Drumbeat: June 8, 2010

U.S. Reduces 2010 Oil Price, World Demand Estimates

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Energy Department reduced its crude oil price forecast for 2010 on concern that global economic growth may slow and on ample U.S. stockpiles.

West Texas Intermediate oil, the U.S. benchmark, will average $78.75 a barrel this year, down from last month’s forecast of $82.18, according to its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook, released today. That’s 28 percent higher than the 2009 average of $61.66 a barrel.

Prices will climb 4.8 percent to average $82.50 a barrel in 2011, the report showed. The estimate for next year was down 3.5 percent from May’s report.

It's now a race against time

PEAK OIL is like reaching 50: you know there are fewer years ahead of you than behind. Like turning 50, you try not to think about it, but it doesn't go away.

There are many objections to the claim that peak oil will mean permanently expensive energy, but most objections do not stand up to scrutiny.

Scientists challenge BP containment claims

Some scientists are taking issue with BP's statement that a containment cap placed over a gushing well could be capturing "the vast majority" of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.

They suggest it's misleading, if not irresponsible, to make such a statement when the company has acknowledged it doesn't know how much oil is flowing from the busted well, or how much the spill rate has increased since engineers cut a riser pipe so it could properly fit the containment cap.

Rig survivors: BP ordered shortcut on day of blast

(CNN) -- The morning the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, a BP executive and a Transocean official argued over how to proceed with the drilling, rig survivors told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview.

The survivors' account paints perhaps the most detailed picture yet of what happened on the deepwater rig -- and the possible causes of the April 20 explosion.

Lawmaker Questions Staffing Level Aboard Rig

The chairman of a congressional committee investigating the Gulf oil spill is questioning whether key personnel aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig were tired or off duty, in the hours before the explosion that destroyed the floating platform and started the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Ala. governor mobilizes Guard to educate residents on filing of BP oil spill claims

ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Bob Riley has called out the National Guard to help spread the word among coastal residents that they can apply to BP for oil spill compensation.

Riley said Tuesday at a training session for Guardsmen that fewer than 30 people have applied for lost rental revenue out of 17,000 condominiums in the region.

Family of BP boss under police protection - report

(Reuters) - BP boss Tony Hayward and his family are under police protection after receiving threats and hate mail from campaigners over the worst oil spill in U.S. history, London's Evening Standard newspaper reported.

Mexico police arrest 13 in fuel theft tunnel case

MEXICO CITY - Police have arrested 13 people they say excavated a 500-foot (150-meter) tunnel under a busy neighborhood in Mexico's capital to steal fuel from oil company pipelines, officials said Tuesday.

Iran: fuel swap deal is one-time opportunity

ISTANBUL – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that a nuclear swap deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil was a one-time opportunity to resolve his nation's standoff with the West, days before the U.N. Security Council is expected to vote on new sanctions.

Ahmadinejad told reporters on the sidelines of an Asian security summit that new sanctions would be a mistake and President Barack Obama stands to lose unless he changes his policies toward Iran.

10 steps to creating your own local currency

Local currencies ensure that money spent at local shops gets reinvested in the community and fosters community spirit and involvement. Learn all you need to know to get one started in your area...

Saudi Aramco Has 260 Billion Barrels Oil Reserves

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s biggest state oil company, has 260 billion barrels of oil reserves, said Mohammed Al-Qahtani, the executive director of the company’s Petroleum Engineering & Development unit.

“To ensure availability and reliability, we have invested heavily in new developments to increase oil production capacity,” Al-Qahtani said at a conference in Beijing today. “A lack of resources isn’t a constraining factor.”

Spill forces fossil fuels rethinking

Is it possible to energize our civilization without fear? Fear of oil spills and oil wars, fear of nuclear meltdowns and nuclear waste, fear of global warming and polluted air and water?

It is, according to Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), among the world's most respected authorities on alternative energy strategies. In a new video available at www.rmi.org/rmi/ReinventingFire#video, Lovins makes the case that a richer, fairer, cooler, safer world is now possible because saving and replacing fossil fuels works better -- and costs less -- than buying and burning them.

Fossil fuels have plenty of form in staring down disasters

The Gulf oil spill may be raising prices for long-dated (eight years hence) crude oil futures. But is it really going to have much effect on fossil fuel production around the world?

Fossil fuels, after all, have a lot of form for enduring all kinds of disasters and tragedies.

Going to Extremes: Our unbridled pursuit of untapped energy is taking us into treacherous new territory

The ongoing debacle in the Gulf of Mexico is a sign of many things—the incompetence of BP, poor oversight, and an industry that places too much emphasis on production technology and too little on safety technology. But it also highlights a larger truth. We’ve entered an age in North America where the production of energy, especially from fossil fuels, comes with ever-more-expensive environmental tradeoffs. We’ve entered what Michael Klare, a professor at Hampshire College, calls the era of “extreme energy.”

Pemex Lawsuit Targets U.S. Firms in Smuggling Ring

(Bloomberg) -- Petroleos Mexicanos, the state-owned oil company, has accused BASF Corp., Murphy Energy Corp. and three other U.S. companies of knowingly buying stolen natural gas condensate from Mexican bandits, according to a lawsuit filed in Houston federal court.

Uneasy passage: The Northwest Passage is central to Canadian identity, yet its future remains uncertain

While most Canadians are well aware of what some of the threats to the Arctic are, what to do about them is largely unresolved. So far, the government of Canada has responded largely by making Arctic sovereignty a priority.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper laid it all on the table in the summer of 2007 when he announced plans for a new icebreaker, up to eight ice-capable patrol boats, a deepsea port at Nanisivik on Baffin Island and a world-class scientific research station to be located somewhere along the Northwest Passage.

The biggest threat to Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic, he seemed to suggest, were illegal aliens, terrorists and rogue ships that might try to make the voyage without asking for permission or complying with Canadian regulations.

Up to $10k in Subsidies for Electric Cars

As oil continues to flow into the Gulf, it is becoming increasingly clear that this environmental disaster will be a major sticking point for voters come November.

And I'm convinced this is why we're now seeing new House and Senate bills that, if passed, will increase incentives for electric vehicles.

Rethinking our oil-drenched lifestyles

Pity the birds; hate the company. But I couldn’t help but wonder how much I should hate myself, too. My life, after all, is one giant petroleum glut, from the diapers and diaper rash ointment for my son to the toothpaste in my bathroom to the Lycra in my jeans. Oil gets me to work and back, puts food on my plate, gets pumped into the tank in my basement every winter. Imagining a world without it is next to impossible.

But there are some people who are trying.

Their work is based on the controversial concept of “peak oil,’’ the theory that US oil production reached its apex in the 1970s and global production will reach its high point by 2020. There will still be oil to be had, the theory goes, but less of it, harder to reach, requiring risky technology like BP’s deep underwater wells. The threat of ecological disasters and foreign encumbrances are nothing compared to the spectre of the spigot turning off. And the theory implicates us all; according to Richard Heinberg, senior fellow at the California-based Post Carbon Institute, half of the world’s non-renewable resources have been used up in the lifetime of the Boomer generation.

If BP Is Evil Then So Are We All

If we were ever in doubt that the world is running out of oil and so-called Peak Oil has arrived then the BP oil disaster should put that to rest, and despite the horror unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico we should get used to the idea of deepwater oil drilling because that is what will keep our cars running for a bit longer.

Or should we get used to that idea?

Oils Erases Losses Before U.S. Supply Report as Euro Recovers

(Bloomberg) -- Oil reversed earlier declines before a report forecast to show that U.S. crude inventories declined a second week as the euro recovered against the dollar.

Crude for July delivery was at $71.52 a barrel, up 8 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 12:18 p.m. London time. The euro advanced to $1.1931 from an earlier low of $1.1902.

“The U.S. economy is still on a track to recovery,” said Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst with VTB Capital in London. “The market is feeling upbeat about signs that demand for fuel products in the U.S. is quite healthy.”

Kuwait minister says current oil price acceptable

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – The current oil price is "acceptable" and there is no need for OPEC to hold an extraordinary conference, Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Sabah said on Tuesday.

"The price (of oil) is acceptable," said Sheikh Ahmad when asked about the current crude prices, adding he expects the price to continue to fluctuate but to remain within the current range until the end of the year.

Gas prices appear to be leveling off

After dropping 20 cents in the past month, gasoline pump prices are leveling off.

Retail gasoline prices fell 0.3 cent Monday to a national average of $2.724 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.

Oil spills escalated in this decade

The number of spills from offshore oil rigs and pipelines in U.S. waters more than quadrupled this decade, a trend that could have served as a warning for the massive leak in the Gulf of Mexico, according to government data and safety experts.

The spills — and the amount of oil that leaked — grew markedly worse even when taking increases in production into account, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data shows. The leaks came as the oil industry repeatedly claimed that offshore drilling was never safer.

Reports at BP over years find history of problems

A series of internal investigations over the past decade warned senior BP managers that the oil company repeatedly disregarded safety and environmental rules and risked a serious accident if it did not change its ways.

The confidential inquiries, which have not previously been made public, focused on a rash of problems at BP's Alaska oil-drilling operations. They described instances in which management flouted safety by neglecting aging equipment, pressured employees not to report problems and cut short or delayed inspections to reduce production costs.

Killer Undersea Oil Plumes From BP Spill Lurk in Gulf of Mexico

(Bloomberg) -- Undersea plumes of oil that can kill off marine life have been confirmed stretching for miles in the Gulf of Mexico from BP Plc’s leaking Macondo well, according to findings researchers will announce today.

Obama has strong words as Gulf spill spreads

VENICE, La/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said he wanted to know "whose ass to kick" over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, adding to the pressure on energy giant BP Plc as it sought to capture more of the leak from its gushing well.

