a direct link ?



Here ya go:


His site is, IMVHO, very poorly designed. Complexity run amok!

Hello TODers,

I think we need to start keeping an easy to find list of those calling the Peak Now [maybe a small box on the right?]:

Deffeyes Group on TOD [July 2005 to now]: WT, Darwinian, Ace.

SS? F_F? Euan? R-squared? HO? Dave Cohen? other TopTODers? [I will let these gentlemen respond as to how they wish to be categorized].

Deffeyes, of course, then T. Boone Pickens, Matt Simmons, now Samsam Bakhtiari,--what other visible public media people or politicians am I forgeting to include?

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hi Bob,

Yes, I would like to see something like this, too.

The results from Bakhtiari's WOCAP model, for me, makes the idea of Peak Oil now all that more real. Couple that with other calls for Peak (Deffeyes, Simmons, etc.), import-land, the current supply signals, and then add in the sobering realities of even a crash mitigation program (a la Hirsch), I'd say things aren't looking so hot right now. :o(

Unless your in Phoenix--87F today. Guess that's a cold snap for you guys. ;o)



IHS Launches First Detailed Report on Iraq’s Oil Reserves and Production Potential Since Start of Iraq Conflict

IHS Inc., a global provider of critical technical information and consulting services, today announced the upcoming launch of the Iraq Atlas, the first and only detailed analysis of oil reserves, production and development opportunities developed since the start of the Iraq conflict.

The Iraq Atlas, which will be available from IHS on May 9, is a unique overview of all known prospects and fields in Iraq, and estimates oil reserves at up to 116 billion barrels, ranking the country number three in the world. The Iraq Atlas estimates that there could potentially be another 100 billion barrels of oil in the Western Desert of Iraq.

The Iraq Atlas provides the highest and most accurate level of detail available to date of reserves field by field. A total of 435 undrilled prospects and non-commercial discoveries, and 81 producing fields and commercial discoveries are included. Reservoirs have been re-evaluated using new information and all field reserves and production numbers have been reassessed and validated.

Hello Leanan,

I didn't read anywhere in the PR text that it would be free to the public--Damn! I really hope R-squared asks my question at his upcoming API Q&A session.

Oh well, at least it gives the Peak Now group an easy out if we are eventually proven wrong-- no access to the critical data as Simmons has warned about.

Besides, I don't think they could ramp up Iraq fast enough to offset the ongoing depletion in the rest of the world. Time will tell.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Iraq may hold twice as much oil

Iraq may hold twice as much oil
By Ed Crooks in London

Published: April 18 2007 20:24 | Last updated: April 18 2007 20:24

Iraq could hold almost twice as much oil in its reserves as had been thought, according to the most comprehensive independent study of its resources since the US-led invasion in 2003.

The potential presence of a further 100bn barrels in the western desert highlights the opportunity for Iraq to be one of the world’s biggest oil suppliers, and its attractions for international oil companies – if the conflict in the country can be resolved.

If confirmed, it would raise Iraq from the world’s third largest source of oil reserves with 116bn barrels to second place, behind Saudi Arabia and overtaking Iran.

The study from IHS, a consultancy, also estimates that Iraq’s production could be increased from its current rate of less than 2m barrels a day to 4m b/d within five years, if international investment begins to flow.

That would put Iraq in the top five oil-producing countries in the world, at current rates.

The IHS study is based on data collected in Iraq both before and after the invasion, showing the oilfields’ reserves and production history.

Its estimate is based on analysis of geological surveys.

Production costs in Iraq are low, particularly compared to the more complex offshore developments.

IHS estimates that they are less than $2 a barrel.

But the development of the industry depends on an improvement in the security environment, which remains very difficult.

At least 170 people were killed on Wednesday in five co-ordinated car bomb attacks in Shia districts of Baghdad, the deadliest attacks the city has seen since US and Iraqi forces launched a joint security crackdown in February. The attacks came hours after Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister, claimed that Iraqi forces would be in a position to take over primary responsibility for security in all of Iraq’s 18 provinces by the end of the year.

Ron Mobed of IHS said: “Obviously the security situation is very bad, but when you look at the sub-surface opportunity, there isn’t anywhere else like this. Geologically, it’s right up there, a gold star opportunity.”

Of Iraq’s 78 oilfields identified as commercial by the government, only 27 are currently producing. A further 25 are not yet developed but close to production, and 26 are not yet developed and far from production.

Iraq’s government has estimated that it would need $20bn-$25bn of investment from foreign companies to get production up to its full potential.

Production methods have advanced greatly in the past two decades, and methods such as horizontal drilling have yet to be deployed in Iraq. The introduction of modern technology by foreign companies has the potential to deliver steep increases in oil recovery.

Almost all the leading international oil companies and many smaller ones have expressed an interest in working in Iraq.

So far the only new contracts for developments by foreign companies are the five signed by the Kurdistan regional government in the relatively peaceful north of Iraq.

Iraq’s cabinet plans to present its proposed oil law to parliament next week, following a meeting Wednesday of political leaders and experts in Dubai. But many of the key details have yet to be resolved.

