Drumbeat: March 14, 2012

IEA Predicts Bumpy Ride for Oil Amid Non-OPEC Supply Cuts

The International Energy Agency cut forecasts for oil supplies from outside OPEC this year because of lower exports from Sudan and Syria, cautioning that reduced spare output capacity raises the risk of a price surge.

Producers not in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will provide 53.5 million barrels a day this year, or 200,000 a day less than the IEA forecast last month. The agency kept estimates for global oil demand in 2012 unchanged, predicting fuel use will remain “stunted” by the economic slowdown and higher prices. Disappointing non-OPEC output will make the market more reliant on a “slim buffer” of spare production capacity from a few OPEC nations, the IEA said.

Oil Declines on Forecast U.S. Supply Rose to 6-Month High

Oil fell in New York on forecasts that stockpiles rose to the highest level in six months in the U.S., the world’s largest crude consumer.

Futures declined as much as 0.4 percent before an Energy Department report today that will show crude supplies climbed last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Stockpiles increased by 2.8 million barrels to 349.3 million, according a report yesterday from the American Petroleum Institute.

Poll Shows Public Supports Obama on Gas Prices

More Americans trust President Obama than congressional Republicans to make the right decisions to bring down the price of gasoline, according to a new poll, although neither side commands a majority.

What’s more, as prices continue to rise and the specter of $5-per-gallon gas for the summer driving season looms over the political landscape, the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll shows the public slightly more supportive of the energy priorities of the Democrats and the president than those of the GOP.

Big Brother and the Oil Company

In the midst of an election year, tied to a flurry of headlines about high prices for gasoline, there have been a lot of questions about the value and significance of government subsidies for the oil and gas industry. On a global scale, a closer look at the role of government subsidies reveals that they can be very much to blame for high oil prices.

An Inconvenient Statement, Retracted

Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday walked away from his oft-quoted pre-Cabinet statement that the United States should deliberately raise gasoline prices to discourage consumption.

Delta Joins Southwest in Forecasting Cuts as Fuel Surges

elta Air Lines Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. curbed their first-quarter forecasts today as surging fuel costs erode profit at U.S. carriers.

The discount carrier now projects a loss in the three months through March, compared with earnings of 3.5 cents a share that analysts estimated previously, while Atlanta-based Delta predicted lower profitability

Natural Gas at 10-year lows as diesel hits retail records in Europe

Whatever happened to fuel switching between natural gas and diesel? The switch from diesel to natural gas is one of the biggest types of fuel switching in transport. You see this with all the buses now running natural gas instead of diesel. Other companies with fleets of cars and trucks are making the switch too. So, peak oil or not, you know something is not right when diesel fuel is hitting record highs across Europe and Gasoline is edging toward $4.00 a gallon in the US while natural gas prices are at 10-year lows.

Opec worries over high prices

KUWAIT CITY // Fears are growing among Opec nations that they might not be able to keep oil prices under control as concerns mount over a stand-off between Iran and the West.

Saudi Assurances on Ample Oil Supply

The U.S. has received assurances from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait that they would raise oil production to help offset the effect of economic sanctions on Iranian exports, according to participants in discussions between the U.S. and oil-producing countries.

Saudi oil minister vows to cover future shortfall

"Ultimately, volatility is caused by speculation in the marketplace, based on a conjecture over tighter supply-demand balances in the future, and increased interest in energy commodities as an asset class for financial investors," he said.

"It is this emphasis on 'paper barrels', rather than actual cargos, which creates problems," he added.

Naimi acknowledged that other factors have an impact on prices, namely "misinformation about peak oil, unsubstantiated concerns about production capacity," as well as "global events" and the "often sensational reporting of such events."

Petrobras faces growing fuel deficits - report

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras will have to make up for a shortfall in local refining capacity by importing ever larger amounts of diesel and gasoline, while new refining capacity suffers delays, a local paper reported Wednesday.

Paulo Roberto Costa, Petrobras' supply director, told the Valor Economico newspaper that the company expects to import 80,000 barrels of gasoline and 160,000 barrels of diesel a day in 2012.

Anadarko Spending

Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the largest U.S. independent oil and natural-gas producer by market value, plans to boost spending as much as 13 percent as it taps onshore crude reservoirs and pushes ahead on African projects.

Most Americans Would Back US Strike Over Iran: Poll

A majority of Americans would support U.S. military action against Iran if there were evidence that Tehran is building nuclear weapons, even if such action led to higher gasoline prices, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.

Sanctions begin to hit Iran oil shipments

Iran is feeling the squeeze on its oil exports ahead of the full implementation of EU sanctions as shipping companies are unable to insure tankers lifting crude out of the Islamic republic.

Exports to the EU have already been reduced to a trickle and overall exports have fallen as the state-owned Iranian shipping company struggles to replace the foreign tanker fleet.

Iran’s Crude Oil Exports to Fall 50% on Embargo, IEA Says

Iran’s oil exports will probably decline by 50 percent when European sanctions take full effect in July, the International Energy Agency said.

Iran Oil Power Declining as Explorers Increase Spending

The Iran-driven run in oil prices to the highest since 2008 masks the Middle East producer’s diminishing importance to global oil supplies as record spending on drilling unearths reserves from Argentina to Angola.

Gazprom Trips in India as Shale Upends Asia Gas Markets

OAO Gazprom, the world’s largest natural-gas exporter, is struggling to get a foothold in the Asian markets leading global economic growth.

The Russian company’s plan to supply liquefied natural gas to India from 2016, the year the U.S. is set to start gas exports, is faltering after buyers said they’re looking for cheaper fuel from North America. Last year, decade-long talks to supply pipeline gas to China foundered over price disagreements.

Why the Great Shale Rush in the Eagle Ford may be over sooner than you think

But while it borders on the heretical to say it aloud, judging from very recent shale plays elsewhere in the country — like the Marcellus, the Barnett, the Fayetteville — ours may not go down as the century of natural gas, after all. Critics contend the promise of decades-long growth doesn't match what's been seen elsewhere, that the eventual Eagle Ford bust could come sooner than industry promises suggest — though some lucky landowners, local governments, and oil and gas companies flipping mineral leases will still be all the richer for it.

High oil prices: Fortunately and unfortunately

High oil prices are changing our world in many ways; some for the good, and some for the worse.

George W. Bush Says Keystone XL Pipeline a ‘No-Brainer’

TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from landlocked Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast, is a “no-brainer” that would create jobs and bolster the economy, former President George W. Bush said.

Study Warns of Economic Damage in a Keystone Spill

A report released on Tuesday by Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute concludes that the economic damage caused by potential spills from the Keystone XL pipeline could far outweigh the benefits of jobs created by the project.

Sabine Pass natural gas plant, the next 'Keystone'

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- At the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico along the Texas-Louisiana border, Cheniere Energy could be just weeks away from breaking ground on the first natural gas exporting facility ever built in the lower 48 states.

It's also where a new fight with echoes of the Keystone pipeline is building, pitting economic development against environmental protection.

Kunstler Brings Energy Message To UVM

Let's talk about our energy future. We've already reached the age of peak oil and fossil fuels are too dangerous for the environment anyway. Gas from shale oil in Canada? Far more pricey to extract than the industry would have you believe. OK, renewable energies-wind and solar-that's the wave of the energy future. Not a chance. Those technologies can't possibly power a country that hungers for consumption the way America does.

That's what James Howard Kunstler believes, and he really doesn't care if you disagree.

Toward Energy Literacy: Our "Peak Oil" Reality

"Energy literacy" and "peak oil literacy" should be requirements for pundits – and for citizens more generally. I've followed these issues for many years now, and the poor energy knowledge among even the chattering classes and punditry still amazes me.

A recent MSNBC show allowed a guest to state, without challenge, that U.S. oil production is now at an all-time high. No one, including the host and three other guests, objected to this statement. Many articles in various media outlets are now trumpeting the new “oil boom” in the U.S.

The E-Cat Horror

Some of the cheap effects of the movie were easy for everybody to detect. Just think of the gas heater used to warm the factory when the nuclear reactor was supposed to do the job alone. Nevertheless, the interest in the movie never waned: with plenty of twists in the plot, evil characters, monsters, conspiracies, mysteries, the military, secret services, and more.

Still, even a good horror movie must end at some moment: after a couple of hours, you go home and you forget about zombies and vampires. So, the E-Cat movie arrived to a close, with recent events leading to the final showdown. The villain has confessed his crime, the secret has been revealed. Is it the end of the E-Cat horror?

EON Profit Declines on Nuclear Plant Closures, Weak Demand

EON AG, Germany’s largest utility, said 2011 profit slumped 50 percent because of nuclear reactor closures and lower earnings from its power generation and wholesale gas business.

Nuclear Agency Head Calls for New Standards

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission needs to rewrite its standards to address what it considers “high consequence” events in view of last year’s nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, the commission’s director said Tuesday.

Japan Seeks Restart of Fukui Prefecture Reactors, Yomiuri Says

The Japanese government will ask officials of Fukui prefecture, western Japan, to allow Kansai Electric Power Co. to restart the No. 3 and 4 reactors at its Oi nuclear plant, the Yomiuri newspaper said.

Detroit ready for a fuel efficient future

With a bevy of new vehicles packed with fuel efficient technology in the pipeline, American automakers are more poised than ever to meet growing demand for better gas mileage.

U.S. solar and wind industries expand

Despite last year's bankruptcies of several solar manufacturers, including government-backed Solyndra, the U.S. solar and wind industries continue to expand in the face of obstacles this year.

New Solar Panels Blossomed Despite a Tough Year for the Industry

Last year seemed like a dark one for the solar industry: stiff competition from China drove American manufacturers to layoffs and even bankruptcy, while the low price of natural gas and the loss of a critical government subsidy weakened incentives for new solar developments. And then there was the long shadow of Solyndra, whose bankruptcy after receiving federal loans cast a pall over other green-energy endeavors.

And yet, by the numbers, 2011 was a banner year for all those sparkling blue modules, according to a report published on Wednesday by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research. About 1,855 megawatts of new photovoltaic capacity was installed, more than double the 887 megawatts of the year before. The number of large-scale installations grew as well, to 28 from just 2 in 2009.

Solar Silicon Price Drop Brings Renewable Power Closer

As nations install more solar-generated electricity, it becomes less expensive to produce. In several countries, the learning curve has already led to prices competitive with conventional power.

Enel Targets Renewables, Latin America to Counter Italian Slump

Enel SpA, Italy’s largest utility, will steer investments into Latin America and renewable energy as recession damps electricity demand in its biggest market.

“Growth has to come from renewables and from Latin America, as well as Eastern Europe and Russia,” Luigi Ferraris, chief financial Officer, said in an interview in London. Enel, based in Rome, is planning to add about 4.5 gigawatts of renewable capacity to 2016 through its Enel Green Power unit, he said.

Eon to Cut Costs of Building Offshore Wind Farms 40% by 2015

EON AG, Germany’s biggest utility, expects to cut costs for building offshore wind farms 40 percent by 2015, Chief Executive Officer Johannes Teyssen said.

Doomsday Has Its Day in the Sun

Last month the National Geographic Channel introduced “Doomsday Preppers,” a Tuesday-night reality series about people who are stockpiling, arming and otherwise preparing for some kind of apocalypse. Last week it was the Discovery Channel’s turn. Its new “Doomsday Bunkers,” on Wednesday nights, is about Deep Earth Bunker, a company that builds underground getaways for the types of people seen in “Doomsday Preppers.”

My doomsday tab: $130K on bunkers, guns and more

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The cost of preparing for doomsday isn't cheap.

First you have to stock up on the appropriate gear, ammunition, food and shelter to survive a nuclear meltdown, asteroid, earthquake, solar flare or some other catastrophe. Then there's acquiring the materials you'll need to rebuild a community after the dust settles.

The bottom line: Some self-described "preppers" are plunking down hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Fertility Implosion

When you look at pictures from the Arab spring, you see these gigantic crowds of young men, and it confirms the impression that the Muslim Middle East has a gigantic youth bulge — hundreds of millions of young people with little to do. But that view is becoming obsolete. As Nicholas Eberstadt and Apoorva Shah of the American Enterprise Institute point out, over the past three decades, the Arab world has undergone a little noticed demographic implosion. Arab adults are having many fewer kids.

Usually, high religious observance and low income go along with high birthrates. But, according to the United States Census Bureau, Iran now has a similar birth rate to New England — which is the least fertile region in the U.S.

