DrumBeat: October 4, 2007

OPEC September Oil Output Rose 270,000 Barrels, Survey Shows

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries raised production 0.9 percent in September, after members set new output targets at a meeting in Vienna, a Bloomberg News Survey showed.

OPEC pumped an average 30.615 million barrels a day last month, up 270,000 barrels from August, according to the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts. The 10 members with production quotas, all except Angola and Iraq, increased output by 155,000 barrels to 26.88 million barrels a day.

Ukraine starts reducing gas consumption

Ukraine has started reducing its consumption of natural gas supplied to the country by Gazprom, the Russian energy giant said Thursday.

Debunking auto industry myths

I hesitate to pick a fight with a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner like New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. On the critical issue of developing a national energy policy to lessen our consumption of imported oil, he's been early, smart, and right.

But Friedman whiffed in his Times column yesterday, called "Et Tu, Toyota," by hauling out one of the hoariest of urban myths: That forcing higher fuel economy standards on American car buyers is what's needed to encourage more energy-efficient vehicles and make Detroit more competitive with its import competitors.

Meeting the Challenge – Transport Expert Todd Litman: Alter Car Insurance & Save Oil, Lives, Environment

Litman calls it “Pay-As-You-Drive” pricing (PAYD). Simply put, the fewer miles you drive in a year’s time, the lower your annual car insurance premium. Litman argues that by making it pay – literally – for motorists to combine shopping trips, to carpool, and so on, the more likely it is that the family SUV stays in the garage, thereby not just reducing gasoline consumption but also air pollution and auto-related fatalities.

(See also: Get Paid for NOT Driving To Work (Part 2 of 3) and 'Congestion Pricing' to Include Entire Regions (Part 3 of 3))

Gazprom, Ukraine agree on payment of gas debt by Nov 1

OAO Gazprom said chief executive Alexei Miller and Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Yury Boiko reached an agreement under which Ukraine's gas debts will be paid by Nov 1, Interfax reported.

Alaska Oil Tax Draft Released

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has released a bill proposing to boost oil taxes for the second straight year, setting the stage for a battle with major petroleum producers.

Venezuela crude for Dominican Republic to reach 50,000 barrels daily

Property minister Vicente Bengoa yesterday said the Venezuelan government extended the facilities so the country can import 50,000 barrels of oil daily through the Petrocaribe Agreement, which sets a preferential price and in soft, long term financing.

S.F. moving to catch up with European bike-share programs

San Francisco is one push of the pedal closer to offering residents and visitors a bike-sharing program in an effort to ease traffic congestion and to promote health through exercise.

ASES National Solar Tour Saturday, October 6, 2007

The National Solar Tour highlights energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and methods that are working and available right now, in real places for real people. These sustainable energy choices help the owners reduce operating costs and improve comfort and health while investing in local communities.

Tours show attendees how home and building owners provide for their power needs from the sun, wind and other renewable sources. An increasing focus of tours is on saving energy through building design, energy-efficient appliances and building materials.

For solar power, the future looks bright

Solar energy is now very real. And at hot companies like SunPower, the 'green' that matters is money - by the billions.

Fuel Assistance program gets boost

According to a press release from the State Housing Authority, the federal Energy Information Administration projects that oil prices will increase by nearly 28 percent over last year, bringing the anticipated cost oil of heating oil to over $3 a gallon. At that cost, the average benefit buys roughly 193 gallons, less than the full capacity of most oil tanks.

Oil headed for era of price chaos

OIL PRICE VOLATILITY will be the least of our worries if one scenario Simon Ratcliffe paints has any weight. Ratcliffe is chairman of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil South Africa (Aspo), which has been studying the effects should a peak in oil production occur. He suggests peak oil production began this year, the implication of which is an interminable decline in supply followed by societal and economic disintegration.

And the much-vaunted solution – discovering and developing alternative energy sources – is but a mild palliative, says Ratcliffe. German organisation The Energy Watchgroup believes global coal resources will start to deplete by 2025, while uranium, one of the most commonly found minerals in the world, will reach peak production in 2013.

Peak oil educator to visit New Zealand

Richard Heinberg, one of the world's foremost Peak Oil educators and Research Fellow of Post Carbon Institute, is coming to New Zealand in October hosted by the Green Party and the Eco Show to give talks in Auckland, Wellington and Taupo.

"The end of cheap oil is a problem the world will have to face, and I am honoured to be able to host Richard Heinberg here at Parliament for a briefing to all MPs on this topic," Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

Crude awakening

Why aren't more people talking about the imminent oil supply crisis?

EU Gas Experts to Hold Emergency Meeting on Gazprom-Ukraine Row

The European Union is to hold an extraordinary meeting of national gas experts to discuss the dispute between Ukraine and Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, officials said Wednesday.

Ukraine Denies Gas Debt to Gazprom

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko says Ukraine does not owe money to Russia's state-owned natural gas company Gazprom.

Pakistan: No more increase in LPG price, govt directs OGRA

To provide relief to common man in the holy month of Ramazan, the government has directed the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to maintain the current LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) price despite the fact that internationally the prices of LPG have increased by 15 percent.

Pakistan: Capped LPG rate irks some, amuses others

As a Pakistan dominated association of LPG marketing companies on Wednesday hailed government for not passing on the international fuel hike to consumers, Shell Gas said such a swift policy shift could jeopardize its future investment plan. The decision to continue September’s Saudi Aramco Contact Price (CP) into October can not be sustained over a longer period of time, Fauzia Kazmi, CEO Shell Gas told The News.

ConocoPhillips: Yanbu Refinery Study Seen Done By Early '08

ConocoPhillips (COP) said Wednesday it expects a detailed evaluation of the proposed development of a refinery in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, to be completed by early next year.

Australia 'falling behind' on renewable energy

Australia is falling behind countries like Germany and China, and the US state of California in terms of the proportion of electricity it generates from renewable energy, the Australian Conservation Foundation said yesterday.

"Surely we can do so much better with solar power here. It just makes common sense, but we need government leadership," ACF executive director Don Henry said in Brisbane.

Huge wind farm spinning in Colorado

One of the largest wind farms in the country has begun operating in north-central Weld County. The $500 million project in Grover is expected to generate enough electricity to serve 90,000 houses.

US trumps states over siting power lines

Huge transmission lines could soon skirt Civil War battlegrounds, historic districts, and the Appalachian Trail following a federal order that designates national corridors in two key regions of the United States with fast-growing electricity needs.

Will biofuel leave the poor hungry?

It is one of the most hotly debated environmental topics of the year - whether the drive to produce alternative so-called green fuels will take food from the mouths of the hungry.

Warning on danger of biofuels

ENVIRONMENTAL hopes for biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels are premature, if not misplaced, a scientist at the Greenhouse 2007 conference says.

Many of the plants being promoted as biofuel "miracle plants" were weeds that would create ecological devastation, said Tim Low, the co-author of a report released yesterday.

"This is just like the hype that went into cane toads in the 1930s," Mr Low said. "It doesn't have any proven value as an agricultural crop."

U.S. Economic Energy Intensity: Why $80 oil hasn't impacted our economy, but why $162 oil will

With oil north of $80 a barrel it seems appropriate to revisit another conundrum facing economists, which is why high energy prices have yet to derail the economy. Many economists and analysts have estimated that high oil prices would lead to demand destruction and dent economic activity. Back in 2005 oil jumped to $60 a barrel and then even over $70 a barrel with hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and yet the resilient U.S. economy continued chugging along.

The Peak Oil Crisis: On Contemplating $100 Oil

For the last few days, the press has been full of stories about the possibility of oil reaching $100 a barrel this winter. As prices have been bouncing around in the low $80s for the last couple of weeks, another $20 increase will do it. The theory behind the $100 forecast is that supply and demand is very tight and that China, India and oil-exporting countries are growing their domestic consumption so fast that even if the U.S. goes into a recession the situation will continue to tighten.

Throw in increased interest by speculators, the sagging dollar, soaring coal prices and $100 oil this winter is starting to look like a good bet — even without hurricanes or terrorist attacks. A couple of writers have even noticed that world oil production has not increased for over a year now while demand continues to grow.

Shell takes gas station from hospitalized Marina hunger striker

A gas station operator on a hunger strike for three months to protest high fuel prices learned from his hospital bed that the Shell Oil Co. took legal control of his station.

Mehdi Shahbazi, 65, was hospitalized last week after several months of a liquids-only diet designed to highlight what he sees as a viselike grip major oil companies have on U.S. and world economies.

Governor: Solar, wind too expensive, so Idaho should focus on nukes

Idaho should bolster its ties to the nuclear power industry to underpin economic growth and curb greenhouse gas emissions because alternative energy sources like solar or wind are too costly to meet the state's future needs, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said Tuesday.

Analysis: Yemen, Jordan hope for nuclear

Deals to build nuclear power plants in Yemen and Jordan have come sooner than many expected, but a lack of funding and internal violence could derail those plans before they ever get off the ground.

Clean energy can't meet growing demand

Demand for renewable energy is outstripping supply, pushing up prices and raising the specter that some states may not meet clean-energy mandates.

Toyota's environmental image challenged

Environmental groups, led by the Natural Resources Defense Council, are challenging Toyota Motor Corp.'s opposition to strict fuel economy standards pending in Congress, a position the Japanese company shares with General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC.

Richard Heinberg: As the world burns

Maybe the best place to start is with a general comment. It’s getting pretty damn obvious that the world is sliding head-first into the abyss at an accelerating rate, with most Americans as oblivious as ever. The latest indication of impending doom is a festering credit crunch brought on by the inevitable puncturing of a bubble puffed up over the past few years through the issuance of thousands of patently idiotic subprime, adjustable-rate, and interest-only mortgage loans.

Slippery slope

More and more oil executives maintain that there are just a few years left before production reaches its peak, and that we are sleepwalking into economic catastrophe. David Strahan reports on dwindling global reserves.