Oil production in parts of the western desert region that are attached to Sunni Arab-majority provinces could help resolve some of the differences between Iraq’s sectarian political blocs.

The Sunni have until now been strongly hostile to the federalism espoused by most Kurds and some Shia, arguing that it would deprive their less well-resourced heartland in the centre of the country of resources.

Additional reporting Steve Negus, Iraq correspondent

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007

Comments on the Export Land Model
About a year ago, WestTexas introduced his Export Land model. It describes how falling oil production combined with increasing consumption in oil exporting countries will lead to a contraction in oil available for export, with the exportable oil contracting faster than production. I think this Export Land model is generally correct and was a great contribution to the discussion here at TOD. Kebab produced a simplistic graph to illustrate the model:

However, I think some aspects of how this will play out may develop a bit differently from what we are thinking, and wanted to comment on it. Let’s use Saudi Arabia as our example Export Land country

1. 8.5 mbpd average crude oil production in 2007
2. 5% annual decrease in production
3. 2.5% annual increase in internal consumption
4. 25% per year increase in cost of crude oil. Although this seems a bit steep, it is in fact about the level seen from April 2004 to April 2007, and is probably realistic given the inelastic nature of demand for oil.

Year Production Consumption Exports Price Revenue
2007 8.50 2.00 6.50 65.00 422.50
2008 8.08 2.05 6.03 81.25 489.53
2009 7.67 2.10 5.57 101.56 565.70
2010 7.29 2.15 5.13 126.95 651.77
2011 6.92 2.21 4.72 158.69 748.34
2012 6.58 2.26 4.31 198.36 855.81
2013 6.25 2.32 3.93 247.96 974.19
2014 5.94 2.38 3.56 309.94 1102.93
2015 5.64 2.44 3.20 387.43 1240.66
2016 5.36 2.50 2.86 484.29 1384.77
2017 5.09 2.56 2.53 605.36 1531.01
2018 4.83 2.62 2.21 756.70 1672.78

I think for a few years this may be a realistic projection. The exports fall faster than production, in keeping with what we already know from the Export Land model. Also look at the revenue column – it increases every year. I think the first conclusion to draw here is that even in an environment of declining oil production, a country like Saudi Arabia will still be rolling in the money for some time to come. However, I question whether oil will ever get to $756 in inflation-adjusted dollars. Too many things are likely to break down before then, so extrapolating a trend like this more than just a few years into the future may not be a valid thing to do.

Now let’s run the model again assuming an 8% annual decline in production and a 5% annual increase in consumption, a scenario that may be possible based on recent posts here on TOD:

Year Production Consumption Exports Price Revenue
2007 8.50 2.00 6.50 65.00 422.50
2008 7.82 2.10 5.72 81.25 464.75
2009 7.19 2.21 4.99 101.56 506.74
2010 6.62 2.32 4.30 126.95 546.36
2011 6.09 2.43 3.66 158.69 580.55
2012 5.60 2.55 3.05 198.36 604.94
2013 5.15 2.68 2.47 247.96 613.40
2014 4.74 2.81 1.93 309.94 597.42
2015 4.36 2.95 1.41 387.43 545.29
2016 4.01 3.10 0.91 484.29 441.05
2017 3.69 3.26 0.43 605.36 263.04
2018 3.40 3.42 -0.02 756.70 -17.98

In this scenario, Saudi Arabian oil revenue increases until 2013, then rolls over and starts to decrease. By 2018, they become a net importer.

Now this scenario is not likely to happen, I think, and here is where some modification to the Export Land model may be in order. When the Saudi revenues start to decrease, the powers that be in that country won’t like it. Eventually, they will begin to constrain their own consumption, through price or rationing, so that they can maintain at least a portion of that lucrative revenue stream. This did not happen when the U.S. peaked in 1970, nor has it happened recently in the UK due to North Sea oil peaking. However, those peaks occurred on the upslope of global world oil production, when the US and UK could still easily buy oil elsewhere. In a future Peak Oil world, who will export oil to Saudi Arabia?

I think what is likely to happen is that the last major oil exporters, like Saudi Arabia, will begin to constrain their internal consumption so that they can make at least some money exporting an increasingly valuable commodity. It’s also likely that external shocks (above-ground events) will alter the smooth appearance of this model. Any thoughts?

Pretty good work.

Model #1 indicates a long term decline rate of 9.4% per year in net exports over a 10 year period. Model #2 indicates a 27% decline rate per year in net exports over a 10 year period.

Note that based on first quarter production numbers, I estimate that Saudi crude oil exports are currently declining at over 20% per year.

Also a reminder--this is the #1 net oil exporter in the world, and it is about 60% to 65% depleted, based on HL.

The #2 net oil exporter in the world, Russia, is about 90% depleted based on HL (at least mature basins).

The #3 net oil exporter (as of 2005), Norway, is 70% depleted.

I think that we will see two phases in Export Land.

Phase One: cash flow from the sale of oil exports is increasing, even as net oil exports fall (because of rising oil prices), resulting in the positive feedback loop, which causes domestic consumption to increase even faster.