Sierra Club Spurns $30 Million Gift After Fracking Turns Toxic

Environmental and health groups are calling for tougher U.S. regulation of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, turning on a one-time donor to their causes: Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Vietnam May Give Tax Preference to Businesses Conserving Energy

Vietnam’s finance ministry will ask Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to give “some tax preference” to businesses that have energy conservation plans or use so- called green energy.

Seattle Gets the Street View on the Quality of Its Lights

SEATTLE — This city has a noble notion of itself at the leading edge. Its jets, coffee, computers, environmental activism and philanthropy have all been celebrated for remaking the globe.

Now Seattle wants to change not just the world but its light bulbs, too.

Water Pollution Rises From Farms, Costing Billions

Water pollution from agriculture is costing billions of dollars a year in developed countries and is expected to increase in China and India as farmers race to increase food production, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said.

Team Tracks a Food Supply at the End of the World

Dr. Bernard and her team, known at Palmer as “The Psycho Krillers,” are studying the feeding patterns of Antarctic krill, the small, bug-eyed shrimplike crustaceans that are the central diet for whales, penguins, seals and seabirds. She is one of a growing number of scientists concerned about the effects of a kind of gold rush, as fishing companies race to the Southern Ocean to catch krill and turn it into animal feed and lucrative omega-3 dietary supplements.

Global warming skepticism climbs during tough economic times

STORRS, Conn. – The American public's growing skepticism in recent years about the existence of man-made global warming is rooted in apprehension about the troubled economy, a University of Connecticut study suggests.

A Reminder That Science Can Override Pressure

The recent death of F. Sherwood Rowland, who, working in 1974 with Mario Molina, discovered that the ozone layer was endangered by a lucrative class of chemicals, is a reminder of the perennial determination of industries to undermine scientific findings that could cost them money or markets.

Australia to become hotter, drier

SYDNEY: Australia's climate is warming at an alarming rate and is set to become drier despite recent record floods, scientists said Wednesday in a report that warns of increased drought and fiercer storms.

Neighbours vital to carbon efforts

AUSTRALIA could get more out of its carbon pricing scheme by focusing its emissions trading efforts on neighbours such as Indonesia rather than Europe, according to a leading climate think tank.

World entering a 'third era' in efforts to deal with climate change - expert

After 20 years dominated by inaction on climate change, the world is entering a “third era” when the impacts of climate change are unavoidable, says a London climate expert.

Rising Sea Levels Seen as Threat to Coastal U.S.

About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research.

If the pace of the rise accelerates as much as expected, researchers found, coastal flooding at levels that were once exceedingly rare could become an every-few-years occurrence by the middle of this century.

By far the most vulnerable state is Florida, the new analysis found, with roughly half of the nation’s at-risk population living near the coast on the porous, low-lying limestone shelf that constitutes much of that state. But Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey are also particularly vulnerable, researchers found, and virtually the entire American coastline is at some degree of risk.


Residents of North County beach communities are concerned by reports of high radiation readings near the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). But an expert questions the accuracy of the readings.
Japanese visitors from Fukushima – who participated in an anti-nuclear rally on March 11 – reported high Geiger counter readings on the San Clemente beach.

Glad the expert questions the readings - so now lets have an open process of gathering readings via certified methods and have ongoing reporting on the process.

Yea! My hometown making it to the maps. San Clemente isn't North County by any stretch though. We are the southernmost city in Orange County.

The report is from KPBS at San Diego State. The reference is to North San Diego County. San Onofre is south of San Clemente, it's actually in San Diego County. San Diego and South Orange County are going to have a fun summer if one or both of the San Onofre units isn't on for summer peaks.

IEA Predicts Bumpy Ride for Oil Amid Non-OPEC Supply Cuts

So it looks like the IEA is predicting another year of flat production for non-OPEC. An since OPEC has no spare capacity, this year will be the seventh year of the oil production plateau. No wonder prices have been going up.

Wonder what's in store for 2013?

I think Deffeyes wrote something about oil in the future only costing $80 but no one being able to afford it. I would not be shocked if we see (as others have suggested) some 2008 style price swings this year or next.

When we come off the plateau things will get really interesting. Sadly I doubt it will be voluntary conservation/efficiency that brings us off the plateau, singing like the von Trapps. My guess is that it will look something like this:


I do not believe non-OPEC production will be flat this year. The EIA says non-OPEC production dropped by 1 million barrels per day over January and February:

Last week a U.S. Energy Information Administration report on sanctions on Iran said outages in Yemen, Syria and the North Sea have tightened oil markets over the last two months.

On Tuesday, the agency said several outages in countries that are not members of OPEC have intensified over the last two months, leading to an average of about 1 million barrels per day off-line in February.

Only about half that drop was due political problems in Sudan, Yemen and Syria. The rest is just natural decline. Though the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook is predicting non-OPEC all liquids to be up .77 mb/d this year, they are usually way too high in their estimates. I believe that by the end of the year non-OPEC C+C will be down by over one million barrels per day from 2011. And that is assuming production will be flat from February through the rest of the year.

Of course predictions are usually off and that includes mine as well as the EIA's. But I would bet money that mine are a lot closer than the EIA's.

Ron P.

On the Rossi link - low energy photons in the energy range of 50 to 100keV.

I'm game - what does THAT mean? some kind of arcing? Or some other physics effect? Heated with a lightbulb?

What does it mean?

Florida Bureau: Rossi Has No Factory, No Nuclear Reactions

Andrea Rossi, the inventor of the Energy Catalyzer, told an inspector from the Florida Bureau of Radiation Control that he has no factory in the United States and that no nuclear reactions occur in his devices.

Rossi’s statements contradict nearly everything he has said in the last year about his claims of a factory and his development of a low-energy nuclear reaction device.

Rossi told the bureau that his device produces thermal energy of six times the electrical energy input. However, for the last several years, Rossi claimed nuclear reactions occur in his device.

Jim Stokes, an inspector with the bureau, interviewed Rossi in Rossi’s Miami apartment on Feb. 29, 2012. Here is the concluding text from his report:

“I spoke with [Mr.] Rossi concerning the construction and operation of his E-Cat device. He stated the active ingredients are powdered nickel and a tablet containing a compound which releases hydrogen gas during the process. [Rossi states that] the output thermal energy is six times the electrical energy input. He acknowledged that no nuclear reactions occur during the process and that only low-energy photons in the energy range of 50 to 100 KeV occur within the device. There are no radiation readings above background when the device is in operation. Since the device is not a reactor, the [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] does not have jurisdiction. Since there [are] no radioactive materials used in the construction and no radioactive waste generated by it, the state of Florida Bureau of Radiation Control has no jurisdiction.

What a surprise! He lied about all the results! Who would have thunk?!!

Of course, it was either 'fess up or go to jail, because nobody can operate a nuclear reactor without a permit, and that may have affected the experimental results.

only low-energy photons in the energy range of 50 to 100 KeV occur within the device

Quite the range. Ultraviolet through gamma rays. Low energy photons? And high energy would be what?

Many x-ray procedures are performed at 50 to 100 peak KV. Mammography is much lower (very soft x-rays). Moderately higher peak KV is used for chest radiography and CAT scans. An example of a high energy photon would be the 800 keV gamma emitted by radium. At this level photons are barely attenuated by a lead apron.

That would still be dangerous X-rays. But it is a bizarre range, too high for chemical reactions. Presumably that range was just low enough to get out of the NRC crosshairs. Sounds like he still alludes to a magic energy excess. Maybe he's using pixie dust to tap into zero-point energy?

Rocky, he is actually consistent. The only white lie here is his calling 100,000eV photon "low energy". He does this to avoid government regulation. Why the Florida regulators would agree is impossible to understand. They regulate dentists x-ray machines that emit 25,000 to 50,000eV photons.

In fact if he does have 100,000eV photon coming out he does have some sort of nuclear effect.

But he has never let anybody test his machine. Also the Greek company Defkalion has shutdown their testing program. I can not tell if they are frauds or bad engineers or someone made them an offer the could not refuse.

I image the offer goes like this: "You guys thought you were all going to be millionaires. Good news you are now all millionaires. We are passing out the bank checks now. You will never again speak about cold fusion. If you do, you, and your family, will be killed."

Eric, first let me say Rossi is one of my least favorite people in the LENR (low energy nuclear reaction), cold fusion, area.

50,000eV to 100,000eV is hard x-rays They penetrate human flesh. If you are exposed to enough of them you die. Rossi wants to avoid government involvement so he says no radiation here, you have no jurisdiction. I assume the Florida radiation safety folk regulate dentists x-ray machines. This would be in the same category.

If these x-rays do exist they are due to a fast moving charged particle that hits another particle and slows down rapidly emitting a photon of 50-200KeV energy. This would have to be a nuclear process because the most energetic k-shell (atomic) x-rays have energies lower than this.

Rossi is one of my least favorite people in the LENR (low energy nuclear reaction), cold fusion, area.

Rossi's past means that instead of answering 'what is going on with that photon energy range' posts of 'see he's a liar' are the reaction.

The illusion to 'no dangerous emissions' from his device doesn't square with 1KeV.

And if the regulators decide it is OK to allow 1KeV device - are they doing their job?

Rossi is just saying what he needs to say to keep the Florida Bureau of Radiation Control from knocking down his front door with a search warrant in hand. That, I'm sure, would be a bad experience for him and it could happen if he gave the wrong answers.

Whether he is telling the truth or not is a different issue. I doubt the Florida Bureau of Radiation Control actually believes anything he says, but as long as he is not operating a nuclear reactor and producing gamma rays, they don't have to act on the matter.

It's really a matter for the civil fraud investigators, but since the current governor of Florida was CEO of a company that was convicted of 14 counts of felony fraud by the federal government in the largest fraud case in US history, I wouldn't expect it would be a priority for the state government. Fraud is kind of a way of life in Florida.

In reality he is probably operating a chemical reactor that doesn't produce any medium to high-energy radiation at all.


I've been banned from the Facebook group TheGasIsTooDamnHigh for posting links from Energy Bulletin.
And now all my comments have been removed. The group's organizer DOes Not Want the truth about the oil crunch mentioned on his patch.

This is clearly an astroturf effort to bring more defamation against President Obama regarding oil prices.

If you feel like making their guy work harder at censorship, you might eant to log in there and post your own lins.

They are claiming they are a non profit.

The US has laws about non profit status and Facebook has rules about who gets non profit status.

See if the group even qualifies for that status on Facebook. If not, see about getting 'em shut down.

They seem to be tied to:
No review of them is on Guidestar. Sign up to Guidestar and report on them deleting your corrections to their education. Send a letter to the IRS if ya feel like it.
Look over their IRS reporting.

I posted there twice but the posts only lasted a minute or so

I would not be surprised if it was some kind of astroturf social-media manipulation funded by the fossil-fuel industry through some PR firm. Yesterday, while reading an article on the top-10 historical volcano explosions, I noticed the comments section following the article had three identical posts under three different usernames, each with a different picture, trying to twist the article as some kind of refutation of anthropogenic global warming. A pretty obvious attempt at manipulation of the public discourse, and again I would not be surprised if this goes on on a routine, 24/7 basis.

Then start making complaints to Guidestar and the IRS. If the original charter of "Bill of Rights" institute is 'education about the Constitution' how is sponsoring a gas price page dealing with that?

If this really offends you, you have avenues outside of Facebook to investigate.

(Look at the Kony thing - people are digging up the non-profit behind it. )

When Obama sent US special forces to set up a base in Uganda last October, it was just a matter of time before the propaganda blitz started. It follows like clockwork, along with the celebrity endorsements. The Lord's Resistance Army are on their last legs anyway. I wonder what the real agenda is? Probably something to do with China.

Last thing I heard about LRA they were stealing clothes from drying cords. They are realy that desperate.

It's project of "Generation Opportunity", a big astroturf outfit set up by some leftovers from the Bush Labor Department -


Ha - maybe they've given up on rational responses or are lagging behind in their deletions. I've posted a few things, including links to TOD and Alternet, and they've stayed overnight ... these draw mostly ridiculous responses, but there seems to be quite an influx of people in the know "liking" these and posting their own as well. Go TODers!

"George W. Bush Says Keystone XL Pipeline a ‘No-Brainer’"

Funny, that's how I feel about him. Zing!

Darn, beat me and everyone else to that one!

I admit, I couldn't read that headline without thinking: "Well, he should know..."