"I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answer so I know whose ass to kick," Obama said in an interview with NBC News' "Today" to air on Tuesday.

Could the spill restore Jindal as a GOP whiz kid?

The Republican's rapid-fire command of facts and determination to lead are his second act on the national stage — and a chance to erase the memories of his pedantic, sing-songy rebuttal of President Barack Obama's first speech to Congress in February 2009. The 38-year-old, Oxford-educated political prodigy was widely criticized, and suddenly didn't seem like presidential material as he once did.

"His reputation still hasn't overcome that speech," said Ed Chervenak, political science professor at the University of New Orleans.

BP Becomes Lawmakers’ ‘Pinata’ as Oil-Spill Hearings Reach 28

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc’s failure to stop the oil leaking from its well in the Gulf of Mexico is yielding a gusher of inquiries by U.S. lawmakers.

Twenty-eight congressional hearings have been held or scheduled so far. BP America President Lamar McKay has testified before the Senate four times and the House three times. Twelve panels are claiming jurisdiction over parts of the spill and the cleanup.

Oil Spill's Erratic Geography Fuels Angst

(CBS/AP) In sensitive marshes on the Louisiana coast, oil thick as pancake batter suffocates grasses and traps pelicans. Blobs of tar the size of coins or dinner plates dot the white sands of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Little seems amiss in Mississippi except a shortage of tourists, but an oily sheen glides atop the sea west of Tampa.

The oil spill plaguing the states along the Gulf of Mexico isn't one slick - it's many.

Spill prompts tougher British oil rig inspections

London, England (CNN) -- Britain will step up its inspection of North Sea drilling rigs following the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the government announced Tuesday.

The government will also increase monitoring of offshore drilling compliance and has asked a new oil industry group to report on Britain's ability to prevent and respond to oil spills, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said.

BP Oil-Capture-Rate Increases as Pace of Spill Stays a Mystery

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc said more oil is being recovered from its leaking Gulf of Mexico well with a cap device, as the commander of the U.S.’s spill-response team said it’s unknown how much crude continues to leak.

Oily tide erases cleanup work

COCODRIE, La. — Wash, rinse and repeat. And repeat.

And then repeat some more.

That's the routine for rescue workers in the Gulf of Mexico, where oil creeps back into marshes and wetlands faster than they can clean it up. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the coordinator of the federal response to the disaster, warned Monday that it could take "years" of hard work to fully scrub the Gulf Coast of all the crude.

Obama shouldn't rule out nuking oil well

Find a way to plug the hole in a way that does less harm than good. That should be the only concern for those working to end the nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico, and the nuclear option should not be summarily dismissed as something too radical and frightening to consider.

Gull dripping in oil is a call for action on energy

A lot of writers are talking about our addiction to oil and saying the obvious -- that it's time to stop it. But the very nature of addictions is that they don't change easily. I once asked my friend Susan to explain to me how, despite her intentions to not smoke, she could walk by a convenience store and ask me to wait while she went in to buy cigarettes. What happened in her brain to silence her intention to stop the habit and instead empower her amble into the store? Basically, she said, the overwhelming imperative to satisfy the addiction screamed louder than her judgment.

Nigeria's forgotten oil spills

BP has said again and again that it will cover the costs of cleaning up its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

But away from the cameras, thousands of Nigerians in the Niger Delta, continue to battle for any compensation from numerous oil spills.

The Doctor And The Dealman

Q: So this is clearly going to be a setback to offshore drilling. What are the implications from a supply perspective? Are you guys believers in the whole Peak Oil thing?

Bustin: Fundamentally, I’m a believer in the concept of Peak Oil. Yet, with the new accessibility to reservoirs made possible by technologies that allow us to drill horizontally and release petrocarbons unconventionally through fracking, I am not sure we have actually seen Peak Oil. Ultimately, however, we are burning through an awful lot of what is undeniably a finite resource.

Russian PM says gas pipeline may not go to Israel

ANKARA, Turkey—Russia's prime minister says a new gas pipeline that will link Russia to the Middle East via Turkey may not be extended to Israel as originally projected. He says there are economic concerns after Israel found gas in its own waters.

India Delays Fuel Price Decision Amid High Inflation

(Bloomberg) -- India delayed a decision to raise prices of fuels including gasoline and diesel on concern higher costs will stoke inflation, already running at the fastest clip among the Group of 20 nations. Shares of state refiners fell.

Enterprise Products Shuts Texas Pipeline After Blast Kills One

(Bloomberg) -- Enterprise Products Partners LP shut a portion of a 36-inch natural-gas pipeline in Texas after an explosion and fire yesterday killed one person and put four others in hospital.

Kirkuk pipe fix 'to take up to 5 days'

A pipeline rupture that halted Iraq's crude oil exports to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan was sabotage and could take up to five days to fix, a source at Iraq's North Oil Company said today.

Bank of America Says European Power Demand to Recover by 2012

(Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit said European electricity demand will gain to pre-recession 2008 levels by 2012 as industrial energy consumption recovers.

The lowest point in European power demand was reached in the second quarter of last year, Merrill analysts in London including Eric Lopez said today in an e-mailed report.

First U.K.-Dutch Power Link to Narrow Price Gap

(Bloomberg) -- The gap between electricity prices in the U.K. and the Netherlands is set to narrow next year as utilities complete the first cable linking the two nations.

Hoping for a fair wind

UNDER targets set by the EU, Ireland must meet 40pc of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020. In the age of "peak oil" this is no longer a dim, distant aspiration but a pressing need.

The good news is that we are actually on target to achieve a 15pc rate this year, and 40pc or even higher in 10 years. At present we have 117 wind farms. This will rise to 361, but the wind turbines will not spring up at regular intervals all around the country. Most will be on the west and south coasts, with no fewer than 66 wind farms in Kerry, 52 in Donegal and 46 in Cork.

Two good reasons to drive an electric car

BP's oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the latest troubles in the Middle East could have an unexpected outcome for the auto industry: a boost for electric vehicles (EVs).

The ecological nightmare that BP has unleashed has put the spotlight on the deep water oil drilling that for a while seemed to have peak oil theorists eating crow. Now we can all see in vivid images the cost of oil dependency: dying oil-soaked birds, choking fish and beaches covered in gooey gobs of oil.

E.ON, RWE’s Earnings May Be Cut by German Nuclear Tax, UBS Says

(Bloomberg) -- E.ON AG and RWE AG, Germany’s largest utilities, could see earnings squeezed next year if the country imposes a new tax on the nuclear power industry to help reduce the budget deficit, according to UBS AG.

An Old Nuclear Problem Creeps Back

The American nuclear industry, primed to begin new construction projects for the first time in 30 years, is about as eager for an operating problem at an old reactor as the oil industry was for a well blowout on the eve of opening the Atlantic coast to oil drilling.

Nonetheless, a nuclear reactor where a hidden leak caused near-catastrophic corrosion in 2002 has experienced a second bout of the same problem.

Officials battle superstition to boost births

Nations in Asia are witnessing record low birthrates that experts warn will eventually leave the region without the workers needed to bolster the economy and pay for social benefits.

And 2010 may be the worst year yet because children born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Tiger are believed to be fierce and bring harm to their families.

Biodiversity Hot Spots More Vulnerable to Global Warming Than Thought

ScienceDaily — Global warming may present a threat to animal and plant life even in biodiversity hot spots once thought less likely to suffer from climate change, according to a new study from Rice University.

Seeds of doubt against climate science

If some of the ongoing attacks on the credibility of climate science feel familiar, there's a reason. With their unattributed claims downplaying the severity of the problem and their vague allegations of scientific impropriety, the assaults are the latest in a long tradition of organized efforts by industry and free-market enthusiasts to undermine the credibility of science they don't like.

One early campaign was launched by tobacco companies. Seeking to prevent government regulation of its product, the American cigarette industry created the Council for Tobacco Research to generate research disputing the work of mainstream scientists. "Doubt is our product," said a 1969 industry memo, "since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public." Fighting regulation meant creating doubt about the health effects of smoking. The strategy proved enormously successful, helping prevent most regulation of tobacco products until 2009, nearly six decades after the carcinogenic properties of tobacco were established.

Daily Wildlife Collection Reports (you can bet these are a tiny fraction of the actual carnage)



The biggest user of oil is the American military.

It's bloated, and it uses a ridiculous amount of energy for wars of choice.

Americans have overwhelmingly approved using the Military to fight wars for oil. A quick look at the highways around here confirm my suspicions.

Anecdote: On bike to school day last month, my wife said people were dropping their kids off at school and unloading bikes from the back of SUVs so that they could "ride" the last 100 yards.

I believe Americans are just as happy about oil spills if the recent spike in sales of new trucks are any indication.

No raindrop ever feels responsible for the flood.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to call Xantrax again to find out why they won't send back my inverter. I'm down to 20Kw a day with only one in service. Anyone have a contact there in support?

I'm an American. I don't want us fighting for oil. What war exactly was it that has got/is giving us the oil. Other than Iraq, which is NOT about oil, read the PNAC document, I don't see where exactly you get that? PS I am not a fan of any of our military exploits. I personally am an isolationist. I would prefer to remove our military from ALL overseas bases and put them on bases surrounding the US, specifically the US/Mexico border. Let the rest of the world handle itself.

Anecdote: Peoples kids get taken in the US and parents don't want it to be THEIR kid. Yes I know odds, and I didn't worry about it as much as most do, but then my daughter had something bad happen to her much later while babysitting. So now I would be one that drove my kid to school because one of the few times my wife and I did let our guard down....

I believe your beliefs are as useful to me as the oil spilled in the gulf.

From one raindrop to another, I know my part. I'm not gonna dry up (commit suicide) so I will continue to contribute. Your choices are your own affair.