Phase Two: cash flow from the sale of exports starts declining, because higher oil prices can't make up for the decline in net oil exports.

When I first ran the Export Land model in January, 2006 in combination with the HL plots for Saudi Arabia, Russia and Norway, the implications scared the crap out of me, and nothing I have seen since then has given me any reason to change my opinion.

Here in the US we are blissfully driving at full speed toward the cliff.

Well, no one seems to be worried. The Dow Jones hit a new record high today.

Sometimes I think that if Wall Street knew the world was going to end on Friday, they wouldn't sell until Thursday.

The Dow Jones hit a new record high today.

No, it did not.

Please read this excellent article.
You'll never look at the Dow the same way:


I think I found the Law of Receding Horizons as applied in economics.

Oh my, I shouldn't have looked at that link. *head pops*

I suppose maybe I should just pull all of my money out of the market and buy... stuff. lol.

Good article. It would be interesting to see a longer timeframe - perhaps going back 30 or 40 years using similar comparisons.

"You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created."
Albert Einstein

I have begun wondering what will happen first in Dallas (and in many other areas around the country).

Will the Dallas Morning News, et al report on declining world crude oil production, led by the declines in Saudi Arabia and Mexico, or will we have to see examples of gasoline stations running dry, before they report on declining crude oil production?

There is a meeting of the Greater Dallas Planning Council tomorrow morning to debate whether a multi-hundred million dollar road program should go within the Trinity River floodplain or above it along the levees.

My guess -- the Metroplex will need gas stations to run dry first. PO is simply orthogonal to way most of the populace thinks. Of course, this is true all over the country not just in Big D.

Regarding the Trinity River Project, I never understood the need for blowing a billion on a "signature" bridge and some flood protection for the 'hood.

The cruel truth is that south Dallas is a crime-ridden dump: a bridge and some levees won't change that sad fact. It may, however, allow the criminals to get in & out faster ...

My guess is that a DART line (or 2) up & down 35 would add more value for far less money e.g., the "future extensions" up through Carrollton and out to DFW that are on the DART website.

Regarding stock markets, I once heard a phrase that for them, "the long term is this afternoon". You would need to look to other places than the Dow Jones and the FT100 for straws in the wind. I think they will not respond until well after TSHTF, maybe not until the smell pervades everyone's nostrils.

Maybe in the UK, property markets will soon follow the USA. Last month, after about a year of increases of about 1% a month, property prices fell fractionally. Within the last year, we have seen lenders offer mortgages of 5 times salary. Now, as inflation increases - driven mainly by energy and mortgage costs - an increase in lending rate is seen as inevitable next month, with 2-3 more increases likely before end of year. Within 12 months things could be like the US, with "sub-prime" borrowers defaulting and a big percentage behind with payments just as UK moves from being a marginal to a major oil importer. Oil price shocks as recently predicted by ace, could start doing some serious damage.

I just wrote a hazy "what if" about One Possible Scenario based on Baktiari's decline rates and other information that is available. I am NOT suggesting things will occur exactly like this but this is more of a taste of what's to come, if peak C&C was truly May 2005. And heck, I am even optimistically assuming we won't have any more resource wars in there. ;)

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett


After all the biopsy work that's been performed by the specialists, there comes a time for the gp doc to offer a more mundane prognosis for the patient. Overall, and with your caveats in mind, well done.

A well-detailed and thought-out scenario. Nicely limited, which makes it more comprehensible, and also demonstrates the dramatic potential for change simply from tightening oil supply without other big factors complicating things.

The potential for something like WW III always seems to rear its ugly head... That seems to be one of the biggest of the big unknowns, doesn't it?



What skills, attitudes and knowledge do we teach our children so they can be most helpful in 30 years? Yes, it does seem optimistic.

Homer-Dixon makes the point that nothing is going to happen until there is enough pain. But that plans should be developed by those who can so that there ARE alternatives open. Hari Seldon would agree, I think.

cfm in Gray, ME

Your scenario may be too optimistic or pessimistic, I can't say, but I showed it to the family to help them start thinking about possible futures, which is all to the good. Nicely done. Thanks.

Hi Grey,

Thanks. And I'm looking forward to the "positive mitigations" (best case) scenario as well. (Really.)

One Q: When you talk about ag land not being available for purchase at any price, could you possibly explain further? (It might be obvious - I'd just like to make sure I understand.)

What would the reasons for this be? Have "the wealthy" (by this time) purchased all ag land? The Fed? Others?

Also, wondering if you expect the workings of "property rights" to still be in place at this point? Do you expect them to break down at all? Wondering...about the relevance of owning land.

Also, wondering how property tax enters into it, and how people who own - even ag land = would be able to hang onto it.

And what will the agri-corpos do, do you suppose?

"Property rights", "Property tax", ...