As someone who actually tries to use his brain once in awhile, however, I can't see how building a pipeline that allows Canada to move oil to the Gulf Coast helps the US in any way. Someone please enlighten me, but my cynical view is that the current oil glut in Cushing benefits the US much more that giving Canadian's better access to the world market would. Are we hanging our hats on a few temporary pipeline construction jobs as a panacea? I can totally understand what Canada would get out of the deal, but what does the USA really get out of Keystone XL?

Are you really saying that the prevention of a pipeline from Canada to the GOM is a good thing to support? That the best way to sustain low pries is to prevent development? Such an approach hasn't worked for 200 years (at east since the Luddites) - why do you think such an approach would work now?

I really don't care much either way if the pipeline gets built or not... I don't have any skin in the game, and I don't live near Cushing where I would possibly currently be benefiting from cheaper oil there. I just don't see how building a pipeline will make one iota of difference except to allow Canadian producers to make more money, and Cushing refiners to make less.

As for the Luddites, pipelines aren't like mechanized looms, they aren't production equiptment at all. A new pipeline will allow oil from Point A, to get past Point B, and on to Point C where it can then be shipped worldwide. There isn't any new production that will occur if Keystone XL is built, it will only shift where the refining and distribution occurs, therefore the Luddite reference is not relevant. Since no new oil production will occur, the cliche to use about building a new pipeline is more "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic" than "luddite".

There is new additional production that will get to market in the US if Keystone XL built - it is new Canadian oil sands production. If the pipeline is not built, the oil might well go to China and India rather than the US. The Chinese actually own quite a lot of the Canadian oil sands production, having bought billions in oil sands assets in recent years, and the Canadian government has been cozying up to the Chinese lately because the politicians can see the economic benefits of having an alternative market to the US - they can play the two consuming countries off against each other.

The Gulf Coast refineries are built to handle Mexican and Venezuelan heavy oil, and exports from both Mexico and Venezuela have been falling in recent years. Mexican production has fallen off a cliff because of the collapse of its supergiant Cantarell field, and Venezuelan production because of political problems. Both countries starve their oil industry of capital, and both are consuming excessive amounts of their own oil. Mexico, in particular is likely to become a net oil importer in a few years.

Canadian oil sands production is a reasonable replacement for heavy oil from both those countries, and is available in increasing quantities at lower prices.

If one takes the commonly used definition of Luddite: An individual who is against technological change.

Then anyone who resists technological change away from BAU and the old world order with all its oil based technology might be called a Luddite. Certainly supporting the pipeline is a continuation of technology that is at the very least a symbol of the old technological paradigm.

Rune - It's not so much how moving the Canadian oil to the Gulf Coast "helps the US" but which region of the US will it help. Currently the lowest priced fuel in the US is in the areas where the Canadian oil is bottlenecked. Right now I'm selling my oil to La. refiners for over $20 more than the Canadians are getting at Cushing. The local consumers in the region aren't getting the full benefit of the differential but are paying somewhat less than other areas. Obviously if the Canadian oil makes it to the GC there will be pressure on the price support I get now. How much remains to be seen but I have no doubt my price will decrease. Likewise if the bottleneck at Cushing is opened up midcontinent consumer prices should rise. So as a national average will prices rise or fall? I wouldn't guess. But competition tends to rule the fuel market. And higher fuel prices do curtail demand and lower sales volumes do put pressure on sellers to lower prices.

Despite all the finger pointing about who's the cause for higher fuel prices there was an interesting report on NPR this morning re: California fuel prices: in the last 4 weeks whole sale gasoline prices fell $0.50 a gallon. Some, if not most, of that reduction will likely be seen at the pump IMHO. No explanation was offered but I'm certain it was a result of an imbalance between supply and demand. Any fuel seller wants the max profit per gallon but at the end of the day it's still about volume: selling more fuel at a lower price generates a larger cash flow. And cash flow throughout all the segments of the oil patch is KING.

Rock, I think LA spot price was down $0.05 not $0.50.

EIA Los Angeles RBOB Spot Prices

gog - Nope. They may have misspoke but they clearly said whole sale prices had dropped $0.50/gal since 17 Feb. That seems much too big to not have made national news but they were talking wholesale and not pump prices.

I'd phrase it that the Canadians (any any local producers) are making less money selling in Cushing, rather than you are making more money selling in Louisiana. Semantics? Maybe, but look at it this way... The oil being sold in La. is much more aligned with the prices being paid for oil all over the world. If the Canadian oil could get by the roadblock in Cushing, I think the price for WTI would go up dramatically, whereas the La. market would pretty much shrug it off with a minor adjustment. Currently, there are a lot of folks like yourself making an extra effort to get their oil to La to capture the price differential. Post-pipeline, there is no long a reason for you or anyone to make that extra effort because the prices would essentially be the same. WTI is artifically low, whereas La. is basically the world market price and not artificially high.

Rune - I don't think we disagree on terminology. I thinkwe're both saying the same thing.

OTOH: "whereas the La. market would pretty much shrug it off with a minor adjustment". No way amigo. I know the oil buyers. They can't wait to cut their bids for our oil when the Canadian grease shows up down here. The ones I know don't hesitate to point out they are more than ready to cut our throats over prices when it happens. They usually make that point right after I make them pay for lunch. Nothing personal...just business. LOL. Remeber we oil producers don't set the price of oil...the buyers do. Our only option we have is to sell at their posted prices or let the oil sit in out tanks and kill cash flow. Now if the Canadians decide to not take the posting prices of the Gulf Coast refiners then LLS won't drop muchin price. OTOH they aren't expanding the pipeline system in order to not sell more oil down here.

While a MSM (Reuters/Ipsos )[supported by MIC advertising] poll says ...

Most Americans Would Back US Strike over Iran: Poll (from drumbeat above)

...an independent poll says …

American public opposes Israel striking Iran: poll

Only one in four Americans favors Israel conducting a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, finds a new University of Maryland poll. Nearly seven in ten (69 percent) favor the United States and other major powers continuing to pursue negotiations with Iran, a position supported by majorities of Republicans (58 percent), Democrats (79 percent) and Independents (67 percent).

“Interestingly, these results are barely different from the view of Israelis who were asked the same question in a February poll I conducted there,” adds poll co-director …

… mustn’t let the sheeple think on their own. They might choose peace – and we all know we can’t have that.

’Cry havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war

One is asking whether Israel should strike Iran's nuclear program, the other is asking whether the US (or Israel) should strike Iran's nuclear program if there were evidence Iran was building nuclear weapons. The difference between the polls is whether the strike should be done now or done if evidence about building nukes comes to light.

Polling results are known to be pretty sensitive to the details of the question (or of other questions on the same poll). So stating if we find they have a bomb kind of prejudices the response.

The survey is worthless anyway. Sure people claim they would support military action "even if such action led to higher gasoline prices", but I bet if you phrased the question more like this...

"Would you be willing to support military action against Iran if there were evidence that Tehran was building nuclear weapons even if it meant that you would have to pay $10 a gallon (or more) for gas?"

I bet the poll would turn out a little bit differently.

Another poll ... More than half of Americans doubt US global leadership in 2020

More than half of likely voters doubt that the United States will be the No. 1 world leader in science, technology and health care by the year 2020, according to a new national public opinion poll commissioned by Research!America. The findings reveal deep concerns among Americans about the country's ability to maintain its world-class status in innovation, research and development before the next decade.

Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one

A collaboration between researchers at three universities in Sweden – Lund University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Karolinska Institutet – has produced findings that could be a step towards solving the problems of both bee deaths and antibiotic resistance.

The stomachs of wild honey bees are full of healthy lactic acid bacteria that can fight bacterial infections in both bees and humans.

... The present study also shows that bees' healthy bacteria die when beekeepers treat bees preventively with antibiotics, which primarily happens in the USA. The bees have their own defence system against disease in the form of cooperative healthy bacteria. However, this system is weakened in commercially farmed bees that are treated with antibiotics, suffer stress, eat synthetic food instead of their own honey and bee bread and are forced to fly in fields sprayed with pesticides.

The beatings will continue until morale improves...

Corn insecticide linked to great die-off of beneficial honeybees

New research has linked springtime die-offs of honeybees critical for pollinating food crops — part of the mysterious malady called colony collapse disorder — with technology for planting corn coated with insecticides. The study, published in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology, appears on the eve of spring planting seasons in some parts of Europe where farmers use the technology and widespread deaths of honeybees have occurred in the past.

To bad no body warned that pesticides was toxic to the enviornment, or this could have been avoided.

What, you'll have health warnings on ammunition next!
"Warning, bullets may cause harm!"

One of my favorite bumper stickers...

"Guns don't kill people

Bullets kill people"

For those who are as bad as I am on detecting sarcasm: This was.


"We flash forward 50 years and we see the only elements of China society getting food that is reliable, safe and free of contaminants are those cadres who have access to the special food supply," said Phelim Kine of the Hong Kong office of Human Rights Watch.

See? Leadership by example.

Preparing for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism

What would happen if a 10 kiloton nuclear explosive were detonated in downtown Washington, DC at the intersection of 16th and K Streets NW?

That question is posed by a recent study (large pdf) performed for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It assesses the impact of a nuclear terrorism incident in the nation’s capital and seeks to derive the appropriate lessons for emergency response planning purposes.

Study: http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dhs/fema/ncr.pdf

The magnitude of a terrorist attack involving an IND will overwhelm all response resources. Make use of citizen volunteers. Life safety will depend on citizen-run triage sites, litter bearers, and evacuation route clearing.

... Figure 61 shows the first year relocation area (in orange) that includes 1.5 million residents. After the first few months many residents can return, although extensive clean up may be required to restore public confidence and reduce long term exposures in the area.

More to the point, what would happen if a 10kT nuclear weapon was detonated 10 miles ABOVE Washington DC?

Starfish Prime is why I can see the US and Israel being paranoid about a nuclear Iran, with ballistic missiles capable of putting a small bomb into low earth orbit.

Starfish prime was a 1.4 megaton hydrogen bomb, 140 times more powerful than a 10 kiloton atomic bomb, so I wouldn't build that Faraday cage-shielded bunker just yet. I'd judge that hydrogen bombs are likely out of the reach of North Korea and Iran, based on the technical prowess they've exhibited thus far.

Does anyone know if the national labs can trace a bomb's origins from the fallout? Say, by trace metal impurities and/or isotope ratios in the plutonium? I've suspected that might be possible. If it's doable, it's a powerful deterrent to nuclear terrorism - just point out to a country's leadership that if they give a nuclear weapon to terrorist group, it'll still have their chemical return address on it.

Not only was it 140 times larger but it was detonated 248 miles up. [part of Operation Dominic]

Does anyone know if the national labs can trace a bomb's origins from the fallout?

Yes, No, Maybe ...

Nuclear Forensics: Role, State of the Art, Program Needs

... Nuclear forensics relies on physical, isotopic and chemical analysis of radioactive and sometimes microscopic quantities of materials, including impurities and such things as crystal structures and surface finishes where available. Facilities for such analyses exist at the U.S. DOE laboratories and, on various scales, at a number of IAEA, foreign government and university laboratories around the world. A number of these facilities participated in the analysis of intercepted nuclear weapon usable materials in the past several years.

In the event of a nuclear detonation or other nuclear emergency, U.S. facilities would be badly stretched in several respects. The trained specialists needed are too few and would be overcommitted; a high proportion of them are close to retirement age and the ability to replace them and augment their number is inadequate and under funded.

Laboratory facilities are not up to the most modern and effective standards that prevail in some other countries such as Japan and France. Specialized field-deployable equipment to make key early measurements in the affected area needs to be improved and tested. As a result, there could be unnecessary delays of days or more in getting forensic results of importance to the overall process of attribution, at a time when it can be readily foreseen that there would be very high pressure for reliable attribution data if the origin of a nuclear explosion were undetermined.

also Technical Constraints in Nuclear Forensics

and Hot Zone Forensics: Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Evidence Collection

... it's handled so much better in a Tom Clancy novel

I have no clue, however from the Sum Of All Fears by Tom Clancy they did work out the origin of the nuclear bomb fallout. I suspect it is possible to gain some information though I do not know if it is possible to reduce the uncertainty to zero.

With the right mobile equipment, nuclear detectives could sift through the debris and the radioactive cloud of an attack in this country or elsewhere and quickly glean crucial information, the scientists argue in a 60-page report was discussed Feb. 16 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.

