DrumBeat: May 13, 2008

US senators pressuring Saudis to hike oil output

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Democrats Tuesday introduced legislation to stop a U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia worth $1.4 billion in a tactic supporters said was aimed at pressuring the OPEC country to increase its oil output.

"We are saying that we need real relief and we need it quickly. You (Saudi Arabia) need our arms, but we need you to cooperate and not strangle American consumers," said Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat.

California Utility May Ration Water to Refineries

Bloomberg) -- California's East Bay Municipal Utility District is set to vote today on a proposal to ration water to customers near San Francisco, including two oil refiners, because of a drought.

A seven-member board will vote on the plan to reduce supplies to industrial customers by 5 percent, Charles Hardy, a utility spokesman, said in a telephone interview. Residential, commercial and irrigation customers would also be affected by the plan.

Iran reviews proposal to cut oil output

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said a proposal for OPEC's second biggest producer to cut crude output was under review by experts, Iran's semi-official Fars New Agency reported on Tuesday.

Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said earlier on Tuesday the world's fourth-largest oil exporter was reviewing how much oil it pumps but had taken no decision on any changes.

"There has been such a proposal and it is under expert review," Fars quoted Ahmadinejad as saying when asked about the possibility of reducing output.

Myanmar biofuel drive deepens food shortage

BANGKOK (AFP) - Myanmar is struggling to feed its people in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis -- in part because the regime has been forcing some farmers to stop growing rice in a plan to produce biofuel instead.

In 2005 the military government's leader Than Shwe ordered a national drive to plant jatropha, a poisonous nut he hoped would be the cornerstone of a state industry that would capitalise on growing world demand for biofuels.

Iran rumor pushes oil to new record, gas jumps above $3.73

NEW YORK - Oil prices shot to a new record near $127 a barrel Tuesday on reports that Iran is planning to cut crude oil production.

Gas prices, meanwhile, rose to a new record over $3.73 a gallon Tuesday, and their advance shows little sign of slowing with Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer driving season, just 10 days away.

Light, sweet crude for June delivery rose as high as a record $126.71 a barrel in midday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange before retreating slightly to trade up $2.24 at $126.47.

Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Ill., said traders were reacting to news reports that Iran's government is considering cutting crude oil production. James Cordier, president of Tampa, Fla., trading firms Liberty Trading Group and OptionSellers.com, said the news quickly made its way around trading floors.

Senate approves end to oil reserve shipments

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate is directing President Bush to temporarily halt the shipment of thousands of barrels of oil a day to the government's emergency reserve.

Both Democrats and Republicans said such shipments make no sense when oil is costing more than $120 a barrel and could better be used to add supplies to a tight market and possibly lower prices. Senators voted 97-1 Tuesday to suspend the shipments until the end of the year.

China shuts mines, oil wells and plans after quake

China ordered coal mines, chemical plants and oil and gas wells to halt production to avoid further casualties after the country's strongest earthquake in 58 years killed almost 10,000 people.

Ottawa promises accuracy at gas pumps

OTTAWA — The federal government says it will step up inspections at gas stations across Canada this summer and will soon increase fines for inaccurate pumps to $10,000 from $1,000.

Industry Minister Jim Prentice said Monday that Measurement Canada has reported that about 3 per cent of gas pumps tested between 1999 and 2007 have been inaccurate.

Farmers unable to cash in on soaring food prices

All over the world, prices for basic foods -- barley for beer, milk for cheese, corn for tortillas, and the rice that serves as a staple for more than half the world's population -- are soaring. But farmers aren't rushing to cash in on the boom by planting more of the crops.

...They say the reason is simple. The cost of planting some crops is rising as fast as their prices, and sometimes faster, leaving little incentive to increase production of some foods that remain in high demand around the world.

New Wave of Nuclear Plants Faces High Costs

A new generation of nuclear power plants is on the drawing boards in the U.S., but the projected cost is causing some sticker shock: $5 billion to $12 billion a plant, double to quadruple earlier rough estimates.

The oily truth about America’s foreign policy

With the oil price heading upwards and President George Bush heading for Saudi Arabia, as part of a Middle Eastern tour, it is time to accept the truth. The pursuit of oil is fundamental to US foreign policy.

The importance of oil to American foreign policy is both obvious and curiously difficult to acknowledge in public. In the run-up to the Iraq war it was left to the left to make the argument that this was a “war for oil”. Establishment people – those in the know – rolled their eyes at this “conspiracy theory”.

China gets most of its oil from Mideast

China has one of the fastest-growing economies, and thus its need for fuel is sky-rocketing as well. To ensure its security, China has been seeking reserves and importing much of its fuel, the Daily Star in Lebanon reported.

In recent years 40 percent to 50 percent of the oil that China consumes has been imported, and of that 60 percent comes from the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar and Sudan.

Congress Should Not Tamper with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Congress is about to legislate that the U.S. government stop purchasing oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Some believe that this would bring gasoline prices down; in reality, however, shutting down the oil supply to the SPR would jeopardize the security of the United States, and infringe upon the executive authority of the President to ensure the nation's defense, while having no appreciate effect on gas prices. Congress should leave the SPR alone.

An Oil Bubble?

I don't really have any good reason for posting this chart, but reader Jonathan C. sent it to me and I thought it was kind of amusing. Every month the Energy Information Agency releases a near-term energy forecast, and as oil prices have been skyrocketing it turns out that the EIA has been a model of consistency: every month they predict that oil prices have peaked and are about to start declining. In May the EIA analysts got a little frisky and predicted a plateau for the next few months instead of an immediate decline, but needless to say, the market failed to cooperate. Prices continued to rise.

Peak oil: “It’s the flows, stupid!”

Verbal shots from legendary political consultant James Carville land with the shock of a hand grenade. If the always-blunt and ever-controversial Carville were to grasp our oil dilemma and begin a peak oil education campaign, his war-room slogan would probably paraphrase his winning axiom from the 1992 Clinton campaign, using “It’s the Flows, Stupid!”

Peak oil is about peak flow. It’s that simple, despite all those lame statements (some from people who ought to know better) that “we aren’t running out.” That’s right, we aren't, but who said we were!

Nepal: Pokhara Feels the Heat of Fuel Shortage

Pokhara, the headquarters of the western development region, and adjoining districts have been facing a severe shortage of petroleum products after supply dwindled to nearly 50 per cent of the demand.

Petroleum dealers said the shortage was always there for the last few months, it became acute since last week.

Greek fuel truckers continue strike, supplies dry up

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's fuel truckers on Monday decided to extend a strike that has cut petrol supplies, causing queues at filling stations and transport disruptions that threaten to bring the economy to a halt.

The strike has already lasted a week, leaving about three quarters of Greece's petrol stations without fuel for the fourth consecutive day.

Petrobras to Start Long-Term Test at Tupi in March 2009

Brazil's state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), or Petrobras, will start a long-term production test at its giant Tupi field in March 2009, Chief Financial Officer Almir Barbassa said in a conference call Tuesday.

The test will last two to three months, during which the company will produce 30,000 barrels a day from the field from three wells, Barbassa said.

Ditch that car, hop a train

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The soaring price of gas has convinced New Jersey resident Eric Scott to trade the comfort of his car for a seat on the train every morning after 17 years of driving to the office.

"It's a huge savings," said Scott., "In today's economy, you know, every penny counts so I'm just glad I made that switch."

How the energy crunch hurts UK

From classical musicians to pensioners, from airlines to bus firms, no one can escape the runaway escalation of the cost of fuel.

Australia: Pets pay as household costs soar

Many pets are given away by owners who say they have had to make a choice between paying rising interest rates, petrol and grocery bills or keeping their pets, according to the Animal Welfare League.

The squeeze on family budgets has seen 3832 dogs and 6147 cats surrendered to the league in the past six months.

Change We Can Stomach

Farming has the potential to go through the greatest upheaval since the Green Revolution, bringing harvests that are more healthful, sustainable and, yes, even more flavorful. The change is being pushed along by market forces that influence how our farmers farm.

Could higher fuel prices actually help U.S. airlines? - Some airlines could benefit from a protracted fuel price crisis, and they may be the ones you'd least expect

In this harsh environment, where jet fuel costs increased more than 70% in the past year and more than 200% in the past five years, every major U.S. airline is curbing expansion plans and scaling back operations. Most of the big six already cut domestic capacity by 5% in the last few months and are planning additional 5% to 10% cuts by year end, assuming oil prices remain at these levels. Even rapidly growing LCCs like Southwest and jetBlue have trimmed their expansion plans for the current year. For the first time in decades, as the big six contract, no airline is poised to replace those abandoned flights, routes and markets.

The big six airlines have another advantage over the LCCs: A substantial portion of revenue is derived from premium business and first class customers and extensive international operations. This premium and international travel business is far more profitable than domestic coach, where the big six compete with LCCs. The additional premium revenue will help the big six offset operating costs on less profitable domestic coach routes and survive an extended fuel price crunch, while most LCCs have no premium business to cushion the blow.

Palin will call special session on energy relief

JUNEAU, Alaska — Gov. Sarah Palin will call lawmakers into a second special session this year to address energy cost relief for Alaskans.

Palin will unveil a plan from her energy coordinator, Steve Haagenson, on Thursday to address the short-term energy crisis caused by oil prices.

In Defense of 'Big Oil'

Robertson said President Bush’s trip this week to Saudi Arabia is “highly embarrassing” because he is “calling on the Saudis to produce more oil when we are not doing it ourselves.” The last refinery built in America was in 1976. Tighter government regulations are the main reason. That’s how unserious we are about our energy “crisis.”

Oil Shortages: Here They Come

Russia is the world’s second-largest oil exporter. But something ominous is happening: Its oil production fell for each of the first three months of this year. Russia is now pumping less than it was last year.

China: To raise oil prices or not, that is the question

Diesel sold out. This notice can be seen at many gas stations in the country. Diesel has been in short supply again in a number of provinces and regions over the past few weeks, with Guangdong, Guizhou and Yunnan being the worst hit.

Han Xiao, who works for a private firm, drove from Beijing to Guangdong with his friends recently. He looked tired and upset after having had to wait for what seemed like ages at gas stations on his way to Guangdong. The experience made the journey in his Audi A6 TDI more like a burden, he says. "It seemed our journey could end anywhere on the way. We came across many gas stations that didn't have any gas."

UAE has to integrate gas pipeline networks

ABU DHABI — The UAE, which is facing a net deficit of 1.5 billion cubic feet (BCF) of natural gas daily against a rising daily consumption of 5.4 BCF, has to integrate its pipeline networks for a more efficient, cost-effective supply of fuel, apart from sourcing more supplies from Qatar and Iran, to support its economic growth.

Mexican rebels reject direct talks with government

MEXICO CITY, May 12 (Reuters) - A Mexican rebel group that bombed energy pipelines last year rejected on Monday direct talks with the government but left open the possibility of negotiations through a group of mediators.

Mexico’s oil wealth drying up

World oil prices are breaking records. The Middle East is racked with problems. Latin America’s energy companies should be booming.

Yet Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil company, recently posted net losses of nearly $1.5 billion. The company’s inability to turn a profit has sparked a nationwide debate over Pemex’s future. President Felipe Calderon is proposing that the state oil monopoly open itself to foreign investment.

MOEA dismisses Saudi oil supply report

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A deputy economics minister yesterday dismissed a report that Saudi Arabia might cut oil supplies to Taiwan in retaliation for a possible suspension of investment in the Middle East nation's independent water and power production (IWPP) project.

"I've never heard of this," said Hsieh Fa-da during a hearing of the Economics Committee of the Legislative Yuan, adding such a retaliatory measure would be "impossible" based on his knowledge of Taiwan's business dealings with Saudi Arabia.

The heat is on

The rate of sea-level rise has startled both scientists and policy-makers enough to make headlines and become embedded in government and international reports. It is easy to see why they are concerned – even a half-metre rise would cause flooding that would affect hundreds of millions of people in low-lying areas. Suddenly, "glacier dynamics" – the physics that controls how fast glaciers flow – has become a subject of international importance.

America @ $100/Barrel: How Long Will the Oil Last?

These days everyone is worried about oil. The primitive black goo has been linked to climate change, economic disruption and other problems, but make no mistake: We still need oil, and lots of it. Not only is American demand rising—this year it’s expected to top 21 million barrels per day—but ascendant economies in India and China have developed huge appetites for the stuff. The stark reality is that the supply is finite. "Peak oil" theorists argue that production is already maxed out, meaning imminent shortages and sharper price spikes; more optimistic experts believe that day is 20 to 30 years away. Both camps agree that the task ahead is twofold: Develop new supplies while learning to stretch existing reserves.

Average gas prices set record at $3.72 a gallon

High oil and gasoline prices "are making a huge difference, because they're diverting so much from spending on other things," says Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wachovia. Just 43 cents of every dollar spent — a record low, Vitner says — is "going to things we want to spend it on (such as) golf, vacations, restaurant dining, clothes, new cars."

Analysts are beginning to exhaust logical reasons for prices to climb. "It seems momentum is carrying it up. It just doesn't want to stop," Beutel says.

Raymond J. Learsy: The Why of Chokingly High Oil Prices: Bush Together with Saudi Arabia Spells Disaster for America

There was a time when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) controlled by Saudi Arabia and under the pragmatic thumb of Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani, would have opened wide the oil spigots in the face of sky high prices and a looming U.S. economic recession. The kingdom's wily old minister wanted to maintain a balance, siphoning off just enough out of consumer's pockets to keep the kingdom in opulent palaces and extravagant gift items for U.S. Presidents -- all without strangling the egg-laden Yankee goose that made the royal family's life both fabulous and secure. Then too, no one in the oil patch wanted prices so high as to make the search for alternative fuels economical.

Black Gold; The End of Oil

U.S. NEWS: As oil passed the $125 mark like a freight train passing a bum, what are the remarks being heard at the pumps and on the news, but “This is ridiculous.”

What is really ridiculous is that America didn’t plan for peak oil; that point in time when supply and demand would have a head on collision. But as I’ve reported both in this blog and in my book, it sure wasn’t that we didn’t know it was coming. We’ve known it since 1956.

Krugman weighs in for "peak oil"?

Although he doesn't actually invoke the phrase, Krugman is giving too much credibility to the "peak oil" thesis. He comes close to certain right-wing propaganda motifs himself: an inevitable Malthusian strain on resources due to the rise of the Yellow Peril. China's aspiration to replicate the already unsustainable US development model in a nation of 1.3 billion is, certainly, a grave long-term problem. But it is less the reason behind the price shock than the US project, through the instrument of the Iraq occupation, to deny China access to the Persian Gulf oil except on terms dictated by Washington. Geopolitics, not geology or demographics, remain behind the shock—for now, at least.

OPEC's Days Are Numbered

The end of OPEC will come about simply because very soon there will be no further need to regulate supply. Once peak oil arrives and all available production is less than actual demand there will no longer be any need to have quotas or restrictions on production.

The looming commodity crisis

BOSTON (MarketWatch) -- There is a crisis looming in the world's commodity markets, but it is has nothing to do with high prices, food shortages or the "peak oil hypothesis."

It has everything to do with the flood of capital into new financial instruments tied to commodity prices.

Tories lack policies to prepare for 21st century: Dion

MONTREAL -- Liberal Leader Stephane Dion blasted the Conservative government on Monday night for not preparing Canadians for 21st-century issues such as rising fuel prices, pollution and poverty.

..."The peak oil era is happening and we need to prepare our country to win in this economy. This is vital for success in the 21st century and for that we need a Liberal government with a good vision."

CNPC Says It Will Own 40% of Venezuelan Oil Venture

(Bloomberg) -- China National Petroleum Corp., the nation's biggest oil producer, said it will own 40 percent of an oil-production venture in Venezuela.

The venture between CNPC and state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA targets to produce 20 million tons of crude oil a year, CNPC said on its Web site today. The companies will pump oil from an area called Junin 4, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said at a signing ceremony in Caracas May 9.

UK: Birmingham should become a transition city

The really big change that is coming will result from the challenge of global warming, peak oil and the strain on global resources resulting from growing populations and massive economic growth in China and India.

