Drumbeat: September 13, 2010

Fatal Gas Blast Prompts Scrutiny of Aging U.S. Fuel Pipelines

The San Francisco gas pipe explosion last week along with an oil pipeline leak near Chicago is likely to draw regulators’ attention to fuel transportation networks, some of which have been in service more than four decades.

Four people are confirmed dead and four are missing after the Sept. 9 explosion of a 54-year-old PG&E Corp. natural-gas pipeline in the San Bruno suburb. The blast happened one day after an Enbridge Inc. crude-oil line leaked near Chicago, forcing a shutdown threatening fuel supplies in the U.S. Midwest. The Enbridge pipe, which can handle 670,000 barrels a day, started service in 1968.

The U.S. is crisscrossed with more than 2.5 million miles of fuel pipelines, or enough to circle the earth about 100 times. U.S. regulators may now step up inspections and increase the industry’s maintenance costs, said Mark Easterbrook, a pipelines analyst with RBC Capital Markets in Dallas.

EPA to hold final hearings on 'fracking'

New York (CNN) -- The Environmental Protection Agency will hold its final public hearings on hydraulic fracturing to access natural gas on Monday and Wednesday.

The controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," requires drillers to pump large amounts of water mixed with sand and chemicals into shale formation under high pressure to depths 8,000 feet or greater or even wells less than 1,000 feet, according to the EPA. This process fractures the shale around the well, which allows the natural gas to flow freely, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Enbridge cleanup continues

Workers for Enbridge continue to truck away oil from a major pipeline leaking in an industrial park in Romeoville, Ill.

The company has isolated the section of pipe that ruptured on Friday, and is now conducting a “drain-up” operation that involves sucking oil from the leak site and two other locations.

But Enbridge still cannot say how much oil spilled from beneath a roadway in an accident that has seen the company halt crude flowing through its 670,000 barrel-a-day Line 6A, a major component of its North American network.

Enbridge Says Drain Up Completed, Most Oil Recovered After Illinois Leak

Enbridge Energy Partners LP drained most of the oil from a damaged pipeline in Illinois that has disrupted crude transports from Canada to the refineries in the U.S. Midwest and helped push prices higher.

The Line 6A pipe, in Romeoville, 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of Chicago, remains shut and there’s no estimate for when it may start, the Houston-based company said today in a statement. “Enbridge’s schedulers are working with shippers to divert crude oil volumes to other available pipelines and storage facilities,” the company said today.

After Blast, Uneasiness for Residents Going Home

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — Hundreds of residents returned home on Sunday to the neighborhood that was evacuated after a natural gas pipeline exploded late last week.

Four people remain missing after the blast and its resulting fires, city officials said, and four are confirmed dead. But the death toll could rise. On Saturday, search dogs located additional remains, which were turned over to the county coroner.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the explosion, which occurred in this hillside community about 15 miles south of San Francisco on Thursday evening. The underground, high-pressure natural gas pipeline is owned by Pacific Gas and Electric.

On Sunday the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates utilities, ordered PG&E to inspect its natural gas transmission system statewide.

The Oil Spill’s Money Squeeze

In May, Harriet M. Perry, the director of the fisheries program at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, was asked to examine some mysterious droplets found on blue crab larvae by scientists at Tulane University. An early test indicated that the droplets were oil, and she has continued to find similar droplets on fresh larvae samples taken all along the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Despite the potential significance of the discovery, Dr. Perry does not have research money to cover further tests. And like other scientists across the Gulf Coast who are racing to sketch out the contours of the BP oil spill’s effects, she has few places to turn for help.

The only federal agency to distribute any significant grant money for oil spill research, the National Science Foundation, is out of money until the next fiscal year begins Oct. 1. The Environmental Protection Agency, which has only $2 million to give out, is still gearing up its program. A $500 million initiative for independent research promised by BP, which was to be awarded by an international panel of scientists, has become mired in a political fight over control. State agencies, too, are stymied.

BP: Spill claims 'probably' won't top $20 billion

LONDON — BP believes compensation claims related to its Gulf of Mexico oil spill will be less than the $20 billion the oil giant has put into an independent claims fund, analysts at Citigroup said following a meeting with incoming Chief Executive Bob Dudley.

"He added that given current estimates of claims the $20 billion Independent Claim Fund (ICF) that BP established probably exceeds calls," Citigroup said in a research note.

Dudley added the $32 billion provision BP made for the total cost of the disaster remained a reasonable indicator of eventual cost.

Oil Rises For Second Day Amid Optimism Over Economic Growth in U.S., China

Crude advanced for a second day in New York on expectations fuel demand will climb in the U.S. and China, the world’s largest oil-consuming nations.

Futures gained on forecasts that retail sales rose in the U.S. for a second month and a pipeline supplying the Midwest region remained closed. China’s oil refiners raised processing runs 7.2 percent in August from a year earlier. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicted crude prices will rise to a range of $85 to $95 a barrel for the rest of this year as inventories decline.

“News that Chinese production is growing more than expected is very supportive,” said Thorbjoern Bak Jensen, a Global Risk Management analyst based in Middelfart, Denmark. “U.S. data this week may further write off the prospect of a double-dip.”

Non-OPEC Crude Oil Update: First Half 2010

Global production of crude oil turned away from its year long recovery of 2009, and lurched downward again this Spring. Fresh data through June, just updated from the EIA on Friday, shows that Non-OPEC is leading the downturn coming off the Winter highs. After recovering to a 2010 high of 42.435 mbpd (million barrels a day) in March, Non-OPEC oil production has fallen in April, May and now June to 41.970 mbpd. The declines have also come via downward revisions, as even higher totals in the first half of 2010 have now been taken away.

Hedge Funds Become More Bullish on Oil First Week in Five

Hedge funds and other large speculators raised bets on gains in oil prices for the first time in five weeks on renewed signs the U.S. economy is recovering from the worst recession since the 1930s.

Russia May Lower Oil Export Duty in October After Price of Urals Decline

Russia may cut its duty on crude exports by as much as 3 percent for regular fields and as much as 6.5 percent for deposits with a discounted rate next month after prices for its Urals blend fell.

Exxon Italy refinery slashes run after fire

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil's Sarpom refinery in Italy is operating at 30-40 percent capacity after a bigger crude distillation unit was shut following a fire on Saturday, the refinery's spokesman said on Monday.

Oil Refining Volumes in China Fall in August From July After Maintenance

China’s oil processing fell last month from July as refineries cut production because of scheduled maintenance at their plants.

Refineries processed 34.73 million metric tons in August, or about 8.21 million barrels a day, marking a third month of declines, according to faxed data from China Mainland Marketing Research Co., which compiles figures for the National Bureau of Statistics.

Kazakhstan to pump up volume

Kazakhstan, Central Asia's largest oil producer, plans to produce 81 million tonnes of crude and gas condensate next year.

Oil output is set to rise to 83 million tonnes in 2012, according to the nation's draft 2011 budget.

Turkey, Iraq to sign pipeline accord after delay

(Reuters) - Turkey and Iraq plan to sign an accord this week to extend the operation of a major oil pipeline six months after they agreed to renew the deal, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Monday.

Yildiz said the deal would be signed after a few "hitches" were resolved, but declined to say what issues had delayed finalisation of the accord to operate the pipeline from Iraq's northern Kirkuk oilfields to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

CNPC Starts Building China Part of Myanmar Pipelines, Yunnan Oil Refinery

China National Petroleum Corp., the nation’s largest oil company, started building the Chinese section of oil and gas pipelines linking the world’s largest energy consumer to Myanmar.

The oil pipeline is designed to receive 22 million metric tons of crude a year and the gas link will be able to pump 12 billion cubic meters annually, the state-controlled company said in a statement on its website today.

Hot, and getting hotter

ML: What are your thoughts on peak oil?

RN: I think there is a physical conclusion to oil and the world is perhaps starting to experience the early symptoms of that. Oil originates from animal and plant material, so it's in finite supply. Over the last hundred years, a vast amount of oil has been extracted. At some point in time we will end up at a natural limit and production will stop increasing or plateau. Growth of demand will exceed production. You will start to see volatile swings in the prices of oil and gas - which could be triggered by very small things - because it's so tight.

Global Macro Notes: Forget Copper, What About Oil?

As you can see from the chart, oil has done a whole lot of nothin’ over the past year and a half or so. After humping back up to the 200 week EMA like an old man climbing stairs, crude has spent most of its time in an uninspired range… trapped in the ’70s, like an endless episode of Starsky and Hutch.

If you’re a card-carrying peak oil theorist, this is kind of a weird phenomenon. If you’re a true believer in the “emerging markets century,” it’s also a bit of a weird phenomenon.

I mean, what about those three billion new capitalists? What about that $2500 car that’s selling like hotcakes in India? All the easy oil is gone! Oil should be killing it! Right?

Sasol Profit Climbs 16% on Higher Synthetic Fuel Production, Reduced Costs

Sasol Ltd., the largest producer of motor fuels made from coal, beat analysts’ earnings estimates and raised its dividend payment by 24 percent after increasing production and cutting costs.

New Australia climate minister backs coal - paper

(Reuters) - Australia's new climate change minister, Greg Combet, believes the country's coal sector has a future under government policies, The Australian newspaper reported on Monday.

Combet, a former union worker, replaced Penny Wong in the post in Prime Minister Julia Gillard's new cabinet announced at the weekend after last month's election.