Saudi oil exports may fall to $165 bn: Bank

Saudi oil exports this year may fall as much as 12 per cent from last year's record to $165 billion as the world's largest oil exporter restricts production as part of OPEC quotas, an HSBC Holdings Plc affiliate said.

Average production may fall as much as 6 percent to 8.65 million barrels per day, while the average price of Saudi crude could be $59 per barrel, close to last year's record of $60.50, Riyadh-based SABB bank said in a report on the Saudi economy.

Saudi slashes crude prices to Europe

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia slashed its November official crude selling prices to Europe, but raised them for Asian customers, traders said on Wednesday.

Persian Gulf Oil-Tanker Rates May Slip on OPEC Output Concern

The cost of shipping Middle East crude to Asia, the world's busiest market for supertankers, may fall for a sixth day, a sign some shipowners believe OPEC will renege on a pledge to boost crude oil production next month.

BP set to cut jobs in Asia: source

BP is set to cut jobs in Asia, an industry source said on Wednesday, as the oil giant braces for weak third quarter results.

Politics hurt Kuwait's progress to 2020 oil target

A political standoff in Kuwait has delayed progress on projects to boost oil output and left the world's seventh-largest oil exporter struggling to meet its 2020 output target of 4 million barrels per day (bpd).

The OPEC member's oil production capacity now stands at around 2.8 million bpd and is unlikely to be much more by the end of the next decade, analysts said.

Engineer shortage continues to hamper oil and gas production, report says

Even as energy demand skyrockets, the global production of oil and natural gas will be hampered in the coming years because of a shortage of engineers and other project managers, a new report says.

Big Oil not kidding about pulling out of Alberta

Canada's largest oil companies warned yesterday they are not making idle threats in the aftermath of public-opinion surveys showing Albertans think the sector is posturing when it says it will shift billions if the government imposes higher taxes and royalties.

Texas awards rights for offshore wind farm

A Louisiana company was awarded leases to four tracts Tuesday in Texas' first open bidding for offshore wind power in the Gulf of Mexico.

From the air, the evidence of climate change is striking

Flying low, fast and north into the interior, the mind's eye expects a scene of endless winter but the reality is worryingly different. There is little to prepare you for the summer spectacle of Greenland's fjords. It feels like a confusion of geography. At once as familiar as Scottish lochs, they present a problem of scale. The dark mountains that frame the deep lakes rise so high that they push through the cloud clover and on to snow caps that are rarely if ever seen from the shore. And then there are the icebergs, floating in brilliant white squadrons, trailing pale tails of melt water for miles behind.

But on the shore this is now a genuinely green land. One where Arctic barley, radishes and potatoes are growing for the first time in centuries.

Record 22C temperatures in Arctic heatwave

Parts of the Arctic have experienced an unprecedented heatwave this summer, with one research station in the Canadian High Arctic recording temperatures above 20C, about 15C higher than the long-term average. The high temperatures were accompanied by a dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice in September to the lowest levels ever recorded, a further indication of how sensitive this region of the world is to global warming. Scientists from Queen's University in Ontario watched with amazement as their thermometers touched 22C during their July field expedition at the High Arctic camp on Melville Island, usually one of the coldest places in North America.

EPA asked to regulate ship emissions

Environmental groups and California Attorney General Jerry Brown asked the federal government Wednesday to require oceangoing ships to limit emissions of heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming.

Sacrifices today will stop a barren future

A 5C increase in temperature in Australia - which would be accompanied by thousands of heatwave deaths, incredible strain on the public health system, diminishing food stocks and destroyed livelihoods - could be stopped.

But in the past three months, two massive new coal mines have been approved in NSW. The burning of fossil fuels is the biggest contributor to the man-made increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

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

Macleans: Alberta stands accused
A huge fight between East and West -- over the oil sands -- is just starting

Left unfettered, Alberta's energy sector will, by the end of this century, transform the southern part of the province into a desert and its north into a treeless, toxic swamp. Driven both by global warming and oil and gas developments, temperatures in Alberta will soar by as much as eight degrees. The Athabasca River will slow to a trickle, parching the remainder of the province's forests and encouraging them to burst into flame, generating vast quantities of CO2. "They're going to be the architects of their own destruction," says journalist William Marsden, whose new book outlines the environmental threats posed by Alberta's energy industry.

Even now, fish pulled from the Athabasca downstream of the oil sands taste of gasoline and smell of burning galoshes in the fry pan. The landscape is perforated by more than 300,000 oil and gas wells. Water in some areas to the south can be set alight with a match, likely due to coal-bed methane developments. Doctors administering to Aboriginal communities not far from the oil sands report high rates of thyroid conditions and rare diseases such as cancer of the bile duct. Some from those communities have been employed at the oil sands raking in the carcasses of ducks floating on vast pools of rotten water, the by-product of the sands' oil-extraction methods.

Such are the claims contained in Marsden's upcoming Stupid to the Last Drop: How Alberta is Bringing Environmental Armageddon to Canada (And Doesn't Seem to Care), which presents a scenario almost too frightening to contemplate and suggests Alberta may already be too far gone for redemption -- indeed, that it is environmentally doomed. "When you start digging up an area equivalent to the state of Florida, when you start carpet-bombing your province with oil and gas wells, and at the same time, you've got global warming drying up the glaciers and your rivers -- you're kind of looking at a doomsday scenario," he says. "It sounds bizarre, but it's an absolute possibility that they could be literally destroying themselves."

If 'they' are destroying themselves, who's paying for it? Who's the guilty party here, the consumer or the provider, the john or the prostitute? The fix isn't in Alberta, but sitting in our driveways.

Drought and Aussie coal exports...in soccer this would be called an 'own goal'.

Hey folks how about giving my good friend some traffic.
He and his wife just released their new CD.

One song for TOD is called:

Gas Pump Blues


I turned him on to Peak Oil, and all the other related issues. He and his wife wrote the song.

Forrest used to be a Session Guitarist for MussleShoals Recording studio. Everytime you hear Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" (Song from Dirty Business) you are hearing Forrest's Lead Guitar Solo.

So give the song a listen to. Heck Buy the song and/or CD some great Country Blues for you this morning.



Nice song. Awesome guitar in the background - got the classic painting from our national epos on it! The bad witch of the north is trying to steal the Sampo, or the Finnish equivalent of cornucopia from the mighty wizard Väinämöinen. Cool.. Stealing our cornucopian dream.. :-)

- Jay from Finland

PS I guess it's Muscle Shoals - Wilson Pickett etc..

"If we lose the forests, we lose everything"
- Bill Mollison

hhehe nice tune thx "what can we do, ..say or.. turn ....when we've got the gas-pump blues ... those freak'in gas willies.."?

When I first started reading this site, I referred it to a PO denier as counterpoint. He replied that he tried reading this site, but found it to be an 'oil company tout' blog. Well, I'm thinking that the charge shouldn't be limited to oil companies.

James Gervais

"... but found it to be an 'oil company tout' Well, I'm thinking that the charge shouldn't be limited to oil companies. "

If you are saying that it is a commercial plug for an album. Well, what can I tell you.

I have been Peak Oil aware for 6+ years. In that time I have reached out to everyone I know to try to awaken them to it. One good friend that I have known for 20 years GOT IT. Him and his wife wrote a song about it.

We (at TOD) reference and plug other Peak Oil Sites. They're even listed on the right side of this page. We reference Articles about Peak Oil everyday.

I thought some of the community would appreciate one of our own writing something about it.

Sorry you saw it as crass commercialism. He probably won't even break even on producing the record in his basement by himself. No Record company, No million dollar contract.


Rant *OFF

One guy's interpretation of peak oil expressed in a song is like promoting oil co's? Get a life and be less 'sceptical' of other people's intentions.

A 72 degree summer day on Melville Island?



One day we'll be feeding the last remaining deniers to the last remaining polar bears ... and that day isn't far off.

Notice how you don't hear "record heat" anymore?

And yet 2007 is on track for hottest year ever.

Every forecasting model is being exceeded.

Forget any report mentioning 2050 or 2100.

We'll be there by 2015.

"One scientist came back from the North Pole and reported that it was raining there, said David Carlson, the director of International Polar Year, the effort to highlight the climate issues of the Arctic and Antarctic. "It makes you wonder whether anyone has ever reported rain at the North Pole before."

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Oh, look, swimming at the North Pole.


I concur on the 2015 estimate. They need to throw out the linear models...Gaia is non-linear and chaotic.

The U.S., Canada, Russia, and Denmark are not fiddling around in the Arctic for something that'll come to pass in a hundred years. We know ice extent from satellite photos but the total volume is key.

The ice pack used to have a 3m average thickness in the 1950s, then I saw a report of 2m in the nineties, and recently there was a link here indicating its down to 1m. That million square kilometer breakup wasn't melting exactly, it was ice too thin to stand wave action coming apart ...

We've had decades of the sea ice extent dropping 500,000 km^2/decade ... and the predictions of an ice free arctic in 2100 were based on a simple, linear forward assessment, starting with 5,000,000 km^2 in the 1990s. If we stick to this approach ... ice free in 2011.

No more polar bears :-( Will the end of this iconic species be the wakeup call we need, or will we have already descended into our own personal misery? I keep looking at that housing thing and I'm thinking "personal misery", but I'm kind of a doomer like that ...

Hi SacredCowTipper

This presumed climat change to a warmer climat, is just perfect for us living near the arctic circle. There is a silver lining everywere.

Then the fall out could be that a lot of useless eaters in the southern third world would die-off. Just as the illuminatis is planning with their biofuel production efforts, so that the food production will fall down.

Interesting times we live in indeed.

The silver lining of cheap energy is vanishing with little bias. Sweden is not entropy independent. Will your paradise welcome the millions of refugees less fortunate to the South/lowlands? Time to start building a wall. Overpopulation can quickly pillage your resources, too.

You're suggesting they do a whole lot of maintenance on the DaneVirke in short order, eh?


No we will ceartainly not welcome millions of refugees, and so will no other northern countrys like Finland and Norway do.

