DrumBeat: June 29, 2007

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer: Ending Addiction to Oil Will Strengthen National Security, Reduce Energy Costs

Last October, an independent task force of the Council on Foreign Relations - which included John Deutsch, the former Director of Central Intelligence, and James Schleisinger, the former Secretary of the Departments of Defense and Energy - warned: 'The lack of sustained attention to energy issues is undercutting U.S. foreign policy and U.S. national security.'

Indeed, in his State of the Union Address in 2006, President Bush acknowledged: 'America is addicted to oil.'

However, simply recognizing our addiction - and its nexus to our national security and future prosperity - is insufficient. We must take bold action to break that addiction.

Roscoe Bartlett and Tom Udall: Going green is patriotic and profitable

The most disconcerting aspect of the climate change debate is that America is missing what could be the biggest opportunity of the 21st century in terms of financial reward, innovation and leadership. Much of the rest of the world aims to wean itself from fossil fuel use. The benefits of America reducing its dependence are abundant. Take a look...

Legislators seek new road-funding alternatives

Georgians currently pay 18.4 cents a gallon to the federal highway fund and another 17.3 cents a gallon to the state.

So far, it has been politically touchy at either level to suggest raising those taxes, especially when motorists are concerned about rising prices at the fuel pump.

State Department of Transportation officials have begun considering a partnership with private road contractors to help get some of the more ambitious projects started around traffic-clogged Atlanta.

Get Americans to drive less by raising gas taxes

Tougher CAFE standards won't make a dent in US oil consumption because those with more fuel-efficient cars tend to drive more.

Don’t Let Government Wreck Free Markets

Widespread shortages of gasoline prompted rioting throughout Iran this week.

The Iranian experience is a clear warning to Americans: Attempts by government to control free markets can have extremely unpleasant consequences.

Two necessities, fuel and food, create spiral of rising prices

While we worry about gas prices, the costs of milk, meat and fresh produce silently soar. So like the end of cheap energy, is the era of cheap food also finally over?

John Michael Greer: Völkerwanderung

German historians of the 19th century coined a useful word for the age of migrations that followed the fall of Rome: Völkerwanderung, “the wandering of peoples.” Drawn by the vacuum left by the implosion of Roman power, and pushed by peoples from the steppes further east driven westward by climate change, whole nations packed their belongings and took to the road. The same thing has happened many other times in the past, though not always on the same vast scale. What makes it important for our present discussion is that we are likely to see a repeat of the phenomenon on an even larger scale in the fairly near future.

Pennsylvania: Fare hike to offset COLT’s growing costs

Increased fares will help the County of Lebanon Transit Authority balance next fiscal year’s budget and avoid a repeat of this year’s operating deficit, according to Executive Director Teri Giurintano.

Fears of 'transport poverty'

etrol prices weigh on the mind of any motorist, but there are predictions that if the cost of fuel continues to rise, the poorest Australians will be forced to quit work because they can't afford to travel back and forth to their jobs.

Researchers are calling it "transport poverty", and it's a concept that'll be presented to a conference in Melbourne today.

Bulgaria opts for higher-than-expected electricity tariff hike

The Bulgarian power regulator Thursday approved a 7.5% upward revision of household electricity tariffs to take effect July 1, citing rising fuel prices on the international and the domestic markets.

The adjustment is higher than the projections made by the regulator himself, in the 1-2% range.

Philipines: Jeepney fare hike stopped

QTV television's Balitanghali quoted Lantion as saying that a new decision on the fare hike would take about 30 days.

Petitioners had cited rising prices of fuel, spare parts, and basic commodities in asking for the hike from P7 to P7.50 .

Peak Oil: Investing in the Apocalypse

According to the United Nations, the world's population will grow to a staggering 9.2 billion people by 2050.

...That's an increase of 2.7 billion people. This is the same amount as the Earth's total population in 1950!

I'm not trying to pick a fight on ways to control the population. Instead, I'm more concerned about how we'll get enough energy to support that massive growth. Because when it comes to future energy supplies, we need to be worried about scale.

Public transit ridership in Canada hits record in 2006

Public transit ridership in Canada increased in 2006 by just over three per cent to set a record for the fourth year in a row.

A cleaner North Sea? Ship fuel suppliers hedge bets

European ship fuel suppliers are hedging their bets ahead of tighter fuel quality rules from November amid uncertainty about demand for the cleaner grade and expectations that some ship operators will ignore the new rules.

Corn crop exceeds already high expectations

Farmers this year planted the most corn since the waning days of World War II, outpacing already high expectations for the crop, according to a federal report issued Friday.

Milk-fired power plants on the horizon

Small power stations could soon burn milk instead of polluting fossil fuels such as coal and gas.

Kurt Alen, chief executive of Belgian sustainable energy generator Thenergo, said that dried milk could be used alongside other agricultural products and waste material in power plants that generate 1-20MW of electricity.

India: A lot of gas

The pricing of gas has become one of the most important economic questions before the government, since it has implications for future energy scenarios. Gas, after all, is the fastest growing source of energy, and the preferred form of fuel for many industries, including power and fertiliser. It could also become the fuel of choice in kitchens, and for transport. This explains the fuss over Reliance Industries’ proposal to price its gas at more than $4.50 per million British thermal units (Btu).

Pemex: Schlumberger Wins Chicontepec Oil Drilling Contract

Petroleos Mexicanos has awarded oil services firm Schlumberger Ltd. a four-year contract to drill 500 wells in Mexico's Chicontepec oil region, a Pemex official said Thursday.

Bill would deny supply of gasoline to Iranian government

Leaders of a bipartisan House panel, seeking economic pressure against Iran, moved Thursday to reduce Tehran’s import of gasoline.

A bill introduced by Reps. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., and Robert E. Andrews, D-N.J., who set up a congressional working group on Iran’s nuclear programs two years ago, coincided with angry protests in Tehran against fuel rationing.

Gas shortage frustrates Iraqis, fuels black market

Ali Salman left home at 6 on a recent morning, hoping to beat the crowd to the local gas station.

When he arrived, he found a horrifying sight: Scores of people already were ahead of him, having spent the night in their cars on the street.

$70 Oil: Who Gets Hurt

With oil hanging around $70, and gas likely to move above $3 for all of the summer, it bears looking at who gets hurt...

China CNPC Buys Exploration Rights To Canada Oil Sands

In a sign of the expanding international ambitions of China's oil companies, China National Petroleum Corp. has bought the rights to explore for oil in Canada.

Weekly Offshore Rig Review: Jackup Turning Point

In the previous edition of the Weekly Offshore Rig Review, we examined the future demand for deepwater semisubmersibles and how fleet growth is affecting demand. This week, we continue to provide predictive data and analysis from our RigOutlook reports, this time focusing on the jackup market.

South Korea: Int'l oil prices expected to exceed US$65 per barrel in Q3

International crude oil prices are expected to top US$65 per barrel in the third quarter, spurred by strong demand for refined products, the state-run oil company said Friday.

Global Agenda: Oil's well

Four years ago, a barrel of oil sold for $25. Not coincidentally, at that time the recent American invasion of Iraq had removed nasty Saddam and created the expectation - not a vague hope but a very real expectation - that Iraq's oil production would soon double, in line with its existing capacity, and would eventually rise much further, in line with the country's enormous reserves and potential production.

Vietnam: EVN mulls blackouts for July

Vietnam’s State-run electricity provider is considering rolling blackouts next month when it is scheduled to shut down a major oil field for maintenance, company officials announced this week.

UAE inflation unlikely to be tamed as import costs rise

Manufacturers and suppliers in various sectors, ranging from food to petroleum, want to raise prices of goods and services.

Dems' plan on energy tilts green

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled new Democratic legislation that marks a tectonic shift in the energy priorities in Congress, revoking $16 billion in tax breaks for oil and gas drilling and creating incentives to produce biofuels and boost energy efficiency.

Safety or fuel efficiency?

You get what you pay for. When you build lighter cars with more fuel efficiency, you know that ultimately -- even with the best (let alone Chinese) technology -- safety is compromised. That happened three decades ago when U.S. mileage efficiency rose dramatically in response to the oil shocks of the '70s. It will likely happen again.

New hybrids will help clean up SUVs' act

While Chrysler Group is convinced the love affair many North American consumers have with large SUVs isn't going to fade away any time soon -- even with high fuel prices -- the gas-guzzling reputation those vehicles have earned is about to take a hit.

CN halts rail operations, embargoes all traffic in Toronto-Montreal corridor, following illegal blockade of rail line

CN today halted freight operations and embargoed all traffic on its Toronto-Montreal main line after reportedly armed native protesters erected an illegal blockade on the company's tracks near the eastern Ontario town of Marysville, located approximately 10 miles east of Belleville, Ont.

Guyana: Hike in fertilizer price will see drop in rice production

Production levels for the current rice crop are "seriously threatened" by the high price of fertilizer and the Rice Producers Association (RPA) is lobbying the government for concessions to mitigate the situation.

Charity attacks rush for biofuels

A furious attack on the drive to grow more biofuels has been launched by a charity supporting poor farmers in developing countries.

The charity - called Grain - says their research shows the rush for biofuels is causing much more environmental and social damage than previously realised.

Groups unite to halt EU biofuels rush

More than 30 groups from around the world have come together to demand a moratorium on the EU's move towards sourcing biofuels from large-scale monocultures.

BBC News Player

Biofuels are said to be one answer to global warming but some are not happy with turning crops into fuel.

Helena Paul of Econexus and ex Shell chairman Lord Oxburgh debate their use.

Inside Fusion's Fortress

Two years ago, Cadarache was selected as the site for the world’s biggest nuclear fusion experiment, a $13 billion international project known as ITER. The ground has not yet been fully cleared for the new reactor. Construction is expected to last until 2016. And ITER's partners don't expect to demonstrate commercially viable energy production until 2040 or so. Nevertheless, things are humming around Cadarache: The talk at the dinner table (yes, over a tangy glass of Chateau de Clapier Cuvee Soprano) was about how housing prices are going up, and how rooms at the chateau are getting scarcer.

Society 'needs the right chemistry'

Carbon offsetting schemes are all well and good, but do little to change the way people live day-to-day, argues Stefaan Simons. In this week's Green Room, he says instead of wasting money on short-term solutions, attention should be focused on developments that can really deliver a low carbon future.

Oil price-demand link no longer as simple as ABC

“Never say never. However, it is fair to say that a lot of the easy substitution away from oil has already happened,” said Lawrence Eagles, head of the oil industry and markets division at the IEA, which represents 26 industrialised consumer nations.

“The primary driver of oil demand is GDP growth and not prices. And as world moves towards a more transportation fuel oriented model these rigidities become more entrenched.”

House OKs Interior Bill Forcing Renegotiation Of Oil Leases

The House late Wednesday passed an Interior Department budget for 2008 that could negatively impact oil and gas development.

The Interior appropriations bill - which passed by a 272-155 vote - would force re-negotiation of 1998-99 oil and gas leases that omitted royalty price thresholds, delay planned exploration and production in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and slow oil shale development.

Saudi Aramco delays hydrocracker restart

Saudi Aramco has delayed the restart of its 44,000 barrels per day (bpd) hydrocracker by about three weeks due to technical snags, following routine maintenance at the Ras Tanura refinery in end-April, industry sources said yesterday.

Pakistan buys July-Sept fuel oil at lower premiums

Power shortages: The shortages have been caused by growing electricity demand, expected at 8 percent annually over the next five years, outstripping supply that is anticipated to grow at 7 percent.

Nuclear Power for Bangladesh- Dream Must Come True

Bangladesh is suffering from acute energy crisis. Years of mismanagement, poor governance, corruption has almost brought the energy sector on the brink of collapse. After 36 years of our independence earned through supreme sacrifice of 30 million valiant freedom fighters and innocent civilians only about 30% of our people have access to electricity and even then the quality of supply is poor.

Dominican Shell scandal: fuel figures were hidden since 2004

Shell’s representatives in the Dominican Petroleum Refinery’s (Refidomsa) governing board have prevented the Government’s attempts to know the figures on fuel purchase costs and marketing since 2004.

Petro-Canada Leaving Venezuela

Petro-Canada has decided to pull out of Venezuela and has reached an agreement with the state oil company on compensation for its oil investments, the Venezuelan government said.

Farewell, Venezuela hello, oilsands

Less than five years ago, like many of the country's oil and gas companies, Petro-Canada was so outraged by Ottawa's decision to sign the Kyoto Protocol that it announced minutes after it was signed, on Dec. 10, 2002, that it had purchased a 50% interest in the La Ceiba block in Western Venezuela.

Oil Companies Weigh Risk in Venezuela

ExxonMobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips have decided the profits are not worth the risk of staying in Venezuela and are writing off multibillion-dollar investments in the South American country.

But other major oil companies have accepted the increasingly tough terms posed by President Hugo Chavez's government because they face few appealing alternatives elsewhere. Terms are even tighter in Russia; they're barred from the Middle East, and Africa comes with its own troubles of violence and instability.

Venezuelan Heavy Oil Projects Downgraded, Placed Under Review

Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the ratings of Corpoguanipa SA, Hamaca Holding LLC (together the Hamaca project), Petrozuata Finance Inc, and Sincrudos de Oriente SINCOR CA to "B2" from "B1" and placed them under review for further downgrade.