Prop 23: Would it worsen gas price shocks?

California’s 2006 global warming law would save the state’s consumers as much as $670 per household in 2020, in the event of a global surge in the price of crude oil, according to a report released Monday by economists for alternative energy advocacy groups.

The U.S. economy has experienced five price shocks over the past three decades in which crude oil prices rose an average of 179% in one year.

Titled “Shock Proofing Society: How California’s Global Warming Solutions Act cuts the pain of energy price shocks,” the study is aimed at countering a November ballot initiative, Proposition 23, which would delay implementation of the global warming law. Its analysis is based on projections for 2020, and conservatively assumes only a doubling of crude oil and natural gas prices.

Merkel's Nuclear Plans Are Legally Sound, German Minister Says

German government plans to prolong the use of nuclear power are “watertight,” Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said, rebuffing opposition claims that a bid to enact the law without putting it to the upper house would break constitutional rules.

EDF's De Rivaz Says First New U.K. ReactorShould Start Production in 2018

Electricite de France SA, the world’s biggest operator of reactors, remains “on track” to start output at its first new nuclear reactor in the U.K. in 2018, according to Vincent de Rivaz, EDF Energy’s chief executive officer.

The utility, based in Paris, plans to build four reactors at the sites of existing nuclear stations at Hinkley Point in southwest England and at Sizewell in the southeast. It’s currently constructing its 59th domestic reactor at Flamanville in Normandy, which has been delayed by as much as two years, while a plant in China is on schedule.

Pepco ready to deploy 'smart meters' in D.C.; pricing still up in the air

Pepco is drawing closer to the full-scale deployment of "smart meters" throughout the District, having rolled out 750 of the energy-tracking devices early this month and releasing preliminary findings from its metering pilot program last week.

Texas Clean Energy Hampered by Location

Texas is by far the biggest producer of wind energy in the United States, but the industry is running into a significant constraint: There are too few transmission lines to carry the power.

Production of stimulus-aided car batteries revs up

WASHINGTON — The first wave of mass-produced advanced batteries funded by the Obama administration's economic recovery program is starting to roll off assembly lines, setting the stage for new hybrid and electric vehicles.

So how will consumers respond?

Fending off criticism of the $787 billion stimulus program, the administration has cited the battery industry as one of the success stories. With new facilities coming online in the Midwest, battery manufacturers for the advanced vehicles are providing a test case for the government's attempt to revive the economy.

US DoE awards further funding to OPT

Ocean Power Technologies, Inc (OPT) has won two new funding awards totalling $4.8M from the US Department of Energy (DoE).

The company plans to use the first award, for $2.4M, in connection with the construction and deployment of one of its PB150 PowerBuoys at Reedsport, Oregon, as part of the first proposed commercial wave power project in the US. Deployment of the 150kW peak-rated PB150, which is currently under construction, is expected to occur in 2011. This is the second award to OPT by the DoE in connection with the Reedsport project. In 2008, OPT received $2Mto use towards the construction of the PB150 PowerBuoy.

U.N. nuclear body, Iran clash over barred inspectors

(Reuters) - The head of the U.N. atomic watchdog said on Monday Iran's rejections of experienced nuclear inspectors was hampering the agency's work in the Islamic state, but Tehran flatly rejected the accusation.

The dispute over the inspectors has added to international concern about Iran's nuclear energy programme, which Western powers suspect is aimed at developing bombs. Iran denies this, saying it is enriching uranium only for generating electricity.

Mapping Traffic’s Toll on Wildlife

Nearly every week for the last seven months, Mr. Ringen, 69, has driven the roads north of this college town near Sacramento, scanning the pavement for telltale bits of fur and feathers.

Pulling over, Mr. Ringen gets out, snaps photographs and uses his GPS device to record the precise location where creatures met their end. He has logged more than 1,400 animals, from the miniature (one-ounce song sparrows) to the gargantuan (a 1,500-pound black Angus bull).

“Most people don’t realize how many animals die on the road every day — they just don’t see it,” he said.

In Feast of Data on BPA Plastic, No Final Answer

The research has been going on for more than 10 years. Studies number in the hundreds. Millions of dollars have been spent. But government health officials still cannot decide whether the chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, a component of some plastics, is safe. The substance lines most food and drink cans, and is used to make hard, clear plastic bottles, containers and countless other products. Nearly everyone is exposed to it.

USDA: The Role of Agriculture in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Agriculture could play a prominent role in U.S. efforts to address climate change if farms and ranches undertake activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or take greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. These activities may include shifting to conservation tillage, reducing the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied to crops, changing livestock and manure management practices, and planting trees or grass. The Federal Government is considering offering carbon offsets and incentive payments to encourage rural landowners to pursue these climate-friendly activities as part of a broader effort to combat climate change. The extent to which farmers adopt such activities would depend on their costs, potential revenues, and other economic incentives created by climate policy. Existing Federal conservation programs provide preliminary estimates of the costs of agricultural carbon sequestration.

Australia: End logging in risk areas say conservationists

A number of conservation groups are calling for an immediate end to the logging of forests in areas with low and intermediate rainfall.

This follows the Environmental Protection Authority releasing a report which says declining rainfall from climate change could make logging in some south west forests unsustainable.

China making inroads on emissions

Huang Huikang, as vice mayor of Tangshan in northeastern China, made energy efficiency one of his top priorities, taking aggressive steps to curb greenhouse gases from the city's many factories. Today he is China's special representative on climate change, negotiating with officials from countries worldwide.

As Huang explains it, he and his colleagues managed - at least in one city - to meet the challenge of reducing emissions while still promoting rapid economic growth.

China says rich-poor divide still dogs climate pact talks

The prospects of a new global climate change pact still hinge on resolving the divisions between rich nations and the developing world, a top Chinese climate negotiator said in remarks published on Monday.

CBI says businesses need better warning of climate risks

Climate scientists and the government must improve the way in which they communicate the risks associated with climate change if they want businesses to make the adaptations necessary to cope with rising temperatures and extreme weather.

That is the stark warning contained in a major new report released today by business lobby group the CBI, which also recommends that all firms should provide information on the climate risks they face as part of their corporate reports.

Climate change is inevitable, says Caroline Spelman

Britain can no longer stop global warming and must instead focus on adapting to the ‘inevitable’ impacts of climate change such as floods, droughts and rising sea levels, Government ministers will warn this week.

Snake Oil salesmen in the oil business.

60 Minutes had a great episode last night about 21st Century Snake Oil. These guys were selling, for as much as $120,000 per client, snake oil claims that they can reverse the incurable, from autism to multiple sclerosis to every kind of cancer. Well I received in my email box this morning, from "Energy & Capital", a flyer hawking snake oil in the oil business.

By snake oil I mean false hopes that we have vast reserves of oil, equal to 11 Saudi Arabias, right here in the USA. And for only $795 per year they will send you a newsletter that tells you which companies you should buy stock in order to become rich beyond your wildest dreams.

Just in case there are folks out there who wish to become fabulously wealthy here is the link that will make you rich: U.S. Military’s Secret Energy Report Sparks Onshore Land Rush…

For 90 years, countless energy companies went broke, trying to crack the code to the largest oil deposits on earth – right in North America.
Moments before the release of a government energy report, a group of scientists finally hit pay dirt... unlocking more than three trillion barrels.
Here’s the full story…

And just what is this great secret technology that that has only recently been uncovered? What is this big secret?

Even though their technology is rather well-known, actually using it successfully is the big secret.
The technology is called Horizontal Directional Drilling or H.D.D., and only this group of companies has mastered the process.

Horizontal Directional Drilling, or actually knowing how to use it successfully is the big secret. Find out who knows how to do this and get rich.

Ron P.

Ron - never ceases to amaze me how greed will get folks to make foolish investments. Told this story on TOD long ago about a boiler room pitching a horizontal Austin Chalk deal in Texas back in the late 80's. They had all the resource directories: doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. Had around a dozen cold callers working in a bull pen on our floor. The manager (who really was a used car salesman before this gig) showed us the brochure. Pure BS but I guess he figured since we were oil patch we didn't have a problem with fraud. I called the Texas AttGen office and gave them the company's name. They told me they had already shut down their ops in Dallas. I told them they were back in the snake oil biz and gave them the new address. One of my biggest disappointments was not being there the morning Houston PD and Texas Rangers showed up. Sent the phone bank packing and hauled the two mangers away in cuffs.

They were selling shares at $25,000 each and selling dozens every day to well educated folks who let greed cloud their judgment.

They were selling shares at $25,000 each and selling dozens every day to well educated folks who let greed cloud their judgment.

It is hard to tell legitimate from the fraudulent. I was one on the legions of Unix contributors who threw the Novell IPO offer that they generously made available to programmers who had contributed code, into the circular file. Could have made $85,000, but I thought it looked suspicious.

I've seen corps taken in. I remember a presentation by a chip designer soliciting investment in a brand new super-revolutionary computer chip. We should have run when we realized that (A) it was everything we wanted, and (B) that we knew just enough about the technology to appreciate how great the promise was, but not enough to know why it was not doable. Several major computer manufacturers also made multimillion dollar investments. I think Bill Gates was taken in as well. Hard to say no, when someone appears to be dangling the key to world domination in front of you......