Someone who thought a great deal about this:

Isn't this the ultimate problem, that "The world was made for man, and man was made to rule it." (pg. 72)

If man owns and stewards over Earth, then doesn't it follow that man must make rules on how to divvy out the parcels? Since new-comers to "the game" that didn't get a parcel must instead depend upon the rules of a given owner, then doesn't it follow that they must compensate the "owner" for depending upon another's "property"? What happens when one parcel produces more than another over time, or in general? Wouldn't it be subjective, as to how to value a parcel?

This game is called "the market-state".

Pg 72 quote from "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn (New York, Bantam, 1995)

Greyzone -

Your scenario was interesting, but you lost me when we reached 2010 and everything suddenly fell apart. That only works if you assume the USA has the social resilience of fairy floss. People will still be in denial in 2010. It takes years for people to adjust to reality - panic can't set in that early regardless of the real world facts.

You should allow for the fact that people will still believe we are about to turn the corner in 2015...because that's what they'll be hearing on TV and in church on Sunday.

If we are to believe in things we cannot see or touch, how do we tell the true belief from the false belief?

The ability of the federal government to govern is dependent on two things - military force to back up their decisions and fiat money to make the system work. If the fiat money collapses or the military refuses to play, then the federal government doesn't mean anything any more. Just because the feds are gone doesn't mean total collapse right then and there. Certainly regional governments would form and try to stabilize things. Some will fail. Some may succeed. The failures lead to further collapse and further pressures even on those that succeed.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

How about this for a perspective on the Dow record heights?

While inflation drives the stock exchange performance numbers, as Zimbabwe shows, according to the THE DOW IS CRASHING, those Dow numbers should have been over 18.000 in order to just stay flat and keep up with US inflation numbers (1982-2007). The real ones, not the fake government figures. The economy is in a much worse state than we wish to recognize.

The Dow heights show what the official numbers don't: inflation is rampant.

Zimbabwe: Best Performing Stock Market in 2007

CNBC and other stock market tabloids are notorious for making simplistic linkages between the stock market and gross domestic product (GDP). They tell us that any event that stimulates GDP growth inevitably drives stock prices up, and any event that hurts GDP growth pushes stocks down.

Since the largest share of GDP is consumption, consumer demand becomes the all-important figure driving growth. When the consumer gets too excited, the Fed must step in to cool them down with interest-rate hikes. When the consumer isn't spending, Fed interest-rate cuts stimulate demand.

The tragedy currently occurring in Zimbabwe completely contradicts this sort of logic. Zimbabwe is in the middle of an economic disintegration, with GDP declining for the seventh consecutive year, half what it was in 2000. Ever since President Mugabe's disastrous land-reform campaign (an entire article in itself), the country's farming, tourism, and gold sectors have collapsed. Unemployment is said to be near 80%.

Yet something odd is happening.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (the ZSE) is the best performing stock exchange in the world, the key Zimbabwe Industrials Index up some 595% since the beginning of the year and 12,000% over twelve months. This jump in share prices is far in excess of increases in consumer prices. While the country is crumbling, the Zimbabwean share speculator is keeping up much better than the typical Zimbabwean on the street.

Then it is possible, that Russia will stop exporting oil sometimes in the not so distant future, in order to save their oil for own strategic needs in the future. They have nuclear arms, so no other country can force, or threaten them to sell their oil, and they have recently paid off all of their debts.

Weaker oilproducers like middle East nations can be forced by for example US military might to continue with oilexports.

So the export land situation can rapidly worsen when PO is obvious to everybody.

EDIT: If US military controls the Middle East oilfields, and Russia stops its exports. Who gets the oil???

It strikes me that Africa is an easier target for US military force than the Middle East.

Perhaps that's one reason why the US military is actively planning & constructing bases, ports, etc. in Africa.

I'm sure it's just "contingency planning"... (wink, nod)

I glad that almost all of my extended family is now out of the military. Military service is very honorable and there are times when miliary "action" is needed (IMO), but fighting over oil is not my family's style.

ever notice how fast Homeland security and TSA came into effect after 9/11? Contingency planning! It had been drawn up before just waiting for the opportune time to implement!

sometimes you just never know!

There are many instances of countries rolling through peak, none so far of restricting internal consumption/reducing subsidies. EG indonesia, now an importer still has their subsidies in place, busting the budget, and all attempts to reduce subsidies lead to riots. So, reducing sa subsidies could well bring down the gov.

However, I suggest modifying the spread sheet to show production decline stabilizing as their stated new projects come on line... imo they will decline to 8mb/d end 07, then produce at 8+Mb/d for a few years. For price increases, Groppe thinks there is substantial available demand destruction from third world still burning oil for electrical power, eg senegal, covered here recently, with 60/b sufficient to overcome transport problems and switch substantial oil to cheaper ng. imo price will rise much slower than you assume, probably 6-12%/y thru 2010, or at least until we are clearly off the plateau.

IMO the plateau will hold for some time, prices will remain moderate, and doomers are premature at best. Even the sub prime crisis, with more problems coming, will not lead to housing meltdown.