Tensions Rise in U.S.-Russia Relationship

U.S. President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin retain outwardly friendly relations. Putin is the only foreign leader to have been invited by Bush to his family's compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, the site of their July summit meeting.

Behind the public smiles, however, there's little sign of an improvement in the downward spiral of U.S.-Russia relations.

The Problem's Not Peak Oil, It's Politics - Go-it-alone governments are choking back output to perilous levels

Some "peak oil" cassandras warn that global energy production will soon fall into permanent decline. But a more immediate danger to world oil supplies may be the tempestuous politics of many producing countries. Witness Venezuela's move to wrest control of key oil projects from global companies on June 26. The move echoes steps taken in other nations that will likely either decrease production or slow its growth in coming years. "The oil is in the ground, but serious doubts are being raised about whether countries have the desire and means to produce it," says Leo Drollas, deputy director of the Center for Global Energy Studies, a London think tank.

Oil prices near ten month highs

World oil prices climbed on Friday, with London and New York futures close to ten-month highs above 70 dollars a barrel on supply concerns in the United States, the world's biggest consumer of energy.

House energy bill rejects car fuel economy boost

A House committee on Thursday approved legislation that would increase the energy efficiency of home appliances and promote plug-in hybrid vehicles, but the measure fell short of a related Senate bill that seeks to increase the fuel economy of cars and trucks.

InterOil shares' crash merits probe, RS says

A sudden crash in the share value of a Canadian oil-and-gas explorer that a year ago said it uncorked the largest natural gas discovery ever in Papua New Guinea warrants an investigation, said insider-trading watchdog Market Regulation Services Inc.

Eni Restores Nigeria Oil Output

Crude oil production from Eni SpA'S (E) Okpoho and Okono fields in Nigeria has returned to its normal 65,000 barrels a day output, traders of West African crude said Thursday.

Production from the fields was shut-in after a militant group attacked May 3 an offshore production ship 55 miles off the southern coast of Nigeria in the Okono field.

Iraq: Bomb damages oil pipeline

A bomb exploded Friday under an oil pipeline south of Baghdad, spilling crude oil and sparking a huge fire, Iraqi police said.

Oil-shale impact studied

Severe environmental impacts would result from any large-scale development of oil shale resources, including those in Utah, conservationists say.

Iraqi Govt Body Rejects Some Oil Law Clauses

The highest Iraqi government jurisdiction body has rejected some clauses of the controversial draft oil and gas law and urged the Cabinet to amend these provisions, according to a recent letter sent by the body, the State Shuraa Council, to the Cabinet and seen by Dow Jones Newswires Thursday.

India, Pakistan, Iran near gas deal

India, Pakistan and Iran are close to signing an agreement on transporting natural gas from Iran to the two South Asian countries via a land pipeline by 2011, Indian officials said Friday.

India and Pakistan appear to be moving forward on the deal despite U.S. opposition to the $7 billion pipeline because Washington fears it would weaken efforts to isolate Iran, which it accuses of running a clandestine nuclear weapons program.

Live Earth concerts to deliver climate SOS: Gore

Former Vice President Al Gore on Thursday urged people worldwide to pressure their governments to cut global warming pollution by 90 percent in developed countries and by more than half worldwide by 2050.

2007 seen as second warmest year as climate shifts

This year is on track to be the second warmest since records began in the 1860s and floods in Pakistan or a heatwave in Greece may herald worse disruptions in store from global warming, experts said on Friday.

Only in New Orleans

I saw a mule drawn "flat car" (home made) with four auto tires and a shaded "cab" trotting back towards two carriage stables in the Marigny (I suspect returning after dropping off mule manure at a local garden center). But could be used for any sort of load.

Better than using a pickup truck,

Best Hopes for old solutions,


Excuse me Alan and everybody, this is pretty OT, but your report immediately brought these lines to my ears:

She caught the Katy
And left me a mule to ride
She caught the Katy
And left me a mule to ride
Now my baby caught the Katy
Left me a mule to ride
The train pulled out
I swung on behind
Crazy 'bout her
That hard headed woman of mine

(Well known from the starting sequence of 'The Blues Brothers', originally by Taj Mahal IIRC, a terrific song)

For an ignorant European as me, you might be the right person to tell me who or what is 'Katy'?

who or what is 'Katy'?

Missouri Kansas Texas Railroad. All its boxcars had "KATY" stencilled on the side and that is how it became known in folklore and song.

Katy was supposedly quite serious about electrifying their Dallas-Houston line before they were bought out by Union Pacific.

Their plans were overlooked on this map.


Best Hopes for non-oil transportation,


You would never know it from current mainstream media and politics, but believe it or not, there is a certain romance attached to railroads in the USA. It exists side-by-side with a visceral hatred, especially west of the Mississippi River, left over from the railroads' heyday, when their pricing practices for shipping grain and other products were often quite abusive. So it's a yin-and-yang thing.

As is the case with many of the old railroads, there is a Katy historical society. The Katy has a complicated history and is now owned by Union Pacific.

Only in New Orleans
I saw a mule drawn "flat car"

No, I believe one can get plenty of 'stock photos' of animal drawn autos.

Great Depression in the US, Cuba, Africa all being examples.

Wow, a Business Week article with Peak Oil in the headline! Although the analysis in the article is quite shallow, this will introduce a few more people to the concept of peak oil. Anyone know if this article made the print version of the magazine, or is it just relegated to the on-line site?

Great article, I'm glad it's by someone that they can't dismiss as a doomer peak oilier.

Stanley Reed has been London bureau chief of BusinessWeek since August, 1996. He took on the additional role of Middle East correspondent in 1999. Prior to London, he held a series of editing positions at BusinessWeek in New York. He lived in Cairo from 1976-80 and has written for The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy. He is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Business School. He was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University Journalism School in 1987-88. He was president of the Association of American Correspondents in London for 1998 and remains a member of its executive board.

Once again, it's not how much oil may be in the ground.

It's all about EXPORTS! EXPORTS! (edit:yes i'm shouting)
(at least to the USA)


Off Grid, Off Mainland, current profession:Beach Bum

The headline of the Business article is vintage "Iron Triangle" stuff, basically quoting the ExxonMobil, et al, line that only if major oil companies had unrestricted access to producing areas, they could produce trillions and trillions of barrels of oil (although the article itself is a little more nuanced).

I don't dispute ExxonMobil's claim that they can do a better job of producing reserves, but I do question whether it is really that material. Empirically, the function of oil companies in post-peak regions is to slow the rate of decline.

I am getting really, really bad feelings about just how bad the contraction in world oil export capacity might be--while the prevailing (but very slowly changing) message from the Iron Triangle continues to be "Party on Dude!"

A copy of my post from the "Needle" thread:

My simplistic take on the issue is that regardless of whether oil companies are owned by capitalists, communists or Paris Hilton worshipers, they tend to find the big fields first.

In effect, a HL plot is primarily driven by the rise and fall of the giant fields. While smaller fields are generally profitable, they generally can't offset the decline of the giant fields. And in fact, HL plots tend to flatten with time, as the plot asymptotically approaches the horizontal axis, but this occurs as production generally continues to decline. So, the "tail" can be profitable, but is it material?

Consider the regions that more or less fit the HL pattern: Lower 48; Total US; Russia; North Sea, Mexico and now the world (EIA, crude + condensate).

I have a question. As I have previously described, when Khebab constructed HL plots for the Lower 48 and Russia using only production data through 1970 and 1984 respectively, the respective post-1970 and post-1984 cumulative production for both regions has basically been what the HL models predicted it would be. Why is that and what implication does that have for conventional world crude oil production?

BTW, as of this morning, Google shows 1.6 million listings for Net Oil Exports and 81 million listings for Paris Hilton.

So the Paris Hilton/Net Oil Exports ratio is fifty to one.

WT:Maybe the Iron Quadrangle. Combined with the Iran story and the OPEC lawsuit proposal, it seems like there are more and more stories in the MSM implying that force (military and otherwise) needs to be employed to get these slackers/troublemakers sitting on our oil to start getting the volumes up and over here OR ELSE.

(See the WSJ article down the thread)

What is more than a little scary is the number of Americans who think seizing foreign oil fields is a swell idea.

I am proposing the formation of "Neocon Brigades," to be sent to Iraq, consisting of: (1) Pundits who are still in favor of staying in Iraq and (2) People driving large SUV's and trucks with Bush/Cheney bumper stickers.

Best hopes for a lower Paris Hilton/Net Oil Exports ratio...LOL


But if they have an Al Gore bumper stick on their SUV they get to stay stateside? Or if their electric bill is $3,000 a month (like Al Gore), but they're not a Neocon, it's all OK? A little flaw in the logic perhaps?

Freakonomics Exercise: As bad as this 'war' has been conducted, how does the 4,500-ish American military death figure compare to, say, the number of deaths in the US over this period from drunk driving? Medical malpractice/incompetance?

Is your disgust at unnecessary death proportionate or are deaths from some causes less objectionable than from others? Are war related deaths worse than medical incompetance related deaths or drunk driving related deaths?

I've read a ton of neocon/Bush bashing (some quite justified, some not) on TOD from many posters, but seldom much perspective.

So, are you volunteering for one of the Neocon Brigades?

As we have been discussing, I think that the junior officers are the weak link in the Neocon's plans. It is beginning to dawn on the junior officers that they and the troops in their commands are dying and being maimed in order to maintain American access to and/or control of Middle Eastern oil fields--with no end in sight to constant deployments.

Of course, some people might consider the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom worthy of some consideration.

Perhaps we could process dead Iraqis into some sort of liquid transportation fuel, in order to better serve the greater good of maintaining the "Non-negotiable American Way of Life." This would serve two purposes, it would: (1) Reduce Iraqi consumption of our oil and (2) Increase the supply of liquid transportation fuels. It would be a win/win proposition.

While I was working in El Paso, I met a lot of officers and ranking enlisted men at the motel. Very nice, decent fellows and a credit to our country. They were almost to a man(and woman) frustrated by the war, and most of them were recent veterans.
Their main criticism was that the war aims had changed 3 times, that they had done the job they were sent to do. Although they were to a man careful not to criticise their Commander in Cheif, they also had nothing good to say about him.

Sometimes a person has to call things for what they are. This war and its perpetrators are evil. 700,000 civilian dead, 4500 US dead, the torture of prisoners, the abrogation of our constitutional rights and Iraqis human rights-all so our country can steal oil; its evil.


Thank you for mentioning the innocent Iraqi casualties. It's the rare American, it seems in the MSM, who actually admits that a non-American's life has any worth. Iraq is an American tragedy, not because of American lives lost, but because of its citizens' and representatives' failure to be brave in the face of a megalomaniacal administration.

Note: I trust many of this site's American participants would be exceptions to the rule.

Who is killing the innocent Iraqi citizens? Is it the US military or is it the terrorists (Iraqi,Iranian, ???) who are setting off all the bombs that are killing the civilians?
When you have vicious criminal terrorists killing innocent civilians, getting rid of the police force is not the best idea of a way to try to protect the innocent civilians. The US/Allied forces are the effective police force in Iraq at the moment and are dying trying to stop the killing of civilians by criminal terrorists and I personally don't think they deserve the kick in the butt they are getting here on TOD.
Seeing as how we have criminals killing innocent civilians here in the USA and also killing police officers, maybe the right thing to do would be to disband all the police forces to stop the violence? - I don't think so.
If any of the people here on TOD have proof that it is the American/Allied troops that are setting off all the bombs that are killing innocent civilians in Iraq instead of the terrorists I would like to see that proof posted here on TOD.
The continued false inundos of mass murder against the American and Allied troops in Iraq is not going to help put TOD or Peak Oil advocates in a positive light. Remember how you think of CERA for putting out tainted/false information!

Who is killing the innocent Iraqi citizens ?

The United States of America. Either directly, via "collateral damage" and occasional malicious actions (a random burst into a house when someone made an obscene gesture on patrol that does not get reported, that sort of thing) or indirectly.

the terrorists (Iraqi,Iranian, ???) who are setting off all the bombs that are killing the civilians ? You left out the biggest source, the Saudis who are financing the Sunnis (source of 2/3rds of US causalities) and supplying most of the al Queda in Iraq manpower.

Hundreds of Saudis have been IDed as suicide bombers, not ONE Iranian.

Before the US Army & Marines crossed the border into Iraq, there were no "terrorists setting off all the bombs killing civilians".

As Colin Powell told our Commander-in-Chief BEFORE the invasion. "It is like the Pottery Barn. You break it (the existing gov't), you own it". That includes morally owning this civil war that will likely result in 1 million dead and 5 million refugees (seriously disrupted lives) before it is finished.

It is said that Hitler was responsible for a war that killed 30+ million. It can also be said that GWB is responsible for a war that will kill 1+ million.

No Best Hopes,


"Who is killing the innocent Iraqi citizens ?

The United States of America. Either directly, via "collateral damage" and occasional malicious actions (a random burst into a house when someone made an obscene gesture on patrol that does not get reported, that sort of thing) or indirectly."

Male cow manure!

"Before the US Army & Marines crossed the border into Iraq, there were no "terrorists setting off all the bombs killing civilians"."