EOS - fortunately you had some tech background to resort to. I recall in the late 70's oil boom folks in little towns would see an ad in the back of Fortune magazine or the WSJ and then mail off half their life saving to some PO box in Colorado. And then wonder why they weren't getting their revenue checks in the mail.

that's one reason I never issed an opportunity to expose some cheat in the oil patch. We have a bad enough name with the public even when we're not cheating. Don't need the crooks adding fuel to the fire.

Good post. I remember my parents teaching me not to accept candy from strangers. I guess a lot of people feel that once they've made adulthood, they can ignore momma's advice.

They say people who won't learn lessons from history are doomed to repeat them. My take on this is that the greatest lesson of history is that people don't learn lessons from history. The people who learn that lesson become rich. That is, if they can learn the lesson about getting out before the tar pots start bubbling.


“History teaches that history teaches us nothing “- Hegel

'Descartes thinks he thinks, therefore he thinks he is.'

There will always be examples of those who don't learn.. so anyone who wants to claim no lessons have come to us and been heard can always be anecdotally justified. That plus the fact that life is cyclical, and there simply will be repeats.. All that said, we're not quite the same as our Grandparents or the ancients.. and we're not all that different. And Hammurabi's code and the Magna Carta still affect us in many ways.

I have to ask whether the outcry against bookburning last week represents any lessons learned from history by many, while the repetition of darker days also looms right over the same table, with its flock of angry and terrified adherents.. But even Sarah Palin knew this was wrong, somehow.

I thought he said "I'm pink, therefore I'm Spam(TM)"?

Or maybe that was some other Descartes.

'Descartes thinks he thinks, therefore he thinks he is.'

Yeah, but that's only because he never quite figured out that he actually thought he thunk, because he was. If he hadn't been, he wouldn't of... >;^)

I TOD therefore I am not another mindless pod

Don't listen to anyone on this site, either. Who can you trust? Government Spooks, Some From The Oil Drum, Head To DC To Push Energy Collapse Doomsday Agenda "Think... Gasoline Rationing" | Alexander Higgins Blog

The ASPO Speakers list reveals the identities of some of those commenting anonymously at The Oil Drum and reveals several speakers who are pushing apocalyptic doomsday scenarios, including peak oil, peak gas, peak coal, energy collapse, financial collapse, and hyper-inflation of food costs, all for their own financial benefit.

Not surprising the list of speakers from The Oil Drum include Government spooks with ties to agencies such as the CIA, the Air Force intelligence and Department of the Interior counter-terrorism divisions.

Uh huh. "Charley five, charley five, the albatross is in the blast furnace, I repeat, the albatross is in the blast furnace."

Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean that other people don't think you're out to get them!

One of the best jokes I have ever seen:

King is sitting on his royal crapper,dressed in stately robes, his face lined by the worries of those who hold great power,newspaper spread wide....
captioned thought:"I know I'm paranoid;the question is, am I paranoid enough? "

I think it was in the New Yorker.

We do tend to get to be excessively complacent, assuming that others are doing our worrying for us.


Relax. The NYTimes (Dot Earth) is doing all the worrying for us:

Which Comes First – Peak Everything or Peak Us?

They even mention "TheOilDrum"!

A mid-range best guess for the peak remains roughly 9 billion people. (As Gary Peters, one of my favorite commentators here, has pointed out on The Oil Drum, this is not necessarily a given.)

We do tend to get to be excessively complacent, assuming that others are doing our worrying for us.

I know, huh. I can't help thinking about the reports that people in San Bruno were smelling gas for weeks before the explosion. What were they thinking? I guess they were thinking someone else would deal with it.

people in San Bruno were smelling gas for weeks

They were smelling the bytul mecaptin. I now await the evil-dooing terr-i-sts (or middle school kids with access to a place to order chemicals) to get some of the odorant and release that.

(White European? Make your own buytl mercaptain via consumption of Asparagus.)

The full, and correct, quote of Hegel about history is:

"Was die Erfahrung aber und die Geschichte lehren, ist dieses, daß Völker und Regierungen niemals etwas aus der Geschichte gelernt und nach Lehren, die aus derselben zu ziehen gewesen wären, gehandelt haben."

("What experience and history teach is this — that nations and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it" or, variant,

"What experience and history teach is this — that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.")

So it is not really the "scio mihi nihil scire" thing.

Shucks. And I thought I made that up. I guess I haven't been paying attention to history...


Don't you just love German Schachtelsatz-style constructions? I like to think I can read German but the end of that Hegel quote had me scratching my head. Damn philosophers!

My own favorite variant of the idea, and one that I use quite often is:

A careful reading of history demonstrates quite clearly that people don't read history carefully.

That one avoids absolutes like "never" and is even further from the epistemologically pure "I know that I know nothing."

My sense is that most people do learn from "history" but what they learn is weighted accordingly:

  1. 80% personal experience (personal history)
  2. 18% experience of others (family or community history)
  3. 02% written interpretations of others' experiences (written history)

For most personal decisions this works out well. But for decisions with generational or societal impact we really need to adjust the weightings to be a lot more even.

Best Hopes for learning from history and from others.



Always remember never to say "always" or "never".


(with a tip of the hat to the good Count Korzybski)

God I love TOD!

Thanks sgage for introducing me to a philosopher I didn't know and who's ideas I have a lot of respect for. Just look at this quote from the Wikipedia page on Alfred Korzybski:

His system included modifying the way we consider the world, e.g., with an attitude of "I don't know; let's see," to better discover or reflect its realities as revealed by modern science.

Anyone who encourages an attitude of "I don't know; let's see" is a man after my own heart!


Really glad that you followed the reference and discovered Korzybsky.

When I was an undergrad, many decades ago, I had a slot to fill for an elective, and I took a course in General Semantics, with a great professor. It introduced me to Alfred Korzybsky, and really cleared up my thinking in a lot of ways.

Good stuff!

I follow Korzybski insofar as applying the E-prime dialect of english on my blog. For a long stretch I have studiously tried to avoid all forms of "to be" and try to maintain an active voice. I fail miserably when writing comments on TOD because I find it too much work.

The reason I do this is to establish ownership on everything I put down in words. When writing in the passive voice, I end up going back on what I have written and many places I can't identify who did what... stuff just "is".

Don't you just love German Schachtelsatz-style constructions?

Schachtelsätze are quite typical for german 19th century academics (just like their counterparts, aphorisms), and the german novelist Thomas Mann topped them all with his half-a-page sentences.

However, the key problem are the verbs at the end of a german sentence. You'll often have to wait until the end before you know what someone is going to express. This can cause real trouble when verbs have prefixes and the real meaning of the sentences comes with the very last word. Simultaneous interpreters love their job when someone starts a sentence like:

"Leutnant von Ottensoos fiel in der Schlacht von Jena und Auerstedt ..." (Interpreter: "Lt. von Ottensoos died in the battle of Jena und Auerstedt ..") ... "durch besondere Tapferkeit auf!" - oops! :-)

Any civil engineer could tell you exactly what HDD is and that it's been used for years to bury utility lines without digging an actual trench. I sure hope the sales pitch is a bit more involved than that. Chances are you've seen an HDD rig on the side of the road somewhere, operated by not so highly trained technicians....

Here is one:

Published on Monday, September 13, 2010 by CommonDreams.org
Is the "Nuclear Renaissance" Dead Yet?
by Harvey Wasserman

America's much hyped "reactor renaissance" is facing a quadruple bypass. In actual new construction, proposed projects and overseas sales, soaring costs are killing new nukes. And the old ones are leaking like Dark Age relics teetering on the brink of disaster.

As renewables plummet in cost, and private financing stays nil, the nuclear industry is desperate to gouge billions from Congress for loan guarantees to build new reactors. Thus far, citizen activism has stopped them. But the industry is pouring all it has into this fall's short session, yet again demanding massive new subsides to stay on life support.

rest of the article at http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/09/13-2

For better or worse, nuclear power is also required to reduce carbon emissions. Renewable alone, simply cannot do the job. No matter the DSM, pumped storage, conservation that we employ.

As we Rush to Wind we should also start a safe economical build-out of new nukes; even if the first dozen require substantially more subsidies than renewables.

TVA has gone from an over 80% coal utility to less than half this year and their new nukes are the major reason why.


Nothing has been more hyped in the history of the world than nuclear power both in production ('too cheap to meter') and reserves(seawater uranium) and nothing has be slammed as uneconomical and unproductive than renewables.

It's ironic, Alan, that you also hype pumped hydro which is a net energy loser using 75% using precious water as a battery for nukes. Don't you know that nukes are huge wasters of water now and that pumped hydro will only make things worse?

We need a huge rush to wind because it will build a huge incentive toward large scale energy storage thru batteries, CAES and hydrogen. New solar technologies will use the same storage methods as megawind.

Best hopes for a 100% commitment to renewables and powerdown on fossil coal, gas and nukes.

It's ironic, Alan, that you also hype

Alan has also taken a position that New Orleans should not be abandoned.

We need a huge rush to wind because it will build a huge incentive toward large scale energy storage thru batteries, CAES and hydrogen

Hydrogen - really?

Removing the 179 restrictions for renewables would also drive the market.

I would VERY much like "Sec. 179" write-offs for both renewables and conservation investments.

Example: Old a/c dies in small business, put in bottom of line replacement and get 5 year write-off. Install 20 SEER and all in one year deduction :-)

BTW, GWB gave one year write-offs for buying a Hummer but 3 years for a Prius.