Our whole way of life, since the industrial revolution is based on massive energy use. And most of that energy comes from oil. But oil also produces all our plastics, fertiliser and most of our pharmaceuticals.

Norway's greenhouse gas emissions rise

OSLO, Norway (AP) -- Officials say Norway's greenhouse gas emissions rose nearly 3 percent to record levels last year.

The national statistics agency blames the pollution on the startup of a new natural gas plant in the Arctic.

Southwest Airlines borrows $600 million

DALLAS — Southwest Airlines Co. said Monday that it borrowed $600 million from Citibank and seven European banks to bolster its cash position because of uncertainty about the economy.

...The filing didn't give a purpose for the debt, but spokeswoman Beth Harbin said, "It's due to uncertainty about the economy and the credit market and the high price of fuel."

Nothing governments can do about rising oil prices: oil expert Richard Heinberg (transcript and video)

Now to tonight's interview with Richard Heinberg. He's one of the world's leading experts on the phenomenon of peak oil. That's the point at which the world's oil reserves go into decline. The idea is that having reached its peak it's all downhill from there and there's evidence that global rates of oil discovery have been declining since the 1960s, and that new oilfields are becoming more and more inaccessible.

So as demand increases and supply decreases the price of oil goes up and up and up, as we've painfully experienced in recent years. No one really knows when we'll reach peak oil. It may have already happened, it may take another three decades. Why has the price of oil gone up so fast and so high in recent years? How much higher could it go and can anything be done to reverse this relentless process?

Biofuels Will Account for 63% of Non-OPEC Oil Growth, IEA Says

(Bloomberg) -- Biofuels will account for 63 percent of oil supply growth from non-OPEC countries this year, taking global production of crop-based fuel to more than 1.5 million barrels a day, the International Energy Agency said today.

IEA Cuts 2008 Oil Demand Forecast for Fourth Month

(Bloomberg) -- The International Energy Agency, the energy adviser to 27 nations, cut its forecast for global oil demand in 2008 for a fourth month as record prices crimp consumption in the world's most developed economies.

The forecast was cut by 390,000 barrels a day to 86.84 million barrels a day, from 87.23 million barrels last month, the Paris-based agency said today in its monthly report. After today's revision, which ``may not be the last,'' the group expects world consumption to grow 1.2 percent this year, the slowest expansion since 2006.

Iran's economy

The indications that Shell and, most likely, Total will not meet Iran's mid-June deadline for them to commit themselves to going ahead with their long-standing liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects reflect both the difficulties of doing business in sanctions-hit Iran and the broader problem of escalating global costs of energy schemes of this sort. Major oil and gas projects are indeed stalled in Iran, but progress is also painfully slow elsewhere; according to Petroleum Economist, an industry magazine, only four LNG projects have attained "final investment decisions" over the past 18 months (in Peru, Australia, Algeria and Angola), and all of these have also faced long delays.

IEA Says 500,000 Barrels/Day of Nigerian Oil Output Still Shut

(Bloomberg) -- The International Energy Agency, the energy adviser to 27 nations, expects about 500,000 barrels a day of Nigerian crude production to remain shut for the ``foreseeable future'' while output is still threatened by further industrial action.

Shell repairs two Bonny oil facilities in Nigeria

LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell has restored some of its shut-in production in Nigeria, repairing two of the four Bonny Light oil facilities damaged by militant attacks, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.

About 164,000 bpd of Bonny Light crude production, or about 40 percent of the Anglo-Dutch major's equity oil output in the West African country, was shut-in due to recent attacks.

Nigeria to probe abuse of 'expatriate quota' by foreign oil companies

ABUJA (Thomson Financial) - The Nigerian government will investigate allegations that international oil companies operating in the upstream sector employ more foreigners than allowed by the law, an official statement said.

China restarts oil line, gas wells shut on quake

BEIJING — China resumed operation of a major oil products pipeline on Tuesday after the previous day's earthquake forced it to briefly stop pumping, but some gas wells were shut by a government order, industry officials said.

Southwest Sichuan province, still reeling from a massive 7.9 magnitude earthquake that has so far killed nearly 12,000, produces about a fifth of China's natural gas. Operations at major refineries across China were unaffected.

The global slump of 2008-09 has begun as poison spreads

Crude ceased to be a friend of equities when it reached around $110 a barrel. At last week's close of $126, it became an outright threat. The Bush rescue package - $800 in rebate cheques per household - has been rendered null and void by the latest spike. The average US home is now spending over 8pc of income on energy or fuel.

OPEC is playing with fire by refusing to pump more oil to offset rebel attacks in Nigeria. The cartel's output drop of 350,000 barrels a day in April is a hostile act at this point.

But there again, why should Middle Eastern states help America as long as the White House keeps filling the US petroleum reserve to prepare for war with Iran? Bush is playing with fire, too.

Russian regulator accuses Rosneft of forcing up gasoline price

IRKUTSK/MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) - Russia's anti-monopoly service said on Tuesday it had launched a probe into state oil giant Rosneft for using its dominant position to force gasoline prices up in a Siberian region.

Gas prices spike plans for Hyundai pickup

SEOUL–Hyundai Motor Co. shelved plans to build pickup trucks in the United States as soaring gas prices chip away at demand for trucks, a company official said Tuesday.

BP, Rio Cancel $2 Billion Australian Power Project

(Bloomberg) -- Rio Tinto Group, the world's third- largest mining company, and BP Plc, Europe's second-largest oil producer, canceled a plan to build a coal-fired power plant in Australia that would capture and store carbon to cut emissions.

Global Warming Worries Wealthy, Polluting Nations Least

The wealthier a country is and the more greenhouse gases it spews into the atmosphere, the less worried its citizens are about the effects of global warming. Residents of the low-lying Netherlands, ironically, are the least worried of all.

What Condoms Have to Do with Climate Change

But now, the pendulum is shifting back. The sudden spike in both food and fuel prices is raising concerns that we may not be able to grow forever, that even with the best technological innovation, the planet may have limits. It's becoming increasingly clear that if we can't curb carbon emissions in a world of 6.8 billion, it may be impossible to do when there are 9 billion of us. And while population growth has slowed drastically in many countries in Western Europe and in Japan, where women are having fewer and fewer babies, it's still rising in much of the developed world - and for that matter, in the United States. "You really can't talk about the supply and demand imbalance that is sending energy and food prices up without acknowledging that we are adding 78 million people each year, the equivalent of a new Idaho every week," says Engleman.

From today’s NYT: Nissan Plans Electric Car in U.S. by ’10

Looks like the future for transportation is going to be electric.

E. Swanson

Your link ist kaputt, try this: Nissan Plans Electric Car in U.S. by ’10 - New York Times

Mr. Ghosn declined to disclose details of the electric products and said initial quantities would be small. “We’re talking about hundreds of vehicles first,” he said.

But he said that the company was determined to achieve “zero-emission-vehicle leadership.”

A parking lot full of mitigation. You'd need a tunneling electron microscope to see it on a graph...anybody still dismissing Hirsch?

ZEV, no such thing, unless you're filling the tank up with night soil.

It's incredibly misleading to call an electric car "zero emissions." You might as well buy a steam powered car that comes with its own coal hopper. You drive while the front seat passenger shovels coal into the boiler furnace.

All I need to do is plug it into my solar panels.

Exactly what I plan on doing with mine when I have it done, plug it into my panels. :)

That would be a great way to spread home solar power adoption. Bundle the EV sale with the solar panels needed to charge it. Would those panels typically fit on the roof of a garage? What is the typical material and installation cost?

One caveat. This isn't necessarily a great solution for commuters who typically only store their cars in their garage at night.

In case you weren't around during an earlier EV discussion, check out this guy who runs two Rav4 EV's off his PV array. A recent issue of Homepower also featured a woman in the Northwest (US) who uses an NEV and PV combination.. and Finally, Pete Seeger uses a Pickup EV Conversion with PV on his barn roof up along the Hudson in NY state.

Rav 4's "RAV4-EV plug-in EV (74,000 miles, 4 years so far) charging directly from our solar rooftop array." http://sealbeach.org/

"The VoltsRabbit recharges its batteries from typical grid electricity or, in this case, from the Johnsons’ solar-electric system." http://www.homepower.com/view/?file=HP117_pg88_Johnson

Pete Seeger (PDF) from Homepower #103 http://www.renewablenys.org/retrieve_file.php?type=article&id=13

Personally, I'm designing a Velomobile for local travel, using both Pedal Power and Electric Motor Support. Trying to make it as lightweight as possible to keep the battery requirements and peddling strain reasonable.. looking at the BionX brushless motors for the Electric Propulsion. I will have both PV and Wind as part of my electricity mix..

Bob Fiske

And from the Seeger Article.. (The hippies are dead.. long live the hippies!)

If there is a human race still here in a hundred years, I think it will be hundreds of millions of little things that will have saved us. Imagine a big seesaw: one end is on the ground with a basket half-full of rocks on it. The other end is up in the air with a basket one-quarter-full of sand on it. Some of us have teaspoons and are trying to put more sand in the basket. Most people are scoffing at us: “Don’t you see the sand is leaking out as fast as you put it in?” We say, “That’s true, but we’re getting more people with teaspoons all the time.” One of these days, you’ll see that basket so full that the whole seesaw will go zoo-oop in the opposite direction, and people will say, “Gee, how did it happen so suddenly?” Us and all our little teaspoons.

Perhaps the solution is to have two EVs,one for even days and one for odd days.
It looks to me that the use of solar and wind for a large percentage of our energy needs involves a large amount of duplication in one form or another. No wind in Iowa? Use the wind in Texas. No sun in Texas? Use the sun in Arizona. No water behind Hoover Dam? Use the water behind Grand Coulee. If you don't have two EVs you would at least need a separate battery pack in the garage so you could charge the EV at night. Extra production capacity plus considerable amounts of storage. Oil ain't cheap and neither will the replacements be cheap. Get used to it!

I'm going to plug my electric car into my solar panels too. luckily my roof is the size of a football pitch!!!!!


Wharf Rat "All I need to do is plug it into my solar panels."

This statement is misleading to a lot of people who don't understand Solar Panel Power Production. If you have a grid tied (most are) system you have a net metering agreement with a utility to sell power back to the grid during overproduction (daylight hours) and purchase of power back from the utility at night. If there is a power failure your solar panels stop producing power for your use as well. Consider that there was a repairman working on a line where you are still producing power from your panels going into the grid. If the repairman is hurt, perhaps fatally, the bootleg power producer is responsible.

In order to have an off grid system you need batteries, local power generator and this is very expensive. Local Solar panels for residential rooftops will fail to be economical until the price of utility power rises to stratopheric levels.

How far are we away from average utility bills reaching those prices. The problem is that by the time utility prices reach those levels the economy may be seriously unwinding so much that average people will be unable to purchase solar panels.

In CA, which has a perfect environment for solar power generation, the growth of the solar industry has been tied to massive incentives (up to a third) and even then the economics of the purchase are a hard sell even for people that can afford them.

During the high flying times when people had the resources they chose to buy McMansions, expensive suv's, swimmingpools, exotic vacations and Home Theatre systems and did I mention accessories. The majority of these purchases were bought with massive amounts of home equity and credit card debt. Now that home equity has been wiped out, so has the opportunity to make an investment in solar technology for the majority.

The only people I see purchasing Solar Panels are the rich. And they're the same group that is buying oil futures and precious metal commmodities.

Will this mean the demise of the American Middle Class?

Wharf Rat "All I need to do is plug it into my solar panels."

Last time I cared to check there was a company that was making 200 watt DV-AC converters and their stumbling block was getting a 'deal' with a PV panel vendor.

Will this mean the demise of the American Middle Class?

Its mostly dead already.

You also apparently don't understand Solar Power Production. Not necessarily your fault, but your post is misleading as well, on a number of fronts.

It has been stated numerous times at this site that you can have a Grid Tie that also has battery backup (with as much or as little battery capacity as you choose, and a comparative pricetag. The expense is probably a third of the cost of the total installation.) - and this can switch over safely if there is a grid failure. On top of that, PV panels are quite simple, and could be driving a car charger and/or backup car batteries as a completely independant system. The backup and car batts could even run an inverter for household loads, if you chose to set it up that way.

"The only people I see purchasing Solar Panels are the rich. And they're the same group that is buying oil futures and precious metal commmodities."

When you say it that way, it makes me wonder if you're actually looking. I see working people investing where they can. I am. I'm not rich. Clearly it's a tough investment to choose, against the lure and lull of the last cheap gas and grid power.. but to call it 'Uneconomical at current prices', and then go on immediately to predict how energy prices will soon be skyrocketing.. well that clearly makes it 'Economical' then, doesn't it? It's called an 'Investment' because you're doing it with a careful eye towards the likely future, not a fickle take on current but unstable conditions.

Is yours going to be going out there as yet another voice that says 'investing carefully is for rubes'? 'Looking ahead is too risky.. just live for today and then blame the government when things don't work out.' That's what our neighbors have heard from all sides, and it has given them the pass as they have kept putting off taking these tough pills.

Yes, it will be a tougher pill tomorrow, as all costs go up, as our available cash dwindles.. doesn't this make the conclusion clear as day? Do it now. Do some research and take the plunge with Efficient Appliances, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Passive Solar Retrofits, PV-EV , Solar Water and Air Heating, Wind, get the Bikes out of the Basement whatever..


I agree that it can easily be viewed as an investment, and an investment that can be as expensive as you want it to be, with some limitations of course. My first system was an experiment, where I bought a 45 watt system, charger, and DC lights for $200. It was great to take camping to run my laptop off of when I felt inspired to write due to the wonderful relaxing atmosphere.

However, let's say you want to go a little bigger, with plans on going to a pretty good size. For $1500 you can purchase a charger/inverter combo. These puppies can pump out 2,500 to 3,000 watts, can charge from DC solar or AC input. They output pure sine wave, so it's safe to use them on things like your washing machine, etc. Then you can buy a few panels, with ability to add more panels in the future as money allows.

This is actually what I'm doing for my home I'm building this summer. For the construction of my home, I will have grid power, but after I get my solar system set up, I plan on cutting it off. I will have my inverter, a few panels for a total of around 500 watts of peak power, and every few months, I'll continue adding panels as money allows. My system will start out costing me $3,000 and can grow as the years pass by.

Am I rich? No. Am I middle class? Maybe. Am I a burger-flipper? No.

Others put money in their 401k... I put money into paying off my land, building my house with cash, and then ensuring I have no utilities to eat up my income when I'm retired.


Good luck with your house.

I think you were talking about the 45w system before. Harbor Freight? I picked up the same package, and luckily (according to you, IIRC) I never touched the charge controller. At that price, the panels were around $4.50/watt, and I'll use them here and there for Fans and Pumps on 'Automatic' Solar heating systems, etc.. one of them Ran an Electric HO Train on Earth Day, which was fun! The 12v CFL's were a nice bonus.

I know they are cheapish Chinese PV's, if we're talking about the same kit, but with some luck they'll last like I hear they should. I now have about 350w of PV, but still need to get a decent inverter.. just have a cheezy 400w approximated-sinewave 'car inverter'... more an emergency kit than anything.


Yeah, the 45w was the Harbor Freight one. I currently have a different charge controller for it now, which works much better. My new panels which are being delivered today are Evergreen Solar panels at 160w each. I will be getting a 48v Xantrex 3kw charger/inverter shortly for this system.

Interesting approach. I like the idea of incremental additions to capacity:

1) Start with core electronics: inverter, controller, charger, switches;

2) Then start adding PV panels and batteries as you can afford them.

Is there some sort of roof rack mount that you are using for the panels?

I could see the value of carefully figuring out the load from each circuit and labeling them so that one would know which circuits to keep on and which to snap off if one is on battery backup power or it was a cloudy day. One might even want to do a little re-wiring so that one had only high priority things (refrigerator, for example) on some circuits, and only dispensible things on the others. Once one had done that, then one would have a next-step goal (after initial set up with a "starter system"): add enough capacity to the system to at least power all of your "essentials" circuits, with enough battery backup to power them for X amount of time - 3 days, say. That might be as far as many people can ever get; the dispensible things might eventually just have to be truly dispensed with, as the power for them (whether from the grid or an off-grid system) might very well become unaffordable for most people.