Personal but On-Topic Questions

I have decided to set up a personal website to refer questioners at ASPO-Houston to with many of my ideas (a North American non-GHG grid, etc.)

Someone offered to set one up for me earlier. If they would reply, I would appreciate it.

Also, what to call the website ?

I want more than Electrification of Transportation because my vision goes beyond that.

POandGWSolutions.com would be close to what I want, but it is FAR too long !

Any suggestions ?

Thanks and Best Hopes for Short Webnmes,


Maybe (just thought of this) PeakOilHope.com ?


Hi Alan,

I picked up electricrailnow.com and electricrailnow.info for you a few weeks back.

As mentioned, if you need it, we could host it on my servers.

Let me know.

peakguy at rogers dot com

1) Back to the Future
2) The Trolley Car
3) Hot Wheels


The Electrification of Transportation in an age of Climate Change and Peak Oil


The Electrification of Transportation as a Rational Response to Climate Change and Peak Oil or


5 characters. Not .coms but its much easier to get .orgs and its generally more appropriate.

I am not sure that I am an org. But am I a com ?

Good ideas,



.info might be the best choice

I vote for .com. A lot of politically-oriented types who don't feel they are .com or .org choose .net instead, but that's not really what .net is supposed to be for. (Not that that really matters.)

But I say stick with .com. You want a name that is easy to remember. And 9 times out of 10, people will put .com at the end of it, no matter what name you choose. If you choose .net or .info or .org, you'll have to buy the .com too, or risk people going to the wrong site. Which will probably be hosting a porn site.

Ditto everything that Leanan said - if you can, register all the top level domains (com, net, info, org, whatever) that are available for the name you want. It's not that expensive, and will make things a lot easier.

As someone who's on the internet for a serious fraction of every day... I can't remember the last time I typed something in ending with .info. Infact, I can't remember ever doing it.

You should take .org and .com. You can maintain just one website and then point the others to the main website. The more names you have the better. The cost to own multiple websites is very minimal, so grab 'em up.

PeakTO, that is very generous of you to host Alan's site. That's usually the expensive part of maintaining a website -- after the cost of paying a person to design it.

That's usually the expensive part of maintaining a website -- after the cost of paying a person to design it.

Not always, get hosted in Switzerland for a pittance 10€ , 50Gb storage space, unlimited bandwidth (!).
Been hosted there for 3 years, no problems, though I don't use much bandwidth.

You should take .org and .com. You can maintain just one website and then point the others to the main website. The more names you have the better. The cost to own multiple websites is very minimal, so grab 'em up.

For any names you think you'll use, grab com, org, net, info and as many others as you can afford. It's hugely irritating when someone buys one of the others to capitalize on what you are doing - and it happens.

.org is usually viewed as a non profit making organisation - as opposed to .com which is usually a commercial concern.

Of course most of that goes by the wayside in the dotcom feeding frenzy as everyone focuses on the .com. However .org is probably second in the recognition stakes and some very well known sites use it (eg slashdot.org)

The very major advantage is you can find 4 and 5 letter names, which you are unlikely to do for .com

Classically, .orgs are non-profits. Are you running a non-profit or planning to do so? This doesn't even matter if you personally are employed by a for-profit corporation as long as the organization represented by the website is a .org. Of course that is the classical interpretation of .org and no one really enforces it but that is how it is viewed generally. You might try something like electrifiedplanet.org, for instance, or one of the many good names suggested by others here as well, just using the .org suffix.

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Dr. Albert Bartlett
Into the Grey Zone







damn...that one's taken. How about www.3rdrail2freedom.com?

whois says www.RailNOW.com has expired.

Ya, I saw that so Alan could use it if he wants. "RailNOW" would be more ecompassing to what Alan proposes than a just using something about a third rail since he speaks of improvements to heavy freight rail lines plus electrification of rail for people transport.

That's a great one! And some variations, for those of a more doomerish nature:

www.electrifyANDdie.com/ or



Nevermind, taken....

How about this:


britneyloveselectricrail.com ?


Yes...well...if you just want random hits on the site britney or parisloveselecticrail.com would do the job.

I'm going to add in random numbers to throw off any registerbots that may be watching... I suggest that others do the same - these bulk registrars make a mint off threads like this. Just pay attention to the letters. These are available now according to godaddy whois:

elec4trified2transi7t.com (.net,etc)
brin1gbackra3il.com (.net,etc)
USU3rban9rail.com (.net,etc)
ele3ctric5trans7it.org or .net

Not bad. But Alan said he wanted it to go beyond electrified transit. Anybody have any names that aren't just rail?

I can't think of anything that's not already registered.

Except HowLongCanUTreadWater .com ;-)

drakeforprez. com?

Hi Alan,

If we're voting, I like yours above, also agree with the dot org, and register the others (I suppose). Perhaps you can found a dot org.
PS. Well, actually, now that I think about it - my vote goes with what I say below, because I think "peakoilhope" can too easily be morphed into "peak hope", which is rather the opposite of what you're trying to convey. And do.

I really like "rail now dot org" (and/or) rail now dot com.

The thing is, even though it sounds specific (and is specific), I think it will come to mean its own thing, so to speak. It'll catch on. So, really, if the name has a ring to it, it doesn't have to be all-encompassing.

It also echoes www.democracynow.org in a way that seems nice to me - validates (acknowledges) without usurping. And visa versa, it seems to me.

(Though I've been wishing for some acknowledgment from them about the Houston conference and have yet to hear back...well, I like their work otherwise.)

The article titled "Why $80 oil hasn't Impacted Our Economy" really annoys me. Especially since it is posted on the Financial Sense website.
The FSN website is always putting up articles that describe how official inflation figures are adjusted, massaged and managed. Whether we are talking about hedonic adjustments, substitution adjustments or revsions I think it is generally accepted that the published inflation rates understate inflation as Joe Public sees it.
My gripe is that $80 oil obviously is effecting the economy. If the gov't understates CPI,, then GDP figures are inflated. GDP is a measure of how much money changes hands. Inflation increases the anount of money that changes hands and increases GDP if it is not accounted for in the GDP figures by subtracting out the real CPI.
I guess what I'm saying is by the logic used in the article I refer to Zimbabwe is in great shape because their GDP is exploding. Sooo much money changing hands.

Sorry for the long post but this got all over me this morning. This "Gee wiz everything is great even though we think it's not", propaganda drives me batty.


The article also sidesteps the issue that the oil consumption (and related pollution) has been outsourced to China. So looking at the energy consumption within the US while ignoring the implicit energy contained in the imports presents an incomplete picture.

The question should be why hasn't the higher cost of oil raised the cost of imports? I'm guessing the answer is that there has been a one-time saving (stretching over the past 20 years) caused by the shift to lower labor costs via outsourcing. Now that the labor adjustments have taken place costs will start to track raw material prices again.

In fact China is now making a case that they should be exempted from carbon limits since they are emitting on our behalf and the US has effectively outsourced the pollution. The US should, therefore in their opinion, bear the brunt of the remediation efforts.

It's a bit of a self-serving argument, but I haven't seen anyone do a good job of refuting it so far. Of course China could be using their fossil fuels more efficiently and an analysis of why they aren't would be worthwhile.

We should take China up on this by taxing their exports to reflect their carbon content. This would, in effect, require China to lower their carbon content if they want to keep up their export levels. We don't need China's agreement in order to implement this. We need to heavily tax transport dependent goods creation, anyway. This proposal would also tend to create a more level playing field for those few producers left in the United States.

Best hopes for relocalization.

I agree robertdFeinmen..
The people of China and the former Soviet Union joining the global labor force in increasing numbers has had a huge macroeconomic deflationary effect over the past 25 years.
As this large % of the world's population begins to have a net inflationary contribution because of changing labor cost and consumption demand components we will see our standard of living decline dramatically as theirs increases.

RDF, I doubt we will be seeing many more articles about 'Why The High Price Of Oil Has Not Impacted The US Economy (or US Inflation)'... From recent personal experience I can tell you that inflation is hitting hard in Central Florida, regardless of what the bs CPI figures are...Inflation in food prices are glaringly obvious already in this area...And then there is this...

'A potent inflationary cocktail
By The Mogambo Guru

Finally, the Federal Reserve showed its true inflationary colors, and Total Fed Credit went up by $6.6 billion last week. The significance of this is that when you take another $6.6 billion in bank credit and multiply it by the current fractional-reserve multiplier (infinity), this calculates out to (according to my rough calculations) exactly 6.6 jillion gazillion umpty-ump quintillion dollars that can be created by the banks, which is just about enough money to bail out everybody in the Whole Freaking World (WFW), which (according to the bizarre current economic theory and practice) is the new purpose of a central bank; create a bubble by creating too much money and credit (which finances the bubble) and then bail everybody out of the ensuing bust by creating another bubble by creating too much money and credit again and again!'...snip...

' as John Hoefle at Executive Intelligence Review says in his essay, "The Bankers Know: Something Catastrophic This Way Comes", that, "By now, most people are aware that former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan is on a 'not my fault' tour, proclaiming to everyone who will listen that he is not to blame for the collapse of the financial system. By saying he 'didn't really get it,' Sir Alan is choosing to cloak himself in the mantle of incompetence, in the hope that he won't go down in history as the worst central banker of all time."

But incompetence and inflation is what a central bank is all about! According to the Inflation Calculator, it takes $21 in 2007 dollars to buy the same stuff that $1 would have bought in 1913 when the monstrous Federal Reserve was created! And even using these biased statistics, the dollar has lost half its value since 1984! That's 14% inflation per year since just before Alan Greenspan took over the Federal Reserve! 14%!'...snip...

'And now add to this potent inflationary monetary cocktail the news that Chinese workers' wages rose by 21% YOY in the first quarter, and are even higher now, and how that is going to add to a Chinese wage-price spiral of monetary-inflation, price-inflation, monetary-inflation, price-inflation that they already have, and how that means that the prices of stuff are going to freaking go to the moon for them and everybody else,'...snip...

