Drumbeat: January 20, 2012

Fossil fuel subsidies: a tour of the data

One of the most surprising and alarming issues in the climate and energy arena is the fact that the fossil fuels causing global warming continue to receive substantial government support, making them artificially cheap and encouraging more of them to be consumed. It's a form of madness that my colleague Damian Carrington put his finger on recently when he wrote that "the house is ablaze and we are throwing bucket after bucket at it – buckets of petrol."

What's particularly baffling is that while government support given to environmentally beneficial renewable power sources is subject to seemingly endless media and political scrutiny, the 500% larger subsidies given to oil, gas and (to a much lesser extent) coal rarely get much attention.

Crude Futures Trim Weekly Gain as Greek Risk Offsets U.S. Rebound Hopes

Oil declined in New York, trimming a weekly advance, as protracted negotiations to resolve Greece’s debt crisis fanned concern that the region’s turmoil will harm fuel consumption.

West Texas Intermediate futures dropped as much as 0.9 percent as talks in Athens on debt swaps entered a third day, with Greek officials and private creditors struggling to agree on a plan. Still, prices are up 1.1 percent this week on signs of recovery in U.S. employment and manufacturing, and concern that tensions between Iran and Western nations will lead to a disruption in Middle East exports.

$4-a-gallon gas likely this spring, analysts say

New York (CNN) -- Get ready to pay $4 or more at the pump this spring: Analysts say gas prices could hit a record high.

Fred Rozell, retail pricing director at Oil Price Information Service, says he expects the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline to reach $4 to $4.25 per gallon for regular gasoline when the market peaks, sometime in between April and early May.

Global LNG-Asian LNG prices weaker on ebbing demand

PERTH (Reuters) - Asian liquefied natural gas spot prices dropped lower for the seventh straight week to just above $15 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) LNG-AS due to low demand from well-stocked buyers in North Asia.

The world's top two LNG buyers, Japan and South Korea, had stocked up well ahead of the winter and prices may even dip further as spring approaches, according to market sources.

Canadian Inflation Down To 2.3% For 2011, Gas Prices Fall Further In December

(RTTNews.com) - Canadian inflation eased in December as consumers continued to pay lower prices at the pump, official data showed Friday. Consumer prices rose 2.3 percent in the 12 months to December, following a 2.9 percent increase in November, according to Statistics Canada.

C.bank chief: Saudi to keep oil price stable

(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's central bank chief said on Friday that his country would offer excess oil production capacity if needed to balance oil prices, and that he expected prices to stay stable.

Barrelling towards fuel shortages

Tension between Western powers and Iran, which has been simmering for decades, has heated up considerably in recent weeks and is in danger of boiling over into full-scale military conflict.

Because South Africa sources about a quarter of its crude oil imports -- about 100 000 barrels a day -- from Iran and another quarter from neighbouring Saudi Arabia, geopolitical events involving these countries could seriously knock the local economy.

Strikes, Protests Paralyze Sicily

Heralded as the “Five Days of Sicily,” members of the Pitchforks Movement of farmers, and the Shock Force truck drivers’ consortium have paralyzed the Italian island, Sicily.

Striking transportation workers are blocking main roads with their trucks to protest against Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti’s cutbacks. The drivers, belonging to the Association of Sicilian Businesses, have also been joined by farmers and fishermen.

The main complaint of the protesters is the excessive rise in fuel costs. According to the organizers, the five-day strike that will last until Friday night.

Iran warns region against "dangerous" stance on Hormuz

(Reuters) - Iran's foreign minister warned neighboring states not to put themselves in a "dangerous position" by aligning themselves too closely with the United States in the escalating dispute over Tehran's nuclear activity.

Confrontation is brewing over Tehran's nuclear work, which Washington and other powers say is focused on developing atomic weapons. Iran dismisses the accusation.

U.S. Holds Military Talks With Israel on Iran as EU Readies Asset Freeze

Israeli leaders held talks with the top U.S. military commander, General Martin Dempsey, who arrived after the postponement of a joint exercise that was to be the biggest ever for the two allies.

Japan offers U.S. support on Iran, less clear elsewhere in Asia

(Reuters) - Japan pledged on Friday to keep cutting purchases of Iranian crude in the clearest public offer of support yet among Asia's big buyers for U.S. efforts to tighten an international noose around Iran in an escalating dispute over its nuclear ambitions.

EU's Iran oil embargo held up by Greek call for guarantees

(BRUSSELS) - European Union talks to agree an oil embargo against Iran were held up Friday as the bloc sought new suppliers for Greece who could match the conditions offered by Tehran to the cash-strapped nation.

Diplomats said Greece, which relies on Iranian oil for more than a third of its total oil imports, had concluded "good financial arrangements" with Iran that included 60-day payment and no financial guarantees.

French President Sarkozy urges much tougher sanctions on Iran, including oil embargo

PARIS — French President Nicolas Sarkozy is urging stronger, more decisive sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

France wants the entire European Union to impose an embargo on Iranian oil and freeze the international assets of Iran’s central bank to force it to halt the suspected development of nuclear arms.

How US strategic oil reserve might fill Iran gap

The new US and European Union sanctions targeting Tehran’s oil exports would surely hit the country’s economy and, conceivably, force a change of course over its nuclear programme. But they are also likely to push oil prices up, hurting the west.

Philip K. Verleger, a veteran oil economist and a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, has proposed an imaginative – and most likely controversial – solution to the problem: Washington should release a significant chunk of its strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) because, according to his estimate, it is holding much more oil than is necessary.

Syria says lost $2 billion from oil sanctions

(Reuters) - Western sanctions on Syrian oil exports have cost the country $2 billion since September, Oil Minister Sufian Alao was quoted as saying on Friday.

The official SANA news agency quoted Alao as saying that Syria was still trying to replace European Union crude oil contracts with new customers, but was having trouble securing shipping insurance and trade credit.

Bahrain protesters greet air show with black smoke from burning tires

MANAMA, Bahrain — Anti-government protesters in Bahrain have set off pillars of black smoke from burning tires in apparent attempts to embarrass officials on the opening day of the country’s air show.

The plumes were visible by people attending the aviation event, which includes American warplanes.

'Unemployed graduates' set themselves alight in Morocco

The Moroccans were part of the "unemployed graduates" movement, a loose collections of associations across the country filled with millions of university graduates demanding jobs. The demonstrations are often violently dispersed by police and in some towns and cities have resulted in sustained clashes.

While the official unemployment rate is only 9.1 percent nationally, it rises to around 16 percent for graduates.

Oil Grab in Falkland Islands Seen Tripling U.K. Reserves

Thirty years after Margaret Thatcher fought a 74-day war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands, the prospect of an oil boom is reviving tensions.

Oil explorers are targeting 8.3 billion barrels in the waters around the islands this year, three times the U.K.’s reserves. Borders & Southern Petroleum Plc (BOR) will drill the Stebbing prospect next month, one of three Falkland wells that Morgan Stanley ranks among the world’s top 15 offshore prospects this year. Meanwhile, Rockhopper Exploration Plc (RKH) is seeking $2 billion from a larger oil company to develop the Sea Lion field, the islands’ first economically viable oil find.

Abu Dhabi in delicate dance over oil

Western oil companies such as ExxonMobil and Shell have reason to put on a good showing at the summit.

Schlumberger Profit Rises as Drilling Booms

Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB), the world’s largest oilfield-services provider, said fourth-quarter profit rose 36 percent as higher crude prices pushed oil companies to boost exploration and production spending around the world.

Where Will Exxon Mobil Be In 2040?

Investors can be confident that there will be supplies as well as demand well into 2040 and later. Those invested in Exxon Mobil and other oil companies can stay invested for decades to come.

Wildcatter Finds $10 Billion Drilling in North Dakota

Hamm is the man who bought the Bakken, the shale formation that’s the biggest U.S. oil find since Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay in 1968. The Bakken stretches from central North Dakota into the northeastern corner of Montana and up into southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Canada. He leased his first acres and drilled his first wells in North Dakota nearly 20 years ago, and stayed with it when others gave up.

Today, Continental, with a stock market value of $14 billion, vies with oil giants such as Hess for the most Bakken acres under lease -- more than 900,000 -- the most drilling rigs -- 24 -- and the most wells -- more than 350.

Europe gas supply vulnerable to Qatar shipments

LONDON (Reuters) - Europe's energy supply may be more vulnerable this year as shipborne gas, relied upon to ease dependence on pipelines from suppliers like Russia or Libya, is likely to sail to more lucrative fast-growing Asian markets, analysts said on Friday.

North-west Europe, especially Britain, depended on Qatar for nearly all of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) last year.

Gazprom To Start South Stream Construction In December 2012

MOSCOW – Russian state-controlled gas producer OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS) said Friday it will significantly speed up the South Stream gas pipeline to Europe and plans to begin construction in December.

Australia's LNG boom fizzles

Just a few years after it started, Australia's liquefied natural gas bonanza may be drawing to a close, throttled by swelling costs, tightening credit and mounting foreign competition to supply Asian buyers.

EPA Providing Water to Homes Near Pennsylvania Fracking Site

The Environmental Protection Agency will deliver water to four families in Dimock, Pennsylvania, where residents say their water has been contaminated during hydraulic fracturing by Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (COG)

The EPA will also test water at 60 homes to assess whether any residents are being exposed to hazardous substances, the agency said in a statement.

Chevron rig fire on 5th day off Nigeria’s coast; 2 foreign workers presumed dead

LAGOS, Nigeria — Chevron Corp. says it is still trying to extinguish a five-day old fire on its rig off Nigeria’s coast after presuming two foreign workers dead.

Chevron said Friday it is preparing to drill a relief well to fight the fire.

Republicans Look for Alternatives After Keystone XL Rejected

Congressional Republicans who tried to force President Barack Obama’s hand on the Keystone XL pipeline now want to take away his authority on the issue altogether, extending a debate with the administration over jobs and the environment.

Keystone XL Pipeline Seen Moving Ahead on Alternative Route

TransCanada Corp.’s $7 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline still will move ahead with an alternate route after President Barack Obama’s decision to deny a permit, investors, public officials and analysts say.

Obama's Keystone pipeline nix worries small business

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The hopes of some small business owners in the Nebraskan towns of Fairbury and Steele City were crushed when the Obama administration rejected a proposed expansion of the Keystone oil sands pipeline.

The Keystone Pipeline Is No Victory for Environmentalism

And at most, it's merely a symbolic and short-lived win. To ensure the end of tar sands oil, the government will have to enact measures to make high-carbon fuel unprofitable.

US oil pipeline: Storm in a barrel?

As the US shelves the TransCanada project, we ask if the real reason is environmental concerns or a political ploy.

Canada's Oil Sands: Are We Exporting Canada's Energy Security?

Now that the Keystone XL pipeline project looks like it’s future is up in the air, I thought that it was timely to take a look at a recent paper by J. David Hughes of Global Sustainability Research Inc. entitled "The Northern Gateway Pipeline: An Affront to the Public Interest and Long Term Energy Security of Canadians". This paper provides an interesting look at the rationale behind the building of the Northern Gateway Pipeline (NGP). To assure you that Mr. Hughes is qualified to speak on the issue, he was employed as a petroleum geologist for the Geological Survey of Canada for 32 years.

Exxon to pay Montana $2.4 million in spill accord

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp. would pay more than $2 million in penalties and cleanup costs to Montana for a pipeline rupture in July that spilled an estimated 1,500 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone River, according to a proposed legal settlement unveiled on Thursday.

A Judge Rules Vermont Can’t Shut Nuclear Plant

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Thursday blocked Vermont from forcing the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor to shut down when its license expires in March, saying that the state is trying to regulate nuclear safety, which only the federal government can do.

Railroad companies fight safety rules, with help from GOP and Obama

Less than four years after a California train disaster spurred passage of major safety legislation, railroad companies are pushing hard to relax the law’s chief provision.

They have won over key Republicans, and extracted a major concession from the Obama administration, in their bid to scale back and delay a system to prevent crashes such as the head-on collision that caused 25 deaths and 135 injuries in Chatsworth, Calif.

The Peak Oil Crisis: Cold Fusion Update

With LENR we seem to be dealing with a new natural phenomenon which is not as yet understood although there are numerous theories which attempt to describe what seems to be happening. These theories involve the dense mathematics of nuclear theory and are for the most part incomprehensible to the layman.

ISU pushes sustainability, several projects in progress

Indiana State University's new institute for Community Sustainability continues to implement sustainable solutions while raising awareness.