Using radiochemistry techniques and access to proposed international databases that include actual samples of uranium and plutonium from around the world, the nuclear investigators might be able to tell the president--and the world--where the bomb fuel came from, or at least rule out some suspects.


Tom Clancy does spin a good tale. On a more serious side yes it is completely possible if you find the right pieces of fallout to determine where the material was originally enriched by thier chemical/element "fingerprint". This like a regular fingerprint requires that data from the original source be on file to compare with. In other words I can tell you where it did not come from, but unless other governments share this kind of information with eachother how would I know where it did come from.

Back in the days when tests were above ground, and it was possible to collect fallout particles, the signatures of the different weapons could be collected. I recall scientists at Los Alamos, who really hated the above ground test ban, because until then then we could figure out what the Russians were doing (i.e. they could know a lot about their bombs). These days, its not so clear, unless access to suspect countries data was allowed.

EMP effects of high altitude nuclear explosions are not linear with the yield of bomb. A simple fission bomb generally produces a bigger EMP than a hydrogen bomb, because it is a one stage explosion. The size of the EMP is also strongly affected by the earth's magnetic field in the area. Washington , being higher latitiude, has magnetic field lines more nearly vertical, and so the EMP is focused down. The EMP comes from three distinct phases, the first is due to gamma rays ionising the upper atmosphere, causing mosly damage to unshielded microelectronic devices, which are far more common, and due to miniaturisation, much more sensitive than even a decade ago. The final phase is the displacement of the earth's magnetic field causing massive surges in antenna (or power lines) over 10s of seconds. These surges can blow transformers, etc., especially if their microelectronic surge protection devices have just been fried by the first pulse.

The bomb probably needs to be higher up, at say 50 miles (low earth orbit) to get the full effect, but it is reasonably easy to modify the construction of a fission bomb to magnify emp effects further. At 50 miles altitude, a 10kT bomb could cause major infrastructure damage state wide. A 1MT bomb would cripple the continent.

I don't say Iran is planning to build such a device, but if the did, no one would ever dare attack them again.

no one would ever dare attack them again.

Would that be after the nation-state was turned into radioactive glass the 1st time?

at the intersection of 16th and K Streets NW?

Glow in the dark lobbyiests? Doesn't sound so bad.

Tight market fundamentals and risks surrounding Iran underpin 20% rise in crude prices since December, says Oil Market Report

The March Oil Market Report (OMR) highlights tight market fundamentals and risks surrounding Iran underpinning the 20% rise in crude prices since December. OECD industrial oil inventories are below their five year average, and OPEC spare capacity below 3 million barrels per day (mb/d). Non-OPEC supply in Syria, Yemen and Sudan/South Sudan has been shut-in, although higher 2012 output is likely from the Americas and Former Soviet Union. In contrast, OPEC February output reached a post-2008 high, with Saudi Arabia producing 10 mb/d. Anticipated 2012 demand growth is unchanged at +0.8 mb/d, and concerns over the global economy provide a ceiling for prices. Refining activity remains buoyant in the US, China and Russia, although margins generally are weak.

From Barrons:

IEA: Expect Oil Market Volatility

For all you peak oil theorists out there: Saudi Arabia’s production is at 30-year highs, it doesn’t seem to be making up for shortfalls as sanctions put a squeeze on Iran’s oil output – and lumpy supply stats seem to be in the offing in a world full of turmoil.

Regarding Saudi Arabia, their annual net oil exports* (dark blue) versus annual Brent crude oil prices:


*BP, Total Petroleum Liquids. I estimate that their 2011 net exports were between 7.5 and 8.1 mbpd, versus the 2005 level of 9.1 mbpd; the graph shows a midpoint estimate of 7.8 mbpd.

Indonesia Versus Saudi Arabia, a Tale of Two Founding Members of OPEC

It would appear that Indonesia's final production peak was in 1991, at 1.67 mbpd (Total Petroleum Liquids, BP). Note that their Consumption to Production Ratio (C/P) increased from 42% in 1991 to 52% in 1994. If we extrapolate this rate of increase, they would hit the 100% mark in 2003. The 100% C/P line denotes the boundary line between net exporter status, below 100%, and net importer status, above 100%.

The actual data for Indonesia show a C/P ratio of 94% in 2002 and 105% in 2003 (in 2010, they were at 132%).

The same BP data base shows that the Saudi C/P ratio increased from 18% in 2005 to (I estimate) between 28% and 29% in 2011. Using 28%, Saudi Arabia would approach the 100% mark around 2028. Incidentally, this projection implies that Saudi Arabia has already shipped about 46% of their post-2005 Cumulative Net Exports of oil (CNE).

NASA Rocket Barrage, Five Launches In Five Minutes, May Yield Skywatching Treat

NASA will launch five rockets in five minutes Wednesday (March 14) to study fast-moving winds at the edge of space, and many skywatchers along the United States' mid-Atlantic coast will be able to watch the show.

The unmanned rocket barrage, which is slated to blast off late Wednesday from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, forms the core of the agency's Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment, or ATREX. The five suborbital rockets will release chemical tracers between 50 to 90 miles (80 to 145 kilometers) up to track high-altitude winds, which can zip around the planet at more than 300 mph (483 kph).

These tracers will create milky-white clouds that should be visible to folks on the ground from parts of South Carolina up through New Jersey, researchers said.

"They occur in the middle of the night, and they glow," ATREX principal investigator Miguel Larsen, of Clemson University, told reporters March 7. "It's not extremely bright, but it's definitely visible."

NASA mission page http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/missions/atrex.html

Event will be webcast at http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/webcast

Huge coronal hole is sending solar wind our way

An enormous triangular hole in the Sun’s corona was captured earlier today by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, seen above from the AIA 211 imaging assembly. This gap in the Sun’s atmosphere is allowing more charged solar particles to stream out into the Solar System… and toward Earth as well.

Latest GOES-15 Solar X-ray Image

Scrubbed due to radio problems. Try again Friday - maybe.



Space Weather Message Code: ALTK05
Serial Number: 681
Issue Time: 2012 Mar 15 1505 UTC

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 5
Threshold Reached: 2012 Mar 15 1500 UTC
Synoptic Period: 1500-1800 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G1 - Minor
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Spacecraft - Minor impact on satellite operations possible.
Aurora - Aurora may be visible at high latitudes, i.e., northern tier of the U.S. such as northern Michigan and Maine.

Aurora currently visible at lower latitudes than indicated by the Kp Index (if you have darkness of course)

Darkness, and clear skies. I live fairly well North (central New Hampshire). Why is it that whenever one of these events occurs we seem to always be embedded in several nights of cloudy skies!? Oh well.

According to Sky and Telescope the superactive sunspot grouping has rotated out of sight now. We should get a couple of weeks break, until it reappears on the other side of the sun's limb.

Yes region 1429 has rotated away but Region 1432 has now been upgraded to Beta-Gamma magnetic classification and is capable of producing X Class flares. It is currently pointing almost straight at us. We've also got an increase in solar wind speed forecast for tomorrow (due to coronal hole)

Today's magnetic storm was not forecast - a "Sudden Impulse" flash warning went out when the ACE spacecraft detected an incoming CME just 20 minutes before it hit earth. Edit: The CME was from a flare on March 13 which was on the CME arrival prediction page but wasn't in the official space weather summary for today. The forecast was for "quiet to unsettled" with no mention of an incoming CME. As usual the 3 hour ahead K index forecast system is down.

The NOAA summary for today now states: "The geomagnetic field was at quiet to major storm levels reaching up
to severe storm levels at high latitudes. So they predicted "quiet to unsettled" and got up to "severe storming". Not one of the better forecasts.

Two Quakes Strike Off Japan's Coast (R=6.8,6.1)

An earthquake struck off the eastern coast of Japan, shaking buildings in Tokyo but not causing any reported damage. It was the second large tremor to hit Japan on Wednesday, following a quake that struck off the northern island of Hokkaido.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it hadn't detected any problems with its nuclear reactors, including those at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant, located farther north.

Goldman Sachs director quits 'morally bankrupt' Wall Street bank
Greg Smith resigns as executive director of Goldman's European equity derivatives business after devastating attack


Anyone who still trusts that the Stock Casino is not rigged must be delusional, IMHO.

That was glorious!

"What are three quick ways to become a leader?

a) Execute on the firm's 'axes', which is Empire-speak for persuading your clients to invest in 'prime-quality' residential building plots on Alderaan that don't exist and have not existed since we blew it up.

b) 'Hunt Elephants'...

Needless to say, great article.

Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs

... How did we get here? The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.

What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.

Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.

... Now project 10 years into the future: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the junior analyst sitting quietly in the corner of the room hearing about “muppets,” “ripping eyeballs out” and “getting paid” doesn’t exactly turn into a model citizen.

Executive Calls Goldman Culture 'Toxic and Destructive' in Op-Ed

Mr. Smith—who described himself as executive director and head of the firm's United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa—said Goldman executives talk openly about ripping off their clients, who he said sometimes are referred to internally as "muppets." He wrote: "It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off."

edit: sorry MnM - great minds think alike

"It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off."

I received a letter from a company that buys mineral rights from mineral owners. They want to BUY my mineral acres! You hold for fifty years and then somebody wants to step in and hose you good. I hooted, guffawed, chortled, maniacally laughed for three hours or more. Still makes me laugh even after 24 hours.

Not a snowball's chance in h e double hockeysticks will I SELL! Can't blame them for trying. Never hurts to ask, but no, you aren't going to buy them.

Worse than Goldman Sachs these hucksters and thieves have become.

:-)...Indeed! Combination of shocking yet wholly unsurprising, isn't it?

The Goldman thing is very interesting!

It shows what happens when the tide recedes.....people who were swimming luxuriously in warm and heavenly waters find themselves shivering and naked on a rock.

The whole environment to do business changes from one of relative abundance to scarcity, bleak, irreversible, permanent scarcity. It's a bit too much for people who undergo the transition to watch....it must be a nightmare, actually, their expectations were so high.

But it's very like watching things change in a group of hunters in a huge forest where game was relatively abundant. At first they could afford to be magnanimous. Competitors for the game are saluted in a sporting manner. Everyone is well fed, the spirit of the team is cheered by the successes of everyone, competitor or one of the group. People who will trade for the game are not cheated, there is no need to cheat them.

But then the game population goes down, way way down. Starving bands of hunters rove around in desperation, "How much did you make off him??" becomes the cry when they hunt a small ferret and trade it for something with one of their clients. Now they cannot afford to be magnanimous anymore. Every meal, every mouthful, is studiously watched. They start to fight each other, they start to lose the "team" spirit, because everyone is so hungry, so tired....

People abandon the group in desperation, leaving nasty messages carved on the trees and rocks! "I don't like you anymore!" "I don't need you!" Actually they can probably do better on their own; the big group has huge disadvantages in the new low-resource environment. The bigger group has so many costs, so much overhead....arrrghhh, now I feel sorry for Goldman Sachs. What should I do about that???

From this article above: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-13/iran-power-declining-in-oil-mar...

“The price of oil has to come down because supply prospects are so positive,” said Manouchehr Takin, an analyst at the Centre for Global Energy Studies in London. “The rate of demand isn’t going to grow as in the past as we use resources more efficiently.”

This has got to be the single dumbest thing I have read today. Who is the "we" that this "analyst" refers to?

The central bank’s test subjected the banks to another theoretical crash of the economy to see how they would hold up: a U.S. recession marked by a 50 percent drop in stock prices, a 21 percent fall in housing prices, and joblessness soaring to 13 percent, all the while being buffeted by an even worse recession in Europe.

15 banks pass stress test; Citi, 3 more fail, Fed says

... Citigroup, the nation’s third-largest bank ... was among the companies the Fed said lacked enough capital to withstand another severe economic and financial crisis.

The other three financial institutions that did not pass the Fed’s hypothetical stress tests were Ally Financial, SunTrust and MetLife.

Presto! Why the Fed's stress test is an illusion

A hint of hocus-pocus surrounds the Federal Reserve's latest "stress tests" for the nation's biggest banks. Not because the central bank is being deliberately deceptive, but rather because there has always been an element of magical thinking in these prognostications.

In asserting that 18 of the country's 19 largest lenders have enough capital to withstand another major economic downturn, the Fed is effectively detoxifying banks' real-estate holdings with a wave of its wand.

I guess I don't understand why we need this test.

