DrumBeat: February 14, 2008

Direct Energy CEO says price caps hurt conservation

"Regulation and price caps carry a clear message: Don't worry, everything will be OK," said King. "But we know everything will not be OK.

"We have a greenhouse gas problem, but we don't have the political will to say and do what needs to be done," King said.

"Consumers must pay the true cost of energy," King said. Otherwise, "consumers will not go out of their way to conserve."

Conoco Phillips shakes up gas line proposal

Oil giant Conoco Phillips said it is re-evaluating its proposal to build a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope due to what it calls a lack of engagement from Gov. Sarah Palin's administration, company officials said Wednesday.

American's won't give up SUVs, Shell Oil president predicts

WASHINGTON -- The president of Shell Oil Co. said today that Americans were unlikely to give up their SUVs, despite a new law requiring automakers to boost the fuel efficiency of the vehicles by 40 percent by 2020.

"The vast majority of Americans love their big cars and I think the auto companies will follow the market," said John Hofmeister, the president of Royal Dutch Shell PLC's U.S. unit, in a meeting with reporters here.

Electricity prices to rise, energy execs say

HOUSTON — Energy Future Holdings Chairman Donald Evans agreed with power experts on Thursday that electricity prices are bound to rise.

“I don’t see pricing going down anytime in the near future,” Mr. Evans said during a panel discussion at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates annual conference. “So I think there will be adequate incentive for people to look very hard at this area” of energy efficiency.

Petrobras courting Mexico's Pemex in US oil fields

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brazil's state oil company Petrobras is trying to interest its Mexican counterpart Pemex in joining one of its offshore exploration projects in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, a Petrobras executive said on Thursday.

State-controlled Pemex is banned by law from forming joint ventures in oil exploration and production within Mexico, but it is allowed to form joint ventures abroad.

IEA concerned about the Venezuelan decision on supplies

The spokesman of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that he was worried about the Venezuelan decision to stop selling oil to the US company Exxon Mobil, and noted that the agency was closely following the situation, reported the news agency, Reuters.

"We are concerned about the physical side of the event and we are carefully following its development," told the executive director of the IEA, Nobuo Tanaka, to the journalists.

Exxon's wrathful tiger takes on Hugo Chávez

A dispute with Exxon adds to the troubles of Venezuela's president and the state-owned oil behemoth on which he relies.

Venezuela says Conoco compensation talks progress

CARACAS, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Venezuela is progressing toward striking a deal with ConocoPhillips over compensation for a multibillion-dollar project nationalized last year, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Thursday.

The minister contrasted the negotiations with a legal offensive waged by Exxon Mobil Corp over payment for a project that was also seized in the same nationalization drive.

"Conoco has asked for and maintained a level of communication that allows a friendly solution to our dispute," he said in a speech to Congress. "We are on the way to reaching an agreement."

France wants global oil tax

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked the head of the International Monetary Fund to consider a tax on oil companies' profits to help countries without energy reserves, the finance minister said Wednesday.

Christine Lagarde told LCI television that Sarkozy had asked the new IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a Frenchman, to consider a tax that would affect oil companies worldwide.

Information stolen from Petrobras

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Important information has been stolen from Brazil's state-run oil firm, the company said Thursday, and one news site reported it was related to two recent major gas and oil finds.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA gave no details about the missing data except to characterize it as "confidential information" stolen from "equipment and materials that contain important information for the company."

Exxon Mobil's hard line on expropriation

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. won an early round in its oil field dispute with Venezuela, but it will likely take years for the energy giant to prove it has a right to any of the $12 billion in Venezuelan assets that courts ordered frozen last week while the two sides wrangle over compensation for production licenses that went sour.

Industry pundits looking at the bigger picture warn that fights like this may become more common as sovereign rights are pitted against corporate contracts tied to energy output.

Iraq Kurds in South Korean oil deal

SEOUL - A South Korean consortium Thursday signed an initial agreement to explore oilfields in Iraqi Kurdistan in return for major construction projects in the region, officials said.

...The oilfields are believed to hold one to two billion barrels compared to South Korea's total annual imports of some 800 million barrels, a KNOC spokesman said.

Help wanted: Oil jobs

The oil industry is scrambling to attract young workers as 80% of its aging workforce is headed for the door.

Next Stop for Big Oil: Cambodia?

As Chevron and partner Mitsui Oil explore offshore, skeptics worry that Cambodia will fall prey to the "oil curse."

Conoco wins $10 bln plus UAE gas project

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - ConocoPhillips has won a contract for a project expected to cost more than $10 billion to develop sour gas reserves in the United Arab Emirates, sources at state oil company ADNOC said on Thursday.

The project was one of the largest upstream projects in the past year open to international companies competing for limited access the Middle East's oil and gas fields.

Rough Road for Hybrids in China

Toyota and Honda are selling eco-friendly cars in mainland China and GM is close behind. But high prices and murky policy have crimped sales.

Top oil firms spend more but get less crude

LONDON (Reuters) - The world's three largest fully publicly traded oil firms are investing billions of dollars more, but there is little sign yet the extra spending is leading to higher production.

Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc posted falling 2007 output, even though they upped capital spending to over $60 billion and some expect a further rise this year.

The drop reflects the way higher oil prices reduce the amount of oil companies get under production-sharing agreements with governments, and declining supply from ageing fields in some regions like the North Sea.

Smoke and Mirrors

Time is not on China's side. The government has announced plans to add an astonishing 1,300 GW to its electrical generation capacity by 2020. (The U.S. is currently capable of generating 1,000 GW.) The goal is for 25-30% of this to come from clean and renewable technologies. But even if these ambitious targets are achieved, some 70% of China's electricity will still come from coal-fired plants in 2020. That's down from about 78% today.

One reason China is so power-hungry: beginning in 2002, the country began dramatically expanding its heavy industries such as steel and aluminum production and auto manufacturing — capital-intensive businesses that are huge energy hogs. Five years ago, the ratio of heavy industry output to gdp in China was 55%; that rose to a staggering 120% last year.

Canadian oil industry poised for gusher year

The Canadian oil industry is poised for another gusher of a year with 2008 profits rising 18 per cent to nearly $23 billion, the Conference Board of Canada says.

However, the Conference Board warned Thursday that the oilpatch is likely to hit a bump in the road in 2009 because of rising costs and because world oil production is being ramped up, which will eat into prices.

Shell sees coal still a key energy source over coming decades

LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Coal will remain one of the world's main sources of energy over the next 40 years, even replacing oil as the dominant fuel once supply "plateaus" after 2015, said Jeremy Bentham, vice president of Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

He told reporters in a news conference coal demand will continue to grow but oil and gas supply is likely to peak sometime between 2015 and 2020. This will occur even at the back of mounting pressure to reduce the use of coal as a measure to curb carbon emissions.

Greer: The little steps that matter

As I suggested in an earlier post, the process of coming to terms with peak oil has more than a little in common with the five stages of grief famously outlined some years back by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. We’ve already seen two of those stages displayed in living color in recent years, and of course both are still very much with us.

The poster child for denial just now is Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), a petroleum industry-funded think tank that has nonchalantly churned out predictions of soaring oil production and declining oil prices for years now, while production and prices in the real world have been headed the other way. For anger, you can hardly do better than watching the current US administration, brandishing its gargantuan war machine and bellowing its rage at Arabs, Venezuelans, and anybody else arrogant enough to think that they have some sort of right to the oil underneath their own territories.

Santos shuts Australia oil fields due to cyclone

Australian oil and gas producer Santos Ltd said on Thursday its Legendre and Stag oil fields off Western Australia have been shut in since Monday due to a cyclone.

Legendre produced about 7,000 barrels of oil a day at the end of December, while Stag has a daily output rate of about 8,700 barrels, according to Santos' fourth-quarter production report. Both fields are operated by U.S. oil major Apache Corp (APA.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

Nepal: Shortage of Cooking Gas Hits People Hard

Mitthu Dulal of Jorpati said her gas cylinders emptied a month ago. Her empty cylinders are in queue at two gas depots, waiting to be refilled. "With saw-dust and firewood, I am managing to prepare meals twice a day," she said, adding she is unable to prepare afternoon meal due to lack of fuel.

Kerosene is not available, supply of electricity is irratic, LPG is in short supply and the price of firewood has doubled, Dulal said. "Earlier, one kilogramme of firewood used to cost Rs 5. These days, it costs Rs 10."

India: Oil transporters go on strike; Petrol pump stocks likely to be exhausted in few days

IMPHAL: An indefinite strike by oil tanker drivers commenced from today, raising the spectre of an artificial shortage of petroleum products gripping the state.

Aleutian village copes with fuel shortage

For nearly five months, dangerously stormy weather in the Aleutians has held bulk-fuel barges at bay from Nikolski, where officials have been forced to fly in small, pricey batches for heat and power.

The tiny, isolated village of about 30 people, unable to continue paying $3,600 a pop to fly in a week's worth of fuel, is hoping for a final air delivery of 550 gallons to come later this week, though it too has been delayed because of weather. Once in Nikolski, fuel sells for nearly $11 a gallon, more than double the normal cost there.

Gas Tampering Investigation in Kingsland Continues

"My understanding is the informer saw them manipulating the pumps and reported that to my staff," Irvin told First Coast News by phone from Atlanta.

He says they found a shortage at every single pump.

"Looks very suspicious to me," Irvin said. "Substantial shortage, too. Every pump. That means somebody's manipulating them."

Analysis: Energy policy is foreign policy

"Post-Cold War, there are common interests, even between the United States and Iran, certainly between the United States and other Gulf states," said James Placke, senior associate and Middle East expert at Cambridge Energy Research Associates. "Security interests are still a very important part of it; energy interests are still a very important part of it. Whether the United States gets most of its oil or only a small portion -- and it is a small portion -- from the Gulf region really doesn't matter. There's one oil market and in the supplies to the world market from the Gulf are absolutely critical, and that's what's important to the United States."

Mexico Congress Won't Take Up Oil Plan, Zavaleta Says

(Bloomberg) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon's party probably won't send congress a bill to open the state oil industry to foreign and private investment this session because support for the plan is lacking, the speaker of the house said.