"There are a number of problems building to a head right now: global climate change, peak oil and job issues are a few among them," executive director for the Institute of Community Sustainability, Jim Speer said, "all of which can be solved with sustainable solutions."

Dancing On History’s Edge: Why This Is An Amazing Time To Be Alive

If you are reading this, you are alive today, and that means you are part of this Great Unraveling/ Great Turning, or whatever name we choose to call it. If you, like me, are middle aged or beyond, we have lived through the apex of a global empire now passed irrevocably into decline.

Thank God for the Jobs Crisis!

Even the oil industry is sun setting. Imagine what that means for an entire economy and lifestyle absolutely dependent on oil. Here I'm not just referring to "Peak Oil Consumption" or to "Peak Oil" itself. Again according to Rifkin (this time in The Empathic Civilization) the new technology will soon turn every building into a energy power plant. Surplus energy will be stored in hydrogen cells. And the energy produced will be shared person-to-person across a "smart grid". The model here is file-sharing and the way it transfers information today. Think of the jobs that will be eliminated as a result -- including those required by the energy wars that will be rendered superfluous.

This is not a pipe dream. The European Union has already committed to the model Rifkin describes. We are kept from discussing it only because our "drill, baby, drill" politicians have their heads so firmly stuck in the tar sands. Consequently, the U.S. economy is being left in the dust.

Greedy Lying Bastards: US filmmaker attacks oil industry

Craig Rosebraugh's new documentary highlights the 'influence, deceit and corruption' of fossil fuel industry.

The Military’s Push To Green Our Explosives

But while some branches of government have displayed a penchant for caution, the United States Department of Defense has been more assertive in its intentions. One DoD research request, for example, asks synthetic biologists to create greener explosives and rocket fuels. In the "statement of need," the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), which seeks to green the military, argues that microbes could eliminate the heavy-metal and toxic solvents in conventional explosives production.

UNL research shows high-input agriculture systems are better

It was previously believed that using high-input agricultural systems to produce crops would also produce more greenhouse gases and was dangerous for the environment.

Cassman and Grassini say that is not true.

According to their research, high-input farming is the most efficient way to produce crops because it results in the highest crop yield.

Two groups of Cornell University scientists disagree on impact of hydrofracking on climate change

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Two groups of scientists at Cornell University are dueling over whether natural gas from shale is better or worse than coal when it comes to global climate change.

It’s a significant question because proponents of shale gas development using the controversial practice of high-volume hydraulic fracturing argue that natural gas is a cleaner-burning “bridge fuel” from the age of coal to an era of wind, solar and other sustainable energy sources.

U.S. announces climate change strategy

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Interior Department has announced a strategy to help reduce climate change impacts on species, ecosystems and people and economies dependent on them.

Working with state, tribal and federal agency partners, the department has created a first draft national strategy to help policy makers and resource managers prepare for those impacts, a release from the Interior Department said.

Come Hell With High Water

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Earlier this month, Bangladesh’s foreign minister chided the world’s developed nations for failing to honor their pledge to help this low-lying, water-logged nation adapt to the effects of climate change. Of the $30 billion that poor countries were promised three years ago, just $2.5 billion have been disbursed. “Our achievements — social, economic, environmental — of the past decades” are at risk, Dipu Moni told the Guardian.

Bangladesh, much of which sits less than 20 feet above sea level, may be asking for the wrong thing. Clamoring for funds to mitigate the effects of a changing climate isn’t enough. If greenhouse gas emissions aren’t reversed in the next few decades, it may be impossible for some countries to adapt to global warming. Rather than rattling its cup, Bangladesh should be pounding tables in Washington, Beijing, Brussels and Delhi.

Nice article on the energy Bulletin more or less puts a stick in the eye of javon's paradox http://co2scorecard.org/home/researchitem/21

This project is a glaring example of what the US policies regarding Cuba are costing US companies. Sixty miles from Key West...

It's been a long, strange journey for the Scarabeo-9, Repsol and Cuba, a process shadowed at every step by warnings of a possible environmental debacle and decades of bad blood between Cuba and the United States.

The U.S. trade embargo essentially bars U.S. companies from doing oil business with Cuba and threatens sanctions against foreign companies if they don't follow its restrictions, making it far more complicated to line up equipment and resources for the project.

To avoid sanctions, Repsol chose the Scarabeo-9, a 380-foot-long (115-meter), self-propelled, semisubmersible behemoth built in China and Singapore and capable of housing 200 workers. The rig qualifies for the Cuba project because it was built with less than 10 percent U.S.-made parts, no small feat considering America's dominance in the industry.

While comparable platforms sat idle in the Gulf of Mexico, the Scarabeo-9 spent months navigating through three oceans and around the Cape of Good Hope to arrive in the Caribbean at tremendous expense.

Even after the rig is in place, the embargo continues to affect just about every aspect.

The Scarabeo-9's blowout preventer, a key piece of machinery that failed in the 2010 Macondo-Deepwater Horizon disaster, is state of the art. But its U.S. manufacturer is not licensed to work with Cuba so replacement parts must come through secondary sources...


Ghung - I'm a bit confused. According to RigZone that rig belongs to Saipem. The only company I can find by that name is Saipem S.p.A.: an Italian oil and gas industry contractor. It is a subsidiary of Italian energy company Eni, which owns approximately 43% of Saipem's shares. Eni buys lots of equipment from many US suppliers. The same Saipem buys many tens of $billions of equipment/materials every year. Big player in S America and the Africa. I suspect they can buy anything they want from any American company and have it eventually show up on that rig. OTOH I found a report showing that Saipem engineers make about 1/3 the pay of US counterparts. I think I would be more concerned about the hands out there then the equipment.

...The Spanish company Repsol will be the first to drill, with an exploratory well in extremely deep water just 50 miles (80km) off the coast of Florida...


...It is one of the US-based anti-Castro lobby's worst nightmares.

"The decaying Cuban regime is desperately reaching out for an economic lifeline, and it appears to have found a willing partner in Repsol to come to its rescue," Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Cuban-born Republican and Chairwoman of the influential House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement recently.

The Florida Congresswoman and a group of 33 other legislators, both Republican and Democrat, wrote to Repsol warning the company that the drilling could subject the company to "criminal and civil liability in US courts".

Repsol responded saying that its exploratory wells complied with all current US legislation covering the embargo as well as all safety regulations.

It has also agreed to allow US officials to conduct a safety inspection of the Chinese rig before it enters Cuban waters.


There seems to be plenty of sidestepping of the embargo, and perhaps a bit of nose-thumbing as well.

Ghung - I'm a bit confused. According to RigZone that rig belongs to Saipem. The only company I can find by that name is Saipem S.p.A.: an Italian oil and gas industry contractor. It is a subsidiary of Italian energy company Eni, which owns approximately 43% of Saipem's shares. Eni buys lots of equipment from many US suppliers. The same Saipem buys many tens of $billions of equipment/materials every year. Big player in S America and the Africa. I suspect they can get anything they want from any American company and have it eventually show up on that rig. OTOH I find a report showing that Saipem engineers make about 1/3 the pay of US counterparts. I think I would be more concerned about the hands out there then the equipment.

Mamdouh Salameh is very pessimistic about Saudi oil production:


Apparently he is, or was, a consultant to the World Bank on energy affairs. The key comment is at about the seven minute mark; he says some things that some of you may have heard 'round these parts before. I do think that he is a little off on the 2011 Saudi net oil export numbers, although he appears to be focusing on net crude oil exports (and not total petroleum liquids).

A rough approximation, based on extrapolating 2005 to estimated 2011 Saudi consumption to production ratios (18% to 28%, total petroleum liquids), suggests that Saudi Arabia may have already shipped around half of their post-2005 CNE (Cumulative Net Exports):


I think this is the 'big secret' everybody knows. The spare capacity figures seem to be vapor. That was revealed pretty clearly when Libya went offline and no-one stepped in to increase production. The US decided to pump oil from its strategic reserves to help cover the short fall. So if there's an Iran embargo, it's probably likely that SPR will be at least part of the mitigation.

There's a quiet desperation here that seems really unsettling. We have record high oil prices on average for 2011, slowly growing all fuels production but increasingly bad energy returns and less fuel that's easily convertible to gasoline. And we have a government that's really not doing what it can to transition to alternatives. It's like watching a zombie apocalypse except the zombies aren't mad mobs -- they're just a majority of business and political leaders.

And we have a government that's really not doing what it can to transition to alternatives.

What do you think they should do? They given all sorts of grants and loans to solar, wind, EVs, batteries, biofuels, etc. There are lots of tax-credit and tax-deduction programs.

The biggest scandal that the administration has had was an alternative energy investment that went bust. I think it is just a very difficult and expensive problem. We are stuck at a point where fossil fuels are expensive and rising but the alternative energy sources are still generally more expensive. I don't think much more can be done except keep incentive programs and grin & bear it as fossil fuel prices go up thus causing the alternative energy systems to become competitive in the marketplace.

I guess this hinges on whether you think the government is solely run by the occupants of 1600 Penn, avenue, or whether other forces within the governing structure apply serious constraints on policy. The occupants of said house, are probably doing about all they can, but the political mood of much of the rest of the power structure prevents them from going far enough. Even that insufficient response is under considerable political threat.

Exactly. You have one party that's fighting tooth and nail to kill any alternative and keep us hitched to the sinking oil ship Titanic. Yes, there's progress. But 80 billion in fossil fuel subsidies says there isn't nearly enough. The states are doing more than the feds and that's not because of any failure on 1600 Penn avenue. It's the do nothing Congress and the party of drill baby drill.

Heck, Germany installs four times the number of solar panels, China's trying to kill our solar industry by dumping and the party of oil would more than happily hand them the dagger. There is much, much more that needs to be done.

And why didn't things change when democrats were in control of the presidency (the executive) AND congress AND senate ?

They were too busy planning SOPA ? Bailing out banks perhaps ? Do tell.

Perhaps a lack of spine? We've got a choice between brainless and spineless, and neither suggests very good motor control.

+1 :}

I offer that both "brainless" and "spineless" are aspects of puppetry.

( http://www.planetdan.net/pics/misc/georgie.htm
Your mouse is the string.)

They weren't really in charge. It took sixty votes to get anything through in the Senate, not fifty, they didn't have that many. And they had a few blue dogs D's who could be almost always be counted on to vote with the R's. Then the R's were almost totally unified on a strategy to oppose virtually anything, make him be a failed president, by not allowing him to accomplish anything.

Of course mr O, could have used a legislative trick called reconcilliation to push important things through, the R's would have screemed bloody murder, but he could have actually forced things through. But that sort of confrontation wasn't in his bones. So instead his been on the slow boat to failure, can't get anything done, loses popularity, even harder to do anything. D's totally disillusioned lose seats in next election...

One nice thing about a parlimentary system, is that the ruling party actually gets to lead. If a majority successfully challenges him/her on an important issue an election is called and a new government is formed. So either the winning party gets to substantially try out its ideas, or it is quickly replaced. You don't end up with a party owning nominal, but unexcercisable power, and then getting blamed for not being able to make things work.

An aspect of winner-take-all voting is that it eventually resolves into a two party system (these further becoming a single party, in truth). An alternative is proportional elections, where a multiplicity of parties are assigned members to office in proportion to their winning of votes.

Are you familiar with the filibuster?

H, as I understand it, these days, the minority party would just "threaten" to filibuster, but they don;t actually do it anymore. I think O should have met this gamesmanship head on, forcing them to actually filibuster. Would have been interesting to see who came out looking more stupid - O for making the situation happen, or the R's for talking and talking, just for the sake of talking....

What a strange system...


I do not claim expertise to Senate procedures, but my understanding is that the rules changes a while back where a filibuster can now be declared, and there is no longer the requirement to keep one of the filibustering party members at the lecture continuously (relay teams allowed), reading the phone book or whatnot.

Now-a-daze, the opposing team can make the declaration of a filibuster and everyone can go home at night and sleep...I even think the Senate can conduct other business while the filibuster is in effect.

I just read the Wikipedia article on U.S. Senate filibustering, and it doesn't seem to support my assertion above...I need to go back to school on this....


Because Dems are kept in power by oil interests as well. Its not Dems = Good Repubs = Bad. It is corporate cronyism = rampant.

The "all sorts of grants and loans to solar, wind, EVs, batteries, biofuels, etc. There are lots of tax-credit and tax-deduction programs."