Bloomberg: Growth to Strengthen as Jobs Lift Consumers

Gross domestic product will climb at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the final three months of the year, up from 2 percent this quarter, according to the median forecast of 71 economists surveyed from March 9 to March 13. For all of 2012, the U.S. may expand 2.2 percent, accelerating from 1.7 percent last year. More jobs, increasing share prices, improving confidence and stability in housing will bolster the expansion. At the same time, unemployment will be slow to retreat, averaging 7.3 percent in 2014, showing why Federal Reserve policy makers yesterday said interest rates will remain low for at least the next two years.

“Some of the conditions for faster growth are falling into place,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. By the end of the year, “we’ll still be a long way from what would make the Fed more comfortable. They will still be missing their full employment objective.” IHS Global Insight was the second most-accurate forecaster of consumer spending over the two years through February, according to Bloomberg calculations.

I mean, look, there is smooth sailing as far as the eye can see. (Oh, captain, you're facing the wrong way.)

We had the same stress test in Europe just before the crash happened. Some minor problem was detected in Portugal but nothing serious. Go figure.

The other 15 institutions, who passed the stress test, got the green light to increase dividends to "that will make their stocks more attractive to investors". JP Morgan and others "raised their dividends and announced plans to buy more of their stock"

Citi is the poster boy for "Too Big To Fail" banks, if it failed it would pull pretty much every other bank down with it. A boost in the share price of these banks would create a window of opportunity for all the bank's execs to exercise their share options and sell their RSUs.... I imagine that a lot the stock these banks will buy might currently be found in the ownership of those very same executives...

Goldman-Sachs was exempted,, not sure why.

Probably because there is no conceivable emergency that could prevent Bernanke or Geitner from saving them with tax dollars.

Goldman Sachs was never and is still not really a commercial bank.
They only pretended to be a normal bank so they could siddle up to the
discount window and get money for nothing (and chicks for free??!)
That charade was only allowed because of course Goldman Sachs controls
all the key spots of Treasury Secretary, Greece, Italy, the European Central Bank,
well pretty much everything I guess...

UNH research adds to mounting evidence against popular pavement sealcoat

Conducting side-by-side studies of coal-tar-based sealcoated and nonsealcoated parking lots at UNH's West Edge lot, Watts, a researcher with the UNH Stormwater Center, found that the soil at the edge of the sealcoated lot contained "orders of magnitude higher concentrations" – several hundred parts per million (ppm) from the sealcoated lot versus less than 10 ppm from the lot without sealcoating -- of PAHs. What's more, soil samples taken three years after the initial application of sealcoat remained high in PAHs.

The problem may be even more pronounced in New England: PAHs move into the environment as the sealcoat wears off, a process that snowplows seem to accelerate. "We think it's likely that we have even a more severe problem here in the Northeast, because the sealcoat wears off more rapidly," Watts says.

also http://tx.usgs.gov/coring/pubs/MahlerESTsealcoatFeature2012.pdf

As I still have to bend over backwards to deal with old lead-based paints, Asbestos and Radon and other 'classic' toxins around my old home.. it's exhausting to consider all the newer, improved forms of chemistry that is becoming just as ubiquitous in our built-environments.

Some around me probably think I'm downright fringe when I won't cook my food on Aluminum, Non-Stick Surfaces (Except for my Waffles.. waiting to find a good Cast Iron 'Awful-Iron'), or to Nuke heat anything in plastic.. while I personally think I'm barely scratching the surface.. (again, except for those Waffles, where I have to be very careful NOT to scratch the surface!) but it seems to me we need to try at least to eek out the poisons that we're in the closest contact with, and hope our immune systems can survive the rest.

I'm with you entirely there, and have spent a long time dealing with old houses and the hazards there. Actually, other than the radon (not much of a problem when the house is nowhere near sealed), the chemical hazards were not there to begin with and were introduced later in the industrial age.

We cook only on iron and glass if possible. The waffle iron is probably not too bad if it's temperature controlled - that stuff is much worse when it overheats.

We use induction, and cook eggs and a lot else on a Demeyere Controlinduc pan. It employs an alloy that loses its magnetism as it approaches 485 degrees F! The unexpected side effect is the pan literally screams with this weird howl as the temperature is reached. Nonetheless, it's a safe way of cooking, especially with the Thermolon granite cook surface they use now.

Read about it here: http://www.demeyere.be/default.asp?SLID=1&CID=1061

Called my bluff..

thing is, my Snoopy Waffle Iron only comes in Teflon.. so compromise I must! (One of my two others is legit, however.. and I'm already stewing on how to set up this Lehman's one inside Mirrors for a Solar Waffle Situation. )

Maybe I'll have to get into Lost Wax casting and make my own.. true heaven would be a Snoopy with Deep, Belgian Furrows.. hmmmm...

I've been looking for a non non-stick waffle iron! Non stick yes, non-stick toxic coating no.

Thank you Todd!

Huckleberry waffles with bacon and real maple syrup.... yum!

Many moons ago (c.1986) I was chatting in the staff bar at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra Australia, with a chemistry professor, who was a nice guy and a complete wonk. He said the chemistry of our foods, our household products, our personal care products (shampoo etc), and our houses themselves, were so devastating to the immune system of humans, that they would lead to our (cancerous) ruin in a generation or so ... especially women, who are more deeply involved in these things. Maybe he was right.

My brother holds a PhD. in chemistry, and work for a company in the buissiness (supplyer for factories that make medicins). There is another chemist at his work place, who always cut off the part of the cheese that has been in contact with the plastic is is wrapped in. When asked why, he says he know what is in those plastics.

Oil costs burn hole in airlines' books

...“Although passenger traffic is performing relatively well, they need a strong recovery in the cargo sector, which will be a sign of renewed business and consumer confidence, and an easing of fuel prices to get their bottom line back on track.”

But as long as that doesn’t happen, the world’s airlines will only whisper to oil, “I only love you when you’re cheap.”

I was looking at the web site of the Boyd group that is an aviation industry consultant


The hard reality is that it's time for facts to replace the wishful thinking, hocus-pocus, and schmoosing. The truth is that the airline industry is shrinking, not growing. Fleets are changing. Airline brand options for most communities are clear and obvious, without a need to get a Survey Monkey account. No, these are not "opportunities" for new airlines, either. And time is running out for a lot of regions... get a plan or get run over by the future.

Lots of families around here flying south on March Break vacations (school holiday) with charter airlines.

I have to shake my head as charters declared bankruptcy the last time the price of oil jumped, stranding a lot of travelers down south.

When the price of oil gets this high there is no guarantee that when you get on a plane your airline (or charter) is going to be flying when it's time to return home.


Via Chris Nelder's latest post.

Direct Air suspends flights for at least 2 months, leaving stranded travelers up in the air

Charter airline Direct Air has suspended flights for at least two months, leaving passengers scrambling to get home and wondering if they'll get their money back.

The airline abruptly stopped flying Monday afternoon — at the peak of the spring break travel season — apparently because it couldn't pay its fuel bills. Direct Air, based in Myrtle Beach, S.C., says it will not fly again until May 15. Ticket holders were told to contact their credit card companies for refunds.

Ecopetrol Says Oil Output on Target as Rebel Sabotage Rises

Colombia’s largest oil company, expects to meet production targets this year as the government tightens security after an increase in guerrilla sabotage, Chief Executive Officer Javier Gutierrez said.

Increased strikes by guerrilla groups cut oil production last month in Colombia, ... Sabotage of energy towers, pipelines, roads and bridges rose last year for the first time since 2008, according to government statistics.

also http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=477862&CategoryId=12393

US military aid in the Americas is still targeted mostly at Mexico and Colombia. SouthCom spends about $25 million a year – less than 6 percent of its budget – on an infrastructure program focused on 11 countries, nine of which are in Central America and the Caribbean.

Indian train network sliding off the rails

Unless new budget aids failing railway system, country's network could grind to a halt.

India’s proposed $0.006/km train ticket hike causes concern and excitement

The battle over the railways is just the latest example of the stuttering pace of reform in the world’s largest democracy.

India bucks populist trend to raise railway fares

... Under the new fare structure, the second-class fare on an ordinary train from New Delhi to the financial hub , Mumbai about 1,390 km (864 miles) away , will rise 21 percent to 260 rupees ($5.21). A first - class fare on an air - conditioned Rajdhani Express on the same route rises 14 percent to 3,445 rupees.

The hike is being rolled back. Some crazy populist politician has put her foot down saying that either the hike is rolled back or I pull my legislators. In India people love to blame politicians for everything, and sometimes they are to blame but IMO it's the people who are to blame for most of the things.
People love populism, railways be damned. I like to say...you wanted democracy, you got it.

wi- The fare blew me away. Based on the new rate, here in the states, I could take a trip from coast-to-coast for less than $20. Absolutely amazing.

These low fares are part of the reason why the trains are so crowded. pretty much every other form of transportation is more expensive. Thanks to the the reckless way in which the railways are being run, (highly subsidized) passenger services are crowding out freight (which is profitable). Freight traffic is being pushed on to the road network. Given the high cost of fuel, this in turn is increasing the consumer prices of pretty much everything.

Depends on the amenities. Travel here gets down to around .03/ton/mile rail for freight, maybe they're packing them a little tighter than we're used too. $5-6 for 125 lbs on a southern route.

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." - H. L. Mencken.

Caribbean island Curacao faces oil refinery dilemma

Curacao is the paradise island of many a holiday brochure. But there is a blot on the landscape of this small nation: a huge oil refinery that sits at the heart of the island in a natural deep water bay called Schottegat.

"The air is contaminated and there's a terrible smell of sulphur," says Edgar Leito who set up a campaign group to protest against the continued use of the refinery. He would like to see the oil installations torn down and the bay redeveloped with hotels and resorts

..."You have to think about the future and be broadminded," the Prime Minister told the BBC. "But in order to the close the refinery I would need another economic pillar that would replace the 8% to 9% GDP that the refinery represents."

Peak liquids is apparently not in the cards for either Chevron or Exxon in the next five years.

Chevron sees 20 percent jump in production by 2017

"Overall, Chevron stuck with its production target of 3.3 million barrels per day by 2017, assuming oil prices of $79 per barrel, up from its anticipated output of 2.68 million bpd this year."


It's not clear to me whether this is oil equivalents production (including NG) or not.

Exxon is expecting to grow output of liquid fuels at 2-3% for the next five years.

"The company said that production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons will increase by 2 to 3 percent per year through 2016, outpacing increases in natural gas production.

Altogether, Exxon said 21 oil and gas productions will begin production by 2014, and it expects to add more than 1 million barrels per day of oil and gas by 2016."


From an article yesterday, most of Chevron's increase is from LNG measured in boe

Chevron Says Oil, Gas Output to Jump by 2017

Chevron Corp. said Tuesday its oil-and-gas production will inch up this year but it expects output to jump 20% in five years as massive liquefied-natural-gas projects in Australia begin operations.

During the company's annual meeting with analysts in New York, Chevron executives said production will rise 0.26% to 2.68 million barrels of oil equivalent per day this year and to 3.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by the end of 2017.

Thanks for finding that. Oil equivalent is not oil. Also, I wouldn't think liquefied ng counts as liquids. Companies like to frame numbers in the most flattering way.

For Exxon, their liquids increase projection could be derailed by higher costs, or if oil plunges in price (worldwide recession).

Capsizing icebergs pack the punch of a nuclear bomb

... Although huge, hulking icebergs might appear relatively stable in the water, these mountains of ice can occasionally flip and roll. When large icebergs capsize, they can release a colossal amount of energy, comparable to a magnitude-5 earthquake, which can wreak havoc on their environs — a tsunami from an iceberg that calved off a glacier devastated a coastal Greenland community in 1995.

china apparently has a lot of shale gas:


but how real is it? is it just confusion about resources and reserves?

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending March 9, 2012

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged just under 14.5 million barrels per day during the week ending March 9, 126 thousand barrels per day below the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 82.7 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production increased last week, averaging 8.8 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 4.1 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 8.7 million barrels per day last week, up by 4 thousand barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged 8.9 million barrels per day, 653 thousand barrels per day above the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 532 thousand barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 141 thousand barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 1.8 million barrels from the previous week. At 347.5 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 1.4 million barrels last week and are in the upper limit of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories decreased while blending components inventories remained unchanged from last week. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 4.7 million barrels last week and are in the middle of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories decreased by 1.3 million barrels last week and are above the upper limit of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased by 4.4 million barrels last week.