Mexico to Present Oil Industry Reform by End-March

(Bloomberg) -- Mexico's government plans to present an initiative to open the state oil industry to foreign and private investment by the end of March, Energy Minister Georgina Kessel said.

Venezuela To Pay Total $834M In Compensation

Venezuela's Petroleos de Venezuela, PdVSA, will pay a European oil company $834 million in compensation for its stake in a nationalized oil project, the company said Thursday.

Total Oil (TOT) will receive in the end $834 million in compensation for its participation in the Sincor oil venture that was nationalized last year, PdVSA confirmed in a statement. The company gave no more details.

PDVSA Will File Motion to Overturn Exxon Injunction in U.K.

(Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA will file an application at London's High Court today to overturn an injunction won by Exxon Mobil Corp. to freeze its assets.

Baker Hughes Opens $80M Dubai HQ This Week

Oilfield Services giant Baker Hughes is ready to invest $80 million on a headquarter located in Dubai, according to Emirates Business. The Middle East, Asia Pacific headquarters follows Houston-based Halliburton, which moved its headquarters to Dubai in 2007.

Baker Hughes Assistant Director of Investor Relations Gene Shiels told Rigzone that the facility in Dubai is a "huge" project that incorporates four phases: a training facility, the headquarters, a repair and maintenance section, and a manufacturing area.

Air France Profit Skids on Fuel Costs

Air France-KLM, the world's biggest airline by revenue, said Thursday its profit fell 39 percent in its third quarter due to higher oil prices, strikes and special items, but said its operating profit rose as it attracted more passengers.

Power shortage won't harm output, but KIO warns costs may rise

JSE-listed Kumba Iron Ore (KIO), which split from Kumba Resources in 2006, would not lose production because of South Africa's power crisis, but would likely see an increase in costs in 2008 as it used more diesel to in efforts to cut its power consumption, CEO Ras Myburgh said on Thursday.

Canada: Flour shortage sees bread costs rising

Increased exports of wheat to other countries and a shift by farmers to corn for ethanol production have been blamed for the increase, but the Canadian Wheat Board says many factors are involved.

"Of the price a consumer pays for a loaf of bread, only about 10 per cent of it can be attributed to the price of wheat," said Bruce Burnett, director of market analysis for the Canadian Wheat Board in Winnipeg. He said increased costs for transportation, diesel fuel, fertilizer and other aspects of farming have helped drive the price of wheat.

But the biggest factor is that the world is consuming more wheat than it is producing. Production problems and crop failures in bread basket countries like Canada and Australia have dramatically reduced the amount of wheat harvested.

Rice shortage hits Indian curry houses

London (IANS) Indian curries, Britain’s favourite dish, are set to become costlier because India and China are hoarding rice stocks for domestic consumption, an industry association has warned.

The warning by the Rice Association, which represents millers and importers, comes as the Bank of England Governor said people in Britain should prepare for a year of low economic growth combined with rising food and fuel prices.

Biofuels and the fertilizer problem

NPK mentality neglects micronutrients and forgets that healthy soil relies on teeming populations of microorganisms, whose function we don't fully understand. Lashing the soil with industrial fertilizer doesn't renew life in the soil; it squeezes life out. Someday, I predict, NPK dogma will crumble and seem as absurd as relying on a bowl of Total for nourishment.

For now, though, we live in an NPK world -- and biofuel production relies absolutely on mined and synthesized macronutrients.

Oil Shortage Looming: Study Sees Peak Oil in 10-15 Years

Asia and the U.S. will become increasingly embroiled in the volatile politics of the Middle East as oil production peaks in the next 10-15 years, leaving the world with as much demand, but less and less supply.

That is the assessment of the East-West Center, which labels the coming energy crisis as "a daunting challenge," according to the South China Morning Post.

Tapped out

What will life look like 10 years from now? Most people work on the assumption that it will resemble life today, more or less. Yaron Hochman, on the other hand, sees things differently.

"In another 10 years, mankind will be busy with one main issue - finding ways of making do without oil, but continuing to do most of the things we do today," he says. "People are constantly asking when the world oil supply will run out, but that is not a relevant question. The question is, at what point will world production rates begin to decline? That moment will arrive very soon. We received a gift of a huge energy reservoir, but soon we will have to figure out how to get along without it."

Platinum price breaks through 2,000 dollars for first time

LONDON (AFP) — The price of platinum soared on Thursday past 2,000 dollars an ounce to a record as power shortages affected mining production in South Africa, the biggest supplier of the white precious metal, traders said.

..."With no end in sight to the South African power crisis it is difficult to be anything but bullish, with platinum potentially able to gain a further 600-800 dollars an ounce over the next 2-3-months," said James Moore of TheBullionDesk.com.

South African energy group Eskom has said that its power supply would be kept at only 90 percent of full capacity until 2012.

S. Africa utility Eskom says to buy back power

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African power utility Eskom [ESCJ.J] will consider buying back "significant" amounts of power from industrial customers in order to ease an energy crisis, CEO Jacob Maroga said on Thursday.

CERA: Aramco chief calls for energy planning, cooperation

HOUSTON -- There are enough conventional and unconventional petroleum resources to satisfy global demand for liquid fuels "for many decades," but it will require better planning and cooperation between industry and governments to accomplish that task, the president and chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco said.

In the opening address at the annual energy conference sponsored by Cambridge Energy Research Associates in Houston, Abdallah S. Jum'ah said, "The world simply cannot afford to leave massive quantities of oil, gas, and coal in the ground and move precipitously to unproven alternatives, while still hoping to satisfy future growth in global energy demand."

Analysis: Big Oil tackles climate change

HOUSTON (UPI) -- Climate change was on the agenda at an influential oil industry meeting in Houston with repeated calls for a nationwide regime.

"We want to be at the table, want to be an active participant as the U.S. government addresses this issue and comes up with a regime," Red Cavaney, president and chief executive officer of the American Petroleum Institute, the industry's lobby group, told United Press International in an interview on the sidelines of the CERAWeek energy confab. "We have certain views as individual companies within the industry but we concluded that the best thing to do was go to the table without any preconditions."

Industry, government must team on energy, execs say

HOUSTON — Global energy companies and governments must come together to help solve one of the biggest challenges facing the world today — keeping the planet fueled while not ruining the environment, two top oil executives said Tuesday.

Despite rising international concerns over energy and climate, the world continually deals with these issues through “uncoordinated approaches,” James Mulva, chairman of oil giant ConocoPhillips, told a gathering of industry executives, academics and analysts Tuesday.

Asia’s tigers eye nuclear future

The Southeast Asian economies, beneficiaries of an oil and gas export bonanza through the 1970s-1990s, now find themselves in an energy crunch as once-ample reserves run down and the search is on for new and cleaner energy supplies. Notably, regional leaders at the 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore in November 2007 issued a statement promoting civilian nuclear power, alongside renewable and alternative energy sources.

Argentina extends energy saving plan & efficiency culture

Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner claimed on Wednesday the government had already saved almost 600 megawatts in electricity as part of the joint Plan for Efficient Energy use.

However she insisted on the need for more energy-saving domestic appliances, while addressing a group of Buenos Aires province mayors from seven different municipalities that signed up to the energy plan known as the Plan for the Rational and Efficient use of Energy (PRONUREE).

Bolivia guarantees gas supplies for 2008 but says shortages possible in the future

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) - Bolivia's vice president on Wednesday guaranteed his country would maintain its natural gas supplies to South America's two biggest economies at their current level through the end of the year, but said meeting future demand increases must be discussed.

Critic: Facts bury theory on Peak Oil

IHS Inc., owner of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, said those who espouse the theory that the world's oil production has already peaked lack evidence to support their claims.

"The only thing that's relevant is our data," Jerre Stead, chief executive at Douglas County-based IHS, said Wednesday in an interview in Houston.

Believers in the so-called Peak Oil theory "don't have our data," he said.

Simmons: Empty Holes and Black Swans, Part II

It took about three months after the book came out before I started getting feedback from within the system, and then there were these Saudi Aramco guys saying "God, what a fabulous book. We had all told ourselves that this stupid guy in Houston was writing this stupid book that Saudi Arabia no longer has any oil through total incompetence and how these camel jockeys screwed up the world's biggest oil fields, and it made us madder than hell." And, of course, the book didn't say anything like that.

Mankind Can't Afford More Oil Drilling - Ex-BP Exec

Known oil, gas and coal reserves may already contain a quarter more carbon than mankind can emit and still avoid dangerous climate change, putting the value of new oil exploration in doubt, said a former oil major executive.

The oil industry may be wasting $50 billion annually searching for new fields, said Jan-Peter Onstwedder, formerly BP's most senior risk manager. He left BP in December.

Peak Oil Models Forecast China's Oil Supply, Demand

Peak oil models show a widening gap between China's oil demand and production. The generalized Weng model predicts a peak oil production in China of 196 million tonnes in 2026 and the Hubbert model indicates a peak oil demand in 2034 of 633 million tonnes. Production

Because forecasts indicate a widening gap between production and demand, China's government is undertaking various measures to reduce this gap and more measures will be needed in the future. In 2006, China imported 47% of the oil it consumed.

Saudi Aramco to invest $90bn over five years

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producing company, is planning to pump nearly $90 billion (Dh330.3bn) into the hydrocarbon sector in the next five years to expand crude and refining capacity, according to its chief executive officer.

Abdallah Jumah said the projects would double the Kingdom’s refining output and add nearly three million barrels per day of crude to capacity. Addressing a conference on energy security in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday, he said the investments are part of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to ensuring long-term supplies to consumers but stressed this would not be enough to tackle global security concerns about crude supplies.

Total to decide on Saudi refinery before June

PARIS, Feb 14 (Reuters) - French oil and gas company Total will decide before the end of June whether to go ahead with a planned refinery in Saudi Arabia as it weighs the impact of rising industry costs, it said on Thursday.

Chávez's Oil Threats Slick but Not Solid

Oil accounts for 90 percent of Venezuela's export earnings and half of the government's revenue. Chávez has tapped into the revenue of the state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, to finance domestic food and fuel subsidies, social programs, the Fund for National Development, and a $1.7 billion aid program for Cuba and other countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Moreover, the United States is Venezuela's biggest market, and Venezuelan crude oil is of such low quality that few of the world's refineries outside the United States can use it. One firm well-suited for using Venezuelan crude is U.S.-based Citgo, a unit of PDVSA. Chávez may talk of cultivating new customers by selling to China, but China doesn't have a refinery capable of handling the heavy crude.