I'm curious how the PNAC document convinces you that the Iraq war wasn't about oil. I think it's possible that they might have left out details and national interests that weren't convenient to leave hanging about in public places.

That is not to say that I think you're not being forthright and honorable, but the powers that led us very pointedly into Baghdad had something clearly on their mind, and it wasn't Bin Laden or Terrorism, and it wasn't Revenge.. it was strategic control of oilfields.

The U.S. currently has bases in 135 countries of the world. The Administration is currently asking Congress to fund 100 million more dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afganistan, they also have requested 6 Bil (thats with a B) for military activities in 75 countries involved in fighting "Terrorism" Tell me what do you think all of this military activity is directed at? Oh yeah, spreading Democracy.

For both of you. I think our leaders honestly believe that they, and only they, know what is best for the riff-raff. If you are not one of them then that means you. If they honestly understood Iraq they would not have ignored the warnings about trying to get the three tribes to agree on anything. They would have understood that "creating peace" by their definition was never going to happen.

Yes I believe they wanted stability in the middle east. And they wanted it so their corporate buddies could get back in there with the oil no longer nationalized and show those untrained people how to develop more of their oil. I don't think it was to take it by force is all.

And yes I do believe that the powers that be think they are 'spreading Democracy' because it works so well in the US (yes that is sarcasm) that it just HAS to work everyplace else and then they will see our side of things. Democracy as 'practiced' in the US is no less a religion than any other.

If you research a little you will see that the Saudi's are really our biggest threat as far as current oil exports and subverting our supposed intentions in Iraq. Yet nothing is done about that.

I don't mean this as a personal sleight, but I feel you've been bamboozled in this .. (EDIT: and to be clear, I mean bamboozled in believing that PR spin for what Washington is trying to do. It's the sales-pitch, nothing more.)

To whit,

Transcript from Rob Newman's History of Oil (available on Google Video):

"...And this bold stating of the geopolitical facts of life strikes the modern reader with the force of revelation - because there is in our own time an absolute taboo among the corporate news media and the political class on mentioning anything to do with the strategic and economic reasons for war."

As witnessed just over a year ago, I’m listening to the today program on radio 4 and there was this little phrase that kept repeating on the half hour:, every half hour:

“The G8 has today endorsed an American plan to bring democracy to the Middle East.”

The level of naivety necessary before you can talk about “an American plan to bring democracy to the Middle East” - you will not find that level of naivety anywhere outside of 1970s porno films.

“Gee mister, the time machine only works if I take off all my clothes?”

And what country were they discussing that morning? Why Iran, of course, which until 1953 was a secular democracy.

1951: Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh elected prime minister by a landslide majority on a mandate of nationalizing the Anglo-Persian oil company, now know as record profit posting BP - what happens next?

The British Foreign Office recommend a coup d’etat. Churchill puts up a million and a half dollars to finance the coup, Eisenhower agrees to match this with a million dollars on the sole proviso that Theodore Roosvelt’s grandson and CIA Middle East station chief in Tehran, Kermit Roosevelt, will be point man for the coup. This is agreed on, the money is transferred, and Kermit Roosvelt’s first action is to spring General Fazlollah Zahedi from jail, where he is languishing on account of being a Nazi collaborator. This is the man that Kermit Roosevelt has chosen to lead the military part of the coup. . .

...Kermit Roosevelt installs Shah Rehva Palavi as absolute dictator of Iran, head of the notorious SAVAK secret police, which in 1976 Amnesty described as responsible for the worst human rights atrocities on Planet Earth.

This was Britain and America bringing democracy to the Middle East in 1953.

That 1953 action we are still living with. The overthrow and assignation of constitutional democracy and its leader and replacing it with a dictatorship started the ride to the bottom.
Guatemala next in 1954, and so on---

Thank you for this. 45 minutes well spent.


I've enjoyed it a number of times now.

If you're eager for an equally watchable (but more serious) look at a possible solution, or a BB anyhow, try this..
BBC - "A Farm for the Future", A film by Rebecca Hosking

(I'm just trying to get you in trouble for watching virtual TV all day!)


.. forgot to include the link to that. The article where this transcript came in the comments seems fairly salient as well.

Revealed: Secret Plan to Keep Iraq Under U.S. Control
Bush wants fifty military bases, control of Iraqi airspace and legal immunity for all American soldiers and contractors.
June 2008 - Patrick Cockburn, in the Independent, UK

I got 45,000 hits, but here are ones provided by our own military.

From Stripes.com - Guarding Iraq’s oil platforms, and its income

U.S. Sailors, Coast Guard Protect Iraq’s Economy

USS The Sullivans Protects Oil Terminal

Coalition Maritime Forces Revise Iraqi Oil Terminal Protection Procedures

Military to fight wars for oil.

I did jump to the conclusion that you were using 'for' to mean to obtain for our use. If I am wrong then I apologize. If that is what you meant then could you explain why the military keeps calling it Iraqs oil, when by all rights since we won the war it is now our oil.

Iraq has never represented more than 4.5% of crude oil used in the United States.

If you read and look into it we get less oil now then when Sadam was in charge. I know our government is inept but they started a war so they could get LESS oil?


The concern early in the Bush Administration was that within the next 4-8 yrs, the oil market would be so tight that Saddam could threaten to remove critical oil supplies from the market, and use that threat to obtain a removal of sanctions which had been in place since the first gulf war. The PNAC report mentions occasions in the late 90's where Saddam had temporarily removed oil from the market to test spare capacity, but at this time SA had ample spare capacity. The PNAC report also notes several occasions where Saddam had expressed intent to withdraw oil from market to obtain a removal of sanctions. The report goes on to discuss the negative consequences for the image of the USA if Saddam is allowed to make the threat, and then the USA is forced to acquiesce. Possible courses of action discussed included proactively removing the Iraqi sanctions before the conflict arose, or gearing up for the possibility for regime change in response to the threat. With the benefit of hindsight, we know that GWB chose war. Whilst the estimates of dead vary widely, even conservative estimates surpass 100,000.

This is the sense in which the war is undeniably about oil. If you think that justification is defensible, then you are one of the raindrops.

"...they started a war so they could get LESS oil? "

No. They wanted more. Needless to say (although some of us were nonetheless screaming it from record-breaking protests and marches around the world), the plan didn't actually work out that well. Remember their projections of how long it would take, (a few weeks) what it would ultimately cost, the projection of 'No Casualties on our side' - and how the flow of Oil revenues would 'pay for the whole thing' ?

While it doesn't cover the whole debacle, calling it 'Inept' would at least be a good start. .. and it's not just 'Our Government', as if this falls on all our leaders past and present.. it was the Bush/Cheney Administration. They deserve lots more credit than they're getting here. Plus Miranda rights.

.. and I'm afraid that I'm happy to say I told you so.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to call Xantrax again to find out why they won't send back my inverter. I'm down to 20Kw a day with only one in service. Anyone have a contact there in support?

Is the irony intentional? Why would you need more than 5KW per day unless you are heating with electric or or charging an EV?

Why would you need more than 5KW per day unless you are heating with electric or or charging an EV?

Those are two great reasons to use more electricity. Considering that the average American home consumes something like 30 kWh every day however, you might want to ask your next door neighbor that question. I personally find it difficult to bring my consumption under 12 kWh per day, without electric heat or an EV.

By Jove, what do Americans actually do to possibly get to 30kWh per day? Leave the 80" plasma on when you go to work as well as all lighting and having a supersize fridge in each of the twelve rooms of which you use only 5 and leaving their doors open? Hot tub in the garden without proper insulation including terrace heaters so you can zip a beer in a T-shirt outside while it's freezing? Perhaps even a PS3 Beowulf cluster in the basement running flat out 24/7 testing new pocket sized nuclear weapon designs? What?

I use 20Kwh a day, and that's with gas heat, gas hot water, gas stove and gas oven. And I live in an apartment, not a house.

I would guess the fridge and the air conditioner are the biggies.

American refrigerators are huge compared to the ones you find in Europe.

And our large houses and hot summers (in much of the country) mean high air conditioning bills in the summer.

I think the fridge in our house in Florida qualifies as a studio apartment in most European countries. But is small compared to the two 3-ton A/C units. Oh ya, we've got electric bills alright! But, we do run the A/C as little as possible with even turning off the upstairs unit during the day.

It's not good for the afternoon peak load but anybody who wants to save money on ac juice IN THE SHORT TERM should buy a couple of TOP QUALITY kick butt window units with timers if his existing system can't cool down the house more or less in five minutes to a livable state in the immediate vicinity of the ac unit.Then the ac can STAY OFF from maybe four or five am, depending on the time you leave the house to go to work, until five or ten minutes of your expected afternoon arrival home.

Of course in the longer term this is not the best or even a very good solution, but it can work wonders for most pepople's total consumption-and most of us are on flat rates.

It works just fine for me, and cuts my electric bill substantially;beyond that, we usually cool only one or two rooms, except when we are having a crowd;only then do we cool the whole house.

We have four large freezers , a large refrigerator, the usual electric range,electric hot water(soon to be solar ) and use some electrically powered farm equipment,especially lights and pumps.

Our consumption is usually well under a thousand kwh and would be substantially less without the freezers, but we eat mostly our own home grown or locally grown frozen fruits and vegetables in the off seasons, and the savings in food costs more than justify the freezers in monetary terms.My guess is that running our own freezers is much less energy intensive than buying fresh or frozen shipped food out of season.

A partially emptied freezer can also be refilled with home grown or locally grown and processed meat, or meat bought on special at retail markets, thereby saving more money.

My consumption varies between about 5Kwh per day in the summer, and about 20Kwh per day in the winter.