Jokuhl "You also apparently don't understand Solar Power Production."

Relax Jokuhl! You apparently can't read what I wrote and that is your fault. I said most systems are grid tied. That's true. You can invest in a battery back-up system but that could send a $30,000 investment over $45,000. You said the exact same thing. What's the disagreement?

"another voice that says 'investing carefully is for rubes'?"

Didn't say that either. I said that when there was previously cash equity in peoples homes available for people to buy solar or energy saving investments they instead chose to buy consumer products. I didn't say or imply that Nobdody did. I said most people did. That's true.

Your argument that you aren't rich and you make careful investments doesn't hold up as an argument that would apply to more than a small segment of the population.

Premise: You aren't rich
Premise: You make good investments
Conclusion: People who aren't rich make good investments.

Premise to the particular applying to general = false conclusion.

Good Luck!

Your whole post was built on absolutes and 'Premises to the Particular, Applied to the General'. You were responding to Wharf Rat's, "All I need to do is plug it into my solar panels." Which was an absolutely true statement, that you made sound unmanagable.

"Premise: You aren't rich
Premise: You make good investments
Conclusion: People who aren't rich make good investments.

Premise to the particular applying to general = false conclusion. "

I didn't draw that conclusion. I simply challenged your simplified suggestion that only 'the rich' are buying solar. I do draw the conclusion that there are certainly MANY working and middle-class people who are making this good investment.. and many others would also do so if they weren't getting so much bad advice.


Rich? I'm a respiratory therapist, not a pulmonary doc. You don't even see us on the medical shows on TV (or at least I don't, cuz I don't watch 'em). Wharf rats are not known for being rich.

I'm grid intertie. No batteries until I need them, at which time I will plug in my seasonal creek, too. And that electric car (truck; 4WD??) does have batteries. If electrics can serve as batteries for the national grid, my own car should be able to do it with me.
This year, it looks like I will donate 500KWH to PGE, cuz I don't get paid for my excess. Yearly cost to me to be hooked to the grid...60 bucks. Administrative cost of disconnecting...not sure, but substantial.

Walking is a "ZEV", if you count breathing as a "given"

Gee, think of all the C02 that humans give off just by breathing... just by being alive we're contributing to global warming... Exhale, and the planet warms by .0000001 degree...

So no, even HUMANS aren't ZEV.

However, on a positive note, if in the future everything that emits CO2 needs carbon credits then I'll just sell my carbon credits and hold my breath for a really long time...

No one is working on a portable carbon capture and storage device for humans on the go? Some kind of breathing aparatus attached to a backpack? I'm sure the prototype could be brought down to 50 lbs or less.

It's called a rebreather, it's the latest in scuba gear.

Sweet! Lets all walk around wearing suits like Vader... A nice little helmet and cape to protect us from UV radiation (since the Ozone layer will be gone), make it air conditioned inside (because it'll get just as not as Venus due to the greenhouse effect). I can just hear it 'rebreathing' now...


Use the force!

Yup,Yup! Picture the planet as Frank Herbert's 'DUNE' with NPK as the SPICE. Job specialization is only possible if food surpluses can be generated.

I worry greatly about diminishing grain reserves.

The Cost of Walking to Increase

It had to happen sometime.
Our local station WDIV Detroit just had blurb that shoe manufacturers are increasing prices. No link yet.

Yep, and when we start crawling again on all four limbs--then knuckle gloves get expensive too. Now--going back to monkey-swinging thru the trees--big cost savings are then possible if we can regrow our tails.

/sarconal off

I am just guessing, but wouldn't bicycle tires go much further than shoe leather cost-wise? I don't think the bicycle pedal/shoe interface frictionally wears off much shoe bottom, and you can buy a lot of tubes & tires for the price of a single pair of high-quality footwear, like Red-Wing boots.

Tires are cheap, it's the bike thats expensive, at least compared to most shoes.
Of course many shoes are bought with little thought of walking in them, judging by what some of the gals at work wear.

Good shoes are expensive. I just bought a new pair of New Balance 926 walking shoes, and that set me back nearly $110. While local people could learn again how to make leather boots, I do worry about the long-term availability of good quality walking shoes. I doubt that stockpiling is a good long-term option, surely most of the synthetic materials would dry up and turn hard and brittle eventually.

And what's wrong with going barefoot? when I was growing up we scarcely ever put a shoe on from the time school ended in June until it started again in September. We only put shoes on when our Mom was taking us somewhere indoors.

And I'm only half joking here.

What's wrong with barefoot? Fallen arches, for starters. As we get older, some of we adults have issues that kids don't have.

The story is in the Wall Street Journal no less.

Fantastic! Now we need to hurry this up a little!

V2G!! Better yet, as many say here, V2HPV (home photovoltaics).

Best wishes for rapid introduction of electric vehicles!

Huzzah! I look forward to this development. If I were in the market for a new car, I would certainly consider this vehicle, as I want a highway capable EV. Instead, I'm in the middle of converting a 1989 Honda CRX to an electric vehicle. The range likely won't be nearly as good as this Nissan, but at $8,000 for the conversion, it will certainly be cheaper. (In addition, if the CRX starts falling apart, I can take that electric drive-train and then install it in my 2000 Civic instead.)

Electric cars are typically recharged by plugging the vehicle into an electrical outlet at home or elsewhere overnight.

I know that any initial money these make if feasible is going to be made in overwhelmingly suburban America where you have a driveway and or garage so you can do whatever arrangements you want for recharging, but has the PHEV industry come up with any idea about what people in, eg, terraced streets in Britain with only kerbside parking or others who don't park their cars on their private property, will do? I don't imagine health and safety would be too keen on trailing an extension cord across the public pavement? Likewise I can't imagine there's much profit to be made adding electrical outlets everywhere people park. Just curious what the proposed solution is.

I recently saw a show about this on TV. What they were proposing is that you don't own the battery. You just pull up to a swap station and have your battery swapped out when the charge runs low. That battery will be recharged then swapped again. That way, you could go on long trips and swap your battery every hundred miles or so. Of course batteries today will not last that long but if you accept the idea that "technology will save us" then they will soon produce a battery that will go that far. On the show they were giving a figure of 120 miles on each battery. Of course the cars would be much, much smaller.

Ron Patterson

You don't need to believe in future technological miracles for this schema to work. IIRC A123Systems nanophosphate battery features a cycle life of about 6000 DOD cycles, which can be increased even further if batteries are charged and discharged carefully. If a full charge will bring an all electric vehicle 200 miles, this translates to 1,200,000 miles lifetime, enough to outlast 10 vehicles per battery.

The real quesiton IMO is who will build the infrastructure? In this case the best is the enemy of the good because noone will want to commit to building all this infrastructure if there is the perception that a better technology (EEstor?) is "just around the corner". I hope this does not hold us back way too long.

[edited to make my point more clear]

Despite the obvious limitations these vehicles suffer from, by the time they hit the market urban Americans and Canadians will be salivating. That's what $5 - $10 gas does to you.

Call it "The Law of Approaching Horizons".

The price of copper is going to rise to the point where the value of the copper windings in any electric or hybrid car will make it impossible to park it in the street.

No point buying a car if you can't afford an armed chauffeur.

the value of the copper windings in any electric or hybrid car will make it impossible to park it in the street

Yea, sure...whatever.

Did you ever stop to consider that homes have over 200 lbs of copper and that runs right into the WWI and WWII anti-hoarding laws that are still on the books? (How about the use of copper in waste stacks - a 1960's early 1970's 'thing') Now imagine the waste stack, plumbing and electrical 'going away' from rental homes?

(I went on a quick look for the copper limits - got this instead)


Homes are easier to secure and watch, and the consequences of invading an occupied home (at least in the US) are enough to give anyone pause.

The same does not apply to cars. Hence rampant theft of catalytic converters going on right now.

Yea, such a plan works out REAL GOOD with renters - right?

Note that this is going on in foreclosure heavy areas, and the homes get cased to see that they are unoccupied.

Try that on an owner-occupied or renter occupied home, and you might win the Darwin Award.

If you read the articles, you'll see that not all the homes looted are in foreclosure-heavy areas or unoccupied.

The thieves are often crackheads who really don't care if the home is occupied or not. People have been shot for the salvage value of their homes.

And sometimes they don't bother to turn off the gas when they steal the pipes. The house explodes, and the whole neighborhood may be damaged.

Hi Apuleius,

Good point. Additionally, does anyone here know anything about world copper supply? Is there a "peak" to worry about? Where's it all being mined? As energy inputs go up, what will that do to the mining industry? Would the demand boost the price, and be enough of an incentive to increase investment in extraction / exploration, or would the cost of doing business because of prohibitive energy costs deter further mining investment, and just raise the price of the copper they already have in place? I'd have to think that increased costs for operating mines already in place would outpace the effect increase demand would have on the copper's market price increase. It may be immaterial as the ev start-up begins, but as ev catches on, if it does, would that production increase decrease demand enough on ff to lower oil prices, thereby dampening incentive to invest in ev? Lots to consider. No easy answers. Very Tainteresque. To quote a regular at TOD, our solutions seem to cause other problems.


Is there a "peak" to worry about?

Sure, one should worry about 'peak copper' - exactly how will all the PV panels, wind turbines power all the EV cars?

Less cars then now or less people than the now if one wants to keep things in balance.

If a room temp superconductor were to come into existence, that would change things. But then again, so would fusion.

Regarding CCS with our bovine friends: Should we capture methane from cows ? - Yahoo! Answers. Or rather: MCS.

A teaspoon of sand into a basket? More like a grain, Pete.

MIT's WiTricity is a possible way of recharging PHEVs in parking spaces etc, without cabling. This would be slightly less onerous than having cords coming out of pavement, but still require a lot of infrastructure buildup.

MIT's WiTricity is a possible way of recharging PHEVs in parking spaces

A waveguide is always the cheapest way to move a signal.

So any 'wireless electricity' will be lossy. If 'we' are worried about not having enough human-controllable watts in the future, are not excited over making H2 from water, et la - why should 'wireless power' be considered?

Not to mention having loops of copper to send and receive power.

Worying about methane from cows shows the Greens at their most moronic. Methane from cows is part of a natural cycle. The cows eat grassor corn then emit methane . The methane degrades to co2 which is taken up by the grass and corn and the cycle begins again. The process is carbon neutral. Simple, but to much for Greens.

Nonsense. The issue with methane from cows is not whether or not it is a "natural" cycle. It has to do with how many cows exist and what their purpose is.

The methane degrades to co2 which is taken up by the grass and corn and the cycle begins again. The process is carbon neutral.

Because Weatherman has a history of using emotive words like moronic. or Simple, but to much for Greens.

I figured I'd dig up the 'timeframe'

relatively short life time in the atmosphere (9-15 years)

And here's a FAQ from the EPA (does that make it non-moronic Weatherman?)

And rather than name calling, weatherman could have man'd up and pointed out http://www.epa.gov/methane/sources.html

and pointed out:

Landfills. Landfills are the largest human-related source of methane in the U.S., accounting for 34% of all methane emissions.

how this source could be 0% if man instead composted the organic output.

But hey, its quicker to call a position 'moronic' than research - right Weatherman?

Would composting eliminate methane (from landfills)? I thought that I read a study from MIT that the composting has to have some sort of capture device for that to be true. But, I am probably wrong.

Would composting eliminate methane..

If the compost was kept aerobic it would.

Would composting eliminate methane (from landfills)?


I thought that I read a study from MIT that the composting has to have some sort of capture device for that to be true.

Amazingly, this is answered at the magicsoil web site.


But, I am probably wrong.

Yes. Yes you were wrong.

I stand corrected. Less methane. I was confusing the conclusion of the study, namely: "In fact, when compared to energy-recovery incineration (with energy recovery) of organic materials, composting does not emerge as the environmentally friendly choice."



Still, MIT will probably accrue a net savings by expanding its composting program given the fact that hauling of compost is only half as costly as hauling of regular trash.

Thus, at least by the standard of greenhouse gas emissions, we see that recycling and composting are better options than landfilling all along the lifespan of a product.

Huh. 2 quotes showing that good choices can be made.

Jbunt's full quote:

Most of the energy involved at a composting facility goes towards keeping the mixture well-aerated. Requiring large machine-driven turnstiles or rotating bins, this can be rather energy intensive. In fact, when compared to energy-recovery incineration (with energy recovery) of organic materials, composting does not emerge as the environmentally friendly choice. However, at MIT dining hall waste is not sent to an incinerator, but goes instead to a regular landfill. And here the associated methane gas emissions still place composting ahead of landfilling in terms of lower environmental impact.

(So they pick a bad plan and complain)

Amazingly there is a solution to the churning and aeration. Earthworms. The worm gin/vemitech flow thru bin are two solutions. One school places their organics on the ground in a thin layer and generates 7 inches of 'soil' a year.

No, what we need to do is to get all organic municipal wastes into anaerobic digesters to produce and capture the methane in a controlled manner. It can then be fed into the natural gas distribution system, and at least partially replace a non-renewable, depleting resource with a renewable one. This is very feasible, the technology already exists and has been deployed around the world. It does require an initial investment, but given that the value of the methane produced creates a long term revenue stream, that should make the investment quite attractive.

Slinky asks: "Is there a "peak" to worry about? Where's it all being mined?"

There's a kind of copper mining practice going on here in Atlanta, Georgia. Anyone who needs it can go to any unoccupied home and rip it from the walls. So there's no copper supply problem. In Atlanta it's a security problem.

Our neighborhood watch keeps tabs on these thefts. I wish I could laugh at the humor in this reply but this is really going on around my neighborhood.

Most oil is in high grade "giant" oil fields. Most copper is in low grade ores.
When the price of oil goes up small oil fields become worthwhile. When it goes down, stripper wells get cemented in. Ditto for copper mines. When copper prices go up, speculators buy copper futures. And who sells the copper futures? Copper miners locking in the higher prices. And then they pull another copper deposit off the stack of deposits that weren't quite good enough to mine in the last boom, and send in the drills and dynamite and shovels.

Military cracks down on scrap-metal scavengers

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Hundreds of Marines were conducting a combat training mission in the Mojave Desert when an air patrol spotted something kicking up dust: A civilian pickup truck speeding across the barren landscape.

Behind the wheel was a suspected scrap metal thief who had been combing the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center for spent brass shell casings. His intrusion onto the base was the 12th time in six months that scavengers had inadvertently halted combat exercises.

Bombing ranges have become prime hunting grounds for so-called "scrappers," who are motivated by soaring commodity prices to take greater risks in their quest for brass, copper and aluminum. The scavenging causes headaches for the military, which cannot patrol every inch of the remote bases where spent ammunition, shrapnel and unexploded ordnance are easy to find.

The copper in your home is needed for munitions. It's a matter of national security. Cooperate or be arrested for treason. Lord Cheney commands it. Stand aside.

Be sure to let them have your lead supply, too.

darwinsdog - I personally have lost 75 close friends to execution by Cheney recently due to doing exactly what you said - having copper in their house. You are a genius!! I wish that you would write an article on your point. It is exactly what people here at TOD want to hear about. Thanks for your input and wisdom. Leanan - I would be willing to help fund the cost of such an article if it requires funding.

Thanks for your input and wisdom. Leanan - I would be willing to help fund the cost of such an article if it requires funding.

You're very welcome.

Leanan - my fees are quite high. ;)

Just offer bonus awards to any military pilot strafing illegal civilian vehicles out on a gunnery range. They could use the moving target practice. Once a few nice bottles of Scotch are handed out to the proud winners--I think the theft problem will be solved.

My nominal home town is not something I ever expected to see posted about on an energy blog.

Go Wildcats!


Does this mean that our military is so over stretched that it can't even protect our home bases from intruders? Is there anyone guarding our nuclear weapons? Wait, there was that incident the Air Force had last year.

Canadian wind farm

Project Description
NaiKun is proposing to construct and operate a renewable wind energy project off the north-west coast of British Columbia. The large-scale offshore wind farm will provide a cost-effective, clean, domestic energy source to serve the growing electricity market in British Columbia.

The first phase of the project will be for 320 MW providing electricity to 120,000 British Columbia homes.
When fully operational, the five-phase wind farm will generate 1,750 MW of electricity - enough to power 600,000 British Columbia homes.