Nuclear power isn't perfect, but it appears to be better than any fossil-fuel source and does not require additional major infrastructure or any significant change in grid planning to deploy it.

A nuclear plant can be a "plug-in" replacement for a coal plant.

Wind and solar are better in many ways, but they do require a change in grid planning as well as a change in the way people think about electrical power. These are bigger obstacles than most renewable energy proponents are willing to admit to.

Pumped hydro storage "uses' almost no water net. Small net annual evaporation.

Actually, wind needs pumped storage more than nukes do. To get wind >20% of grid MWh will need either hydro or pumped storage. Roughly 1 MW pumped storage for every (nameplate) 6 to 8 MW of wind (to maximum of 50% of total MWh for wind).

CAES is not a viable technology for energy storage. Far too low cycle efficiency. Hydrogen is useful for a dump of excess wind power that has no other economic value. Very inefficient use of electricity to electrolyze water.

In the real world, wind and solar cannot get us past 55% renewables. If no large hydro or geothermal, then nukes are the low carbon choice.

I am *ALL FOR* a Rush to Wind, but I realize the upper limits of wind & solar.


In the real world, wind and solar cannot get us past 55% renewables. If no large hydro or geothermal, then nukes are the low carbon choice.

I believe you are right. For the USA it is OK, also for France, the UK, Russia, China.
But for small countries or at least countries with Nuclear Power Stations but no nuclear weapons -Spain, say, as I am Spanish- there's the danger of being instantly destroyed by an enemy in war, even an enemy with only conventional weapons by blowing apart the Nuclear Power Stations via a Pearl Harbour-like attack.

Some country, or countries, in the Maghreb could kill all the inhabitants of Spain, or Italy, Greece, even ¡Germany! with the use of perhaps 20 fighter bombers, in ten minutes --actually dying could take somewhat longer.

Sure NATO even France could retaliate, but, would they H-bomb North Africa? I don't think so.
This scenario is not very fanciful, Israel did bomb a nuclear reactor in Iraq not many years ago.
The proliferation of Atomic Power Stations seems to me like giving hostages to fortune.

there's the danger of being instantly destroyed by an enemy in war, even an enemy with only conventional weapons

Not 'conventional' but well within the ability to do if you have orbital physics and optical physics "understood"


! with the use of perhaps 20 fighter bombers,

Why not a paid saboteur or perhaps Bruce Cockburn with a few rocket launchers?

The proliferation of Atomic Power Stations seems to me like giving hostages to fortune.

And if Iran gets its plants attacked perhaps "we" humans will have that conversation.

As renewables plummet in cost, and private financing stays nil, the nuclear industry is desperate to gouge billions from Congress for loan guarantees to build new reactors. Thus far, citizen activism has stopped them. But the industry is pouring all it has into this fall's short session, yet again demanding massive new subsides to stay on life support.

The best nuclear reactor is the oldest, and we orbit it constantly.

Humanity just needs to keep building more collectors (via PV, CSP, and wind turbines) to harvest it :)

A few Drumbeats back, I had referenced an Energy Saving Trust survey of eighty-three recently installed air and ground source heat pumps in the UK that uncovered some rather shockingly poor results. Here's some additional coverage from Treehugger:

Are Ground Source Heat Pumps (AKA Geothermal Systems) A Good Choice?

Back in 2008 Lloyd stirred up controversy with his post blowing hot and cold on ground source heat pumps, and his stance was later validated when Green Building Adviser concluded that groundsource heat pumps were not as efficient as claimed, and way too expensive to be a sensible response to climate change. Now a study over in the UK seems to suggest that installation of both ground- and air-source heat pumps leaves an awful lot to be desired—in fact fully 87% of heat pumps studied did not perform as well as they should.

A report over at The Guardian on the under-performance of UK heat pumps brings news of a new study from the Energy Saving Trust which tracked the performance of 83 newly installed heat pump units over a 12 month period. The results were astounding—astoundingly bad that is.

See: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/09/uk-heat-pumps-failing.php

My argument has always been that high efficiency air-source heat pumps offer much better overall value than their ground source counterparts -- generally, but by no means universally. As with any major purchase, do your homework and proceed cautiously.


Given that air-source heat pumps are only marginally more complex than standard HVAC, is it then reasonable to assume that many high-SEER AC units are improperly installed as well?

I have wondered about the lineset sizing for upgrades, as many builder runs are quite long and minimally sized, and potentially pinched or kinked as well.

Hi Paleo.

It wouldn't surprise me if a large percentage are performing below their ratings. Installation is critically importantly and there are plenty of "hack jobs" out there. You need a technician who is properly trained and committed to doing the job right and a firm that will stand behind its product. It's not brain surgery by any means, but not something for a backyard-Larry either.


On the jobs I supervised, I used one guy at one firm, again and again. He knew what I wanted and how to do it right.

Upsized the line size almost every time (marginal cost @ $10). Contractor used silver solder (forgot %, but the good stuff). No one EVER asks about that and a contractor that will pay a few $ extra is a good indicator IMHO. Long radius 90s if soft copper could not make the bend.

Always over-sized air filters ("one day" they will get filthy dirty and nearly clogged). Larger filters give more time to change (and cost exactly the same !) and once filthy still have "acceptable" pressure drops, perhaps saving the fan. New variable speed evaporator fans are more sensitive to restricted air intake and cost @$1,000 to replace.

Also usually added surge protectors. Expensive computer chips inside modern heat pumps & a/cs.

Best Hopes,


Following your link, I see this comment:

Crucially, the Trust is not at this stage claiming that heat pumps are not an effective solution for heating and cooling, but rather that the industry needs to step up its game when it comes to installation, as Adam Vaughan of The Guardian explains:

"The Trust blamed the use of multiple contractors for fitting systems instead of a single contractor as used in Europe, wrongly sized systems, complicated controls and a lack of education for householders using them. However, the Trust said that for many of the 5 million people in the UK living off the gas grid and currently using energy sources such as oil to heat their homes, the heat pumps could offer carbon and energy bill savings."

Nevertheless, Lloyd will no doubt be feeling more than a little validated by this study. While the relatively modest expense of an air-source heat pump may make it a good investment in many situations, the huge capital investment needed for ground source systems is a hard sell at the best of times. If installation errors can cause systems to perform so poorly, it's just one more reason to consider spending your money on reducing demand first.

Thus, the problem does not appear to lie with the machinery, but with the installation procedures (regulation?) and with the financing of the capital cost, in the case of ground exchange.

I can't but agree with the emphasis in the final sentence on reducing demand.

Reducing demand is critical, via insulation, double glazing, etc and simply by turning the thermostat down and wearing some more clothes.

Installation is a major problem in the UK, along with mis-selling. I have a friend who was sold a (hugely expensive) ground source heat pump on the basis that it was the "best solution" for him. He lives in a former coach house with next to no wall, window or loft insulation. I told him he'd be better off burning his money in the fireplace if he did not insulate first. He refused to do that on the basis it was too expensive, time-consuming and certain parts of it would look ugly on his house (double-glazing, interior wall and ceiling insulation, etc).

Now he's spent circa £25,000 on a Ground Source Heat Pump - his heating oil bill last winter was very marginally lower than before, but his electricity bill went through the roof. The salesman had omitted to tell him that a heat pump uses a lot of electricity......

I told him all this would happen before he went ahead, but apparently he preferred the other expert's view of things because he told him what he wanted to hear. I wasn't even trying to sell him anything.... Of course, now he's spent the money, he's unwilling "to throw good money after bad" by investing in all the things I told him to do beforehand.... he's a friend, but he's also an idiot!

I-can't-take-any-more-of-this ... [** bangs head on desk **]

I'm so sorry, NFE; the sheer stupidity of it all. Now please excuse me whist I go outside and kick the dogs.


My largest project, a decade ago, was redoing a 5 story office building. Got the total electric bill usage down by @ 73%.

Two old 60 ton a/c compressors on roof with massive natural gas and two 40 hp fans (did not blow heat well down to ground floor lobby).

Replaced with 15 residential style a/c & heat pumps plus three package units on roof. Installed first condensing gas furnace in New Orleans in ground floor lobby. "Bulk heat" 120,000 BTUs that we would run constantly for a week in cold spells (heat pumps gave area temperature control). The lobby gas furnace kept the core of the building warmish.

Saved 10 tons of a/c equipment my putting reflective film on windows on SW side (no windows on SE side). Saved 24 to 25 tons with lighting retrofit. Patched holes left from 1960s construction (unsure how much, but significant). Saved 8 tons by insulating roof from below (interesting problem !).

Expensive in 100% occupied building, but the savings in a/c equipment paid for 60% of the cost of reducing demand.

Two year payback for new HVAC system with much greater comfort and humidity control.


Absolutely dead-on, Toil. Demand reduction must come first and that's perhaps no more true than with air and ground-source heat pumps. You often hear of home owners who spend forty, fifty and even seventy grand on a ground source heat pump when they would have been further ahead had they spent one-tenth that on insulation and air sealing. That really bothers me.

It's a fairly simple matter to throw-in a 100,000 BTU gas or oil-fired boiler, wipe your hands, walk away and call it a day. That may be a pretty good reason in and of itself to favour some of these more conventional technologies, but it would be a damn shame if things fell apart on us simply because someone can't do their job correctly.