You do realize that the sum total of what you enumerated is a rounding error in the DoD/DOE/CIA/NSA/DHS/EIEIO military-Industrial-Spy-Complex budgets, don't you?

Sure, there are things we could do...raise taxes on energy and use the proceeds, along with a significant cut in MIC budgets, to fund an increased rate of increase in alternative energy and energy efficiency projects, and fund at least a basic National Health Care system, like most other civilized countries, most of which spend less on health care than us and have better outcomes.

If I could fan and fav on this site, I would for this thought. Even on the subsidies side, alternatives tend to be a fraction of the subsidies for oil, gas, and coal. And how about that fracking? Would have never happened if it weren't for the loss of the Clean Water Act. So now we're trading water for fuel. Great.

That was revealed pretty clearly when Libya went offline and no-one stepped in to increase production.

OPEC did (million bpd, OPEC data):

Year-mo		Libya		SA		OPEC
2011-01		1.6		8.6		29.9
2011-02		1.3		8.9		30.0
2011-03		0.4		8.7		28.8
2011-04		0.2		8.8		28.8
2011-05		0.2		8.9		29.0
2011-06		0.1		9.5		29.6
2011-07		0.05		9.6		29.8
2011-08		0.003		9.7		29.9
2011-09		0.09		9.4		30.8
2011-10		0.3		9.6		29.8
2011-11		0.6		9.8		30.8

Yes, nobody had the capacity to replace Libyan oil production, at least with the same quality of oil that Libya produces.

The big crunch will come if and when Saudi Arabia goes off line, e.g. after a revolution. Nobody can possibly replace that 9+ million barrels per day of production.

"The big crunch"

Our corporate leaders, after being allowed to freely concentrate power and wealth, have not watched-out for their peoples future?

A key question regarding monthly data is to what extent they are affected by changes in inventories.

That's just mud in the water. SA surges now and then. But they don't keep it up.

Yes, and interestingly they surged while Libya was de-surging. Could that possibly have been in response to Libya's production ?

Other members of OPEC appear to have supplied ~ 0.6 million bpd of Libya's shortfall.

Why should SA keep production up ? Their stated policy is to maintain spare capacity. Statements from SA indicate they don't intend to supply all the production the world wants.

SA also surged in response to Iraq's de-surging of '03 - they had spare capacity. Here is a table of Iraq, SA, and OPEC production for 2003(OPEC data million bpd).

Year-mo		Iraq		SA		OPEC
2003-01		2.5		8.5		25.7
2003-02		2.5		8.8		27.1
2003-03		1.4		9.3		27.5
2003-04		0.1		9.4		26.6
2003-05		0.3		9.1		26.7
2003-06		0.6		8.5		26.1
2003-07		0.5		8.6		26.4
2003-08		1.1		8.6		26.8
2003-09		1.5		8.5		27.1
2003-10		1.6		8.4		27.4
2003-11		1.9		8.3		27.6
2003-12		1.9		8.4		27.7

SA appears to have supplied about 0.9 million bpd of Iraq's shortfall with the rest of OPEC supplying additional oil. It has been reported that SA was maxed out in March 03. In April '03 SA exceeded that maximum by a not-really-significant amount.

"The Keystone Pipeline Is No Victory for Environmentalism" gets my vote for silliest article in today's drumbeat. It's perfectly logical to fight the tar sands by opposing each pipeline as it's proposed. This is one of the first victories for environmentalists in the fight against high carbon, environmentally destructive fuels, and you have to start somewhere.

Jim - I appreciate your sentiment but you do know that tar sand oil is flowing through pipelines to the US today and is being burned...every bbl produced. Not building Keystone won't stop the tar sands from being produced nor the oil burned. So as far as an effort "in the fight against high carbon, environmentally destructive fuels" it's a total failure. OTOH if the effort is to avoid potential pollution in the areas where Keystone is proposed that's another issue. But all that oil is flowing through pipelines from Canada to OK right now. Old pipelines that have been in the ground for many years. And will continue flowing through those old lines until a new one is built. Maybe the environmentalists would rather see another route. But do they want the oil to continue flowing through the old pipe lines, like the one that recent broke on the Yellowstone River, or through a new one? I know many would rather neither happen. But it is happening today and no one is proposing that the tar sand oil not continue to be shipped to the US. The debate is whether to keep it flowing through the older system of pipelines or a new one.

Rock - As always, appreciate your thoughtful response. I know the tar sands are flowing into American refineries even as we speak. But the more straws you stick into a milkshake, the faster you can drink it, right? Suppose KXL did get built, then you would have tar sands oil flowing through the new pipeline AND the old ones, yes? My understanding is that what comes through the pipelines isn't conventional crude, it's diluted bitumen, or dil-bit, which is more toxic and more abrasive (due to residual sand, I imagine). Not only was KXL routed over the Ogalalla aquifer, but no special measures were put in place to ensure that it could safely carry dil-bit for years. On top of that, the permitting process led by the US state department was a sad joke.

So from here, it's likely that a new route will be proposed, with possibly some other measures taken to reduce the likelihood of a spill. In that case, at least some of the people that opposed this specific plan will peel off, leaving the people that are fighting the tar sands generally (McKibben, Hansen, etc). How that will play out is still to be seen. Feel free, BTW, to point out any technical or other errors that I have made.

Diluted bitumen is no more toxic or abrasive than conventional crude oil. That's just a myth that some environmental organizations invented to make it seem worse than it really is. The main problem with bitumen is that it is extremely viscous and doesn't flow any better than molasses, which makes it difficult to pipeline long distances.

In reality, there's no such thing as "clean" crude oil, it's all dirty and black (okay, some of it is light green or other colors). The thing is that the available crude oil on the global market is increasingly heavy, viscous, high in sulfur, and has heavy metal contaminants, and any refinery capable of handling the nastier grades of Saudi Arabian or Venezuelan crude oil is capable of handling diluted bitumen from Canada.

The refineries that can't handle the nastier grades of crude oil will and are going out of business because "dirty" crude oil is all that is available for them to buy in this production-constrained world.

I would say the opposition has in some way slowed down the rampup of tar-sands capability. I suspect the pipeline may be traded for some other envorinmental (political) good, probably an extension of the wind PTC.

If we block the shipment of the tar sands oil into the USA, then they will build a pipeline to Canada's west coast and ship the oil to China (China is already advocating that!). Our economy and citizens will suffer for such a mistake perpatrated by our Government!

That's true. If oil sands production is blocked from reaching the US Gulf Coast (it can already reach the Rocky Mountain and Midwest refineries), then the Canadian government will expedite its shipment to Asia (particularly China). This should come as no surprise to people, it is official Canadian government policy.

There is already a pipeline in place to take oil sands production to Canada's West Coast, the TransMountain Pipeline, and there are plans to double its capacity. The proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline, however, is explicitly designed to ship oil to Asia, particularly China.

The thing is...the tar sands are not infinite. Environmental concerns aside, do we really want to keep oil prices low as long as possible? It might be better for us to begin the transition before it's absolutely necessary.

Some have compared oil to an addiction. By that metaphor, the pipeline is an attempt to get cheap prices from the nearest dealer, when the smart thing to do is wean yourself off before the drug runs out and the rest of the addicts go crazy.

Environmental concerns aside, do we really want to keep oil prices low as long as possible?

Who is this "we" you speak of? "We" meaning the 0.001% of the population that accepts a scientific empirical evidence-based view of the universe, understands (much less accepts as fact) what Peak Oil and AGW theory is really about, and cares about the long-term future of the planet?

"We" (meaning the vast majority of willfully ignorant mystically minded people) will never understand, much less accept, that "our God given way of life" is a problem and needs to change in order to avoid some far off global catastrophe. In any case, the ways in which "we" react to unpleasant market and environmental feedback is rarely expressed in a constructive or logical way. Even if a miracle were to occur and "we" suddenly wised up and demanded immediate action, our captured political "leaders" would never listen. This is because they are perpetually captive to the economic interests of the 0.1% oligarchs who really run the world and make all the important decisions. Those oligarchs are making extremely large profits by speculating in oil & gas right now, so have little interest in *reducing* FF dependence or market price volatility at the moment.

See... it all makes sense when you really look behind the curtain.

"We" (meaning the vast majority of willfully ignorant mystically minded people) will never understand, much less accept, that "our God given way of life" is a problem and needs to change in order to avoid some far off global catastrophe. In any case, the ways in which "we" react to unpleasant market and environmental feedback is rarely expressed in a constructive or logical way

If by that you mean "not everyone north of, say, New York thinks letting half the population freeze to death on a yearly basis is acceptable" then, yes.

All the things we can now barely do would become impossible. Egypt's population would get famined down to less than a million for example (meaning ~ 97% of the people would die). Similar 90%+ figures would exist over the whole middle east. Similarly horrible figures would exist in Europe and Africa, who will not be able to feed their population. Even in America maybe we can have half the current agricultural production without oil (not likely), that would mean ~30% or 100 million Americans would have to die.

The lifestyle you enjoy today as an unemployed guy with a roof over your head would, after a while, not be available to kings and presidents.

What you guys are proposing is a new dark age, at best. A worldwide holocaust at worst.

That's why.

the smart thing to do is wean yourself off before the drug runs out and the rest of the addicts go crazy.

And some of crazy addicts might violently turn on those who are forcing them to go cold turkey earlier than absolutely necessary.

Sadly, your comment has left me sitting here for fifteen minutes reviewing how rational thought has become ever more subversive.

Perhaps rational thought is little more than a small island surrounded by a sea of ignorance and delusion. Just because the small island stands above the average water line does not guarantee that it can avoid being drowned in the flood as human population reaches it's highest levels...

E. Swanson

I don't believe that describes the situation.

I think most people ARE capable of fully rational thought, but it's the drug itself, living in this unrealistic fantasy of overwhelming energy access that has baffled clear thinking. Some MORE of the irrationality is the legacy of Colonialism, and the continued mutations of human usury that it has spawned, and I don't claim this can be 'fixed' in any permanent way, but I also think it's simply been disproportionately empowered by these constrainable and monopolistic technologies.

I do hope that the seemingly more 'democratic' distribution of power generation, and the reduction of energy dependence to the oligarchs will help to rebalance this insanity.

I should have included the word "superstition" in the list. Religion has been around for thousands of years, perhaps as a way for thinking man to explain events in life. However, religion isn't rational in the usual sense, as there's a basic level at which rational contradictions must be ignored and replaced by dogmatic beliefs. The spread of religion went hand-in-hand with European colonialism, such as occurred in South America with the Spanish conquest. At about the same time, what's now thought of the science based rational world view was an outgrowth of the Reformation, which represented a reaction to the dominant religious world view in Europe of the period, as exemplified by The Inquisition.

What I think to be happening today is a return to the anti-rational, religious world view which pervaded most of the Western world during the Dark Ages. The most recent rise of Fundamentalism (both Christian and Islamic) is clearly a repudiation of a rational world view...

E. Swanson

Before writing my neutral line, I spent an hour trying to integrate the inquisition into my reply. I did not want to offer harshness in direct reply to Leanan's innocent (or coy?) gambit. But, yes, that is the end-game.

Pomponio Algerio

It might be better for us to begin the transition before it's absolutely necessary.

It's seems to me we are getting awfully close to 'absolutely necessary' as it is...

I was involved in the Tar Sands protest. The thinking is you have to start fighting somewhere. It's the same group that's fighting to shut down the worst, oldest coal plants and having a degree of success. If you believe the scientists/climatologists now is the time to really work for a transition away from fossil fuels. So we are.

Maybe the environmentalists would rather see another route.

Oh noes, those silly environmentalists, (scientists like Dr.James Hansen) what do they know, they just don't get it! They will cost jobs, jobs, jobs...

Maybe its time for all those who do not see themselves as environmentalists to be shamed and ostracized until they finally get the big picture!

Think of your little girl, ROCKMAN!

Sorry, I'm in a very foul mood today! /rant

On the one hand I disagree with the perennial cynics and pessimists who think
that this temporary victory against the Keystone XL pipeline is only temporary.
It is critically important to stop Tar sands development in every way possible.
And frequently Environmentalists have won key long term victories by
protests, delays, legal actions etc. Thus no new nuclear power plants have been built in the US for 20 years as every single new plant is opposed, and delayed until it never gets built. Despite OBomber's offer of millions of our
Federal tax dollars for the proposed new nuclear plants in Georgia, the 1% investors are still refusing to fund it unless they get more $$$:


On the other hand I agree with the author of this piece that Environmentalists
have to go beyond attacking suppliers and instead attack the root cause of
our oil waste and greenhouse emissions increases:
namely Auto Addiction.