King coal is motivating some of his subjects:

Domestic coal takes spotlight again

Domestic industrial circles were shocked by high import prices for Australian coal under an agreement between major Japanese steelmakers, including Nippon Steel Corp., and a foreign mining giant. The price of coking coal to be imported in fiscal 2008 is $300 per ton, nearly three times the price in fiscal 2007.
Hikes in prices of steel products, electricity bills and other charges seem to be inevitable due to the large price increases for coking and fuel coal. Coal-related price hikes that follow a continued rise in oil and food prices will likely deal a blow to people's lives.

Under this situation, domestic coal has jumped into the spotlight.

Japan has a tiny coal industry, but in the north they could produce more, and it now appears as if coal prices may make that likely.

I was quite surprised to learn that unprecedented rains in Australia were what caused the price to go up again. It will be months before the coal pits get pumped out and production is back to normal.
If I were berming a mine these days I would assume that a hundred year flood would come every ten years. Ditto for any kind of building on a flood plain.
The weather isn't going back to normal in my lifetime.

The IEA’s new Oil Market Report is out this morning. April world oil supply was down 400 thousand barrels per day from March to 86.8 mb/d. That is down 700 thousand barrels per day from the high in February.

Of course this is All Liquids. I don’t know what the C+C figures will look like.

Ron Patterson

Didn't we just talk about this yesterday?

"But if the slowdown was related to shortages of metallurgical coal to feed blast furnaces, there would be serious implications for the capesize fleet, which has driven the dry bulk chartering boom.

“If we have reached a point in the cycle where coal has become a bottleneck in China, its implications for the iron ore trade and hence the dry bulk market are potentially disastrous,” Howe Robinson said."


Didn't we just talk about this yesterday?

Well no, the report only came out this morning so we couldn't possibly have talked about it yesterday. It was mentioned early this morning on the May 12 Drumbeat but there was no discussion whatsoever other than the post itself.

And my post had absolutely nothing to do with coal so what are you talking about?

Ron Patterson

Asebius from Toronto on May 12, 2008 - 10:39am

The new February peak, trumping the old Jan peak, is C & C data.

I remember this now:

"The Record Falls - January 2008 is the New World Record for Crude Oil (plus Condensate) Production

Posted by Nate Hagens on April 11, 2008 - 9:44am
Topic: Supply/Production
Tags: bumpy plateau, crude and condensate, eia, global production, peak [list all tags]

The EIA’s newest International Petroleum Monthly shows World C+C production for January was 74,466,000 barrels per day, eclipsing the heretofore peak of May 2005 by 168,000 barrels per day. (thanks to Ron Patterson for the heads up and to Khebab for the quick graphics)."

My comments buried in this were, and Wisdom from Pakistan corrected me (thanx again), that 168 000 is .02% of 74 000 000.

Accuracy of that kind is not possible.

alan on May 12, 2008 - 11:36am

that would be 0.2% actually

[-] mcgowanmc

Thanx. I knew I was wrong. I did the same thing earlier.

Close math, eh? ;}

ccpo on May 12, 2008 - 7:11pm

In addition to this number being insignificant, Asebius' asertion is almost certainly incorrect given their was a discussion about the previous "new peak" in which it was determined the C+C included production for tar sands.

Why would that have magically changed? If it has, let us know.


Today-down 400 000 bbls per day.

From the Report:

April global refinery crude throughput 72.8 mb/d is seen as a seasonal trough, with output stifled by poor economics and maintenance. Runs should rise through the second quarter to meet driving season demand, however recent improvements in Atlantic Basin gasoline supply are expected to keep margins volatile.

Is this not a sort of C+C number? (I don't know what, if any difference there might be between production and throughput.) If so, is that not a goodly bit below 2005?


The coal comment was a mistake.

I pasted it to retrieve it later. ;}

So. Per the "talk" yesterday, do you think we passed May 05
production of light sweet crude in Jan/Feb of this year?

Or do you think that May 05/Deffeyes still holds?

Just curious.

Obviously we were higher in January and February of 08 than we were in May of 05. The question is will the average 08 production surpass the average 05 production? It will be close. However remember we had two hurricanes that took over a million barrels off line in August 05 and almost that much in September. In fact we were not fully back on line until about the middle of 06.

The Katrina-Rita hurricanes, when averaged out over the entire year, took 300,000 barrels per day off line in 2005. If we have a similar problem this year, then 05 will definitely be the peak. However perhaps not if we have fair weather everywhere.

But, in my opinion, all this is academic. With Russia peaking then non-OPEC has definitely peaked. OPEC is producing flat out with the possible exception of Saudi Arabia. Actually I think they are producing flat out as well but they have some new production coming on line soon. At any rate, I believe we are coming off the plateau this year and headed for lower production.....forever.

By the way, Non-OPEC average production for 2008 is 39,000 barrels per day below the 2007 average, the high so far. And with Non-OPEC falling, there is little doubt, in my opinion, that 2007 will prove to be the peak year for Non-OPEC.

Ron Patterson

Thank you, Ron.

I had thought there was discussion yesterday on Drumbeat on the EIA data that was posted yesterday..and...that world oil suplly had hit a new peak in Feb...no?

The author seems to assume that OPEC is capable of producing more oil, and that if they did, the liquidity problem would go away. From what I read in TOD, that is an intolerably naive postion -- but it gets top billing in a major English paper-- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2008/05/12/ccambr...

OPEC is playing with fire by refusing to pump more oil to offset rebel attacks in Nigeria. The cartel's output drop of 350,000 barrels a day in April is a hostile act at this point.

But there again, why should Middle Eastern states help America as long as the White House keeps filling the US petroleum reserve to prepare for war with Iran? Bush is playing with fire, too.

The comments at the end of it are interesting-- sort of like a condensation and summation of all TOD comments, including the trolls over the past few years.

Hard to tell whether awareness is spreading -- even harder to tell what will happen when it has really spread. So far, no one seems much worried where I live, but that may be changing.

"Hard to tell whether awareness is spreading -- even harder to tell what will happen when it has really spread. So far, no one seems much worried where I live, but that may be changing."

A survey of the blogoshere shows that matching hit tallies between
Paris Hilton and Peak Oil still gives Paris the lead. (It's a little more interesting if you run her against 'gas price')

Anecdotaly for me now the prospect of $10 gasoline it is on the lips of total strangers seemingly at every turn. Often accompanied with a nervous laugh. And the commodities (re-bar, cattle feed, hamburger ,those commodities) are opening conversations with neighbors and co-workers. It's as if they are asking where it will all end.

We have a sticker in the window of the Prius showing it's EPA fuel mileage ratings. In the first three years we owned the car narry a comment/question. Lately we get quite a few. The thing that encourages me a little is I am not hearing the blame OPEC, big oil, Washington quite so much but a bit more of "what am I personnaly going to have to do" my 2c

Peak oil shows slight uptick:


gasoline shows slight uptick:


but we all know what the nation is really focused on:


Without fail the PO deniers constantly use the same arguments: "There's plenty of oil in the ground to last us hundreds of years" then go on to list all the known quantities of oil we have not developed yet like oil sands and shale, ANWR, etc.

The fatal flaw that all of us PO Aware people know is that the amount of oil in the ground matters not at all, it is all about how fast it can be extracted. Geology, other resource availability and EROI are all limiting factors to speed of extraction.

That is the primary point these deniers are missing

the rate of extraction is generally dependent on the amount in the ground.

"it's all about flow rate" makes a nice bumper sticker. it certainly simplifies the math, but how much oil can be produced from a reservoir with reserves equal to one day's production ? or one month, one hour, one year or one decade for that matter ?

the rate of extraction is generally dependent on the amount in the ground.

"it's all about flow rate" makes a nice bumper sticker. it certainly simplifies the math, but how much oil can be produced from a reservoir with reserves equal to one day's production ? or one month, one hour, one year or one decade for that matter?

You are only partially correct. Let me illustrate: if your imaginary source has 100,000 barrels and you set up a well to extract at 100,000 a day, then your flow rate matches amount in ground. For one day, of course. If that well is situated in a field that has 1 billion barrels, the max flow rate is still 100,000, regardless of the greater reservoir.


Flow rate is also constrained by delivery bottlenecks: tankers available, pipelines available, tanks available, trucks available, etc., etc.



thank you for that reply, nothing in my 33 years in petroleum engineering would have given me a clue. reserves and flow rate are not disconnected.

and in the case of the 100,000 bpd reservoir with 100,000 barrels reserves, what are you going to produce tommorrow ?

capiche ?

elwood, if you are an engineer, how do you make such a simple error? Did I say they are disconnected? No. You *did* say they were dependent upon. This is only partially correct, which is what I said. If by dependent you mean correlated with, but not determined by, then perhaps we are simply using different terms to say the same thing.

The example of the single well with one day's flow was but a thought experiment, but it proves my point: two wells of the same rate, but vastly different reservoirs = correlation but not direct relation.


Did I say they are disconnected?

no, i said they are not disconnected. they are not independent.
and i am not saying they are directly proportional but they are not independent either. this is contrary to what is implied by: "it's all about flow rate".

flow rate(or more correctly flow capacity) is directly proportional to net pay. oil in place is also directly proportional to net pay.

the only case where flow rate rules(it's all about flow rate) is in the case of excess capacity.

reserves and flow rate are not disconnected

They are in the Austin Chalk :-)


"They are in the Austin Chalk :"

i dont see how. the austin chalk isn't producing oil from thin air.

There is no observed correlation between flow rates and reservoir size in the Austin Chalk. In extreme cases, initial flow rates of 8,000 b/day are plugged and abandoned two years later.


Imagine for a moment that you believe OPEC's massive stated reserves are real, and that Saudi Arabia also has a large amount of yet to be discovered oil. If those numbers are correct it is surely possible for them to significantly increase flows from current levels.

Can you imagine how it is hard for a person who believes this to accept that peak oil is happening now or within 20 years?

I just described 99% of people who have any idea about oil.

More examples of how 'the market' works.


The government seeks to reverse a lower court ruling that allowed Arkansas City, Kan.-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef to conduct more comprehensive testing to satisfy demand from overseas customers in Japan and elsewhere.

Less than 1 percent of slaughtered cows are currently tested for the disease under Agriculture Department guidelines. The agency argues that more widespread testing does not guarantee food safety and could result in a false positive that scares consumers.

It is kind of like taking 10,000 sox out of a box and finding that 100% were black. It would be foolish not to take all 1,000,000 sox out of the box to make sure that they really were all black. Does not matter what the cost of taking one sock out the box is, it is more important to be 100% certain.

Did you have a point you wanted to make?

If so, please make it VS It is kind of like.

Actually, I thought jbunt provided a pretty good example of both the Precautionary Priciple and its reason for being. He said just because you've checked the first 10,000 out of 1,000,000 and not found anything, doesn't mean that the remainder are as clean as the first 1%.

Like Peak Oil and Climate Change, Food Security ought to be nonpartisan. The tainted Ball Park Franks that hit the market and killed a few folks awhile back didn't ask which political party they were affiliated with.

We tested the first 100 billion steaks and hamburgers (mostly by eating them) and found out that only a few hundred million were positive for mad cow disease and those were virtually all in England. So now the Japanese want to test all our steaks and burgers for mad cow disease. And the government of the US is forbidding a farmer to do so because it would...?

The WSJ has some interesting articles:

On google-news, Economy Puts the Squeeze on RV Makers

In Effort to Ease Cash Crunch, Coachmen
Taps Insurance, Fleetwood Peddles Assets

The $15 billion RV industry has been among the less-heralded casualties of the mortgage and housing crises, say manufacturers, dealers and others. But the impact has been severe. RV sales peaked in 2006 at about 390,000 vehicles, according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. After a 12% drop in 2007, the trade group expects sales to tumble 14% to about 305,000 vehicles this year, the lowest level since 2001.

Rerun on Yahoo Finance Today's Gas-Guzzling Exotic Cars May Get Zapped by New Fuel Rules

Most of the discussion of federal efforts to boost the average fuel efficiency of new vehicles to 35 mpg by 2015 has focused on how the new standard will do in large sport-utility vehicles. But high-performance cars -- particularly those sold by relatively small manufacturers such as Porche, Lotus, Ferrari and Subaru-- are also targets of the proposed reforms to the CAFE regime.

As far as the government is concerned, the Porsche 911 is a "minicompact car." As such, it should be capable of delivering about 40 mpg by the 2015 model year. Right now, the average for Porsche's fleet of sports cars is about 1 mpg under the current 27.5 mpg standard, and Porsche pays fines to the government to continue selling its cars here.

Porche, Lotus, and Ferrari don't care. They will simply pay the fines and then pass on the costs to their buyers, who also don't care. Subaru, on the other hand WILL care. Subaru will have to migrate to smaller engines and more turbocharged engines to replace their 6 cyl engines, and adopt hybrid technology. Subarus are known for being all wheel drive, which is why their gas mileage isn't as good as they should be. However, with the elimination of an AWD transmission, switching to FWD for the engine, going for a smaller displacement, and then having the hybrid system run the rear wheels exclusively, I believe they can meet their targets.

The advantage of this is that the rear wheels can be free-wheeling when not in use, as opposed to the drag that the AWD transmission puts on a car to have rear wheels that don't always need to provide power. I'm sure that they can easily acheive 35mpg or 40mpg with a hybrid system.

Nope, they'll just start selling Justys in the US again. And they'll probably sell thousands of them this time. The AWD doesn't damage fuel economy that much. Our wagon gets 30mpg on the highway, and it's a 98. Our first two Subaru wagons were front-wheel drive and got about the same mileage as our current AWD wagon. All they have to do is sell more of the 2.2L engines as opposed to the 2.5L and bigger engines they've been selling, and sell the Justy again. I bet they'll do that long before they drop their full-line AWD marketing pitch.

Don't forget the Subaru BRAT.

Time to bring 'em back! ;o)


Wolf in YVR BC

AWD doesn't damage fuel economy that much? Sure it does. If you check out the list of small cars in fuel efficiency order at www.fueleconomy.gov, you'll see that the Impreza is toward the bottom of the list. The Impreza gets 20/27 mpg while cars like the Civic and Corolla get around 26/35. Of course, you could argue that is because the Subaru has a considerably bigger engine. But the reason it needs the bigger engine is that it weighs a lot more due to the weight of the AWD system.

Or to compare a car that comes in both front drive and all-wheel drive configurations, the 2009 Pontiac Vibe with FWD and a 1.8L engine gets 26 city/32 highway. The AWD version, which has a 2.4L engine to push the extra weight, gets 20 city/26 highway. From that I'd guess a theoretical front drive version of the Impreza with a smaller engine would also be able to get around 26 city/32 highway. A considerable improvement.

No, the Impreza is engineered and equipped as a road-rally car. It doesn't need that level of engine; they put it in so that it has crotch-rocket acceleration. People don't by Civics and Corollas because of their fast acceleration, off-road prowess, and nimble handling, but those are big selling points for Imprezas.

You're also comparing apples and oranges in the Vibe. They sell a bigger engine as part of the sport package that includes the AWD. That's more for marketing than weight purposes. They also put the 5-speed automatic transmission in the front-wheel drive versions and a 4-speed automatic in the AWD. If you want the "staid" version with good mileage, you go for the 1.8L with front-wheel drive. If you want the "exciting" "performance" version, you go for the 2.4L with AWD. Here's a Consumer Reports article that compares apples to apples. They found the difference between AWD and FWD with the same engine amounts to 2mpg.

Actually, the biggest stumbling block for Subaru is the fact that their flat four engine is a large bore short stroke design which has a lot more thermal loss through combustion chamber surface area than a conversely designed engine such as that in Honda's new Fit. While the big bore is great for lots of valve area and the short stroke reduces inertial loads at high revs, the low speed efficiency is rather compromised. Unfortunately, the longer stroke would increase the width of the motor and it's tight enough between the framerails as it is.

Having had both 2WD and AWD versions over the last thirty years[!], I'd say the difference from the drivetrain is pretty minimal, maybe 2 mpg on the highway and negligible in town. Urban mileage is pretty poor but I live rural mountains so it's not much of a tradeoff for the convenience.