The higher usage is mainly to do with shorter hours of daylight, and furnace power for the gas forced air heating system, as well as more energy used in winter to heat water, and prepare hot foods.

I do have solar heat and hot water, but that only accounts for about 35% of my winter usage.

Air-conditioning bumps summer usage up quite a bit, but I try not to use it unless absolutely necessary (maybe two to three hundred-degree-days a year). I could move into the basement at those times to avoid it completely.

I have an 1800 sq ft 1904 Victorian home in Chicago.

We're currently averaging 15 kWh per day, roughly one-third of which can be attributed to our domestic water heater. We still have the heat on on the lower level to help keep the relative humidity below 60 per cent. The alternative is to run the dehumidifier, but that consumes far more electricity (8 to 10 kWh/day versus 2 or 3 for the heat pump).


Hi Paul,

According to my hydro bill, my average consumption is 4 kWh/day with a monthly hydro bill of just $13.00. Yes electricity is very cheap in British Columbia, the same cannot be said of the rent. I live in an apartment where hot water and heating are provided by a natural gas furnace. I use only compact fluorescent ligh bulbs and shut them off whenever I leave the room. I suspect the fridge is the main contributor to my consumption. I've lived here for 12.5 years with the same fridge since I moved in. Any idea how much a new energy efficient fridge would save compared to regular 15 year old one (just guessing about the age)?

Hi Frugal,

Four kWh per day is mighty impressive. Congratulations ! Your refrigerator could very well be the single largest consumer. I'm guessing a fifteen year old "apartment size" refrigerator might use something in the range of 1.5 kWh per day. If you can borrow a Kill-a-Watt meter from your local library, I might suggest monitoring it for a day or so. If you have a desktop PC and external monitor, that could account for a large chunk of your daily usage as well -- I saw a fairly significant drop in demand when I replaced mine with a laptop (20-watts versus 130). Cable/satellite boxes can be another big draw; some use as much as 60-watts even when turned off.

BTW, earlier this week I cancelled my satellite subscription and unplugged my last TV set and decoder. I seldom watch television and when I do it's typically the CBC news -- both the National and our local newscasts can be viewed online at no charge (e.g., http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Local_News/NS/ID=1516813568).


Paul. Thanks for the advice. I'll check out if my local library lends out Kill-a-Watt meters. I really would like to know how much that fridge draws. I never watch TV, but I do use my desktop computer with a flat screen at lot.

You're most welcome. I'm not sure where you live in BC, but I know the North Vancouver City Library has them available for loan (see: http://www.cnv.org/server.aspx?c=3&i=593). I have a flat screen monitor as well, and simply turning down the screen brightness slashed its power consumption by nearly 40-watts. When working on large spreadsheets, the external monitor's higher resolution is helpful (1920x1200); otherwise, my laptop's internal display is more than adequate for my needs (1400x1050). In fact, most of my web surfing is done on an older ThinkPad operating at 1024x768 -- fifty or more hours of guilt-free TOD per kWh.


We use 10 kWh per day April through Sept, 12kWh per day March and October, and an average of 20 kWh per day Nov-Feb. We have gas heat, gas stove, gas dryer, and a secondary gas hot water heater, but after increased insulation and more double-paned windows, all these items only add up to a little over a therm a day (on average.) Our main hot water heater is solar with an electric back up, so that's part of what takes our electricity usage up in the winter (all the those cloudy days.) 2800 square foot house in San Francisco.

Our 3 kilowatt solar system produces an average of 17kWh a day April - Sept. Drops down to 5 kWh in December and January. We have all CFLs except for a few LEDs we've put in and a few halogens I haven't figured out how to replace. We've cut down our vampire loads, I'm mean about making my kids hang up towels to dry and re-wear hardly dirty pajamas, and I only run the dishwasher three times a week. Our refrigerator is five years old, just on the border of whether it's worth replacing, energy-wise. Front load washer, energy efficient dishwasher. No air conditioning! I hang my clothes to dry but will use the dryer to finish them off if necessary. Last year I turned off our upstairs heating system and it did get a little chilly on our top floor last winter. To increase family happiness, I'd eventually like to put in a heat pump to keep temps above 59 degrees but that would mean more electricity usage. An eventual electric car would mean a lot more kWh's. I suppose our roof could fit a few more PV panels. Now I wish I'd put in a bigger system originally.

I personally find it difficult to bring my consumption under 12 kWh per day, without electric heat or an EV.

I would concur with that, 12-14 KWhr/day is about our minimum during spring/fall. If I could get the kids to forgo throwing their clothes in the wash after a single wearing I might be able to get below that. Maybe you live alone. During a week when the misses and kids were away I did 6-8, but when you add other family members whose priorities differ, <20 is doing very well.
I'm probably going to get 15KWh/day from the PV this summer, which just about covers our use when we can get by with fans and no AC (which will be less than half the days).

If you call for service help, you will be connected with a guy in India.

I think Pete might have been outsourced. A shame because he knew everything and could be understood.

My main array generates just over 5mw a year, but not evenly. In June I get 20kw, but only around 6kw in January. Array 1 is a grid tie system, Array 2 is a 24vdc system which I use to run 24vdc LED marine lighting in the house, garage, night lights, etc. It's very efficient. I use the Xantrex to power my daughter's medical equipment in the event of an emergency, and my electric scooter and bicycle which charge on 110.

As for the usage, well, it's my electricity. If I want to run the heater and the air conditioner at the same time just to see who wins, then that's what I do.

But the truth is once you spend the money on these systems, the lightbulbs need to be replace. The insulation is upgraded. The appliances are replaced with the most efficient replacements available. A little warmer in the summer and a little cooler in the winter. And you start carpooling with Scott even though he is irritating. But I could never get that electricity number down to 5kw. When the world blows up, I'll get it down 14kw sure enough.

I'm up to 25mw now because of an investment five years ago. And for those of you who say it was a bad investment should consider how much money I would have lost in houses or stocks.

Xantrex Customer Service #: 1-800-670-0707 ..... Good Luck!

Xantrex is now Schneider. Wow! You coulda had an Outback!

Thanks G. That was very thoughtful of you.

Next time I will get the outback. Although I'm partial to switching over to straight DC going forward. I can't believe how many more watts end up at the bulb given the same charge.

Thanks again,

It's great that you've got those parallel systems. Maybe you could do a little post sometime and offer up some of those comparisons, esp about inverter losses vs DC .. I don't know. Anything else you've been able to notice, having the two side by side?


unloading bikes from the back of SUVs so that they could "ride" the last 100 yards.

That's sick. Why do people make things so easy for their kids? It doesn't help prepare them for the real world. They just get fat and lazy. The entitlement generation. Oh, but just wait for post peak oil - all that spoiling will backfire. Those lost skills over the years will have to be learned from the bottom up, yet all they will do is roll around and say, Pizza - I want Pizza and ice cream!

And yes, the Iraq war was about oil. We know that because the oil complexes were the first thing protected after the fall of Saddam - not their antiquity in museums. Anyone that says differently is trying to avoid the shame and responsibility the Republican Bush Jr. and his party will posses for the rest of their lives for killing so many people and shattering a country based on manufactured lies about something that wasn't there - WMD. Ipso Facto

This is a surprise? Is their usage much more excessive than a comparable US state? There are ca. 1.5 million active duty members of the United States armed forces, using something like 400 kb/d - I forget the exact number, it's in an old Energy Bulletin article. Idaho uses about 70 kb/d by my calcs, summing up what I can from the meager data - gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, resid, propane. No doubt there's a bit more in there. Idaho's population is comparable in size to the military's. List of U.S. states and territories by population - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The military consuming about 6 times the per capita average shouldn't be all that surprising - are M1 tanks 6 times the body weight of an average passenger vehicle? Feel free to investigate that further if curious. I think someone - probably Jeff Vail - had a detailed article here about the military's consumption, too.

In 2006, the US military used 1.1 quads of energy of which 3/4 of which is oil~.83 quads.
The US used 36.7 quads of oil. .83/36.7 = 2.3%


Pentagon use of oil seems about in keeping with general excessive US oil overconsumption.

I see BP is buying reputation by taking over search results.

If that's how they want to play it, go to all the search engines today and search for "oil spill". Then click on all the BP links under Sponsored Links. Bing donated $100,000 yesterday to oil spill relief. At least go there and click on the BP link.

Back to oil. Does anyone think the price of oil will crash again back into the 30's as the economy double-dips? I think most of us here were amazed at the collapse at the end of 08 after hitting $147.

I think that annual oil prices are a better indication of what consumers actually paid and what producers actually received. We are basically redefining upward what "low" means. The decline in 2009 to an average price of $62 exceeded all annual oil prices prior to 2006. And I have previously noted the upward progression in annual year over year price declines, from $14 in 1998, to $26 in 2001, to $62 in 2009. If this pattern holds, the next year over year decline in oil prices would bring them down to an average annual price in the $120 range.

And once again, regarding the Thirties Depression, US oil prices rose at 11%/year from the summer of 1931 to the summer of 1937, and it appears that global demand only fell one year, in 1930, rising thereafter throughout the Thirties.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I have got to stop thinking in such short time frames. That's the curse of working for a gigantic company whose "long-term" projections include the end of this month as well as the beginning.

I should make a two-year moving average price chart.

Thanks again.

This link has annual US spot crude oil prices through 2009:


The average price through May for 2010 is about $78, which exceeds all prior annual oil prices except for 2008, which averaged $100.