Total products supplied over the last four-week period have averaged 18.3 million barrels per day, down by 5.4 percent compared to the similar period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied has averaged 8.4 million barrels per day, down by 7.2 percent from the same period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied has averaged nearly 3.6 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, down by 7.1 percent from the same period last year. Jet fuel product supplied is 1.2 percent higher over the last four weeks compared to the same four-week period last year.

NG question:

NG prices are currently 2.26. However, for delivery in 2020 Natural Gas Mar 20 (NGH20.NYM) -NY Mercantile 8.57.

So, if I own ng properties, wouldn't I sell for future delivery now for $8.57 and start drilling just before 2020? Why take $2.26 now when I can get much more later?

Because you might get hungry before 2020? And by 2020, the price could be much higher. Will be by 2015 probably. Or it could be up and back down and back up by 2020.

Brad - As Paleo says. In my 36 years for every one company that cut back poduction due to low prices I've probably seen 5+ that did what every they could to increase production in the face of falling prices. Cash flow really is KING.

Last week I posted a comment about my observations regarding the lack of winter, in particular in my native Adirondacks, a region where winter used to take deep hold. Having been here for another week - a bizzarely warm one at that - I have a bit more. I had noticed a flock of geese heading north on that day. There have been many more since. This is 6-8 weeks early. With what little snow there was here mostly gone, there are fleets of robins on the fields. Again, 6-8 weeks early. Karlof1 asked a good question about the impact on water supply. Whereas this is a normally wet region, so unlike the west is not so dependent on snowpack for summer water, this will have impacts. Just heard a discussion of the lack of river flow impacting the rafting business. On the other hand, marinas are planning to open a month or more early. So FF powered tourism - power boats on lakes - will flourish, whereas the more benign rafting down the rapids will suffer. Ironic. What impact the low water levels and likely warmer temps will have on trout populations is unlikely to be positive. The frost has been leaving the ground this week. I can recall late Aprils when the ground was untillably frozen. To top it off, I pulled a tick off myself today. Growing up here in the 60s/70s, I never heard of ticks. In the 80s I encountered my one and only. Since I left in '90, ticks have now become common here, but in March!?! It is truly a different world here now. Eaarth, the Anthropocene, the Adirondaacks, I guess. Truly sad, what we have done.

And you aint seen nothin yet. Wait a few more years - you'll probably see some really wild weather. I wonder the timeline until our prime US crop region becomes barren. In Grundy, Iowa farmland now sells for $8,500 an acre. I wouldn't be a buyer...

From US National Weather Service ...

By Friday afternoon...high temperatures into the low/mid 70s will reach locations as far north as the Dakotas and upper Mississippi valley. Such readings are at least 30 degrees above average for the middle of the March.

This week has been amazingly warm so far. Here's some data for the US:

     10 March - Record Highs -  87 (Broken) + 19 (Tied) = 106 Total
     11 March - Record Highs - 155 (Broken) + 34 (Tied) = 189 Total
     12 March - Record Highs - 121 (Broken) + 17 (Tied) = 138 Total
     13 March - Record Highs - 146 (Broken) + 49 (Tied) = 195 Total

For a different perspective, here's a graphic I found on the Weather Channel yesterday:

Temperature extremes,13 March 2012

I wonder what that graphic looked like Sunday when most of the records were in the northern half of the Central and Eastern US. HERE's what it looked like on the NCDC site..

EDIT: So far today, there are 189 (Broken) + 61 (Tied) = 250 Total record high temperatures! I've been watching these record events for more than 20 years and I don't recall ever seeing that many records for a single day! And, it's likely that the last of the data won't be tallied until tomorrow afternoon!

HERE's a commentary and map from the Weather Underground...

E. Swanson

And you see the problem with that graphic. The Northwest is 10 or 11 degrees below normal again! About the third year in a row.

Maybe it's time to move.

Grouse, grouse, grumble grumble.

But it's going to get too warm Thursday in the Idaho panhandle and my powder that's been collecting up all week will decay before I get a chance to hit it! It'll drop back down to the high 20s on the mountain by this weekend and that may save the shaded stashes up higher. YAY!!

Here's the forecast: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=47.491224888201955&lon=-116...

Ah but decent cycling on the Centennial and the Trail 'o CDA!
42 deg. today and ,rain held off til evening, just right.

Pouring concrete Friday anyway.
it's an ill wind that blows no man good :)

It looks as though Minneapolis is going to have a March dominated by 60's, 70's and even 80's. My family has been here forty years and I've never seen a March like this. High's now are normally in the 30's and this is the month when we usually get the most snow.

Somethings happening down here.
What it is ain't exactly clear...

The heat record alone are actually not indicative for climate change. Records are broken all the time. The key is the relation between cold and hot records. In a stable climate, you will expect a 1/1 cold/warm ratio. If climate are changing, the ratio will be disturbed.

Right now the heat records are more common than cold records, wich indicates that the world is indeed heating up. But as usual, individual weather events are not indicative of the climate trends. Not even heat records.

But these heat records will add to the overall balance.

That's a good point to make.

It may turn out that an observable result of AGW (over time) is a change in the behavior jet stream patterns.

I think the most recent anomaly in the states is an amazing thing to see.

We're loading the climate dice for sure.

Some individual events can be attributed, with a great deal of certainty to GW--the killer European heat wave of '03, last year's Russian heat wave...This heat wave may be one of them, too.

At some point we have to start trusting our 'lying eyes.'

It puts me in mind of all the methane that was reported to have been escaping from the Arctic last year. Something may be afoot.

The supposed catastrophic methane releases from the Arctic are, very fortunately, not appearing on methane monitors around the world. What we're seeing is a much more modest rise. Not good, but not imminent catastrophe either.

To split the hairs even more finely, those extreme extreme events were not caused by climate change. I assume you are familiar with the butterfly effect. Take that in account, and all, and therefore none, of all weather events are caused by climate change. I would say that these extreme extreme events where made possible by climate change. And this is a key issue. Were these events caused by the climate change? I don't know, but they would not have been possible without them. With this new climate, new and very scary weather events are now made possible.

All true, but maybe this time, it's different. See comment below...

E. Swanson

As of 10 AM this morning, the NCDC reports that the record high temperatures total for 14 March is at 307 (Broken) + 93 (Tied) = 400 Total. This event must be seen as exceptionally strange. Most of the records are in areas which might have experienced snow cover at this time of the year, but previous warm conditions have resulted in much reduced snow fall.

Here are graphics of yesterday's temperatures from the Weather Channel.
US Temperature Extremes, 14 March 2012 US Maximum  Temperatures, 14 March 2012

Note that the graphic in my post yesterday actually refers to 12 March, since the Weather Channel updates that chart once a day...

EDIT: 2:30 PM - The NCDC site link given above no longer works...

E. Swanson

Maybe it's just overheating?

Perhaps the Air Force weather control project is on track per the 2025 'weather as force multiplier' paper.

he NCDC site is back on line. The text format appears a bit different now. The latest (7PM EDT) for 14 March is:

Out of a possible 5,585 records: 328 (Broken) + 95 (Tied) = 423 Total

E. Swanson

Yep. Those things will be more and more common.

On PBS Newshour last night :-

Report: NYC, Southern Calif. Among Big Targets of Accelerating Sea Level Rise


Accelerated sea level rise from global warming has doubled the risk of extreme flooding events in many of the country's coastal communities, according to a new report released by research organization Climate Central. Ray Suarez and lead author Ben Strauss discuss the connections between climate change and severe flood threats."

The same page links to this :-

Will Your City Be Underwater? There's a Map for That

"Surging Seas" map allows you to enter a city or zip code to see what your chances are of being inundated by storm surges in 2020 and beyond.

Report: US asked Russia to deliver ultimatum to Iran

The US has asked Russia to carry an ultimatum to the leaders of Iran, warning that upcoming six-nation talks on the Iranian nuclear program will be the "last chance" for progress before it pursues a military option, the leading Moscow daily Kommersant reported today (in Russian).

ICBC appears to back away from Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline

A top Pakistani government body said that China's largest bank is backing away from a long-running plan to build a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan, a project that the United States has strongly opposed.

The average Daily Mail reader would see that as good news! ./sarc

Power outage 101

Just spent the last three days without power and refined some ideas if and when electricty supplies from grid become intermittent for us on Vancouver Island. (We produce just 1/3 of what we consume on the Island.) Of course, this could easily suffice with strict conservation measures, but for now we are energy hogs like everyone else in NA.

First of all, we are quite well set up with wood heat, wood hot water pre-heat, and a wood cookstove. We had to run the generator for approx 20 minutes per day for well pump to enable quick showers, dish washing, etc. Led lanterns work okay with reflectors for reading. Sat radio is wonderful and well worth the subscription cost. I cannot recommend this enough for people as it was very enjoyable to putter in the shop with music.

What would make this truly ideal was a better lighting system. Due to our cloudy area, I have nixed the pv array large scale, but will install some panels to cycle through and limit to 12 V for just lighting and radio. I think it would be a good idea to acquire a 12 V old style wringer washer and use the old 'Polish Dryer' set up around the wood stove. If we lost power in summer, the clothes line is what we use anyway. Will look into converting a washer to a dc motor if none available.

At work, my town colleagues experienced various stages of misery. Some had no heat, but a gas stove so they could cook. Teenagers went berserk when their cells died and texting stopped. Many could not even make coffee, had no lights, and were cold.

Our situation was from a bit of a weather bomb. We had winds of sustained 70 kts, with higher gusts, blinding snow squalls, etc. With our wooded areas it was simply too dangerous to even go outside.

Apartment dwellers suffered. I would like to really recommend that all folks get in some basic supplies, second hand camping gear, and batteries, etc. An am radio is also helpful. Instant coffee if you are a caffeine addict like me. We had the drip, but in a pinch anything beats nothing at all. Tea bags.

Anyway, just arrived home to hear the fridge humming. I can use the computer and read TOD again. Will maybe delay the emails until tomorrow. The freezer stayed frozen and all was well. When people tried to engage me in how terrible it all was, I could honestly say our lives were pretty much the same and quite enjoyable. Warm, dry, fed, clothed, books to read, shop stuff to do, walks, conversation, music, etc. Didn't miss the tv but did miss the news.

Anyway, we are getting one storm after another this week. Hopefully, no more real biggies.

Take care....Paulo

a better lighting system

Headlamps. They work for hours and put light right right where you are looking.

Yep, but make sure you get one with red LEDs as well. Attracts less bugs and doesn't trash your night vision. Was using mine last night due to a mass polilla invasion, couldn't dare switch any lights on.


The 12 Mar 2012 extratropical cyclone landed on Northern Vancouver Island at peak intensity, bringing with it an extremely intense surface pressure gradient within about 100-150 km of the centre. Outside of that radius, strong, but not intense, gradients extended for a few hundred more km. Many of the lows that affect Southwest British Columbia arrive in a mature to fading stage. Though these can still produce a decent gale, landfalling lows at peak intensity tend to produce the greatest wind speed extremes.

The low centre passed right over Solander Island on the north coast of Vancouver Island. The pressure fell to 96.16 kPa (28.39"), similar to many hurricanes. Winds at this highly wind-prone region reached 107 km/h (58 knots) gusting 143 (77 knots). The Estevan Point lighthouse reported 102 km/h (55 knots) gusting 131 (71 knots).

Places in the northern half of the Georgia Strait received the most unusual winds on 12 Mar 2012. With a speed of 74 km/h (40 knots) gusting 106 (57 knots), Campbell River received the strongest windstorm in about 40 years. Comox reported 96 km/h (52 knots) gusting 117 (63 knots), strongest since a windstorm produced a gust to 133 km/h on 23 Mar 1985.

For most locations in the southern Georgia Strait region, a strong windstorm resulted, but not as unusual as places north in part because the area of strongest pressure gradient did not extend into the region. Victoria, with a peak of 67 km/h (36 knots) gusting 95 (51 knots), had its strongest wind event since an intense low moved through the area on 13 Dec 2006, or about 5 years. Vancouver, with a peak of 65 km/h (35 knots) gusting 89 (48 knots), had its strongest winds since 02 Apr 2010, or about 2 years.

A large cedar-of-Lebanon blew apart on my block here in Vancouver, narrowly missing a home. Another large tree fell nearby, this time across the rather busy 49th Ave. My electrical service failed for about 4-5 hours. However, I could still get the internet via 3G.