Steel once again a hot commodity

Executives, though, say the industry has changed so much in such a short time that the price of steel isn't coming down anytime soon. Siegal says now that many mills are owned by foreign companies, they'll just as soon export to their home countries as sell in the USA. That may cause prices to stay high, go higher or even create "spot outages," he says.

Don't expect additional supplies of steel to ease the situation, Parr says. There are a few new steel mills coming online, but there's still nowhere near the capacity to meet the current level of demand, Parr says. "We're five years into this," he says. "Basic materials cycles last decades."

"But if the slowdown was related to shortages of metallurgical coal to feed blast furnaces, there would be serious implications for the capesize fleet, which has driven the dry bulk chartering boom.

“If we have reached a point in the cycle where coal has become a bottleneck in China, its implications for the iron ore trade and hence the dry bulk market are potentially disastrous,” Howe Robinson said."


Looking at the Baltic Dry Index chart below, what you see is cardiac arrest(CA)
for the BDI in the last 7 months.

The article above details why the CA isn't over yet.


DRYS is the leading dry bulk carrier in the world:
A way to play the BDI.


So as demand increases and supply decreases the price of oil goes up and up and up

If Heinberg actually said something like this, I am not sure he is being helpful. There is at least the possibility that peak oil will cause oil prices to be too low, for obvious reasons. High priced oil leads to recession; recession leads to low priced oil. Of course, low priced oil permits recovery, which however, cannot proceed without sending prices back up, and causing a repetition of the cycle.
If you think of price not in any one moment but throughout the cycle, it could well be the case that it is too low.
But too low for what?
Above all: for an accurate understanding of the problem, on the basis of which actually helpful collective responses might begin to occur.

Unfortunately though, if decresed oil use matches decline in production there will be no such slump. remember previous recessions causing a slump in the oil industry happened to a backdrop of supply surplus. Not so this time.

Here is a more helpful statement: unless governments collectively acknowledge the problem and change their growth models (which by the way is political sucicide) then we are F***ed.


Does anyone know of a simple diagram or concept map that shows the relationships among the various factors that "explain" the price of fuel at the pump?

oops My link is 1999. Interesting comparison though.

These links are great! Thanks. And now another request: what about a diagram that attempts to show the relationship among the various factors that "explain" present crude oil prices...

If the changes were instantaneous, the economy & oil price would just find a new equilibrium. The economy would be weaker than before peak oil, and the price would be higher -but perhaps not dramatically so. The problem is that in the real world there are all sorts of time delays built in. In the past this drove an oil boom/bust cycle, as low prices encouraged consumption, and discouraged new investment in production.

We can see these delayed response in industries such as automotive. To respond to an apparently unexpected fuel price increase, requires, first research & development into more efficient cars, than production buildout, then finally replacement of inventory (vehicles) in the field. The problem here arises because this is such a long cycle. Only proper forecasting of the fuel bottleneck several years ahead could substantially mitigate the problem, but that has been almost completely lacking.

There are some public companies that operate as you suggest-many don't. GM isn't in trouble because they didn't see this coming-upper management generally is unconcerned about 10 years down the road (at almost every large firm) as their personal fortunes rest on this quarter, this year. These guys getting million dollar salaries are not nearly as clueless as everyone paints them to be-nobody pays them to worry about the future of the company, so they don't (at all). You think Mozillo didn't see what was coming?-that guy is sharp as a tack-it doesn't matter, he got as much as he could anyway, which is the bottom line.

The unanswered question is why anyone years or decades away from retirement (ha ha) would want to invest their 401K or IRA funds in a company where the top management is incentivized to only optimize returns over the next few quarters?

recession leads to low priced oil

It didn't in the 1970s. There were 2 nasty recessions in the 70s, and oil prices stayed high. Recessions will only lead to lower prices if the reduction in demand from the recession is greater than the reduction in supply from depletion. Once we get off the plateau, it ain't going to happen.

Looks like a 'pay to play' MLM stumbleupon, digg, or whatever.
http://pyrabang.com (if one posts a link with the ?ref= variable, that somehow gets compensated.) Perhaps someone will be willing to pay to play and report back how much they made off of the peak oil message.

Hello TODers,

Survey: 1 in 10 boomers borrowing for everyday expenses

NEW YORK - The economic downturn is hitting roughly one in 10 middle-aged and older Americans especially hard, compelling them to borrow money for everyday living expenses and to seek help from family, friends or charities, according to a survey released Tuesday by the AARP...
Wait till this really gets going. Imagine yourself and a Yerginite buddy: you, because you prepared early, are easily pushing a wheelbarrow with a 100 lb sack of I-NPK, your buddy is struggling along hand-carrying a flat-screen TV. After reaching the farm, then trading with the farmer: who is going to be wheeling back edible goods?

Have you hugged your bag of NPK today?

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

Bob, what is the best (most condensed, most useable, least stinky) method of buying and storing fertilizer?

Go organic. Don't use commercial fertilizers. Rotate legumes with other crops. Compost organic material & work it into your soil. This approach won't feed 6.7 billion people but it will feed you & your family.

Hello Homebrew,

Thxs for responding. I am certainly not an expert at this, but here goes...

That is a difficult question to answer because there are so many different types of I-NPK and O-NPK with tremendous price variability. Shelf-life is not much of a problem if the stuff is kept away from moisture--for example: potent Bat guano from dry caves can be very, very old.

Remember also that it is critical to match the NPK with the future crop, and local soil conditions.

Recall that the Govt is getting increasingly restrictive on who can buy fertilizer. My suggestion is that it is safer, easier, and cheaper to get with a farmer/livestock grower, let him determine his future needs, then buy together in bulk to store on his property [you provide the financing]. This can also be done for his seeds, chicken or pig feed, pesticides, herbicides, etc.

The basic thrust is to allow the farmer to be a farmer, a rancher to be a rancher-- they just have to worry about the weather, not also have to worry about the financial mgmt. end of input costs, etc. It could do much to reduce the high farmer suicide rate around the world.

Of course, my speculative 'Federal Reserve Banks of I-NPK' is just a larger, institutional version of the above biosolar mission-critical investing theme. Local Permaculture Size: An investment club joining with a farmers' purchasing co-op to have a regional warehouse with custom NPK blending of fertilizers, big composting pits, secure big tanks of ammonia & pesticides, advanced topsoil sample-testing, Master Gardeners/Master Farmer advice, etc, to reap further efficiency and resiliency. Then continuing up the scale to Wall Street Funds for this idea.

If TSHTF: fertilizers that can be easily converted into gunpowder/explosives will have the highest postPeak price due to this dual-value, but I think the govt will hoard this stuff for itself [mostly ammonia nitrates], and really crack down on those potential Timothy McVeighs out there. Recall my earlier link on the high-school teacher arrested for having a storage locker of fertilizers and other chemicals.

For home gardeners: just buy what I/O-NPK is best for your soil and try to compost, compost, compost for all your future O-NPK.

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

*IF* you have the space, consider buying/building the tools so that you can process organics into fertilizers. And the tools to apply 'em. Examples of such tools:
Flow through Vermicomposting http://www.vermitech.com/sys_fr.htm
Examples of 'proper' compost mixing and keeping it aerobic:

Foliar feeding of nitrogen (foliar feeding in in general - a good skill to have mastered)

Mechanical tools for chopping up dry or not so dry material.

Stories from the 'cultural revolution' in China had humans stripping the green leaves from trees for green manure.

Otherwise bags of 'standard' fertilizers. 10/10/10 20/20/20 or 20/0/0 0/20/0 0/0/20 (Not sure on the only 20 of type X)

I believe homebrew is refering to "store of wealth".

yes, store of wealth

Invest in a couple of wide neck bottles - fabric conditioner bottles are great. A practical way of collecting a ready supply of free liquid nitrate fertiliser daily.

For those with small gardens container planting is good. I can buy 30 litres plastic food drums for £1 ($2) locally. These last about 5 years. I use them to plant out maize, runner beans, courgettes, and peas. Larger 80 litre containers great for planting potatoes and onions

The NYMEX is showing crude jumping from about $124 to nearly $127, a three dollar rise, in less than a hour. What gives?

Yeah, that jump was rather sharp. There are three stories on Bloomberg which might have had something to do with it.

Oil Rises to Record on Signs Refiners Not Meeting Fuel Demand

Natural Gas Advances as Heating Oil, Crude Surge to a Record

China to Shut Mines, Oil Wells, Plants, After Quake

The story about China's earthquake has this scary note:

Two chemical plants collapsed in Shifang city, burying hundreds of people and leaking more than 80 tons of liquid ammonia, the Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday, citing the work safety bureau.

Awh, it's just them pesky speculators!

E. Swanson

Kunstler is on Glenn Beck tonight. Tune in, CNN Headline News at 7 and 9 EDT.

This could be better than an "Ed Sullivan Shoowe" used to be on a sunday night! Kunstler's "Clusterf..k Nation" has never been closer to the truth than now. My indicator is the article in the DrumBeat about farm input costs keeping up with the rise in food prices. A couple of months ago, farmers were rubbing their hands in glee at the profits they thought they would be making this coming year, now they don't know whether to s... or get off the pot! Plan "B" is next, prepare for continued meltdown. Many thanks to everyone on TOD for making this site so informative and helpful and good luck to all.

Nic in Cascadia.......

Re: New Wave of Nuclear Plants Faces High Costs

This story only goes to prove that it takes energy to make energy. In this situation, the cost of materials has risen along with the price of oil and other FF's. The low cost for electricity generated by the current "fleet" of nukes is the result of accounting based on dollar based capital costs from the 1970's and 1980's. Today's capital costs for these proposed new nukes will be much greater than that which was spent on the previous generation of nukes. Thus, the cost of electricity generated by thee nukes will also be much higher than that from the older generation.

Consider Leanan's post Steel once again a hot commodity as an indication of what can happen to costs for the capital intensive nuclear electric power industry. Also, there's the cost of concrete to consider, which is heavily influenced by the cost of fuel to make the cement.

Get ready for some (more) large increases in the price of electricity to the consumer!

E. Swanson

This is where the translation from what might be theoretically possible to what is practically achievable comes into play. There is simply too much discounting of the costs and difficulties associated with doing projects of this scale. It's pretty much the core of why I end up on the "Doomer" side of things.

"This is where the translation from what might be theoretically possible to what is practically achievable comes into play"

Yep. Techno-fix theoretical analysis rarely takes into consideration the complexity of the system in which we live. It is part of the reason why I see BAU as doomed, and wish for a sensible approach to power-down. But who cares about the long term in our consumer society?

But who cares about the long term in our consumer society?

The people who are on the 'outside' looking in.

And the few who make/keep their family wealth via others consumption.

Yeah, and look how much the figures are worse for 'renewables' - they use a lot more steel and concrete than nuclear.

I am a bit challenged to see how even a very large solar thermal plant in the Mojave desert would "use a lot more steel and concrete than nuclear".

but don't think I am anti-nuke by any means, would like to see it part of a mix that includes wind from North Dakota to Texas (with pumped storage where appropriate) and a Mojave full of solar thermal plants (with some molten salt or whatever is best storage) - I just doubt we will get enough nukes built quickly (and safely) enough to make a big difference - I'd be happy to be wrong on this though...

I am a bit challenged to see how even a very large solar thermal plant in the Mojave desert would "use a lot more steel and concrete than nuclear".

Its just how the numbers work out. A 3 GW thermal reactor takes up a space the size of a house with the supporting genset infrastructure the size of an office building. I don't know of any solar plants that have ever been built that have the capacity of an AP1000 reactor, let alone the actual power output. Wind takes some 5 to 10 times as much steel and concrete for comparable nuclear capacity. I cant imagine solar, being far less energy dense than wind, using less than 1/5th the steel and concrete of wind. If someone else actually has numbers so we can compare...

Solar and wind do have advantages; Build time and licensing are much faster.

The difference between recycled beer can aluminum and aviation grade aluminum.

It take a $100 million deposit to hold a place for the forgings for a nuke pressure vessel. VERY specific metallurgy, grain size, etc. and currently only 4 can be produced per year by Japan Forging.

"tons" is not an adequate measure of the material inputs of nuke vs. wind.


Fair comment - but wind and solar thermal do use a very substantial amount of materials, and the energy costs of producing it.

McDuff - the reason both wind power and solar thermal use so much material is because they are so dispersed, and also intermittent, so to get the equivalent of a 1GW coal or nuclear power plant you need to build around 3-4GW of turbines, or 4-5GW of solar thermal.

That's a lot of turbines, each with their own foundations and cabling, and a very large area of solar dishes and access roads etc.

Fair comment - but wind and solar thermal do use a very substantial amount of materials, and the energy costs of producing it.

Using biomass takes alot of material. And if the biomass is buried and left for the pressure + heat of the earth that takes even more biomass to eventually result in a 'energy material'.

As to the 'costs' - for all the talk of 'costs' the conversation rarely gets to discuss the base unit - the photon. "money" has a value over time, so what is the value of a photon from 1 million years ago....adjusted for 'inflation'?

"Gas prices jump to record above $3.73 as oil rises"


Any comment on the rule of thumb $1 gal gas equals $25 barrel oil? Shouldn't we be around $5 gas with oil at $125

It seems that it is falling by the wayside. Today's crack spread is around 15.60 per barrel with oil at 125. Is it enough to keep refiners happy?

What about this summer-if oil stays in the 120-130 range, do we see higher prices, or a leveling off?

One of the interesting items in recent TWIP reports is that the US is importing gasoline even as refinery utilization is dropping. Some here at TOD have suggested that the rest of the world is mainly refining for the diesel, and gasoline is a by product. Because they are producing more than they need, they can sell the surplus to the US cheap.

If that's true, then US gasoline consumption will have a muted effect on oil prices, and gasoline prices will stay low relative to both oil and distillates. The world is producing lots of surplus gasoline. US demand isn't increasing fast enough to consume it.

I'm paying around 3.75 for gasoline, but diesel is 4.45 at the same station. Originally I had thought that gasoline would skyrocket this summer to bring it back in line with diesel. No I'm not sure sure. The current situation could continue as long as demand for diesel stays high.

$1 gal for each $25 is about right. However, when oil started skyrocketing a few months ago the refiners and retailers were squeezed first, absorbing much of the increased costs. I suspect that the refiners and retailers will gain back a little margin as consumers become accustomed to the prices or if the oil price surge subsides.

Take a look at www.fuelgaugereport.com . The graph tells the story. In June 2007 there was a nice profit margin in refining (vertical difference between blue and purple) and a nice profit margin in retail (purple to green). Refiners got squeezed starting in October 2007 and the retailers lost all their profit margins in February 2008.

Oops... numerator, denominator, shifting decimal places, it's all the same! No, not really. It's true that a barrel of oil yields somewhere near 25 gallons of gasoline, but it also gives you a bunch of diesel, jet fuel, and other stuff. Assuming you can get similar $$$ for those other things (and that is usually the case), gasoline should come out to be about 25/1000 = $0.025 increase in a gallon for each $1 increase in a barrel of oil.

No I use a different method.
$125/42=2.98 + 50 cents for taxes + 15 cents for refining + 10 cents for retail and distribution. Regular = $3.73

Currently the crack spread on gas is low, however the crack spread on diesel is high.

$200/42=4.76 + 50 + 15 + 10 or $5.51/Gal

I apologize if this has been discussed before, but has anyone seen these commercials being aired on television?


On the commercial, and on the website they tout this statement "The Department of Interior estimates there are 112 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil beneath U.S. federal lands and coastal waters. That’s enough oil to fuel 60 million cars for 60 years, when you take into account the average yield of gasoline from a barrel of crude oil and the average number of gallons of gasoline consumed annually by a passenger vehicle"

When I divide 112 billion by 22 million barrels per day (US consumption per EIA) I get 5090 days, or ~14 years. A little different number than 60 years, plus the ad campaign does not even mention peak oil


The whole ad campaign pisses me off, now we will have people spouting off, "Well that commerical said, we have enough oil here, for 60 years, lets just drill ANWR, we'll be fine". Like another article up top said, "It's the flows stupid!". This is why I propose "Peak Oil" should be renamed "Peak Oil Flow" or POF for short, people will have to question the "flow" part of the name.