For the price to dip back to $30 to $40 / barrel, OPEC would have to lose unity since they are currently acting as a swing producer to force the price up to their desired range, $65 to $100 / barrel based on the last reports I saw. I do not think the devaluation of the Euro due to the credit crisis in Greece, which is strengthening of U.S. dollar and lowering the price of crude oil, will overwhelm OPEC's ability to control the price. When the Alt-A and option ARM resets peak next year, there will be another banking crisis in the U.S. which may cause another collapse like in 2008 which could exceed OPEC's ability. The big variable is whether the global economy will recover enough and maximum crude oil production will decline enough to cause demand to intersect maximum supply causing another coincident oil price shock. When he commits all of his spare capacity, a swing producer loses control.

Re: Rethinking our oil-drenched lifestyles

10 Things We Can't Live Without

"Food, clothing and shelter have long been the most obvious staples. But data that's finally rolling in as the recession winds down shows that we also require a bit of entertainment and a tasty beverage or two. Companionship is as important as ever--even if it's not human. And you can't even look for a job these days if you don't have Internet access. As we redefine what's really important, here are 10 new American essentials:...."


10 Things We Can't Live Without:

Yes untill there is no food on the table then it is 4; "Food, clothing and shelter and your health".

1. Air to breath(Oxygen needed in that air)
2. water
4. shelter
5. clothes
6. friends/lovers
7. song
8. dance
9. health
10.faith in something other than self

Anything else is just window dressing.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future.
hugs, could be a number 5.

Unfortunately, 6 months of the year, I'd have to add "heat".

I don't know if anyone else noticed it, but The Oil Drum was quoted by name on Houston's Channel 11 (CBS affiliate) last night on the 10pm news (http://www.khou.com/news/local/Near-Misses-Gulf-Rig-Accidents-Not-So-Rar...).

Maybe the mainstream media are starting to pay some attention.

Thanks for the link Lrd. Yes of course the mainstream media is paying attention now. How could they miss all that oil, it is washing up everywhere. Pity it took such a failure to get their attention however.

Ron P.

Yes of course the mainstream media is paying attention now.

If I interpret this to mean, when 'they' go to news.google.com and use "peak oil" as a search term while researching for their, ahem, infotainment article, thankfully some of those search results will be things with TOD URLs...

...then yes absolutely, they are paying attention :)

Here is the post they based the report on, for those that hadn't seen it:

Lessons Left Unlearnt From 2003 Gulf of Mexico Near-Spill

As Ron basically said.. yes, they are starting to notice, but they'll also stop again, too. The Press is no less a fickle endeavor than it ever was.

We'll see if this is big enough, or hits just right so as to get any policies or larger actions moving that can persevere.. otherwise, those of us who think we know that PO is upon us might just consider that the response to this knowledge is in our own hands. Looking to the Mainstream or Govt or Media for consensus and help isn't going to get it going. It'll be one of us getting something off the ground that will give THEM something to point at and follow, and say 'Look, it's real.'

Yeah, they are paying attention to the oil spill and just in case anybody hasn't noticed, TOD probably has the best technical coverage and analysis of the spill on the web. I think I saw a comment on one thread that the level of coverage here is Pulitzer Prize winning stuff.

Since that spill, the Peak Oil slant of TOD has been a lot less obvious and once the spill is brought under control, the interest subsides and the Peak Oil slant of TOD becomes more obvious a lot of the attention will go back to American Idol. Just Watch.

Alan from the islands

Good news for our clients, ratepayers and for the environment...

NSP energy plan to get green light
URB set to approve utility’s controversial $41.9-million energy-efficiency strategy

Nova Scotia Power is going to be given the green light to spend $42 million on energy-efficiency programs, according to government regulators.


Nova Scotia Power has stated that to recover the cost of the conservation programs, power rates will be hiked $2 a month.


Nova Scotia Power wants to spend 3.5 per cent of revenues, or $41.9 million, on energy conservation, which is among the highest rates in North America. The proposed budget for 2011 on energy efficiency would increase from $22.6 million in 2010.

The company argues that if customers reduce their electricity consumption, it would generate savings of more than $190 million in fuel costs for the utility.

See: http://thechronicleherald.ca/Business/1186302.html

No more coal-fired power plants !


Hi Paul,

Not everybody is happy with the proposal:

Meanwhile, some 36 large industrial customers are upset with the cost of paying for these programs and want it reduced.

These customers want to pay $900,000 for the programs, not almost $1.5 million as proposed by Nova Scotia Power.

The upside to this, of course, is that this is only a small percentage of the overall $41.9 million. So that even if they pay in the reduced $900,000 the expenditure is still a sizeable $41.3 million.

No more coal-fired power plants !

If this will quicken that day, then I can't foresee a whole lot of public opposition.



PS: we'll get together soon for a coffee.

Hi Tom,

That's quite true, but these same large consumers will still benefit if NSP can reduce its annual fuel costs by $190 million. The alternative is to spend a billion dollars building another coal-fired power plant that none of us want and that would have a far more detrimental impact on electricity rates as you might well imagine.

I'd welcome the opportunity to join you for coffee. Let me know when you'll be in town and we'll plan to get together then.


The alternative is to spend a billion dollars building another coal-fired power plant that none of us want

That would be asinine to say the least since we import all our coal nowadays.

The big players, however, will do what they always do: use their clout to pass the buck to the general public. I'm not expecting their contributions to be all that significant at the end of the day... even if they benefit directly.

Talk soon,


Rest assured, Tom, these major power consumers are paying very attractive rates and they're not exactly leaving the table empty handed (see: http://www.nspower.ca/en/home/energysavings/programs/cic/default.aspx).


Bien sûr, mon ami - of course, my friend.

It is the free market at work. And if the market is not altogether free, it certainly is cheap. A Commercial & Industrial Custom Program doesn't hurt either.

Laissez-faire is everywhere. Nova Scotia Power obviously learned that the big stakeholders like their share of incentives before being left alone.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose., the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Time to call it a night when I start to compose my TOD messages speaking out loud at my computer screen with a French accent. Somehow it always seems like we're being seduced when large economic players line up for public money. And if one is to be seduced, it always sounds better in la langue française, mais oui? - the French language, yes?

Just like Pepy Le Pew.



Je vous souhaite une bonne nuit. À plus tard, Tom !


Two University of Alabama scientists have won a federal grant to fast-track research into using organic materials, including dead fish and plants, to help clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Mushrooms make great bio-remediators. Paul Stamets did great things cleaning up an oil soaked test plot at a DOT site with oyster mushroom spawn.

A bit tricky to scale, since he used specially bred spawn and lots of it, but mushrooms are like yeast, they reproduce as long as there is food.

Best hopes for mushroom culture in the Gulf!

Welcome back Leanan. Any impressions from your travel... assuming you did some.

Economy wise I've been getting offers from Citi cards of 0%; but all the other card companies are much more, or no offer. I didn't remember that Treasury bailed out Citigroup until this showed up;


May 26 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Treasury Department sold 20 percent of its shares in Citigroup Inc. at a profit during the past month and authorized adviser Morgan Stanley to keep selling under a pre-arranged plan.

i figure a minor helicopter from the Fed drop via Treasury, & Citi.

Lots of trucks on the road per one friend; but the shipping containers are getting stacked higher & higher here.

Thanks, I'm glad to be back.

My impression is that BAU has returned...with a vengeance. Roads far more crowded than they were two years ago. Ground being broken for new subdivisions. People much less worried about jobs. One of my acquaintances, who was worried about being laid off last year, is trying to get fired this year. So she can collect unemployment and travel overseas before getting a new, higher-paying job.

There does seem to be much more concern over the BP oil spill than I had expected. Though many seem to see it as a great political tool more than anything.

Yeah BAU is in the mindset of the only 2 friends i know that invest some. even with the recent turmoil..flash crash, worst May in 50 or so years.. one just bought 60 grand of Ford stock, the other recently bought stocks--- one of which was Ford too.

now my 80 y/o farmer friends they keep saying; 'it ain't over', as they try to get a little return on CD's, etc.

Welcome back Leanan! Hope you enjoyed your vacation--it's going to be busy around here.

Gail and Debbie filled in admirably, but you are the soul of Drumbeat and we missed you.

Agree- welcome back!

Definitely welcome back. Your being gone makes us appreciate you more.

It takes a village to replace Leanan (a rather large one).

This Best of the Energy Crash & Limits to Growth blog post collects the top links on the topic of energy crisis and resource depletion including Books, Movies, Research Reports and Videos.

Re: Seeds of doubt against climate science

Oreskes and Conway give a very good short description of the corporate campaign to deny the science of the problem of Global Warming, aka, Climate Change. That these guys have been able to bury the efforts of scientists and environmentalist to spread alarm about this basic long term problem for the entire planet just shows how much greed rules our political scene. The denialist even have their own "scientific" conference which is aimed at spreading as much FUD as possible. It would appear from polling data that they are succeeding with their propaganda efforts, with public acceptance of Global Warming science declining each year.

With a few devils like these out there blasting away on the MSM, there's little hope for the Earth. We are doomed, unless the latest environmental mess in the Gulf of Mexico leads to a reawakening of the environmental movement. It may already be too late. Lately, I've noticed that there are very few birds in my area this Spring and the bee population is seriously depleted. Am I experiencing a Silent Spring, just as Rachel Carson predicted in her book back in 1962?

E. Swanson

If it weren't for the large photo of Tony "what's his name?" at the top of first article linked in today's Drumbeat, I would be totally happy with that article. Then again, his photo is like the "posterchild" of why we need to make huge changes as a society. And here, to my mind is the key sentence:

Changing that culture will be tough, because it inevitably means sacrifice.

Yes, this says it all. Or at least it says the part that interests me, given my background. We need to change a "culture" - an entrenched culture with powerful lobbies, a culture we need to "describe" in ways that are as powerful as that photo of "BPTony" at the top of the article I'm addressing.