'Now add in the news from Tony Sagami of MoneyandMarkets.com about "The Official Launch of the China Investment Corporation". He reports, "The China Investment Corporation (CIC) is the new $200-billion sovereign investment arm of the Chinese government."...snip...

'In short, grossly excessive amounts of money and credit are constantly being created and spent with unbelievable abandon, and that means inflation in consumer prices heretofore found only in nightmares, history books and old newsreels is (standing up with a groan and looking out of the window) just over the horizon over there, and is here today in the form of stock markets setting insane records and bond markets setting insane records.

It's going to get really weird, and really ugly, really soon.'...snip...

Why is there no link for this?

I would much rather have a link to the original article than someone's chopped up edit of it posted in the middle of a thread.

it takes $21 in 2007 dollars to buy the same stuff that $1 would have bought in 1913 when the monstrous Federal Reserve was created! And even using these biased statistics, the dollar has lost half its value since 1984! That's 14% inflation per year since just before Alan Greenspan took over the Federal Reserve!

2x price gain from 1984 to now implies 3.06% annual inflation rate. The annual rate from 1913 that results in 21x price gains is 3.29%. So, Alan G presided over less-than-usual inflation, and, in any case, very much les than 14%. In fact, 14% inflation of 23 years would give us 20x, not 2x.

No economist here but I do have a thought. The figures below are from memory, too lazy to get exact numbers.

$36 for oil in 1981
$23K for household income

$83 for oil in 2007
$46K for household income

So the cost is 15 percent higher now.

$80 oil is not effecting the economy. On the other hand, it is probably affecting it.

As Harry Truman once said,"Get me a one handed economist!"

1. KSA anticipates 6% decline reducing revenue?

Saudi oil exports this year may fall as much as 12 per cent from last year's record


Average production may fall as much as 6 percent to 8.65 million barrels per day

2. Tanker rates falling on lack of new production in OPEC?

3. Kuwait worried about missing production/project targets

All voluntary I guess :P

Anyone, still think we can pump 100MMBPD globally in 10 years?


KSA's 6% decline is from 2006 to 2007 although the article makes it sound like the will be restricting production rather than they have restricted production in response to OPEC quota reductions in Nov '06 and Feb '07. The new increase of 322Kbpd for KSA takes effect Nov 1 so they will only have 2 months of the higher figure.

The article is alarmist without basis, but you are correct in that we won't see 100 mbpd ever.

The article is alarmist without basis

The Export Land Model (ELM) and recent case histories all indicate that when the production from an exporting region starts declining, the net export decline rate is much more rapid than the production decline rate, and the net export decline rate tends to accelerate with time.

The Saudi net export decline rate from 2005 to 2006 was -5.5%/year (Total Liquids). Depending on what the Saudis do in the fourth quarter and depending on what the final consumption number is, the 2006 to 2007 decline rate will be in the -8%/year to -12%/year range. In other words, the net export decline rate will accelerate, versus 2005 to 2006.

A -7%/year net export decline rate will cut Saudi net exports in half in 10 years. A -10%/year net export decline rate will cut their net exports in half in seven years.

We have four effects that will work to drive up oil prices:

1) World oil production decline.

2) Growth in demand in exporting countries (ELM).

3) Growth in demand in industrializing countries.

4) Population growth in industrialized countries. Hence growing demand even if per capita demand stays even.

The United States will have less oil to buy due to 1, 2, and 3. Plus, we'll have more people to divide the demand between. So from a single person's position in the US (or Canada or Australia, etc) the picture looks even worse than the ELM argument about 1 and 2.

Nice summary.

Just you wait until they find all the abiotic oil. Then the taps will really flow, eh?

Sorry couldn't resist.

I am reminded of my April 17th article here.

Saudi Arabia has Peaked ...


Now if the King will just kindly hold a press conference and clear up the residual uncertainty !

BTW, I suspect KSA revenues will increase on declining revenue.

Any link to this analysis ?


Best Hopes for Honest Disclosure (and Santa Claus),


I believe this is tricky...if internal consumption keeps growing as it has, external revenue may fall even if oil jumps to 100+ a barrel.

EDIT: because they are subsidizing prices internally...if they weren't different story...buy they won't change that...fear of the masses.

Should be able to run a simple spreadsheet on this. I will look at it tonite if I have time.

You have to admit a 12% net export decline is significant!

Yes we will. You freaking doomer. We will pump more 150 million barrels a day. But it will be a smaller barrel.

Have you been hanging around with Mogambo? Only he calls me a "freaking doomer", usually.


But it will be a smaller barrel.

Excellent idea!
You should be able to find a job in marketing at once.
Or are you already in this :-D

I am. .. news release 5 year from now
The smaller barrel..in response to global warming we have decided to change the current brown barrels into smaller (24 gallon) green barrels. Scientists univerally agree that each smaller barrel contributes less to global warming than the older larger barrel. In related news Exxon announced that it will report quarterly production figures in gallons per week instead of barrels per day. The new figures will further clarify to the world the important role they play in keeping our economy running.

You guys are funny, but every time I read some story in which the words "at current consumption levels" appear when referring to some resource, I think the same thing. Just change the math, nobody will notice...

[(T)he former Shell chairman, Lord Oxburgh, told me he expects demand to outstrip supply within 20 years, and that the oil price may well hit $150. He warned: "We may be sleepwalking into a problem that is actually going to be very serious, and it may be too late to do anything about it by the time we are fully aware."]

That we are sleepwalking into catastrophe is because the oil companies have denied, and continue to deny, peak oil. It is rather disengenuous for Oxburgh to come out and make it sound like it is the public's fault, not the oil companies'.

VT: What is interesting about all these price forecasts is that you don't even need supply issues for oil to hit $150. When gold hits $1300 you can expect oil to hit $150 without any unexpected supply problems occurring (even with things going well on the supply side).


When is the last time that you ever believed an oil company, if ever? So, now it is their fault for not telling you? DUH!!


Based on how prepared this country is for peak oil, I would say a large majority of Americans and politicians listen to and apparently believe the lies fed to them by the big oil companies. And yes, when they have information with such importance, I do believe they (as well as the politicians) have an obligation to tell us.

OT - Subprime

Mortgage lenders in subprime ‘traffic jam’


Litton Loan Servicing estimates that costs have increased 20 per cent in the last year for mortgage servicers, who even in good times depend on razor-thin profit margins.

The result is that few subprime mortgages are being renegotiated. Moody’s, the ratings agency, found that lenders had eased terms on just 1 per cent of subprime loans resetting at higher interest rates in January, April and July this year.

“Servicers have failed because there’s a huge resourcing issue,” said Barefoot Bankhead, managing director at Navigant Consulting. “As lenders have gone out of business, the servicing arms have been in transition without the resources to handle the enormous number of requests for loan modifications and restructuring.”

The problem could grow more severe as more than $350bn in adjustable-rate mortgages reset at higher rates in the next 18 months.

This juggernaut is just getting rolling.

They're letting it boil over so it becomes a political issue in 2008, hoping for a bailout. The bailout will be politically acceptable because they'll launder it through the home owners but it will benefit the hedge fund share owning class.


Please do me the favor of linking in the now modified original version of my ASPO-USA column.

I made some edits and corrected some mistakes (one occurs in the text you quote above). I made the changes this morning and Bart has not gotten around to doing the update yet.


Thank you, Dave! Your article raises many questions beyond peak oil but which will be ultimately caused by peak oil. I share your concern that most industry estimates appear overly optimistic when measured against the 40 year decline in discoveries as well as numerous other factors. I hope the discussion at ASPO-Houston proves fruitful on this topic. Your article also fits in very interestingly with the questions raised by Jeff Vail in his most recent post.

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Dr. Albert Bartlett
Into the Grey Zone

Litman calls it “Pay-As-You-Drive” pricing (PAYD). Simply put, the fewer miles you drive in a year’s time, the lower your annual car insurance premium.

Would somebody explain how this is different than what I have now? Seriously. I pay more for my premium if I increase my miles, and less if I decrease my miles. That's why when you get a car insurance quote, you tell them how many miles it is to/from work, and your total yearly mileage. So when my job moved another 15 miles away from my home, my car insurance premium went up.

The need for GPS tracking for car insurance (if suggested) is unwarrented. It can be billed on your odometer readings, and if you want a credit for off-road or farm driving, you can sign a statement for the deducting of XYZ miles along with a reasonable argument for needing such a deduction. (Myself, I could deduct about one hundred miles a year due to offroad driving on one of my cars.)

Is this just something that people are not aware of, or something that MOST insurers don't offer? (Low mileage discounts based upon miles driven.)

~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com/)

So far as I know, this is pretty common. I pay relatively little in car insurance, because I live 2 miles from my workplace and usually walk rather than drive. When I used to commute to the city, my agent nearly pitched a fit when he saw my application. He wanted to know how I could claim to drive less than 2 miles to work when my office phone number was in a different area code than my home phone number. Duh! I drove to the train station, of course. So insurance companies obviously do care about commuting distance.

I think Litman is thinking of something a lot more sensitive than commuting distance or yearly mileage. Something that would really give you incentive to group errands and such. For me, I never give insurance rates a thought when it comes that kind of thing. I can't imagine driving enough to get me into the next bracket of insurance rates. But paying per mile - that would be different.

Odometers instead of GPS would probably work, except for the cars that roll over. (My previous car, a 16-year-old Taurus, had only 35,000 miles on it. I don't drive much. But everyone assumed the odometer had rolled over. Kinda ticked me off, because they put it in on the car's maintenance records, etc.)

This is why old Mercedes had 6 digit odometers. Mine reads 0872xx miles, not bad for a 1982 model :-)

Otherwise it is hard to tell between 224567 and 324567 miles :-)


To further on Durandal's comment:

Most people where I work pay in excess of $400/yr to park on campus. I also know that this is true of a LOT of public universities. In many cases (as our parking people will enthusiastically tell you) the charge can be considerably more.