"Technically recoverable" - cute. Technically, my lifetime earnings potential is equal to that of Bill Gates. So what.

Aw, don't go away mad!

The secret is that there are a lot more than 60 million cars in the USA, around 3-4 times that. Perhaps their next goal will be that only supporters of drilling ANWR get to drive!

Statistics - I beleive, are that there are 700 autos for every 1,000 people in the US. Of course, not all are driven at once because there are a number of people who have multiple cars, e.g., keeping a car at a vacation home. Nonetheless, I think that 60 million is probably less than half of the daily driven cars.

Not that it matters, but when I do the math, I get 72 years:

112 billion barrels x 22 gallons gas/bbl = 2.464 trillion gallons

2.464 trillion / 60 million cars = 41,000 gallons per car

41,000 gallons x 21 mpg = 862,000 miles per car

862,000 / 12,000 miles per year = 72 years.

But of course you are right, it's the flows that matter.

US has 200+ million cars and light trucks or 3.33 times as many as said in the ad. 72years/3.33 = 21.6 years.

Also what about EROEI ? Those barrels come at an energy cost, maybe one barrel of energy required to produce five? That reduces the recoverable oil to 90 billion barrels net usable. Also how much of the oil is actually "barrels of oil equivilent" and likely gas, not oil?

I am not knocking your numbers, only interjecting questions that show the ad's 60 years of oil is mostly wishful thinking.

Of course you are right, but that's the genius of the ad. They say "60 million cars for 60 years" and people hear "all the cars in the US for 60 years".

I would bet that they picked the number of years first, and then backed into the number of cars. 60 years is a good time frame, because that's longer than most people think ahead, but not enough to be crazy. They could have said 10 million cars for 600 years, but people don't care about 600 years in the future, so there was no need.

homebrew -

Well, what did you expect? This 'Energy Tomorrow' website is put out by the American Petroleum Institute.

The OIl Industry, through the API, is attempting to take advantage of public concern and anger over the high price of gas at the pump to pressure the government into opening ANWR and other currently off-limits areas to exploration and production. Lately, oil executives have been tooting the same horn.

One of the basic messages: If it weren't for those tree-hugging commie environmentalist whackos, we'd be swimming in $20 oil. Secondary message: no need to fret over alternative energy, as we have enough oil and gas to last longer than you're going to be alive, so leave energy up to us. Don't worry; be happy.

Unfortunately, this message IS getting through. Hardly a day goes by that our local newspaper doesn't have at least one letter to the editor saying that our problems will be over if only Big Oil is allowed to drill, drill, drill.

You've got it exactly right. I think that big oil is gearing up for one last, big push in the arctic and offshore, then they know that they are finished.

And they know full well that when the price at the pump rolls past $10.00/gal, ANWR & offshore restrictions are history.

Yeah, "one last, big push ... then they know they are finished."

I say lets give em the rope to hang themselves with; then they will have no more bullshit to employ. Given decline rates, by the time any oil from areas now restricted hits the market, its impact will not alter whatever the current price. If such legislation passed tommorrow, the price of oil would still continue its upward march. Big Oil's promises of reduced prices given greater reign will be shown as lies, with Big Oil finally discredited politically.

All I hear from these commercials is "drill, drill, drill..." I have never heard any evidence presented to say there is any appreciable hydrocarbons in these areas. I am sure all of these offshore sites have been surveyed seismically. Where are the stories saying let us drill there because we have evidence there are bonanzas to be had. I know they want to keep their cards close to the vest but you would think there would be hints of discoveries presented.

Not true! There is more than enough oil in places like ANWR or off-limits offshore to make hundreds or even thousands of oilmen rich!

Of course, it wouldn't move the needle in terms of world production.

For what it is worth, the United States Geographical Service, for one, is saying that there is a lot of oil in those places. These are the people that you are paying taxes for their independent opinion. But, I suppose that the Oil companies have bribed them and that they are lying.

Thats rich coming from you. So if the message is a favorable estimate of recoverable oil from the USGS thats A-OK, but if its AGW from almost every science organization - then its not good enough.

yes, you have it, science is only correct when it agrees with one's political beliefs - otherwise it should be dismissed as some sort of left-wing eco-terrorist plot

But, I am humbled to be in a group that includes one of the smartest people in Israel.


"Dr. Shariv, a prolific researcher who has made a name for himself assessing the movements of two-billion-year-old meteorites"

well, his area of research certainly has a lot to do with terrestrial climate studies - so I can see why you would think that he, rather than the vast majority of climate scientists is correct.

Sorry for such a basic question, and I'm sure this info is available somewhere, but if you know... How long would it be from the time restrictions would be lifted, until the oil starting flowing. How about the time until peak flow occurs?

The most documented is ANWR's development timeframe. Here the EIA says that "between 7 and 12 years were required from an approval to explore and develop the coastal region of ANWR until first production."

Expanding into restricted areas in the GOM and CA would be much shorter by comparison as the logistics are already in place, aside from the offshore rigs and pipelines; but you can count on political resistence from both FL and CA.

A further note on ANWR. As the thaw procedes in the North, development time will lengthen and costs will rise even more, making the 12 year prediction more likely. By 2020, the supply squeeze will be quite painful and having ANWR oil coming on line at that time will be welcome.

Any idea on what the flow rates would look like? 1-2 mbd?

As with Alaska's North Slope, flow rates will be regulated by pipeline size. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline has a 4' diameter that allowed a peak rate of 2.1Mbpd, which is now 720Kbpd. Over its 31+ year life, 15+Bbbls have slid down the pipe to Valdez. So, given the much smaller size of ANWR, it would be possible to stretch the resource by making the pipe smaller. Most likely, any pipeline from ANWR will be connected to the TAP at similar flow rates. On the EIA link, you'll find a link to Table 1, which provides the projected size of the development as it will come online in stages.

Maybe that's why Shell is buying up water rights. When we're reduced to medieval peasants, the owners of the water will be our political system.



Senate votes 97-1 to force President Bush to stop adding to Strategic Petroleum Reserve - Dow Jones reports. More soon.

Who was the holdout?

And who played hookey?

My guess was Senators Clinton and Obama, but apparently both took time out from their busy schedules to show up and vote.

It was Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) who did not vote.

Only Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., voted against the measure.

One of the rare votes by my state's esteemed senator that I agreed with. What a bunch of group think. The purpose of the SPR is for cases of interruption in supplies. With what I (and most on this site) see coming we need to fill this thing up now, because the price ain't going down in the long-term. I hope that our Govt. is very stingy with releasing this precious reserve (yeah right... but we can hope). I think the SPR shouldn't be tapped for any price spikes or market mayhem; only for true interruptions in supply and then for critical needs.

I agree. I think they should open up offshore and/or ANWR drilling on the following condition: The US gov't has the right to buy the first 1 billion barrels @ $100/bbl for the SPR. We should be expanding and filling for when TSHTF.

The US gov't has the right to buy the first 1 billion barrels @ $100/bbl for the SPR.

I'd mandate the billion bbls as the fee to extract, but make it payable over 5-? years so whatever company does the drilling has the opportunity to recoup its costs. I would also make its export illegal.

Wouldn't it be easier to just 'move' the SPR to, say, the ANWR?

I can't tell if you're running on S85 or not.

Unfortunately, you only get 60% of the sarcasm with S85.

Well, when you think about the SPR's rationale, ANWR is one component, as are other shut-in areas.

When one considers the amount of US economic activity made possible by oil at its 1950 flow rates--about 11Mbpd--and the gross amounts of inefficiency then (and now), I would say we could have a similar level of economic activity at our current flow rate--3.5Mbpd--given European levels of fuel efficiency. Such a program of autarky would produce dislocations; but since such a goal would be planned, side-effects could also be anticipated and planned for.

The Tubes asked the immortal question: What do you want from life? I think it quite possible to Live long and prosper at much lesser levels of consumption; but there would be very few millionaires and no get-rich-quick schemes.

Just west of Prudhoe Bay is the Alaskan Naval Petroleum Reserve which covers an area much larger than ANWR. Why don't we here about calls for drilling in an area that was actually set aside for drilling? Because the fight over ANWR is not about the oil, it is about eliminating all environmental laws that protect our air, water, and wildlife. Once they can cover ANWR with wells and pipelines they'll be drilling Yellowstone for geothermals, and calling for a mile high dam across the Grand Canyon. Also forget about CCS or coal power without mercury and sulphur shooting up the chimney. As an executive at Amway once told me," The banks don't loan money for cutting pollution".

so...this stops the filling up ... but does it stop the expansion underway? And what do they expect...or are waiting for...the price to drop?! Or do we ever replenish. This is a political not a strategic move by our gov.

And I does it kill this initiative to swap heavy oil for light?


Nothing stops yet. Wouldn't the House also have to vote on it first?

And even then, it would be countered by a Bush 'signing statement', unitary executive style.

My question is: who eventually gets to use what's being put into the SPR? Not the average American consumer.

Big deal!!!! 70,000 barrels per day is nothing!!!! There will be no effect on the price, and we will just have less in reserves for an emergency. The Congress/Senate are a bunch of idiots!!!
When we get cut off from the OPEC supply, we will wish we had stored more oil.
Now Iran is threatening to reduce exports already!!!
$4 per gallon will seem cheap by next year!!!!
Oil is not going to go down in price, ever!!!

Perhaps this has been discussed already, but I haven't seen it. Matt Simmons says that some 100 trillion US$ need to be invested over the next 8 years or so to keep the oil flowing. This is a huge sum, equal to several years of the US GDP, and is therefore quite unlikely to be done. It would amount to something like $400 for each barrel (not just "additional" barrels) to be produced over that period.

Some people here asked about the seriousness of that number. Today's thought: is this just a new way Simmons is trying to get the Peak Oil word out? PO doubters often say that there's plenty of oil in the ground, and all that's needed is "enough" investment in getting it out -- and that's probably true in the short run (never mind the EROEI). Perhaps Simmons set out to compute the size of the needed investment, since that's the only language some people are willing to hear, and the resulting number may scare them out of their box?

Can't we just stock up on a lot of duct tape, WD-40, bailing wire, and twine? Why invest that much money on a rapidly depleting asset?

Possibly 100 trillion US dollars might pay for some windmills and solar infrastructure-with a few bucks left over for a strategic partnership with Brazil and their sugar fuel.

The problem was, the word "trillion" didn't scare ignorant people enough to stop them from voting for leaders promising an eternal war on terror, or from vast home equity loans. Both of those are going to involve trillions too.

If $100,000,000,000,000 scared us, we would already be screaming about outstanding derivatives contracts, which are now several times that amount.

The money that changes hands in the investment market is 10 to 20 times larger than those things that are counted in calculating GDP. The total value of all investments are 50 to 100 times that of a year's GDP. It's like the proverbial iceberg. 90+% of our economy is hidden from the view of we commoners. $12 trillion per year is no big deal for Wall St.

Today is a pretty special day for me. I just received word that Nova Scotia Power has awarded our firm the contract for the Small Business Direct Install Lighting Programme which is going to keep my partners and I very busy over the next two years and hopefully well beyond that.

As mentioned in a previous Drumbeat, under the terms of this programme, the customer obtains a brand new, state-of-the-art, high-efficiency lighting system, with full warranty and support, at effectively no charge. NSP will pay 80 per cent of the cost of the upgrade and the remainder will be repaid, interest-free, over 5 years via the customer's monthly bill. I say no charge because the reduction in the customer's demand and energy charges will more than offset the cost of financing, thus generating a net positive cash flow from day one. For the customer, it's a complete slam dunk. The utility wins too because their DSM costs are considerably less than the cost of new generation and they'll be permitted to recover a portion of their lost revenue through a separate rate charge. Ratepayers also benefit as these avoided costs are in turn passed on to all consumers.

NSP's generation is predominately thermal, principally coal, and the financial and regulatory environments for new coal-fired generation at this time are decidedly mixed. Moreover, thermal coal is becoming increasingly more costly and that trend is likely to continue going forward and, of course, there's also the spectre of emission fees. And, needless to say, the less coal we burn the better it is for all of us.

I'm truly thrilled and honoured to be a part in this project and I very much look forward to working with Nova Scotia Power in promoting the efficient use of electricity.


That sounds as though the power company is getting the message that it is time to change the system, rather than just doling out energy assistance grants. And they made a decision within the week that they promised they would in the RFP , I'm impressed. Congratulations!

Thanks, HO. I neglected to mention that Conserve Nova Scotia is a joint partner and that the provincial Department of Energy and the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board will play a role as well. NSP did their homework on this one and have drawn upon utility experience (and personnel) from elsewhere, notably New England. Everyone is fully committed to making this project a success and, again, I'm very proud that our company was chosen to be part of the team.


Great work Paul!

I see this type of utility/customer efficiency upgrade project as the way forward in getting more out of fewer fossil resources. Couple this program with an "increasing block rate structure" so customers using more energy, pay a higher rate and energy conservation becomes the low cost resource.


VERY well done :-))

Best Hopes for many MWh saved,


Thanks Alan and BTU; much appreciated.

The target is to complete 150 upgrades by the end of this year. Given that these customers will have a demand of 100 kW or less, we might assume the average reduction per customer will run in the range of 10 to 15 kW. Assuming these businesses operate, on average, 3,500 hours a year, the savings related to the work completed within the first six months of this programme would be about 6.6 MWh/year (i.e., 12.5 kW x 3,500 hrs/year x 150). By the end of the two-year pilot, we should be closing in on the 30 or 40 MWh/year mark. If we were to simply target larger retail customers that operate 24x7 and that have proportionally higher lighting loads, we could conceivably double or triple that, but then it becomes a matter of fairness, in that these benefits are intended to be shared equally by all customers eligible to participate, regardless of load size (as tempting as it would be, we can't cherry pick).



What is the annual energy use threshold or range to be considered for your program? In Minnesota we are working on a Measurement and Verification Protocol (M&V) that initially works with the very large energy users, both electricity and natural gas. Do you think small, residential customers will someday be included in a program similar to the one you are currently working on?

Hi btu,

That's a great question and I wish I could offer you a good answer. I don't believe NSP has established a lower boundary as such or, if they have, it hasn't been disclosed to us. I can tell that to be eligible to participate in this programme, the customer must have a commercial account and be in good standing, and have an average demand of 100 kW or less and an annual energy usage of no more than 300,000 kWh. There had been some mention earlier during our initial briefing as to how the economic performance of these retrofits will vary by customer type and churches were singled out as particularly weak candidates when compared to, say, a 24-hour drug or convenience store. Nova Scotia Power will pre-screen eligible customers based on various selection criteria and maybe some of the smaller customers will be excluded from consideration -- I really can't say. Again, as I understand it, it's a matter of generating the maximum return from every dollar invested without unfairly discriminating against those who qualify but whose consumption and/or usage patterns are less than optimal.

With respect to residential customers, there is to be a separate programme to target low-income customers but I'm afraid I don't have any details at this time. If I find anything out, I'll be sure to pass it along. Best of luck to you and your state with respect to the M&V.


Is Pat Robertson related to Jim Kunstler in any way?(just kidding)

I accidentally saw a bit of 'The 700 Club' this morning and I caught a bit of the show a couple weeks ago. Robertson is banging the drum HARD about our energy crisis. I haven't heard him use the term PO but he is spreading the word. End of the suburbs, not enough diesel for tractors, mass transit revamp ...

Pat Robertson 2008 predictions at his wiki

He has had Matt Simmons on his show. He's a peak oil believer. He may think it's god's punishment for our sins, but he's a peak oil believer.

Robertson is banging the drum HARD about our energy crisis.

As well someone should. The future lack of natural gas is part of my pitch to ask for a variance so I can expand my solar collectors up to the property line. I have no clue if the argument will be accepted. (Thus far all my 'structures' are temporary, thus not in violation.)


Cowpoke writes: "Robertson is banging the drum HARD about our energy crisis. I haven't heard him use the term PO but he is spreading the word."

This will be enjoyable. See http://www.raptureready.com/rap2.html. Notice that "oil supply/price" is item 8 of 45 on the index. And do notice the other items weighted at "5" on the index: Satanism, unemployment, interest rates, several others getting down to civil rights which seem to rate a 6 (above Satanism and oil price). Enjoyable reading this.