Before we entered Iraq, Saddam and his troops were slaughtering the Kurds up north and the Sunnis down south in Iraq including the gassing of entire villages. I was under the impression that that was part of the reason the Allies went into Iraq - to stop all that killing. Or should we have just turned a blind eye to all the killing that Saddam was doing? And what about all those killed by Saddam's reign of terror in Kuwait and Iran? Should we have turned a blind eye to that too?

Unfortunately, Jon, we knew about Saddam's misdeeds. In fact, there is some evidence that we may have helped to arm him and provide him with military intelligence because we hoped that he would be a deterrent against the radical Islamic regime in Tehran. See, for instance...

For more, read here

Curious thing about the whole Iraq debacle. The more you read, the worse it smells.

Jon Kutz - You sir have an awful lot of reading to do on the internets.

Either that or you may just want to stay safe and warm in your ignorance.

Or should we have just turned a blind eye to all the killing that Saddam was doing?

Far from turning a blind eye, the US supported Saddam, as did a lot of other countries who did business with Saddam. The common people are treated as expendable pawns by leaders on all sides, no one can claim moral superiority here.

Male cow manure!

Ok, you've made a claim. Got some data to back up that claim?

male cow ? you mean hermaphrodite bovine ? i get it you mean bovine hermaphrodite shit.

(not you eric, i replied to jkutz)

I was under the impression that that was part of the reason the Allies went into Iraq - to stop all that killing

BOY ! Did you drink the Kool-Aid !

Fact: Last major killing of civilians was immediately after Gulf War I, when both the Shia in the south (with elements of the Army) revolted as well as the Kurds in the North.

The Shia rebellion in the South (they expected US aid and did not get it, so they were massacred) was quite bloodily put down, but it had been quiet for over a decade when we invaded.

The Kurds (with US & UK air cover) defeated what remained of the Iraqi Army and set up an independent (not international recognized, so no embassies, UN seat, etc.), democratic "Kurdistan". Been in operation for almost a dozen years when we invaded. Kurdistan did have an terrorist training base next to Iran with an old 707 for practice. But that was our Kurdish allies, not under control of Saddam.

The border between "Kurdistan" and Iraq was relatively quiet (US/UK air cover helped). The revolt in the north succeeded and there was about as much shooting between the 2 factions in Kurdistan and between them & Turkey as between Iraq and their rebel provinces. (Have you noticed that Turkey keeps sending in divisions to invade Kurdistan for a couple of days recently ? The US Army just lets them through and does not stop them).

The widespread killing had stopped a dozen years BEFORE we invaded.

Put out a fire when there is yard high grass growing on the charred rubble. That was the USA's moral justification (it worked for you and others that do not pay much attention to foreign affairs).

It was distinctly unhealthy to criticize Saddam (or even tell jokes about him) but that is the normal suppression that one finds in brutal dictatorships around the world (many supported by the USA).

No, We did not STOP the killing, we STARTED it !


BTW, there is true genocide going on in Sudan. Millions being killed. Where are the US Marines ?

Oh, Sudan only pumps 350,000 barrels/day and they are near peak. Sorry, don't bother.

The continued false inundos of mass murder against the American and Allied troops in Iraq is not going to help put TOD or Peak Oil advocates in a positive light.

Jon, I don't read every post here at TOD but yours is the first that I've read that has mentioned that American troops might be involved in mass-killings in Iraq. Did I miss something?

As for who IS responsible for those civilian deaths, it is hard to say because the White House and the Pentagon seem to be having a hard time deciding. First, it was "Al-Queda," then, it was "disaffected elements of the former regime." Later, there was some (begrudging) admission that there might be some sort homegrown insurgency involved. I think its fair to say that a lot of folks are involved in the bloodshed in Iraq.

Recently, the US has taken to arming Sunni tribesmen in hopes that they will be an effective counter-force to the "Al-Queda" elements operating in Iraq. This has the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad nervous, for obvious reasons. Maybe the US doesn't have an official policy of creating the pre-conditions for all out civil war in Iraq. But, if they did, I think it would be hard to come up with a better policy than the one that they have blundered into.

International law and the UN hold occupying nations responsible for the well being of occupied citizens. Therefore the US is responsible. We invaded with no plan for the occupation, ignored warnings from real experts on the region about the powder keg Iraq represented, thought we could do it on the cheap, and reaped this reward. Yes, the US is responsible, and I was against it from the beginning due to all these concerns. We never prepared for reality.

Plus, I think I might be able to guess what the incredible disappearing billions of US dollars (in cash) has bought. US cash, brought to Iraq, mysteriosly 'lost'.

Sonic, I wasn't sure what sort of perspective on the Neo-Con agenda that you might be looking for. I put together a short list of quotes that, I think, support my personal dislike of these people and which have caused me to question both their motives and their general sanity:

" There was, to be sure, one thing that many of even the most passionately committed American Zionists were reluctant to do, and that was to face up to the fact that continued American support for Israel depended upon continued American involvement in international affairs-- from which it followed that an American withdrawal into the kind of isolationist mood that prevailed most recently between the two world wars, and that now looked as though it might soon prevail again, represented a direct threat to the security of Israel."
-- Norman Podhoretz, Breaking Ranks (1979).

"I’ve always thought it was best for Israel for the U.S. to be generally engaged and generally strong, and then the commitment to Israel follows from a general foreign policy."
-- William Kristol, to the Jerusalem Post, July 27, 2000

"Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission."
-- Michael Ledeen, The War Against the Terror Masters

“The most realistic response to terrorism is for America to embrace its imperial role.”
-- Max Boot

"A year from now, I'll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush."

"If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely, and we don't try to piece together clever diplomacy but just wage a total war, our children will sing great songs about us years from now."

"There is no doubt that, with the exception of a very small number of people close to a vicious regime, the people of Iraq have been liberated and they understand that they've been liberated."
-- Richard Perle

"By some estimates there will be an average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead along with conservatively a three per cent natural decline in production from existing reserves. That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from? ...the Middle East with two thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies..."
-- Dick Cheney, 1999

Are war related deaths worse than medical incompetance related deaths or drunk driving related deaths ?

Y E S !!

Especially innocent civilians deaths ! They are a greater tragedy, and have more value, than combatant deaths.

Yes, an 11 year old Iraqi girl killed in "collateral damage" or as a victim of the civil war that we ignited has more value than that of a Detroit ghetto kid or Nebraska farm boy that volunteered.

And the death of a drunk driver is hardly a tragedy (a net social good even ?). And anyone that drives in the US (including me for my few miles) willingly and knowingly accepts the risks involved in driving our streets and highways. We are not completely innocent victims.

Best Hopes for a more moral view of the world,


And, of course, those civilian deaths include the victims of the bombs we've been dropping enthusiastically this year. It was not too long ago that Juan Cole mentioned that we had upped the frequency and intensity of the bombing with some estimated civilian deaths at around 500 a day.

There have been a number of news stories lately about how much worse it is in Iraq than it was before the invasion with plenty of quotations from Shiites saying that Saddam was better than the U. S.

Yeah, I've actually been hearing that from my Iraqi Shi'ite friends: "Yeah we were oppressed and not allowed to do Shia stuff, but at least we were safe in our homes and didn't have to think about surviving every day. Now it's impossible to have a normal life; not being killed is all we aim for!"

What kind of life do you think they have now? They're not rich enough to leave their home and flee abroad, but on the other hand they're pretty sure they'll be killed soon by some thugs who have been encouraged by whoever.

Thanks, US.

I am getting really, really bad feelings about just how bad the contraction in world oil export capacity might be- ...

Me too, but maybe for a slightly different reason: oil in in the ground will rapidly grow in value just by staying in the ground. So there will be an ever more explosive tension between addicts and their suppliers (many of who are addicts themselves as you always point out). In other words, the plateauing and peaking will be shaped increasingly by above ground factors, highly volatile and unpredictable factors, radically weakening the relevance of consumption and and supply projections.

Iran is an instance of an addicted supplier. The world's biggest addict is trying to bring that country to its knees by virtue of its lack of sufficient refining capacity.This is another aspect of the whole world game: the world's biggest addict knows all its suppliers are also addicted and knows how to use this vulnerability. It's very hard to get one's own populace weaned off a high energy diet when the populace knows there's so much oil and gas in the ground beneath them. Yet it's necessary to do so, not just for the sake of the future, but to be able to stand up to outside pressures.

Wonder what Hilton Linearization would look like (chuckle chuckle).

Horizontal, for sure.

With some interesting peaks and valleys

Nice observation - what about providing a link ?


It was the top link in the DrumBeat at the time he posted. Now it's further down the page. "The Problem's Not Peak Oil, It's Politics."

Cheers Leanan :)

and BTW thx for these educating Drum Beats of yours - I appreciate them sooo BigTime ..

With one million new cars added every year to the existing engines guzzling petrol in Iran, the country's consumption has hit a record 70 million litres per day, 40 per cent of which has to be imported.

"I do not know how I'm going to feed this car using it for my routine daily trips, let alone riding it for a journey outside Tehran," he said, pouring 60 litres of the 100 litre per month ration into his eight cylinder off-road car.

If the fuel market is seen as a 'food chain' these V-8 sized consumers are certainly closer to the primary source than those of us in OECD land.

Exhibit "A" regarding my thesis that it will be very, very difficult for exporting countries to curtail domestic demand, in favor of foreign consumers:

Unrest Grows Amid Gas Rationing in Iran
Published: June 29, 2007

TEHRAN, June 28 — Unrest spread in Tehran on Thursday, the second day of gasoline rationing in oil-rich Iran, with drivers lining up for miles, gas stations being set on fire and state-run banks and business centers coming under attack. . .

. . .Longstanding discount prices have encouraged gasoline consumption in Iran, where many people believe that the vast oil resources make cheap gasoline a basic right.

“There is no reason why we should pay the same price as people outside Iran do,” said Amir Aram, a carpenter in Tehran. “We have all this oil beneath our feet and have to wait for hours in line to get our ration.”

Exhibit "A" regarding my thesis that it will be very, very difficult for exporting countries to curtail domestic demand, in favor of foreign consumers:

WT, your ELM, is the biggest story never told (MSM) and I doubt it'll be long in having a big impact in this case. About a week from now when many Iranians have run through the bulk of their monthly allotment the pressure will be on again. A sense of entitlement for those with 'oil under their feet' could be very powerful.

After an attempt to repeal the program failed seems some MP's met with the oil ministers in closed session and they came out of the room agreed that the rationing plan has to stay. Something has to give. They'll probably find a way to increase the ration with a graduated higher price, a logistical nightmare.

That is if the 40% imports are availiable

My wife says, "Let them work the bugs out of the (rationing) system for us."

"Iranians were given only two hours' notice of the move"

The BBC's Tehran correspondent, Frances Harrison, says Iran is trying to rein in fuel consumption over fears of possible UN sanctions over its nuclear programme.

Enterprise Joins Fleet Near Iran

"The USS Enterprise CVN 65-Big E Strike Group, the US Navy’s largest air carrier, will join the USS Stennis and the USS Nimitz carriers, building up the largest sea, air, marine concentration the United States has ever deployed opposite Iran.

This goes towards making good on the assurances of four carriers US Vice President Dick Cheney offered the Gulf and Middle East nations during his May tour of the region."

A recent PIW headline that says a lot, in a very few words:

Petroleum Intelligence Weekly Headline (6/22/07):
Iraqi Crude Exports Rise to US, Drop Sharply to Asia in June

Which is fine, as long as US troops are willing to die to keep the oil flowing:

WSJ: Critiques of Iraq War Reveal
Rifts Among Army Officers

Colonel's Essay Draws
Rebuttal From General;
Captains Losing Faith
June 29, 2007; Page A1


. . . The controversy over Col. Yingling's essay is part of a broader debate within the military over why the Army has struggled in Iraq, what it should look like going forward, and how it should be led. It's a fight being hashed out in the form of what one Pentagon official calls "failure narratives. . . "

The conflicting theories on Iraq reflect growing divisions within the military along generational lines, pitting young officers, exhausted by multiple Iraq tours and eager for change, against more conservative generals.. . . .

. . . At Fort Hood, Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond, the top general at the sprawling base, summoned all of the captains to hear his response to Col. Yingling's critique. . .

. . . The captains' reactions highlighted the growing gap between some junior officers and the generals. "If we are not qualified to judge, who is?" says one Iraq veteran who was at the meeting. Another officer in attendance says that he and his colleagues didn't want to hear a defense of the Army's senior officers. "We want someone at higher levels to take accountability for what went wrong in Iraq," he says.. . .

. . . .Late last month, Col. J.B. Burton, who commands a 7,000-soldier brigade in Baghdad, warned in a memo to the Army's top generals of a looming crisis in the junior officer corps. Today's officers "have spent the past four years in a continuous cycle of fighting, training, deploying, fighting etc. and they see no end in sight. They have seen their closest friends killed and maimed, leaving young spouses and children as widows and single parent kids," he wrote.

It would seem that if Americans really, truly, wanted to support their troops that they should be asking questions, lots of questions, of the current administation and its past minions. There is a growing body of evidence that 4,500 Americans, and inumerable Iraqis, have died as the direct result of Government malfeasance. The following is a good overview --->


Unfortunately, new account, the debate is always framed as "if you question the mission, you must not be a patriot." End of discussion. In other words, "if you aren't with us, you are against us." Sound familiar?