The theory of paying people to not drive is rather weak in that the threshold of pain is rather high. People would just find other jobs, rather than not drive. Especially at the low end of the pay scale. Where is the ethics in charging your employees more than they can pay in order to get to work?

Imagine, all your parking enforcement people quit because they can't afford to park on-site.

Furthermore, there are a good many locations, particularly in the US South, where Mass Transit is unheard of or something that "poor people" use. Charging high prices to park would simply cause many to become unemployed.

I drive (on crappy days) 2 miles to work. I do pay less, but not a significant amount, than someone who drives 30 miles to work.

PAYD pricing does not encourage fuel efficiency. A guy in a Hummer pays the same for an incremental mile as I pay for my Prius?
I'm for a CO2 tax, as Senator Dodd penned back in April

With GPS enabled [paid for by the sucker = motorist], the job of the secret police will be much easier

James Gervais

GPS tracking could be used to implement congestion pricing. You could pay different rates depending where and when you drove. (i.e.: driving a main commuting highway during rush hour could cost more per mile than driving the road off-peak)

Congestion pricing, however, has nothing to do with car insurance issues. The issue with car insurance is probably that lying is rampant with respect to insurance information. Some people, for example, claim they park their car in the garage at night in a safe neighborhood even though they really park it overnight at the train station. Or, a second vehicle designated as the recreational vehicle (used only on weekends and low miles) might in actuality be used daily. Finally, a person might insure 2 cars (and get multi-car discount) and just let their friend drive the second car every day.

RE: Leanan link above...'A Crude Awakening'...last sentence:

'As the film proves, oil may be an intrinsic part of our present and future, but why arent more people talking about it?'

From the New York Sun (not my favorite paper but an interesting article)...Hmmm, this seems a lot like government/media collusion, doesnt it? Some might even lable this a conspiracy to keep information from the American People. But, some are convinced that there is no conspiracy in media.


Spies Prep Reporters on Protecting Secrets
Staff Reporter of the Sun
September 27, 2007

'Frustrated by press leaks about its most sensitive electronic surveillance work, the secretive National Security Agency convened an unprecedented series of off-the-record "seminars" in recent years to TEACH REPORTERS about the damage caused by such leaks and to discourage reporting that could interfere with the agency's mission to spy on America's enemies.' (my caps)

'The half-day classes featured high-ranking NSA officials highlighting objectionable passages in published stories and offering "an innocuous rewrite" that officials said maintained the "overall thrust" of the articles but omitted details that could disclose the agency's techniques, according to course outlines obtained by The New York Sun.'...snip...

Group of reporters get selective amnesia?...Sounds like every soap opera that we havent watched!


'Who Actually Attended The NSA's Secret Reporter Seminars?
Last week, Josh Gerstein explained how the information control freaks at the National Security Agency conducted secret "seminars" for reporters—basically, little classes on how and when the government would like them to keep their mouths shut about top-secret and not-so-secret information. What's funny is that no one seems to remember the sessions, which went down at NSA headquarters between 2002 and 2004. Maureen Baginski, who was listed as a presenter at the seminars, said she had no recollection of being present. Why would she? She was only the FBI's "intelligence czar" back in 2004, before she left to work for SPARTA, an employee-owned defense contractor of utmost secret-government-like creepiness. Likewise? Not a single reporter has yet come forward to claim attendance.'...snip...

Would our government keep information about PO from us? Would our government censor the scientific community to keep CC information from us? Ditto economic data? CPI? WMD?

I feel a little silly (which is normal) but am I the last one here to discover Kevin Phillips' American Theocracy?

I've just finished the first hundred pages or so and its basically like a long, well written TOD post. The first section begins with the historical context of the rise of big oil in the U.S. and ends with a summary of the "five countdowns" - peak oil, U.S. oil company profitability, concerns over the decoupling of the dollar from the oil market, global warming, and the end of days, all of which weighed heavily on the minds of the those shaping our foreign policy at the beginning of Bush's administration.




it's a good book

makes you realise we Atheists, Buddhists, Unitarian Universalists etc. have a LOT to be afraid of
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

If the corporate interests and the disloyal Christian Right(there's that phrase again) split, I think the dynamic changes considerably.


I prefer Reich to Right when referencing that group. There's little that's "right" about them.
~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com/)

You, sir, dare the wrath of Godwin. I agree, but I will leave the framing to others, perhaps when more info on the "questioning" comes out ...

While this article doesn't mention Peak Oil directly,
energy issues are starting to percolate to the surface.


Whatever happened to sharing the pie of prosperity?

Last week, a friend in his 30s prodded me to explain how my generation, the boomers, had botched so many things. While not exactly conceding that we had, I said that the one thing none of us had anticipated was that America would cease to be a land of broadly shared prosperity. To be born, as I was, in mid-century, was to have come of age in a nation in which the level of prosperity continued to rise and the circle of prosperity continued to widen. This was the great given of our youth. If the boomers embraced such causes as civil and social rights and environmentalism, it was partly because the existence and distribution of prosperity seemed to be settled questions.

Nor were we alone in making this mistake. Our parents may have gone through the Depression and could never fully believe, as boomers did, that the good times were here to stay. They remembered busts as well as booms. But the idea that the economy could revert to its pre-New Deal configuration (in which the rich claimed all the wealth the nation created while everyone else just got by): Who, among all our generations and political persuasions, expected that?

Yet that's precisely what happened.

I think this what peak oil looks like. Sure, it's possible that things will go non-linear - economic collapse, nuclear war, etc. But most likely, our sheer, massive inertia will carry us forward for several years, maybe several decades. And the only thing we'll really notice is that it's harder and harder to stay in the middle class. The very rich will do just fine. The poor will remain poor. But the middle class will slowly vanish.

We've torn that structure down once before a century ago and will do so again starting with the next election, assuming we actually have that election ...

The last time we tore it down was before globalization gutted the labor movement. Then there's the sheer expense of running for office these days. It almost guarantees that whoever wins will be beholden to wealthy sponsors and/or big business.

It seems in our current democracy,,each dollar gets a vote.

As I recall, there wasn't a labor movement when all of that stuff started :-)

As long as one person gets one vote there is a chance to override the effect of soft money on our government ... but we have to rise up and strike. I hope conditions are right for this ...

I just finished reading The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by Crackpot Economics. Overall I thought it was an excellent treatise on how conservatives and the Republican party have fully embraced supply side economics. An almost religious zeal exists in the belief that the only economic policies needed are tax cuts, deregulation and privitization.

Where this book falls short is in the final chapter. Chait compares the growing inequality between rich and poor today in the US, with the situation that existed in the late 19th and early 20th century before the rise of labor unions and "the new deal". He posits that eventually Americans will recognize that they are being screwed over, and will work to shift our economic model away from corportism.

I found this idea to be implausable. Americans in the last five years have shown that they are all too willing to give up their civil liberties, if they can feel protected from the "boogeyman du jour". People are too easily manipulated today by advertising and the media to actually act in their own interests.

I think it's more that they cannot act in their own interests. Globalization ended the power of labor. Strike, and the company will shut down and move to Mexico. Or China. Or India.

Maybe peak oil will unravel globalization, but until that happens, there's not much the American worker can do.

You are correct, labor has little power with the rise of globalization. The true power for people to fight corporatism lays with the consumer. The consumer has the power to change corporate behavior, but the avergage consumer is either too ignorant, apathetic or brainwashed to care.

It's a simple matter to muddy the waters when it comes to politics, economics or science using marketing or the media. It's difficult if not impossible to interpret the true outcome of a law, environmental regulation, or economic policy. Each side will interpret the data to support their argument. Even if one side plays fast and loose with the "truth", repeat the lie enough times, from enough sources, and the lie becomes the truth.

As far as peak oil unraveling globalization, even if globalism crashes sooner, I think that repression and despotism will be a likelier outcome, than enhancing the power of labor.

The true power for people to fight corporatism lays with the consumer.

I don't think that's true any more.

Consumers, even US consumers, are expendable. Consumers can be outsourced as easily as jobs, and no doubt will be, once the credit runs out.

OK, I'll bite. Consumers are "expendable?" How so? I mean, you're almost always right, but can you say a little more on this?

Take cigarettes as an example. In Europe and the US, it's become extremely unfriendly for tobacco companies. Smoking restrictions and taxes are reducing smoking, there are lawsuits, etc. But they aren't going broke. Their overseas sales are growing like gangbusters.

I think you can 'outsource' cigarette customers and sodapop customers, but as we've been shown how our great planet is still only finite, mortal and touchable, so will it be with consumers. I'm sure there are industrialists who think they'll find suckers somewhere else if these ones get wise or just dry up, but if the American consumer's tide has dropped enough to keep him from buying, then what is that tide doing to the Chinese, German or Argentinian counterpart?


That's why I think the middle class will vanish. There will be a lot of poor people working to support the wealthy elite in the style to which they have become accustomed, and it doesn't really matter where they live.

Have you ever read the Communist Manifesto? Written a good 160 years ago....

Hi Leanan and all,

I was just going to say this, my version being that for some/many (most?) products, it's literally impossible to find ones not made in China, assuming the idea would be to "localize", even approximately.

Someone perhaps might supply a list (w. links) for US manufacturers of clothing, running shoes, spoons and forks, towels, bicycles, garden tools...if they exist - and including the fabric, iron ore, steel...

I think China's game plan was to push their wages down to the point where in effect they drove everyone else out of the skilled low-cost labor pool (because smaller countries would dismantle their educational systems under IMF dictates). At that point China would be the world's proletariat, just as urban Democrats were the proletariat of the United States in 1900. Then Beijing would begin to push up wages under terms it controlled, being too powerful for any one corporation to defy. It would be like one big union, except that this union's pension fund/strike fund becomes the world's main source of capital. Which is not unlike what happened with America's union members by 1950.

The problem with this seems to be Peak Oil and pollution. Recently the government has begun to address quality of life issues that resulted from hyper-growth. I think the leaders have known all along about that and tried to put off dealing with it for as long as it took to reach the point where it knew it was safe from the Pinkerton men of global capitalism: the United States. But things got too dirty too fast. So now the wages have to start coming up to create the tax revenues to deal with the pollution and higher gas costs. China is also being forced to increase internal consumption, which I think was supposed to be delayed another decade or more.