As she points out:

Even opposition to the high-carbon emissions of oil sands production bears a whiff of hypocrisy: Driving a mile in a conventional vehicle releases 377 grams of CO2, more than twice the amount of CO2 produced by refining that gasoline from tar sands (166 grams).

Environmentalists have to free themselves from their blind auto addiction
falsely believing that electric cars, robocars and all manner of fantasies are
going to allow "Happy Motoring" to continue as usual.
We need to move away from private cars as the sole means of transport and
move towards direct grid-powered Green rail transit, back to walkable Main Streets, etc.
We need to raise the federal gas tax by at least $1 and funnel that money
into Green public transit and then we will not need 18 Million BPD of which
almost 70% goes to autos, trucks and short distance planes.
from 1941 to 1945 the US increased Green public transit usage by 4x for
intercity rail, buses, local transit by a concerted effort to divert auto-addiction resources to the War effort. Car production actually dropped to a few hundred cars!
Saving the planet from Climate Change and oil depletion is surely even more important than WWII was...
See "Transportation Revolutions: Moving People and Freight without Oil"
for details:


By the way it was just reported that in our auto-addicted US that now
35% of Americans are obese...

The "Transportation Revolutions" book is really good and one of the few giving technical details on both passenger and freight movements. (The latter seems always to be overlooked.) During World War II we still had a private passenger rail system with more than 45,000 usable coaches. Old baggage cars were converted to help move military equipment. Meanwhile, the railroads, determined not to let FDR federalize them the way Wilson did in WWI, provided transport of oil so that Germany could not keep sinking our tankers moving oil from Texas to the east coast.

Today we have a skeleton public passenger rail system that receives no long term capital funding, living from legislature to legislature and still doing remarkably well in the process, all things considered. Rather than trying to sell High Speed Rail, I wish the administration would focus on improving and extending Amtrak at least to the routes proposed by the National Association of Railroad Passengers, a network about the size of the Interstate system. We can still make improvements to provide higher rail speeds, and the administration might win more support from house members whose districts would benefit.

What no one wants to discuss is the fate of outer suburbs and small, isolated towns. Some McMansions may house families working on adjacent farms, but cheap subdivisions not on sanitary sewer will be hard pressed to survive. One house might become the General Store. Another may be a barber shop/beauty palor, in other words a small isolated village will emerge, with someone making a living driving SUV-loads of neighbors to the nearest bus stop. Cities will not willingly extend their transit lines beyond their borders, requiring some regional transit authority to do that. The cost of suburbia will become very high. As far as isolated small towns not on rail lines, their decline will accelerate without the automobile unless they have a strong local support system.

That's true, nobody realizes the contributions of the railroads to moving goods and people during WWII, nor the contribution of streetcars in getting people to work at a time gasoline was rationed. All the rail systems were jammed, and one of the problems the railroads had after the war (in addition to the fact that the US started building the Interstate Highway system) was that all of their equipment was worn out.

As an obscure note, during WWII German submarines got into the Saint Laurence River and started Canadian shipping traffic. Patrol boats couldn't see them on sonar because of reflective layers of water in the river. It turned into something of a turkey shoot.

A lot of good it did them - the Canadian government just shut down all ship traffic to its industrial heartland in Ontario and Quebec, and moved all the goods and troops to the Atlantic by railroad. The British and Canadian warships escorting convoys out of Halifax treated submarines to something of a "shooting fish in a barrel" exercise, so the submarines moved into American waters and started sinking American oil tankers instead. As a result, the US shut down the Inter-coastal waterway and moved all its oil North by rail instead.

I think the outer suburbs of cities in the US will not survive the post-peak oil era, unless they have rail service. The cost of commuting will be too high for most people. People will retreat to the inner city areas, and the outer suburbs will be abandoned.


The only problem is that the entire North American industrial paradigm is set up to support automobile construction, the encouragement of personal transport...that kind of Dodge ruggedness/Mazda zoom zoom to whatever your little heart desires because.....you deserve it and God must be American in another life. But, the new wage in the biz is $14 an hour in a right to work state.

It won't change until there are a few more Katrina's or Miami starts sandbagging, or the Barrier Islands are abandoned. And then, when the paradigm changes there will be the accusations of "who did this to us? and why didn't you tell us before? and so on.

All you really have to see to get really cynical are some CNN interviews down in South Carolina of the 'folks' waxing on about which candidate is more conservative than the other...and that the best would be a 'little bit a one' from all. They had some chunk of a Baptist minister tooting Newt as someone with the best values for gods sake, and how he has found salvation through personal redemption by repenting his boinking the filly while trying to run Clinton out for doing the same thing at the same time. Wow, what character! He betrays his wife, lies publicly, but has character and values??!! Who are these fools, really?

It is at time like this that you shake your head, hug a loved one, and refine your own life's goals and personal responsibilities.

I watched a rerun of Farenheit 911 the other day. Propaganda of another stripe, agreed before the replies hit, but the rhetoric before the invasion of Iraq is exactly the language we are hearing about the demonizing of Iran. Today. In fact, you could turn the screen off this movie and swear it is CNN, Dec 2011. So we are left with a year of watching a race for the cookie jar key, a bombing of yet another 'foreign' country,(that just happens to have oil), a hand wringing about foreign oil and domestic supplies, and Cargill continues to envelop like 'The Blob', and another generation forgets how to cook and grow food and work at responsible vocations. I am cynical right now because I can't see anything changing until tshthf really long and hard with reality on high.

As for oil, wherever it comes from, I will miss the work it does for me in all aspects of my life. My chainsaw for a hand crosscut? No. It (oil) is simply too valuable and vesatile to replace. Too bad the profligate and frivlolous waste is killing us and setting up a time of reckoning.

Respectfully, Paulo

"Who are these fools, really?"

The American public in the hands of corporate media. The corporations have developed their propaganda skills through the act of executing decades of advertising campaigns. They know a whole lot about the animal that wears clothes. With the megaphone in their hands, thought and action for the common good does not stand a chance.

The present circus is most disturbing. Not one real thing is being discussed... just diversions, such as the comparative adventures of two dirty little hamsters. It is the rise of stupidity like I have never seen before.

An occupy in reverse? If the people refused TVs and radios, their power would flow back to the people.

But, then again, no TV and no beer...

Yes, you have to start somewhere. And pecking on the tar sands button is not a start, since that oil is getting burned, pipeline or no pipeline.

The real start would involve starting to talk about the source of demand, rather than the nature of supply. That would involve questioning the reign of the automobile. That, of course, does not get you an endowed throne at Middlebury College, does it?

Actually I have had emails with Bill McKibben and he IS supportive of
Green Transit and specifically getting passenger service on the Rail line
which already goes right by Middlebury College in Vermont.
the question is whether Enviros like McKibben really understands the seriousness of the Auto Addiction problem in the US and worse yet for China, India and the rest of the planet.
Besides protesting Tar sands it is long past time to start locking ourselves
to highway expanding bulldozers...

Dancing on History's Edge is a good read. The comments are also worth noting, especially the second two (as of my read). Unbridled pessimism meets utopic optimism!

I believe that we should follow the suggestions in the posting. And keep in mind that we are talking about evolutionary change. By definition, that means we don't know how it will turn out. Now, this is a frightening thought, and so the entire concept of change will be avoided by most. And, again, that is how it will be. As events transpire, we will be dragged, kicking and screaming it would seem, down the road to change, emerging (not literally, as such, but figuratively) as a different society, and perhaps a different species.

Or not, which is another possibility. And since this is the obvious worst case, it is the main reason for denial. And for the kicking, screaming, and fighting that will happen. And, to no avail since nature and time happen without our consent.

Still, the chance is there that we can, and indeed must, become a different sort of animal than we have been in the past. We must become truly cooperative... and if heirarchical, then at a more local level. Hopefully we will retain much of our science, and its insights. And, hopefully we will not have destroyed our planet's ability to support any of us.

In a word, with appologies to Alan from Big Easy, "Best Hopes" is about it.


As I read this (Dancing on History's Edge) I was reminded of the last chapter in Greer's book (The Long Descent). It is entitled "The Spiritual Dimension". It is basically an essay about several things to ponder but its essence was that we make a serious error in interpreting peak oil as a technical (or geologic) crisis. By doing that we spin our wheels trying to come up with technical solutions. Instead we need to understand that it will primarily be a cultural, social, and even a spiritual crisis. Peak oil directly challenges the current reigning narrative of progress and it will discombobulate people.

Toynbee wrote that every great religious development tends to emerge on the down slope of civilization cycles and if the other side of Hubbert's peak represents a down slope, humans will be looking for a replacement narrative.

How will we evolve from that? I have no idea but it will be interesting times.

Instead we need to understand that it will primarily be a cultural, social, and even a spiritual crisis.


Excellent observation. I wonder, too, what cultural shift(s) may occur during these interesting times.

From studying pre-ancient mythology, I have a hypothesis that the last step in human evolution was man made. Meaning we did something wich caused an evolutionary pressure, wich then evolved our species to what we are today. So I wonder if the chnge we are going through is large enough to create not only cultural and spiritual changes, but even genetic ones? We become something else?

Aside from opposed thumbs, the one anatomical feature that most separates man from ape is the ability to speak and by so doing to communicate.

I have no backup source for this, but probably the evolution of the larynx and the cultural development of language gave homo erectus an extreme advantage over many other competing species.

In modern times we continue to develop new languages including the language of ecological correctness and sustainability. Of course homo-crude&coal burner opposes the evolution of this new language by evolving his own language of tree-hugging and economic deflation.

From Fossil fuel subsidies: a tour of the data, up top:

What's particularly baffling is that while government support given to environmentally beneficial renewable power sources is subject to seemingly endless media and political scrutiny, the 500% larger subsidies given to oil, gas and (to a much lesser extent) coal rarely get much attention.


The OECD identified a remarkable 250 such mechanisms in its heroically comprehensive inventory of estimated budgetary support and tax expenditures for fossil fuels. Exactly which of these counts as subsidies as such is open to debate, but by the OCED's reckoning the total value of government support to fossil fuel companies in its member countries is $45–75bn. I suspect that the sooner we in the developed world ditch these kinds of indirect subsidies, the sooner the rest of the world will be likely to agree to ditch their much larger direct ones.

It won't be easy, of course – not least because of the powerful influence of the fossil-fuel lobbying machine. I don't know of any good global data about the relative size of the fossil fuel and renewables lobbies, but where figures are available, the hydrocarbon brigade massively outspend those pushing for clean energy – by a factor of 12 in the US, according to one estimate.

We have recently seen the joy at the end of "ethanol subsidies" one of which was actually mostly received by oil companies who blend ethanol and the other of which was actually collected by the government as a tariff. There was nary an article that told about the massive subsidies received by oil in the U.S. and around the world. We are now in a situation where a depleting resource is subsidized and a renewable liquid fuel has to compete against it in the "free market".

The "free market" for liquid fuel is a total joke, both in the U.S. and around the world. It is not just subsidies that put the lie to it, but the OPEC cartel also. Then there is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that takes oil off the market and then dumps it again to manipulate prices. Not only that, we have the U.S. machinations in the Middle East continually trying to control/defend the oil supply. These are not features of a truly free market.

That all being said I have to attack the graphs in the article. While the gist in correct, no allowance is made for the fact that the BTUs of fossil fuel are much larger than for renewable fuel. That being the case it is easy to exaggerate using totals whereas the percentage of subsidies going to fossil fuels per BTU is probable less, especially if wars for oil security are left out.

The other major sin of the article is that is compares different forms of energy in its graphs. Electricity is included with oil, coal and natural gas in a couple of the graphs. Not all electricity is from fossil fuels and some of it does not produce CO2 emissions. I'm thinking of hydroelectric, nuclear and wind. This befuddles the mind and makes one question the data.

While the piece correctly points out the double standard in regard to subsidies, it falls down in the details by not taking into account the large percentage of energy coming from fossil fuels and comparing energy forms that are different and that have different CO2 emitions.

It also fails to mention the changes made in Iran last year and puts a table with Iran at the top without commenting that the subsidy regime has been drastically changed since the data was collected.

From my perspective, dirty coal was the stuff inside your house in the bin in the basement, you had coal dust inside your house in the basement all of the time. You hauled out ashes and hauled in coal. Every house in the neighborhood had one and there were ashes everywhere in the alleys after they were hauled away from your yard.