Understand you were only talking about modifying not throwing out, but a couple thoughts anyway

'For price increases, Groppe thinks there is substantial available demand destruction from third world still burning oil for electrical power"

Your inclusion of demand destructon in the third world and increasing NG for the short term along with new projects seems reasonable to offset decline for a few years. Leaving net export for a minuet. But then what about overall demand. I mean if we stabilize on an output plateau doesn't that necessarily mean keeping high gear population/consumption (U.S., China) in the drivers seat against a flat output? And then..

"So, reducing sa subsidies could well bring down the gov."

If the subsidies cut into the bottom line but they can't be reduced too much w/o bringing down TPTB in SA then it seems they can cut exports further in order to raise prices thus sustaining revenue. Stay just ahead of the decline rate. Being the #1 exporter in the world and with FSU having it's own export/domestic demand issues couldn't they make that stick?

Seems like the top exporters are still holding most of the cards and our 'Royal Flush' as well.

This model looks correct until the point where you have zero exports (2018), which implies zero gov't revenue, which just cannot happen. Somewhere along the way the $750 oil price(for exports) will be in competition with the $10 internal oil price (for domestic gasoline consuption). IMO, this is where the simplicity of the export land model breaks down.

That said, exports will still decline faster than production.

The Truth About Cars has an editorial about ethanol. Nothing we haven't all agreed upon over here, but might be worth a look. They just posted, but there will be plenty of comments on their website soon that might be worth a discussion / re-education.


By 2030, the world will still be grasping for fossil fuels to meet its power demands.

It will be interesting to see the effects higher natural gas and electricity prices on home prices within the next several years.

The average floor area in a newly buld home last year reach an all-time high of 2,434 square feet ...


Peak square footage now? The grid is gonna get hammered with demand as these behemouths turn away from FFs. A PUD manager told me they see it already. Our power's still cheap so values may hold for awhile.
Next we'll need PHEV's. When the natural gas or heating oil goes short everyone will crank up the heat pumps and space heaters too. All gridpower. (and RE)
Yeah I think you're right. Many will get subdivided or sold. Someone suggested neighborhood by neighborhood triage. You can probably predict where some of WT's Formerly Well Off residences will be.

I think you just pushed me into that solar system I've been considering.

Words spreading.

FOX News even!!

Study: 'Peak Oil' Will Be Reached by 2018


This report really has legs right now for some reason.

I think Bill O'Reily needs to start talking PO continuously on his show for it to have legs. We will see.

Or he could shut up to improve his ratings.

Too bad...only between 9 and 13 years off (on the wrong side, C+C or Total Liquids).

But at least the people that listened will understand what an Iceberg is, before it hits them.

"Oh yeah, I heard about that...but, NOW...but,I thought...what do you mean there isn't enough lifeboats...ahh,crap"

Peakoilers are just blind apparently (according to Michael Lynch):

Lynch thinks that the oil peak lies farther into the future, partially because there's likely to be a lot of oil in as-yet undiscovered smaller fields.

"You don't go looking for them until you run out of the giant fields," Lynch said in a telephone interview.

Robelius [predicting peak], and others like him, he said, suffer from a "perceptual problem — 'if I don't see it, it must not be there.

Wow, FOX News! This really is remarkable. Something tells me the genie isn't going back in the bottle very well anymore!

Hello TODers,

Full disclosure: I have never owned a cellphone.

If it is eventually proven beyond a doubt that cellphones and cell towers, and other RF & microwave clutter is responsible for Bee CCD: do you think people will willingly give up cellphones, Blackberries, and computer Wi-FI? Or are they now addicted and damn the environmental cost?

Any guesses as to how many millions of dollars are being funded by the cellphone mfgs to delay, disprove, or cast doubt on these research efforts? It will be interesting to read what the inevitable 'whistleblowers' will reveal in the months ahead. Or will the cellphone industry be the first to commit hiri-kiri to save the humble little bumblebee?

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

I don't see how people could give up their cell phones. We are utterly dependent on them now.

For 90% of the people, it would be a return to the dark ages.

Rather than over-generalize, I think individuals will have to choose whether to cut back on some or all of their voluntary utilities: cell phones, cableTV, DSL, etc. just to make the mortgage/rent and put food on the table. Trump will keep them all, and his helicopters, while others will live more like the Kramdens.

I gave up my cell phone after three or four years of ever-increasing bills. I lived without one for several years and now have a disposable that I almost never turn on, but keep handy for business travel. (I learned, to my sorrow, that people assume they can cancel meetings up to the last minute and blame arriving attendees for not having a cell.)

I don't have a cellphone myself. I've found that the longer people have a cellphone, the worse they are at planning. It's the JIT mindset I suppose. IF you can actually get someone to make a plan, they usually wind up changing it last minute anyway.

No, but they will support genetic modification of honey bees to resist high frequency RFI.

Best ?? Hopes,


How do we know that a complete shut down of the Cell phone industry is required?

Keep in mind Cellphones have been in use now for quite awhile, and this problem with bees is fairly new.

In fact if anything from a purely anecdoctal view point at this moment I'd say the arrival of this disorder coincides with the introduction of wide spread coverage using tighter placement of towers throughout the entirety of the US.