I don't have time right now to address how tough it is for people to change or all the emotions around making sacrifices in view of long term goals or the madness of refusing to make any sacrifices due to selfishness or ignorance or a sense of entitlement, but one thing I can do. And that is to stick around TOD, educate myself more, and hang onto the values we will be needing to work together for the good of this planet and for future generations who will want to enjoy it!

Culture will change a lot due to long-term economic decline. The Great Depression changed our social and political institutions greatly, and the Long Descent will change both culture and society greatly. The prevalence of particular personality types will also change substantially. Compare, for example, common personality types during and after the Great Depression with the prevailing types during the eighties and nineties.

By the way, my background is in sociology, social psychology, finance and economics. I also used to teach philosophy, but the only book I've published is an introductory economics textbook.

We'll have to join forces, Sailorman! Happy to meet you! (I once wrote a long blog titled: RIP Consumer Economy.) Yes, change is "acomin".

P.S. They went and changed the top article on me!! ;)

Folks, my initial comment was to: Rethinking Our Oil Drenched Lifestyles

The idea of generational personality types is one I find very appealing. I was first turned onto the idea by Strauss and Howe in their book "The Fourth Turning". Whereas most folks predict a linear extension of existing trends, Strauss and Howe make a compelling argument for predictable, non-linear changes in the social attitudes that make up a 'generational archetype'.

If you're interested in the ideas I would recommend reading one of their books rather than visiting their online forums. The signal-to-noise is infinitely higher and their thesis is one that is not improved by topical factoids and opinions.



The one thing we know for sure is that present trends will not last forever. The Long Descent may last two hundred years, but that is not forever. In my opinion, economics drives social and political changes. We are changing from an economy and a psychology of abundance to one of increasing scarcity.

The Long Descent may last two hundred years, but that is not forever.

200 years is not really that long... my great grandfather was born in 1814. 'Course I never knew Nelson, but I knew his son pretty well. It's all relative, I guess.

Don't know how things will change either, but change they must. In the long run, numbers are coming down. Numbers of BPD of oil, numbers of ICEs, numbers of people. In 200 years we should be close to equilibrium. But by then, no one alive will have known me.

Best wishes for a slow, easy decline.


John Michael Greer and I made this graph...it's probably as good a guess as any. Each block is 150 years. Note that there is also a fair amount of overlap between stages since we are likely going to see quite a bit of salvage very soon.

We'll know when we are fully and completely in the Salvage Society because we will be dismantling skyscrapers for their steel since it will take less energy to do that than to make steel from ores.

Stages of Technic Societies

I've seen that a few times. It makes things quite clear, IMO. Not sure how the timing is going to work, though... The past 'ages' were as long as they were because of the numbers of people. I think it should be compacted more in the middle, and lengthened at the far ends. Projected population growth seems wrong, to me. But if it does continue to grow, doubling in 35 years, the right side will shrink! And, the steps will get higher and narrower. Just my view on the subject.

You should read "Julian Comstock." It is a future history type novel; JC starts out in Athabasca; travels around, ends up a miltary hero, then President. The description of the history of society is pretty much what is shown in your graph. Especially the salvage society. In NYC, for instance, and all in large cities, the buildings are the bottom 5 stories of whatever was there, and the rest was salvaged. Some cities are just ruins, and they are harvested for artifacts and for useful metals and so forth. Very interesting take.


I think your changes would likely make the graph more accurate because I too don't think we're going to see a mirror image of oil production past the peak.

I use the graph below to demonstrate how future oil production will look to an oil importing country based on Jeffrey and Samuel's work:


But what if the actual production curve (not just the net world exports) follows that white line because the capital isn't available to get the remaining, expensive-to-extract oil (as I expect to occur)? That I think is the one of the big mistakes in the "markets will solve all resource problems" theory: they assume all the capital needed will be available. (They also assume resource nationalism won't occur, wars won't get in the way, and several other completely untenable assumptions, not least of which is that we'll invent methods of extracting the remaining oil that provide significantly more energy than they consume.)

Next time I'm working on graphs I'll open that one up and see how it looks after applying your suggestions.

The first time I saw that chart of Greer's Stages I thought they should have color gradients at the transitions, fading from one stage to the next, to imply the variability and overlap periods.

- Just an idea.

I read somewhere that the last pension payment related to a veteran of the War of 1812 was not paid off until 1947. A War of 1812 veteran married late in life; his daughter inherited the pension and she was paid until she died in 1947.

The decline will be slow, difficult, and with some abrupt discontinuities, in my opinion.

From "abundance" to "scarcity" is a huge choice-point to my mind. By that I mean whether a society chooses (well, through individuals and how we structure laws and institutions) an aggressive or a cooperative way of handling that transition. Makes me wonder if some of the conflicts in society right now are really all about this "choice-point" and whether people will choose to work together or just grab all they can and assert their second amendment rights etc. It's almost like a spiritual battle in a sense - between selfishness/childishness, a refusal to recognize "we're all in this together" versus the alternative, which assumes personal growth in the direction of wisdom and a more selfless stance, an ability to identify with ideals of community and cooperation. It's almost like finding a new identity - for some people. Unless they can transcend their limited selves, then they will fight for what they view as rights - never seeing that they are in fact fighting to deprive others of those same rights.

I appreciate such a civil place to discuss these things and share ideas. Thanks!

TheraP, I have known for a while over 30 years that people were abusing the world around them. I call myself a tree hugger, though I still cut down trees. I have always been mindful of the natural world around me. Frowning on things like over fishing, cultured green lawns where they kill anything that is not a blade of a certain type of grass. As a Christian I always felt like after Adam and Eve got kicked out of the garden of eden, we were not supposed to waste the life we were given. I'd love to have been there just from the gardening aspect of it, and I guess it is one thing I try to do in my own garden. Though weeds and vines and mold and fungus do tend to overwhelm the gardens if you are not careful, I can see where the grown could be cursed, from the respective of we can never get the harmony back that was the eden of the past.

And on one hand I hope for a peaceful future, I also know I'll be fighting an uphill battle when it comes to crime and people that would abuse a prefectly peaceful village system. Here in the USA we have the mindset that everything is our birthright and we can take what we want when we want it, come hell or high water. Prefection won't be had on earth I know, but I can still hope that we could feed everyone and give them a nice livable place to stay and eat, without gov'ts and warlords showing up to take the produce for themselves.

Though I was reminded a while ago by my dad telling about a corporate town in southern Arkansas about 40 years ago he ran across on his job, how the houses and store and land was owned by one family and everyone lived as wage slaves, even here in The USA. Not something you like to think about, but you know it happened. and YOu know it will happen again as time goes on, if something does not change before then.

I am the type of Christian, that wants to help his fellow man, though I store up things in heaven ( don't worry about gaining a lot of wealth and power while I am here). I still have to care for my fellow man, and I don't hate anyone, or anything negative like that. Take care of the orphans and widows, and the sick and sad peoples. I try not to be selfish, no one is prefect, but we can always do better.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future.
Hugs everyone.

Don Sailorman ! I haven't seen you post here in quite a long time - welcome back (or apologies if I missed other recent postings)

I always enjoyed your comments on the economic situation and had wondered what happened to you - I figured you were off sailing somewhere or that maybe you had left it all behind and really gotten away on your boat...

Good to hear from you again.

So... any impressions re: the mess we're in since it seems you may have had some time away to reflect on such things ?

Sailorman ... ditto

Good to see you back

I thought you had gone away for bad (forever)

Don Sailorman, good to have you back again. I only hope that you haven't returned just in time for the start of the second round (or double dip) of the Greater Recession...

E. Swanson

I suspect your right about the reasons for the timing.

I'm glad he is back. I'm interested to see what happens when the US attempts its grand printing finale.

I don't think Keynesian theory works in practice and we got away with it for decades because of other factors.
I hope he hangs in for the ride it will be fascinating I think.

You, too, Memmel! Hang on! Things are about to get v e r y intersting.


Thanks for all the "Welcome backs."

I think the beginning of the BP oil spill may mark, in retrospect, the day the sugar hit the fan. The end of the world as we know it will come later. I'm a big fan of John Michael Greer.

In all the GOM commotion, with 100s of additional posts here daily, it’s become quite hard to keep track of who’s who. But if you and memmel were gone, then welcome back.

Anyway after further looking into the ECB money base, it has gone up about 200 billion euros (not dollars) in the last 10 weeks. That would be roughly a 60% yearly increase in the money base if continued.

Up until 2007, I would have truly expected euro prices to rise at close to the same rate as the money base. But these are not ordinary times, and the fiat money experiment, now almost 100 years old in the US, is becoming increasingly unreliable and unstable.

So no, printing up more money is not going to avoid the post peak oil depression, but it will certainly lead to some ‘interesting’ times ahead. Not that we need more monetary problems after we have already started to turn the GOM into a dead zone. The funeral pyre for the end of the cheap oil age in the US - formerly known as the Deepwater Horizon – marks much more than a symbolic end of good times. It also marks our entrance into the darkness and probably chaos of the coming depression. Certainly we can use the insights here to help guide us through these times.

I think that we will move from deflationary depression to inflationary depression. Keep your eye on federal deficits as a percentage of GDP (both real and nominal). A deficit of 10% of GDP is small potatoes. How about deficits of 20% or 30% of GDP? These increasing deficits will be financed by more and more buying of U.S. Treasuries by the Fed, i.e., printing more money.

The velocity of money changes in discontinuous and largely unpredictable ways. Of course deflation tends to lower the velocity of money and inflation will increase the velocity of money--but the changes in velocity over the past sixty years have been abrupt at times.

Deflationary psychology can change to inflationary psychology almost on a dime, just as the stock market can rise or fall 25% in a day, as happened during October, 1987.