The irony of it is that the regime has always moaned about the growth rate being too high. Any Republican here will tell you that alternative energy research, carbon taxes, safety regulations, and minimum wage laws destroy economic growth - so China has an unprecedented chance to do all these things and whip inflation at the same time!

I think China's game plan was to push their wages down to the point where in effect they drove everyone else out of the skilled low-cost labor pool

Your theory is contradicted by reality. Not only have wages been rising rapidly in China, they're higher than in India, among others.

From the looks of it, China's "game plan" is simply to use economic growth to raise their standard of living, in a manner similar to Japan and South Korea.

I wonder how a person indebted up to his ears could defend his own interest if even s/he somehow is able to recognize it. We've become wage slaves, and this has been the whole point from the very beginning.

Peak Oil and distribution are very separate issues.

The wealth of a society and the distribution of that wealth are mapped on orthogonal axes.

In history, there are many examples of poor societies that shared their poverty very equitably. In our times, Cuba, Kerala, Sandinista Nicaragua (where I spent some time) are all existence proofs that wealth distribution is a political choice and not an inevitable consequence.

However, I would agree that within the context of the very limited US political sphere, increasing inequality is a likely consequence of peak oil. Historically, the pendulum swing towards inequality is eventually ended by some form of political action, up to and including revolution.
Just because the political system in the US is currently gamed very successfully by the wealthy does not mean that situation will endure the chaos that is coming.

Your top post "US trumps states over siting power lines" illustrates the decline in income distribution in other ways. Whereas government projects or intervention used to be performed for the common good, now it is to increase the profits of a well connected entity, under the guise of national need. In a time of heightened need for public investment in the electric grid, we find not improved local service and circuitry, HVDC lines, or responsible power generation, but one paying for a few coal generators to access high priced markets.

It's infuriating, but so common. I'm reminded of the the pharmaceutical industry not long ago. Under the guise of reducing health care costs, legislation was rail-roaded to remove chosen obstacles for large pharma mail order, yet these same obstacles were kept for independents and storefront operations. Today, this year's new medicare regs will effectively kill the indies.

Not a big deal, most think. Yet the standard response of mail order, when you call with a question on meds, is to ask you to consult your local pharmacy. Their pharmacist is not available. And with Medicare. Our local pharmacy is holding on by the skin of its teeth, waiting for a white knight. Won't happen, and we'll look to driving 60 miles to the city for emergency meds or consultation.

Signs of the collapse, rural areas going under? Possibly. But I hate being forced to shoot myself in the foot and subsidizing the already well off few entities controlling legislation as we fall.

There is a relationship between the size of government and the size of business. In the 18th century, the landowning elites who created the USA made a big deal about States' Rights. Why? Because these landowners had enough money to control their local governments. Naturally they wanted them to have all the power. In the next century the robber barons could buy entire state legislatures and governorships, so they wanted to resist Federal power except where it could be used to subsidize railroad construction, kill Indians, etc.

Now the corporations have become too powerful for most national governments to resist. As long as the fatcats have one of their own in the White House, they demand that the entire world submit to the control of the USA. If someone radically different were to become President and try to break the multinationals, he would be smeared with a UN-Internationalist label.

So much for conservative ideology. The problem isn't the size of government, it's the concentration of power.

The House Energy and Environment Committee released a paper outlining a proposed cap and trade system for GHG emissions yesterday. There was a story about the plan in today's Washington Post:


Here's a brief quote from the Executive summary:

...The United States should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by between 60 and 80 percent by 2050 to contribute to global efforts to address climate change. To do so, the United States should adopt an economy-wide, mandatory greenhouse gas reduction. The central component of this program should be a cap-and-trade program...

Here's the link to the white paper:


This paper might be worthy of a new thread, such that discussion could be directed just to this issue.

E. Swanson

by 2050

That pretty much says it all - we see there is a problem, but we're going to let it burst into flames before we do anything.

So I was listening to NPR this morning... it went roughly:


Wait a second, so the US dollar has fallen 10% in value against the currency of Haiti?

INTERVIEWEE (from Care International charity):

Yes, we're having to adjust to a 10% budget shortfall. We're starting to build more of our donations in Euros.

There is definitely a disconnect between the media - even the ones that are supposed to be a bit more high-brow and aware - and reality. But they're starting to get more of those "wait a second..." moments.
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

OK; for the 'Recurring Debunking Department'.. I need to hear what (or just where.. links?) people have discussed about David Blum's 'Alcohol can be a gas' .. He was just on Thom Harttman on Air America, saying that the EROEI arguments are misinformation, sourced essentially only/mainly by Pimentel, and that he was discredited in the 80's for falsification of results..

Here is one review of the book, tho' it strays into the general field of biofuels more than just detailing Blume's take on Ethanol..

and here is another, with a little more of the content and claims embedded in the review. In the Harttman interview, he made the 8:1 to 15:1 EROEI potential of bio-alcohol fuels..

"With all the conflicting news stories about ethanol, the public finds it difficult to sort fact from fiction. This text, which has been reviewed by scientists around the world, seeks to be the definitive reference work on the subject.

"David Blume is an ecological biologist who first began teaching others to produce and use alcohol in the late 1970s, while working at Mother Earth News Eco Village and Research Center. An early version of the book was written in 1983, to accompany the ten-part PBS television series Alcohol As Fuel, which Blume hosted. That version was never printed, due to conflict between PBS and its sponsors.

Bob Fiske

Sorry, here's the link for the second review..




I just love the claim that it has been reviewed by "scientists around the world". The cover of the book claims that it is "The most important book in America!--Thom Hartmann".

This scientist reviewed the book as well. I'll excerpt what I wrote (and apologies for the length)

"My basic reaction is that if Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5 and Appendix A were omitted, it would best be entitled "Manual for Small-Scale Production of Ethanol". If the author had stuck with what he apparently knows best, it would be a solid book.

However, he strays beyond his competence in a number of areas. Overall, he has an excellent grasp of technology and of plant characteristics and performance; his knowledge of energy science, however, is a little shakey and downright wrong in some places--unfortunately, mostly in places where he is trying to make what he feels is an important point.

Among these are his embarrassing discussions of EROEI, in which his lack of understanding of the concept--and importantly--of the implications of the concept, weaken his larger thesis. For example, on p. 25, he writes "in fact, it's oil that has a negative EROEI. Because oil is both the raw material and the energy source for production of gasoline, it comes out to about 20% negative." This is a classic error--conflating conversion efficiency with EROEI, thus making the comparison with ethanol apples and oranges (not to mention that EROEI cannot be negative. It's a ratio) . Crude oil, at its peak in the US in the 1930s, had a 100:1 EROEI, and even today, Mideast oil is in the range of 20-30:1. Even logically, this doesn't make sense: how could an energy sink--in which we were expending more energy than we could get out--have possibly transformed the entire globe in the 20th Century and created more wealth than anyone could have thought possible? It was the net energy availability, 29 units for each one expended, that could be used to build roads, run industry, heat homes, and so forth and so on. He gamely provides a summary chart of EROEI studies (except for the meta-study by Farrell et al last year) to "prove" that ethanol has a positive return--of about 1.3. The miniscule level of this return--and the enormous increase in primary energy consumption that results from it, seems to escape him. (He also doesn't seem to realize that the .3 of the 1.3 return is actually energy credit from the DDGS, so the liquid itself is solidly 1:1 at best. )

In Appendix A, he tries his absolute best to smear Pimental and Patzek, by, among other things, linking them to oil company contributions and saying that they are not ecologists (neither is, but Patzek is definitely a systems thinker--read his publications on thermodynamics and ecology). Blume, on the other hand, is not an energy scientist, but tries very hard to dismiss the work of both men on this very subject (and again, repeating his lack of understanding of EROEI). Thoughout the book, he blames all anti-ethanol criticism as stemming from "Big Oil", or what he cutely calls "MegaOilron", and dismisses all criticism of alcohol fuels as "vituperative bile". Nice turn of phrase, but more indicative of a closed mind on the issue.

He cites these studies of EROEI without mentioning that they were done of industrial-scale (e.g. 100 million gallons/year scale), optimized, capital intensive, efficient plants. Elsewhere in another chapter, he admits that small scale production is "of course" more energy intensive, but doesn't extend the point to say that small scale production results in no or negative net energy production, which would be the case.

He also is a cheerleader for more DDGS use and touts this as a benefit of ethanol production and says we should feed more of it to cows and how good it is for them. Pollan, and many others, including the USDA, would disagree. DDGS is so disruptive to cows that it is strictly limited to no more than 4 lbs of DDGS per day, and much less for pigs. DDGS acidifies the cow rumen and causes liver problems, which is why the meat industry is the largest user of antibiotics in the country. He notes his patent on DDGS use as fertilizer and pre-emergent, which is a fine use of the material, but to claim we could feed the world on the extra meat and dairy that more DDGS to cattle would bring is absolutely specious.

He promotes cellulosic ethanol as if it were already a proven, existing industry and most of his examples of how we could wean ourselves off of oil comes from this misunderstanding. Cellulosic ethanol is currently not commercial, and enormous hurdles remain before it could be made so. Even our very optimistic DOE forecasts that it would contribute less than one percent of our fuels by 2030, but I doubt it will ever get that large scale because of all the problems outside the refinery, not inside. His example on p. 27 of how to reduce OPEC imports to zero relies on our gathering of all our lawn clippings. Can you imagine all the energy it would take to cut, collect and deliver millions of small parcels of cut grass to refineries? What to do in February?