In some folks minds every uptick in crude sends the "Rapture Index" higher. So to them PO signifies an imminent Rapture and then Armageddon.

Pat knows where we are on the rapture index. He's playing to his audience.

Breaking news, CNN.com:

"Senate votes 97-1 to force President Bush to stop adding to Strategic Petroleum Reserve - Dow Jones reports. More soon."

Bush doesn't believe that congress can force him to do anything. Watch for a signing statement on this one.

Basically, 99% of US politicians have decided to sell the story (likely successfully) that high oil prices are temporary.

And here's todays reflection of 'the market' and how it works in health care. Ya see, to make a multi-use drug happen - you have to put a toxin into the vaccine. Mercury is the toxin of choice. All to help the profits of healthcare.

via http://cryptogon.com/?p=2564

Healy goes on to say public health officials have intentionally avoided researching whether subsets of children are “susceptible” to vaccine side effects - afraid the answer will scare the public.

(So remember folks - if you start eating more cilantro to try and purge metals, do add more of the 'good' metals back into your diet. I developed the 'lack of potassium muscle twitches' after taking WAY too much cilantro via juicing)

For another view, with references to scientific studies, see this page from the Vaccine Education Center of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

That said, I don't necessarily believe what the medical establishment says. In particular, mercury is a major component of dental "amalgam", and is supposed to sit in your mouth for decades (in quantities a million times higher than the thimerosal in vaccines) and supposedly not leak. Yeah right. Ever since I've learnt that, I've insisted on the alternative, "plastic" fillings - which of course may have their own issues... As probably do the coatings that they nowadays like to apply preventatively to kids teeth.

..and if we were just taking all that processed sugar and making biofuels out of it instead of eating it, we might even raise a generation that didn't need the fillings in the first place! (Many processed carbs are part of the cause as well..)

Wherever he went, Dr. Price found that beautiful straight teeth, freedom from decay, stalwart bodies, resistance to disease and fine characters were typical of primitives on their traditional diets, rich in essential food factors. http://www.westonaprice.org/nutritiongreats/price.html

We've been using many of the mainstays of Weston Price diets for about a year now, following my wife's hearing that she was still losing bone density.. and my last two dental visits have seen my gums start to regain lost ground and the pockets start to shallow. As Bendzela says, the org can get a little 'precious' and culty.. but that shouldn't be anything too alien to a Peak Oiler. Just try to find facts and supportable information. A lot of it is sensible and testable..


One has to wonder if Iran's not trying to induce a little more hardship on the U.S. economy, to dissuade our citizens and Bush from launching a bunker busting attack on their nuclear facilities. The more our economy suffers from high fuel prices, the less incentive there will be to attack a country that can cut off the flow of oil from the Middle East by blocking the straits of Hormuz. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=straits+of+hormuz

I suggest we apply the Okham's razor here and pick the most simple explanation - money.

Such an announcement costs nothing to it's authors while boosting their oil revenues considerably (with exports of around 2mln.bbl/day the $4 price jump would bring $8 mln/day to the troubled Iranian budget, or almost $3bln/year). I strongly doubt they can afford to do it in practice, even with increased prices the loss of revenue will be huge.

Actually, there is no revenue loss at all-likely a revenue gain unless prices e.g. 5 years from now are below $126.

Wouldn't 2 million barrels per day equal $240 million at $120 per barrel? That comes to $88 billion per year. With oil prices at twice last years level the Iranians or any other producer only need export half (1 mbpd)as much oil/condensate to get the same revenue. But if you want to account for dollar falling 20%, the exports must be 1.25 mbpd.

So the Iranians could from now on export only half as much oil and get the same revenue. If this action drives up oil price then everybody in export land wins! And the guy saving his oil for later higher prices wins even more! These Iranians, they not so stupid.

I'm not sure it is so simple... when you a have certain cash at hand (the ability to produce and sell at high price) and on the other hand you have the uncertainty that the oil prices will stay that high longer term, the pressure is to produce as much as possible and cache in while you can.

Government budgets are pretty much like individual budgets - with time expenses grow until they reach income, so I suspect they can not reduce their current cache flow in any significant way.

Concerning the top link Iran rumor pushes oil to new record, gas jumps above $3.73

There is more here: Iran plans to cut oil output next month

Iran plans to reduce oil output starting next month, probably by 400,000 to 1 million barrels per day, the semi-official Fars News Agency on Tuesday quoted an "informed source" as saying.

This is huge. Not just the fact that they are doing this, but this may also be a sign of things to come for other oil exporters. Why produce now when you can hold it off the market and sell it for twice as much a little further down the road. That is if they decide to sell it at all. Some nations, like Russia or Mexico, may just decide to keep more for themselves.

At any rate, that much oil taken off the market will mean things could get a little desperate in the oil market.

Ron Patterson

Iran denies plans to cut oil output

Iran's Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari has denied media reports that the oil-rich country is planning to reduce its oil production.

"Such an issue was actually raised but no decision was made on the matter," the minister told reporters on the sidelines of the 10th gathering of the country's senior oil managers on Tuesday.

"I reject reports to the effect that any cuts in production or exports are being considered by Iran. As has always been the case, we have the conditions in the world market under scrutiny, meaning that subject to the actual conditions prevailing in the market a decision could be made on whether to cut or increase production," Nozari added.

A source who spoke to Fars News Agency on the condition of anonymity had said earlier that Iran was planning to cut output by 400,000 to one million barrels per day starting next month.

And there's this update which I can't get at just now.

Iran 'reviewing' crude output cut
PRESS TV, Iran - 43 minutes ago
Iran's Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari had earlier denied media reports that the oil-rich country was planning to cut its crude output by 400000 to one ...

Undertow, that report was several hours ago. Since then it has been confirmed by the Iranian President that it is being considered.

Iran 'reviewing' crude output cut

“Such a proposal has been put forward and is currently under expert review,” Ahmadinejad said in a Tuesday press conference in Tehran when asked about the possibility of reducing oil production.

Ron Patterson

Yes, I could see it in google but couldn't get at the text. Can get it now.

Maybe GWB can threaten an attack if Iran cuts output. Oh wait a minute...

Darwinian -

Somehow I cannot help but wonder whether Iran's announcement that it is 'considering' a cut in oil production might have less to do with oil economics and more to do with reminding the oil-consuming countries that Iran could drop a great big turd in the global punchbowl if the US and/or Israel should be foolish enough to attack them.

Sure they would lose a major source of revenue if they took a sizeable amount of their oil off the market, but so did the US when they embargoed oil exports to Japan in September (?) of 1941. Just like a shooting war, economic warfare doesn't come cheap.

The revenue is not lost-the USA ADD mentality of judging financial results minute by minute might not have infected Iran totally.

BrianT -

Well, if by that you mean that if Iran defers selling some of its finite oil reserves, it is over the long haul not going to lose revenue, then you are quite correct.

However, the critical revenue stream for a one-product country, such as Iran, has a certain immediacy about it, so even a short-term loss of revenue can be quite painful. Yet, they are probably willing to bear that pain to show the West that indeed two can play the game of economic sanctions.

The US needs Iran's oil to contribute to the global oil market far more than Iran needs the stuff being denied them by the sanctions. They know this, and I hope the Bush Regime knows this, but I have my doubts about the latter.

As I see it, the US neocons have a real conflict of interest here. They want to punish Iran militarily, but they also want relief from the almost out-of-control rise in oil prices. The two are diametrically opposed goals. But as with all huge bureaucracies, the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing.

I think they completely misunderestimated the situation

I think this is related to the IAEA nuclear issue and its related sanctions. Also, Iran has increased its numbers of VLCCs used to store heavy, sour crude, an indication that the market for such is over supplied. It makes sense to decrease this type of oil's production. And of course, the items don't mention any distinctions as to the type of oil production being reduced. The market reaction is illustrative, however.

Not exactly related, the Chinese earthquake will likely cause even more pressure on the diesel export market. Diesel was $4.50 in Portland, OR on Sunday. I will not be surprised to see it break $5 well before July 4.

Not exactly related, the Chinese earthquake will likely cause even more pressure on the diesel export market. Diesel was $4.50 in Portland, OR on Sunday. I will not be surprised to see it break $5 well before July 4.

Forget the 4th of July.... It's here now!

It's running between USD $4.45 and $4.85 in the L.A. metro area now. Yesterday, I saw diesel for $4.99.9 in Lake Arrowhead, CA (mountain resort area above San Bernardino).

Yeah, I just clicked to GasBuddy zoomed in on SF Bay area, and saw San Bruno Shell reg. reported at $4.3999 and diesel $4.7999, while another Shell in San Mateo has reg. at $4.519. Yes, there are still stations selling for 3.8999, but they are hard to find. It seems prudent to replace what you use ASAP because the price will certainly be higher next time.

"Iran plans to reduce oil output starting next month, probably by 400,000 to 1 million barrels per day"

I thought they produced 3.5 mbd, not 1.4 mbd. When did it drop?

You are reading it wrong Cslater. Iran produced 4,040,000 barrels per day in February according to the EIA. They plan to cut that by a minimum of 400,000 barrels a day or up to a maximum of 1 million barrels per day.

Ron Patterson

Sweet!!!! Maybe people in the US will start to notice that Oil exporters are reducing exports.
We just need to get off of oil ASAP. Then tell Iran, et al to drink their oil, while they are being nuked. We don't need any oil from the Middle East. We can just take over Venezuela on a weekend, and survive for many years to come! Fossil Free Forever!!!!!

Hopefully Maverick hasn't thrown out his fighter jock getup-you can charge Chavez with terrorism and have FOX do some sort of reality show where lucky Americans throw tomatoes at him.

The hardest thing to explain to normal Americans is that all these producers are actually extending our future by forcing us to conserve immediately, while Congress is throwing it away by encouraging us to consume. Apparently they care more about the well-being of their children than we do ours.

Cogent as usual.

I keep wondering about that 80% 'wrong direction' poll (do any see fundamental change needed?) and the possibility there was a backlash amonst voters in North Carolina against the gas-tax holiday. Lots of reporter buzz to that effect.

There's trouble brewin' and it seems it's bigger than a band-aid will cure, does the species have some inner protective instinct that senses this? It's the 1/2 of Americans $48k and under crowd who really can feel the squeeze right now (along with those poorer in the rest of the world). If it possibly goes beyond the 'just make it stop at all costs' meme, then I'm hoping we're not all as dumb as we get treated.

And yeah cutting us off sooner is the most merciful thing they can do, in the long run it's the enablers who are killing us.

Matt Mushalik has updated some of his graphs and prepared a new one to show what has happening recently with respect to EIA production. Basically, what is happening is that many of the "swing" producers are swinging together to produce an increase in production. It is not clear how long that swing will last. The countries that he expected to be "growing countries" are doing relatively little -- not good news.

This is an update of one of his graphs showing incremental production. (Take several graphs of oil production for different countries and slice off the bottom parts that aren't doing anything. Then add the tops back together, to show how production has been changing recently.) This graph shows world incremental production, with "growing countries" like Brazil, Russia, and Canada stacked at the bottom. The declining countries are in the middle, and the countries with more variable production on top:

The place where the biggest change in production is taking place is the top layers - Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the biggest swing producers, both swinging in the same direction. The places where one might hope for production increases, at the bottom of the graph - Russia, China, Angola, Brazil for example, are not showing big increases.

This is a graph that just shows incremental production since August 2007:

A big part of the reason for the increase is that Saudi Arabia (by 600,000 barrels a day) and Iraq (by 400,000 barrels a day) increased production at the same time. Even at this higher level of 9.2 million barrels a day, Saudi Arabia is still below its recent peak production of 9.6 million barrels a day in 2005. Saudi Arabia is no longer acting in its traditional role of swinging up with others are down - instead swing at the same time.

The "growing countries" and Angola add to the increase since August 2007, but haven't shown any major uptick recently. UK and Norway were at a temporary low spot in August 2007. Their production rebounded by October 2007, but since then has begun to slide again.

Suspicion rises over higher food costs

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Forced to pay for once-free sandwich toppings and twice as much for some steak cuts, shoppers are wondering whether higher grocery bills and restaurant tabs truly reflect the trickle down of a global rise in food prices.

Veronica Banks, who lives outside St. Louis, said she suspects neighborhood corner stores are charging more for many items under the assumption customers won't pay the bus fare to go bargain hunting.

I have had the opposite feeling-I don't know how many of these restaurants stay alive-the one around the corner had a great chicken noodle soup (huge) for $5.99 when oil was $10, now that oil is $126, the soup is $5.99.

I've been wondering how long the $0.99 cheeseburgers at Wendy's will last. It doesn't seem possible that they will be able to sell them at that price for much longer, given the price of oil, corn and beef.

IMO an interesting benchmark will be when a new large (50") HD Plasma costs less than filling up the family sedan. My guesstimate would be 2015.

The Wendys by my house here in Des Moines dumped the .99 menu. They are all $1.29 now.

They could sell them as loss-leaders as long as other firms have a 99-cent menu, since generally people will also buy a soda which has a huge markup. But there will probably be "value menu creep" with fewer things on the lo-price menu, and more stuff priced up to $1.99. Along with, perhaps, 99-cent specialties like a french fry sandwich.

Could be they are substituting ingredients. What other meats taste just like chicken?

As a former restaurant manager, I can assure you the profit margin on a "huge" bowl of chicken noodle soup is also Huge. My back-of-the-envelope figuring: For the retail price of the bowl of soup, @$6, I could purchase, also at retail, enough ingedients to make just under 6 gallons of soup--even more if I were to thin it to Campbell's consistency. Assuming a pint (16oz.)[huge] serving, I would get about 48 servings, or $270 in gross sales from $6 for a 2.22% food cost.

Maybe they should take a glance at this table.


Cheap oil, cheap food. Paying less than 10% of disposable income for food won't last. Restaurant meals for the majority of us were a novelty only a short while ago.

Growing up in 80s we went out to eat maybe once a month, and there was nowhere near the selection of chain restaurants there are now. Things will start getting back to the "good old days" with the closing of more restaurants around town. Maybe its just because our particular market is saturated with restaurants, but I have already noticed a few that have gone out of business.

Columbia, mo

Maybe its just because our particular market is saturated with restaurants, but I have already noticed a few that have gone out of business.

This is anecdotal evidence for the economic scenario I wote about in yesterday's DrumBeat. Folks once employed at those restaurants will contribute to the decline of other retailers, which include restaurants (or should): Even if re-employed, being recently unemployed reinforces the need for a cash reserve for hard times that few have built because of an accumulative, consumerist lifestyle, which prompts a person to save, not spend. In addition, the local government's (and state's) budget might be tipped into deficit due to decreased tax revenues, not to mention higher costs. The squeeze is on, and it's accelerating.

Yeah, but it will be all the good, family owned restaurants that will close first, and the chains last.

Actually, I very much disagree, having spent 25 years in the food business. Most chains are franchises and have much smaller profit margins, and often greater costs. Also, better quality food and service are usually found at family owned restaurants, and they also tend to have greater customer loyalty.

Not to mention that some of the family joints have the land and building paid in full and tap the children for labor.

One of several things I like about New Orleans is the VERY high percentage of locally owned restaurants (about 97%) and paucity of chains.

We are back about pre-Katrina #s, with overall quality rivaling pre-K.

More details at http://www.nomenu.com

Best Hopes for Fine Dining Tonight at Lillette's :-)


Forget the Brother-in-law.. You keep it up, and you'll be seeing a bunch of TOD'ers begging for couchspace down there.

Jonesing for some Beignettes and Gumbo.. (sp?)

I think fast food places will do very well, because they are cheap, and people will "trade down" rather than go without. As long as they can, anyway.

That's why McDonald's is kicking butt right now. It's not cool and it's not healthy, and the food is not that great...but it's cheap. The people who would have gone to Denny's or Olive Garden or their local diner are now going to McDonald's.

I just read Learsy's article and it simply confirms for me the "head in the sand" position of so many human beings. Reading the article and then the comments, it's always someone else's fault - the Saudis, Bush, the IOCs, but never ever is it the fault of those consuming the product.

Petroleum consumers are much like crack heads, never once admitting to their own participation in the problem which they bemoan.