The right-wing in America believe firmly that they own the high ground when it comes to being patriotic. I am a good citizen of the United States: I pay my taxes, I obey the laws, I work hard, and I ask for no special treatment. But I have completely opted out of the whole anti-war debate, simply because I see it as a "no win" situation for folks like myself who see military solutions as generally counter-productive. You question the mission and the next thing you know, you've got some spittle-flinging redneck in your face, advising you to find another country to live in. I know. I've been there.

So, for me it's like this: When Middle America gets good and tired of seeing the caskets and the amputees. When they get good and tired of watching the carnage on the evening news. When they start to wonder what they are getting for their half-trillion dollars a year, this war will end. Until then, there's not a thing any of the rest of us can do about it.

I've thought for a long time that what would end the war in Iraq, or at more accurately, US involvement in the war, would be a de-facto mutiny within the US military. I think that we are getting closer to it all the time.

Yes, I left that out but maybe it will be a "mutiny" within the ranks that finally forces a change of course.

One thing is certain: This administration couldn't give a damn what those who are opposed to their policies think. They've made that abundantly clear.

The less popular the "war" gets (it ain't a war really) the more likely it becomes that plans on the table will have to be enacted soon while it's still possible. The "cornered beast" syndrome, very biological...

On the other hand if news gets out that "without Iraqi oil, we'll be in deep trouble..."

Americans can easily be whipped up into believing that a long term military presence in Iraq is the only way to keep the dream alive. American Dream that is.

IMO this is the strategy of the PTB.

Unfortunately, that is correct: To keep "The Dream" alive, America will have to maintain a semi-permanent presence in Iraq. I have maintained from the very beginning that we would never leave "our" bases in the Middle East. What Bush/Cheney have done by de-stabilising the entire Middle East, is to make it virtually impossible that we can leave. This may have been "in the plan" all along.

Yes and these next moves seem calculated to entrench us further. Since a sudden attack on Iran will cause wordwide outrage (seems Condi talked the others out of that one)we have plan B.

Sanctions provide a means of possibly provoking Iranian leadership into some overt act thus providing a pretense. Rationing is designed to free Iran to withstand that move. At the very least (to borrow the phrase) it further destabilizes the situation. So we have to stay.(Need Iraq bases to balance possible Iranian moves which we provoked).

My fear is forcing Ahmadinejad into a corner between his own people and US naval forces lowers the threshold to threatening the Straits or some kind of embargo. Once Iran successfully eliminates the need for gasoline imports where is the leverage? And sanctions may turn domestic unrest into national fervor. Bush and company are playing with fire here and their track record for comprehending possible outcomes stinks.

Maybe this is all too obvious but like Lee Iaccoca said. "Why are we putting up with this?"

Unfortunately, that is correct: To keep "The Dream" alive, America will have to maintain a semi-permanent presence in Iraq.

Peak Water - Irag has some of the larger fresh water resources in the area.

(not to mention the Mr. 5% history)

WT, you are right. A mutiny of sorts is already taking place among the officers that are actually involved in the fighting (as you pointed out in your post above). It is only a matter of time until these fighting officers begin to question the rationale for their mission. When they emerge from the cloud of propaganda that they have been immersed in and realize that they are fighting 'because the American way of life is not negotiable', it will dawn on them that they are in Iraq to provide the gas to put in the SUVs that are adorned with the yellow ribbons that support their mission in Iraq... I doubt the irony will be lost on them.
After the debacle in Vietnam the pentagon realized that the revolt of the conscript enlisted ranks in Nam caused no end of grief to the officer corp trying to lead them. The pentagon decided that the way to avoid this situation in future conflicts was to convert to an 'all volunteer' force. What the pentagon failed to forsee was that a mutiny among the officer corp could happen in a protracted conflict. Colin Powell tried to warn Rumsfeld and entourage to set goals and timetables and not to invade without an exit stategy, all to no avail. Several months ago I wrote my congressman, John Mica, asking if he could send me a copy of the mission statement for Iraq. He has not responded.

Many officers might go along with unfavorable rules of engagement if the perception is that the benefits will accrue to the American people.
Once the idea that the only ones that will benefit are a small elite and supposed allies gets it's nose under the tent flap, the approach changes. The civilian leadership regardless of party at this point has zero credibility.

I would think that by this point the fact that the American people and soldiers in particular aren't the ones to gain from this has become abundantly clear...

How many families of soldiers will have their homes foreclosed on because of their low salary and predatory banking practices that feast on those left behind...

How many relationships end badly due to stress and time away from home, and mental trauma once they get home ?

How many troops and their families are drinking water from bases contaminated with chlorinated solvents - and have been allowed to keep drinking it for decades ?

If they return to the US injured badly enough look where they end up - Walter Reed ? other hospitals where the administration could give a shit about them ? And if they can recuperate well, guess what - it's right back to the line for them...

That's off the top of my head - if they don't see by now that they're just another cog in machine then I really don't know what would make them see the light...


"Unfortunately, new account, the debate is always framed as "if you question the mission, you must not be a patriot."

Some are not/ were not afraid.


by Ron Paul
Before the U.S. House of Representatives, May 22, 2007

Madam Speaker, for some, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. For others, it means dissent against a government's abuse of the people's rights.

I have never met a politician in Washington or any American, for that matter, who chose to be called unpatriotic. Nor have I met anyone who did not believe he wholeheartedly supported our troops, wherever they may be.

What I have heard all too frequently from various individuals are sharp accusations that, because their political opponents disagree with them on the need for foreign military entanglements, they were unpatriotic, un-American evildoers deserving contempt.

The original American patriots were those individuals brave enough to resist with force the oppressive power of King George. I accept the definition of patriotism as that effort to resist oppressive state power.

The true patriot is motivated by a sense of responsibility and out of self-interest for himself, his family, and the future of his country to resist government abuse of power. He rejects the notion that patriotism means obedience to the state. Resistance need not be violent, but the civil disobedience that might be required involves confrontation with the state and invites possible imprisonment.

Peaceful, nonviolent revolutions against tyranny have been every bit as successful as those involving military confrontation. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., achieved great political successes by practicing nonviolence, and yet they suffered physically at the hands of the state. But whether the resistance against government tyrants is nonviolent or physically violent, the effort to overthrow state oppression qualifies as true patriotism.

True patriotism today has gotten a bad name, at least from the government and the press. Those who now challenge the unconstitutional methods of imposing an income tax on us, or force us to use a monetary system designed to serve the rich at the expense of the poor are routinely condemned. These American patriots are sadly looked down upon by many. They are never praised as champions of liberty as Gandhi and Martin Luther King have been.


Just a snippet of the only REAL Patriot Running For President.

Go Ron Paul.

Oh and a taste from Lee. Google Lee Iacocca and the title below. good book.

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

Remember Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from death
throes? He has a new book, and here are some excerpts.

"Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the
hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of
clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got
corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a
hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone
sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course"

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This isAmerica, not the damned
Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I
have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The
President of theUnited Statesis given a free pass to ignore the Constitution,
tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to
record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't
need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys
in handcuffs. While we're fiddling inIraq, theMiddle Eastis burning and nobody
seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking
hard questions. That's not the promise ofAmericamy parents and yours traveled
across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not
outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.

The Biggest C is Crisis

End of Snippet

I live in Ron Paul's district, and the guy is a nut. He has been caucusing with the Republicans a long time, and they have totally marginalised him. Meanwhile, he's gone along with their power-grabbing redistricting and the Supreme Court/Neocon coup. Screw him!

"I live in Ron Paul's district, and the guy is a nut. He has been caucusing with the Republicans a long time, and they have totally marginalised him. Meanwhile, he's gone along with their power-grabbing redistricting and the Supreme Court/Neocon coup. Screw him"

Goto the link I posted. READ the Patriot article.
Have you seen ANYONE else talking like that?

He voted against the Iraq war

He voted against the Patriot Act I II

He voted against HomeLand Security

He called Greenspun on the carpet many times

He's for abolishing the Federal Reserves

Everyone, Don't believe me nor Oilmanbob

Do your own research.
He is better than anything out there.

Take a look


I took a look. Ron Paul is the Dennis Kucinich of the Republican Party. He's spent a lot more time in Iowa than he's spent in Galveston during the three years since we were redistricted into his Congressional District, and we're the biggest town. I guess we're just not white enough for him. So, as I said before, screw him. I'll vote for any Democrat over Ron Paul, even if he's pro abortion, anti-war and against a national ID, because he doesn't represent his district and tacitly complies with the Republicans by caucusing with them.

Ron Paul is the Dennis Kucinich of the Republican Party.

Hardly. Dennis has raised $358K VS $639K March 31st 2007.


and pray tell how many of the other house of representatives where there to hear his speech other then the needed recorder to keep records? two? three?
at this point in the game your better off to let the system collapse under it's own weight.

TK it is in the process of collapsing of its own weight. All that is needed now is a crisis like the one brewing in hedge funds/housing, big time gas shortages, or an incident like the green zone being over run by insurgents and many hostages taken...or some totally unforseen event.
Send some letters to your congressman or senator asking some tough questions about the economy, peak oil, climate change, a request to impeach Cheney or whats up with the war in Iraq and see what sort of response you get. I can tell you what you will get...first letter you will get a form letter with some pablum thrown in about the topics. Second letter you will get no response, I didnt. They are scared and are hoping to get through today, let alone consider tackling the serious problems facing America. They are all hoping the lid doesnt blow on their watch while they continue stuffing their pockets with graft. Our senators and congressmen are following the senate and house leadership because they think that will give them plausable deniability when TSHTF... but they are wrong about that. When the wheels come off America because of greed, negligence, dereliction of duty to uphold the constitution, corruption, and just plain lazyness, I hope some group sets up a system to track down these worthless scoundrels, much as the Jews did to find the Nazi war criminals, and put them on trial in front of a jury of citizens of the United States. I am going to volunteer to track down the rats and insure they find the court room.

Every once in a while we've run a thread on book recommendations. I'm on my last book of my own personal list of books to read and I'm wondering if we could do another thread on recommended reading, energy related and non-energy related.

Whenever I want to run a list of my book or movie recommendations I find it easiest just to make my posting early on a slow Drumbeat day, typically a Saturday or Sunday. Have you seen my Environmental Economics reading list? Or my Peak Oil movie list?

How do I find your environmental economic reading list? Not a topic I would typically look for on my own, but that's all the more reason to pick such a book.

It was posted way back in March 2006; I think it was late March. If you have trouble finding it, I'm sure I can dig it out (or even reconstruct it from memory, if all else fails).

In my opinion, the most important book to read (period, exclamation point) is:

Hardin, Garrett, EXPLORING NEW ETHICS FOR SURVIVAL: The Voyage of the Spaceship Beagle.

This book contains the original famous "Tragedy of the Commons" essay in an Appendix and the rest of the book is an elaboration and exploration of the ethical implications of that tragedy of the commons.

Not only in regard to exploitation and use of oil but even more in respect to issues related to population growth and migration, that, IMO, is the most essential book ever to be published (and I include Malthus's "Essay on the Principle of Population" in my list of related books. Read Malthus, but first read Hardin. He's published a number of other fine books on the environment and related issues).

Hardin's books are available very cheap and used on amazon and its competitors. One TOD reader picked up a copy of "Exploring New Ethics for Survival" for nine cents (plus postage and handling).

I was blown away when I picked up the newest copy of Science in --was it 1967?-- to read the Garrett Hardin essay, and my world changed forever.

Now, however, 40+ years later I still wonder -- was he really right? It seems like his main solution to the problem was to limit population and install a strong central authority that could prevent degradation of the "commons."

He seems to have left little room for the possibility that all human beings might be able to learn to work together toward common ends that preserved each other's autonomy and the integrity of the rest of the world.

The vision of Jesus and Buddha and Lao Tzu --- and countless others of an economy of abundance has been thoroughly discarded and replace with a Western notion of an economy of scarcity.

Changing human nature? Not likely. If human nature were going to change the age of cheap energy offered the perfect opportunity. If the wealth had been spread around in America as it has been in some countries we would not constantly be engaged in fighting wars. From the end of WW2 untill 2000 America spent 15 trillion dollars on the military although we did not declare war on any nation. We could have had government subsidized health care for all. We could have maintained and enlarged our infrastructure. We could have provided free and real education to any level that a student was competent to comprehend. We could have maintained our manufacturing base and high wages instead of shipping our jobs overseas. We could have avoided falling into debt up to our eyeballs to foreign countries. We could have done any number of things that we have not done as a country. Why have we not done them? One word: Greed. The greed that lives in the upper 2% of America and never has enough. As Jack Nicholson famously said 'How much better can they eat.' The greed for wealth and power of this small minority of Americans knows no bounds and their greed will be the ruination of America.
Greed has really come to the fore now that capitalisim does not have to compete with the communist system of the CCCP. While capitalisim was competing as a system for world dominance it had to wear somewhat of a benign face to show the world the advantages of our system over that of communisim. Yes, we fought wars here and there but we could claim that they were to deny a foothold of that great evil, communisim. Look! Our workers all have homes, cars, good paying jobs, and lots of consumer products. Meanwhile, the Soviets were on fifteen year waiting lists to get a Lada that they had to repair to drive home. Now that communisim is almost gone the true face of capitalisim has come into the daylight. Real wages are falling, people are given a taxi ride to skid row by hospitals if they cant afford medical care, the fed is manipulating inflation numbers to cheat those on social security, military pensions, and other people on fixed incomes, corporations are defaulting on pension funds, huge tax cuts are given to those that least need them, giant economic bubbles are engineered and then collapsed to benefit banks, stock swindlers, fund managers, and other insiders, trickle down economics is foisted upon the people, and now we have elected a government that has declared to the world that we will attack any nation that does not accept our model. So capitalisim has dropped its somewhat benign mask. Do you like what you see?

I got him beat. I just picked up a copy on Amazon for a penny. A penny! Figure out the economics of that. Or when as a UPS driver I used to deliver 50 lb bags of dog food. Dog food. My brother drove truck for a while and he would marvel at the apparent stupidity of driving a 40 ft semi loaded with bottled water FROM California to WA. At least there you have a back-haul explanation, makes you wonder how the Chinese ever get their containers back, maybe we just send them our old clothes. Anyway, thought I'd put in a plug for a really good read, '1491'. Not directly PO related, but if you haven't kept up with all the latest scholarship on Pre-Columbian American civilizations and migrations, this is a great catch-up.

Yea, I read 1491, great book.

Here are a couple that I am looking at right now:

Deep Economy, by Bill McKibben

Non-Technical Guide to Petroleum Geology, Exploration, Drilling, and Production, by Norman Hyne (2nd ed, 2001)

You can read some of the latter on Amazon:


I've been reading an excellent history of the everglades called "The Swamp", Michael Grunwald, Simon and Schuster,2006. Its a history of the environmental changes and the politics. Amoung other interesting facts I've gleaned, US Sugar and Flo-Sun have about 225,000 acres in the everglades growing sugar, and that requires about 6,000 "guest workers" as sugar cane cutters. The ethanol touting tribe around here needs to take note.

I'll add that sugar growing S of Lake Okeechobee is ADDING to the world CO2 load.

The growers drained marshes to access about 20' of organic "muck" accumulated under anoxic conditions. Being the tropics, this is oxidizing away; there is only about 3' left.

When it's gone the locusts (oops, I meant the billionaire Fanjul brothers) will move on.

Am I the only one who sees the irony in the movie "Independence Day" which portrays a locust-like alien race that consumes a planet's resources and then moves on? Seems to me this planet's "intelligent" locust threat is us.

Errol in Miami

Looks really interesting. I ordered it. Thanks.

basin and range by john mcphee (about k s deffeyes) and
rising from the plains, same author (about david love, the grand old man of wyoming and rocky mntn geology)

same author, McPhee, "The Curve of Binding Energy," about how easy it is to make a crude atomic bomb in your garage. Just in case reading TOD does not depress you enough . . . .

Sure, as long as you have the material...

You cant build an enrichment regime or a graphite pile in your garage to get the Pu239 or U235 though.

The trick is to
1. steal or
2. buy
the material you need. One thing I do not want free markets in is the enriched Uranium or Plutonium needed to make a little "wheelbarrow bomb."

Stealing or buying weapons grade material is a trick about as hard as making the enrichment material itself. People do pay attention to this stuff, even though we've had all the horror stories of russian loose nukes and the like.

Even still, only U235 is really suitable for building a bomb in your garage. The spherical implosion apparatus necessitated by the spontaneous fissions of Pu239 is not the easiest thing in the world to construct or get right.

Finally the realization dawns that PO is not simply a technical issue, but one suject to the ebb and flow of geopolitics. The shape of the curve of PO will be altered by decisions made by the politicians and citizens of energy exporting countries and a casual observation of what is happening in Iraq will lead the sane to conclude that diplomacy trumps stark agression every time.

Included below are some clips from and a link to an ATOL article showing how the much maligned but brilliant Mr Putin has outmanuvered us at every turn in the Balkans, the Stans, in Venesuela and now with improving relations with Turkey and Western Europe regardless of our best efforts to thwart his courtships. Mr Putin is taking maximum advantage of the less than competent administration in DC and their disasterous foreign policies.

'Look at it this way. One of the enduring foreign-policy legacies of the administration of US president Bill Clinton has been that in a "unilateralist" move, ignoring the United Nations, flouting international law, humbling Boris Yeltsin's Russia and herding panicky Europeans into a sheep pen, Washington just dismantled the erstwhile Yugoslavia. A stunned international community could do no more than watch the scale of power at the command of the United States.
Putin arrived in Zagreb in dramatic circumstances. The day before he left Moscow came the announcement in Rome about Russia and Italy entering into a momentous partnership to build what the Wall Street Journal described as a gas "pipeline into the heart of Europe". The news came hardly four weeks after Moscow, in a series of sweeping energy deals with Vienna, dealt a coup de grace to the Nabucco pipeline project promoted by Washington with the intent of keeping Russia out of its new sphere of influence in southern and southeastern Europe.'

Ethanol roundup:

E3 BioFuels Launches its Genesis Plant in Mead, Nebraska
A closed-loo, manure-fueled ethanol plant officially opened in Nebraska. It produces 25 million gallons of ethanol a year from corn and cow shit, employs almost one-fifth of the population in the neighboring town, and claims an energy ratio of 46 units produced for every 1 used. This will need to be validated but I look forward to the next 15(!) that I read somewhere else they are building.

Grants Announced for Bioenergy Centers
Some public policy news:
"The three centers, partnering with universities, national laboratories and private companies, will each receive $125 million to research new biofuel technologies over five years. The centers will be located in Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Madison, Wis., and near Berkeley, Calif." They are going to study new ways to make ethanol from non-corn sources.

Ethanol arrives in D.C. at $2.55 a gallon
These stations are popping up everywhere. Even though there are only around 1200 e85 stations in the US, the growth rate is huge. This site quotes a figure of 300% growth in three years.

Japan's New Public Health Problem Is Getting Big
People around the world are getting fatter. This isn't really news anymore, but I am going to keep posting it every time I read an article about how we will all starve if one more ethanol plant opens.

It's good to see positives on the ethanol front.

Ethanol is one fuel source that will be very useful to some of the people, some of the time. And inspite of the limitiations, every little bit helps.

But it will certainly impact our Food Chain...

"Let the Food and Energy Riots Begin!" Says Ma (Da Bitch) Nature.

"...energy ratio of 46 units produced for every 1 used"

The actual article says:

"Within the plant itself, the closed-loop system can produce over 46 units of energy (in the form of ethanol) for each unit of fossil fuel energy required. "

to clarify that's 46 units of energy for every one unit of fossil fuel input, not an EROEI of 46:1, and this specifically indicates what goes on in the plant and does not account for any required energy or fossil fuel use outside the plant.

Also, we should note that the "Author" of the article is listed as "E3 Biofuels". In other words, this is not really an unbiased news report, but is in fact an advertisement from the companhy itself, who is no doubt seeking capital investment.

Nevertheless, it seems to hold real promise as an improvement in ethanol production.

Keithster, I do admire your persistence on this site.

Costs on the rise in oil sands

CALGARY -- The costs of developing major oil sands projects in Alberta are spiralling ever higher, as a consortium led by Petro-Canada estimated yesterday that the first stage of its Fort Hills development will cost a gargantuan $14.1-billion.

The project - the most expensive single development yet proposed in the oil sands - includes the construction of an oil sands mine and upgrader that will produce 140,000 barrels a day of synthetic crude by the second quarter of 2012. A later second stage, if approved, would be of a similar size and be operational in 2014, at a cost of $12.1-billion, Petro-Canada said.

This is from behind a paywall so I don't think Leanan can access it. A list of cost pressures from the same article -->

Labour: With more projects afoot (about $125-billion over the next decade), a shortage of skilled workers is pushing costs higher.

Equipment and materials: Not only are steel and pipeline prices rising, Alberta's oil boom has created a need for more infrastructure across the board - roads, utilities, civic services, etc.

Global rivalry: Alberta's oil boom is a microcosm of the global energy market, making equipment and labour scarce worldwide. Canadian dollar: A higher dollar means that while it's easier for Canadian companies to buy overseas, they get less for what they sell.

Other threats: Companies fear they'll pay higher royalties after Alberta's current review.


Companies should be paying higher royalties-1% is preposterously low-In effect the Canadian taxpayers are subsidising US SUV's. The new carbon tax in Canada-does anyone have any idea how much it will add per barrel of synthetic crude? Also, how much per barrel of syncrude per day in capital investment, and the current production costs? The last I heard the costs were about $100,000 per barrel per day, plus $30-$40 of production costs, but those figures are a year old.


The 1% royalty is in effect until the companies recoup their capital investment. At that point it rises to the greater of 25% of project net revenue or 1% of the project's gross revenue. See the following for more detail.


Not only are Canadians subsidizing US SUVs, we are subsidizing such poverty stricken firms as Conoco Phillips, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon. The other outcome of this royalty structure is that it encourages further investment: why pay taxes when we can re-invest those tax payments in further tar sands development?

Your current figures for cost per bbl and lifting costs are still in the ballpark.

The Alberta provincial government is the only level of govt with a carbon tax. All such funds will be returned to the oil industry with the intent to reduce the FF industry carbon footprint.


Alberta is run by either crooks or chumps. The experience of anyone selling working interest to majors while retaining a net revenue interest is that they operate you to death. In other words, the tar sands will never see a profit as long as they can pencil whip you. And the alternate provision, a 1% of the gross, is still the same old 1%. Except for this deal and the deal in Venezuela that they just repudiated, I've never seen less than a 1/8th royalty on any oil lease written after WWI, and less than 10% on coal or sulfur mining.

Did you recruit your provincial government from the Texas State Legislature?

There is no paywall, click here: Costs on the rise in oil sands.

But that's not all:

PetroCan, partners sink $33.4 billion into oilsands

As oil prices sailed past a nine-month high of US$70 a barrel yesterday, Petro-Canada and its partners pushed forward with Canada's largest oilsands investment yet: a $33.4-billion oilsands-mining venture they said can generate a reasonable return even if oil dips to US$45.

The move casts aside uncertainty about the future of the once-beleaguered project, known as Fort Hills, and helps restore a measure of faith in the oilsands after months of doubt due to cost escalations.

"The number one message we get [from the announcement] is that these companies are willing to go ahead with high levels of oilsands spending because they are very bullish about oil prices," said Mike Tims, chairman of Peters & Co. "

It's also reflective of how tough it is for oil and gas companies globally to add oil supply."

Fort Hills, a partnership between operator Petro-Canada, UTS Energy Corp. and Teck Cominco Ltd., is proceeding as a massive commitment that will yield 280,000 barrels of synthetic crude oil a day by 2014, even after its backers stepped back six months ago to evaluate whether it made economic sense, and considered starting small to soften the cost hit and execution risk.

"Fort Hills is Petro-Canada's largest project to date," Ron Brenneman, president and chief executive, told analysts in a conference call. "We fully recognize the execution risk with this venture, but we believe with prudent planning and management we can mitigate that risk and deliver a project that will produce solid returns over a long period of time."

Now I'm probably too much of a simpleton to understand this, but if they make a $10 profit per barrel on their 280,000 bpd, that would be $2.8 million a day, or about $1 billion per year.

It would then take 33 years to earn back the initial investment. Real profit would start in 2040. Add a 2% inflation per year, and it all doubles.....

Nah, they'd never be that stupid?! And I should likely stick to counting my empty beer bottles. Then again, maybe they have reasons to hand out rosy projections? "how tough it is for oil and gas companies globally to add oil supply."


Well, after all the headline says: "sink $33.4 billion into oilsands", sink, not invest.

Now I'm probably too much of a simpleton

I'm the simpleton. I paid for an earlier (and worse) copy of the same article :-(

With regards your analysis. It is based on a profit of $10 a bbl. I think they are looking at future increased prices which will deliver greater than $10 per bbl profit. They believe in PO just not in public.

Note that they have minimal downside risk. Their backsides are protected at the expense of the public. Hardy, risk taking, socialist entrepreneurs those tar oil folk.

I found that "Oil price-demand link no longer as simple as ABC" fascinating. I don't think I've seen it put quite that way before, at least in the mainstream media.

They're basically saying that the reason high prices aren't lowering demand now is that all the low-hanging fruit was picked in the '70s. We aren't changing now, because we can't. At least, not very easily.

Implying also that the European solution of increased mass transit will make it harder to slow consumption. So don't look for a price drop soon.

But back in the US, transport use has climbed from 42 to 60%.

I had to think of Benjamin when I read that as it was such a good refutation of his basic premise of peak demand preceding PO. Article also points up a perverse aspect of our increasing energy efficiency- we have had a 60% drop in in oil intensity-the amount of oil consumed per unit of GDP- but it has had the effect of making economies more resilient to higher oil prices and making demand less sensitive to price signals.

Hi s,

Thanks and

re: "making economies more resilient to higher oil prices..."

There is that (pesky) issue of increasing debt, though - ?

So, I'd amend it to - "Demand is less sensitive, and is replaced by 'credit demand'."

Order Heating Fuels Now. Fall may be too late to ensure sufficient fuel to survive the winter.



And people who hedged last year got burnt, so they probably won't do it this year.

The past few years have seen a lot more people here in New England turn to wood for heat. I think that trend is likely to continue if the prediction of $3.00 heating oil comes true, at least for a while. Eventually though, many people will get numb to the new price or realize how much work burning with wood is and go back to just using oil.

This trend toward burning wood worries me. I live in Appalachian SE Ohio. More and more people and burning wood and many of them have the green wood furnace type that creates a lot of pollution. What's more, our area is prone to flooding, and as more and more trees are felled for wood, this only increases the risk of floods.

The pollution from burning wood is extraordinarily bad. I used to walk to work in a small N. Minnesota town, and on windless mornings in winter, just walking through the polluted air (from wood burning) was enough to gag and almost immobilize me. Maybe pellets are a lot better.

It depends upon how well you season the wood and how efficient your wood stove is. My wood is seasoned 18 months to 2 years (covered) before burning, and I have a high-efficiency stove. It is very clean-burning. Pellets probably do burn cleaner, but what about the energy used to make them and transport them?

They need to ban all non-EPA compliant outdoor wood boilers and ban use of indoor fireplaces that do not have an EPA compliant wood burning insert.

I know the second one is impossible, but it sure would cut down on the waste of wood in energy losing fireplaces (and leave more wood for me to burn).

EPA approved wood stoves are awesome little engineered gems. They come in all shapes and sizes now. Some look like old rustic pot-bellied stoves and others (like mine) fit into old masonry fireplaces and turn them into useful backup heat and cooking sources. I have had mine for several years and it has some very elegant engineering put into it. No electricity required. It efficiently uses natural convection to pull in additional pre-heated air and burn with ridiculously clean emission rates of only 1.3 grams of emissions per hour. Once mine is at temp, there is no visible smoke emitted. And as a bonus the flame display and visible light produced is greatly enhanced. Unlike pellet stoves I can burn most anything in it, but prefer to use hardwood (it's worth the extra cost). I bought the QuadraFire brand insert after a lot of research, but there were others of comparable performance.
If it gets cold where you live, one of these would be on top of my recommended shopping list before P.O. is evident... these were also hard to find last winter due to high gas costs..

You don't use a blower with yours? With my blower on, I can heat my entire house. Without the blower, it puts out much less heat.

I do love my insert. My goal for this winter is to not turn on my furnace at all.

I got myself an Irish Waterford before they stopped selling them in the US. It comes with an additional outside air intake duct. With the door closed, it thus effectively becomes a closed system; the thing of already heated indoor air going up the chimney becomes a non issue (except during that brief monent when adding wood), as does carbon monoxide.

I understand that there are now a few other manufacturers that also have the combustion air intake ducting. I could not imagine getting a wood stove that did not have this feature.

I don´t think, that an outside air intake duct is so important, though it sure could be fine.

I live near the arctic circle, and i heat our house with a woodstove without outside air intake duct. It works just fine. We have done just like this for hundreds of years up here, and you must have fresh air ventilation anyway.

Even more people turned to Pellet Stoves. I tried telling my in-laws that they were still going to be dependent on fossils to produce and ship those pellets.

You're probably right - wood is too much work for most people, so they buy pellet stoves instead. I asked my sister why she bought one - she says they're trying to be more self sufficient. I don't even go there...

When you can't get the pellets those stoves are useless.

Unless you have a pellet mill. My wife said she saw a Chinese model on TV, but I haven't followed up on it.

I've seen some multifuel stoves out there. I like the idea of being able to burn wood, pellets, corn cobs, coal, dried cow pats and whatever. An old pot-bellied stove, originally designed for wood and coal, can often be coaxed into burning a variety of fuels, from peat to waste paper. With the benefit of a quarter cup of kerosene (and an open fire door) you can even incinerate garbage in them, though I do not recommend this.

Unless you get the kind that can burn corn, too.

Corn then leads to rats and other problems that spread disease so why not just get one that can burn anything from cardboard to trees to railroad ties or whatever you please to shove in there?

This is all assuming you can get corn and that is a bit naive in PO.

I bought a corn/pellet stove and burned wood pellets for the first 2 years and then corn last year. They require a LOT of work cleaning and emptying ashes etc...
The reason I switched from pellets to corn was that the price of a 40 pound bag went from $3.15 to $5.00 last year. I found corn a lot messier and more difficult to burn than wood pellets.
This year I made a chart (on paper) so I could see quickly what the cost per 100,00 btu of many different fuels was at different retail fuel prices.
What I found rather surprised me! The most expensive by far of the fuels, assuming you are buying them, is cut/split wood for a wood stove. Going with the current prices per "pickup load" it is 2 to 4 times more expensive than propane.
The other factor that most often gets left out of the calculations supplied by the stove manufacturers is that wood/pellet stoves are only 50% to 70% efficient. Put your hand in the heated air stream coming from the stove and then put your hand in the combustion exhaust stream and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that all that heat going out in the exhaust is lost efficiency.
At going prices of wood pellets ($5.00/40# bag) and propane ($1.62/gallon) and factoring in pellet stoves at 70% efficent you will be paying much more per 100,000 btu's for the wood pellet heating than for the propane. (about $1.60 per 100,000 for propane burned in a 98% efficent furnace vs $2.00 per 100,000 btu for wood pellets burned in a 70% efficient pellet stove. And that doesn't count your labor/cost of hauling the pellets or maintaining the stove.)
With energy comparisons, breaking down all the different energy forms (propane/natural gas/electricity/wood/pellets/gasoline/etc..) to a constant like cost per 100,000 btu's (of heat delivered into the house!) quickly shows which is the lowest cost.
The best current value I found was a ground source heat pump even with electric rates of 8 to 10 cents per KWH. (about $0.80 per 100,000 btu at 8 cents per KWH and COP of 3 -COP of 4 to 5 can be purchased today)
The worst value in cost per 100,000 btus was gasoline burned in a internal combustion engine at 40% efficency! (Biodiesel & gasoline at $3.00/gallon come to about $2.30 and $2.40 respectively at 100% efficency or $3.80 and $4.00 at 40% efficiency per 100,000 btu)
I have all the figures to create the chart, but no ability to do computer charts that could be posted on TOD . If anyone wants to take on the effort to make up the chart I would be happy to e-mail the figures I have and how I laid out the chart. ($ per standard retail unit on bottom going from left to right low to high)($ per 100,000 btu going from low bottom to high top on left vertical)
When people finally realize how badly they are being taken by the sellers of pellet/corn stove fuel there are going to be a lot of pellet/corn stoves available used for a very cheap price! And a lot of pellet stove manufacturers going broke!

Cost/btu of ground loop heat pumps is VERY strongly a factor of ground water temperature. What ground water temp did you use ?

Conversely, hot ground water (see New Orleans) is great for the minimal amount of heating that we have (1 year in 3 no freeze) but bad to terrible for air conditioning. I suspect the inverse holds true in Prairie Canada.

Best Hopes for localized optimization,


Ground water temps run around 55F in Minnesota and I would guess about 65F (or maybe 70F) in New Orleans.
The 65F/70F in NO is a lot more efficient condensing temp than the 80F to 100F degree air temp plus you get better heat transfer in a liquid (ground) than in gas (air).
So a ground source heat pump would be a bit more efficent at heating in NO and a bit more effient at cooling in Minnesota, but in both places ground source will be MUCH more efficient at both heating and cooling than using an air source unit.
The higher the temperature in the condesing coils, the higher the condensing pressure must be and to achieve the higher pressures takes more energy.
Air conditioning equipment follows the laws of physics whether you are taking the heat off the condensing coils or the cooling off the evaporating coils.

It has been a half dozen years since I did the calcs, but ground water temperature in New Orleans is about 72 F (1 source) or 73 F (another source) from memory. Probably varies within the city (close to Lake Pontchartrain or Mississippi River).

Standard ASHRAE testing conditions are for MUCH lower humidity than here. Commercial "Water towers" have to be upsized (install a 75 ton with a 60 ton compressor, etc.) OTOH, air cooled condensers gain in efficiency (even more in the frequent summer rains).

Moving air takes far less energy than moving water (today feels like breathing compressible water :-) This parasitic loss for ground loop is significant.

I did a detailed comparison (truth be told, I wanted to install at least one ground loop unit, so there was bias) and ground loop and air cooled had equal energy efficiencies for cooling in New Orleans. Ground loop cost is x3 to x5 as much to install.


The great thing about the internet is that just about anything you can think of has been done by somebody else.


Of course the best bargain is the four cords of wood I have drying in my yard that cost me about 2 gallons of gas, 2 quarts of chainsaw oil and several gallons of sweat.

We bought our pellets by the ton, which worked out to $3 or $3.50 a bag. I hauled and loaded the pellets, my wife cleaned the ashes. She grew up with coal stoves, so pellets are easy for her. We spent far less money than we had with natural gas. Our dealer warned us away from corn; he said it was too much of a pain unless you were a farmer with lots of corn anyway.

I know there is a flue for natural gas or oil furnaces, so you are losing efficiency with those fuels, too. Do propane heaters have no flues? I'll have to ask my brother - he still uses propane.

I think the key efficiency in pellet stoves is that they aren't silent and automatic. You load the fuel being used so you think more about conserving. You bundle up at night and huddle around the stove more during the days.

I know there is a flue for natural gas or oil furnaces, so you are losing efficiency with those fuels, too

The flue for a condensing NG furnace (propane as well I think) can be and often is made out of PVC.

The one commercial installation of a Carrier MVP-100 NG furnace (94% AFUE) used PVC and exhausted out the ground floor of a 5 story building.

Best Hopes for efficiency,


I suspect that there are still lots of people living in rural areas of the U.S. that use wood heat, but that this does not appear in the statistics, since they tend to cut and "process" (i.e., split) the wood themselves. That's certainly true in my area. As a source of alternative energy, wood makes sense if one lives near to the supply, but shipping wood over long distances reduces the EROEI available. Wood pellets might be a good alternative energy source, since the amount of effort by the home owner is much less than that for firewood. Pellet stoves can also burn other materials, such as corn.

The stoves are rather efficient these days and the pellets a easy to store and move about, since they can be packaged in 40 pound bags, like dog food. Pellets can also be distributed in bulk and pellet furnaces are also available for replacement of the usual fossil fuel variety. One drawback is that pellet stoves do require electricity to operate, which is not true for traditional wood stoves.

There are many opportunities for local production of wood pellets and the equipment to make them are well developed in the agricultural industry. Switch grass has been studied as a source of pellets and even grass clippings might be used to make pellets, much like the alfalfa pellets used in animal feed. When Peak Oil really kicks in, I expect to see the industry expand rapidly in areas where there is an excess of wood and other sources of biomass. Now, if we can only get a carbon tax thru Congress and the Prez...

E. Swanson

I Would put a BIG question mark for pellets post PO.According to a swedish expert wood pellets have a negative EROI.
The most effective is direct burning of wood in a stove.

I took my vehicle and chainsaw to where a 5 ton hardwood tree had been bulldozed at the edge of a pine plantation. I found someone else had been 'stealing' from 'my' patch. I'm imagining these are the people whose backyards have huge pyramids of firewood and smoke trails from their house chimneys even in balmy weather. Firewood scavengers seem to be making exploratory expeditions along back country trails. The wood has to be at the roadside as they won't walk into the forest. I'm not sure how to confront them near my place, a chainsaw duel maybe. On the other hand more people are moving to the city and the energy return on firewood is obviously declining.

One Icelandic saga has the story of how the heads of two families fought to the death "in a mighty battle" over a dead whale that had washed ashore (a wonderful source of free, if somewhat smelly food).

The name today for the Icelandic lottery is translated as Whale Find.


"Smoketrails from their chimneys"

If you have dry wood and a modern effective stove, that burns the smoke gases tvice, there should not be any visible smoke from the chimney, and not much pollution.

I heat my house in that way. Very effective. Your nabors can´t see that you are burning wood in your stove(if it matters).

EDIT: Of cource it will smoke a little while when you lit the first woods, then it stops and doesn´t smoke the rest of the day.

Learsy fires back at Steve Andrews:

Peak Oil Theorists Gush Obfuscation!

I know its too much to expect that determined peak oil theorists like APSO co-founder Steve Andrews will suddenly admit they're wrong-no matter how many times their predictions of doomsday come and go without the world coming to an end. Sometimes all you can do is to shake your head at the stubborn denial. But Mr. Andrew's rejoinder here on the Huffington Post, to my "Peak Oil is Snake Oil!" piece of 6/25/07 requires some untangling to get at the pertinent facts.

I wrote a response, and I'm sure Huffington Post will remove it:

According to actual production figures gathered by the US Energy Information Agency, global crude production peaked in May, 2005. Where, Mr. Learsy, are your figures that indicate increased production?

Your rosy scenarios of future abundance are tiresome.

Peak Oilers: We are the Peak Oil 'Pranksters'! show us your oil.

Learsy: I ain't got to show you no steenkin' oil!

Reply was posted on that site. Looking at his befuddled previous piece, linked on todays piece, the comments run against him to a large degree. Maybe the site includes his junk as bait or to generate traffic.

I personally think the peak oil cause is lost, yet I can't help commenting to people like Learsy.

I'm sure Mr Learsy means ASPO whenever he writes APSO, but that's the least of his problems: the chief is his stubborn refusal to even acknowledge what "peak oil" MEANS: it is not "The End Is Near" or running out. It means the inability to GROW the rate of liquid fuel FLOWS. Peak oil refers to the "tap," not the "tank," as Jean Lahererre has remarked.

Oil is once again over $70/barrel. Extraction rate has not surpassed the May 2005 maximum. The rate of discovery has lagged behind the rate of extraction for over 25 years. Cantarell field in Mexico is crashing. The North Sea is crashing, and the UK is now a net importer. All fields that have historically produced over a million barrels a day are in decline. Even Saudi Arabia's Ghawar may be in decline, but they refuse to allow their fields to be audited. Yet their extraction rate has declined for two years. Canada is scrubbing tar and upgrading it using natural gas. The United States is dropping wells into five miles of water and rock off the Gulf of Mexico.

How much evidence does one need to understand that we can no longer grow oil supply?

I'll suggest to Mr Learsy what I suggest to anyone else who refuses to "believe in" peak oil:

Please, don't bother preparing.


Nice reply. I'm glad they included my comment. I've said mean things about Learsy's screed, and have had my messages deleted because of that, though I've never attacked him personally.

Does anyone know...what is Learsy's background? Why is he so determined to prove that oil isn't a non-renewable resource? Anybody know anything about this guy? He sure is a blow-hard.

According to his bio on Huffington Post, he was (is?) a big time commodity trader. Now a member of the stink tank called the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Maybe he's the guy who is convincing those doddering geriatrics who run Detroit's big three to keep pushing trucks and SUVs -- $2.00 a gallon gasoline soon!

Thanks, capslock. I keep seeing these screeds from him lambasting the few dissenting voices that dare question the cornucopian, party-hearty, pedal-to-the-metal mentality and I wonder -- what the hell's your problem, bud?

Here we have COMPELLING evidence that we are living beyond our means -- importing foreign oil, probably futzing with the planet's climate, funding jihadists who would like nothing better than to stuff us, and ruining our currency by running up huge foreign debts -- and guys like Learsy are saying "DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT PEOPLE! PARTY ON! PAY NO ATTENTION TO THOSE LIMP-WRISTED, SMALL-MINDED CHICKEN LITTLE TYPES! THIS IS YOUR TIME! YOU DESERVE THIS! blah, blah, blah..."

Like Pogo said, we have indeed met the enemy...

My girlfriend and I get so damn annoyed when we hear that phrase "...because you deserve it..." or "...don't you deserve..." Funny thing is that in the radio ads around us those phrases almost always seems to be associated with cars, homes, or home improvement

I think if we really took a good look at what we "deserve" as a society we might think twice about wanting to receive our parting gift...

I do not want my just desserts. I want mercy. I'm an American.

I guess he doesn't have a copy of the GAO report as he makes no mention of it in his diatribe. Sometime between now and 33years from now he may sing a different tune.

According to actual production figures gathered by the US Energy Information Agency, global crude production peaked in May, 2005. Where, Mr. Learsy, are your figures that indicate increased production?

The July, 2006 figure slightly exceeds the May, 2005 figure, 85,377 kbd vs. 85,277 kbd. These figures are from Table 1.4 at http://www.eia.doe.gov/ipm/supply.html and have been revised, meaning that at one point the May, 2005 figure stood as the maximum.

Hello Calorie,

I believe the Crude & Condensate [C+C] quantity is the relative benchmark that has not been exceeded since May 2005. From memory: about 74 million b/day in May 20005. It is even lower now.

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

A new Round-Up has been posted at TOD:Canada.

The focus today is on the developing credit crunch spreading beyond the housing market. The article on the British fuel protests of 2000 certainly makes for interesting reading as a potential case study for fuel shortages in an industrial economy.

Not sure if this has been posted before on TOD but I came across a link to an assessment of global infrastructure and prospects for the future. I have not read it but just looking at the table of contents and seeing the section headings for the US portion of the report - well, things look pretty grim... Can't remember seeing a section heading refering to a "train wreck" in other technical reports I've read...

PDF WARNING - 64 pages


From the Urban Land Institute (ULI) site That produced the infrastructure report you linked.

"We're Intent on Nation Building, Just Not This One"


Chicago, for example, needs $6 billion just for subway repairs.

Some 3,500 U.S. dams are unsafe. Did you know we have 79,000? It would cost $30 billion to bring them all into compliance.

Trains? I read that the United States lags 'decades behind' global standards. It could cost $250 billion to catch up

Hello TODers,

I just received some interesting email spam from Amazon.com pushing for the purchase of Kunstler's "The Long Emergency". I wonder how many millions of other Murkins also got this message? Is Amazon starting to do Peakoil Outreach to juice their overall sales? Makes sense to me.

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

Are you an Amazon customer?

Maybe they sent it to you based on your previous purchases.

Hello Leanan,

Yep. The only book I have bought from Amazon was Simmons' "Twilight in the Desert" back when it first was issued.

But when you consider how many previous purchases by other customers of other topics can be linked to Kunstler by this data-mining software: this spam might just have been sent to multi-millions. Just off the top of my head, any previous customers of earlier purchases of books on the following topics might have got this email:

Architecture, urban design, automobiles, railroads, real estate, gardening, landscaping, recycling, politics, history, bicycling, mass-transit, archealogy, science fiction, guns, population, shipping, water & drought, food & dieting, exercise & medicine, parenting, air travel.

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

Another Peak Oil game:

Frontlines: Fuel of War

There are some screenshots here.

Check out the blog...

The analysis of my second update seems to indicate an increasing global demand for oil, and a decreasing output of existing oil fields.

The oil industry has seen events like this before, and has always responded that it will be able to abate the issue by discovering new oil fields, and that increased technology will allow even more sources of oil to be found.

This got me curious...what is the global state of new discoveries of oil?

The idea of firing a power-plant on dried milk has to be QUITE the MOST RETARDED thing I have ever ever heard in my entire life (see story above: "Milk fired power plants on the horizon"). This cannot possibly make sense economically or in EROEI terms - the steps alone are ludicrous - sun makes grass grow, cow eats grass, digests grass, produces dilute fatty sugary substance, which is then DRIED, and then burned. Ummm.... why not just burn the grass (in the form of hay)? This is waaaay beyond retarded. I want to punch the people involved very very hard. I love (as in hate) the quote where he blames rising milk prices on the fact that other people are looking at milk as a biofuel........ Uh, no, you retard it's mostly about feed prices, but also the fact that milk is actually in demand as a food. Grrrrr.... Grrrr...... Grrrr.....

(Obviously no criticism whatsoever intended here of Leanan for bringing this story to our attention. Thanks Leanan for your fabulous work on the Drumbeats).


Oh dear, oh dear. I think the preferred expletive would likely be: neuro-synaptically challenged, or other similar idiocy.

The argument for this seems to be more about reducing pollution than economics or EROEI.

Don't become a Buddhist. The world doesn't need more Buddhists. Do practice compassion. The world does need more compassion. -- Dalai Lama

How in the world is burning nitrogen and sulfur-containing protein (casein mostly) going to reduce pollution?

I nominate these guys for the Nobel Prize for Stupidity
( the prize amount is DEDUCTED from their corporate account : )

Errol in Miami

Powdered milk fired power plants??? The concept makes ethanol seem perfectly sane. I wonder, did anyone point out to the author/theorist of this dried milk concept that lying about on the ground, among those large things in the fields called cows, cow plops are scattered in profusion in every pasture, and if allowed to dry they burn perfectly well without further processing...but he/she probably wouldnt recognize a cow plop if he/she stepped in one.

>Powdered milk fired power plants??? The concept makes ethanol seem perfectly sane

Don't worry, sooner or later they'll come up with power plants fired with stupidity. Stupidity is completely renewable and very abundant.

"Stupidity is completely renewable and very abundant".

Yea it's called Stupanol but I believe Rupert Murdoch has purchased the rights and is licensing it out to all PR, Marketing, and MSM entities.

I know, I know. Let them burn perfume.

It might pollute the air but it'll smell good coming out of the stack.

The problem will solve itself.
But not in a nice way.

July 4 the most dangerous day of year to drive

If you’re planning a car trip for this Fourth of July, be wary: It’s the most dangerous day of the year to drive. Driving is particularly perilous if you’re in rural Maine, which tops a new list of states that have the highest incidences of crashes on rural roads.

Traveling in a car is one of the most dangerous things most people ever do; the lifetime risk of dying in a motor vehicle accident for U.S residents is 1-in-100.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the top two days of the year for motor vehicle fatalities over the years 1986-2002 have been July 3 and July 4.

Yikes. 1 in 100 is higher than I thought.

I've known four people (including one close friend) who were killed in car crashes. I only know about four people who have died of heart attacks and three who have died from cancer.

Cars are way more dangerous than guns.

I'm about to head off to work a shift on an ambulance. In the time I have been doing this, I have only been on 1 gun shot wound. But every shift I run on drunks, chest painers and diabetics from obesity, car accidents and general assualts. I know there are stats out there, but just from general experience obesity, smoking, drugs, alcohol and cars do kill many more people in the US than guns.

Cars and obesity are closely linked.

Best Hopes for TOD,


Hi Shawnott. I work part-time as an EMT in that "rural" state they talk about in the article, Maine. I, too, can testify to the banal frequency of "10-55s" (car crashes). Off the top of my head: in the last week in this town of 9,000, we have had one utility pole sheered off by a young man who tried to pass someone at a high rate of speed (broken vertebrae, brain bleed, separated ribs); a T-bone at an intersection causing a broken leg and hip; and, just this morning, a car-into-a-tree, car bursting into flames. The driver was reported "seriously injured" and taken to Maine Medical Center. I didn't go on these calls. I chose to stay in bed. I see enough during my scheduled shifts.

I get to work during the un-official "July 4th weekend," Sat-Sun July 7 & 8. Lucky me!

Hi b,

Be careful and good luck. (I'm thinking maybe you should go around giving talks - it's all so abstract, until one sees it.)
In terms of the injuries, each one comes w. a concussion, too, doesn't it? Even if considered "mild" - sets people up for longer-term problems.

And just like guns: Cars dont' kill people, people kill people...

Riding my bike to work on a non-motorized path is a dream come true.

I think I posted a note last year about my presentation to a parents' meeting at our daughter's high school, after I found out that groups of teenagers were driving out to various parent's East Texas lake houses--after the prom and homecoming dances.

There are three primary risk factors for teenage driving fatalities: multiple teenagers, driving after midnight and alcohol.

It's a good bet that these late night lake house excursions had all three components.

I told the parents that if we didn't put a stop to these late night excursions, it was when, not "if" we would be attending funerals for multiple dead teenagers. The resulting crackdown was something to behold, and I was not real popular with our daughter for a while, but being popular is not part of the job description.

I was reminded of this when I read about the five girls that died when they ran into an 18 wheeler, trying to pass a van on a narrow country road, on the way to someone's cabin for the weekend:

5 cheerleaders die in crash after graduating from high school
Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 06/27/2007 09:44:42 PM PDT

FAIRPORT, N.Y. - They were giddy after a weekend of high school graduation parties, still reminiscing about their triumph at a national cheerleading contest, and were lining up a farewell summer of pool parties and sleepovers before heading off to college.

But the celebrations came to an end for nine recent high school graduates, most of them members of the Fairport High varsity cheerleading team, when the leading vehicle in a two-car caravan heading to a vacation home Tuesday night slammed head-on into a truck, killing five young women, ages 17 and 18.

Yet another reason that Alan Drakes EOT plan makes sense.

I had lunch with a gentleman a few months ago, who described to me how he took his date to the prom in 1944 in Dallas--to and from on the streetcar.

Hope this is not a repost, but interesting confirmation of what I think we already know.

MEXICO CITY, June 29 (Reuters) - Mexican President Felipe Calderon said on Friday he expected the country's crude oil exports to slip further this year and next after a decline in 2006.

"Starting in 2006, the volume of our oil exports has been falling at an alarming rate and from what we have observed up until now, this year and the next will be no exception," Calderon told a banking event.

((Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by David Gregorio; Mexico City newsroom +52 55 5282 7153;

Yes 1 in 100 is slightly riskier than the 1 in 88,000 chance we have of being victims of a terrorist attack.

Using the odds of dying a terrorist related attack during your lifetime as noted below from the CDC, let's compare them to the odds of dying from a long list of real, everyday dangers.

1 in 88,000 of a terrorist attack
1 in 1,500,00 of a terrorist-caused shopping mall disaster assuming one such incident a week and you shop two hours a week
1 in 55,000,000 in a terrorist-caused plane disaster assuming one such incident a month and you fly once a month ( 1 )
1 in 55,928 of death by lightening
1 in 20,605 in your clothes igniting
1 in 10,455 of dying in your bathtub
1 in 10,010 by falling from a ladder or scaffolding
1 in 9,396 due to excessive heat
1 in 8,389 due to excessive cold
1 in 7,972 in a drowning accident
1 in 6,842 in a railway accident.
Using odds of dying in a way that Americans can relate to, let's compare the above numbers to the odds of dying during your lifetime to homicide from various forms of weapons.
1 in 197 of dying in a homicide
1 in 299 of dying in an assault from a firearm
1 in 5,330 of dying in an assault by hanging or strangulation
1 in 207,261 in operations of war.