Given that bees are probably less needed in City areas, it might make sense to simply restrict the construction Cell phone towers in those areas that meet certain levels of population density, and/or certain zoning areas. This would allow cell phones to be used by the bulk of the population, and it would clear out the countryside of those towers and airwave traffic that is the potential culprit.

Right now if you look at coverage maps for most of the major carriers, the entire country is covered. This level of coverage is something that has really only happened in the last 5 years.

I worked for AT&T for a time and got to see the coverage maps including those that were built for Analog,1st generation Digital, and GSM as well as future coverage areas that were being built in the course of the next 3 years which was back in 2003/2004. To projected coverage areas at that time had only portions of the desert SW left open. There wasn't a point left in the 48 states that didn't have a tower somewhere covering it.

Personally an experiment I think that would be well worth performing is to take an area we know to be hard hit by this disorder and shut down the Cell phone grid in that area for a period of several years and see the effect on the bee populations. Lets see if the theorized causality exists or not.

Your assumption is invalid. Bees are very necessary even in cities if you are going to maintain any greenspace at all.

However testing your theory is not practical. We've already had 70% east coast and 60% west coast CCD. We don't have several years to test your theory. If we keep losing 60% of the remaining bee population per year in only 2 years we are in dangerous shape, almost to an extinction situation, and we've already had one year of CCD. Do you propose letting 99% of the US lose its bee population along with the resulting massive crop loss in order to test this?

Sometimes you have to act on the best information available. Hey! I know! There's a fire in that guy's house! Let's see if it burns it down before we call the fire department!

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

However testing your theory is not practical.

So is shutting down the Cell Phone industry on a whim. The evidence is inconclusive at this point. This is further puntuated by the fact that this is an American issue at this point and not a world wide finding. Other countries with comprehensive cell phone coverage are not seeing this problem, or at least no reports of such exist to my knowledge.

Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, New Zealand, major portions of Europe, are using the same/similar technology as us and are not having issues currently.

At this point in time, it is purely a leap of faith to conclude that Cell Phones are responsible for CCD.

Hence why I say its time we quickly start running experiments in various area of the country that have been heavily impacted by this syndrome in order to find the causality.

But going off half baked and essentially ending an industry which employs thousands, and is essential to the operation of many other businesses given that so much has been built upon the Cell Phone industry, would result in economic suicide. A move that I think would be hardly beneficial at this stage of the game for the US, given that other problems like mounting debt and PO are already staring down at us.

What's worse if we did kill off the Cell Phone industry and it still did not stem the losses we are seeing in the Bee population, it would be a black eye that the environmental movement would likely not recover from for a VERY long time which would leave it de-fanged to handle other issues in which more certainty of evidence is present. For instance coal plants.

Incorrect again. CCD is occurring in Europe and Asia too, primarily in highly industrialized areas - those areas most likely to have cell phone coverage. Particularly Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, and the UK have all reported evidence of CCD (or VBS as it is called in the UK).

If CCD does not stop or reverse in the next few years, we are in deeper trouble than any economic problems that shutting down the cell phone industry would bring.

If a highly contagious disease broke out in the US, would you propose that we study it before effecting quarantine measures? Again, I state that sometimes you must act with full emergency authority in the best interests of your nation as a whole, rather than some corporate subset thereof and that such decisions often must be made without complete data.

We can turn cell phones back on if it proves that they are not the culprit. We cannot bring back the bees once they are gone.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

Your posts are typically very well informed, however this one is full of incorrectness.

Bees are not the only pollinator. They are the only pollinator I know of which provides an economic incentive to carry them around (honey), beyond the pollination details.

Bees, should they die off completely, will be replaced by their natural (european honeybees are NOT natural to the Americas) pollinators instead, some of which are very prolific indeed. (some variety of bee but the name escapes me)

The crops will crash for 1-2 years at most, and afterwards will recover with the logarithmic growth of the re-invading natural species, likely with everything being back to normal within 4 years.

Bee populations have been in general decline for the last 30 years. CCD is a sudden and drastic increase in this decline. If your hypothesis is correct, these other pollinators should have already moved into that role in places vacated by the bees. Do you have verifiable evidence that this is so? If so, I would like to see it.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

Uhh - cell phone coverage has been growing pretty linearly for 2 decades now. What was the dramatic change in the coverage in the last 12 - 24 months in the US which would be the cause for the dramatic growth in CCD ?

Did the same thing change at the same time in Germany (where they are also seeing CCD)?

Are bees in other countries where there is ubiquitous cell phone coverage also affected by CCD, and did the onset correspond with a particular milestone in cell tower coverage in those countries as well ?

I am completely unconvinced that there is any relationship here, just looking at the apparent macro trends for the disease outbreak ...

Global peak: 2007 - 2010
Global decline rate, Post peak: 2%
Economic response: Severe global recession, ~5 years, then slow recovery

IMO the cell phones probably are not the cause of ccd. My father keeps 20-30 hives in southern Ontario. Most of his hives are on two different farms. Across the road from these hives is a city of 80,000+. Cell phones have been around for quite a while and these hives have done well. Though I am not sure how many made it through this year.