Clean coal is where the power plants are and the coal remains at that site instead of being trucked around the town to fuel the octopus furnaces. The warmth of the heat was always more comfortable than the natural gas furnace that replaced it, but you can't beat the convenience.

Also, any farmer worth his salt knows that coal emissions are free fertilizer when those emissions fall on his land.

King Coal is the now oft beat red-headed step child. Coal is going to have a new found respect in the near future.

It'll keep us out of the dark.

"It'll keep us out of the dark."

Apparently not, in your case :-/


Like it or hate it, but the reality is this country will burn coal until there is no coal left to burn.

Hate it. Perhaps you guys would be interested in some property my neighbors in Tennessee have available.


Going cheap!

As for Ward's statement... "Also, any farmer worth his salt knows that coal emissions are free fertilizer when those emissions fall on his land."

...I suppose mercury and other heavy metals could be considered 'soil amendments'. I just never thought of it that way.

No, the reality is we'll kill ourselves first.

That's my opinion as well, which says to me that humanity is hell bent on destroying the Earth as we knew it as a result. Once all that CO2 is dumped into the air, the resulting higher concentration will be around for centuries. Goodbye Holocene, during which civilized mankind appeared, hello Anthropocene, during which the Eaarth will again become a planet fit for reptiles!

E. Swanson

Worry not, Dog; ward has that angle covered as well:

Nothing wrong with global warming and I am all for it. More potential for land for commercial agriculture in more northern regions, southern in the southern hemisphere.

All of the CO2 that was in the atmosphere before the Industrial Revolution was replaced long ago from the coal burned back then. There is no natural CO2 left from before that time.

The carbiniferous period, when plant life was abundant beyond all imagination, had CO2 levels 10 to 20 times current levels. All long before mankind had any influence on CO2 emissions.

What we contribute is a pittance compared to what is there.

My best guess is that he's one angle of the abundant astroturfing/sock-puppeting efforts to create an alternate narrative of our climate dilemma more favorable to the big polluters. If so, he isn't doing a very good job of earning his keep, since his efforts are rather transparent and plainly lacking in credibility of any sort. But then again, the folks who pay them have more money than God, so they don't need to be very careful in how they spend it, I suppose. In any case, I'd imagine we'll reach 1000 ppm within this century, so many of us may well get to see just how stupendous life will be. No need to debate it when we can just wait and see, right?

We love our Jurasic Park movies don't we. So we are bringing back the climate of those times of myth. Now if we can just figure out how to regenerate the animals from insects preserved in amber..... I'll be sure to invent a special emzyme, so that the new master lizards will only have an appetite for human denialist flesh.

The carbiniferous period, when plant life was abundant beyond all imagination, had CO2 levels 10 to 20 times current levels.

Completely false. According to the gold standard for Phanerozoic atmospheric O2 and CO2 reconstruction, Bob Berner's GEOCARBSULF model, most of the Carboniferous and Permian actually show the lowest CO2 levels of the 500+ million years prior to the recent late Cenozoic. You almost couldn't pick a time during the Phanerozoic that would make this statement less accurate.

See Figure 1A (grey line) in this paper for the curve.

Thank you for the correction. My previous knowledge from information obtained was inaccurate. Sorry that I am such an uninformed ignorant fool. I apologize for any offensive comments, I didn't intend them to be so, so sorry there too.

The early Carboniferous Period had high concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. The logic tells me the CO2 became fixed in the plant life which then decreased concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Along comes a glacier and kills it all and you have coal. Not rocket science, but that's how it worked, it seems. Lots of oxygen in the atmosphere gets fixed when the coal is formed and you have a decrease in oxygen content in the atmosphere.

Nobody pays me to make comments here. I can be wrong, often times, I am. Never too late to learn, raise my awareness, as it were, raise my tolerances too. Just expressing my opinion, nothing wrong with that. If I remove all doubt of being ignorant, it is laid bare. Thank you.

As far as wind power goes, I see the wind farm south of my city, as ugly as it is, and I also see folly in the design. Why would you place a tower 300 feet in the air where when the wind blows at 35 to 40 mph, they're not turning? Dumb and dumber it looks like to me.

The wind blows 30 mph at six feet off of the ground right where I stand on the open prairie, you don't need the things sticking up in the air ruining the scenic area it once was. Wind power is useless if it isn't done right and it isn't being done right. If I never see another wind farm, it will be too soon.

You'll get results with windmills to produce electricity that are fifty feet in height. Make them look like the old Dutch mills, and you'll be doing something right, finally.

Right now, the current wind power efforts are completely misguided. A complete waste of resources and money.

I appreciate your humility and I'll keep working to remember mine.

Ugly or not, Windpower is not about Beauty or Ugly, it's about not putting more poisons into the air in exchange for electricity. You might despair at seeing the skyline with those industrial giants, but don't forget that regardless of what we see, we DON'T generally see the electrons that they're pushing, and we DON'T generally see the pollutants that the other plants are putting into our skies, so the View is clearly badly distorted against wind, where the good and clean part is unseen and the bad part of the legacy Coal Powered Juice is also unseen.


A lot seems to have changed with WTs. I commute through a field with WTs from thirty to a half year old. The older ones really are but ugly. Not only but ugly, but they only turn when the wind is the right speed, not too slow, not too fast. Now these new babies (maybe 500feet high when the tip of a blade if straight up), they look elegant. And with slight breezes they are turning while all the older models are idled. You might remember a couple months back, about LA getting the most damaging windstorm in a couple of decades. It was almost as windy up here. The new WTs were generating power, all the old ones were locked down for the duration.

It takes time for a nascent industry to learn to do it right.

Also, any farmer worth his salt knows that coal emissions are free fertilizer when those emissions fall on his land.

Would these be the same farmers who applied Kerr-McGee post-processed radioactive, heavy-metal-laden raffinate to the land when it was renamed "ammonium nitrate fertilizer"?

Because the 'coal emissions' have heavy metals, including radioactive Uranium.

Thank you for saving me the trouble of saying it.

Not a problem - I deal with actual truth VS being deceptive.

As do I. I just think I have a better grasp of what the real truth is.

I'm pretty arrogant that way.

octopus furnace


Never heard the term before.

Same search, different octopus. From 1916? 10 pages of Google "search by image" have the same image as being from 1912, a year before its creation.
Seems remarkably prescient:



Image from:

20 yrs ago when we replaced the old gravity flow furnace I had them tie in the old supplies to the return line giving us a return in each room.The upstairs we were able to put the supply high on the wall but the main floor the new supplies in the floor.

"Washington should release a significant chunk of its strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) because, according to his estimate, it is holding much more oil than is necessary." I wonder how much SPR oil this fellow thinks is just the right amount since he's suggesting using the "excess" to supplement the loss of Iranian oil. If we were storing that "necessary amount" would we be able to offset Iranian losses? He seems to contradict himself in the same sentence IMHO.

"...one of three Falkland wells that Morgan Stanley ranks among the world’s top 15 offshore prospects this year." I wonder how Morgan Stanly ranked the previously drilled prospects...the ones with dry hole symbols on them now. As I've said before I truly do admire exploration geologists: takes a lot of guts to ask someone to spend tens of $million to drill a well after the majority of wildcats you've drilled during your career were dry holes. Without their efforts I would not have had a career.

EGES--Exploration Geologist Envy Syndrome.

BTW, I wonder if the RRC will once again be looking at preference rules for natural gas this summer, giving casinghead gas access to pipelines over gas wells. I'm reminded once again of what natural gas guy told me years ago--that the difference between a glut and shortage in the US natural gas market is a 2% supply differential.

Note that based on Art Berman's analysis, if no gas well had been completed in the past 12 months in Texas & Louisiana, natural gas production in these two states would be 60% of current production. It will be interesting to see what happens to supply as natural gas drilling slows down. As you know, a lot of companies have been booking proven and proven undeveloped BOE reserves based on the six to one BTU ratio between gas and oil. On a cash flow basis, the actual differential between gas and oil could be around 60 to one this summer.

wt - I'm sure Chesapeake et al are lobbying hard for that preference for the csg head gas from their Eagleford wells. For those not familiar the Texas Rail Road Commision can force NG wells to be shutin if there isn't enough market to sell all that can be produced. So they would give prefence to an oil well that's also making some gas by forcing NG only wells cut back.

I wasn't teasing: without you crazy wildcatters us production hands wouldn't have jobs. Mucho thanks. And I'm not envious: I have 10X as many vendors feeding me as you. LOL

Crikey, wt, if NG production would be down 60% but for the frac'd wells that have (in the past 12 months) replaced NG wells, and those newly drilled wells have very short lives (or at least much shorter than typical NG vertical wells), the energy Co.s will be spending as much money shutting down wells as drilling new ones in pretty short order.

What will happen when there are no new fields to drill and frac? Will the Co.s actually spend the necessary to shut them down, or will they leave them open? How about if they do that? I guess we, the taxpayers, will have to foot the bill since it would be rather unsafe to leave them open.

But then that is the way with corporations. They will take all they can get and leave the taxpayers to clean up, all the while complaining about the high taxes they are not paying.

To say nothing of the ecological havoc they leave that cannot be repaired or remedied, no matter what we pay. And nothing should be added to the cost of carbon based fuels to impair the incentive to do this, and nothing to force the companies to clean up, etc., etc., etc.

I know that Rockman understands PO. Sometimes I wonder, though, whether he fully appreciates the cost to everyone resulting from his clients' collective greed and irresponsibility?

That is why I say that those people are NOT conservatives. They are irresponsible children, and bullies!


Otherwise, your comment on using cash flow as base for differential between Oil and Gas is not a bad idea. Once people understand that EROEI is determined by a cash measure, they might get it a bit better. I just hate that it is taking so long. My grandchildren are going to hate us!


Small clarification. Art Berman found that 40% of current TX & LA gas production comes from wells completed in past 12 months.

Oops, meant to say "down to 60%. My bad! Otherwise, same ol same ol.


zap - As far as not abandoning wells properly that rarely happens. In Texas companies have prove financial capability and be bonded. Actually most such wells have a positive value when abandoned due to salvaging the equipment. IOW you make a little net money when you abandon. There is a small cottage industry of companies that do only this to make a living. As far as leaving a mess in 36 years I've never worked for a company that didn't leave a drill site cleaner than we found. Granted, that's not always the case for every operator.

I'm moving a rig on to a new well this weekend. The land owner will get a new water well that I paid $7,000 for, I spent $80,000 building/repairing his road and he's more than glad to have me spread my mud pit when I'm done...make good (and free) fertilizer. As far as "irresponsible" I've only worked for one such company in 36 years and quit them when their colors were shown. And I've never worked for BP either. LOL Greedy? A large percentage of companies I've worked for were't greedy (successfu) enough...went broke. That happens a lot more often then most folks suspect.

Not sure you understand my worry.

Any company wanting to continue will be bonded, will clean up, and so forth. My projection is that, when the last of the wells are quitting (not going dry.... what is the correct term for a when a gas well stops producing gas?), the owners will not have any money to clean up, and the bonding agencies will be broke as well.

And, as I said, because of the physical fact that the 'new' shale (horizontal) wells run down quicker than veritcal wells, more of them have to be drilled during a shorter time span, meaning that at the end there will be lots of shale wells no longer profitable, and no money to clean up.

Also, knowing what I do of Rockman, I would be surprised and disappointed if you continued working for an 'irresponsible' owner. And the rest, I am sure, will be sorry when they are not able to fulfill what they promised.

I guess the temptation is large to lump oil ops with coal. Or cattle feeder operations with pig factories, for that matter. I am just getting frustrated that observations, factually verifiable, that should be major paradigm changers are ignored, supressed and maligned in order to continue with operations that eventually can only lead to disaster. Some days are worse than others. Today is one of those days.


zap - Ease your thoughts buddy. Since the beginning in the US millions of wells have been drilled with hundreds of thousands depleted and abadoned properly. Why would expect the process to change? Of course there have been instances as you're concerned about. I'm not sure how they handle it in all states but the Texas Rail Road Commission and the La, Conservation Commission have a fund set up to pay for wells left unplugged by operators who don't do the right thing. And the money in those funds is collected from fees from the companies that drill in those states. A year ago my group acquired 18 wells left unplugged by the previous operators from the La. Orphan Well program In return we guarentee to eventually plug them. In the mean time we returned 5 to production making 160 bopd tital and used 2 to side track two new wells from that are flowing 6 million cu ft of NG per day. We'll eventually make about $20 million profit from those wells. As they say: sometimes a problem is just an opportunity in disguise. Now in the bad ole days the system didn't handle such problems very well. That's how they eventually learned to get it right.