I also saw where in order to generate the same danger as dying in a plane crash, you only have to drive 11 miles.

Don't become a Buddhist. The world doesn't need more Buddhists. Do practice compassion. The world does need more compassion. -- Dalai Lama

I am sure that the families of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will be relieved to know that by getting them off of US streets, they have reduced their loved one's risk of mortality by a factor of 2072.61%


And if you live where I live, it could be even dangerous still.

LV drivers place 170th in study

The Allstate Insurance Co. review of its claims data from 2004 and 2005, to be released this morning, found Las Vegans on average wrecked once every 7.8 years, making them 27.5 percent more likely to crash than the average American, who does so once every decade.

Don't become a Buddhist. The world doesn't need more Buddhists. Do practice compassion. The world does need more compassion. -- Dalai Lama

Hello TODers,

The Immigration Reform was again reduced to business as usual. Obviously, Congress & SCOTUS & POTUS are now aware of Peakoil and Overshoot, but I think the topdogs are trending towards SPP to achieve the maximum in infinite growth and personal profits before it all goes downhill fast:


IMO, the goal is to get enough immigrants so that SPP will be the only choice; it will be impossible to ship any illegals home. Leanan's ArchDruid toplink on demographics and migration tends to reinforce this conclusion.

Then when it finally all starts to go postPeak downhill: the fighting and anarchy among the North American peons will provide excellent profit opportunities for the topdogs.

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

I wish they wouldn't use that word "trilateral." It gives me the creeps.

Hello PeakOil Tarzan,

I made a bet, a long time ago, with Great Scott at the Yahoo:AlasBabylon forum. I speculated that SPP and the '3 Days of the Condor' strategy would be simultaneously achieved by a nuke going off in Mexico or Canada. He thinks it will be a nuke inside the US. Time will tell.

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

Oh Heck, Bob

Why don't you just go with the flow? Get a senorita who makes homemade tamales, learn to speak Spanish, rock out to Cumbia and Conjuto music. There's just too much trouble attached to being white in America and trying to be middle class. I'm thinking about Costa Rica, or maybe Belieze.
Someplace with no military, too few fossil fuels to be worth invading, good beaches with surfing so my son will come visit, inexpensive medical care, a few nice, cool mountains...oh shit, I've talked myself into it! Where's my passport!

OilManBob, you might consider living at an elevation of...oh, say 325 feet or more. I would avoid anything at sea level. The sea level will come to you eventually.

Get some land with a hill and you'll have your own island :)

Just asked Joe Bageant if he would let us all know what it's like living in Belize. He's currently in the states promoting his book. Hopefully he'll get bored in his hotel room and drop us a line.

Hi Bob,

Well, interesting.

re: "...it will be impossible to ship any illegals home."

(And can I add "humans" or a noun to 'illegal'? It's seems more respectful, regardless of one's views.)

In any case, given the numbers, and the network of relationships, my take is - it's already...well, I'll qualify it ...just about impossible, both politically and practically. (Eg. each person here illegally, has ties to X number of people here legally, and to many others not here.)

Also, isn't there the issue of the contribution (in USD) to the Mex. economy from illegal immigrants' wages? (But I'm sure you know more about this than I do.)

(And does the latter help balance oil exports?)

A lot of trauma being generated.

Do read Stoneleigh's low down on the money markets, I'd recommend. Get informed, this will hurt you too. Stop focusung on the housing bubble, it's much bigger than a few buildings..

The roof is caving in, with an earthquake approaching fast. That rumble you hear is just the start.

As Bloomberg states below, Wall Street is lying and hiding all they can. The reality now is that millions of private investors and institutions (pension funds!!) hold hundreds of billions of dollars in securities and other paper, that have already lost 25% of their value. Thing is, nobody knows it yet.

Nobody? Not quite. Moody's and Fitch do. But they ain't telling, and that is a risky move. If and when news leaks out that they have been selling off their assets while lying about the ratings, there'll be lawsuits from here to kingdon come, and big names will fall. Bear Stearns is just the first.

S&P, Moody's Mask $200 Billion of Subprime Bond Risk

Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings are masking burgeoning losses in the market for subprime mortgage bonds by failing to cut the credit ratings on about $200 billion of securities backed by home loans.

The highest default rates on home loans in a decade have reduced prices of some bonds backed by mortgages to people with poor or limited credit by more than 50 cents on the dollar and forced New York-based Bear Stearns Cos. to offer $3.2 billion to bail out a money-losing hedge fund. Almost 65 percent of the bonds in indexes that track subprime mortgage debt don't meet the ratings criteria in place when they were sold, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

That may just be the beginning. Downgrades by S&P, Moody's and Fitch would force hundreds of investors to sell holdings, roiling the $800 billion market for securities backed by subprime mortgages and $1 trillion of collateralized debt obligations, the fastest growing part of the financial markets.

``You'll see massive losses from banks, insurance companies and pension managers,'' said Joshua Rosner, a managing director at investment research firm Graham Fisher & Co. in New York and co-author of a study last month that said S&P, Moody's and Fitch understate the risks of subprime mortgage bonds. ``The longer they wait, the worse it's going to be.''

Do the pension funds have liability insurance? Since these guys have a fiduciary duty to their beneficiaries, I'd suspect that they would. If so, the insurance companies are really fixing to get whacked.
This whole deal looks like a lawyer full employment program if I ever saw one-people with lots of money who have really hurt their clients through their negligence.

Liability insurance for what? Losses on investments? Don't think that exists, and if it would, the premiums would be forbidding. You can always short the market, though...

Pension funds are generally regulated by government, as per how much AAA, or AA or lower, they can buy. Rarely anything else than AAA. But that's the trick with these packaged and tranched securities: they are labeled AAA, while large chunks are toxic waste. Once they're tranched, no-one would know, howeevr. Brilliant.

Many governments have lowered their control standards of the funds, to allow them to invest in higher yield, hence higher riak, paper.

And really, would you let someone else go to a casico to gamble with your money, and pay them to do it?

Why aren't they personally liable for misrepresenting the safety of their investments in exotic debt instruments? This isn't the first time derivatives have collapsed, and it all can be traced to the invention of MBA degrees and personal computers for sociopaths and fools.

You're right about the casino analogy. The house always wins, and whether any individual fund manager wins depends on luck as much as anything. Its why I don't buy mutual funds. Gimme oil wells! At least there, I'm part of the house.

Pension funds are still teetering on the edge of collapse from the Worldcom BS.(I personally only lost $6,000 in MCI but I'm still pissed. I think I should be allowed to go to Bernie Ebber's house and pick out $6,000 worth of stuff.) The bundled motgages will finish them off. I was reading somewhere that fund managers had been exposing themselves to try to make up for the previous loses in order to regain solvency. When this sh*t blows up, no one will be retiring on a pension.

And that's the point I'm trying to make, Cid. Man, wait till you hear how much money they've been borrowing to make even more profits. The people expecting a pension will instead find invoices in their mailbox demanding payment.

A lot of it is dead and gone. It may take years till anyone finds out, pension funds are not routinely audited, and the managers will not, as in NOT, volunteer the info that proves they just lost 25% of billions of dollars.

A week of reversals ended with a reversal on Wall Street. Stocks again closed near their lows for the day. As someone said on here on Tuesday, at the very least, it's an interesting, "pattern," especially since this is so typical of a market top.

The Dow closed at 13,408.62, about 45% of the way from the day's low to the day's high, i.e. well off the low. The other major indices were similar. The markets hit their lows at about 3:30 PM EDT and recovered a good bit before closing.

Hi guys,I hear you've been talking about me, and to tell you the truth I just love it, so keep it up.

I just love all the work you do so just keep yours up too 00xx00.

Love :ph or is that h:p ooh I just get so confused.

Paris, we need you to take a message to "the people." They won't listen to us but they hang on your every broken fingernail. We need you to tell them about...


I welcome the opportunity to tell you how much I hate you.

I've never even seen you, not having a television, but for some reason no one will let me go one single day without hearing your name, like some insane cult chant.

If there's a hell, may you burn in it.

I didn´t know who you where until i saw you on swedish TV news the other day. Pretty girl kinda swedish looking.

But ELM has not appeared in ouer news at all yet.

go away, oilceo. I'm bored with your troll BS. Why don't you go to AA and sober up?

Deadly cyclone ravages Asia

Rescuers overwhelmed as hundreds killed in floods, rain that strike India-Pakistan region

Military helicopters led efforts to help up to 900,000 Pakistanis affected by a powerful cyclone yesterday as floods claimed 23 lives in the northeast and at least 50 in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Nearly 450 people have now lost their lives in severe pre-monsoon weather that has swept across South Asia in the past week, which the United Nations said highlights the need to prepare for the impact of global warming.

In Pakistan, rain and wind abated slightly two days after Cyclone Yemyin hit the southwestern coast, finally allowing seven helicopters to launch rescue operations in badly hit Baluchistan province. Meteorologists are calling for scattered rain for the next two to three days.

Hello HeIsSoFly,

Thxs for the info. We should always expect the worse from Mother Nature--she is one tough woman. What will be interesting to watch is the Thermo/Gene response. Will the affected areas go to Peakoil Outreach and biosolar habitat strategies? Or will they go for maximum detritovore blowback to non-optimize their decline?

Will they start reforestation and relocalized permaculture to reduce future flash-flooding? Since much of their infrastructure spiderwebs is now wrecked: will they build community solar-heated baths and laundry facilities? Will they import bicycles and wheelbarrows? Big investments in Alan Drake's RR & TOD ideas? Nationwide Humanure Recycling? Voluntary birth controls and peaceful community action to rebuild grainstores and water to a seven year safety supply? Maximum mulching the soil for future water retention and aquifer restoration?

Alternatively: continue to increase Overshoot and habitat lifeform decimation and desertification to make future weather effects even worse? Just let the sewage made from pooping into potable water flow down the streets to the sea? Continue to loot and burn the existing spiderwebs? Scapegoat and then kill their neighbors? Rebuild the asphalt networks poorly so they can be wrecked even worse next time? Or reduced to a pot-holed mess in record time by importing even more road vehicles?

How much topsoil, pollution, and trash was washed out to sea to wreck the fisheries? With the power out: is copper wire being stolen at record rates? Are gun and ammo sales spiking upward as fast as food and fuel prices? Are the rich helping the poor, or concentrating their wealth into personal survival bunkers and protective Mercs?

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

There are some photos here.

House energy bill rejects car fuel economy boost

I made what I thought was a rather cynical prediction earlier this week to wife. My prediction was that the House energy bill would have the same CAFE standard or less than the Senate bill.(35 MPG by 2020?) Now I read that the bill that has come out of committee has no increase to the CAFE standard. I am glad that we can depend on lobbyists and our elected representatives to make good decisions for us. God bless the Iron Triangle...

Don't become a Buddhist. The world doesn't need more Buddhists. Do practice compassion. The world does need more compassion. -- Dalai Lama

I love how many articles about PO start with the term Peak Oil Cassandras. It always makes me smile, as it is such a shallow approach to try to reduce your opponent's credibility. The following Business week article, however, has some good data in it. Seems the author can't reconcile that PO timing could be affected by above ground factors.

It also reveals their ignorance.

I purposely wrote about my geology professor as a "cassandra" because of its true meaning in Greek myth: Cassandra's curse was making TRUE predictions that no one took seriously.

While Cassandra foresaw the destruction of Troy (she warned the Trojans about the Trojan Horse, the death of Agamemnon, and her own demise), she was unable to do anything to forestall these tragedies.

TOD is a cassandras hangout.

I knew that, but most Americans don't. Most Americans don't even know who Cassandra was. It is just a phrase to them.

rigzone announced that total has commenced production(depletion) of the rosa field offshore angola. i dont see anything on here about it. this is quite an accomplishment in 4000' water depth. proven + probable reserves are estimated at 370 million barrels. they dont give any depletion figures, only that they expect to maintain 250k bpd from the existing floating production facility. the article says the field was discovered in 1998.

It says they expect to maintain 250k bpd until the end of the decade, which is about right as that rate comes to 92M barrels/year and the field only has 370M.

i took it that they expect to maintain the 250k bpd on an existing floating production facility which is already on production(depletion)from other wells.

Re: Corn crop already exceeds expectations

That's half-getting it planted. Other half is harvest-what will there be? Alot of drought in parts, patchy freezes, who knows what. But the comment

"“We’ll need another significant increase in corn acres next year to keep prices reasonable and there’s no answer in this report where that’s coming from,” said Bill Roenigk"

sums it up. Not much more room, yet corn etoh demand still expected to grow.

On a similar note, I posted this last night late, but include again. Hay prices are up somewhat east, fairly steady west, according to June USDA reports. But the May 1 report noted the lowest hay stockpiles since 1950.

Concerning the top article in this DRUMBEAT,
that Council on Foreign Relations Task Force, the one
with Schleisinger and Duetsch, those two men gave a talk
about their findings.
I highly recommend a listen.
Schleisinger is quit candid about the US's
current energy situation. Also, considering the forum in which he is speaking and the inside knowledge he has about future US policy, he makes a frightening statement in the Q&A about what US policy will be concerning Global Warming.