Judge confirms freezing of Venezuelan assets

NEW YORK: A U.S. judge in Manhattan has confirmed the freezing of $300 million in cash held by Venezuela's state-run oil company, finding it probable that Exxon Mobile will win its legal battle with the company.

Obama asks EPA to review BP permits

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama and two of his Illinois colleagues are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to mount a "comprehensive" review of proposed air and construction permits for BP's Whiting refinery.

Obama and fellow Illinois Democrats Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Rahm Emanuel suggest that Indiana is rushing the permit process for the refinery, which BP plans to expand into a hub for processing heavy Canadian crude oil.

The poor shiver while Big Oil profits

We all know that to exist in a drive or die society we pay $3 to $4 a gallon for gasoline. However, some families lacking those dollars may shiver in their homes unable to pay oil barons exorbitant prices for heating oil.

UN Says Soaring Prices Leave Poor Hungry

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Many of the world's poorest people are unable to get enough food because of soaring prices partly caused by the use of food crops to produce biofuels, the head of the U.N. food agency said.

"We're seeing more people hungry and at greater numbers than before," Josette Sheeran, executive director of the Rome-based World Food Program, said in an interview Monday with The Associated Press.

Higher oil prices are contributing to steeper food prices by boosting transportation costs, and severe weather is also hitting many countries and hurting crop output, she said.

The Peak Oil Crisis: The Future Of Our Cars – Part 4

Hardly a day goes by without an announcement that some company is either developing a new model of an electric powered car or has made some sort of progress on the ones under development. These announcements are coming from major automobile manufacturers all over the world and from numerous startups working in small garages. It is clear from all the activity and rapidly increasing oil prices that the day of the electric car is almost upon us. For the immediate future there is no practical alternative for personal mobility with the speed, flexibility and comfort that we have become accustomed to except the electric car.

Australia: an auto backwater

Labor’s review of auto industry assistance is timely: Mitsubishi is closing in South Australia, Ford is downsizing in Geelong, and there is an urgent need to position Australia’s car manufacturing to meet the imperatives of global warming and peak oil.

Big, hulking SUVs starting to turn green

There’s a flood of new, large sport utility vehicles hitting the road, but they’re not the gas guzzlers that might immediately spring to mind.

The latest fad in hulking SUVs is fuel economy, and that’s why you’ll soon be driving trucks with names like the Chevy Tahoe, Cadillac Escalade or GMC Sierra with the coveted “hybrid” suffix, showing that the terms fuel economy and SUV aren’t mutually exclusive.

Five-seat concept car runs on air

An engineer has promised that within a year he will start selling a car that runs on compressed air, producing no emissions at all in town.

The OneCAT will be a five-seater with a glass fibre body, weighing just 350kg and could cost just over £2,500.

It will be driven by compressed air stored in carbon-fibre tanks built into the chassis.

Ukraine hails gas victory, Russia puzzles

KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Gazprom on Wednesday said it would keep intermediaries for some gas supplies to Ukraine, only hours after Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko called the decision to axe them a "great victory."

Production v Reserves is the Key

Now, assuming that we’re talking about actual proven reserves, we must now conceive the huge difference between billions of barrels of oil in the ground or trillions of tons of coal – and the ability to bring actual daily production on line. For perspective, we consume over 20 million barrels per day of oil and oil equivalents, and we produce only 7+ million bpd. Saudi Arabia’s daily production is only running about 8 million bpd now. As you can see, we would need the equivalent of nearly TWO Saudi Arabia’s of new production to become independent of foreign oil. Again, that’s actual daily production we would need to replace – not just reserves.

World first: Spokane fights climate change and peak oil

Many cities have plans in place to reduce greenhouse gases, and a growing number are planning for declining global oil production. But the northwestern U.S. city of Spokane (pop. 199,400) has become the first to tackle climate change and global oil depletion together, marking a new step in local government responses to these increasingly urgent challenges.

Prince Charles calls for greater EU efforts on climate change

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Prince Charles urged the European Union Thursday to show even greater leadership in the fight against global warming as the "doomsday clock of climate change" ticks down.

Investors eye climate role at UN

UNITED NATIONS - Hundreds of investors controlling $20 trillion in capital were set to gather Thursday for talks on financial risks and opportunities from limiting carbon emissions that scientists blame for global warming.

AAAS honors climate scientist James Hansen

BOSTON — James Hansen, a government scientist who has spoken forcefully about human influence on global climate despite pressure to alter his message, is the recipient of the 2007 AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility.

Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, has become a familiar and determined voice in the ongoing national conversation about climate change. The AAAS award citation credits Hansen for “his outspoken advocacy on behalf of scientists’ responsibilities to communicate openly and honestly with the public on matters of importance to their health and welfare.”

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentines Leanan. Thank you! for your continued herculean effort to provide energy and environmental information content to TOD readers on a DAILY basis...

I, for one, sometimes take it for granted, but I'm sure I speak for many in that its much appreciated. Without ever having met you, I'm guessing you are one of those types that only needs 4 hours of sleep per night....;-)

Thank you Leanan

yeah, i too really appreciate what you are doing Leanan. Thank you so much :)

Happy Valentines Day Leanan. Thanks once more for all your efforts...BTW, when do you sleep?

As we used to say when I was in college...sleep is for wimps! ;-)

Happy Valentines day Leanan:

I would also like to thank you for all your efforts, but especially for the time you spend responding to the many comments posted here. Many times while reading Drumbeat I want to respond, but on reading further find you have already stated my position. We are on the same page about 80% of the time.

Ditto with the question, when do you sleep? Happy Valentines Day Leanan! And same as above, you're doing a Great Job!!


I too would like to add my thanks for your work.

It reminds me of Ilargi over on "The Automatic Earth".

I will not ask how much you sleep, but do you carry a regular job? Even being self employed, I have trouble finding the time to read you, much less gather all this information.

Thanks again,

I second ... third ... umpteenth.

Happy V Day, Leanan!




I'm afraid it's dittos all the way down, Leanan. :-)

You've said it. You speak for me. Thank you so much Leanan, I really appreciate your great work at theoildrum.

Leanan, how does it feel to have so many geeky POers admitting to their nerd crushes on you? (: I'm guilty too; I think you're pretty awesome.

Here's another article about the East-West Center report:

With no oil solution, future looks dire

A fresh assessment of Asia's energy future asserts that the region, along with the United States, is being confronted with a "daunting challenge" as oil consumption is rising much faster than production and the end of the world's oil supply is in sight.

"Today," says a book published by the East-West Center, the research and educational institute in Honolulu, "the challenge of energy security is greater than ever. The days of cheap and plentiful oil are over. World oil production is likely to reach a peak some time in the next 10 to 15 years."

My dad used to work at the East-West Center. Daily Green is right; it's not known for subscribing to left-wing conspiracy theories.

Interesting. I used to work at the East-West Center as well, with both of the main authors of this book. Fesharaki runs a very well known oil consulting firm (that CERA tried to buy a few years back) that focuses on the Asia-Pacific region. I have been debating peak oil with Fesharaki for 3 years, and it finally looks like he is incorporating it into his world view. He is one of the most brilliant men I have met in my life and lives and breaths oil (he was formerly with the National Iranian Oil Co). This is a real break from his previous message, though I don't think we have another 10 years before peak, certainly not in a world with economic growth assumed.

Very interesting! Are you still in contact with him? What changed his mind?

And what did he think of Samsam Bakhtiari?

Yes, we are in touch regularly and I meet up with him when he passes through San Francisco. I think my harping on the "scalability" issue with respect to alternatives and unconventional oil like tar sands played a part, but the bigger reason was the juggernaut he's watched building on the demand side with China. Both of us started working with the Chinese when Sinopec was first formed in 1982, and neither of us could have imagined then what has taken place there in the last 7 years.

He thought Bakhtiari was a bit of a loose cannon, but that his ideas were "solid". I prefer loose cannons these days.

That is supposedly what made Matt Simmons a peak oiler. He calculated how much oil it would take to bring China even to the level of Japan in 1960, and wasn't sure there was enough oil in the world to do it.

Please forward my 10% plan to him

Read comments as well as text

And mention that I would like to talk to him about more recent Millennium Institute modeling results.

Best Hopes,


eMail on TOD name link

I sure will. He travels like crazy but always manages to read. Thanks!

On yesterdays Drum Beat there was quite a bit of discussion about the practicality of buying new autos vs buying older autos. According to the link below there should be many, many almost new and used autos/trucks/SUVs/etc, for sale at a location near you. Some of the vehicles are being shipped out of the US. Interestingly, the HQ for one of the repo company owners quoted is in Daytona Beach, near me, and I had never heard of them prior to reading this USA Today article. Also of note, many of the vehicles are being repoed from 'affluent neighborhoods', according to the company owner.

'Repo lots overflow with reclaimed cars'

...snip...'Wells Fargo, (WFC) for example, reported last month that it charged off $1 billion in auto loans last year, 3.5% of its portfolio, compared with $857 million in 2006. The bank says it expects a higher write-off rate this year.
The rise of bad loans, however, has meant busy times for "repo men," whose work can involve seizing cars from driveways in the dead of the night.
"Our business has skyrocketed," says Patrick Altes, president of Falcon International in Daytona Beach, Fla. In recent times, his service saw a first wave of defaults that involved picking up boats and recreational vehicles.
Now, it's cars and trucks, often in affluent neighborhoods.
"A lot of the vehicles we're getting are high-dollar pickups" whose owners got caught in the construction downturn, Altes says.
The repo surge has boosted business for locksmith Amy Palmer. She makes new keys for seized vehicles at Manheim's auction lot in Ocoee, Fla., one of Manheim's 144 locations in 14 countries.
"It's phenomenal," she says. "If you're not paying for your house, who is paying for the car?"'


Repo cars can be picked up for a song, the only detriment is you must have a license to buy them at auction. However, there are plenty of people who buy them, fix them up, and then sell them. I wouldn't be surprised to have chop-shop activity pick up with people willingly turning them over to chop shops, or doing things like leaving their doors unlocked, keys in the car, etc.