OK, now I'm confused by the physics of all this, as propounded in the posts on this subthread. If the heat pump is "better", or more "efficient", than the conventional system, it should cost less to pump a given amount of heat irrespective of the exact amount, i.e. irrespective of the quantity of insulation. So it ought to improve, i.e. reduce, the bill irrespective of whether one insulates more or not. (That's not to say that this would be the optimum approach.) If it's not reducing the bill by moving heat more efficiently, then why not just do the insulation and forget altogether about the heat pump?

If you have a large space heating demand, you're more likely to opt for the 100,000 BTU/hr gas or oil-fired boiler because the installation of two five-ton air source heat pumps or the equivalent size geothermal system is likely to be cost prohibitive. I'm chuckling as I say this because one of the McCain kids* down the street just built a monster home that is equipped with at least two five-ton ASHPs (I can only see two, but I wouldn't be surprised if one or more were hiding at the back of the house). Fuel costs will vary by location, obviously, but the operating costs of our two ductless heat pumps are less than half that of electric resistance and approximately one-third that of fuel oil at 89.9-cents a litre.

Edit: I won't share a picture of the home for privacy reasons, but this is a close-up of the two five ton air-source heat pumps tucked under one of the decks:


* That would be this McCain family: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCain_Foods

I'm hoping this works out well for you, jmygann. No question, the 9RLS stands head and shoulders above all others and if anything can do the job it's going to be this one.

I'm still mulling over whether to replace our five year old Friedrich (7.2 HSPF) with a 12RLS (12.0 HSPF). The Friedrich serves our main and upper floors and uses anywhere from 2,700 to 3,700 kWh a year depending upon the severity of the winter and how hard I push it (it's sub-metered). If we assume a typical winter is 3,200 kWh, say, the Fujitsu would trim that by approximately 1,300 kWh. Our home is now virtually all-electric and we currently consume a little over 11,000 kWh a year in all, and this swap would get us below the 10,000 kWh mark which is ultimately where I'd like us to be.


What refrigerant does that unit use? All the units I see around here use R22 and I thought that was being phased out. I have not seen a SEER number on anything either.


My Mitsubishi uses R410A.

OK, now I'm confused by the physics of all this, as propounded in the posts on this subthread. If the heat pump is "better", or more "efficient", than the conventional system, it should cost less to pump a given amount of heat irrespective of the exact amount, i.e. irrespective of the quantity of insulation. So it ought to improve, i.e. reduce, the bill irrespective of whether one insulates more or not.

Yes, the physics says so - but the real world then works to conspire against this.

Users may dial-up more comfort, thinking they have far cheaper heating, only to find yes, they have cheaper heating, but are using MORE of it, to pay MORE than before.

Users who before heated only local rooms, may now run house-wide heating, including many colder rooms.

All this is why is it NOT uncommon to install heat pumps, and yet find higher bills....

Most system I've seen also have close to brain-dead temperature control (aka flat), and very poor user interfaces.

I ran into this seeming paradox when insulating my 100 year old Victorian style house in Asheville,NC. While the insulation (blown and batt) probably cut our heat losses significantly (WAG 60%) we probably didn't cut our Nat. Gas bill by more than 25%, but we gained significantly in comfort. The inner surfaces of the exterior walls were no longer 'soaking up' radiant heat loss from our warm bodies, so even with only a couple of degrees higher for air temp. (~ 62f to 64f) we felt much more comfortable.

When we heated with oil, I refused to turn the thermostat about 15°C unless we had company and even at that, our friends simply stayed away during the winter months or the truly brave ones bundled up in heavy fleece and slipped on a second pair of wool socks. I always found 13 to 15°C quite comfortable until I started on high blood pressure medication and let me tell you that first winter was brutal. I kept the thermostats between 20 and 25°C and the in-floor radiant heat in my home office at 35°C and I still couldn't get warm (there were times when I'd literally wrap my body around a cast iron radiator and clutch so tight the jaws of life couldn't free me). Things are much better now, thankfully, but we still keep the house 5 to 10°C warmer than what it had been under oil, in large part because our heating costs even at these higher temperatures are less than half what we had paid previously.


Now a study over in the UK seems to suggest that installation of both ground- and air-source heat pumps leaves an awful lot to be desired—in fact fully 87% of heat pumps studied did not perform as well as they should.

Hmm, an arm-waving headline, with poor information content.
It fails to say BY HOW MUCH they underperformed, and if that was operator, install, or system failures.

If you drill down to the actual report,


it says :

The sample of ground source heat pumps had slightly higher measured system efficiencies than the air source heat pumps. The ‘mid-range’ ground
source system efficiencies were between 2.3 and 2.5, with the highest figures above 3.0.

So, seems none actually failed to work, it was more an issue with how close they got to an ideal operation.

Smarter would have been to try to identify WHAT causes the spread in COP ?

Perhaps units could be designed to Self-report heir COP levels, and so alert users when that is sub-optimal ?
There does seem to have been operator confusion.

Many householders said that they had difficulties understanding the instructions for operating and using their heat pump. This highlights a need for clearer and simpler customer advice.

Hi jg,

The article doesn't delve into the specifics of the report as you point out, but I'm guessing its intended only to underscore the general thrust of their past argument; namely, that one shouldn't assume that ground source heat pumps are inherently superior to their air source counterparts and that claims related to their performance are often wildly exaggerated (one routinely hears that the COPs of these systems are in the range of three, four and higher). I've always been rather sceptical of this and question whether they offer good value for the dollar. In most cases, I would expect your money would be better spent by using those same dollars to lower your space heating and cooling demands to the greatest extent possible and taking whatever is left over and purchasing a high efficiency air-source heat pump. Bear in mind that as you continue to whittle away at demand, the economics of a GSHP become that much more questionable. For example, Alan from Big Easy mentioned the other day that he expects the bulk of his needs can be met by a 9,000 BTU ductless heat pump, in this case a 26 SEER/12.0 HSPF Fujitsu 9RLS. The installed cost of 9RLS can be as little as $2,500.00.

A more detailed discussion of the Energy Saving Trust report can be found at: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6933#comment-716247


The subtitle in the last article is extremely deceptive.

Here's her actual quote in the article:

It is vital that we carry on working to drastically cut our greenhouse gas emissions to stop the problem getting any worse,” she will say. “But we are already stuck with some unavoidable climate change. Because of this, we need to prepare for the best and worst cases which a changing climate will entail for our country.” (My emphases)

That does not sound much like:

"Britain can no longer stop global warming and must instead focus on adapting.." which implies an either/or attitude.

We all obviously have to do both, but instead we are doing neither (very effectively, anyway).

Nothing surprising. The media is pushing AGW denial every chance it gets. It can't attack it directly so it provides a pulpit for various idiots and also engages in spin such as the above. There is a special place in Hell reserved for journalists.

Valero opens more bankrupt ethanol plants even as corn prices
rise. It now has 10 plants , claims it is making money and happy with results.

It sees Peak Ethanol at 15 billion gallons:

Gillingham says the ethanol industry has tightened up in the aftermath of a rash of bankruptcies in 2008, “and so the business has been a lot better. We have a little bit of growth still with the RFS allowing us to go up to 15 billion gallons of ethanol. So there is growth in front of us but it’s not the rapid growth that we saw five or ten years ago.”

So if capital is essentially free, as often happens with purchases of bankrupt entities, then (and only then?) the business model works?

Sounds like the situation with satellite telephone service.

Speaking of pipelines (current top story today), I would guess most energy people know that the U.S. is (still) in Afghanistan to ensure that two pipelines were built, just as it is in Iraq to secure access to the third-largest oil reserves in the world.

Here is Dr. Daniele Ganser's (University of Basel, Switzerland) assessment of the progress of the initiative and its prospects:

The Language of Pipelines

An excellent view of the situation, chewy and nutritious:

$60 Billion Saudi Arms deal with USA

We do have some goods to export for oil. At $75/barrel, this should buy about 800 million barrels of Arab D (plus transport costs).



First part will likely be half of total, but a large naval and missile defense system sale are also in process.

To put this in political perspective, when I was working on political campaigns, DeKalb County was once considered to be the most "liberal" in Georgia!

E. Swanson

Another Peak Oil put down from the "Right Side News". Peak Oil Bites the Dust?

This time they quote CNN: "More than anything, though, the looming oil surplus calls into question the concept of peak oil, at least in the near future, along with the whole science of forecasting future oil supplies." (- CNN)

And they conclude that Peak Oil is a monstrous, mainstream-media lie perpetuated by the "elite", in order to impose some sort of "world governance".

Most importantly, the larger generational, familial campaign of the elite to impose some sort of world governance is increasingly at risk. We have long predicted this and see no reason to revise our analysis. The crumbling of the monstrous, mainstream-media lie that is Peak Oil would be most gratifying.

I somehow cannot make the connection between peak oil and world governance. What has one to do with the other? And are we peak oil advocates part of the "elite" trying to impose "world governance" on the rest of the world? Or are we just just dupes suckered into helping the elite impose their will on the rest of the world?

Ron P.

what's really odd is that if the mainstream media is spreading the lie of peak oil, then from that quote cnn must not be part of the mainstream media. if that's the case, i wonder how right side news defines "mainstream media".

Government Spooks, Some From The Oil Drum, Head To DC To Push Energy Collapse Doomsday Agenda “Think… Gasoline Rationing”

The ASPO Speakers list reveals the identities of some of those commenting anonymously at The Oil Drum and reveals several speakers who are pushing apocalyptic doomsday scenarios, including peak oil, peak gas, peak coal, energy collapse, financial collapse, and hyper-inflation of food costs, all for their own financial benefit.