As per the Texas Railroad Commission:

87% = Number of Known Orphaned Wells in Non-compliance w/ Commission Plugging Rule

RRC PDF report

Alberta has an "orphan well fund" to pay for properly plugging, abandoning, and reclaiming well sites whose owners have gone bankrupt, and I think Texas has something similar.

Any jurisdiction that has private oil companies is going to see some of them going bankrupt, and if they go looking for the ex-management, they will find they have all moved to some country that has no extradition treaty.

As a result, governments have to bear the cost of cleaning up the mess they left behind. The best way to pay for this legal encumbrances and taxes on companies that are still operating. This has the advantage that they will keep an eye on their partners, and will step in to seize legal control of their partner's operations if it looks like they are going down.

Jurisdictions that aren't used to dealing with the oil industry don't know how to manage the problems, but the ones that have a lot of experience (e.g. Alberta or Texas) are quite good at it.

Wildfire rages near Reno; 10,000 evacuated

For the second time in two months, 82-mph winds from an approaching storm fanned an explosive fire, this one forcing the closure of U.S. 395 south of Reno and prompting Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval to declare a state of emergency in response to the rare winter blaze. The declaration paves the way for federal assistance.

Hernandez said the two wintertime blazes that have done so much damage in northern Nevada since late November were because of high winds and extremely dry vegetation ready to explode with a spark.

"The fuels out there are at their driest point ever," the chief said.

There is a visceral feeling one gets as the roller coaster begins its descent. It is breathtaking and exhilarating! Such is the feeling of today's climate news. The only problem is that the "roller coaster" is off the tracks!


Seems Dr Adam Posen, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics and External Member, Monetary Policy Committee, Bank of England may agree with Nicole Foss regarding deflation in the new economy ...

From Chatham House What the Return of 19th Century Economics Means for 21st Century Geopolitics

The speaker will argue that the global monetary and financial systems are returning to what he has named 'the old normal' – a world of greater real economic volatility, recurrent financial panics, riskier savings and deflation risks. Drawing a parallel with the 19th century, he characterises the current landscape as one without a clear economic hegemon. Dr Posen will explore the implications of these developments for international relations.

Chemical Treatment for Colony Collapse Disorder Temporarily Worsens Viral Infections in Honeybees

Acaricide, a chemical used against Varroa mites that infect honeybees, appears to render bees more susceptible to deformed wing virus infections, according to research published in the January issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Deformed wing virus is strongly associated with mite infestations, and the researchers’ hypothesized that following acaricide treatment, the virus population would drop along with the mite population. In the study, they treated six bee colonies with Apistan, an acardicide, for six weeks (the standard treatment duration) and left three control colonies untreated, monitoring mite infestation and virus levels weekly.

Contrary to the investigators’ hypothesis, the viral infection worsened in the treatment group immediately following acaricide treatment. “This initial increase was seen in all bee stages, including pupae that never were in contact with mites,” says Locke. “Thus, we interpreted it to be a possible direct effect of the acaricide, making the bees more susceptible to virus infection,” ...

Unsuspected and unwanted side-effects of human interference that only worsen the situation? Now who would have thought of that...

Geoengineering is another such baloney.

And from the cold fusion link:

Another interesting development is that Rossi now hopes to be selling the newly designed 10 Kwh home heating units in the U.S. later this year for $400-$500.

340 days to go to see if one man's hopes are met.

It seems he's got other visions of hope.


Rossi said that they have sent prototypes to UL, and they are working with them to get the home unit certified for "UL approval".

Cold Fusion: NASA Says Nothing Useful
January 16, 2012

On his own blog, Dr, Zawodny writes (again, the highlights are mine):

"There have been many attempts to twist the release of this video into NASA’s support for LENR or as proof that Rossi’s e-cat really works. Many extraordinary claims have been made in 2010. In my scientific opinion, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I find a distinct absence of the latter. So let me be very clear here. While I personally find sufficient demonstration that LENR effects warrant further investigation, I remain skeptical. Furthermore, I am unaware of any clear and convincing demonstrations of any viable commercial device producing useful amounts of net energy."

Well said, Dr. Zawodny! The good doctor continued:

"So what does extraordinary evidence look like? As a trained scientist, I have been taught the historical standards for acceptance of experimental results or theories. Experiments and theories go hand-in-hand in what is known as the scientific method.  Both must be independently tested, replicated, or verified.  As a minimum, experimental results must be replicated by an objective and independent party. The nature of the test or replication needs to adhere to the spirit of the original experiment but, should be under the full design, implementation, and control of the independent tester. So, if a device is claimed to be capable of producing excess heat by nature of its operation (i.e., the consumption of fuel via a nuclear process), it must be operated properly. The way power input and power output are measured should be left up to the independent tester. This is standard scientific practice. What would take this to the next level (extraordinary evidence) would be to have the test be an open public test. The nature of the test and specific approach to executing the test should be made public. The conduct of the test should be open to additional 3rd party experts. And finally, the data should be publicly released. Further peer review of all aspects of the independent test is a must. Community consensus is the ultimate goal. Every attempted demonstration of a LENR device that I am aware of has failed to meet one or more of these criteria."

"I am unaware of any clear and convincing demonstrations of any viable commercial device producing useful amounts of net energy."

Any human on planet earth can say that also - no where can one go and buy (buying being what makes it "commerical") a 'cold fusion' device.

How many stirling engines are being shipped that are a 'viable' electrical generator? Plenty of talk about how such would happen, yet where is the Solo 10kW reflective dish?

While I personally find sufficient demonstration that LENR effects warrant further investigation

This right here is the important part.

There is something happening that is being dubbed a LENR effect? And it has been demonstrated?

The International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science presentation that Tom Wipple mentioned ...

Progress, In the Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, On Excess Energy Production: Towards Practical Applications? Jan 10-12,2012

I am more impressed by the Greek company Defkalion. They seem more reliable.

LENR (low energy) from my point of view is like HENR (high energy). In LENR the low energy is made up for by the high densities.

Deuterium on palladium has been well studied by scientist but it has not been engineered for high energy output. Hydrogen on nickel has had some scientific study by Piantelli and it has been (if proved true) well engineered by Defkalion and maybe Rossi.

It is nuclear. 10KW for six months consumes 0.1 grams of hydrogen. It does give off some gamma rays (according to Defkalion). Defkalion uses 0.3cm of lead equivalent of shielding on their product. If it is real it changes everything. We should know within the next 24 months. Maybe six.

I agree, this has the potential to be the game changer. Energy concerns would be void. Technocopians may well get the last laugh.

i disagree. so what if we have the energy to continue depleting all other natural resources? to me, the great hope of peak oil is that we might lack the energy resources necessary to make the planet completely unlivable, and i'm not just talking about co2 emissions.

While I agree with your thoughts, I think essentially 'free' energy would enable us to mine in places which are now far to energy intensive/difficult to do so. If we have access to such a huge resource of energy what is going to stop people ripping hills apart for ore, or converting desert into farmland etc?

I know ultimately that this cannot continue forever, but I assume LENR will prolong 'the party' until well after our lifetimes.
I too had hoped that peak-oil would bring some rational policies in regards to the environment, population and resources, but until the LENR has been completely debunked I will not be holding my breath!

Technocopians may well get the last laugh.

Not at all. Say 'safe' 'unlimited energy' would exist.

Now you have matter being converted into heat inside a biosphere - how will this heat be vented in a world where there is a concern over trapping heat?

What about the conversion of material? Unlimited "cheap" energy might allow conversion of toxins back into a non toxic state. But given Human nature, would not more toxins be created instead?

How would unlimited energy somehow address the population issue?

That's a good point about the heat. I don't imagine that this would stop people using LENR as a widespread energy source though. Unless the global impact on the climate was extremely significant, I think it would be like us burning fossil fuels now, we know (well some) that it is likely to be contributing to climate change, yet we still continue burn them in increasing amounts.

In terms of LENR and population, I imagine it would enable us to increase in numbers, at least for some years. For example, some of the energy could be used to desalinate water and irrigate otherwise inhospitable land, thereby increasing agricultural output. I know it's more complicated then this and I'm only speculating, but I think it would allow us to continue our 'growth' obsession for a little longer yet.

likely to be contributing to climate change, yet we still continue burn them in increasing amounts.

Energy - its a hell of a drug.

In terms of LENR and population, I imagine it would enable us to increase in numbers, at least for some years.

If the goal is to create a larger total mass of humans, perhaps the 'lets go to space' and the telephone sanitisers can all get together and work on putting humans in space? Then they could STFU about putting solar panels in space to beam power back to the surface of the planet.

LENR may be a real effect, but not something one can make a commercial energy harvesting product around. If the patent presented in a past Drumbeat is actually LENR - sensor products can be made thus showing 'cold fusion' is real and commercial. Just never in the way the original people hoped for.

FWIW, Rossi and Defkalion used be partners.

At one point, Defkalion had a web page that offered e-Cats for sale. Apparently, they jumped the gun. Rossi made them take it down. They apologized, but I guess it wasn't enough.

Now Defkalion is claiming they have their own reactor that is much more powerful than Rossi's.

I still think it's a scam.

I still think it's a scam.

It may be. But he's claiming a ship date in less than a year. And well within my billable for working a day (before the tax man).

So I'm willing to wait ;-) I've waited for years for solar powered stirlings or CHP units. Not to mention I don't have a e-cat now and if it is a scam I won't have an e-cat later so it is no skin offa my teeth.

But he's claiming a ship date in less than a year.

He said that over a year ago. Remember that e-Cat post we had here, in July? We all thought it would be settled, one way or the other, by October. Either there would be e-Cats for sale, or there wouldn't. Instead, no e-Cats, just another slipping deadline.

I thought the Oct. date was for a demo unit of some type.

And there was something that was demoed - I saw posts on the energy balance and how the plastics used should have melted et la. But as far as I know no 3rd party was able to look the thing over.

As it wasn't a shipping unit anyone could buy one like it (to then be analysed by 3rd parties) I shrugged my shoulders.

Its not like the non-existence of a $500 unit will change things. And hoping for a $500 unit is a pipe dream.

In my closet, I still have one of those bumper stickers promising hot-fusion by 1995. I think Princeton Plasma-physics was distributing those in the 1980s.

At least the hot fusion crews are trying to reproduce a process that is known to occur in nature and have sound science behind them, it's just the engineering that is incredibly difficult and may not be possible.

The LENR folks don't even have a theory that doesn't conflict with well tested facets of particle and quantum physics.

Many will recognize this, but it seems appropriate here:

Nasrudin was caught in the act and sentenced to die. Hauled up before the king, he was asked by the Royal Presence: "Is there any reason at all why I shouldn't have your head off right now?" To which he replied: "Oh, King, live forever! Know that I, the mullah Nasrudin, am the greatest teacher in your kingdom, and it would surely be a waste to kill such a great teacher. So skilled am I that I could even teach your favorite horse to sing, given a year to work on it." The king was amused, and said: "Very well then, you move into the stable immediately, and if the horse isn't singing a year from now, we'll think of something interesting to do with you."

As he was returning to his cell to pick up his spare rags, his cellmate remonstrated with him: "Now that was really stupid. You know you can't teach that horse to sing, no matter how long you try." Nasrudin's response: "Not at all. I have a year now that I didn't have before. And a lot of things can happen in a year. The king might die. The horse might die. I might die.

"And, who knows? Maybe the horse will sing."

I predict Cold Fusion will be as revolutionary as EEStor has been in the electric vehicle field.

Mr. Whipple should really stop wasting his time going down that dead end.

I'm really surprised he's not more skeptical. I would expect a former CIA analyst to be very suspicious, given Rossi's background.

Maybe he's just being careful not to lose the part of his intended audience which is reachable? If he added conspiracy to the list (however justifiable), they might stop reading, and be taken in by the scam.

The CIA was willing to put bombs in cats, cigars, remote viewing, and staring at goats.

Given claims of the start of the CIA was, in part, to provide information for connected businessmen - some of the analysts may have come to hear of really far out stuff that eventually became a real product. Along with claims of other sources chasing after the same brass ring. So the claims of Rossi may not be outside their experience of being shown to be right.

It takes all kinds to make the world go round and, well, sometimes they are hired by the CIA. ;-0

How about the Hydrino battery by BlackLight power?