This oversight follows through in all his discussions. In his technology discussions, he fails to talk in specific terms of the efficiency and energy consumption of the equipment used, simply assuming that there will be enough biomass or fossil fuels around to power all this machinery used to make this low energy return alcohol (the basic problem with alcohol being that it has to be distilled, meaning that the energy return could never rise about 2.7, even if all the other parts of the chain were energy free.) If we were to make 9.5 million b/d of alcohol for transportation, just where will that 9.5 mmb/d oil equivalent energy come from to run all the equipment? He asserts that we will just burn biomass, but I think the scale issue here can't justify that conclusion.

His discussion of the environment benefits of alcohol lack credulity. There are far too many mainstream studies that are supportive of ethanol use that otherwise show the increased NOx and carcenogen production from ethanol combustion. And to claim that ethanol production will "heal the earth" through increased CO2 absorption in plants is ludicrous.

Blume falls into a common trap of assuming that if something can be demonstrated on a small scale, it can be done on a national or global scale with no impediments. This appears to be behind his assertions of "if we only planted the panhandle of Texas" or some other scale in biomass, we could provide all our needs. Scalability is a serious challenge to most laboratory discoveries, and this is no exception. He blithely speaks of how capital costs will continue to fall, despite the fact that the cost of the high quality energy behind the development and production of capital goods continues to rise.

He attempted to stray outside the US by talking of the opportunity that China has to "leapfrog" to alcohol and how substitution of alcohol in their "coal-driven" trains would decrease costs. I won't even comment further on how the second largest economy and energy system in the world is going to "leapfrog". China's trains are 80% diesel driven and the rest electrified. They have halted their grain-to-ethanol program because of soaring food prices and the high water requirements for conversion to ethanol. They 1/2 the arable land of the US and 4 times the population.

The book is an excellent summary and compilation of the various technology options for small-scale alcohol production, and has a thorough discussion of the plant options, mixed with sound permaculture advice. Unfortunately, he wraps all this around a polemic against oil that is error-ridden and in the end, diminishes his message, credulity and objectivity. This will doubtlessly find an audience, but for serious thinkers about peak oil, its consequences, and possible responses, it's yet another tome trying to support a business-as-usual lifestyle (aside from his rant against SUVs) with no consideration that perhaps not consuming and reducing demand is more important now that trying to find another source of supply, especially one that is among the worst of our choices. It's a pity he didn't focus on biodiesel options for agricultural production machinery."

Basic take? The guy is a huckster.

Thanks, Sparaxis;
More than I could have asked for.. I felt his claims were unfeasible, but being neither an energy engineer nor an agro specialist, felt someone else must have put down some responses that offered a more reasonable counterpoint.

I generally like Hartmann, but he spends so much time doing battle with the same kind of Ayn Rand ideologues that I think his own thinking gets stuck on equally opposite, improbable notions. .. And there, but for the Grace of God, would I go, too.


something added to the silence

Not sure whether this has been posted or not:

Dollar's double blow from Vietnam and Qatar

Vietnam is planning to cut its purchases of US Treasuries and other dollar bonds, raising fears that Asian central banks with control over two thirds of the world's foreign reserves may soon join the flight from US assets.

The Saigon Times said this morning that the State Bank of Vietnam was abandoning the attempt to hold down the Vietnamese currency through heavy purchases of dollars. The policy is causing the economy to overheat, driving up inflation to 8.8pc...

...Together they hold $3,575bn of foreign reserves, over 65pc of the world's total. China leads with $1,340bn, but South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and even Thailand all built up massive holdings.

The concern is that once one or two members of the region jump ship, it could set off a broader scramble. None of them want to be the last one left holding a devalued asset. Vietnam's central bank said this week that it would move "gradually" to a floating currency.

Separately, the gas-rich Gulf state of Qatar announced that it had cut the dollar holdings of its $50bn sovereign wealth fund from 99pc to 40pc, switching into investments in China, Japan, and emerging Asia...

...The drastic shift by the Qatar Investment Authority is a warning that petro-dollar powers with some $3,500bn under management may pull the plug on the heavily endebted US economy -- which needs to suck in the majority of the world's savings just to stay afloat.

The United States (and all Americans that I know) is not asking anyone to manipulate their currency or buy US dollars. In fact the United States (e.g. Chuck Schumer, Lindsay Graham)is begging other governments to stop buying dollars as a way of manipulating currency. It hasn't happened yet.

The savings in landill costs alone of useless junk would be nice.

A little hint at the deep trouble the financial system is in:

British banks gorge on ECB's cheap credit

EU sources say Britain's banks have been clamouring for money in Frankfurt, accounting for a substantial chunk of the €190bn (£132bn) lent last week in the ECB's variable tender operation. "It is fair to say they have been borrowing from the ECB on a very large scale. It's cheap, so why not," said one official...

...Hans Redeker, currency chief at BNP Paribas, said British reliance on ECB funds has become to big that it is leaving a clear footprint in the currency markets, forcing up sterling on the days following ECB tenders as the banks switch euros into pounds – typically Thursdays, Fridays, and Mondays.

"There's been a huge amount of borrowing. It is causing movements in the euro-sterling exchange rate that do not make any sense otherwise. It is why the pound shot up in early September when the liquidity crisis was in full swing and there was nothing to justify this," he said.

Sub-prime claims Spanish developer

The Valencia property developer Llanera has become the first high-profile victim of the credit crunch in Spain, declaring insolvency yesterday after failing to meet payments on €748m of debt...

...The rating agency Moody's said default rates in Spain could jump from 0.37pc to 5.5pc if the economy suffers a hard landing, with an outside risk that values could fall by 20pc.

Looks like the Spanish have done the same silly things with overbuilding that happened here, but their problems came with the euro, which torpedoed their sensible interest rate. U.S. subprime got Northern Rock but in this case it appears their own subprime market has done them in - an important distinction for those not following that situation closely.

OPEC pumped an average 30.615 million barrels a day last month, up 270,000 barrels from August, according to the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts. The 10 members with production quotas, all except Angola and Iraq, increased output by 155,000 barrels to 26.88 million barrels a day.

Wasn't that meeting in the middle of September. I'm not the best math guy in the world but I think 270,000x2 = 540,000 barrel increase. I would say our questions have been answered. Anyone want crow?

You're right-nothing to see here-move along. I think everyone can expect continual increases of 270 thou a month from here on out until solar takes over (covering almost the entire southwest). These doomers are wacko.

Like Pippi Longstocking popping a mushroom in her mouth and declaring it 'Edible', I would say that making any conclusions based on a two-month review of Opec's output is statistically insignificant.. wait a few seconds before you crow, eh?


Based on the 2005 to 2006 rate of increase in consumption, just the top five net exporters will consume an additional 420,000 bpd in Total Liquids in 2007, and the available data indicate that world net oil exports are declining. The model suggests that the net export decline rate will accelerate with time.

In any case, as we have repeatedly discussed, post-peak regions, e.g., Texas and the Lower 48, can and do show temporary production increases.

To cite one example, the key question for Saudi Arabia is whether they will ever exceed their 2005 crude oil production rate of 9.6 mbpd of crude oil for an entire year.

But fundamentally, the question I have for the cornucopian types is precisely what are you advocating?

That we try to increase our overall consumption?

That we buy more SUV's?

That we can have an infinite rate of increase in our consumption of a finite energy resource base?

BTW, EIA data for the OPEC 12 show about a 2%/year decline rate in total OPEC crude oil production (since 2005), using 30 mbpd for 2007.

The message, I'd say, is that we worry too much, and that there's no wolf out there. They'd hate to rain on our little parade of concerns, but it's their sad duty to tell us that there won't be any big scary problems.. that the universe is conservative and everything will continue on pretty much as it always has..

Problem + Product = Happy!


But fundamentally, the question I have for the cornucopian types is precisely what are you advocating?

That it's not too late - collapse is far from inevitable, and sufficient oil production capacity still exists to allow us to transition to current and near-future alternatives.

And that basing decisions on faulty data and faulty logic is a bad idea, regardless of whether the faults are doomer-biased or cornucopian-biased.

Non-doomers aren't straw men, and suggesting we actually believe people should buy more SUVs is kind of silly. Personally, I'd like to see gas taxes in the US exceed European levels, since I think that'd start all kinds of beneficial changes in the US (e.g., more rail, more TOD, more walking/biking, smaller cars, more alternative research, plus stuff others more clever than me will come up with in response to the price pressure).

That I don't believe we're doomed doesn't mean I believe we're acting wisely.

the key question for Saudi Arabia is whether they will ever exceed their 2005 crude oil production rate of 9.6 mbpd of crude oil for an entire year.

I disagree. It makes a big difference whether KSA produces at 9.5mb/d continuously for 20 years or starts declining at 10%/yr starting today, even though both scenarios give the same answer to your "key question".

Production capacity is probably more important than actual production, at least until OPEC's quotas are removed.

I disagree. It makes a big difference whether KSA produces at 9.5mb/d continuously for 20 years or starts declining at 10%/yr starting today, even though both scenarios give the same answer to your "key question".

I suggest that you plug in some rising consumption numbers for Saudi Arabia and see what happens to net exports, with a flat production rate.

In any case, the only question for 2007 is how sharp the Saudi net export decline rate will be. The 2006 and 2007 data will show two years of net export declines--against historically high nominal oil prices--and they will show that the decline rate is (so far) accelerating with time, which is what the ELM and the UK and Indonesian case histories show.

Copy of my post on the commodity thread:

I thought that this was a very interesting story when it came out. It doesn't appear to be in dispute that the Saudis are short of natural gas. I have related a report that I am aware of that they are going to have to divert 500,000 bpd of liquids production to power plants and desalination plants in 2007 and 2008, because of shortfalls in natural gas production (which is apparently reflected in Rembrandt's estimate that Saudi liquids consumption is up at over 9% from 2006).

It is true that coal is cheaper that oil, but I assume that the Saudis will have to modify their power plants and desalination plants to handle coal, instead of natural gas, NGL's or petroleum.

Which raises an interesting question. If they have so much surplus liquids capacity, why go to the expense of modifying power plants and desalination plants to handle coal?