I've worked for a few years on the north end of Vancouver Island, we would check the Solander report frequently for incoming weather. It is rarely less than ~20 knots except one day the peak was near 200 kt & it was calm for a couple of days afterwards. The assumption is the anemometer blew away.


The good news is after you get hit by a well above average wind storm, the overhead power reliability improves for a while--all of the weakest line equipment has failed and what's left withstands average storms well.

Venezuelan oil a risky investment for China

“The Chinese have not gotten the kind of preferential access they want [to the tar sands], and my sources tell me they are extremely unhappy,” said Mr. O’Donnell.

In 2010, CNPC signed a deal to help Venezuela develop a major Orinoco oil field known as Junin 4, which includes the construction of a facility to convert heavy oil to a lighter crude that could be shipped to a refinery in Guangdong, China.

“Although the contract was signed in December 2010, not one barrel of oil has yet been produced, much less upgraded,” said Gustavo Coronel, a former PDVSA board member.

Re: Seattle Gets the Street View on the Quality of Its Lights

I've been hitting a string of pole lighting lately. Last week, it was a site with ninety 400-watt and twelve 250-watt HPS heads (plus seventy-two 150-watt wall packs). Monday saw us at a car dealership with eighty-eight 1,000 metal halides and today it was another facility with twenty-three 400-watt and eight 250-watt HPS heads.

The heads at this third site are mounted at twelve metres which effectively rules out LEDs. Consequently, as before, we'll be upgrading these poles to Philips 330 and 205-watt AllStarts driven by new pulse start ballasts. A modest 2.8 kW reduction in demand, but we get a nice clean crisp white light instead of the universally detested pukey orange.

The biggest savings by far are at the car dealership. There are basically two options. One is to replace the 1,000-watters with a Venture 775-watt pulse start lamp and retrofit kit; this will give us slightly less light but a 22.9 kW reduction in load and a savings of some 100,000 kWh a year. Alternatively, if they're willing to sacrifice more light, we can go with a 330-watt AllStart and net 65.1 kW and 285,000 kWh/yr. Admittedly, it's a steep drop at 24,800 mean lumens versus 71,500, but still more light than the LED option they had considered earlier (better light quality too and a simple payback that can be measured in months as opposed to years).

LED roadway and area lighting continues to advance with each passing year, but it will be a while yet before it can start to displace these conventional light sources at these higher wattages and mast heights.



Any consideration given to "Dark Sky" friendly outdoor lighting with any of the projects you've been working on?

The only thing more more wasteful than inefficient lamps is when they are light up the night sky.



I was sorta thinking, the astronomers had fileters that could filter out the emission peaks from the sodium lamps. But with especially the LEDs I think this is a hopeless task.

I've sure noticed that most street lights are set to stay on till about an hour after sunrise, and come on before sunset. Changing the timing on these (or light sensitivity of the photoswitches) could save at least two hours per day of illumination, when there is more ambient light than you'll get from the artificials.

Why need filters? The light going up is just wasted anyway and could do a better job down on the ground where it is needed.


Even down directed lighting reflects back upwards. For an emitting plasma, most of the light energy comes out at a few discrete (nearly) frequencies, if you can filter these out, much of the "light pollution" vanishes. Note: the filter is on the telescope, not on the light source.

Very true, but so many fittings illuminate the skies directly. A change of street lights here made a huge difference. Limiting lighting to where it is needed too, like your comment about hours or considering siteing. Does a whole big parking area for a local store that closes at night need to be illuminated all night at full intensity? Yep, am familiar with telescope filters.


Low pressure sodium lamps give a very clear, single line on the spectrum, which you KNOW comes from the lamps. These are required on the Big Island of Hawai'i because of all the sensitive measurements - it is there, but you can take it out.

Honestly, I really wish we could have real nighttime again. There have been a few times I have been in places with not streetlights at night, and there are few sights more impressive than the sky when it is utterly dark. Sadly this is not really very possible in most places due to safety concerns. But couldn't we have something a bit closer to darkness at least?

I'm afraid that's a problem that will remain largely unresolved, at least for now. This is an enormous complex that utilizes a considerable amount of outdoor lighting due to its 24 hour operation and you can often see the orange glow that envelopes this site from many km away, particularly at times of heavy mist or snow cover.

The worst offenders are the 100-watt HPS wall packs with horizontally mounted drop lenses that broadcast light in all directions.

Any that operate at 120-volts will be replaced by 26-watt LED wall packs with full cut-offs and limited forward throw. However, the ones powered at 347-volts, and they outnumber 50 to 1, will be replaced by new 70-watt metal halides which are better in this regard but only marginally so. I wish I could push this further, but my hands are tied.


Figured you were aware of dark sky lighting. You're too conscientious and knowledgeable about lighting to not have known about it.

Enjoy your posts on heat pump heating. I regrettably, because of the cost, put in a ground source heat pump. If I had known about the mini-splits beforehand I certainly would have used them instead and put the savings towards more insulation when I renovated my house (edit: house not mouse).



Thanks, Andrew. I try to be sensitive on this point but cost is the primary driver behind our work. So, for example, the cost to replace a ballast and lamp is roughly half that of a new wall pack, so we're pretty much obliged to go this route. In this case, given the age and general condition of the existing hardware, we can justify a full replacement, and hopefully we can improve on what they have now.

Ground source heat pumps are a great option for larger commercial spaces and, in fact, several buildings locally are conditioned using sea water. But as you can appreciate, it's tough to get the numbers to work on the residential side where the incremental savings over an air source system are likely to be modest. In fairness, only recently has the gap in their respective performance narrowed appreciably; ten years ago, a seasonal COP of 2.0 would have been pretty common whereas today some of the better air source systems are now coming in as high as 3.5 and even 3.8. Again, much has changed in the past ten years and in the past two to three years in particular.


The impact of tar sands pipeline spills on employment and the economy (pdf, 24 pages)

Between 2007 and 2010, pipelines transporting tar sands oil in the northern Midwest have spilled three times more oil per mile than the U.S. national average for conventional crude.

Since the first Keystone pipeline began operation in June 2010, at least 35 spills have occurred in the United States and Canada. In its first year, the spill frequency for Keystone’s U.S. segment was 100 times higher than TransCanada forecast.
Between 2007 and 20

Via Climate Progress

Report: Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline More Of An Economic Liability Than Benefit

Does the author of "the fertility implosion" really knows what that article is saying?

It says "But, over the long term, it’s better to have a growing work force, not one that’s shrinking compared with the number of retirees." So the article is saying world's population must increase forever. Literally forever. 7 billion or whatever the world population is now - way too few. Japan at 125 million is underpopulated according to this article and needs to increase its population fast. Even India, China are both underpopulated according to this article. They need to increase their population or they will suffer horribly for it.

Aren't most economists taught to believe in this nonsense though? That wealth = capital x labour, natural resources are infinite, and since wealth must grow forever it follows that population must grow forever also.

It is a challenge to support retirees with a stable or decreasing population. Obviously that isn't a stable longterm situation, as it requires exponential growth. Just one of many hangups we will ned to overcome.

David Brooks is one of NY Times' arch-conservative columnists. That alone should explain a lot.

It appears that you have correctly answered your own question. It is standard endless growth dogma.

David Brooks is not a very deep thinker, and is utterly BAU.

I really think that's the conventional wisdom, and not just among economists. Looks like a Ponzi scheme to me, but as far mainstream belief goes, only Malthusian nuts don't want growth.

As Tainter pointed out, this was a feature of failed civilizations past. The Romans passed laws establishing orphanages for abandoned children, because they needed laborers and taxpayers. Even as the Mayans were starving to death, women of child-bearing age were preferentially fed so they could continue to produce future warriors.

Tainter found that it was common for population growth to slow or even reverse as collapse approached. Even though TPTB generally saw this as a very bad thing, and tried to reverse it.

This article is from TomDispatch, re-posted on AlterNet:

'High Gas Prices Are Here to Stay: Why 21st Century Oil Will Break the Bank -- and the Planet
In energy terms, we are now entering a world whose grim nature has yet to be fully grasped. '


It would be even better if these type of articles were run on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox 'News'.

Perhaps as commercials during American Idle and Survivor, and as pre-movie commercials at the cinema and on DVDs...

...perhaps featured (or given away) at Wal-Mart and Target, and shown as a documentary movie and given out as flyers at the mega-churches (the ones with mult-acre parking lots full of SUVs).

Good one, H.

Excellent pointed article. Now, do I forward to colleagues or simply not bother? I think I am at the point of giving up on relating peak oil to others and will simply try to explain the wherefore of our lifestyle changes when asked.


It would be even better if these type of articles were run on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox 'News'.

Fox 'News' when hell freezes over. Of course they would blame (an icy hell) on government regulations, or Obama.

"American Idle," ha ha! Nice :)

An interesting presentation on oil speculation. It is proposed that 30% of the cost of gasoline comes from speculation.

Also, a veteran of the Afghan war speaks of the relationship with the locals.

And: Iraq/Afghanistan war criminals:



A narrative of America's fall:


...which is a m3u file you can open with a media player.

Starts at 1:47:30 into the program material.

Slightly raving-loony... but only slightly... or do you agree?

Remembering Mohammad Najibullah

"..Declining production rates at oilfields in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have “accelerated precipitously” and will continue to worsen, Bank of America Corp. said today in an e-mailed report.."


A couple of weeks ago I put it to the forum what the likelihood of more Kirkuk-like declines might be and it looks like I am getting my answer. I know from reading this forum that so called super-straws have induced artifical decline rates that only make the downslope steeper. Looks like this may be coming to pass, a fairly frightening prospect if so. I would love to know the specifics though, the info on specific fields this guy sounds like he is privy to.

Since when does OPEC publish oilfield specific decline rates?

No need for the snarky attitude Wiseindian, there have been many articles published on the decline rate of OPEC fields. Even Saudi, who has the tightest secrecy of any of them, has let it slip what their decline rate is. A couple of them are listed below.

From the EIA: Country Analysis Briefs: Saudi Arabia

One challenge the Saudis face in achieving their strategic vision to add production capacity is that their existing fields experience, reportedly on average, 6 to 8 percent annual "decline rates” (as reported by Platts Oilgram in 2006) in existing fields, meaning that the country needs around 700,000 bbl/d in additional capacity each year just to compensate for natural decline. Decline estimates for Saudi Arabia vary widely, however. The Ministry of Petroleum maintains that decline rates in Saudi Arabia are around 2 percent annually.

From a Saudi company: Saudi Arabia’s Strategic Energy Imitative: Safeguarding Against Supply Disruptions

Without "maintain potential" drilling to make up for production, Saudi oil fields would have anatural decline rate of a hypothetical 8%. As Saudi Aramco has an extensive drilling program with a butget running in the billions of dollars, this decline is mitigated to a number close to 2%.

Other OPEC countries are not nearly as secretive as Saudi. Most use contractors and some use analysis like PFC Energy. PFC has often leaked the data.

Ron P.

Nothing snarky about it, it was a genuine question. Anyways thanks for the links.


Does Bank of America have a source that others don't know about? Is it new information, or somebodies opinion? It sounds ominous.


I have no idea what sources the Bank of America has but I would guess they have a lot better sources than we do. And I would doubt seriously that this just someone's wild ass guess. The bank likely subscribes to all the services, like PFC Energy, Platts, MEES and all the others that you and I would have to pay thousands of dollars to get.

But you are correct, this does sound serious. I would love to see that entire e-maild report. Perhaps we will see more of this on the net soon. It looks like non-OPEC peaked in 2010 and if both OPEC and non-OPEC head down at the same time this could get very serious very soon.

Ron P.

Fortunately, Saudi is reassuring us: "Oil markets are balanced and have ample output..." Nothing to see here, move on.

From the story:

Saudi Arabia will make up any “perceived or real” shortfall, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said in Kuwait.

Hehe, all they really have to do is sell all their oil at $30 /bl and see if there is any more demand. Because, at $200 /bl, we're all good, nope, don't need any more, we're full. Reminds me of my kids on fish night, "honestly Mom, I couldn't eat another bite."

Masstashaddhu, thanks a million for this link. It would have likely been completely missed otherwise. But this is very interesting. I have been saying for years that superstraws can mitigate the decline for a few years but soon the decline rate would have to accelerate with a vengeance, to a point much higher than the original 8 percent or so. It looks like that may be happening right now.

Ron P.