It could be that several stresses have caused this years decline. Normally here in Southern Ontario some hives are lost when they are checked in the spring. Some years more are lost than others because of the winter. A big problem of the last several years has been mites. These can be treated by using medicine. However it is another stressor. I am told that there is not many "wild bees" though. In the past hives would swarm and find a home somewhere. With the mites they get knocked out. Maybe there is a new stressor but I doubt that it is cell phones.

Although I have absolutely no idea or opinion on what is causing the situation I have to say that the human mind is quite predictible. We are trying to equate one thing to a problem when more than likely it is a very complex set of events causing the problem. We always try to assign a simply explination to a complex or chaotic problem.

Well, coverage hasn't reached me yet, but I fear it may be coming soon.

Cellphones have been around awhile, but what about all the WiFi networks (laptops, Blackberries, etc.)...that's a fairly recent phenomena.

More and more areas (even entire cities) are becoming WiFi....food for thought.

I'm leaning toward the explosion of WiFi / wireless routers over the past few years.

I know my wireless router screws around with Remote Controlled devices big time. And I know in my neighbor hood there are 7 other wireless routers within my network range.

There is another theory also. It has to do with the sun and its increasing activity. UV light changes. The bee's use UV and the theory is they can't see well enough anymore and after they leave the hive they can't find their way back. It might even make them fly up toward the sun.

The use of all the frequencies now could be a culprit, though its hard to say. We use mainly two different systems of cell phones in the US. Europe uses one type. Its the same as Tmobile in the US. I hear its starting in England now, but cell phones have been a European staple for a long time. Cell phones in Europe are the main form of telephone usage. Getting a land line in many European countries is a nightmare. France for example

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

How do we know that a complete shut down of the Cell phone industry is required?

Because our "technology" includes more than the mere physical machines. It includes infrastructure, finance, personal relations and global terms of trade. We can't have a cell phone without all of those being "developed" to a certain codependent degree.

It's not at all obvious to me that the downslide is symmetric with the upside. But it does seem to me that a network of global guerrillas (Nigerian, Iraqi or home-grown thugs/patriots/moms-with-hungry-children) is going to be fairly indescriminate: a plunderer is a plunderer, a bee-killer is a bee-killer, and a maybe bee-killer is not something that can be risked.

cfm in Gray, ME

The bees aren't dying guys - they're outright DISAPPEARING!

Hives full of brood and honey are left behind as whole colonies simply vanish without a trace.

Apiarists are more than just panicked (they're freaked out) because a) there's no bodies left behind and b) nature's assorted pests (wax month/beetle) are not moving in to take over the abandoned hive or eat the honey/larvae as would normally occur.

But it gets worse.

What was first reported in 24 US states, has now been confirmed in Italy, Croatia, Germany, Britain, France, Spain, Russia, Greece, Poland...

Cell phones have nothing to do with it.

Cell phones have nothing to do with it.

That's not a smart remark. You don't know that.


Leaving aside for the moment what you may presume to be stellar cell phone reception in the Polish and Croatian hinterlands... the simple fact remains and as far as nature is concerned, the abandoned hives have suddenly become the equivalent to a tub of margine left on a picnic table.

Hence the following from the Penn State CCD working group:

What are examples of topics that the CCD working group is not currently investigating?

Radiation transmitted by cell towers: The distribution of both affected and non-affected CCD apiaries does not make this a likely cause. Also cell phone service is not available in some areas where affected commercial apiaries are located in the west. For this reason, it is currently not a top priority.

A commenter on Sharon Astyks blog is much more convincing:

Mystery Disease? Sounds a lot like poison to me. The real mystery is why we are sitting by like timid dummies while the big corporations spin this one. Cell phones? Really?

I am a beekeeper in Central Massachusetts who read about Colony Collapse in February. Something in one of the reports reminded me of a description of how termites are said to be killed by a new class of pesticides known as neonicitinoids. I went to my local farmers' coop, picked up labels from the various insecticide bottles and Googled the ingredients with 'honeybees,' 'sublethal' and 'organic.' A product called 'Merit' containing the neuro-toxin 'Imidacloprid' came up as a soil treatment for fruit trees. Other products with other cute names were being advertised for use on turf to kill grubs (also earthworms.) The labels promise that all sorts of insects, including adult japanese beetles will be controlled for 12 months (read systemic.) Visit your local Walmart and garden center and you will find it on all the shelves. They sell more of it every year according to the Bayer Corporation. You remember Bayer, right? They gave us aspirin and other less pleasant products in WW I and WW II. More recently, BayerCropScience has given us the gift of genetically modified rice. You may have read about it.