I wouldn't be surprised to have chop-shop activity pick up with people willingly turning them over to chop shops, or doing things like leaving their doors unlocked, keys in the car, etc.

Yes, it's already started. A friend of a friend "John" fell behind on the payments on a huge Lexus he never should have bought in the first place. Allegedly hired someone to steal and burn it. Two month later, he got a letter from the insurance company stating they felt it was arson for hire and they wouldn't cover the loss, wanted their money back and were forwarding the info to the police arson squad. As he had already used the settlement paying off the note, he's short about $28k.

The solution? Take a cash advance for that amount on a credit card and pay off the insurance company in hopes he doesn't go to jail.

He now has $42k on credit cards, $40k in annual salary and possibly a pending criminal trial. Even if he does walk, that $42k will never be paid back. That's a lot of money and heartache (and stupidity) for a status symbol.

So he pretty much admitted to arson by paying the bill, or did he pay to protect credit and lawyer up?

When a vehicle like that is stolen it gets driven for fun and dumped or it gets chopped.

Who the hell buys a $42k vehicle on a $40k salary? I cringed at the payments on a car that cost one third of my annual income ...


Hope you’re feeling better after the medical issues this past weekend. Off to see my Chinese herbalist this afternoon.

The “gentleman” in question is a high-school buddy of a good friend who legally immigrated from the Philippines to the US about 20 years ago. My friend has been very successful in business and has helped out other friends that have come to the US, all legally. Most end up in the medical or teaching fields. Saving and investing every penny, his net worth is now north of $10m and he still drives a 4-cylinder ’92 pickup with 140,000 miles. He moved to the US in 1988 with $20 in his pocket and the promise of a place to sleep on his uncle’s couch. Now, contrast that with...

"John" legally immigrated about 18 months ago from the Philippines and was promptly brainwashed by the media. First friend loaned him $5k to get an apartment and a cheap car to get to work. He took the money and used all of it as the down payment on the Lexus because he said he had to “keep up his image” and drive something nice. He chose to live in squalor and drive a nice car.

Apparently he thought everyone here in the USA was wealthy and wanted to look the part. First friend has tried giving him financial counseling and worked out a budget for him, even with the massive car payments. He kept spending and spending though, all on the credit cards and blew the budget time and again. First friend washed his hands of it and is staying out. We heard the whole story last month when he came to first friend looking for a “loan” to get a lawyer. I agree that paying up is pretty much admitting guilt. We don’t know his plan and my friend is staying out of this one.

Granted he took on waaaaay more debt than prudent, but what about the banks’ complicity in this mess? Someone at some bank made a decision to loan this guy more than his annual income for a car, and give him a credit line of almost $50k on top of that. This guy isn’t even a citizen yet. What happened to risk management?

This could be a good thing---
This could get those monster penis mobiles off the street, and the owners can look at their real inadequacy issues.
Health for the planet, and some much needed personal insight for humanity.

But if they're all getting shipped to Dubai instead, where owners can afford to drive the wheels off of them, we're looking at a whole new version of the Export Land Model.

To all of our Troops who are fighting to protect our Energy interests overseas in order to protect our unsustainable American way of life, we love you and thank you, not only on this Valentine's Day, but all day, every day.

We promise to wake up and realize that you are dying for us so that we have a constant flow of gas for our cars. We promise to wake up and realize that we are inadvertantly funding those who are shooting you and bombing you every day with our gas consumption. We promise to wake up and realize that your lives are more important to us than having cheap gas at the pump.

We love you and thank you and promise to change our unsustainable ways.

Topic: Memos Sent to Romenesko
Date/Time: 1/8/2008 1:56:11 PM
Title: AP to keep a closer eye on Britney
Posted By: Jim Romenesko

Memo from Associated Press' Los Angeles assistant bureau chief

From: Baker, Frank S.
Sent: Tue 1/8/2008 11:58 AM
To: News - Southern California Editorial Staff
Subject: Britney


Now and for the foreseeable future, virtually everything involving Britney is a big deal. That doesn't mean every rumor makes it on the wire. But it does mean that we want to pay attention to what others are reporting and seek to confirm those stories that WE feel warrant the wire. And when we determine that we'll write something, we must expedite it.




We can only WISH that the DOD still transported personnel by passenger rail.

We can't use rail until we have to invade Mexico (or Canada).

E. Swanson

Why shouldn't the troops be on the move. Securing oil supplies is a lot more vital to US interests than a lot of wars the US entered in to,eg the war against Hitler. Remember the film 'The Three Days of the Condor' when Redford's character talks to a high up. He says that if vital resources get short the people are going to want the government to get it for them. They arn't going to agonise about the morality of it. The west is nearing that situation.

That makes sense. Why should we have bothered fighting Nazism when we intend to adopt the values of Nazism of our own? Liebensraum, anybody?

LEbensraum, leben means to live, lieben means to love..

Today is Valentines Day, after all.

"Why shouldn't the troops be on the move. Securing oil supplies is a lot more vital to US interests than a lot of wars the US entered in to,eg the war against Hitler."

ugh - you really are a lovely human being aren't you? I mean, over a million dead Iraqis = "vital to US interests" and going after Hitler really wasn't important

so in your world the US should just take over any oil fields it likes as "vital to it's interests" and sit out something like Hitler taking over all of Europe and exterminating people at will?

Have I got that right?

I'll make this simple:
US troops shouldn't be on the move because it's not our oil - and is in unethical to kill people so that you can take what they have that you want - otherwise I have every right to shoot you and jack your car (assuming it is nicer than mine) - because it is "vital to my interests" since my car is not running all that well (which is fine since I drive it almost not at all) - so there you have it weatherman - does that make sense?

I've got news for you MacDuff, their oil IS in our vital interests. So we will have to take it by force or die trying bucause we can't live without it. We are set up for a fight to the death over oil. It sucks, I know.

Hmm.... Aren't several of the Ten Commandments violated in this effort? Christian nation my eye.

Original Sin is now defined as USA, or perhaps Great Satan, Inc.

The last of the Ten Commandments is especially noted, "Thou shalt not covet."

It could be argued that the international pursuit of oil violates several of the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, anger, envy, lust, sloth, and gluttony.

Sin is in the world. Always has been. Always will be.

The dominant creed of the all the western powers, at least since the First World War and I would suggest much further back than that, is secular humanism. Except in the imagination and wishful thinking of zealous Christian militants, the U.S. is not a Christian nation. A majority of its citizens are nominally Christian, yes, but its constitution, institutions, and public policies are each decidedly indifferent when it comes to spirituality.

And on the diplomatic front, countries and nation-states have stated and defended their interests, not morals, since the time of Niccolo Machiaveli. Public leaders will often sugar-coat these interests in moralistic jargon and it is a given that the players do bring to the table their own moral and ethical judgments. But this does not hide the fact that countries pursue interests not morals.

I would be first to counter anyone who says the U.S. is the "Great Satan". Historically, while Americans can not claim perfection on the world stage, its actions have not been any more malicious or unneighbourly than any other world power. Remember, folks, the U.S. at this time is the uber-power of our day. It is going to behave as such. IMHO, its track record has been better than most. (BTW, I'm not an American citizen)

I suspect one of the reasons why Americans are reacting so strongly to the voice of change is that they recognize in Bush's neo-conservative agenda a willingness to ride roughshot over the values of the rule of law, both domestic and international, and to any kind of self-imposed restraint on the use of force to settle questions. Neither one of these two developments is in America's long term best interest.

Forget the Ten Commandments. I would be happy with a movement in US foreign policy away from cowboy politics.

Is the U.S. protecting its interest? Sure is. Does this mean it's going to try to maintain material advantages for its people? You darn right it is. So, too, is China, Russia, Canada, Venezuela, Britain, Iceland, and Iran.

On the world stage, all is anarchy. Always has been. Always will be.

About ten years-ago now, I read "The Idea of National Interest" and its companion "The Open Door at Home" by Charles Beard. Though written in the 1930s, their main points were very contemporary and plain as day. Those books constituted the "Red Pill" for me, as they came after much related research into US foreign policy and just what the US is. I would go further and say that the invocation of the "American Century" by Henry Luce in 1940 and its pursuit since has not been in the interest of the mass of US citizens, and certainly since Christopher Lasch revealed "The Revolt of the Elite" as the real "Reagan Revolution."

It would be nice to just be a historian disconnected from current events. Unfortunately, if you are a good historian, you often learn why the events are happening and the inconvenient truths underlying them.

It would be nice to just be a historian disconnected from current events. Unfortunately, if you are a good historian, you often learn why the events are happening and the inconvenient truths underlying them.

karlof1, I came to the same conclusion when talking to someone in early 2003 who was complaining about Canada's non-involvement in the War in Iraq. He was upset about Canada's squeamishness over fighting at the side of the US and Britain.

At the time, Jean Chretien was prime minister and he took the decision to stay out. Why? As much as Canadians may see themselves as the good kids on the block it had to do with domestic and international considerations.

First, the domestic side. Quebec was in the middle of a provincial election. Most international news stories come into Quebec from France. (same way as most English-speaking news stories get filtered through American channels). France, ever eager to prevent an Anglo-American seizure of Iraqi oil deals, was taking the moral high road. Chretien, already burnt once over Quebec's rising nationalism (the Referendum in 1995 was a 50.6/49.4 split in favour of staying in Canada) was unwilling to give the nationalist PQ any ammunition against their federalist counterparts.

Second, the international side. The Canadian government was already committed to the War in Afghanistan. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, TPTB cashed in its peace dividend and curtailed national defense funding. The War in Afghanistan would strain the resources of the Canadian Armed Forces to the maximum. Adding Iraq to the mix would be too much, too soon, too costly.

Hence Canada stayed out.

Would Canada have stayed out if the entrails been differently arranged? Hardly likely. Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. proceeded with the war notwithstanding organized street protests by their citizenries. Later Canada put the case to the US that since its troops were holding the fort on the War on Terror in Afghanistan it was entitled to its share of business contracts in Iraq.

Interests alway prevail.

Thanks for that story. I assumed Blair joined because he knew of the great decline to come in North Sea hydrocarbons and the recent lesson of the 2000 Petrol Strike.