Another thing to keep your eye on is the spread between the yield on TIPs, Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, and treasuries of similar maturity that are not adjusted for inflation expectations. This spread is a good indication of inflationary expectations in financial markets.

You mentioned in one of your profile that if someone wanted to get in touch with you, just let you know, my profile has my contact information.

I have had long ago all the post-grad phsychology courses the college had to offer.

But that is not what I was going to talk to you about.

And welcome to the oil drum, I have noticed you have started posting a lot.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future.
Hugs from a hot arkansas.

Hi Drumbeaters,

Longtime lurker here. A friend of mine is developing a food swapping app to eliminate waste and hunger. Seems like it fits within the purpose of The Oil Drum. Watch the video and vote for his idea so it can come to life @ http://pitch.co/entry/54135

I'm interested in what this community thinks, and Mr Brown would appreciate the support if you feel like voting. He's been able to surge into 6th place within a few days, so a few votes here and there will make the difference.

Jake Daley

Hi, Jake. It's a great idea...and there are perhaps two dozen different services doing that now and more coming live every week it seems.

See the conversation we are having on exactly this topic over at the Transition Drupal project:

We are examining all the issues around whether to integrate with these unproven (i.e. can shut their doors at any moment) services or build our own. I'm partial to building our own but I'm only one voice in the project.

Here is a list of the BP brands, for anyone who does not want to buy from them:
BP Travel Centre
BP Connect
BP Express
BP Shop
BP 2go
Air BP and BP Shipping

The main one we have in California is ARCO. It appears that they manage to sell for less than most competitors by cutting corners on safety.

I'm certainly not an apologist for BP, but boycott BP move seems misplaced. As stated by others, the boycott mainly harms folks in your community. Seems there are more effective ways than this.

But what gets me the most is the provincialism, the NIMBYism of this spill/blowout. It's been a way of life in Nigeria. Spills in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, many countries in South America for starters, no doubt others we never really hear about. No one cares. But let it foul your condo frontage, and it's Katy, bar the door.

There is no other way to vote in a free market.

If you don't like the way a company is doing business, don't do business with them.

If you are giving a company your money then you are expressing satisfaction with their products and business practices.

What is so hard to understand about this?

What is so hard to understand is this: BP gas stations in the US are independently owned and operated - so who are you hurting by boycotting a BP gas station? BP? Or the family that has bought the BP gas station? Oil products are indistinguishable - how do you know if BP is selling gasoline to other stations? (my understanding is this happens all the time, all over the place) - so let's say we all boycott BP gas stations, the families who own them take the hit (since most of their profits are from sales of other products actually, sodas and snacks and tobacco products). BP is a refiner, so they sell their finished product to other gas stations instead, where you are filling up during your boycott. So BP gets profits, the owner of the station (mostly families) gets hurt - congrats! You've really stuck it to the Man!

BP is getting hit with billions in cleanup costs, and (so-far) 70 billion in lost stock value - and it's a long way from being over yet. There is a good chance BP as a company will not survive. I would support a ban on BP ever drilling again in the US (that horrible safety record should mandate this actually) - but really, a boycott is pretty unsupportable since it won't do what you actually want it to.

But Americans are lazy, they probably won't take public transport, walk or use a bike - when this well gets relieved in the fall they will go back to worrying about "Dancing with Stars" or how will "American Idol" survive without Simon? - or the latest antics of some fellow who jets around killing attractive young women - so many things to get distracted by! So organize a boycott, hurt the wrong people, and more likely than not it will come to naught given the short attention spans and even shorter news-cycle.

There is more than that. BP is simply a brand, and of course ARCO. Most service stations receive oil from the nearest refinery; the additives are added at the last moment, depending on where the delivery is going to be made, ARCO, BP, Mobile, Texaco, etc.. The gas is all the same other than that, and BP makes a commission for use of its name.

They make money selling the oil they pump out of the ground to whomever bids the most, including the refineries who buy from everyone. At that level, oil is oil, and graded by quality. So, boycotting will hurt BPs bottom line, but not all that much. It will for sure hurt the local dealer! I suppose if the refineries boycotted BP that might hurt them more.

Not sure if BP still owns any stations. If so, they make a bit more (and the guy running the station is paid by them)... does anyone know about this?


mac -- to emphasize your point there is no such thing as BP or ExxonMobil gasoline until it's in the tanks at the station. Go to a refinery and you can see them loading tanks trucks from Chevron, BP, etc, all from the same pipeline. But then different additives are dumped into the different loads such a Techtron. The refineries buy oil from whoever. BP makes the same profit off a bbl of oil produced whether you buy their gasoline or not. Their refineries make their profit from the spread they make between buying oil (anyone's oil) and who they sell it to, be it a BP station or one with a Chevron sign on it. Not sure of the exact numbers but I think Big Oil actually owns very litle of the retail gasoline biz these days.

We were working at the Esso refinery in Sarnia in their retail plant where they make the motor oil products. Watching the production line you could see the top Esso brand 10-30 going by and filling the 1L (1 qt) plastic bottles. The kind you pay $4/qt for. Then came along the el-cheapo $1.39 Canadian Tire bottles right behind. Same oil, same fill line and same scams.

My understanding is that most of those independently owned gas stations do well to just break even on gas. They make all their money on the various stuff they sell inside. So, if you want to boycott BP, then don't buy your gas there, but do still stop if you need to buy any of the types of stuff that they sell inside. That is a bit of a hassle, but seems to be the best way to do a little hurt to BP without hurting the local families that own the gas stations.

The problem is that the little neighborhood gas stations are independently owned. Boycotting them will hurt the owners, who are member of your community. BP can just as well sell its gas to the local unbranded gas station down the street.

Stopping driving would be at least as good a way of protesting. If enough did it, it would bring total demand down, and thus prices down. This would make drilling less profitable, and encourage oil companies to drill less.

It has been said that gas stations are in the business of selling soft drinks etc, with a bit of fuel as a sideline - a very marginal business model. Oil on the Brain by Lisa Margonelli vividly depicts what a crappy way of making money it is.

Also in all likelihood the first bit of fat Tony H will trim to stay in the black, or less in the red anyway, will be the retail end of things. If that BP station you're nobly avoiding becomes an ARCO tomorrow with the same management what kind of change will you have effected? Better to do without fossil fuels in general when possible and yell at your elected reps.

doug fir wronte:
As stated by others, the boycott mainly harms folks in your community.

Those folks should drop their franchises with BP.

Besides, if I do the same amount of business with Joe that I would have done with Sam because Sam is running a BP label I am helping someone in my local community (Joe).

A person has to use some criteria to choose where to spend their money. In my opinion choosing based on whose nameplate is on the pump is a better decider than 1 or 2 cents/gallon.

Got a problem with that? Don't run a BP franchise.

doug fir,I don't know where you got the idea that there have been any significant spills in the Great Barrier Reef area.There was a recent minor spill when a Chinese coal carrier ran aground outbound from Gladstone.This spill was quickly contained. Oil exploration,let alone drilling, is categorically banned in the Great Barrier Reef region and has been for years.

You may be thinking of the Montara off shore well blowout last year in the Timor/Arafura Seas region between Australia and the Indonesian archipeligo.

Yes both. Although not the present GOM size, for the reef grounded tanker spill "Chemical dispersants are being used on the slick, which stretches for about three kilometres and is about 100 metres wide." Sound familiar?

And you mention the Timor blowout. "The political response has been limited to hand-wringing stop-gap measures and to paying for a series of failed attempts to plug the spill and some apparently ineffective mopping-up operations." http://blogs.crikey.com.au/northern/2009/10/26/australias-shame-the-timo... Looks frighteningly familiar.

The silver lining of the Gom spill may be that better regs/procedures are adopted for North American waters. Yet oil imports won't be subject to those restrictions. Instead of venting over BP and finding a scapegoat, how about import restrictions on oil which doesn't have our safeguards/regs/procedures. Probably could never happen, as it's so hard to verify such a fungible commodity, and there is hardly a detectable pulse among folks to do this. Or lower your own total oil use, as Gail notes above.

Most BP stations are independently owned, and BP oil will just be sold elsewhere (as it already is).

In Seattle close to where I live, there is a BP station directly across from an ARCO. The BP charges 15-20 cents more per gallon, with almost no cars at it, while the ARCO is usually crowded. Interesting marketing, but I don't know who owns what.


BP Solar

I will not purchase another photovoltaic panel from them.

I read a while back that BP was closing their only solar panel plant in the US and moving production to China. I don't remember the city where they were made but it was in an eastern state. BP made no comment on the move except that costs of production would be cheaper overseas. Seems to jibe with their attitude: screw the country that uses your product.

Chinese Solar MFRs have had some notorious episodes of dealing poorly with their Solar Panel Waste Chemicals. (Like Dumping Barrels of effluent between farmfields, for example) Would seem to be a good fit with BP's SOP, and explain the cost savings perhaps.

(I don't know if I'll boycott, but I'm more than happy to poke a sharp stick in their sores, so they finally get themselves to a proper doctor, and fix them things up!_)

It was in Frederick MD: BP Solar closes Maryland factory, despite promising growth.

From the March 29, 2010 Solar News:

BP Solar closed its solar manufacturing plant in Frederick, Maryland, on Friday, with the loss of 320 jobs – despite achieving good growth in its sales.

The EIA's Short Term Energy Outlook for June has been released.

On the BP spill:

This Outlook includes EIA’s preliminary estimates of reductions in production resulting from a 6-month deepwater drilling moratorium announced by Secretary Salazar on May 27. The reductions in crude oil production resulting from the moratorium are estimated to average about 26,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in the fourth quarter of 2010 and roughly 70,000 bbl/d in 2011. EIA will refine its moratorium impacts as additional information becomes available.