Learsy is completely out of touch with reality. He not only buys into the belief that Saudi has huge reserves but believes they may be three or four times what they claim.

Furthermore based on updated information from those certainly in the know, namely senior Saudi Aramco officialdom, reserves may be as much as three to four times the generally recognized 260 billion barrels.

So how can you reason with a man who believes such nonsense? How can the world ever understand the problem we face as long as Senior Saudi Officials are putting out such nonsense? Will they be forced to tell the truth when the price of oil starts to cause a severe recession? It is going to get interesting.

Ron Patterson

I don't think the Saudis will ever pump a lot more than 3.6 gb in a year (as they did in 1980 according to EIA). But I think they will be pumping large amounts for a long time. The problem is the Export-Land Model. Even if they are pumping 10 mbd in 2025, they will be consuming 5 mbd, which means we will be in such an intense bidding war with the Chinese over those exports that the price will be sky high.

I wouldn't be surprised if they pump over 200 gb by the year 2100, but I don't think we will be seeing much of it.

I wouldn't be surprised if they pump over 200 gb by the year 2100, but I don't think we will be seeing much of it.

I think that you are smoking some pretty good stuff.

I was using: 1% increase until 2015, Flat until 2020, then 1.5% decline thereafter. Including 2008 flows, I get 200.879 gb to 2100.

Agreed, Ron.

Learsy and his ilk are ignoring two essential facts.

1. Since 2004 production has been on a plateau and nearly flat.
2. Since 2004, China and India have increased their combined consumption by almost 6 million barrels per day.

Now given #2 above, where did those 6 million barrels come from? Out of the hands of others who were unable to bid as high as China and India did. Until Learsy and his readers understand that one tiny issue about supply and demand, we will continue having articles about those "evil Ay-rabs" not giving us "our" oil.

There's no way to even have a discussion with Learsy. He's living in the twilight zone. People like Learsy in positions of influence are part of the reason I remain a doomer.

P.S. Look at Average gas prices set record at $3.72 a gallon. Analysts are running out of reasons for price to keep increasing? How about basic supply and demand? The mind boggles at the contortions some people will use to avoid facing the truth.

Hello TODers,

The following article is written by a farmer:

Farm stress load is still high this spring

...So, it's the time of year for working crazy hours and spending crazy amounts of money on farm inputs. Daylight hours are already long, but many producers push their outfits well into the evening and a few are set up to run around the clock.

Farm labour is critically short and many producers get by with only a few hours sleep. Auto steer on many seeding outfits and sprayers helps reduce the attention span required when doing field work, but you still have to stay awake. You never know when the next problem will arise....
reading the rest of the article only piles on further stress.

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

I was going to post this as a reply to the high food price moan thread above, but second thoughts place it here.

"Another important thing to remember about the agriculture sector, as history suggests, is that the bottom has been known to fall out of commodities markets overnight and the energy sector won't necessarily follow suit. If that scenario were to play out today, farmers would be stuck with impossibly high production costs and no hope to recoup those costs at harvest time."

"Consumers should understand that if the price of grains had not changed in the past two years, food prices are likely to be close to where they are today anyway. On top of that we would be in the midst of a farm crisis like never before. Here's why: Energy costs including crude oil, diesel fuel, electricity and natural gas are up significantly. Natural gas is used to make fertilizer and fertilizer costs have doubled in the last three years."


It's musical chairs, and no one is sure who is queuing the songs. For the consumer, these prices would be here irregardless of farmgate prices.

The latest MJ Ervin weekly price survey is out today and although the price of residential fuel oil fell slightly in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, it moved notably higher throughout Ontario and no more so than Sault St. Marie where it is now selling for $1.36 a litre ($5.15 a gallon) before takes, up 12.9 cents/litre from the previous week. Any sense as to why Ontario prices are now among the highest in the country?

Source: http://www.mjervin.com/WPPS_Public.htm


I also posted this link on Euan Mearns' article today.


It is a one hour phone-in about oil on the BBC. Mentions Peak Oil after about 15 minutes. The "expert" expects global production will eventually reach 100 million bpd but agrees that cheap oil is a thing of the past.

Lots of good points raised by callers.

A transcript may be available later from http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/youandyours/transcripts_index.shtml

The price of corn has tripled in the past two years:


The price of corn is up 50% since November. How can one expect lower ethanol prices if corn continues to increase exponentially, while natural gas prices reach new highs? Natural gas was part of the energy input required to make ethanol.

Minnesota passed a law requiring a rapid increase in the use of biodiesel (20% soyoil by 2015).


Some sort of crash is coming. In the late 1930's oil production was increasing as the nation pulled out of a depression. In the coming years, increased domestic oil production might not be possible.

Hello TODers,

Just like the IOCs--Is Big Agro postPeak headed into Big Trouble?

Commodities giant's high-wire act

Bunge piles on the debt as its farmers struggle and its hedging operation burns up precious cash.

...It all adds up to a disturbing series of questions about Bunge's future. Perhaps this is the biggest: If the company is bleeding cash and loading up on debt when commodities are at their peak, what will it do when the cycle ends and commodities prices return to earth?
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

The midwest corn plantings were behind schedule, worse than the five year average:


The later the corn is planted, the more likely late summer drought might wilt the immature stalks.

Hello Rainsong,

Thxs for responding. That delayed planting is, of course, weather-caused; beyond our control. Compare with the Zimbabwe disaster:

Farm invasions to hamper wheat output: Experts

'The winter wheat cropping season will be a disaster because of the disturbances at the farms coupled with the shortage of farm inputs, such as seeds and fertilizer,' said Marc Crawford, who is president of the Southern Africa Commercial Framers Alliance (SAFCA).
Will the North American breadbasket replicate the former Zimbabwe breadbasket?

Kenya is having similar problems due to their post-election violence a few months back. Lots of farmers are scared to death to return to their farms, plus miniscule amounts of seeds and/or fertilizer....and the planting time is slipping away...

The U.S. is the world's largest exporter of rice according to a Chinese information web site. That is good news.

Read about Kenya experiencing food problems and more bread riots in Egypt.

Proponents of ethanol recently claimed that ethanol was 50 cents a gallon cheaper than gasoline. That is about the amount of Federal subsidies the industry receives to make ethanol - 50 cents. No apparent savings there. The price of food is going up. As much as 40% of the grain harvest (corn + wheat in bushels) is scheduled in the years ahead for use in ethanol production with current laws in effect. The food prices might continue to spiral upwards. Canada is in the ethanol game too, soon needing 10 percent of its transport fuels to be biofuels. Natural gas prices have risen with strong demand for LNG as it is cheaper than gasoline or ethanol as a transportation fuel. Natural gas was used to make ethanol. Washington D.C. metro buses operated on clean natural gas as a fuel.

Chicken, beef, fertilizer, soybean oil, corn flour, wheat flour were all rising in price. I do not see the potential for real ethanol savings. Checking the five year average for ethanol, ethanol was usually more expensive than gasoline, with subsidies included.

40% of United States grain scheduled to be taken off the table for ethanol production mandates. What are the odds of food prices going up? Ethanol is cheap at this point. It is likely to get more expensive.

Don't forget TOD is now on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheOilDrum

Give us a follow. Tell your friends.

"Both Democrats and Republicans said such shipments make no sense when oil is costing more than $120 a barrel and could better be used to add supplies to a tight market and possibly lower prices. Senators voted 97-1 Tuesday to suspend the shipments until the end of the year."

Of course King George will fight this tooth and nail, and probably use executive priviledge to force the strategic reserve to continue to be filled at whatever price, however I hail the Senators for their willingness to stand together across party lines on this issue. Who was the lone Senator that voted against the measure, Lieberman?

so what exactly do you think NOT putting 70,000 barrels per day into the SPR will do to price?

and when do you think oil will drop down to some sort of reasonable price so we can start filling it again?

because otherwise you are supporting something completely useless - that will have no effect on anything - full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, so to speak

Here is a little hand picked collection of mp3, from the audio version of a May 10th publication about economics.

For your listening pleasure 25 MB

The whole shooting match can be obtained at .

Oval Office says food prices not owing to ethanol, prices will remain high.

"Those who are arguing that the president's increase in the (renewable fuels standard) is contributing to high food prices are incorrect," Keith Hennessey, director of the National Economic Council, said in the same interview.


"Senate Democrats Tuesday introduced legislation to stop a U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia worth $1.4 billion in a tactic supporters said was aimed at pressuring the OPEC country to increase its oil output."

"Our open borders present a serious danger to our citizens and I am calling again on our government to build a fence along our northern border as well as our southern border. (Tom Tancredo - (R)Colorado)"

Both of the above proposals are simply insane - utterly and totally disconnected from reality. And what they have in common is a willingness to blame other people for American problems.

We are, IMHO, already seeing the first effects of a worldwide, persistent energy shortage. Fantasyland in Washington had better end very soon or we are going to have a replay of the Great Depression followed by WWIII.

There are times when I feel terrified by the situation that I see developing.

"Our open borders present a serious danger to our citizens and I am calling again on our government to build a fence along our northern border as well as our southern border. (Tom Tancredo - (R)Colorado)"

Gotta keep those Moose Jockeys out!

I don't have time to think of a clever reply.

Got to take the dog sled over to the moose pasture before returning to my igloo :).

Or is it to keep the chain gangs of debt slaves in the US to build all the new rail links?

Imagine a FWO seeing their SUV recycled into a rail line or rolling stock, then having to lay the new section of track to pay off the debt.

The payment is agreed on the value of the car when it was bought, not what its worth now.

Are defaults on car loans increasing?

As someone who works in the finance industry..
Yes, car loan defaults ARE increasing.

But, I feel I should back it up with a URL, as is par for TOD.

Do you see any figures on how many people are 'upside-down' on both the Car AND the House loans?


I don't have as much access to the housing data. I can guarantee that anyone who purchased an SUV or truck in 2007 or 2008 is very much upside-down on their vehicle unless they put down a large down payment or had a paid off trade in that was worth a good bit of cash. My experience is more on the auto side than the mortgage side, but the mortgage numbers are all over the place in the news.

Both of the above proposals are simply insane - utterly and totally disconnected from reality.

Indeed they are.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

Technical historical point: Nero played the lyre while Rome burned.
T'would be fitting for our own liar in chief to be characterized as playing the lyre while USA burns.

Try not to let it get you down, its tragic and will likely be worse than even some of the darkest predictions, but we have to stay smart. The best you can do is make the preparations advertised and tell anyone that will listen.

The danger it seems is that it is easy to blame 'them' for the problem if that be OPEC, illegals, the environmentalists. Or placing blame on the current crop of politicians thought TBH they haven't exactly helped the situation, but we are terrified of reality that why we would much rather immerse ourselves in virtual worlds and celebrity culture, and the politicians are only to keen to pander to this and push us further from reality. However now reality is knocking and its very upset we haven't been paying it more attention.

There are lots of people that get it or bits of it, there is a new way of making things happen with virtual communities, open source and good old fashioned voluntary labour. The main problem is see if economic, cheap energy and the extra capital it provides allow many discretionary pursuits which are already evaporating, but that may mean more people be more open to understanding whats going on.

Like the excellent tea spoons analogy, progress is happening everyday. Yeah I realise in all reality its too little too late and we are getting to cats in a sack time, but hey got to give it your best right or theres no point.

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little."

Hi calgary,

I agree, the reasoning is crazy, but I have to say that stopping the export of fighter jets (I mean "arms sales") to anywhere sounds like a good idea, on the whole.

I'm hearing a lot of speculation about whats to come, but little on the timing. How about a revote on the timing of certain key, inevitable events? Say first widespread gasoline shortage (any major metropolitan area) in the U.S.?

Gas shortages...2013. No reason. It's all a gamble at this point.

There seems to already be a massive shortage of #3.50 gas and $4 diesel countrywide. I don't think physical shortages will begin until net exports get real thin. If you look at ASPO's chart, in 2020 we'll still have year 2000 levels of extraction--about 70Mboepd.

I second the motion Bookman. Time for a new TOD poll. Include numerous possible scenarios on timing, price, etc.

Check the prices of soybeans since the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005 required the conversion of corn to ethanol for gasoline blending. The growers switched from soybean production to corn production as the price of corn rose, then the price of soybeans rose as the market was lacking soybeans:


20 dollars (2005) to 70 dollars (2008) to 58 dollars (2008) Nearly 300% grain inflation in two years.

2007 energy law ethanol production/blending caps have not been reached, the law requires more ethanol production.

Hello TODers,

Myanmar police block aid workers, food piles up
1 hour ago

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Police barred foreign aid workers from reaching cyclone survivors in hard-hit areas Tuesday, while emergency food shipments backed up at the main airport for Myanmar's biggest city.
Gretna police wouldn't let people out of Nawlins...These police won't let aid workers into the delta. BTW: where is 'Heckuva Job Brownie' lately?


As if things are not bad enough for the poor people in Myanmar:

UN warns another cyclone is forming near Myanmar
54 minutes ago

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — The U.N. says another cyclone in forming near Myanmar, which was devastated by a killer storm earlier this month.

U.N. spokeswoman Amanda Pitts couldn't say where the landfall would be or when it would become a full-fledged cyclone.

She told reporters Wednesday that "the chances of it (cyclone) happening is good."

She said the information about the possible cyclone came from the Joint Typhoon Warning center, which is part of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Center.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Diesel up $10 per barrel in 2 days!
from http://www.aip.com.au/pricing/marketwatch.htm

I last check this on Fri 9 May, it showed Diesel out of Singapore at $152 and I noted this as a new all time high price. Then checking it today to find two days later it hit nearly $162 is utterly staggering!

US senators pressuring Saudis to hike oil output

I the mighty Snark-knack has a vision:


“I would work with our friends in OPEC to convince them to open up the spigot, to increase the supply. Use the capital that my administration will earn, with the Kuwaitis or the Saudis, and convince them to open up the spigot.”

Best contact them thar Senators and tell 'em its covered.

does anyone know how long will it take to fill up the spr the remaining 3% that is empty?

Well they are not going to finish filling it until oil drops below $75 a barrel. So....how about....infinity.

i would like a real answer, you should know most of all that this president has /never/ listened to congress when he wants to. they can pass all the bills they want on this, if he can't veto them he will just use his 'signing statement' the negate the bill.
so i will ask again how long would it take to fill the remaining 3% because i think it's a good indicator to tell what's going on.

At 70,000 b/day, sometime in October (but they are creating a new SPR depot in Mississippi, not ready soon I think). They were going to spped the fill rate up to 80,000 b/day though.

Hopes that helps,


Thank you for actually answering my question and not sticking your head in the sand. by any stretch if there is going to be a attack on iran it's not going to be till the spr is topped off so i was wondering how close it was at 97% that npr said it was at.

If GWB is so "risk tolerant" as to attack Iran, I do not think an extra 21 million barrels of oil will make a difference.

And besides, Iran has 20 million barrels of heavy sour crude oil stored aboard tankers and US commercial storage can add quite a few extra barrels as part of BAU {wink wink}.

Still, an interesting date.

Best Hopes,


Well no, you are dead wrong about that Kaiser. The bill passed 97 to 1 in the Senate and will have close to that majority in the House. That is veto proof. There is no such thing as a "signing statement" that can negate any bill. Where did you come up with that crap? If the bill passes, then the filling of the SPR will stop....immediately!

Ron Patterson


If the President may properly decline to enforce a law, at least when it unconstitutionally encroaches on his powers, then it arguably follows that he may properly announce to Congress and to the public that he will not enforce a provision of an enactment he is signing. If so, then a signing statement that challenges what the President determines to be an unconstitutional encroachment on his power, or that announces the President's unwillingness to enforce (or willingness to litigate) such a provision, can be a valid and reasonable exercise of Presidential authority

I G W Bush think this bill encroaches on my powers to protect the country. It's a nice little law, but I'm not enforcing it. Have a nice day.

California, the state with the largest agricultural output (in terms of dollars), is facing drought:


Northern California has been considering a plant to switch to water rationing.

Every year there were problems with bad harvests somewhere in the world. Ethanol production can be blamed for contributing to higher food prices and lowering miles per gallon in vehicles using it. Ethanol gets 80% of the fuel efficiency of gasoline.