There is no anarchy of a rainbow, or of a rose, or of chocolate. There is no lawlessness in the beauty and complexity of the human eye and taste buds, or of the human brain which experiences awe and wonder at the perception of beauty.

There is no sin of a bumblebee, of a partridge, of an elk. No sin of a little girl who loses her parents to prejudice or war. No wrongdoing of a starving man who covets a meal.

There is more on our real-world earth than is even dreamed of in the limited philosophies of reasonless faith.

Life is like a ride at an amusement park. And when we get on it, we think it's real, 'cause that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, round and round, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored. And it's very loud. And it's fun for a while.

Some have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, "Is this real? Or is it just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry, don't be afraid ever! 'Cause this is just a ride!" And we kill those people.

"Shut him up, I've got a lot invested in this ride! Shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account and my family, this has to be real!"

It's just a ride. But have you noticed how we kill those good guys who try and tell us that, and let the demons run amok?

But it doesn't matter, 'cause it's just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings or money. Just a choice right now.

Between fear ...

And love.
-- Bill Hicks

Happy Valentine's Day, to Leanan, and to all.

Zadok,one brother was a republican,cloth coat small r business type,is working on his third startup.Over the years we have had many "spirited"discussions as to the rightness and wrongness of the policies of the .gov types.He has now become a Obama supporter,as he sees that we MUST change.This is what I see.Any person with more than a couple of braincells working in tandem sees the massive change that our society is going to endure in the all-to-immediate future....the roller coaster has just about gone to the very tippy top of the big hill and its going to start getting weird fast.
I am hoping for a period of peace.Its not going to happen,what I fear is Bush and co.They are certifiable warmongers and worse.This day in the House of Reps. is telling...the dems are starting to realize the kind of tidal wave of public opinion/and pure rage that pols ignore at their peril."The people"are bone mad and not hearing the "be scared be very afraid" B.S. that they have been fed the last few years...its worn thin.They are broke,scared,but above all pissed off at getting burned out of the "American dream".All these pundit types and opinion pollsters are missing a very salient point.The people are seeing the wealthy not at all affected by all this turmoil while their own lives are gutted and smashed by forces far beyond their control.
We,as a people has been content to have left the running of things to the rich and powerful,against our better interest for a long time now.... our side of our social contact has been upheld,with little social protest,or targeting of those who have enriched them selfs at our common expense.What we have ask in the past was health care for the majority,to keep the worst excesses of capitalism at bay with un-employment insurance, Social Security in our old age to keep a certain dignity at the end of employbility.Not the nanny state that exists in civilized societies on our planet like Sweden or Norway,or even Holland,but just a small amount of comfort,and dignity,

And then those who count the beans say,why should you have anything at all,when I have the power to take it from you...Which is what has been happening to the majority of the people here in the USA.THEY believe it is their right to take all the resources,to create "capital"...and the money for the betterment of the people as a whole, gets put in "strong hands"

The risk of loss is now socialized totally...Wallsteet is now getting directly bailed out for their foolishness and greed,with no thought of the "moral hazard"Oh no ,we must save the rich!the system will fail!we must bail out all those who sought to game the system until they destroyed the very country/system that gave them life.

What is to become of the working folk,the students,the laborer,or low end office type....I can see now the same shit I saw in the 70's except this time I see it squared and factored,and I also see that we have a lot of folks right on the edge,and willing to walk right off...

We all believed in the system in the 70's.That belief is now gone,and that itself should scare the living shit out of those at the top if they haven't figured that out yet.This is why Obama is motivating everyone who hears him.He speaks of change,and we all know now,change is the only thing that can save something of what was once a dream called america

The chipmunks who are keeping the big wheel going around and around,are getting real hungry now.They have not seen much in the way of food lately.and this wheel is real heavy.They have been watching the fat rats for a long time.They are tired.And hungry.And mean.And they outnumber the rats about 100 to 1

And the rollercoaster is just about at the top


THAT was the post of the Decade to me. I am with you. I believe we went to different schools together.

I was just thinking exactly what you put into words this morning.

AND the chipmunks turning the wheel have a LOT of guns.

A change is coming, but it will be horrible.

Like Janis said (in Kris's song)

If you ain't got nothing, You got nothing to loose

and there is nothing more dangerous than a bunch of pissed off people with guns and nothing to loose.

This is NOT gonna end nicely.

Thank you, Snuffy, for your thoughtful comments.

As you so said so insightfully, "we all know now, change is the only thing that can save something of what was a dream called america."

I hope for your sake and the sake of the world something of that dream can be salvaged. America has contributed significantly to western civilization over the past two centuries. I suspect, and here the optimist in me is shining thru, that when TSHTF, the contribution will continue.

May the good outweigh the bad. Time will tell.

Solar: I think you drank too much of the "WE" koolaid. IMHO, the next 30-40 years will wipe this "we" illusion out of the American psyche permanently. "WE" will be reserved for much smaller groups than 350 million humans.

"So we will have to take it by force or die trying because we can't live without it"

I reject this on so many levels - first of all, we know their oil is going to run out, and not too far down the road - so at best it is an expensive delay of the inevitable

at worst it's completely futile - how many solar panels and windmills could the trillion or so dollars we have spent in Iraq have built? How much electrification of our transportation system (trains not personal cars)? Instead we are hated, bankrupt and no closer to getting off the oil than we were

and that is setting aside the ethical arguments of "might makes right" or "our need requires" - are we so ethically challenged as a nation that our members actually argue that killing masses of people for their tangible assets is ok?

Kim Stanley Robinson in one of his "Gold Coast Trilogy" books posits a future where the world decides the US is too dangerous to be allowed to continue, and they sneak neutron bombs into the major US cities and set them off simultaneously - and then patrol the US from space and bomb (with kinetic bombs) any attempts at reviving technology - with attitudes like "we can't live without it" or those expressed by Weatherman - Robinson is a better predictor of the future than CERA

how many solar panels and windmills could the trillion or so dollars we have spent in Iraq have built?

Based on Congressman John Murtha's daily cost figures of the Iraq War, here's how many homes could be electrified with solar:

For the annual cost of the Iraq War ($343,000,000 per day / $125,000,000,000 per year), 3,557,000 homes could be electrified with 4kW solar electric systems each year, or 9,800 per day installed, free. And if people paid for them on 15 year payment plans, millions more could be financed.

Sources and Calculations:

*Congressman Murtha on the daily cost of the War in Iraq: http://www.murtha.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=39...
*$8.75 per Watt Installed is current cost of residential PV systems.
*4,000 Watt Solar System installed is $35,000 (20 200 Watt Modules)
*$343,000,000 / $35,000 = 9,800 Residential Solar Systems Per Day
*$125,000,000,000 / $35,000 = 3,577,000 Residential Solar Systems Per Year
*3,577,000 Residential Solar Systems = 14,308,000 KW Installed per Year

*System Size (KWp) - 14,308,000 KW (TOTAL Installed in One Year)
*Hours of "Peak" Sun per Day - 4.47 (From NOAA Database)
*Conversion Efficiency - 0.77 (Industry standard assumption)
*KW-Hrs/Day - 49,246,705.20 (System size x hours/day x efficiency)
*KW-Hrs/Year - 17,975,047,398 (KW-Hrs per day x 365 days/year)
*MW-Hrs/Year - 17,975,047.40 (KW-Hrs per year/1000)
*Solar Electricity KW-Hrs produced over 30 Years - 539,251,421,940 (Solar KW-Hrs x 30 Years)

Fossil Fuel Air Pollutants Avoided by Converting One Year of Iraq War Funding to Residential PV Systems:

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) (greenhouse gas)
-Fossil Fuel Lbs/MWH = 1975.21
-PV Power MWH/Yr = 17,975,047.40
-Pollutants Avoided per Year (Lbs) = 35,504,493,371
-Pollutants Avoided per Year (Tons) 17,752,247
-Pollutants Avoided over 30 Years (Lbs) = 1,065,134,801,130
-Pollutants Avoided over 30 Year (Tons) 532,567,401

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) (acid rain)
-Fossil Fuel Lbs/MWH = 14.05
-PV Power MWH/Yr = 17,975,047.40
-Pollutants Avoided per Year (Lbs) = 252,549,416
-Pollutants Avoided per Year (Tons) 126,275
-Pollutants Avoided over 30 Years (Lbs) = 7,576,482,478
-Pollutants Avoided over 30 Year (Tons) 3,788,241

Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) (ozone/smog)
-Fossil Fuel Lbs/MWH = 4.79
-PV Power MWH/Yr = 17,975,047.40
-Pollutants Avoided per Year (Lbs) = 86,100,477
-Pollutants Avoided per Year (Tons) 43,050
-Pollutants Avoided over 30 Years (Lbs) = 2,583,014,311
-Pollutants Avoided over 30 Year (Tons) 1,291,507

* $8.75 per Watt is the current cost of a typical residential PV system. If the total market for residential PV was $125 Billion annually, the per system cost of PV would undoubtedly be reduced to 1/3rd of the current cost or less!
** At 1/3rd of the current PV system cost ($11,667), approximately 10,731,000 residential PV systems could be installed for the cost of one year of the Iraq war.

I thank the folks at Standard Solar Inc. for putting these numbers together for me to use.

and here's the wind info from Robert Marston on 1/16/08. I added the pics.

"One other point -- wind energy is already cost competitive when compared to oil. The amount of electrical energy in a barrel of oil is approximately 700 kw(h). If the cost of a barrel of oil is $100 dollars the the cost of one kilowatt is 14 cents. At approximately 6 cents per kw(h) wind is far less expensive than oil. In other words, wind is a more valuable form of energy because it costs less to produce. For wind and oil to be of equivalent value, it needs to cost about $40 per barrel.

What has happened is, through political and economic manipulation, the world has become addicted to oil. So oil can command a higher price for our addiction.

But how valuable would oil be if we could run our cars on wind generated electricity? I bet we'd see $20 a barrel again real quick. Better yet, we wouldn't have the ridiculously distorted geopolitical situation, risk of war, and massive ongoing environmental damage.

My cynical view is that wind and solar power is too easy to produce, in the long run, for the capitalists to stomach. Once economies of scale set in it's tough to enforce scarcity. What you end up with is an energy break out that's difficult to control. As far as I'm concerned, renewables = energy independence and security for the world population. Cheap, clean, safe and peaceful for as far as we can see into the future. All we need to do now is build it.