Not surprising the list of speakers from The Oil Drum include Government spooks with ties to agencies such as the CIA, the Air Force intelligence and Department of the Interior counter-terrorism divisions.

These Government spooks address the FBI’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Committee, the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

All very sinister, if you ask me ;-)

Note to budgeting office of the CIA and other spooky and not-so-spooky agencies:
I will happily expand my peak oil education efforts if you would like to fund that work.

I'm not anonymous. Please contact me via my account profile page and we'll discuss the numbers.

P.S. I'll respond to an RFP if I must but I think it's better if we negotiate in private. It's spook-ier that way.



Funny - I've been reading and commenting at TOD for over four years and I can only vaguely remember maybe a couple requests by TOD to help fund "the cause" - hardly what I'd call "financial benefit".

On the other hand I do remember requests for donations from the specific postings about Deepwater Horizon - but that was because TOD is the best energy related site on the planet (and was the go to reference for updates regarding DWH) therefore they were getting slammed on a daily basis due to all the extra traffic.

Reality (and the reality of a peak in oil production) does not care what they think. There is no point in getting upset with them, they really have no effect - even the concern that they may be convincing people to ignore the coming reality is irrelevant, as they are only telling people what they want to hear. In the end they are just weaving together stories to justify not thinking about the things that scare them.

Or are we just just dupes suckered into helping the elite impose their will on the rest of the world?

The most fascinating part of their perspective to me is this idea that the elite are the evil doers forcing some kind of agenda on what, the ignorant? I get the impression that's what they are saying. So, obviously they understand many of their followers, constituents, are lacking in higher education. It's as if they are saying, "The elite, the well credentialled, are attempting to control us dim whitted drop outs by way of made up hoaxes and theories, like global warming and peak oil. Don't pay any attention to the elite, especially climatologists and geologists!"

It's so inane its laughable, yet scary there is apparently an audience they are attempting to reach that will gobble up that kind of nonsense.

Don't pay any attention to the elite, especially climatologists and geologists!"

Those climatologists and geologists, actually scientists and intellectuals in general, were the teachers pets that were making them look bad in school. Therefore they are "honorary" members of the elite.

Therefore they are "honorary" members of the elite.

If one defines the bankers as part of the typical members of the elite - when one looks at the amount of money that is spent on the 'monied interests' VS actual carbon reduction in a carbon reduction scheme - looks to many like simple payed shills or even useful idiots....to use a turn of a phrase.


Go get yourself educated on how 70% if the spending is wasted.

I don't get that "elite" idea that much, nor as contrasted to Ron's original post, that the motive is world governance. The latter is certainly present, but not dominant. It's a subtheme. What I hear is a rant against "enviromentalists", however they are defined. As such, both climate change and peak oil are a hoax and lumped in the same thought frame. It becomes yet another illustration of how control of the US is being subverted. So energy mitigation efforts are subsumed in the meme, even if they are profiting well from them.

My comment is assuredly from a rural perspective, I don't know how it changes with a more urban setting. But I often get the feeling it is new Town Mouse and Country Mouse rhetoric, as such, that could imply elitism. But who is the elite? I think both sides call dibbs.

But who is the elite?

I think we have several different types of "elite". There are the masters of the universe Wall street types, who deserve scorn. Then there are those trying to make policy. Then there are those who study things, scientists, acdemics, analysts and the like. It is convenient for some political actors to apply the dislike of the former (those who actually have the power to control things for their self interest), with those whose message may be unwelcome. Spread the hatred from one class to another. Then we have the usual American tendency to distrust smart people, which is being exploited especially by the tea party leaders.

But it generally all gets lumped into this global conspiracy to rule the world thing. As if a small cabal is orchestrating everything, and thousands of information type workers have either bought into the conspiracy -or are serving as clever useful idiots. Its really just nuts. But, it seems to sell.

As if a small cabal is orchestrating everything,

If you have a small group leading things - there is something to fight VS and a mantra of 'if you cut off the head, the body dies' works. That is a salable concept.

If the reality is 'a group of people who are assholes being assholes' - how do you fight that? Mandatory rudeness reduction 1 9mm a time?

If the reality is there are a bunch of sociopaths in charge - again .... how do you determine who's a sociopath and once ya made that determination then what?

If the reality is 'anyone over net worth $X is the problem' .... eeeerrr ok. What happens when they get 'removed' as a problem? Doesn't that just put the $X-1 group as the new $X?

Then we have the usual American tendency to distrust smart people, which is being exploited especially by the tea party leaders.

The 'smart people' didn't push for openness - sunlight being the best disinfectant and all.

the reality is there are a bunch of sociopaths in charge

The system encourages this because the most ruthless sociopaths step on dead bodies to claw their way to the top, and often they succeed.

(Yeah. Tough I walk through the Valley of Death, I shall fear no evil; for I am the meanest SOB in this valley.)

But no fatwas for killing Christians (e.g. Iraq). Bloody hypocrites. Clearly in their pinhead minds their God needs some paper and ink to exist.

If one knows the right queries to type - you can find people who claim they are part of the 'religious caste', that they have 'the word of God' and that they want a burning/killing of 'the others who are not us'.

Islam's position about interest makes it a no-go with the structure of the Federal Reserve Note. Woe be onto the US of A if the "Islamic nations" enforce that clause of Islam....what would the US of A trade with?

Because of the multiple Enbridge oil piepline breaks (see above), gasoline prices in the Midwest are reported to be up as much as 30 cents/gallon over the last month, with the Chicago area seeing price rises of 20 cents/gallon over the weekend.

This report says wholesale prices in the Midwest rose another 7 cents today:

Gas prices spike in the Midwest

Prices at gas terminals were up 7-cents a gallon, and crude prices rose overnight to $77 a barrel. At many gas stations, prices shot up 15-cents a gallon. Some Wausau gas stations are now selling regular gasoline for $2.99 a gallon.


Conversely, the longer the pipeline takes to come online...

Enbridge rupture fueling prices higher

Line 6A, the latest rupture, is 34" and can carry over 600,000 barrels per day. It costs between $3 and $4 to ship a barrel from Alberta to the Chicago area.

Motorists should watch the news for developments on the pipeline rupture- the quicker the pipeline is repaired, the faster gasoline prices will come back in line with the national average.

Prices compared to their week ago level in the affected area:
Illinois- a week ago $2.79, today $2.97.
Michigan- a week ago $2.77, today $2.92.
Indiana- a week ago $2.70, today $2.84.
Missouri- a week ago $2.49, today $2.60.
Ohio- a week ago $2.69, today $2.83.
Wisconsin- a week ago $2.68, today $2.83.
Kentucky- a week ago $2.71, today $2.82.

You might want to update us on those gasoline prices next weekend, as I expect them to be higher by then. In the upper Midwest, wholesale diesel prices rose 6.5 cents/gallon today relative to the NYC futures price, although wholesale gasoline prices in that same area stayed the same today relative to futures prices (about 30 cents/gallon over).

For those tracking this at home, also note that Enbridge has another (third) pipeline shutdown. No word from US regulators as to when any of these pipelines will reopen.

Posted: 10:07 p.m. Sept. 13, 2010

Enbridge pipeline shut after possible N.Y. leak

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A 91-mile oil Enbridge Inc. pipeline that runs from Ontario to New York has been shut down following the discovery of a potential low-level leak near Buffalo.

He says the 70,000-barrel-a-day line was shut down as a precaution.


Enbridge shuts third pipeline
A small oil spill on has forced Enbridge to close an oil pipeline in New York State, just four days after another leak in Illinois forced it to shut a massive Canadian crude export pipeline.

News wires 14 September 2010 01:40 GMT


Four people are confirmed dead and four are missing after the Sept. 9 explosion of a 54-year-old PG&E Corp. natural-gas pipeline in the San Bruno suburb.

It's now seven confirmed dead.
Also PG&E has been ordered to inspect their entire gas system, with special attention to the high-pressure parts. ("PG&E has 42,141 miles of natural gas distribution pipelines and 5,724 miles of transmission pipelines", according to the LA Times.)


According to the reports a section of pipeline was blown out of the ground by the explosion. I saw a picture of this piece "it screamed WELD FAILURE to me". One end was a clean break-even and smooth around the entire circumference of the pipe.

I can think of nothing but a weld failure which would look like this. As it is about 15 feet from the initial failure I would suspect the probability is high the initial failure was weld related.

It looked like both ends and lengthwise, in the pictures I saw; there was a lengthwise split in the pipe that was still in the ground. Probably also is relevant that there's a dip right there where it's going through a small valley - slight uphill to the south, steeper one to the north.

LED bulbs in the home: So far, so good

I more or less ditched incandescent bulbs for more efficient compact fluorescents in my house years ago. But at this point, I'm awfully close to ditching CFLs for the latest in lighting technology: LEDs.

LED lighting has got a lot going for it. The lights can be far more efficient than other types of lights, and the bulbs are supposed to last for tens of thousands of hours--enough to last 20 or 30 years depending on usage. Unlike CFLs, there's no mercury, the light is instant, and turning lights on and off shouldn't degrade their useful life, according to manufacturers.

The downside of LEDs, feature-wise, has always been the light color--the blueish light LEDs traditionally have feels cold, particularly compared to the warm glow from incandescent and halogen bulbs. The other knock (or feature, depending on your usage) on LEDs has been that they direct light. That makes them great for spotlights but not good for a desk lamp. And LEDs for everyday use are pricey and unlikely to be stocked in your neighborhood hardware store.

See: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20016005-54.html

Just with regards to the directional nature of the light, take a close look at the illumination of the hand in each of these three photographs. Notice anything? A couple minor quibbles.... one is that a CFL roughly equivalent to that of a 40-watt GS incandescent would draw between seven and nine watts; the 14-watt CFL used in this comparison would provide roughly twice as many lumens as this LED lamp. Secondly, CFLs are available in a wide range of colour temperatures, anywhere from 2,700K on the low side to as high a 6,500K. In most residential applications, 3,000 to 3,500K is generally a good fit, although 2,700K is technically closest to a conventional incandescent. Where these higher colour temperatures perform really well is with respect to exterior lighting, especially when illuminating white clap board or shingle siding as it provides a nice, clean, crisp white light.


Of course your points are in general correct, Paul, but as you know there are LEDs with high CRI and a range of color temps. The best are coming close to CFL in terms of lumens per watt as well. The hard combination to get is good color, good output, and a useful form factor at something remotely close to a reasonable price. I'm working in an LED-lit room now, but it took six LED bulbs to suffice where 3 incandescent bulbs were adequate before. Still only 70W instead of 180W, but I was hoping only 4 would do the trick. And of course the price is $200+ instead of $6 for the bulbs, too!

Still, for oft-switched applications, LEDs have a niche, and the best I have been quite happy with. The worst are so bad (poor color, terrible output, narrow angle, and short life, while STILL being more expensive than CFL) that they do nothing but poison the attitudes of the populace. But then, I've had CFLs that seemed to fill that role as well.

The trouble with today's alternative lighting industry is that the lamps must fit into fixtures optimized over 100 years for incandescent. LEDs really shine (pardon the pun) when you have the latitude to build custom fixtures. Light strips, small form-factor shapes, innovate desk lamps, unusually shaped fixtures, and many other "ordinary" fixtures CAN be built to leverage the strengths of LEDs, but rarely do you see those in this "race for the 60W replacement bulb".

Some applications, such as landscape lighting, COULD be a strong selling point for LEDs, but my recent tour of Home Depot indicates that application suffers from bright-white, low-output LEDs as well. Brighter, warmer, LEDs, a bigger solar cell, and a larger battery would help a lot....

I'm one of those guys who has a hybrid and buys LEDs because I want to help transition the technology, rather than based on the financial merits of a traditional cash-flow projection. So far, though, the LED experience has been positive and eventually I'll actually save some money. Costs are coming down and performance is going up every year, too.

I think you're right, Paleo, in that we continue to see significant improvements in performance (and value) with each passing year. And folks like us patiently waiting on the sidelines genuinely appreciate your commitment to pushing the costs of this technology further down the price curve ! I can honestly say that we couldn't be more pleased with the performance of the Philips freezer case LED strips we recently installed -- vastly better light quality and a whopping 90 per cent reduction in energy demand versus the VHO F60T10 fluorescent lamps they replaced. I'm confident we'll get there in due course, but for now we need to carefully manage consumer expectations and weed-out the truly toxic stuff, e.g., http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/09/business/la-fi-ftc-lights-lawsui...


Did you include proximity switches of any sort for the freezer lights? One local grocer added such to his cases, and they'd switch on as you walked past if the store was lightly trafficked. It kind of gave a "hey, look what I have here for you" feel, though some thought it was rather creepy. Now if I could just click "Rocky Road" on my Iphone and have the proper case flash while the phone displayed the aisle number we'd really have something...

I know of such systems but haven't seen them first hand. In this case, there are a total of fourteen doors behind a long service counter and so dimming wouldn't work well for us.

[My Blackberry screams "Danger, Will Robinson!" whenever I'm a half-metre of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.]


Hey Paul!

Just so you don't think of me as that Maine LED-only guy.. I've been putting on my HereinHalifax hat, and I have just switched two sets of Tungstens over to CFL lately, a Dining Room Chandelier and a Bathroom Valence, such that I think we've gotten some 98% of the house off Incandescents now.

The Dining Room was four 50w downspots *(ugly as hell), and is now Two 11w CFL globes, and Two multicolored LED Nightlights for some color and sparkle. 200w down to about 24w, and looks much nicer, albeit these are slowish to warm up. We'll live.

The Valence was three 60w clear globe bulbs, and is now two of the Frosted 11w cfl Globes.. so 180 down to 22. I covered the third socket with a nice Oak Plug that matches the Fixture..

- and in this green mode, I spent the afternoon wiring up a 9v battery replacer for my wireless mic, so there's a 9.6v pack of 8 Nimh AAA's married to the transmitter, and I don't have to buy and toss a $5 Transistor Battery for every day I'm shooting!!

- Now, I'm off to bring the homebuilt cellulose blower to our new house and start filling voids in this 1860s building..


Great stuff, Bob. Very much in keeping with that Yankee ingenuity (you're a lot like my brother-in-law who comes up with brilliantly clever solutions to even the most vexing problems).


I was reading Production of stimulus-aided car batteries revs up

It says:

Despite the fanfare, the battery industry faces many hurdles. Gas-electric hybrid vehicles represent about 1 percent of new vehicle sales, and many plug-in hybrids and battery electric cars are just entering the market.

Costs are high. The government has estimated that a battery with a 100-mile range costs about $33,000, although stimulus money could bring that down to $10,000 by the end of 2015.

The federal money has raised questions about whether the projects could create more capacity to build the electric batteries than will be met with demand for the vehicles in the future.

Mary Ann Wright, a Johnson Controls vice president, said if all of the battery companies follow through on plans to build up the industry, it could create more capacity than is needed in the short term. But she said the administration was working to address that by creating tax policies to encourage consumers to buy the vehicles and directing government fleets to adopt the technology.

If batteries cost $33,000 to produce now, I am skeptical that batteries will cost $10,000 each by the end of 2015.

This looks like one that is not likely to reach it targets, unless someone is standing by with a lot of subsidy money.

Gail - I suppose it depends on how you read that statement. I took it to mean the batteries would still cost $33,000 but the stimulus money would kick in a subsidy to bring the end user cost to $10,000. Similar to what I've read about the big subsidy for the Volt.

We don't need batteries with a 100 mile range. Batteries with a 40 mile range are good enough when used with a gasoline powered generator (to charge the batteries) for extended range. Such a battery would cost about $14000 today. Add another $11000 for the rest of the car and you can get a decent PHEV for $25000 which is the average price of a new car anyway. With time, the cost of battery will come down. It has already come down from about $1000/kwHr to $500/kwHr in this decade.

I know some people knock the Volt (and there are some good reasons for doing that, in my view), but their system makes a lot of sense to me. Just reviewing my recent driving history a 40-mile range would handle 60% of my trips. Sure, I'd like it to be higher but it's not a bad start while people adjust their travel habits.

But there are other issues to consider. One typically doesn't want to go below 20% charge and manufacturers are notoriously bad at inflating range numbers such as these. My guess is that real-world distance, with a couple hills and not letting the battery go below 20% charge, is more like 25 to 30 miles, at best.

The electric motorcycle scene seems to be improving range at a faster pace. This makes sense since a small increase in battery energy density will carry a single rider further than it will carry a 2.5 ton car.

I suspect that we will see ~150 mile motorcycles by 2015 (real miles, including a few hills and not completely depleting the batteries).

Here are the specs for the 6.0, 8.0 and 10.0 battery packs:

Edit: Note that I still think that alternatives can't be ramped up in time to prevent contraction for our civilization. (Nor do we entirely want to: we need to shrink our presence on the planet, not grow and or even keep it at the current level.) However, for the people who purchase these hybrid vehicles, they should largely work well for them.

If they will give ME the subsidy, I will give up my "personal"vehicle altogether and get by with the farm truck.

We simply aren't in any position to be funding such schemes on the grand scale.

If we could get rid of a few assorted econuts and safety nuts, plus a few big fat free market frauds in bed with them enoying a little perverted three way sex with them we could get several times the bang for the buck by spending the money on building cars here just like the ones sold today by Ford and GM in Europe.

Throwing unlimited amounts of money at the battery problem is simply not possible anymore;and while it is possible that I am wrong, my estimation of this matter is that if we spent nothing at all in terms of subsidy money on batteries, the arrival of really good ones would be delayed by no more than a very few years.

The minor differences in occupant safety between our domestic cars and European models can and will be far more than offset by falling vmt within the near future, and the afraid of it's shadow crowd should simply exercise its option to buy a bigger car instead of forcing the entire country into thier one size fits all.

The basically trivial differences in emitted pollution levels are another joke.I'm all for clean air, and electric vehicles too for that matter,, but we can again get a far bigger bang for our buck by spending our money and our expertise on conservation and efficiency measures than we ever will by chasing after increasingly marginally expensive ever smaller savings in auto emissions.

You get too extreme when you say things like "Unlimited amounts of money".. even the Pentagon has to deal with its "Barely Limited Access to your Tax Dollars" (No Clusterbomb left behind)

Batteries do deserve research dollars. Yes, there's a limit, but this is worth developing.

That said, we should also be providing those little gas-sippers to the US market. But according to the Car Co's (and are they right?), Americans won't buy them.