'Merit' 'Gaucho' 'BayerAdvanced' 'Admire,' 'Gaucho,' 'Genesis,' 'Platinum,' 'Provado,' 'Leverage,' 'Actara' are catchy little trade names for Imidacloprid, a systemic insecticide that was banned in France after beekeepers staged an angry protest in Paris. Bayer CropScience paid many millions to the french beekeepers and voluntarily withdrew the product without admitting that it was the culprit. Vive La France! They take their food seriously. Shame on us. Shame on the EPA. Shame on the media for not even mentioning the history of the peoples fight against Imidacloprid in France. The more stories I hear about the mystery disease the sillier they get. Soon the media will begin to snicker at all of the alarmists who worry about GMO's and cell towers. They will sigh, continue to wonder and finally forget about it. Already some are beginning to talk about how we can survive without bees as though it were just another problem like surviving without oil.

Imidacloprid is the most likely culprit in CCD, even thought there may be other contributing factors. This is the same class of stuff some of us put on our dogs and cats to kill fleas and ticks (see Fipronil and Frontline.) It is much less toxic to mammals than to invertebrates. ( I confess that the ticks at my place have tempted me to put it on my own neck.) Yesterday, I overheard a salesperson in the coop suggest to a customer that he put some on his chickens. What a wonderful idea. We can have it for breakfast in our locally produced eggs. This morning The Weather Channel carried a Bayer advertisement for Merit calling out to those of us who are "sick and tired of all those bugs." If Imidacloprid were being discussed as a cause for CCD, you can be sure that the Weather Channel would be a little more concerned about those ads. That is why it is hardly ever mentioned by name. Instead, the generic term 'pesticide' is used in news discussions of CCD.

17 April, 2007

The turds at Bayer brought the world Baycol. A statin that killed or injured many of its takers. Imidacloprid is probably one of a number of factors producing a "perfect storm" of CCD.

Should be easy to test this hypothesis. Is CCD found in France?

Not to mention that one or more major varieties of genetically modified corn (and perhaps other GM crops) include a modification to enable them to produce and/or exude Imidacloprid to repel insect pests. GM seed makers claim the amount of Imidacloprid in their products should not be toxic to the bees.

However, IIRC Imidacloprid is a neurotoxin, which interferes with neural pathways. One inference is that Imidacloprid from GM crops, while insufficient to cause the quick death of the bees, could be sufficient to cause enough neural failure to prevent them from finding their way back to the hive. The presence of Imidacloprid in the vicinity of the hive could also explain the lack of response by other invasive insect species to the abandoned hives.

This is a very big deal, unless, of course, one is willing to forego many of the fruits, vegetables, and grains that we and animals eat. This is way beyond "just" an environmental problem; this is a problem directly related to the well being of people, you and me.

It is not just about the bee; it is about the future of plants, animals, and people on the planet. Of course, this is also true about many so called environmental problems, people just don't get the big picture.

The death knell for this research will be to call it an environmental problem. As soon as you do this, millions of eyes glaze over, people switch the channel, or otherwise tune out.

Hmmm...perhaps this is why there has been an outage of Blackberry access/network recently in North America.

Maybe they are testing the theory to see if they turn it off, the bees will stop dying.


Knew you resonated with me for a reason:

"I have never owned a cellphone."

Me, too... er, neither.

Call me! - Not!


ps - alway wonder what everyone's always talking about on those things - bet it's not PO.

Well, if you wanted to know why there is so little public or investment community acceptance for the idea of peak oil or even concern about future energy supplies, let me provide an ancedote. Tonight I attended a dinner where the keynote speaker was Arthur Laffer, economist and CNBC regular. One of the primary topics addressed in his speech was oil supply and oil prices. As a true economist, he sees no issues with either due to the concepts of demand destruction, substitution and increased production. A brief summary of his salient points/assertions:

1. Assertion: higher prices are currently causing demand destruction. Evidence: U.S. demand is declining and China demand for the last year has been flat despite remarkable economic growth.(Huh?)

2. Assertion: Substitution is occurring rapidly. Evidence: Look at the solar and wind projects springing up around us and note that 7 new nuclear plants are slated for construction in the U.S. (not sure what this has to do with oil).

3. Assertion: Oil Production is or will be increasing. Evidence: Many new discoveries, including the giants found in GoM (Jack 2) and a unnamed field in China. There was even a suggestion that U.S. productiuon could be increased (Did anyone say peak in the 70s?).

4. Prediction: Oil prices in the mid $30s two years from now.

Wow, what can I say?

Bigger: The MSM "economist" long term oil price is always approximately 50% of the current price. In 1998 the "long term" price prediction hit a low of $5 (50% of actual price), it has gone up 600% in 9 years with little notice.

I apologize ahead of time but I am about to get religious here.

GOD DAMN this Imidacloprid chemical, France, Bayer S#IT.

I’m sorry but I am finding it difficult to work up any ironic, humorous, cynical comments for this.

All I can think to say is GOD DAMN IT. What ever good that does. and as long as I’m at it


Hi Soup,

We hear you.

The Russians continue to snatch back oil resources from Western companies; now its Imperial's turn:


These fellows announced some decent discoveries in the past few years. I was wondering how long it would take the Russians to trump up some transgression charges to 'ease' them out. The Russians want full control of the H'carbons on their soil. I am amazed western companies haven't already pulled out en masse, they are simply being used and then dumped. Not that I blame the Russians - just stunned the western companies haven't seen it coming.