- Cost of one 3.6 MW wind turbine = approx $90 million dollars.

- Amount of energy produced by one 3.6 MW wind turbine in one year in a high wind resource area (intermittence factored in) = 15,000 MW(h).

- Total cost of world oil infrastructure = approx 3 trillion dollars.

- Total oil output in one year = approx 74 mbpd C+C.

- Optimistic lifetime of 74 mbpd C+C production = approx 10 years.

- Cost of 500,000 3.6 MW wind turbines = approx 3 trillion dollars (current cost does not factor in economy of massively scaled production).

- BOe output of 500,000 3.6 MW wind turbines = 40 mbpd (BOe).

- Optimistic lifetime of 40 mbpd BOe electricity production = indefinite.

- Efficiency gain of electric engines vrs ICE = 2 to 1.

- Total BOe from 500,000 3.6 MW wind turbines with electric engine efficiency gain = 80 mbpd (BOe + efficiency gain).

- Cost of saving the planet from runaway global warming = Priceless.

- Cost of saving this generation from a decline of modern civilization brought about by Peak Oil = Priceless.

- Cost of saving one soldier's life by bringing him home from Iraq = Priceless.

- Cost of making the US energy independent again = Priceless.

- Total Cost of War in Iraq to date = 1.2 trillion dollars.

- Total Cost of building enough Wind Generating Capacity in the US to replace 10 mbpd of imported oil in equivalent energy = approx 400 billion dollars with efficiency gains factored in.

Need I continue...

Looking at the above analysis, you can make a pretty strong case of wind vrs oil NOW. Look for solar to have a similar strength in the future. As for folk who say wind is too costly... With oil breaking $100 per barrel, they don't have much of a leg to stand on. Put oil at $150 dollars per barrel and it's more expensive than equivalent solar energy.

Let me see if I understand this. You're saying we should invade a country or five - say Iran, Venezuela, Russia, and Norway - suck out their oil like vampires, kill millions of innocents who may happen to care enough about their own children to get in our way, then go home and zip around the freeways in our Hummers so we can all congratulate ourselves on how wonderful it is to be really, truly, sociopathologically sick and evil?

If that's America's vital interest, I'm a blue-butt baboon.

I think America's vital interest is its constitution. I think it's up to us to engineer our way out of debt, to invent our way out of resource scarcity, to actually be the country we pretend to be on TV, to stop doing evil and blaming it on evil doers, to start acting smarter than chimpanzees.

We aren't geared up for any real war of invasion - Iranians would kick our ass unless we neutron bombed their cities. And if neutron-bombing millions of innocents is in America's vital interest, then frankly I say let's just save everyone a whole lot of trouble and all go drown ourselves in the ocean for a pack of worthless, shiftless, know-nothing, mass murdering retards.

It isn't really a question of morality. We shouldn't be fighting for oil because our worst adversaries are perfectly happy to sell most of the oil they can produce, if not to us, then to the world market, which will make it easier for us to buy oil from other producers. We shouldn't be fighting for oil because the app. $2 trillion expended or commited in Iraq could have bought all their oil production for about 30 years.

We shouldn't be fighting for oil because the app. $2 trillion expended or commited in Iraq could have bought all their oil production for about 30 years.

Step back for a second. If you just Bought it...

Lockheed-Martin/Halliburton/GE/.... Wouldn't have made a dime.

Come on, Never buy that which you can get with a gun AND make your campaign supporters/Golf Buddies BILLIONS of dollars.. AND be positioned militarily to make sure your opponents can't get to it at the same time.

(and p-off enough locals to strap bombs to their chests so you can show your voters that "They're in Danger" and need a defence budget greater than ALL the other countries in the world combined)

Or am I just cynical?

Hi Samsara,

re: "Or am I just cynical?"

Not cynical - I'd say you're on to something important.

It would be a cynical statement (IMVHO) if the following conditions applied:

1) The actors in question really thought about their role in a larger picture as agents - as "actors" - as people who act, rather than react. If they saw themselves as being involved in causation.

2) They could see their way out of (or "feel", "intuit") their way out of a series of rationalizations, eg.
a) I'm only doing what is necessary to be done ("Sombody has to do it.")
b) The only logic is "kill or be killed". The other side *will* kill, therefore I must (first, also.)
c) Since "somebody has to do it", it may as well be me.
c) since "I have to" do it, I may as well make money off of it.

3) In short, the view I've most often encountered is that "responsibility lies elsewhere": with "the people" (who lack information and means); with "the enemy" (without looking at history)..
ie., "...whatever is going on, I'm just a cog." (Why be a cog and poor as well?)

A lengthy way of saying there's some ignorance of some kind (emotional, psychological, etc.) at the heart of actions that are seen from the outside as deliberate - and they are deliberate (in a particular way).

The point is that Adolph, while a monster he was never capable of posing a direct threat to the US, while failure to access oil will be the eqivelent of a nuclear strike in its effect on society. Off course you could include vietnam in the list of less vital US interventions if it makes you feel better.

Actually. WW1 was Oil War 1, WW2 was Oil War 2. Oil War 3 is underway, lets hope it does not get much worse (I think it will get much worse, but one can still hope).

Guess the 1st Allied offensive of WW1.

(Basra, Iraq)

The actual cause of the war? You think that a prince mattered that much? Think again.

(The Berlin Baghdad railway.)

WW2 was about the oil too. Remember the oil-embargo against Japan? The push of the Wermacht to Stalingrad (to secure the Baku fields)? All about oil.

Watch this for more info and for a good laugh too.

Thanks Mr. Void. Robert Newman connects the dots quite nicely. Brilliant!

19th/20th century history thru the lense of oil

U.S. /U.K. pre-eminence = oil energy = industrial/financial hegemony = material well-being

great trick if you can get away with it

countries don't have morals, they have interests

It is terribly misleading to characterize either WW I or WW II as 'Oil War I' and 'Oil War II', respectively.

The segment of WW I that was fought in the Middle East (Lawrence of Arabia, etc) was only a minor sideshow to the massive slaughter in the trenches of the Western Front and the almost as bad fighting on the eastern front. Naturally, both sides wanted to get their hands on Middle Eastern oil, but such was hardly the cause of WW I, which I would very briefly summarize as long festering rivalry and nationalism gone out of control, and sparked by a largely unrelated incident, i.e., Sarajevo.

While oil certainly played a very strategic role in the winning of WW II, again, it wasn't the underlying cause (although FDR's oil embargo on Japan was the last diplomatic straw that finally pushed Japan over the brink). At its most basic level, the cause of WW II was rabid imperialistic expansionism by both Germany and Japan and the resistance to such by the US and Great Britain.

In the case of Germany, there was another dimension, and that was to settle scores for its WW I defeat and humiliating surrender terms, as codified in the Treaty of Versailles. In the case of Germany at least, WW II could be considered sort of as 'WW I The Sequel.'

However, one could make the indirect argument that all imperialistic expansionism is to gain control of resources, and one of those resources is oil.

Still, it's a really long stretch to say that oil was the cause of either WW I or WW II. As in most wars, the causes often read like the Seven Deadly Sins, e.g., Lust, Greed, Envy, Wrath, Pride, etc.

joule, I agree full heartedly.

Newman's narrative gives another version of events - something to be added to the understanding of this stage in world history rather than a definitive revision.

The problem with historical revision is that the facts tend to be compressed to fit the theory.

And history is too complex to be slotted into such a tight straight-jacket.

Winston Churchill was only a minor actor on the British scene in 1914. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was itching for a fight with Serbia. Russia was determined to defend the Balkans.

Likewise, the rise of nationalism and militarism in Germany during the inter-war years was a real phenomenon that cannot be explained away by purely materialistic and energy-related strategic chess playing.

Robert Newman's video series is part theatre, part propaganda, and part information.

My hope is that most people would be intelligent enough to figure out what is which.

IMHO, his brilliance lay in the presentation.

Love the posters...where did you find them?

Love the posters...where did you find them?

I was shown them by the growing number of PO and climate change aware people on myspace. I've posted 212 blog entries to date.

Weekly NG storage report:

Working gas in storage was 1,942 Bcf as of Friday, February 8, 2008, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decline of 120 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 183 Bcf less than last year at this time and 109 Bcf above the 5-year average of 1,833 Bcf. In the East Region, stocks were 71 Bcf above the 5-year average following net withdrawals of 66 Bcf. Stocks in the Producing Region were 72 Bcf above the 5-year average of 571 Bcf after a net withdrawal of 27 Bcf. Stocks in the West Region were 34 Bcf below the 5-year average after a net drawdown of 27 Bcf. At 1,942 Bcf, total working gas is within the 5-year historical range.

"The only thing that's relevant is our data," Jerre Stead, chief executive at Douglas County-based IHS, said Wednesday in an interview in Houston.

I would suggest that the historical accuracy of that data is pretty relevant.

My version (parody alert):

IHS Inc., owner of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, said those who espouse the theory that the world's oil production has already peaked lack evidence to support their claims.

"The only thing that's relevant is our data," Jerre Stead, chief executive at Douglas County-based IHS, said Wednesday in an interview in Houston.

Stead elaborated on IHS's proprietary data analysis. He explained that once a region starts showing declining production, IHS inverts the data curve, so that declining production is shown as rising production. Therefore, viewed properly, world crude oil production has been slowly increasing since May, 2005. Their analysis also extends to oil prices. Viewed properly, he explained, world oil prices have been declining since May, 2005.

Mr Stead then urged everyone to buy the IHS data, explaining that he wants to buy a new summer home.

Peak Evidence

Platinum at $2000.

How much platinum is in a catalytic converter?

How much does the price of platinum influence the cost of industrial processes in general? Is this another receding horizon?

Enough platinum to have someone hacksaw it off your car for you in the middle of the night. I got $100 for a catalytic converter at a scrap yard from a wrecked ford escort I had bought for the motor.

I was told by my Salvage dealer that it's against the law to market used converters.

The old one broke. Should I try and sell the old one?

$350 new?