"I'll have demonstrated an entirely new form of energy production by the end of 2000. ... Hydrinos can also react with other elements to form a cornucopia of amazing compounds, leading to "conductive, magnetic plastics that would revolutionize circuitry and aerospace engineering ... batteries the size of a briefcase to drive your car 1000 miles at highway speeds on a single charge, without gasoline

And as long as we are talking cars and hope:

Japan to seek data from Ukraine on effects of Chernobyl accident

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan will begin negotiations with Ukraine later this month for an agreement to obtain data on the effects of low-level radiation exposure and soil contamination accumulated by Kiev since the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown of 1986, government officials said Thursday.

The Japanese government will use the data in treating people exposed to radiation in the Fukushima nuclear crisis, the officials said.

Camera sent inside Japan's leaking Fukushima nuclear reactor

The camera recorded the inside of the No. 2 reactor for about 30 minutes and Tepco officials learned two main things: The temperature inside was 112.5 degrees Fahrenheit, about what they were expecting. But the amount of water inside the reactor "appears to be less than what has been estimated up to now," Tepco official Junichi Matsumoto told Reuters.

The amount of water in the reactors is a big deal, because that is what's cooling the reactors and will eventually get them to a stable level.

also http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/01/19/145457173/endoscope-captu...

Federal panel faults Idaho lab for radiation exposure mishap

The radiation exposure of 16 workers at a nuclear research lab in Idaho stemmed from a failure to properly assess the risks posed by the handling of decades-old plutonium fuel cells, federal investigators concluded on Wednesday.

... Thirteen of the workers tested positive for actual radioactive contamination, either on their clothing or from nasal swabs, and two of those were found to have inhaled radioactive particles, lab spokesman Ethan Huffman told Reuters.

The board of investigators said the accident could have been avoided had the lab and Battelle paid more attention to well-documented safety risks posed by the plutonium fuel plates and taken greater precautions.

Battelle, the report found, had rated the chance of an accident like the one that occurred as "extremely unlikely," and there was no evidence "that any drill was performed that would have prepared the workforce to respond to an event like the" November 8 mishap.

A suppressed government report on peak oil just surfaced in Australia. The report was compiled in 2009 under the auspices of the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, but apparently was never released to the public and never posted.


Blog post that gives some background on the report:


The information in the report probably isn't new to TOD readers, but the fact that it appeared in a government report and that it was apparently suppressed is important.

Bart / Energy Bulletin

The link to the blog post is actually



The report the Aussie Govt paid for but didn't want to see. Dumped and buried but someone kept a copy, oop! Obviously doesn't fit some peoples agenda. In the mean time we bring in carbon taxes but leaves out transport fuels. Now I don't have a problem with the carbon tax as it pushes energy uses in a direction it needs go, but by leaving out transport fuel, it misses the main target. The report is nearly 400 pages, so put some time aside.

I liked this quote:

Stobaugh and Yergin (1979) forecast that world crude oil production would reach
about 29 gigabarrels per year by 1985, a level it has yet to reach 23 years later.

Ouch, that report, any which way so long as it is down.

Note to others 474 pages


Link up top - "Australia's LNG boom fizzles"

This is a story in a S. African newspaper highlighting the high costs of bringing on LNG projects in Australia, and increasing competition from other LNG exporters. There are currently $134bn of projects underway, but how much LNG do you get from therm?

With the recent approval of the $34 billion Ichthys project, Australia should also overtake Qatar as the world's top exporter of LNG by around 2017, but the window of opportunity for the giant projects appears to be closing.

“There's vastly more being offered into the pipeline now - from the United States, Russia, Canada - and so the whole supply perspective has changed and Australia now looks very vulnerable,” said Tony Regan, an analyst with Tri-Zen International in Singapore.

Japan's Inpex Corp and France's Total last week approved the 8.4 million tonne-per-annum capacity Ichthys project in the Browse Basin offshore Western Australia.

So $34bn for 8.4m tons/year of LNG. Putting that into barrels of oil equivalent, that is 75m bbl/yr, or 205,000 bbl/day. That is a capital cost of $170k per bbl/day, and the end product is LNG, not oil (and sells at discount to oil).

$170k/bbl/day is more than the capital costs of the Qatar GtL plant.

I can't find numbers on capital costs to convert LNG to methanol, but I'm sure it would be cheaper than this.

Part of the reason for the high costs are the high labour costs in Australia, hence the trend for building floating platforms somewhere else. Even onshore projects are having increasing% of components built offshore.

Australia has vast reserves of NG, but these are eye-watering costs to get them onto a ship.

Explosion and Fire at Eagle Ford Fracking Well in Pearsall [Update]

Three people have been injured after an explosion and fire at an oil well in Pearsall, Texas Thursday night. ... He said that the fire department had to cool down three tanks holding oil so they wouldn’t reignite.

The site uses hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil. “There was a well running when we got there that had to be shut down,” Aguilar said. “I know it’s producing, [because] they had three tanks full of oil. That one that exploded lost its top and was on fire.”

With drilling taking off in the Eagle Ford Shale, is Aguilar concerned that his all-volunteer department will have to respond to more fires like these? “Yes, probably in the last six months we’ve had two other incidents. And they [drillers] say they’re gonna be here for a while.”

S - Amazing how frac'ng has become the new "F" word. The MSM seems to want to use the word "frac" even when frac'ng has nothing to do with the incident.

"“All the oil spread and started burning on top of those frack tanks": those aren't "frac tanks". They are oil tanks you would find on any oil well whether it was ever frac'd or not.

" what started the fire on a fracking tank" Again, those aren't frac tanks. Fracs tanks don't contain oil..they contain water...which generally isn't flammable.

" On January 6 a fire occurred after a blowout at a well in Oklahoma that was going to be fracked for natural gas" "...was going to be frac'd". It was a drilling well...it wasn't frac'd yet. The well didn't blow out because someone had planned to frac it.

It would almost be funny if they weren't trying to freak folks out with the word "frac". There's enough bad aspects of frac'ng they don't really need to make stuff up. I guess these days instead of "If it bleeds, it leads" it must be "If it fracs, it leads". LOL

Yes, it is true, Fracturing is the new "F" word.

The site uses hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil.

No it doesn't use hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil. You use a drill bit to drill for oil, and after you are done drilling the well, then you fracture it.

“I know it’s producing, [because] they had three tanks full of oil. That one that exploded lost its top and was on fire.”

After it's fractured, you perforate the casing, run tubing into the well, and then you start producing oil (I'm skipping some steps here). If it has three tanks full of oil, it has been been producing for some time. If one of the tanks caught fire, that's an oil tank fire.

Of course if you have oil in a tank, and something sets it on fire, it will burn. But that has nothing whatsoever to do with hydraulic fracturing, which basically uses water and sand. By the time the tank caught on fire, the guys who did the fracturing had probably been gone for some months or years.

The MSM knows nothing whatsoever about what is going on there, but they are fully prepared to make something up even though it makes no sense at all.

Amazing how frac'ng has become the new "F" word.

Must be the influence of Battlestar Galactica. Fraking was the "F" word.

Govt to drill for methane off Aichi Pref. / Test may lead to new major energy source

The government plans to conduct test drilling for methane hydrate off the coast of Aichi Prefecture, in the world's first attempt to exploit this energy resource, which is expected to become a major source of next-generation power, it has been learned.

The government said Wednesday the test drilling will be done 70 to 80 kilometers off the prefecture's Atsumi Peninsula, which is inside Japan's exclusive economic zone. Full-scale underwater test drilling will start in mid-February.

Well, it IS better to burn it than to just leak it. But still, the irony is mindboggling.

Yes, if we decide as a species to go down we might as well go down blazing and in full battle gear. Lets see if we can get every last carbon atom in the air and make sure not one species will be able to take our throne when we're gone. Because Earth would be properly named Venus II.

An example of a how long a secured bike will last in NYC ... pick a number from 1-365 ... let the scavanging begin

Video: Watch a Bike Disappear in 365 Days

What's amazing is that not even the water bottle was touched for 150 days. The actual disassembly of the bike occurs around day 250, after the bike has sat there for eight months.

That slightly restores my faith in humanity...

PT in PA

Obama Invites Public Comment on New Five-Year Climate Strategy

The public is asked to comment on the Obama administration's first draft national strategy to reduce the impacts climate change is already having on wildlife, fish and plants and ecosystems, and the people and economies that depend on them.

The National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, issued today in draft form, is intended to guide the nation's efforts over the next five to 10 years.

...The first words of the strategy document are, "Our climate is changing..." followed immediately by the warning that, "Changes are expected to significantly increase over time, challenging our ability to manage and sustain these resources and the essential services they provide Americans every day."

Ecological impacts associated with a changing climate may be extreme and often unpredictable, making current conservation challenges even more difficult.

Draft Strategy: http://www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/public-review-draft.php

Kansas is going bye-bye

Thanks for posting - I'm going to try and make one of the webinars.

I'm glad to see the comments are moderated, and there are guidelines.

Shale Gas: A Renaissance In U.S. Manufacturing?

PwC is nee Price Waterhouse Coopers

n.b. the link in the article is a file:// ...,
so just use this:

seems to be the usual
[shale gas is] "relatively inexpensive and stable long-term source of natural gas"
BAU promises. And apparently lots of businesses are banking on shale gas.

Does anyone here know of a good source of global oil production/consumption data going back to 1850 or 1900? I have lots of data points for different time periods, and I see graphics going back to that time, but they aren't referenced. I need something that I can use to create my own graphics. Does anyone know of a source like that? Thanks.

I got this info from Rethin (TODer) some time back - and I believe he got these numbers from "Romer, R. H. (1985). Energy Facts and Figures" available for instance here- http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=7E0C4D58... or via other universities...

0 Col 1 : World Oil Production annual values 1850-1983
1 Col 2 : Crude Oil MB
2 Col 3 : NGLs MB
3 1860 1
4 1870 6
5 1880 30
6 1890 77
7 1900 149
8 1905 215
9 1910 328
10 1915 432 2
11 1920 689 9
12 1925 1069 28
13 1930 1412 57
14 1935 1655 45
15 1940 2150 77
16 1945 2595 120
17 1950 3803 190
18 1955 5626 294
19 1960 7674 376
20 1965 11060 513
21 1970 16531 746
22 1972 18395 892
23 1974 20386 1020
24 1976 20976 1092
25 1978 21921 1169
26 1980 21791 1319
27 1982 19404 1377
28 1983 19303 1430

bad formatting, but SPACE serves as column separator :-)

This is serious, but its unclear how long this may last.

South Sudan to halt oil production over dispute with Sudan
Posted on Friday, 01.20.12

NAIROBI, Kenya -- South Sudan moved Friday to shut down its oil production, the latest development in an epic game of double-dare that threatens not only South Sudan's economy but also that of its neighbor and antagonist, Sudan, just six months after the world heralded the peaceful split of the old Sudan with fanfare and hurrahs.

If implemented, the shutdown of oil production would deprive the infant South Sudan of virtually its only source of revenue and would bite a major hole in Sudan's budget, already deeply in red after its southern third seceded.


Is anyone familiar with Hutter's peak oil site? It's the first semi-cornucopian analysis / set of analyses and comparisons that looks at real data and tries to systematically respond to the peak oil thesis.

The thing that's bugging me is that I don't know if there's truth to what he's saying or not. Has anyone seen his analysis? Is he right about anything or some things? (Especially the discoveries chart - he claims that the ASPO view is backdating discoveries to hide recent discoveries.)

The website looks like it has lots of useful information - but what is with the fonts? Is there some school of webpage design that aims for so many colours & charts that you have to keep one hand on the desk for orientation so you don't slide off your chair? Holy Smokes!

I like the line "This Summer Marks the 20th Consecutive Year of Failed Peak Peak Oil Predictions." I hate to say it, but he's correct there.

And he's a Canadian, so he's got that going for him.

Yeah, the formatting is awful. And that made me almost ignore him, but he seemed to be using actual data unlike Yergin.

And while he's right about every year being a failed peak oil year, that's meaningless. Unless there's something in particular in each of those failed predictions that is common in methodology with other peak oil predictions, they tell us nothing about those other predictions.

He used to comment here, but that was ages ago as measured in Internet time, so his views aren't actually new.

Now, to oversimplify: in principle the overall amount of oil available at a given moment is basically the gross amount in known oil fields (which will be less than it used to be in fields where some has been extracted), times the fraction one is able to extract with currently available technology. That is, it's a function of those two variables, both of which vary with time. (In the real world, there are also "above ground factors", considerable differences between individual oil fields, and so on.)