Hmm. Well GM also said there was no interest in the EV-1, (no matter how hard they tried to hide it), even with that waiting list and all those folks desperate to keep the ones they had, so you have to wonder.


I don't think they said there was no interest, I think they used that wonderful piece of corp-speak "insufficient interest".

"Insufficient interest" to get the project past internal opposition.
"Insufficient interest" to get the project past "key partners".

More useful and potentially profitable projects get dumped for political reasons than is really sane, but at least that leaves the door open for competition.

, I am skeptical that batteries will cost $10,000 each

That's where the techno-fixers jump in and say you won't be using batteries and instead you'll have hydrinos or super capacitors.

(all of this electro-car talk ignores the infrastructure is built on cheap energy and the energy needed to keep the infrastructure up will be the limiting factor. Don't look now but parts of the Government are looking into this:
Enjoy folks! Because its got pushback.)

Gail, how much of the cost of the current generation is R&D and how much is material/production costs? Under the circumstances I would guess that a substantial portion is R&D which will go down as the technologies mature and volumes go up.

If the Germans take the recently leaked report by persons within their military seriously, the US could find an export market in Germany. All major German automakers now have a lot of development work going on in the area of battery electric and hybrid cars. Early fruits of this work include a city car and a sports coupe from Audi, the electric Mini from BMW, the electric Smart Fortwo (Smart ED) from Daimler and various experiments by Volkswagen.

Norwegian start-up, Think is optimistic about sales in Europe and plans to start building it's cars for sale in the US by the end of next year. Think's batteries are sourced from a US manufacturer.

In the area of motorcycles, there are already a couple of electric dirt bikes available and there are some interesting developments in the area of performance motorcycles where it appears that electric bikes may soon be within striking distance of their gas powered counterparts. This fairly ordinary looking bike is now the holder of the FIM electric motorcycle land speed record in addition to being the winner of the inaugural TTXGP North America championship. On the drag strip, the two fastest machines are both powered by cells from a beneficiary of the stimulus program.

In the commercial vehicle arena, one American transit authority has actually bought three battery electric transit buses that use American batteries. Frito Lay has ordered 21 battery electric delivery trucks with plans to buy a further 155 if tests go well.

Then there's the ever evasive EEStor that,could someday actually bring their paradigm shifting storage technology to market. This brings me to the point that, steady improvements in chemistry and technology along with economies of scale should bring prices down over time, although maybe not to 30% of current prices by 2015. On the other hand, if one or more technical breakthroughs produce a step change in costs, the results could e anybody's guess.

The thing is that if demand for electrically driven transportation ever surges, it will be good to have funded all this battery technology. The alternative scenario is to have demand for batteries surge, with insufficient capacity to fulfill demand.

Alan from the islands

From BBC
Smart meters 'may not cut energy use'

Installing smart meters may not result in households saving energy, a study has suggested. Smart meters had been considered as one component in an infrastructure to help use energy more effectively, and cut bills and emissions.

Research by a University of Oxford scientist found that the devices alone were unlikely to lead to an overall reduction in the demand for energy.

"A lot of us are using gas and electricity without realising we are using it," explained author Sarah Darby from the university's Environmental Change Institute (ECI).

"If you had a wood fire and went away for the weekend, then the fire would go out. However, if you leave the central heating or electrical appliances on when you go away, you may be none the wiser."

Killer Shrimp spotted in English reservoir.

Conservationists expressed "extreme concern" as it emerged dikerogammarus villosus were discovered by anglers at Grafham Water reservoir.
Insects such as damselflies and water boatmen, common sights on British lakes and rivers, could be at risk, with knock-on effects on the species which feed on them, conservationists said.

I thought this was a joke at first. Killer shrimp devouring English Boatmen.


Is this really a big problem? I am thinking the spread over Europe is being managed and the fish populations will survive.

Oooh! Maybe I can buy some British cocktail sauce futures! ;-)

Here's a rather candid expose' on peak oil by Forbes Magazine.


'Bracing For Peak Oil Production By Decade's End'

We're obviously in an unsustainable situation. We are now using up a greater number of barrels that we have found in the recent past and that we have reserved in the ground. We are now beginning to use it up relatively quickly--with scary consequences for the future.

Interesting how investment articles are often the most candid regarding peak oil, because I suppose profitable investment requires accurate knowledge.

I wonder how we should go about breaking the news to Beutel that the US is not the only oil consumer in the world?

Oil Should Be Half Its Current Price: Analyst (Peter Beutel)

“It’s been a very strange market, strangest market I’ve seen in 30 years, a market that cannot focus on its own fundamentals for more than a day or two,” Beutel said. The US economy, he added, has never been strong with oil at $70 or $80. Oil currently sits near $80 a barrel.

“We’ve only seen strength in the US economy when oil has been at very low levels: $10, $15, under $20,” he explained.

Interesting if you listen to all of Beutel's comments all the way to the end of that video. The interviewer finishes by assuming that Beutel does not buy into peak oil because of all of his comments about oil being too expensive based on fundamentals - then Beutel calmly replys "No I think peak oil will hit between 2014 and 2018.

So apparently in his mind peak oil is real but oil should be much cheaper.

I noted that yesterday, after seeing that interview on CNBC. Beutel has come around on peak oil...sort of. He still think it's speculation that's driving current prices.

Sometimes, we are simply psycho around the idea of money and energy.

I hear people say;

'I'll get solar power when it costs $500 and the whole think fits in a tackle box'

They don't say that about the new 'Guitar Hero' game they're going to buy.. and they happily sacrifice saving or insulating their house if there is a stack of utility bills to pay instead..

'Short-term' trumps. 'Cheap' Trumps. 'Easy' Trumps. That's what it seems to come down to..

Iraq reduces planned exports for October. It’s not clear if this is related to recent pipeline bombings.

Iraq will supply crude to two Asian term buyers at between 5 percent and 10 percent below contracted volumes for October, compared with near full volumes for September, traders said on Monday.

Iraq’s oil exports slipped slightly to 1.816 million barrels per day (bpd) in July from 1.823 million bpd the month before, Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad told Reuters last month.
On Sunday, Iraq resumed crude flow through its northern Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, which carries a quarter of Iraq’s oil exports, after a halt of less than a day, due to technical problems.


I got highlighted om nola.com. About the Bush cuts, I posted get rid off all cuts and go with a lower flat tax rate, after exempting the first $20,000 of income.

Responding to the reader poll, "What should be done about President Bush's tax cuts?" reader TinFoilHatGuy commented:
"Eliminate all cuts and go with a simplified rate. Eliminate all deductions exempt this first 20k. Everyone gets a break but the accountants/tax folks. Give them severance checks."
Join the conversation; reply to TinFoilHatGuy.


Of course, according to the responders, now I am advocating the old folks eat cat food. Have you priced cat food? You could buy a loaf of bread and some peanut butter for less.

Saudi reveals large unconventional gas reserves

Saudi Arabia has large reserves of unconventional gas that could help the kingdom to meet soaring domestic energy needs and leave more crude oil available for export, the head of its national oil company has said. Khalid al-Falih, chief executive of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, told the Financial Times that the kingdom could hold hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of unconventional resources such as shale gas, more than doubling its proved reserves of 280,000 bn cubic feet.

The announcement signals a potential opportunity for Saudi Arabia, but also confirms that Riyadh has not found as much conventional gas as it had hoped.

38 drilling rigs are *NOT* going to produce enough shale gas to displace the current 450,000 b/day being burned for electricity, or the projected 1.5 million b/day by 2020.

Add gathering pipelines and new gas processing.

SWAG is a minimum of 250 rigs drilling for Aramco if they go after unconventional gas. Could be closer to 800. Enough to be noticed on the world markets.

Any sign of a massive set of new rig orders ?

Without more rigs, this is just talk IMHO.

Best Hopes for Baker-Hughes sales,


What I found interesting is while they claim to have vast conventional oil and gas reserves, they are talking about to resorting to very high decline rate shale gas wells. Something a little peculiar here.

High decline rates may not be the only thing they have to worry about:

Al-Qaida bomb Yemen LNG pipe

A group of al-Qaida militants reportedly blew up a pipeline transferring liquefied natural gas from Yemeni Marib province to the Belhaf Port Terminal for export in the southern Shabwa province.

News wires 14 September 2010 02:29 GMT


Peak Everything: An Interactive Look At How Much Of Everything Is Left

Scientific American has done a great summary of peak commodity levels as well as depletion projections for some of the most critical resources in the world including oil, gold, silver copper, not to mention renewable water, as well as estimating general food prices over the next half century. Generally speaking, regardless of whether one believes in peak oil or not, the facts are that stores of natural resources are disappearing at an increasingly alarming pace.


Just a reminder that you can do your own review of mineral commodities by flipping through the charts at the US Minerals databrowser:

Some interesting examples related to the minerals mentioned in the blog post above:

Indium production is over ten times what it was in 1980:

Gold is experiencing its fourth production peak since 1900. The early 70's peak led to skyrocketing prices:

Silver's price was stable throughout the 1990s but production levels have stalled the last couple of years and the price is rising. This looks similar to the behavior in the 1970's before the big price spike:

Happy Exploring!


Oil price speculation I do not adhere to, but Silver price was definitely maniputlated by the Hunt Brothers in the 70's. In fact they had to make restitution - can't remember the details, so I wouldn't put too much on the idea that will repeat.