You might not be able to market old converters to be reused, but you can definitely get money for the precious metal in them. If the old one broke as in the element broke into a bunch of little pieces I would still think it could be sold to a recycler for some cash as long as you have the element pieces. If your locale doesn't require emissions testing but does require some kind of safety/emissions inspection you don't HAVE to fix it (although to protect the environment you should fix it), you just need something that looks like a catalytic converter under your car. In some states you don't even have any kind of vehicle inspection, so basically, anything goes (until you get happen to get caught since it is a federal law to have a catalytic converter). Some hardcore hotrod/tuner type people cut the catalytic converters out or clean the elements out since they are a restriction in the exhaust and you will get better fuel mileage and more power without them, plus they will foul if you burn leaded gas sold at the race track. For the record I have not touched mine, I just used to do a little racing which is where I got this information. In the future I can see people taking them off or cleaning them out for two reasons, money from recyling and saving gas due to the exhaust de-restriction. This would definitely cause more air pollution.

It's easier to just remove that section of the exhaust system and replace it with another set of pipe than "cleaning" out the cat. The added advantage is, when you go in for smog testing, you just swap the original parts back. It also makes selling the car easier down the road, as plenty of people don't want to buy a ride that has performance parts added to it, as it's louder, or it's essentially evidence that you might have been "dogging" the engine.

I've done a number of performance enhancements to one of my vehicles, all in the name of increased MPG. Intake, exhaust, underdrive pully's. All in all, with a total investment of $300 and a couple of hours of labor, I would estimate I boosted the MPG on my Civic by an average of 2mpg. However, it looks and sounds completely stock, which I like. (Well, unless you look under the hood.)

About a month ago a town police officer knocked on my door. He asked if we had had anything go missing from our cars since our neighbor had reported something stolen. I answered, "no... we lock our car doors" and he replied "Oh no, it wasn't anything stolen out of the car- they cut off the catalytic converter with a hack saw."

He proceeded to tell me that there are a wave of such thefts in my state right now, and vehicles with higher clearance are more at risk (it's easier to climb under a pickup truck than a Civic apparently.)

Thank you.

The vehicle is a 96 4Runner. Not mine.

But mine to use whenever (don't ask ;}).

The entire exhaust system is rusted out.

I was just pricing the cheapest way to bring it into compliance.

I ain't spending $450 on it, though.

Thanx all.


From 1998...

Rusty Parts Go Platinum

In general there are three types of automobile catalytic converters in terms of the PGM content. Grade 1 consists of 2200 parts per million (ppm) of platinum (Pt), 200 ppm of palladium (Pd) and 300 ppm of rhodium (Rd). Grade 2 has 1000 ppm Pt, 200 ppm Pd, and 100 ppm Rd; while Grade 3 consists of 875 ppm Pt, 250 ppm Pd, and 30 ppm Rd.

On the average a metric ton of each catalytic converter grade contains the following PGM values:

Grade 1 - $34,588;
Grade 2 - $16,023; and
Grade 3 - $13,667.

These values are based on March 13, 1998, metals market prices of platinum at $392/oz., palladium at $264/oz. and rhodium at $535/oz.


There's money in them thar junks...

Well now Pt is about ~$2000/oz, Pd is ~$450/oz and Rd is upward of $8000/oz.

My quick calculation shows that with current prices:
Grade 1 - $221,540;
Grade 2 - $92,924; and
Grade 3 - $67,603

If a ton of these alloys produce 700 converters (per the article), then it's a 1.4 kg per catalyst, so only the Pt type materials would be worthed:
Grade 1 - $310;
Grade 2 - $130; and
Grade 3 - $94


Maybe electric cars won't be looking so bad when platinum hits $5000/oz. Unless we just repeal smog regs and saw off the convertors for cash so we can finish driving ourselves to death.

Unless we need lithium for the batteries for the car.

Where's John 15 to tell us that there is no energy crises in SA and that they'll just keep mining with solar power?

"With no end in sight to the South African power crisis " - hmmm price rising yet no end in sight, hey! how come the market isn't just WORKING!!??

Where's John 15 to tell us that there is no energy crises in SA and that they'll just keep mining with solar power?

I never said anything like that. I sad that it wasn't the olduvai gorge nonsense that a few people here mentioned.

they are using solar, but not to mine. they are using it for the traffic lights so they don't have traffic jams. this saves oil because cars aren't idling in traffic jams. I think that you in a way are mining with solar because if the energy isn't used to power traffic lights it can be used to mine.

the market hasn't been working in the past because the gov't monopoly has been doing a terrible job. hopefully they have gotten the message.

at least they are closing the collapse gap, right? should we be jealous?

Oil broke through $95 (called technical strenth maybe Hugopower) and despite the trade deficit and jobs numbers being less bad than expected the markets are having a down day in the US.
Growthmobile vs. wall syndrome? Or maybe Ben said something.
Oh and Happy Valentines Day Leanan.

Ben's speaking right now. In fact he was just asked "Do you have the financial tools to cope with an external energy shock" - just as Bloomberg flashed up the oil price chart on the other side of the screen.

He's firing up the helicopters:

Bernanke: Economic outlook has worsened

WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Thursday that the country’s economic outlook has deteriorated and signaled that the central bank is ready to keep on lowering a key interest rate — as needed — to shore things up.

February 14, 2008
Bernanke: 2005 - Nah, there's no housing bubble. 2007: The subprime problem has been cointained. 2008: Oh, crap, whoops, my bad. We're toast.

"To date, the largest economic effects of the financial turmoil appear to have been on the housing market, which, as you know, has deteriorated significantly over the past two years or so."

-Ben Bernanke, February 14, 2008


Note how the remarks parallel PO?

FLASH: UBS posts largest loss in the history of banking, and to think, we're STILL just getting started

It's nice to see the banks own up to some of their "subprime" problem. Too bad this whole mess just STARTS with subprime - it definitely doesn't end there!

Won't it be fun to see the banks own up to their Alt-A problem? And to their option-ARM problem? And to their Prime problem? And to their entire mortgage portfolio problem?

And then won't it be fun when they own up to the fact that the underlying collateral - the houses - have plummeted in value worldwide?

Trillions and trillions and trillions will eventually be lost. Banks will fail. Governments will be called on to bail everyone out. And these $13 billion write-downs will seem so tiny next year."

Via wampum, due to budgetary constraints, the Economic Indicators service (http://www.economicindicators.gov) will be discontinued effective March 1, 2008.

cfm in Gray, ME

What, they could no longer fudge the numbers enough to present them? Was there a point when even the Soviet Union gave up the release of imaginary statistics?

Due to budgetary constraints, the Economic Indicators service (http://www.economicindicators.gov) will be discontinued effective March 1, 2008.

Economic Indicators.gov is brought to you by the Economics and Statistics Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Our mission is to provide timely access to the daily releases of key economic indicators from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau.

This is Monty Python isn't it?? But no it really does say that!

Economic Indicators.gov is brought to you by...

Budget cuts my ass. They got rid of M3 before the SHTF too.

Hello TODers,

It this a spoof, or is it real? Are we really going to be without vital economic data? What's next--US Census Bureau shut down? Thxs for any informed replies.

The USA has been gradually transitioning away from the European model of government toward the Mexican model for quite some time now.IMO, most Americans are unwilling or unable to accept this reality. How reliable are Mexican government statistics?

The USA has been gradually transitioning away from the European model of government toward the Mexican model for quite some time now

I've been thinking for some time now that the US on a pathway towards becoming a Latin-American style third world country - and not necessarilly just because of the influx of hispanic immigrants.

Look at what Argentina was like a century ago (among the wealthiest countries of the world) vs. today, and you start to get a pretty good idea of what we can expect in the BEST CASE.

The same data is available from the originating government agencies. It is just less convenient, or downright difficult, to get it. Hopefully some nongoverment actor will pick up the ball and post the data where it's accessible. Bass ackwards.

Undertow has made the most significant post in Drumbeat today.

Last spring M3 reporting disappeared. Was it a co-inky-dink that we hit the iceberg in July when Bear Stearns crashed? Of course not...

Now the housing and credit card stats are going bye-bye... (the resets peak in May). Co-inky-dink?

Buckle up. We're about to hit the weather.

Buckle up. We're about to hit the weather.

Hurricanes don't stop b/c the weather bureau is closed.

Denial is more than dat river in Egypt.

Years ago the agriculture department used to keep track of the price of corn compared to other things in the economy. It was called parity and subsidies were based on a percentage of parity. The USDA published a thick pamphlet with all the data in it to justify it's calculation of parity. We use to get it every year since it showed how ridiculuosly low the corn price was compared to every thing else. Finally it got to the point that the government just abandoned the report because it was so embarrassing IMO. The USDA said it was a cost saving measure. Parity was also abandoned. If I recall correctly this was about the time co-ops were formed to make ethanol. There were no subsidies for ethanol at the time, but ethanol was a better deal for farmers than the corn market.

My point here is that the government may in future when Peak Oil really kicks in simply stop releasing weekly supply data. It might even be forced to do it because of the market's violent reaction to the reduced supplies. In the case of corn not releasing the data was an effort to keep the price up or at least not draw attention to how low prices really were. In the case of oil not releasing the report will be an effort to hold the price of oil and its products down or to not draw attention to the developing situtation IMO. If they did it with corn and the money supply, oil will be no big deal. It will be justified as a cost savings measure just as in the case of corn and M3 money supply.


What they'll do is introduce "hedonics" as they have for the CPI. Can't afford electricity; no problem convert it to kerosene (There are lots of kerosens appliances available). Can't afford natural gas; convert it to coal and if coal is too high, they'll use wood. The .gov will never foramlly admit there is a problem and they'll do whatever it takes to make sure it stays that way.


My point here is that the government may in future when Peak Oil really kicks in simply stop releasing weekly supply data. It might even be forced to do it because of the market's violent reaction to the reduced supplies.

Give me a break, Gov stop releasing data because it would have "Unfavorable Effects". What you think we are some Banana Republic?

.... Um, Sorry. I guess you may have something here.

Yes, we have no bananas, we are a banana republic today !

The Bush administration's latest move is to simply hide he


If you take the statement at face value it seems to boil down to the US government saying: "Things are so bad we can no longer afford even to tell you just how bad!"