Arab energy giants eye coal imports

28-06-07 They hold over 30% of global oil and nearly 8% of gas reserves, but at least four Gulf Arab states are considering importing coal for power generation as they struggle to meet domestic demand.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain are all looking at the possibility of building coal-fired power plants, analysts and industry sources said. The region's electricity needs are soaring as petrodollars feed rapid economic expansion.

"It's absurd in a way but there is not enough gas," said Mark Lewis, Managing Director of Energy Market Consultants.

"They have a serious problem in power generation and are having difficulties balancing their systems. Coal is a well known technology and could be built fairly quickly. It's probably quicker than the lead times for importing gas."

Which raises an interesting question. If they have so much surplus liquids capacity, why go to the expense of modifying power plants and desalination plants to handle coal?

Because, as you say, coal is cheaper than oil, at about 1/3 the market price.

Since fuel costs represent roughly 2/3 of the cost of fossil fuel power plants, it would be foolish to use high-value oil instead of low-value coal.

I suggest that you plug in some rising consumption numbers for Saudi Arabia and see what happens to net exports, with a flat production rate.

That's utterly irrelevant to my point that it makes a big difference what Saudi production does, even if it never rises above the magical 9.6 level.

More of a difference than consumption, as a matter of fact; 10% production decline with 0% consumption increase will leave them net importers in 15 years, but flat 9.5 production with 5% consumption increase will leave them exporting half their production even 20 years from now (I included NGLs in both).

Saudi production is not a yes-or-no question.

the only question for 2007 is how sharp the Saudi net export decline rate will be. The 2006 and 2007 data will show two years of net export declines--against historically high nominal oil prices

Again, I disagree - the real question in my opinion is whether Saudi production capacity is in decline or not.

Their actual produced quantity can be influenced by all kinds of things, such as (a) higher non-OPEC production than last year, (b) lower demand than last year due to weather, (c) lower nominal prices than last year, (d) significantly lower real prices than last year, due to inflation and US$ declines. All of those things were very much true during the first half of 2007, and are expected to be true in aggregate for the year, as the article on Saudi exports notes.

Those, among other reasons, are why Saudi Arabia's production level isn't a very reliable indicator of their production capacity.

the ELM and the UK and Indonesian case histories show.

Keep in mind that Norway is a better example for Saudi Arabia than the UK or Indonesia, since the latter two topped out at exporting 50%, whereas Norway and KSA are both exporting in excess of 75%. That doesn't fundamentally change things, of course, but it means it takes much longer for the decline to run its course, and the Saudis could export billions of barrels per year for decades to come if their reserves are anywhere close to what they claim.

No problem? Of course there is. But there isn't much evidence Saudi exports are going to fall of a cliff in the next few years.

dream on while you still can

regarding Saudi production, get back to me when their crude oil production in a calendar year exceeds 9.6 mbpd

dream on while you still can

What, particularly, did I say that you find so unrealistic?

Wasn't that meeting in the middle of September.

Sept 11. And only 155k was from quota members.

So even if we assume they began ramping up production linearly the moment the meeting ended - as opposed to starting their increases before - that level of increase would be 155/20*2 = 16kb/d/d, meaning by today (Oct 4) their output would have increased by 24*16k = 384kb/d, or below the promised 500kb/d.

So it is still not known with certainty that they'll be able to meet that 500kb/d quota increase.

It's likely - IMHO, overwhelmingly likely - but still too early to call it. In my opinion, we'll be able to say with certainty whether or not they've increased production as claimed in February or so, when a couple months of post-increase production data are out, and anything before that is largely speculation.

I'm no doomer... but, isn't somebody over there, maybe abu dhabi, cutting production 600-800k/d on account of some kind of maintenance beginning Nov 1, supposedly when OPEC is bringing on their increase? ANd, if so, and even if the entire 500k comes on line, wouldn't the net be a reduction, at least for a while? Further, if all the above is true and if SA a) is concerned supplies are too tight, and b) really has the excess capacity they and some others claim, wouldn't it be logical for SA to make up for the 600-800k/d by returning to their previous 9.6M/d production, at least until the scheduled maintenance is complete?

And only 155k was from quota members.

Yes, and according to a Reuters survey published a couple of days, put the production increase of quota members at just 60,000 bpd. Add in the fact that according to the Bloomberg article, the UAE will be reducing production by 600,000 bpd just when OPEC is meant to be increasing production by 500,000 bpd, and I don't see how one can conclude from the evidence that has come out in the past couple of days that OPEC is going to be able to deliver the ouput increase.

It'll be interesting to see how it plays out over the next couple of months.

There's no denying though that OPEC is acting fundamentally different then it did even just a few years ago. It used to be that everyone cheated on their OPEC quota, selling more then they should. These days everyone is staying right at quota, or lagging behind.

There's no denying

That's just asking for denying!

There's no denying though that OPEC is acting fundamentally different then it did even just a few years ago. It used to be that everyone cheated on their OPEC quota, selling more then they should. These days everyone is staying right at quota, or lagging behind.

As promised, I don't agree. Plenty of countries are lagging their quotas due to inability to produce (Indonesia, Venezuela, etc.), but that's been true for a long time, as I understand it. Other countries, including Saudi Arabia, were cheating on their quotas as recently as last year.

Late last year, though, the price of oil crashed from $80 to $50, and remained below 2006 levels until this summer. By my reading, that's one main reason for the increased adherence to quotas - to shore up the market price. It's possible that nobody's cheating because nobody can, but the steep price drop and promised production increases now that the price is back up suggests that at least some of the restraint was voluntary.

EDIT: actually, they're cheating on their quotas right now. When the increase was announced, it was a 0.5mb/d increase to production, which amounted to about a 1.4mb/d increase in quotas.

So I don't see at all that OPEC is acting substantially differently in that regard.

an expectation is a premeditated resentment
not directed at you sir pitt but your html poetry exhumed this from my grave of hope.
nice post

the UAE will be reducing production by 600,000 bpd just when OPEC is meant to be increasing production by 500,000 bpd, and I don't see how one can conclude from the evidence that has come out in the past couple of days that OPEC is going to be able to deliver the ouput increase.

Agreed. Scanty evidence is scanty evidence, regardless of which direction it points.

In my opinion, the production increases point to some excess OPEC capacity existing, but don't really give us much information on how large that capacity is, so it doesn't answer the question of whether the production increase will be delivered. I think it will, but my reasons for that (why announce it and fail, destroying their credibility?) aren't based on available production data, since I don't think that data provides much evidence either way yet.

Assuming that OPEC/Sa increase production 500k, it is not at all clear that they are ramping up capacity that has been sitting idle all year. It is well know that SA is due to bring new production on line at year end... interesting that the new production agreement is scheduled to begin precisely when the new project is due.

Wasn't that meeting in the middle of September. I'm not the best math guy in the world but I think 270,000x2 = 540,000 barrel increase. I would say our questions have been answered. Anyone want crow?

Anti, the quota was 523,000 barrels per day over August production. And it was for the OPEC 10. The opec 10 was up 155,000 barrels per day in September. So they have a ways to go before they get to their target.

But you got one thing right anyway, you are not the best guy at math.

Ron Patterson

P.S. I am away from my database working with a borrowed laptop so I am not sure about that 523,000 bpd number but I know that is very close. It was something over half a million barrels per day over August production.

The City of Irving, a suburb between Fort Worth and Dallas, is turning over arrested illegal aliens to immigration officials.

Oct. 4, 2007, 5:28AM
Immigrant children withdrawing from Irving schools
Associated Press

Irving police have turned over more than 1,600 people to immigration officials since the program began last year.

Latino advocates have accused police officers of racial profiling and overzealously arresting suspected illegal immigrants so they can be deported.

City officials counter that police are just providing information to immigration agents as part to streamline the deportation of illegal immigrants who have been incarcerated.

"If they're not being booked into our jail, there's nothing they should be worried about," Mayor Herbert Gears said. He said police or immigration officials wouldn't pick up children at school.

The entertaining thing about living in Texas is that they come up with stuff that you couldn't imagine in your wildest dreams (or more correctly, worst nightmares). The place is kind of a super-attenuated version of the US. Concentrated evil, if you like. Since I'm already up on the soapbox, didn't Richard Heinberg's latest article seem rather, well, pissed off? Is he still working through the anger stage?

I just want to give TOD editors a kudos for putting some main articles by TOD:Canada and TOD:Europe on the main TOD page. I tend to not visit them very often and it really rounds out the perspective that TOD has become the main global "clearinghouse" and discussion board for issues on world energy, environment, and finance and how IT IS ALL CONNECTED.

Stoneleigh and Euan's writings need far more readership than they have been getting.

Keep up the great work and thanks.

Debunking auto industry myths

Although a gas tax is the most efficient way to accomplish lower consumption, a significant gas tax will never work in the democracy of the USA because the first congressman to propose it would be instantly voted out of office.

It's much easier for the body politic to raise the requirements on the big bad auto industry.

For a democracy to weather the upcoming peak oil storm requires that the electorate be well educated which leaves the USA out.

Agreed. The lack of understanding of science (and technology) in the U.S. is stunning. Several polls of scientific literacy over the years have shown that about half the population just doesn't get it. The most obvious example is the large fraction which sees the Earth to be very young, generally less than 10,000 years, usually based on some interpretation of the Bible. That same fraction also seems to think that the laws of Nature are optional, i.e., that miracles which violate these laws have happened and do so with some regularity. Those folks have a world view similar to the Middle Ages, when the Catholic Church ruled the European mind. The really scary thing to me is that there appear to be folks that want to go back to those days, which is what could happen if the Fundamentalist fanatics win out.

I happen to be reading Barbara Tuchman's 1978 book "A Distant Mirror", which is a historical summation of the 14th century in Europe. The defining event of the century was the appearance of the Black Death in 1347, which may have killed nearly 1/2 of the population. In some cases, entire towns were wiped out. Add to that a feudal society with a culture of war where rulers fought and killed with abandon and a Church that tortured and burned the hapless in the Inquisition and one gets a small glimpse of what might happen as Peak Oil disrupts our high technology society.

E. Swanson