If I understand correctly, "backdating" means that when, say, new technology increases the fraction that can be extracted, one credits the newly available oil to the date the field was discovered, instead of to the date the technology became available. This produces an adjusted historical time series of available oil which teaches how the discovery process has been going, holding the state of technology constant, i.e. not mixing it in. The unadjusted time series, on the other hand, teaches how the mixture of discovery and technology has been going.

One can use either time series depending on what one is trying to learn or understand. But either way, not a single milliliter of oil is "hidden" - the oil currently available is a function of the currently known fields and currently known technology, which are identical for the current point in either series. Thus, one is simply obtaining two different views (or projections, in the geometrical sense) of the two-dimensional (discovery and technology) process, akin to front-view and diagonal-view drawings of an object.

Interesting - that's helpful. Basically the ASPO view is that a discovery is associated with the field intrinsically rather than we can be gotten from the field using the technology at a certain time.

Do you believe his projections have merit (i.e. supported by data about individual fields / regions / periods of time)? That peak all liquids might not happen until 2025, and that the decline rates for both conventional and unconventional will be very slow?

Until now I've been looking to both Skrebowski and Hirsch and their projections which both say that by 2015 we'll see the decline slope of all liquids (if I remember correctly). I'm just trying to reconcile what this guy is saying with what Skrebowski and Hirsch are saying.

I'm happy to see that this optimistic view allows us to do nothing until 2025, rather than all the pessimists eg TOD that are worried about 2015. Or 2005. That's three or four federal elections away. Looks like there's a good lineup of sports on TV...

Like others I have found always had difficulty dealing with Hutter's website - it is pretty close to unreadable to my eyes.

But at another level the whole concept of trying to predict the moment of peak is rather a waste of effort.

I was attracted to understand peak oil after reading Campbell's 1998 article in Scientific American. I never read it as an attempt to predict the moment of peak but instead as a general warning of the approaching peak.

What Campbell basically warned was that in about a decade the production growth rate of conventional oil would slow down an stop but that as soon as it was unable to keep up with demand there would be strong upward pressure on oil price which would have a profound effect on world economies.

So what actually happened? Within the decade the production rate of conventional oil slowed - could not keep up with demand - and as Westexas constantly points out - since 1998 the price of oil has gone through three doublings. Exactly what Campbell was trying to warn.

So when Hutter says peak oil has had nothing but failed predictions what in the world is he referring to. Apparently to his unreadable graphs. I am happy for him that he has a good hobby. But the reality is that peak oil is happening all around us. Producing colored graphs does not change that reality.

Whether its Hutter or Yergin - if they want to claim that peak oil is not real they need to adress those two facts - the production rate of conventional oil is not kepping up with demand and as a result the price of oil continues to go in the direction that Yergin denies. Instead both of them tries to change the subject - a common rhetorical trick.

Great explanation, thanks.

That, right there, sums it up. Well said!

It was a surprise today to see an email from Bob Ebersole in my inbox.

Apparently somebody hacked a former account of his. Looks it was sent to a number of other oldtime TOD posters as well.

Yeah, I got one yesterday and today.

Genetically Engineered Stomach Microbe Converts Seaweed into Ethanol:

Oh, this is perfect. A natural bacterium which lives within the human gut which produces alcohol. What if it could infect people and turn their "guts" into alcohol producers? Then, one could get intoxicated by eating! Or, would one thus infected become an alcoholic without actually drinking alcohol? No need to drink beer to get high! That might put the alcohol producers out of business! The down side would be that taking an antibiotic to treat another infection would produce cold turkey withdrawal as the e.coli died out too. Ain't science wunurful?..

E. Swanson

An analysis from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (pdf) suggests that the U.S. could supply 1 percent of its annual gasoline needs by growing such seaweed for harvest in slightly less than 1 percent of the nation's territorial waters.

So realistically we're looking at surrounding the U.S. with seaweed to replace their oil requirements? Thats a LOT of space! It'd probably be counter-productive harvesting it for that purpose as well.

Edit: Who'd want to get drunk on lettuce and seaweed anyway?!

Its a problem for places that have a 0% alcohol level drink drive laws. Some people have a non zero natural level of alcohol.


That's pretty funny.
Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive mother nature.
People would pay a lot for Perma-Drunk.

South Florida climate change plan attacked

"The plan contains 108 recommendations, including redesigning low-lying roads and moving drinking-water wells inland."

""Anyone of even modest intelligence should be able to see that it is nothing more than One-World, global, Socialist power grab to deny rights and exert control over everyone and everything on the entire planet under control of a so-called Intelligentsia or Power Elite,""

Florida is a fairly red state, and crazy to boot - they managed to elect Rick Scott, after all. There is a marked tendency to self-destruct. I remember the realtor's getting up in arms about a particular law that would prevent development within a certain distance of the water, really a very logical law in light of Florida getting regular hurricanes, as well as the seemingly little known fact that beaches MOVE. I remember because I was working as a realtor at the time. I couldn't see how it would be good business to support unsalable buildings that have no beachfront and/or serious structural issues from the ocean being too close, but there you have it. Still, a certain amount of common sense did manage to exert itself, despite all of that. When I think about it, actually more common sense than I see in Hawaii sometimes...

For example, mangroves. They are protected to a fairly good degree, and there are restoration efforts. There is a sense that Florida's natural environment has real value, despite all that's happened to it. There are people who don't like the idea of mangroves blocking their waterfront view (I have boundless contempt for them), but the laws are not on their side. Somehow, progress has been made.

So I suspect that what will happen is that some people will have a fit but some common sense will make it through. Despite the crazy talk.

In my day, it was "Better dead the red!". Ah, the power of re-branding.

From up top: Australia's LNG boom fizzles

Just a few years after it started, Australia's liquefied natural gas bonanza may be drawing to a close, throttled by swelling costs, tightening credit and mounting foreign competition to supply Asian buyers.

But the next two paragraphs:

New Australian projects have been getting approved at a furious pace, with six kicked off in the past 18 months. About $180 billion worth of LNG export projects are now being built, putting the country on track to quadruple its LNG exports by the end of the decade.

With the recent approval of the $34 billion Ichthys project, Australia should also overtake Qatar as the world's top exporter of LNG by around 2017, but the window of opportunity for the giant projects appears to be closing.

I think lots of countries would like that type of "fizzle".

C - Just a guess but the "fizzle" may be referring to the ultimate profitability of those investments. I have access to just some of the basic numbers. Depending on where the fields and the delivery points are it can cost between $3.50 and $5 per mcf of NG to compress, ship and decompress. So as long as the market stays above that level they can and will continue to do it. But that's only the profit from ongoing operations. IOW positive cash flow. But the companies still have to also recover those hundreds of $billions spent on the plants. And that appears to be the growing concern. Between growing supplies and perhaps a weakening global economy there are concerns over recovering those initial investments. If NG prices stay low (let alone go lower) for an extended period of time, some of those plants may never pay out even though the positive cash flow allows them to continue operating.

Just like wildcatting: I've drilled "successful" wells that were completed and produced oil/NG profitably but never recovered the full cost of the well. I've worked for a number of companies that drilled many wells that recovered the costs of wells and made a nice profit on them also. But some companies still went under because when you added in their overhead and dry hole they lost money over all.

Shipping LNG opens up markets in countries which have no land based sources of natural gas. Your comparison would apply to North America, but not Japan. Once the end users install the distribution system and begin to consume that LNG, there's a captive market for the LNG providers. That's not to say that other supplies of LNG would not enter that market, but all the competitors in that market would operate with approximately the same basic process of delivering the LNG to the captive market. The price of NG at the LNG plant would be added on top of that cost, which would result in differing supply costs for each LNG operator, which would impact some plant operators more than others, but the market would still be supplied. Until it wasn't, of course...

E. Swanson

Thanks Rock.

And in the one case I was quite close to - Conoco-Phillips' Wickham Point LNG plant in Darwin - they pre-sold all the 30-year output before they started the project. I assume they all do the same. And I am somewhat sceptical about the cost of labour being a huge negative issue for Australia - of the overall project costs, I would have thought the wage bill would not be that large a component.

Mind you - they do get well paid (and you would want to as well - some of these places are very isolated and very inhospitable indeed).

And I agree with Black Dog - countries such as Japan are "addicted" to energy arriving by boat, and presumably long-term prices will always reflect that.

Air Oil Sands: a new flight path in Alberta

As a new oil sands boom sweeps across northeastern Alberta, energy companies are turning to increasingly sophisticated air squadrons in an attempt to balance their relentless demand for workers with an urgent need to stave off soaring costs.

Call it Air Oil Sands. Industry giant Suncor Energy alone moves enough people that it would rank somewhere between Canada's 10th- and 12th-largest airline. Several oil sands companies operate fully functional airports, complete with baggage handlers, and have filled out employment rosters with pilots and mechanics. One airplane charter outfit engaged in oil sands work is bringing in new airplanes so fast it doesn't have time to paint them before they start flying workers.

Flying around personnel isn't cheap. It costs roughly $42,000 a year to air-commute a single person to the oil sands. But that cost has been justified by companies eager to find and retain skilled workers that often aren't interested in moving to Fort McMurray – or some of the hinterland operation sites that sit hours away. In fact, labour is already so expensive that it can be cheaper to fly a worker on a private jet directly to site than to swallow the additional hourly cost of having that worker fly on a commercial airline to Fort McMurray, then sit on a bus for several hours.

I'm looking at this from the perspective of a retired oil man who has spent a lot of hours flying around on jet aircraft and turboprops with folding seats, with a load of drill pipe taking up what otherwise would be the first-class compartment. You don't take the company plane because you enjoy luxury, you take it because it gets you to the oil field fast.

Enbridge undeterred by B.C. chiefs’ rebuke of Northern Gateway

“We stand together with all the other nations that are opposing [the Gateway project],” Gitxsan Chief Clifford Morgan said Wednesday in Vancouver, where he was attending a court hearing related to a blockade of the Gitxsan Treaty Society offices in Hazelton. “There would be too much destruction if an oil spill happened.”

The Gitxsan pact with Enbridge – unveiled in Vancouver on Dec. 2 by hereditary Chief Elmer Derrick – was challenged within hours of being announced and pushed simmering rifts within the community into the open.

The collapse of the agreement, confirmed Wednesday by Enbridge, came the same day that United States officials turned down TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL project. That pipeline would ship oil sands bitumen to Gulf Coast refineries and is strongly backed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

I see http://www.dieoff.org has gone...

Hey, lets kill another messenger. Don't worry, be happy!!!

E. Swanson

California awaits tar sands legal ruling
Air Resources Board is locked in court battle over Low Carbon Fuel Standard that would discourage tar sands oil use

A high-stakes legal battle is underway in California over whether the state's clean air agency can enforce a first-ever rule to slash carbon emissions in transportation fuels. The fight is being closely watched because the rule could choke global market demand for Alberta's carbon-intensive oil sands at a very precarious time for the industry.

The state's influential Air Resources Board, or CARB, adopted the Low Carbon Fuel Standard in 2009 as part of its landmark global warming law. The agency was supposed to begin enforcing the rule on Jan. 1, 2012. But oil companies, which say it unfairly penalizes high-carbon fuels like oil sands crude, have fought furiously to kill the standard. And on Dec. 29, a federal judge in Fresno, Calif., handed them a victory by ruling that CARB can't enforce the measure until an outstanding lawsuit by the oil industry and ethanol advocates is resolved in 2013.

The judge, Lawrence J. O'Neill, a Pres. George W. Bush appointee, said the rule unconstitutionally discriminates against out-of-state fuel sources and regulates commercial activity outside California's borders.

A week later, CARB appealed O'Neill's decision and asked a federal court in San Francisco to reverse it.

Now the real problem here is that California assumes that it can choose the kind of oil it can import, and that its own domestic heavy oil (of which it produces a lot) is intrinsically better than Alberta oil sands oil, which it isn't. It's all extremely thick and tar-like. I probably should mention the La Brea Tar Pits , for people who don't know what I'm talking about. This is the sort of oil that California has a lot of.

The import restrictions don't really matter a lot to Canada, other than the optics of them, because if Canadian oil can be put on a tanker and shipped to California, the tanker can also be sent to China, which isn't nearly as finicky. However, it does matter to US refiners, which are going bankrupt paying excessively high prices for the kind of oil that California likes to believe its consumers can afford.