I suppose if the moratorium were extended the impact would be higher in 2012 and beyond. However, this is a tiny dribble, we can easily afford it.

In addition:

Non-OPEC supplies are expected to fall by 190,000 bbl/d in 2011, as supply growth from the United States slows.

Norway bans deepwater oil drilling

Norway will not allow any deepwater oil and gas drilling in new areas until the investigation into the explosion and spill in the US Gulf of Mexico is complete, Terje Riis-Johansen, the Nordic country’s energy minister, has said.

“We are now working on the 21st licensing round. It will be conducted in light of what we have experienced in the Gulf of Mexico,” Mr Riis-Johansen said in a statement.

“It is not appropriate for me to allow drilling in any new licences in deepwater areas until we have good knowledge of what has happened with the Deepwater Horizon [the Gulf rig that exploded on April 20] and what this means for our regulations,” he added.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s biggest state oil company, has 260 billion barrels of oil reserves, said Mohammed Al-Qahtani, the executive director of the company’s Petroleum Engineering & Development unit.

hahahahaha ROFLMAF. It has been 260 billion barrels since 1988.

Saudi Arabia's Reserve "Depletion Rates" provide Strong Evidence to Support Total Reserves of 175 Gb with only 65 Gb Remaining, Sam Foucher on April 20, 2007

Minor clarification. This was a guest post by "Ace."

Oops, apologies, Ace.

In Saudi Arabia the laws of physics are reversed: when you extract oil from the ground, it causes more oil to appear in the ground. Or hadn't you heard?

hahahahaha ROFLMAF

Please don't laugh so quickly or so loudly.


The term "proved reserves" has a very special and inherently variable meaning.

It is the amount of oil that can be profitably extracted given current technology and current market prices.

In other words, if price for oil goes down, "proved reserves" may go down simply because of that change of price.

If new technology comes on board, "proved reserves" may go up simply because of that change.

"Proved reserves" is a term of art and its meaning is intentionally a highly variable one.

Step Back, I don't understand your post at all. Yes, I understand your point but what I don't understand is what it has to do with Saudi claimed proven reserves. As Ace points out in the link supplied, and as everyone who has ever examined the Saudi claims also points out, those so-called proven reserves are highly exaggerated and they have hardly changed at all in over 20 years.

The issue, Step Back, is that Saudi reserves, as well as the rest of OPEC reserves, were greatly exaggerated in the mid 80s because it was believed then, that OPEC quotas were about to be set on the basis of proven reserves. That this never really happened is beside the point. Just the belief that it would happen caused an explosion of OPEC reserves. And, in addition to that, it made all OPEC oil magic oil! That is for every barrel of OPEC oil that was pumped out of the ground another barrel magically appeared to take its place.

You speak of "proven reserves" as if it means the same to all nations of the world. Sure it is a variable term, based on the price of oil and the technology available to retrieve that oil. But price and technology are the same for all nations. But price and technology have nothing to do with the fact that non-OPEC reserves to production ratio average about 20 to 1 while OPEC reserves to production ratio runs almost 100 to 1. What keeps OPEC reserves to production ratio below 100 to 1 is the fact that Ecuador and Angola, late comers to OPEC, have normal reserves to production ratios, pulling the average down.

Bottom line, Saudi is lying, big time, about having 260 billion barrels of proven reserves. That was what Blue Twilight was laughing about. And in my opinion it is a laughing matter.

Ron P.

The best E&P technology ever invented, the pencil eraser. Wish my bank account worked the same way...

Leanan, welcome back !

I thought I would post this article discussing final preparations for the World Cup (follow-up to our past discussion on Drumbeat)

"World Cup 2010 : Let the Games Begin"


As a South African let me say to all soccer lovers coming out here for the World Cup, Welcome! You will have a fantastic time.

The whole country has gone soccer mad. Flags of the 32 competing nations are flying everywhere, and the terrible bray of the vuvuzela (a plastic trumpet) echoes throughout the land. It's gonna be noisy, colourful, and fun.

Where are you located ? I have a sister and brother in Jo'burg, and various friends in Cape Town.
They are pretty much all bouncing off the walls right now ;)

As a South African let me say to all soccer lovers coming out here for the World Cup, Welcome! You will have a fantastic time.

aardvark, as a bit of a soccer nut myself, I envy your closeness to the event. I'll be watching courtesy of the internet.

This from someone who has no chance of ever seeing his country triumph at a world cup.

Enjoy the spotlight. It's been a long time coming South Africa's way.

Yes, let the games begin.


Apologies if this has already been highlighted (I cant see it):

Bloomberg columnist says BP should tell US to take a hike:


Strangely I find myself agreeing with some of the article, which I did not expect.

Well, I read the article and don't agree with it at all. Sure the US is guilty of being a glutton as far as oil is concerned but that does not excuse BP from putting profits before safety and creating the worst environmental disaster in the history of the nation. BP has the worst safety record of any company doing business in the US. That fact is undisputed.

If you were a glutton and consumed three times as much as the average person, it would still not constitute a double standard if you complained that one of the restaurants you frequented, to feed your gluttony, locked all fire exits and violated all fire safety standards. As long as they take your money to feed their profits, you deserve to safely dine even if your a glutton. The author clearly does not understand what constitutes a double standard.

And the author of that little piece, a New Zealander, hasn't a clue as to how the US works as far as
corporate laws are concerned.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has more chance of getting the Ford Motor franchise for Lubbock, Texas, than BP does of staying in business in the US.

BP will be in business in the US as long as the US exists. The idea that congress or the president will kick BP out of the US is really stupid. They can be fined, or even have their CEO sent to prison but BP will continue to do business in the US. Imagine if the Brits decided to kick IBM out of Britain. Can you imagine that? No, it is not going to happen. Such a thing might be possible in New Zealand but not in the US of A.

Ron P.

Ron - the piece was syndicated in the NZ Herald - its actually a Bloomberg piece originally.


The author is actually a very well known British financial journalist - from his bio he is a columnist for Bloomberg, writing a weekly commentary syndicated in papers such as Die Welt, the Sydney Morning Herald, the South China Morning Post and the Miami Herald. He is also an associate editor of Spectator Business, and a regular contributor to The Spectator. Before that, he worked for the business section of the London Sunday Times for ten years.

As a New Zealander myself I will ignore your attempts to suggest that any analysis originating from this part of the world would be uninformed.

Andyh, I googled the name and saw he wrote for Bloomberg but almost everything he wrote appeared in the New Zealand Herald. So I quite naturally assumed he was from that country.

Okay he is a Brit. Lots of Brits are uninformed just as lots of Americans are uninformed. Lots of Aussies and NZers are also informed. I made absolutely no suggestion that anyone from NZ was more uninformed about the US than would normally be expected from anyone from any other country. However it is more likely that someone from New Zealand would be uninformed about the USA just as someone from Alabama would be uninformed about New Zealand. Hell Andyh, that is just common sense. If you are not from a country you are far more likely to be uninformed about that country than someone who has lived there all their lives. Why should it be otherwise?

However I will ignore your attempts to insinuate that I meant to imply something unflattering about New Zealanders.

I am shocked however that Bloomberg would employ anyone who would make such a very stupid statement, no matter from which country they hail.

Ron P.

As we say over here Ron 'yeah right'.

How very odd then that you used these phrases.

'the author of that little piece, a New Zealander'....

'Such a thing might be possible in New Zealand but not in the US of A.'

In bringing up the (mistaken) nationality of the author you know damn well what you were attempting to do (why else do it? - if the author had been a yank you would certainly not have mentioned that fact would you?).

if the author had been a yank you would certainly not have mentioned that fact would you?).

No, I would not have mentioned his nationality, I would have only commented about what a stupid ass he was. But if a man, making such a stupid statement was from another country, any other country, then he might have an excuse for making such a stupid statement. (Not being familiar with US laws and free market policies.) Therefore he would not necessarily have been as stupid as a yank making such a stupid statement. A yank would have had no such excuse.

Ron P.

I am trying to offer counterpoint to the argument which states: "oil companies have been locked out of Alaska due to environmentalist influence"(legislation). The contention is that the GOM spill could therefore have been avoided, and other deep water drilling would not be necessary.

I can make a base argument, but would appreciate links to supportive facts and figures.


I cannot supply any links or supportive facts or figures. However I can supply a reason why your argument makes no sense whatsoever. For your argument to be valid then Alaska would have to be able to supply all the oil that oil companies needed, or the US needed, making drilling in the GOM totally unnecessary. Sorry but that argument won't fly.

The deep water GOM produces about 1 million barrels per day. The US imports about 10 million barrels per day. If they could get an extra 1 million barrels from Alaska would that make the 1 million barrels from the GOM unnecessary? Of course not. It would only mean that the US would need to import only 9 million barrels per day.

The world is running out of the easy oil. Only the hard to get oil remains. That is why the US, and Brazil, and whomever is drilling in very deep water. An extra million barrels per day from Alaska would make very little difference whatsoever. We will be needing that oil from Alaska AND that oil from the GOM and any other oil that can be found.

Ron P.

Ron - just to clarify, I am looking for counterpoint to argue against this thesis, not confirm it.

Sorry that I misunderstood your post but that being the case my post should give you some guidance. Even if we permitted open drilling in ANWR it would make little difference. We would still need the oil from the GOM and oil from Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria and from wherever we can get it.

When you use 20 million barrels per day what difference will 1 million barrels per day make years from now when it finally comes on line.

There is no cure for peak oil, it will peak no matter where we drill. Anyway the US is about the only country that limits offshore drilling or drilling in national parks. Any extra oil we could possibly produce, by allowing drilling anywhere, would make little difference in the grand scheme of things.


Norway has put a hold on new deepwater drilling: