Drumbeat: March 12, 2010

Oil Production to Peak in 2014, Scientists Predict

Predicting the end of oil has proven tricky and often controversial, but Kuwaiti scientists now say that global oil production will peak in 2014.

Their work represents an updated version of the famous Hubbert model, which correctly predicted in 1956 that U.S. oil reserves would peak within 20 years. Many researchers have since tried using the model to predict when worldwide oil production might peak.

Some have said production already peaked. One earlier model by Swedish researchers suggested that oil would peak sometime between 2008 and 2018. And other researchers have argued there are decades to go before oil production goes into irreversible decline. The only thing they all agree on: Oil is a finite and very valuable resource.

Ramirez sees oil flowing despite worries

Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said today that the country would continue producing crude oil even if its ailing electricity system were to suffer a collapse.

"We will not stop producing oil," Ramirez said, adding that he doubts there will be any catastrophic failure of the national electricity system, so long as energy-conservation efforts continue.

FACTBOX - Pemex's deep water Gulf of Mexico exploration record

(Reuters) - Mexican state oil monopoly Pemex has pinned its long-term hopes on the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where the government estimates as much as 29.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent could lie.

But so far the drilling campaign has had few successes.

BP Books Tanker for ESPO Crude Oil to U.S. West Coast

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc, Europe’s largest oil and gas company, chartered a tanker to ship Russian East Siberian Pipeline Oil to the U.S. West Coast, according to fixture reports from shipbrokers.

£3bn coal power plant will test strength of Ed Miliband's environment rules

The first application to build a coal plant in Britain since energy secretary Ed Miliband introduced tough new environmental rules will be submitted next week, the Guardian has learnt.

UK-based conglomerate Peel Group is pressing ahead with the £3bn project to build a 1.6GW plant at Hunterston in Scotland, which will partially fit experimental carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Its former partner, Dong Energy, dropped out last year, citing the recession. The application, which is expected to be submitted to the Scottish government on Monday, signals Peel's confidence that the unproven technology can work.

Study sees efficiency as key to meeting energy needs

The big buzz at the CERAWeek conference may be natural gas, but a new study says it's time to light a fire under energy efficiency to meet future energy demands.

The study, unveiled Thursday at IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates' annual meeting in Houston, says that of all the options available, efficiency is the best way to improve the supply-demand balance quickly while keeping costs low and greenhouse gas emissions in check.

“It's the one thing that's really embraced across the spectrum,” said Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS CERA. Enthusiasm for efficiency is high “around the world, at the top of the energy agenda, whether you're talking about China, Europe or the United States.”

That enthusiasm will be needed because doubts remain about the other paths to a cleaner energy future.

In energy, let's not deny what we agree on

James Mulva drew a hearty round of applause when he threw out the term.

In a speech before the energy industry faithful at the CERAWeek conference Tuesday, the CEO of Houston-based ConocoPhillips labeled those who oppose oil and natural gas at any cost as “hydrocarbon deniers.”

Mulva's point is well taken. Washington policymakers are too focused on promoting alternative fuels at the expense of conventional ones, especially natural gas.

Alberta To Cut Royalties Amid Competition

The Alberta government announced plans Thursday to cut the royalty rates it charges natural gas and oil producers in an effort to make the province more attractive to investment.

Virginia Leads the Way for East Coast Offshore Drilling

Offshore drilling legislation was signed into law yesterday by Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is positioning Virginia to be the first East Coast state to drill for oil and natural gas in Atlantic waters, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

However, the bills' future will ultimately be determined by the federal government and Congress' support to drill on the outer continental shelf.

A Saudi-Turkish alliance against Iran?

STRATFOR's thesis is the Saudis are looking to Turkey to act as an ally in restraining Iranian pretensions to regional hegemony. The Turks have their own leadership aspirations which involve pursuing a neo-Ottoman strategy that joins Sunnis and Shias under enlightened, of course, Turkish leadership.

New power outages hit Manila

MANILA - AN ENERGY crisis in the Philippines triggered by a severe drought deepened on Friday as the nation's capital endured another round of rolling blackouts.

It was the third week this year that Manila's 12 million residents faced power outages, while the mostly rural southern Philippines has faced blackouts daily for more than a month.

Venezuelan energy crisis hits workers' income

The leader of the CTV said that rather than layoffs, "the work dynamics has been restructured," especially in industries that operate with four work shifts.

For example, General Motors removed a third shift, but did not fire workers. The carmaker reassigned workers in the first and second shifts. Union leader Joel Torres said that the company is assembling vehicles from 6:30 a.m. until 11 p.m.

"This is the right way to keep production at the assembly plant without affecting labor," he said.

No country will sell fuel to Bataan nuke plant, says research exec

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines - Reviving the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant today or building new nuclear facilities would be the quickest solution to the shortage of electricity most felt in Mindanao and make power rates attractive to investors, according to Department of Energy officials here.

But no country would sell to the Philippines processed uranium and plutonium to fuel these plants because the country's atomic energy laws and safety regulations are outdated and do not pass world nuclear energy standards, said Dr. Vangeline Parami, acting chief of nuclear regulations, licensing and safeguards of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI).

Bill McKibben - Vermont: Neighbors and Online Networks

The genius of the system flows from the ways it's unlike the rest of the Web. Instead of going global, each forum is limited to a neighborhood of about 400 homes. Instead of the anonymity that lets Internet users happily flame one another, all the folks participating in these forums clearly identify themselves. "I designed it to be as simple as possible--to use plain-text e-mail, so that everyone can take part," Wood-Lewis explains. "I just heard from an 80-year-old grandmother who'd signed up. She said, 'We've been here 50 years, but all the people we know have moved away, and we want to stay connected.' That's the kind of person we want to serve."

The biggest difference between Front Porch Forum and the rest of the Web, though, is that its ultimate goal is to get you out from in front of the screen and into the world around you. "The real feedback loop is on the main street of town," says Erik Filkorn, in his eighth year on the select board in Richmond, Vermont. "You'll be coming out of the store and someone will say, 'Hey Erik, I saw the thing you wrote. Here's what I think.' You're not just creating an avatar and hanging out in a singles bar in Second Life -- not that I would do that. But this is very much grounded in the flesh-and-blood community."

Rapid Rise in Seed Prices Draws U.S. Scrutiny

During the depths of the economic crisis last year, the prices for many goods held steady or even dropped. But on American farms, the picture was far different, as farmers watched the price they paid for seeds skyrocket. Corn seed prices rose 32 percent; soybean seeds were up 24 percent.

IEA Raises 2010 Oil Demand Estimate on Developing Economies

(Bloomberg) -- The International Energy Agency raised its forecast for global oil demand this year for a second month as fuel consumption in Asia rises more than expected.

The IEA increased its estimate for world demand in 2010 by 70,000 barrels a day to 86.6 million barrels a day. That would mean a gain of 1.6 million barrels a day, or 1.8 percent, from 2009 levels, it said. Economies outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development continue to lead the recovery in consumption, the IEA said.

“Global oil demand resumed growth on a yearly basis in the fourth quarter of 2009 after five consecutive quarters of decline,” the Paris-based agency said in its monthly oil market report today. “This year’s global oil demand growth will be driven entirely by non-OECD countries, with non-OECD Asia alone representing over half of total growth.”

Oil above $82 after IEA raises demand forecasts

Oil prices moved above $82 a barrel Friday after the International Energy Agency brightened its outlook for world demand, predicting a surge in Asian economic activity will make up for a fall in developed countries.

Crude Oil May Decline on Ample Inventories, Survey Shows

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil may fall next week on rising U.S. inventories and speculation that demand will decrease next month, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Twenty-three of 50 analysts, or 46 percent, said oil will decline through March 19. Fourteen respondents, or 28 percent, predicted that futures will increase and 13 said there will be little change in prices. Last week analysts were split, with 38 percent of those surveyed forecasting a gain and an equal number looking for a drop.

BHP, Anglo, Xstrata Ship Coal 10,000 Miles on China Price Surge

(Bloomberg) -- BHP Billiton Plc, Anglo American Plc and Xstrata Plc are shipping coal 10,000 miles to China from their Cerrejon mine in Colombia for the first time this year because of surging demand and rising prices in Asia.

Cerrejon, the world’s largest open-pit mine of coal for export, started sending coal shipments through the Panama Canal to China after prices became “much better” than those in Europe, Leon Teicher, the venture’s chief executive officer, said in an interview. Cerrejon may also make its first sales to India this year, he said.

Here's Why Peak Demand For Oil Is Still Very Far Away

EIA Washington produces a ton of energy data that’s very current and detailed on global energy production. But what’s harder to come by is Non-OECD oil and oil product consumption. As the calendar turns to March, alot of the annual data starts to complete for the prior years, and I found my way deep into some EIA caverns tonight, and drew up the following chart.

Shell May Raise Arrow Energy Offer, RBS Morgans Says

(Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc and PetroChina Co. may need to increase their offer by as much as 55 Australian cents a share to A$3.7 billion ($3.4 billion) to acquire Arrow Energy Ltd., said an analyst at RBS Morgans.

Exxon's growing reliance on expensive oil

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Exxon Mobil outlined plans Thursday that rely heavily on oil from tough to reach places, extracting it from the depths of the ocean, the frozen Arctic and the tar sands in Canada's frozen tundra.

But oil pumped in these places tends to be much more expensive than oil from more conventional sources.

Eni Expects Refining Profit in 2012, to Grow Dividend

(Bloomberg) -- Eni SpA, Italy’s largest oil and gas company, expects refining to return to profit from 2012 after boosting sales and efficiency. It forecast dividend growth from 2011.

Petrofac Targets Iraq Oil After Asfari Raises Value

(Bloomberg) -- Ayman Asfari, the chief executive officer whose oil and gas engineering skills guided a fourfold increase in the value of Petrofac Plc within five years, is now preparing to tap Iraq’s energy boom.

Iraq, with estimated reserves of 115 billion barrels of oil, the world’s third-largest, is set to ramp up production as companies including BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. spend as much as $100 billion to develop fields awarded in contracts last year. A good chunk of that will go to contractors including Petrofac and larger U.S. rivals Baker Hughes Inc. and Halliburton Co.

South Africa Says Eskom’s World Bank Loan Plan Is Misunderstood

(Bloomberg) -- South Africa defended state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings Ltd.’s plan to borrow at least $3.75 billion from the World Bank and said critics misunderstand its purpose.

“We are concerned that the issues related to the loan have not been properly understood,” Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan said in an e-mailed copy of speech given to reporters in Pretoria today. “We are also concerned at the level of misunderstanding regarding our commitment to a transition to a low-carbon economy.”

South Africa says can't meet power needs without loan

PRETORIA (Reuters) - South Africa will be unable to meet its power supply requirements if its application for a $3.75 billion loan from the World Bank is not approved, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Friday.

Sinopec Changling Refinery Incur Losses on Oil Costs

(Bloomberg) -- China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.’s Changling refinery in the central province of Hunan incurred losses in March as crude costs rose, the plant’s general manager Li Hua told reporters in Beijing.

The plant will break even if the price of crude is at between $70 and $75 a barrel, he said today.

Tesoro may halt refining in Hawaii

The owner of the state's largest oil refinery is studying whether it should stop refining crude oil here and use the site as a terminal from which to distribute fuel.

"It lost money last year and it's continuing to lose money this year," said Lynn Westfall, senior vice president and chief economist for refinery owner Tesoro Corp. "It's something we're concerned about and are looking at."

Tesoro, like other refiners, has been squeezed by high crude oil prices at a time when demand has been dropping. Tesoro's 93,500-barrel-a-day refinery last year operated well below capacity, averaging only 68,200 barrels.

Exxon chief doubts natural gas in cars is viable move

Exxon Mobil Corp. chief executive Rex Tillerson, it seems, has not joined the T. Boone Pickens army.

Pickens has been stumping for the past two years for Americans to shift to natural gas as a vehicle fuel, particularly for heavy duty trucks. He says the move would help wean the U.S. off of foreign oil, support domestic natural gas, cut energy costs and reduce pollution.

Tillerson said he doubts natural gas would accomplish all of that. And he isn't just promoting his own petroleum products — he's investing billions of dollars to boost Exxon's natural gas production. He just thinks we'll need more natural gas for power generation, not for cars and trucks.

Beijingers get back on their bikes

Office worker David Dai is one of a growing army of Beijing residents returning to two-wheeled transport.

But the 28-year-old does not rely on his own pedal power - like hundreds of thousands of others, he has bought an electric bike.

A New Unit for (Saved) Energy

A group of scientists has proposed creating a new unit for avoided electricity use, named for Arthur Rosenfeld.

Road fatalities curve sharply down

WASHINGTON — Traffic deaths in the USA last year fell to levels not seen since 1954, and the fatality rate was the lowest since the federal government began tracking it in 1966, the Department of Transportation said Thursday.

Highway deaths in 2009 dropped to 33,963, an 8.9% decline from 2008. Road fatalities have fallen every year since 2005, when 43,510 people died in crashes.

...Some road-safety advocates are not yet ready to celebrate. They say the high-unemployment economy is still the greatest factor behind the decline in traffic fatalities.

U.S. airlines flew fewer passengers in 2009

The number of domestic and international travelers ferried by U.S. carriers for all of 2009 dropped 5.3% from the year before, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

But the planes were fuller than ever, largely because airlines cut back on flights or moved to smaller planes. U.S. carriers set a record, with flights that were on average 80.4% full systemwide in 2009, according to the report.

Home Efficiency Program Poised for Growth

A widely praised program to encourage homeowners to add solar panels and make their houses more energy efficient is on the verge of a ramp-up.

The model sets out to eliminate high up-front costs — a key reason why people resist making such improvements. It does so by allowing homeowners to pay for the renovations gradually, through higher property taxes, which can also be passed on to subsequent owners if the house is sold.

Water shortages may hit northern Rockies

Much of the nation may be snow-weary, but farmers and ranchers who rely on winter snowpack in the northern Rockies for irrigation during the dry months of the growing season could face water shortages this summer unless more snow arrives soon.

Wet spring and summer conditions in 2008 and 2009 helped pull the region out of a decade-long drought, but now hydrologists are once again reporting below-average mountain snowpack throughout much of the northern Rockies.

Evolution, Devolution, and Revolution

Devolution in the federal sense is the return of rights to states, but for the purpose of this discussion, let us use the biological definition, that is, backward evolution, or for society, a lowering of our lifestyle. Before the Grand Recession, I would guess that less than half thought that, perhaps, our civilization had peaked and will now decline. Today, I would not be surprised if more than half of Americans have an uncomfortable feeling that the combination of Peak Oil, Global Warming and our broken government is so severe that, while our economy will soon get better, there is a distinct possibility that we might have experienced the best, and future generations, beginning with our children, will only see a decline in their future life.

Reader’s Digest “10 Things to be Thankful For” and my response

First, statistics depend on who’s telling which half of the story. If you forget (or positive spin, deluding yourself) about personal/national debt, excess spending/stealing, unemployment/loss of retirement savings, poverty/malnutrition, disease, ecology issues, dwindling resources, war (all mostly in developing nations, soon to be America’s problem too) then sure you’ll feel better after reading this article, but you’ll be lying to yourself. And the two source references come from conservatives. Hmm.
(The Reader's Digest article is here)

Coke's Planet-Friendly Vending Machines

The kingpin of soda, Coca-Cola, is changing the face--and footprint--of the refrigeration industry by replacing its conventional fleet of vending machines with a climate-friendly model. Most vending machines rely on refrigerants known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a chemical hodgepodge that has an incredible power to cool the air. HFCs can also be 1,430 times more harmful to the climate than global warming's main culprit, carbon dioxide.

Paradoxically, Coca-Cola's new refrigerant of choice is carbon dioxide.

Italy to host Europe's biggest solar plant: company

MILAN — Europe's most powerful solar power plant is set to start operations in Italy later this year, the US company building the installation on an area as large as 120 football pitches said on Thursday.

Building the world's longest ethanol pipeline

(Fortune Magazine) -- John D. Rockefeller figured out a long time ago that the most efficient way to transport liquid fuels long distances wasn't on wheels but in pipelines. Today POET, the privately held Sioux Falls, S.D., company that is the country's largest producer of ethanol, and Tulsa pipeline-builder Magellan Midstream Partners are poised to make the same leap.

They want to build a $4 billion ethanol pipeline -- the first in the U.S. and the longest in the world -- linking cornfields and refineries in the upper Midwest to fuel-hungry markets on the East Coast, while boosting transport efficiency (equivalent to reducing the carbon footprint) 30% compared with rail and nearly 90% compared with trucks.

New Study Debunks Myths About Vulnerability of Amazon Rain Forests to Drought

ScienceDaily — A new NASA-funded study has concluded that Amazon rain forests were remarkably unaffected in the face of once-in-a-century drought in 2005, neither dying nor thriving, contrary to a previously published report and claims by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Japan’s Cabinet Endorses Cap-and-Trade Climate Bill

(Bloomberg) -- Japan’s Cabinet has endorsed a climate-protection draft law today that would cap industrial emissions and thrust the second-biggest economy into the $125 billion market for trading carbon credits.

Some polluters will be subject to a flat ceiling on emissions while others may face a limit per unit of production, according to a copy of the bill, distributed to reporters by the Environment Ministry today. The draft leaves open which industries will be affected.

Five Countries Fall Behind on European Renewable Energy Goals

The European Commission said on Thursday that five countries were failing to meet goals for renewable energy but that they could make up their quotas by buying electricity from North Africa and the Balkans.

Fight splits backers of ballot initiative to suspend state's global warming law

Ted Costa says his group, People's Advocate, has been shut out of efforts to suspend AB 32, which would force oil companies to slash emissions of greenhouse gases.

Wacky winter a signal of years to come: Climatologist

From the balmy Arctic, to the open water of the St. Lawrence and snowless western fields, this winter has been the warmest and driest in Canadian record books.

Environment Canada scientists report that winter 2009/10 was 4 C above normal, making it the warmest since nationwide records were first kept in 1948. It was also the driest winter on the 63-year record, with precipitation 22 per cent below normal nationally, and down 60 per cent in parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

"It's beyond shocking," David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada, told Canwest News Tuesday. Records have been shattered from "coast to coast to coast."

A storm is coming

If these new findings are correct, we may thus be living through the calm before a potential climatic storm. No-one yet knows when this period of grace will end, but it seems we may already be a decade into it. We should not count on staying shielded for much longer.

Re: Wacky winter a signal of years to come: Climatologist

Here we see another indication that climate change is more than just local or regional temperatures. The cooler weather in the Eastern US this past winter was balanced by unusual warmth over Canada. Thus, all those claims that the cold winter disprove Global Warming are simply more denialist propaganda. Sad to say, Joe SixPack can't understand that, since all he sees is his backyard and his TV...

E. Swanson


As I sit here in not so sunny, south east Florida, the records are being broken by the hour up and down the state.

Last report, West Palm had 7 inches of rain in 24 hours.....Orlando close to the same.

Strange though, most I talk to in the construction biz are praying for a Hurricane or two, so biz will pick upppppppppppp.

Careful what you wish for.

God save us when the construction workers become parasites who pray for disasters in order to pay the bills. Reminds me of fire fighters who turn our to be arsonists...

How about prison-guard unions threatening any legislators who propose reducing prison populations or closing facilities? New York State has communities where prisons are the only industries left. And the prisoners, overwhelmingly from New York City, are counted as population in these communities, though they can't vote.

Orlando here, we're at about 2 inches according to NOAA. But that can't include yesterday, when I saw some apartments behind our office flood. Some areas hit 4 or 5 yesterday. This has been the rainest 'dry season' I've ever seen.

My broccoli loved the cold weather, the mango tree, not so much.

The Canadian climatologist, quoted in the article:

"It's like winter was cancelled in this country."

Winter was just temporarily relocated away from Canada. It's El nino's fault.

So far, the maple syrup season in Maine is abysmal. Taps went out the second week of February, which is unheard-of, and it flowed for a week or two--then stopped dead. Winter ended abruptly, and I think this has something to do with the lack of sap flow.

More changes in climate mean more challenges for the plethora of plants and animals......including us.

We are collectively doing far too little too late and yet many deny climate change reality and propose to do nothing.

The slightest hint of an error or mis-judgement on the part of a few real scientists causes armchair warriors and pundits to crow that they've been right all along -- climate change is a hoax.

When we lie to ourselves in this way it is depressing to me. Why bother?

I guess I try to do my bit as best I can anyway, but it is demoralizing to look around at most people living in a fantasy while the Eremozonian Age descends largely as a result of our collective intentional ignorance.


pls elaborate re: Eremozonian Age. I am familiar with the Anthropocene, but have not heard of EA, and google does not recognize it.


thx, lonely indeed...

I think many times, we rely too much on modelling for our predictions (weather patterns, economic forecasts, future oil production, etc.) and think it will be the truth, only to be surprised when it is not. These are complex systems where not all variables can be considered. In such systems, small, neglected factors can have large consequences further down the road.

The myopia of the east, and how it runs the nation, gets old in a hurry.

As the top post "Water shortages may hit northern Rockies" shows, this has been one of the driest, warmest winters in the northern Rockies, not just Canada. Many watersheds are less than 50% normal snowpack. We haven't seen a winter this year.

Contrast that to last winter, one of the snowiest on record. Spokane (article up top) has but 13 inches total snowfall this winter, whereas last winter at this time it was well in excess of 100, roofs were collapsing all over, including a large, 5000 sq ft grocery store. At 5:30 in the evening, it was lucky there were no fatalities. Same in the rest of northern Rockies, we lost our masonry chimney and part of the roof.

Just explain to joe sixpack, if you can, climate change doesn't just mean hotter temps. localy..., it means more freaky weather in general. Try to explain that what matters, is the overal rising temperature of the planet.

If anything, an increase in freaky weather is a bad sign.

Good luck with joe sixpack though because there's a fifty fifty chance he's brain is on the wrong side of the bell curve.

Post Peak Oil vehicles for dummies or acronyms gone wild?

The power source variants for vehicles currently available are:

1. Gasoline
2. Diesel
3. Natural Gas
4. Ethanol
5. Electricity

These variants come in permutations that are becoming ever more complex and a battle is going on as to which will emerge dominant as the Post Peak Oil decline unfolds. These permutations are being called by acronyms that defy memory let alone understanding.

1. ICE = internal combustion engine which can be any of 1-4 above.
2. EV = electric vehicle which may have an environmentally friendly source of electricity or not. In the American case the not rules and also in Europe except for France.
3. BEV = battery only electric vehicle like the Tesla Roadster or the Nissan Leaf.
4. EREV = electric range extended vehicle like the Volt. The possible permutations of this would be:
a. The GEREV or the gasoline electric range extended vehicle
b. The DEREV or the diesel electric range extended vehicle
c. The NGEREV or the natural gas electric range extended vehicle
d. And the FFEREV or the flex fuel/ethanol electric range extended vehicle

Hybrids combine on board produced electricity with two or more of the liquid/gas fuel sources in the first list . There are two types. The EREV like the Volt which are called serial hybrids because they run the battery down first before starting the engine and are powered by electric motors at each drive wheel. Then there is the parallel hybrid like the Prius which charges the batteries when possible and has a somewhat more conventional drive train otherwise.

5. PHEV = the plug in hybrid electric vehicle which combines any of the first 4 energy sources in the first list with power line electricity. So it is possible to have:
a. The GPHEV or the gasoline powered plug in hybrid electric vehicle, serial or parallel.
b. The DPHEV or the diesel powered plug in hybrid electric vehicle, serial or parallel.
c. The NGPHEV or the natural gas powered plug in hybrid electric vehicle, serial or parallel.
d. The FFPHEV or the flex fuel/ethanol powered plug in hybrid electric vehicle, serial or parallel.

The source of fuel used for external electricity production is a major factor in deciding which vehicle should be produced with wind being the likely most environmentally friendly but unavailable in many areas. This may make evaluating all these permutations beyond the range of human intelligence.

A bigger question is how many people will buy any of them it?

See comments section:



acronyms gone wild?

I have a theory that people use incomprehensible acronyms 1) to give the impression that they know more about the subject than they actually do, and 2) to confuse people who know more than they do about the subject, and who would disagree with them if they understood what they were saying.

This is a standard bureaucratic ploy which is extremely popular in government circles.

I strongly recommend seeking help from the AAAAA: the American Association Against the Abuse of Acronyms! ;)

I just created the facebook group!

its mugumbo acronym disorder, mad.

email me a link to the group, thanks.


Often overlooked post peak vehicle the

Basic Intercity Kinetic Efficiency Supplement
or BIKES for short :)

Hey I enjoyed your list and own 1 or 2

Then there's also POFP, or "Plain Old Foot Power". That's what I use to commute.

Good EROI for those 'boots on the ground'

Not at all.

Energy = mass X velocity.

I can deliver more energy on a bike when I slam into something than by walking/running. ITs why things like bikes are not allowed on sidewalks in most places.

Sorry the phrase 'Boots on the Ground' was a reference to alternatives to armed conflict.(it googles up thataway too) Using my own energy to power bikes or shoes rather than asking our military to enable 'cheap' oil from afar.

Not a lot I can personally do to stop the machine but I don't have to literally squander the ancient sunlight in a 2 ton tank every time I just want to go a few miles.
(yeah I know you we're playin on Kinetic but I had to make BIKES) Keep slammin those pedals :)

Ahhh, I was thinking about the EROEI of walking. With boots. Using a bike allows for better conversion of muscle energy into the big MO than does walking/running.

Not a lot I can personally do to stop the machine

Plenty of people have tossed themselves into the gears - only to be ground fine. Not something you want to do.

Energy = mass X velocity.

Ooops. Its mass time velocity squared over two. You were thinking about momentum, which has units of force times time. Energy has units of force times distance.

Ooops 2.0 . Mr Nitpick says hello. :-)

Energy has units of force times distance.

>> Actually F*d = Work. Energy is potential work so to speak and never expressed like you suggest, but I believe Work and Energy share the designation Joules(?)

As you correctly point out, eric is describing Momentum (p = m*v, SIunit = kg m/s). But when eric is talking about slamming into those poor pedestrians or a brick wall- we are suddenly switching to Impulse; where the Impulse is equal to the change in momentum (I= Delta p , SIunit = N·s =>> kg · m/s)........ or maybe there is an Ooobs 3.0 coming up soon from someone wtih a Master grade?

wind being the likely most environmentally friendly but unavailable in many areas.

Large offshore windfarms connected to the grid is the solution.

From the way the roads in the Boston area are faring this spring, I'm ready to predict nothing that runs on asphalt will be running in large numbers in the not-so-near future.

This might be of interest for ToD readers:

Each year a distinguished jury will award a $100,000 prize to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.

Energy Solution Ideas of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge

The prize of 2010 has to go to TOD, for all their very valuable articles and comments !

Here it is.


When do I get my money?

It might be a bit late for that solution,


Make the check payable to Thomas Malthus.

Ha, yes.

No one really wants solutions, they want compromises to keep living like they are. And that is now impossible.

Yup - not gonna happen. Our way of life is dying a slow death

" Don't cling to things, because everything is impermanent"

I think Bucky Fuller has a lot to offer, I think his module designs and obsession with weight is a very helpful guide with any future tech

I have a question about what I read recently:

US GDP grew slightly from 1978-1982, while oil consumption fell 18%.

World GDP grew 5% per year from 2004 to 2008, while oil consumption was pretty much flat.

Is that even true ? There are graphs that show a connection between oil consumption and GDP and I don't remember having seen this two exceptions. What was going on, especially from 1978-1982 ?

In '78-'82 the US was harvesting some low hanging fruit as a result of the earlier ('73-'74) and current oil shocks ('79 Iran crisis). CAFE standards were kicking in, and oil was being dropped as a fuel for electricity generation, among other, lesser fruits.

Yes. Those are both times of high prices. There was some increased efficiency, but also a lot of substitution. (From oil to natural gas, say.)

I would guess the US number also includes offshoring - the movement of heavy industry overseas, to places where energy was cheaper.

would guess the US number also includes offshoring - the movement of heavy industry overseas, to places where energy was cheaper.

Leanan, wouldn't that lead to US GDP decreasing ?

Not necessarily. A lot of blue-collar workers suffered, but it was offset by growth in services, tech, etc.

One of the unsung stories of the past decade was the end of corporate RD investments in the 1980's. In the tech world Xerox PARC was a groundbreaking source for new tech and new markets into the 1980's and 1990's.

When corporate America ended that and started to only focus on the bottom line ending or limiting funding to basic research centers the new markets stopped being created in the US from 2000 - 2010. Refinements happened but no new markets were created.

It seems like we also scaled way back on infrastructure development, about the time of the oil drop off. Whenever you hear about new highways being built, and new bridges, and power transmission lines, it is from the 1960s and 1970s. Then we decided we could just make do with what we had, until it falls apart. (Also encouraged more competition for profitability in the electric sector.) Now it seems like we are reaching the falling apart stage.

I think the decision logic runs more like. "No new spending on my watch. The infrastructure can hold up long enough for my term of office. Then the opposition party can get into power, and take the blame for both the failures, and the taxes needed to fix them."

Hi Gail,

I don't expect capital spending on new plant to rebound given that electrical demand continues to trend downward. In the 50's and 60's, load was doubling every seven to ten years and those heady days are long gone. Long-term price elasticity in response to rising utility costs and the move away from declining block rates; the roll-out of smart-grid technology and TOU pricing; the gradual adoption of more efficient end-use technologies; and various [often mandated] utility demand side initiatives are likely to accelerate this downward push going forward (e.g., Nova Scotia Power is forecasting that its DSM investments will result in a 1.5 per cent net contraction in load in each of the next twenty-five years). At a minimum, if our long-term economic prospects are as bleak as some here espouse then, obviously, electricity demand will fall accordingly. When all is said and done, the situation may not be as dire as one might expect, provided basic maintenance needs are met.


given I've had three beers, I may be totally misunderstanding what you are saying. But, aren't we going to have to be bringing back a whole boat load of manufacturing back to NA?

Hi Earl,

I'm drinking tea and can't understand half of what I say either. Jeff Rubin is a bright man and far more knowledgeable on these matters, but I can't imagine major, energy-intensive industries returning to North America, ever. In any event, I fully expect electricity prices to exceed the rate of inflation and various studies suggest the long-run price elasticity for aggregate demand (i.e., residential, commercial and industrial) to be in the range of -1.0; that is to say, for every one per cent increase in the cost of electricity, there will be a one per cent drop in demand. It's generally believed that price elasticity within the industrial sector is even higher, perhaps as high as -1.3, and since businesses may be unable or reluctant to pass on these higher costs to consumers, there could be an even greater incentive to find ways to reduce demand.


We were also commissioning some energy projects in Alaska, and preparing for wars in Grenada and Panama. Ah, the early 80s!

Clifman, I follow that. Also now there is still a lot of 'easy fruit'. It seems to me that the economy can still grow for a few years after the beginning of decline of oilproduction.

Note that from a US perspective that "few years" started circa 1970 as we shifted to net imports.

When we have a balanced budget at national and state levels AND balanced trade, we can talk about driving growth with efficiency.

I think we're into the slide, and it'll be just about all we can do to ameliorate the effects. Apparent growth due to deficit and credit nonsense is just wishful thinking that will make things worse.

Item 1 Pay off public and private debt including unfunded liabilities

Item 2 Continue providing energy for current (86% FF) consumption

Item 3 Grow the economy

Item 4 Provide sufficient energy and financing to build renewable infrastructure capable of replacing 86% of current consumption while simultaneously providing items 1,2, and 3

It's not about GDP anymore it's about how do we downsize equitably without descending into (more)barbarism.

I'm not sure that's correct. As Neil King of the WSJ put it:

The cuts in oil use made between 1979 and 1983 look impressive. In four years, the country weaned itself off of 3.3 million barrels a day, a drop of nearly 20%. Not until 1997 did the U.S. get back to the same level of oil consumption it had in 1979.

But half of that cut, in residual fuel oil for electricity generation, was relatively painless and can't be repeated. The U.S. by 1983 had slashed consumption by 1.4 million barrels of oil a day by switching power stations over to coal or natural gas. Today, the country consumes fewer than 700,000 barrels of residual fuel a day, almost entirely in ships. So any similar cuts this time will have to come on America's highways, not in its power plants.

Efficiency can help reduce resource consumption while GDP grows, at least for awhile, but I think what we really saw in 2004-2008 was the housing bubble and the financial shenanigans that created it. It didn't create any real wealth. Like Denninger put it, it was like two guys selling the same house back and forth, with the price going up each time. No oil needed for that kind of "growth."

Efficiency can help reduce resource consumption while GDP grows, at least for awhile

Leanan, than I think what WNC Observer described will happen again:

Speed limits were 55mph max. Lots of people were carpooling, and the bus I took to/from work was always jam-packed. Big cars were out, small cars were selling briskly; that's where the Japanese automakers really got established in the US market, and when things started heading downhill for Detroit.

Perhaps, but as the WSJ article points out, that actually didn't reduce our oil consumption that much. (The 55 mph speed limit may not have had any effect at all.) Switching from oil to coal and natural gas in our power plants was the real low-hanging fruit.

I would guess buildings were another big chunk - switching from oil to natural gas for heating, and specifications that required better energy efficiency. Those haven't been rolled back, so again, it's a gain that can't be repeated.

55 probably saved a lot back then, in the days of 3 speed automatics, 4 speed manuals, and low rear-end gearing along with poor fuel-air management, and aerodynamics like bricks. However, lost time has a cost too.

Today there is definitely less to be saved, though I personally have noted I get better mileage at 50 than at 78 in my econobox -- like 40 instead of 32. It's just not worth my time to drive slower though.

When time is worth much less and gas costs much more a lower limit might make sense...by then the damage will already be done.

Less driving and carpooling is the low-hanging fruit. Less travel is already underway -- I note that competitive youth baseball tournaments are fewer this year, and with less travel. Not as many people are willing to drop a few hundred bucks per weekend trip to play baseball, I guess.

There's no doubt 55 mph saves gas. The problem is enforcement. People don't actually drive 55 mph, even if that's what's posted. Unless you have a fleet of cops driving around in their gas-guzzling vehicles to enforce it.

There have been a couple of studies, and they found the savings were small to nonexistent. The DOT calculated the fuel savings at 1%. Other studies have found it was more like half a percent.

Also interesting...the "cutoff point" depends on the shape of the vehicle. For boxy SUVs, it should probably be 40 or 45 mph, not 55. Now that would make for some interesting incentives. "Speed Limit 55 mph (40 mph SUVs)"

And make the diamond-lane 65 for carpools.

I wonder if driving behavior improves (including moderating speeding possibly) when people are carpooling.. with the increased likelihood that a driver would take fewer risks, push the envelope less, a bit of peer pressure to be concerned for their safety..

IME, it's the opposite.

The times I've shared a ride in a company vehicle, there's a lot of pressure to speed up and be more aggressive. Because they want to get there fast, and because it becomes something of a competition. They harass cautious drivers ("Smith, you drive like my grandma! C'mon, speed up, I wanna get to the office!") Often, the most aggressive driver insists on taking the wheel.

I would give a look at the projects folks do at:


They have many discussions.

There's no doubt 55 mph saves gas.

Part of the hoped for savings was the assumption that people don't think of trips in terms of distance, but rather in terms of time. So at slower speeds, they would plan trips to closer destinations. The lower speeds did save a lot of lives, but Americans will never admit that, it might get in the way of complaining about tyrannical government.

I'm not sure about that, either. There's no solid evidence supporting 55 mph being safer.

For boxy SUVs, it should probably be 40 or 45 mph, not 55. Now that would make for some interesting incentives. "Speed Limit 55 mph (40 mph SUVs)"

I was driving in South Miami earlier today and was almost run off the road by a woman driving a Cadillac Escalade with oversized polished chrome wheels on it and I was about to give her a rude gesture when I saw that her car had a "Hybrid Symbol" on it. I burst out laughing at the incongruity of that symbol on such a pig of vehicle. I'll bet that thing doesn't drive more than 10 miles at 35 mph on electric...What I'd really like to see is her pushing it.

lol. nice one.

There is a person I see around town driving a Big Three hybrid SUV of some sort. With a vanity plate ONEARTH. I assume she means "One Earth" not "On Earth". Unreal.

People don't actually drive 55 mph,even if that's what's posted.

straw man argument. niether do people drive 65 or 75 if that's what's posted. i would wager that a lower speed limit results in reduced actual speeds.

you have also made the claim that 55 doesnt save lives. i have never heard that one, could you give a reference.

saving lives has never been a priotiry,imo, growing the car economy is.

i have heard of case after case where fatalities have decreased with reduced speed limits and increased with increased speed limits. speed and its radical first cousin excessive is listed as a factor in many many fatal accidents. granted, other factor may come into play.

my guess is that a majority of all drivers overdrive their visibility in cases of night,fog, blind curves, hills or whatever.

and one other thing. my own research, using a car with an mpg meter, has shown that fuel economy is increased by about 10% at 55 vs 65.

Yes, so now the big chunk must come from the transport sector. A repetition from the 1978-1982 period with carpooling and more use of trains/buses and (electric)bikes. While speed limits with cars doesn't help enough, ships going more slowly saves a lot of fuel.
The bad thing is that unemployment will rise, the only advantage of it dropping oil consumption further.

Don't know about the specifics of 1978-1982 but I do know that when they pull something like $700 Billion out of their *#@ hat and throw it around at banks & insurance Co's it makes GDP go up. No FF connection there.

What was going on, especially from 1978-1982 ?

I was there, and remember it well. Speed limits were 55mph max. Lots of people were carpooling, and the bus I took to/from work was always jam-packed. Big cars were out, small cars were selling briskly; that's where the Japanese automakers really got established in the US market, and when things started heading downhill for Detroit. Thermostats in all public buildings were required to be set down. Everyone who could was weatherstripping and insulating. It was cold as hell each winter, and we were all scared to death that the NG and heating oil wouldn't hold up through the winter.

Lots of people were watching Crocket's Victory Garden every week and growing gardens. Lots of interest in frugal living to stretch household budgets.

Unemployment was going up, inflation was going up, interest rates were going up, the Iranians were holding our diplomats hostage, the Soviets were taking over Afghanistan. Not a very happy time, but we were in the process of making the painful adjustments to reality that needed to be made.

Then the Boraxo salesman from California came along, promising to make all right with the world. . .

Unemployment was going up

WNC Observer, that makes it even more remarkable that GDP didn't fall.

Things were so crazy then that I'm not sure that anyone REALLY knows what the GDP was.

Reagan..., what a massive mistake he was.

See this laffer curve on the back of this napkin?
You can have your cake and eat it too.

Never mind the rising deficit, it'll go back down..., laffer said so....

Wasn't it Nancy R who famously said:

"Just say NO to Alzheimer's"


Just say NO to Reality ?

Reagan: Love him or Leave ... the tea party

World GDP grew 5% per year from 2004 to 2008, while oil consumption was pretty much flat.

Note that this is world GDP growth. Some of this was the beginning of the shift of oil from OECD countries to developing economies like China and India. Both westexas and I have described it as the rapidly developing economies being able to "outbid" the OECD countries for oil at the margin, although my perception is that he argues at a macro level and I argue at a micro level.

In a supply-constrained world, oil consumption should shift from the users who extract the least value from it to users who can extract more value, with price as the mechanism that drives the shift. The least-valuable uses of petroleum in the US are very low-value indeed: relatively poor people save a few minutes of time each week by not keeping their tires properly inflated, for example. The least-valuable uses of petroleum in China/India are almost certainly more valuable than that.

There are various distortions to that basic situation, and the ELM points out one of the most prominent: countries almost always use domestic production to meet domestic demand first, then export the surplus. Mexico is going to be an interesting "experiment" to watch. Their federal government is heavily dependent on the revenues from oil exports; reductions in the amount of oil consumed domestically would produce other problems; how are they going to try to balance all of that?

Eamon Keane, a masters student from Dublin, has been writing some well researched and argued articles in seeking alpha about natural gas.

"The 100 Year Natural Gas Myth " - http://seekingalpha.com/article/193234-the-100-year-natural-gas-myth

And a 7 parts (thats right !) series on "Why Natural Gas Vehicles Won't Decrease Oil Dependence".


"Why Natural Gas Vehicles Won't Decrease Oil Dependence".

Remarkable article evnow, but he gives several points why he thinks the fleet won't convert, so actually the title is misleading.

I would give anything for a pay-per-view debate on this issue. After reading the article it sounded logical. Then you read some of the responses and they make what appears to be good contrarian points.

I accept it is my responsibility to dig down and get to the truth. No one else is just going to hand it to me. But I have to admit, sometimes it feels like the deck is stacked in the favor of misinformation.

In related news I would be willing to pay handsomely for someone to just hand me the truth. But you have to be dressed like Moses. And have a James Earl Jones voice. E-mail in profile.

You can't handle the truth!

Yes I can

Well there appears some confirmation of a theme I have discussed recently - that is the apparent imbalance between oil supply and demand. So far that has been 'resolved' by running down offshore oil supplies. The next step will running down land based supplies (see below). After that, it may be best to run to the life boats first.

OECD oil stocks to fall by 100-150 mln bbls by late summer

Oil to move into backwardation this summer-Goldman

"For this time of year, OECD total petroleum inventories would need to be 100-150 million barrels below current estimated levels for front-month to rise above second-month WTI crude oil prices," Goldman analysts David Greely and Jeffrey Currie said in a research note.


"Peak oil demand" was the quote of 2009. The "invisable hand" would resolve all energy problems once again and of course smoothly.
Just how quick things can change!
From BBC: "China's oil demand increase 'astonishing', says IEA. China's demand for oil jumped by an "astonishing" 28% in January compared with the same month a year earlier, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says."

And then also today in the news reg. the other "save the day" hype, the shale gas scam:

Obama aide urges listing of gas-drilling chemicals

I'm still not sure what's going on in China. A couple of articles yesterday suggested they were stockpiling petroleum, not actually using it, or that they were importing oil and exporting refined products.

The biggest increase was in naphtha. Which in China is usually used for various industrial purposes (solvents and the like). But maybe they're finally driving their cars and driving up gasoline demand?

What we have here is another comparison of things that are different which I often rail against. Chinese car sales were not as strong as expected in February 2010 as they were in January because the the Chinese New Year fell in February this year. In 2009 the Chinese New Year Festival fell in January. During New Year Celebrations a lot of stuff shuts down in China. So it matters when the New Year Happens:

From Wikipedia:

Animal Branch New Year dates
鼠 Rat 子 Zǐ February 19, 1996 February 7, 2008
牛 Ox 丑 Chǒu February 7,1997 January 26, 2009
虎 Tiger 寅 Yín January 28, 1998 February 14, 2010
兔 Rabbit 卯 Mǎo February 16, 1999 February 3, 2011
龍 Dragon 辰 Chén February 5, 2000 January 23, 2012
蛇 Snake 巳 Sì January 24, 2001 February 10, 2013
馬 Horse 午 Wǔ February 12, 2002 January 31, 2014
羊 Sheep 未 Wèi February 1, 2003 February 19, 2015
猴 Monkey 申 Shēn January 22, 2004 February 8, 2016
雞 Rooster 酉 Yǒu February 9, 2005 January 28, 2017
狗 Dog 戌 Xū January 29, 2006 February 16, 2018
豬 Pig 亥 Hài February 18, 2007 February 5, 2019

China's demand for oil jumped by an "astonishing" 28% in January compared with the same month a year earlier, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says.

The oil demand jump was not "astonishing" because January 2009 had the Chinese New Year Celebrations with a lot of business shut down. In 2010 as the chart above shows the Chinese New Year falls in February so that is the slack month.

The IEA is comparing months that are not the same due to an important and long Chinese holiday. Things that are different can not be compared. If they are anyway, wrong conclusions are reached.

Another reason why it's better to owe money than get a refund...

States may hold onto tax refunds for months

Officials in the following states say they have had to delay issuing refunds or consider doing so because the state might not have the cash on hand to cover the checks.

* Hawaii
* Alabama
* North Carolina
* Kansas
* Idaho
* New York

Georgia paid interest on refunds last year because the refunds were so much delayed. Revenues are down further this year. It is hard to see the situation improve.

This is interesting. As the Dow moves so goes the price of oil, at least for the last several months. Well, right now the Dow is flat, just above break even, but the price of oil is down over a dollar a barrel.

Check Dow here:


Check price of oil here:


Since this is Friday, usually an up day for the Dow and since it has been going up lately, and the price of oil is down, the Dow will probably go down about a hundred points on Monday. The folks buying oil for some reason are more savvy than the folks buying stocks, and so the Dow usually ends up following the price of oil, not the other way around.

Anyway, if you have short positions today. Better be real sure before the closing bell.

Dow +10 to +30 on Monday.

The new toplink, "Oil Production to Peak in 2014, Scientists Predict", is notable for being the first time I have ever seen the words "peak oil" in the summary headline section on the Yahoo front page. After simmering for several days, this story has managed to vault itself to a very high profile.

On the negative side, the comments section following the article is quite a collection of vitriol. In summary: (1) those darn Arabs are just trying to drive up the price of oil, (2) we've heard these warnings before and they came to nothing, and (3) if those pesky liberals got out of the way we'd have plenty of energy.

It's all too easy to get accustomed to the conversation here at TOD. This is a good reminder, for me at least, of how much work remains in the task of bringing the general public up to speed on the threat of future energy shortages. Daunting stuff. There are a lot of loud and strident voices out there.


There is not much work remaining to bring the general public up to speed on the threat of future energy shortages. As Richard Pryor's Mudbone replied when asked why he didn't warn the town about the flood waters that were about to hit..."They was gonna find out soon enough anyhow."

Ever since around 1980,
when engineer Jimmy Carter got booted out of office
(for giving his fire side sweater speech)
and grinning market bull Reagan got elected,
the USA has been on a relentless race to the bottom
of the scientific illiteracy list.

They're not gonna find out sooner or ever.

Cause they're not going to understand what happened to them.

"What did it mean sergeant, what did the verdict mean?"

"It meant that we were derelict in our duty,
We were the ones who were supposed to be on guard.
We were the ones who were supposed to defend truth and justice
rather than opting for lies and lethargy."

Duty and

not party on like there's no tomorrow

Murder, mystery and intrigue... OK, maybe two out of three.

Emera, the corporate parent of Nova Scotia Power, has agreed to acquire the assets of Maine & Maritimes Corp, the parent company of Maine Public Service (MPS) for $US 77 million (see: http://www.mainebiz.biz/news46015.html). MPS is a small transmission and distribution utility that serves the needs of some 36,000 customers in northern Maine. Sadly, the population within its service territory is declining and its commercial and industrial base, heavily dependent upon agriculture and forest products, has fallen on hard times. MPS is also challenged by a growing number of service disconnects and accounts in arrears.

So, what's in this for Emera? MPS wants to built a privately funded 345-kV "merchant line" to connect it and the ISO-NE via Houlton, ME (see: http://investor.maineandmaritimes.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=441489). At the same time, Hydro-Québec is in the process of acquiring New Brunswick Power with the intention of expanding its power exports to New England. Thus, Emera is acquiring a utility that's geographically positioned between it and the ISO-NE. Moreover, Bangor Hydro, another wholly owned subsidiary of Emera, owns and operates the Maine portion of the Northeast Reliability Interconnect (NRI), one of only two existing 345-kV interconnects with neighboring New Brunswick. This counter block is thing of beauty.

Addendum: MPS serves all of Aroostook County and part of Penobscot. For those not familiar with the geographical position of these two countries and their relationship to the provinces of Québec and New Brunswick, see: http://www.etravelmaine.com/state/maps/maine.pdf


Nice move indeed, but for a different reason IMHO. There is limited potential on the Canadian side for wind subsidies in the Atlantic provinces as the federal EcoEnergy grants to wind projects will be phased out in 2011. Bypassing New Brunswick and setting up shop in northern ME saves them losses extra transmission charges on the NB interface while potentially benefiting from the Obama renewable stimulus money.

As for Hydro-Québec, they basically lose nothing with this. Their generation and transmission setup is much more flexible than the competition, which means they can act simultaneously as baseload (as in Quebec, Vermont and New Brunswick, maybe PEI), intermediate and peak (in the rest of New England, New York and Ontario).

Hi Claude,

It's an interesting point. I have no knowledge of the utility's corporate plans or long-term strategic thinking, but I don't think Nova Scotia Power has any ambitions related to the export of wind energy (unlike, say, PEI). In fact, the utility is worried they won't have enough wind energy to meet their own REP requirements. That said, there's tremendous wind potential in northern Maine and Emera no doubt wants to profit from it.

I do agree that Hydro-Québec is in a pretty good position whichever way you look at it. I see this as a purely defensive move on the part of Emera aimed at protecting their access to NB Power's transmission system. After all, NSP would prefer any power that flows from the Lower Churchill do so via Nova Scotia and having a strategic presence in Maine does help in this regard.


Oil Production to Peak in 2014, Scientists Predict

For what it is worth: news.google.com now shows that msnbc online has the story, as of approx 1hour ago.


Re: A New Unit for (Saved) Energy

Arthur Rosenfeld is a personal hero to me and I'm pleased to see his invaluable contributions recognized in this manner. In the same spirit, I propose that we call each 100 km of rail that is electrified a "Drake" in honour of the TOD's own Alan Drake.

Some people quietly do, whilst others are content to loudly talk.


I'll vote for both of these. Art Rosenfeld has achieved an immense amount and deserves recognition.

Keep up the good work, Alan! But do you want to be valued in kilometres or miles?


It may or may not be a coincidence, but not long after Alan Drake gave a presentation in Dallas on electrified rail, and an interview on the local NPR station, Dallas and the transit authority (DART) started getting serious about a downtown streetcar system (same thing is happening in Fort Worth).

What's really tragic is that up until about 1948, Dallas had 200 miles of electrified streetcar lines.

Hulu dot com, just put up within the last few days the Life without People series, of 4 episodes, you can watch without becoming a member of their site, which is free and allows you to watch any R rated show they have listed.

I don't have cable and don't watch even those stations I'd have been able to without it pre-digital turnover. But I do wath things via youtube and hulu, I'll check them out.

The discussion forums for the show/series are filled with silly comments so be warned.

I know we talked about it a few days ago, for those that missed it, here is a way to see them and think about it. Infotainment likely.

BioWebScape designs for a better future.