Well, there's always chicken entrails

Depression risk might force U.S. to buy assets

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fear that a hobbled banking sector may set off another Great Depression could force the U.S. government and Federal Reserve to take the unprecedented step of buying a broad range of assets, including stocks, according to one of the most bearish market analysts.

That extreme scenario, which would aim to stave off deflation and stabilize the economy, is evolving as the base case for Bernard Connolly, global strategist at Banque AIG in London.

Auction-Bond Failures Roil Munis, Pushing Rates Up

Bonds sold by U.S. municipal borrowers with rates set through periodic auctions failed to attract enough buyers as banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. that run the bidding won't commit their own capital to the debt.

Rates on $100 million of bonds sold by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, with bidding run by Goldman, soared to 20 percent yesterday from 4.3 percent a week ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Presbyterian Healthcare in Albuquerque and New York state's Metropolitan Transportation Authority also experienced failures, officials said.

Um, I hate to be the first to mention this, but doesn't the government buying stocks sound a lot like. . . um . . . SOCIALISM!?!?!

I don't think so. Governments owning (and owned by) corporations is usually called "fascism." Is there a difference?

There is a great difference between the government (representing the public) owning economic assets and private interests (corporations) owning and commanding the government. The first is quite common and is considered necessary in certain areas (e.g. public transportation). The latter is pure fascism.

However if the government is buying out junk corporate assets, then the public is effectively bailing out private corporations either directly or by the means of inflation that percolates from the massive money printing. This is plain and simple fascism, nothing to do with socialism.

Aside from any isms, the type of bailout now in vogue is a great device for keeping the idiots who created all the problems in the drivers seat so they can continue to crash and burn.
Kleptocracy is a nice word. Somehow doesn't feel strong enough.

This is plain and simple fascism, nothing to do with socialism.

ding ding ding, I think we have a winner.

"Fascism should properly be called corporatism because it is the marriage of corporation power with state power"

- Benito Mussolini

Hmmm. Marriage of Corporations with the Power of the State.

FBI Deputizes businesses

Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does—and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law.


Oh, and has Microsoft has been deputized? How about a little hook in MS O/S to forward to the FBI anytime a PC hits a site that is ... "Of Interest"...

Tinfoil hat time?

You tell me. If I told you ten years ago that businesses would have "Shoot to Kill" power deputized by the Gov. would you thought it was a TinFoil hat fear?

Again, No Conspiracy theories needed, They've been sanctioned by law.

Samsara, there's no conspiracy here; it's all legal.

Just as oil price rose during the ASPO-USA Conference, we see the same during CERA's. Hugo's not taking oil off the market, so he cannot be blamed. I think it's the reminder prompted by the conference that oil supply/demand is ultra-tight, and that demand is likely to remain high despite a US economic downturn.

Yes US demand side certainly showed up in the retail sales numbers yesterday and the world markets are showing strength. I think one thing Venezuela and Iran are pushing is the weakness of the dollar and that's probably prodding the other members to hedge a little.

Like the Saudi's said this morning they are still holding to the petrodollar 'as long as the US remains an important political and economic power in the world'
Think River suggested the talk about production cuts might be a warning about dollar weakness. (Or a tacit admission that the tanks are getting low)

Re the conferences and the peak oil/economy thing. The PTB do SEE it now don't they?!

Maybe they're figuring out that every time the economy seems to be recovering, energy prices will skyrocket and knock it down again. Forever.

I certainly echo the Valentines Day sentiments, Mahalo Nui Loa!

The gas shorting item from Georgia reports one quart shorted out of 5 gallons supposedly pumped, which works out to 6.4 ounces per gallon. At 20,000 gallons "pumped," 1,000 gallons are shorted. These gas dealers are not only shorting customers, they are also shorting the tax man. On a ten gallon fill, the shorted half-gallon would be hard to detect even by the Prius energy monitor, as the lowered mileage could be caused by other factors, thus the user would be unlikely to catch the fraud. The fine cited was $1,000/customer defrauded, which could easily balloon to millions of dollars.

This is a great idea! I lived on my mountain bike during the 4.5 years I spent in college. Panniers for keeping books and stuff dry in the New Orleans downpours, and a cup holder for my coffee. Never did have to deal with snow though...


Wis. College to Give Bikes to Freshmen

Published: February 14, 2008

RIPON, Wis. (AP) -- A tiny liberal arts college here hopes it has found an answer to a nagging shortage of campus parking: a bicycle giveaway.

If incoming freshmen promise not to bring a car to campus for a full year, Ripon College will give them a Trek 820 mountain bike, a helmet and a lock -- a $400 value.

"This is a great idea! ... Never did have to deal with snow though...
Well, exactly, great idea viewed theoretically from a comfortable and distant location. But we'll have to see about the buyer's remorse. It's a pleasant campus, but much of it is on a hillside. So, the way the snow and ice have been this year, it could be that, with some luck, the bikes finally become useful in mid-April. Oh, wait a minute, the semester's almost over by then. But maybe it doesn't matter - given this country's megabucks-lottery lawsuit culture, does anybody seriously expect a program like that to outlast the first major injury to a participant?

You know, two days ago I could have sworn that it snowed here about 6" - and I still biked to work that day and the next. Oh yeah, and last week there was that snow/ice storm that turned the roads into an inch-thick sheet of packed snow ice. Biked to work that day and the next too. Come to think of it, I've missed one trip biking to work and back this winter in snowy, icy SE Michigan. I'd say my bike has been pretty useful this winter.

Good thing too, since many people who claim bikes are useless in the winter may find themselves on one in a few years.

... And happy Valentine's day everyone! (I'll be transporting all of my stuff and a pot of hyacinth and a bouquet of Alstromeria for my daughter and wife home on my useless bike tonight.)

Yep, I feel far safer on snow on my bike than I used to in a car.

And can probably go faster.

Ditto here. Biked to work right through winter. A pair of studded tires do wonders. 10 below and 6 inches of snow. Lot safer than walking. Co workers are sure I'm certifiable.

At UCSB in the 60's and 70's, drove the VW about once every two weeks--
Walking or on the bike the rest of the time--
Except for the time in the little green room--
(surfers know about this)

PetroBras - Tupi data stolen

it had recoverable reserves at between 5 billion and 8 billion barrels of light crude in the Tupi field and in-place reserves of up to 20 billion barrels...



We'll need a combination of different ways of generating electricity to replace fossil fuels. Everyone knows the standard ones: solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, etc. Now there's a new power source: "shirt power."

US researchers have created a nano-fiber textile that harvests energy from movement, paving the way for clothing that could one day power an iPod or other wearable electronic devices, according to a study published Wednesday.

Using the same mechanical principle as a self-winding watch, but on scale measured in billionths of a meter, tiny nano-generators can scavenge "wasted" energy from sound waves, vibrations, or even the human heart beat.

The fibers, developed by a team of scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology led by Zhong Lin Wang, are covered with pairs of zinc oxide nanowires that produce tiny pulses of electricity in response to friction.

The only major stumbling block? The fibers are made of zinc and can't be washed.


"The latest fad in hulking SUVs is fuel economy"

who would have thought that? I wonder if high gas prices are causing this?

NPK and biofuels.

In theory the phosphorous and potassium could be returned to the soil as they are not needed in the fuel ie closed loop. Nitrogen could come from legumes (clover, vetch, medic, serradella), compost and short periods of animal grazing to create manures. This must lower biofuel EROEI since it involves pumping and spreading using inhouse energy sources such as biodiesel or solar battery. At present even 'organic' farms still use external inputs such as petrodiesel and approved fertilisers.

In other words AFAIK no-one has actually matched practice to that theory yet. However the clock is ticking.

Where's Totoneila?

Hello Boof,

Yep, your right--nitrogen N can be supplied by crop rotation, but if P & K, and other trace minerals, are needed, you only have two choices: industrial or organic.

O-NPK [manures & compost] is bulky compared to I-NPK: more expensive to move and disperse, but the added mulch is important for the soil micro-organisms, earthworms, and water retention abilities in times of drought.

In some cases, O-NPK may not supply sufficient amounts, then you have no choice but to add I-NPK, the soil test should provide the correct ratio amounts to avoid a Liebig Minimum and help achieve maximum plant health and harvest yields.

Modern I-NPK is now chemically beneficiated [using lots of energy] for nearly instant use by the crop, but raw potash rock or raw phosphate rock can be used, like in the old days, for much slower time release, with the caveat of being very cautious that the soil PH and salt buildup factor aren't badly skewed.

Failing the above: the bones of humans will be used again to recycle P & K. Recall my earlier postings on England 'immigrating' 3.5 million/yr to supplement their O-NPK manures [before the rise of industrial fertilizer products]. Too bad the earlier Guano Wars have effectively petered out the future harvesting of any ancient poop fields.

There are lots of different I & O fertilizer products on the market, it is beyond my feeble posting skills to tell someone what is the best solution. But I agree with you that a massive municipal move to Victory Compost Pits to help close the loop would be a good thing to help offset the fast rising prices of industrial fertilizers.

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

Easy, just require that your customers visit the outhouse and make a deposit before removing that P-K from the premises. Like that tourist planet in Hitchhiker's Guide.

"Six Degrees" is rerunning on the National Geographic Channel now. Started at 8pm, goes to 10. Total doomer porn. ;-)

Green lawns could lead to brownouts

HOUSTON (CNNMoney.com) -- Whisky is for drinkin', water is for fightin'.

It's a saying from the Old West, but one invoked Thursday when talking about electricity at Cambridge Energy Research Associates' annual energy conference in Houston.

Power generation takes water. Pumping water takes power. As the nation struggles to meet electricity demand - expected to surge 50 percent in the next 30 years - big sections of the country are suffering from drought conditions.

"We're going to have both water and power shortages, maybe in areas where we aren't used to them," said Peter Gleick, President of the Pacific Institute, an environmental research organization. "Atlanta in the last few years is a good example of that."

Most people don't realize how closely power and water are linked.

Bonny Light and Louisiana Sweet are above $99. Tapis is $101.11.

How much has the dollar slid since 20:10 GMT 20 November, 2007, when Louisiana Sweet first crossed the $100 mark?

The End of the Oil Age

Hi Leanan,

Thank you for all the work searching for such interesting links.

Regarding the one about "energy price caps", I don't understand, is there some kind of price caps in the USA or the rest of the first world?