Ron, like I said, I posted a couple of weeks ago on the rapid decline of Kirkuk, which has gone from a million barrells a day a decade ago to a quarter of that now, and was surprised that no one replied to my question about the field at the time. I don't know whether the decline at that field was covered in another drumbeat, but it sure is ominous for the region as a whole, assuming the geology of that field is not unique. Most likely it was developed the same as other opec fields, ie super straws, and so between kirkuk and this BAC statement we have the prospect of severe declines over the space of a decade in this most important region for the world. Kirkuk may just be the first supergiant in the queue..

Masstashaddhu, I completely missed missed your post. Had I read it I would have definitely replied. But there are so many posts every day that it is impossible to catch them all. But let me post the link to the article you referred to so others who missed it can read.

UPDATE 2-Baghdad seeks to involve BP at Kirkuk oilfield

Production at Kirkuk has slumped to 280,000 barrels per day from 900,000 bpd in 2001 after years of injecting water and dumping unwanted crude and products into the field.

Iraqi officials would like to see BP work to stem declines at this 77-year old workhorse and then raise capacity to around 600,000 barrels per day in five years, the sources said.

This would be funny if it wasn't so sad. Iraq hopes to increase its production to 12 million barrels per day with infield drilling in their very old fields. And there are many who actually believe that they can.

It won't work. They may increase production slightly with new horizontal wells that such more oil from the very tops of their reservoirs, but all they will be doing is setting themselves up for a massive decline rate in the future. But in most fields they will not be able to raise production at all. The best they can hope for is to stem the decline rate like Saudi did... for awhile.

Ron P.

One of the most common statements among Peak Oil deniers is acceptance at face value of the Iraqi claims that they are going to get production up to 12 million barrels of oil per day. Another almost universal trait among the BAU crowd is that technological advances are going to make possible both increased production and increased reserves. But, as you point out, most of the technolgoical advances have gone into making "super straws" to suck the oil from a well or whole oilfield faster than was the case some decades ago. If I recall correctly, Matt Simmons was the first to publicize this position in "Twilight in the Desert."

I will concede to the mainstream economists that there has not been much research into oil substitutes until recently, because oil has been so cheap most of the time. From the point of view of making a successful transition away from oil a price of $120 or more will help. Although most economists overstate their case, it is true that the price system helps a lot in dealing with change.

Wait. Are we talking about a field that is 77 YEARS old? The production peak must be so far behind, they would need a telescope to see it.

IIRC you stated Swedish gas price is now over $8 USD. I assume diesel is comparable.

Do you know if these are the prices paid for on farm use? It appears Sweden has a viable ag industry for its size, and is able to export to the EU. Material I've read had had ave annual oil at $55-60 USD, and I'm wonderinng how your farmers are coping with high fuel prices? I assume you continue to export grains, sugar, potatoes to the EU, but the bulk of the industry is from value-added--chocolates and such.

Well, I am no farmer, but I know they are hard pressed. The main pressure is the prices buyers pay. Forrising a pig and selling it to slaughter houses,you have a 5% profit margin, for example. You can not make a living with that, and every day a farm is closing down. In Sweden we have supply shortages on milk, while land is lying idle.

Farmers have no fuel subsidies (they pay the same at the pump) but they have various quite generous subsidies from the EU. These are a nececity to survive, since their costumers expect themtogive their produce away for free.

I missed any Kirkuk thread - was there one? From what I understand, significant constraints on Kirkuk production are surface infrastructure ones. Failing storage tanks, pipes, sabotage and of course the ever present need for routine well work-overs. That, combined with political factors, probably contribute more to current production figures than the field's probable decline rate under more more favourable conditions. I believe the bulk of the wells are the traditional vertical well type. I suspect that claimed targets of in excess of 500,000 barrels/day are not unreasonable, should repairs to infrastructure and given investment for the appropriate well work-overs.

It wasn't a Kirkuk thread, it was a Kirkuk post. Baghdad seeks to involve BP at Kirkuk oilfield

Thanks Ron - your update and mine crossed in the ether. Kirkuk is an impressive field and has a long history. The re-injection of oil was a result of embargoes on Sadam's regime, and as a result excess production was being pumped back into the reservoir on occasion. Pretty unusual practices. But, the impact of neglect (rusting infrastructure, leaks) etc has really affected this field. It is not a condition that markets are always used to evaluating when looking at the overall picture. Like I say, it is in decline, but I suspect it will be 'in decline' a lot longer that the obituary writers appreciate!

These sanctions should be entertaining this summer. No chance of success, IMO.

U.S. May Sanction India Over Level of Iran-Oil Imports

India bought an average of 328,000 barrels a day of Iranian crude in the first six months of last year, making it the No. 3 buyer, behind China and Japan and ahead of South Korea, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Iran is the No. 2 producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Unless, stockpiles are depleted. Bush left office with an unsustainable budget and Obama will leave office with no oil in the SPR and an unsustainable budget.

Obama Said to Have Discussed Oil Release With Cameron

C-Span is showing a live hearing with the NRC Heads and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to analyze the needs for Reactor Safety Policies for the 21st Century.

Jeff Sessions - R Alabama has already led the charge with several rounds from the 40 pounder. Chairwoman Boxer is working to keep the focus clear.. that NRC Panel looks pretty heavy.

Send em some good Mojo, all you Energy Druids and Droids..

Sanders Ind-VT is tossing it back to them now..

Link http://www.c-span.org/Events/NRC-Commissioners-Testify-on-Nuclear-Safety...

Don't have time to watch it all right now. Couple of interesting points from glancing at it. Chairman Jaczko was the only one who was uncomfortable at saying there had been no radiation-related deaths from Fukushima and none expected in future. He said he was uncomfortable with that point being made but he was cut short. All 4 other commissioners seemed happy with it.

Senator Bernie Sanders was extremely critical of the nuclear industry and its subsidies.

Senator Inhofe stated that America has the largest recoverable reserves of oil, coal and gas in the world but that's no reason to back away from nuclear.

Chief Nuclear Regulator Admits Safety Goals Are 'Insufficient'

US nuclear safety goals are insufficient, and don't address effects like those seen after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, the head of the US nuclear regulator says.

US nuclear safety goals have to change because, as they now stand, the Fukushima Daiichi accident is "acceptable" because no one was injured or killed by radiation, said US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko.

Yesterday, in an apparent response to criticism, the White House trotted out the two co-chairmen of the President's Oil Spill Commission to announce they will issue a two year anniversary "report card" on progress since the accident. You can find the news by using "Oil Spill Commission Action" as your search term.

First, it is useful to note that Judge Barbier in New Orleans has ruled that the Commission's previous reports are inadmissable in the current proceedings. It seems the maritime law does not allow kangaroo court proceedings into evidence!

Second, it is important to note that the Commission did NOT hold a TV press conference to explain its Chief Counsel's report, that was released AFTER the co-chairmen made their last appearence before CONGRESS!

Third, At NO time did the commission publicly explain on TV the evidence found in the fall of 2010, when the blowout preventer was recovered, or of the forensic examination of the well including the lockdown ring for the production casing.

Fourth, at no time did the commission reveal the conflict of interest held by the driller on the relief well, Mr. John Wright, whose company John Wright Company, was a unit of Boots & Coots, and was in the process of being acquired by Halliburton during the time frame from before the explosion up to the completion of the relief well!

The reason why Mr. Wright's conflict of interest is relevant is due to the impact the quality of Halliburton's cement job would have on the determination of the flow path. Was the flow up the annulus as the government assumed, or was it up through the shoe track as the evidence conclusively demonstrated?

Bruce - Not predicting that Halliburton won't lose some skin in the battle but folks should understand that in their cementing contract (of which I've probably approved at least 100 times in the last 36 years) they do not guarantee any cement job they perform. In fact they specifically point out that cement jobs are prone to failure. Halliburton may provide advice on how to do a cement job to a client but the operator specifically dictates how the cement is formulated, how it is pumped and how it is tested. As long as Halliburton complies with their orders the operator cannot hold them liable.

I have had many cement jobs fail in my career. It’s not uncommon. In fact it’s so common that all drill rigs keep the equipment used to fix a failed cement job on location while drilling. And when a Halliburton cement job fails (as long as they complied) they charge you full price for the failed job. And when they repair the failed cement they charge you full price for the fix. And if the fix doesn’t work? The charge you full price for the next effort to fix it. And if they have to try the fix 5X before it works? Yes…you get charged 5X.

This is exactly why I use the safest procedures to test cement and avoid putting a well into potential failure mode. Not only am I not a Halliburton lover but collectively I’ve been pissed off with Halliburton probably more than all the other service companies combined. But there are safe and unsafe ways to deal with potential cement failure. And here’s a real life example that just happened to me today…honestly. I’m in the process of completing an onshore well in Texas. After we ran and cemented the casing we moved the drill rig out two weeks ago AND LEFT THE HEAVY DRILLING MUD IN THE CASING. A mud weight that would prevent the well from blowing out if the cement was to fail. Today, with the work over rig on location, I tried to run the cement bond log but couldn’t get it down because the drill mud had clabbered up…as it often does. So tonight we’re going back in the hole with the drill pipe to recondition the mud. Eventually I’ll displace the heavy mud with a lighter completion fluid and then perforate the well. Had I displaced the heavy mud with a lighter fluid (as BP did at Macondo) it would not be in the process of wasting 36 hours of expensive rig time. But it’s only money and my owner agrees with me that the safety of my hands and the environment are more important. And most operators feel the same. Had BP left the heavier mud in their well it would not have blown out even if they had not pumped any cement let alone had a bad Halliburton cement job. Remember they had drilled the reservoir with the same drilling mud they displaced with sea water and it didn’t come in on them when the reservoir was originally drilled.

I’ll remind everyone of a point I made long ago. Blow outs happen and almost always a result of human error. But they almost exclusively happen before you run the casing in the hole. I’m sure it has happened but in 36 years and hundreds of wells I’ve been involved with I’ve never seen a well blow out at the stage of operations BP was in.

Rockman, thanks for the information. This kind of fact based reporting is great.

Remember they had drilled the reservoir with the same drilling mud they displaced with sea water and it didn’t come in on them when the reservoir was originally drilled.

Hey Rock, if you happen to see this, could you explain this a bit more? At what point of the drilling process is heavy drilling mud displaced by seawater? I don't think I understand.


Chemical reaction at Los Alamos lab closes road

LOS ALAMOS - Los Alamos National Laboratory called out its hazmat and emergency response team Wednesday following a chemical reaction at one of the lab's technical areas.

Lab officials say there was a small chemical reaction in a bottle that contained a sample of liquid that had been drawn from a 60-year-old cylinder. The material flared briefly when exposed to air.

The lab says no one was injured or exposed to any hazardous chemicals.

As a precaution, Los Alamos police temporarily closed the area. One section of road closest to the technical area remained closed Wednesday afternoon.

Discovery of pine beetles breeding twice in a year helps explain increasing damage, researchers say

Long thought to produce only one generation of tree-killing offspring annually, some populations of mountain pine beetles now produce two generations per year, dramatically increasing the potential for the bugs to kill lodgepole and ponderosa pine trees, University of Colorado Boulder researchers have found.

Because of the extra annual generation of beetles, there could be up to 60 times as many beetles attacking trees in any given year, their study found. And in response to warmer temperatures at high elevations, pine beetles also are better able to survive and attack trees that haven’t previously developed defenses.

some populations of mountain pine beetles now produce two generations per year,

This is one of those pesky positive feedbacks in which warmer temps for more days a year provided the opportunity for a 2nd generation. Oh what a wicked web we weave...

But all this extra CO2 and warmth will make plants grow so much better. /SARC (for the sarc impared)


The better for us (bugs) to eat! Yum yum yum.

Why would one want to eat a bug that eats pine trees?

Pine needle tea, ok. But pine eating anything? *shudders at the smell and taste of porcupine*

India cannot achieve China-like growth without reforms: research

After being relatively unaffected by the global economic downturn and experiencing strong growth in the 1990s and early 2000s, India is undergoing a major slowdown because "the economy has overshot its support structure,"...

"The government put reforms into place in the early '90s that made it possible for the private sector to grow," Green said. "But the government itself remained in the same semisocialist mode. It had allowed these private-sector reforms but the basic political leadership and basic political process have stayed the same."

The report cites lagging government services like education (India's adult literacy rate is 64 percent), energy systems and transportation as major issues facing the Indian people and private sector. "The road systems in India have been expanding but at too slow of a pace, and the rail system used today is basically the same now as in British times," Green said.

Report: Limits of the Jugaad Growth Model: No Workaround to Good Governance for India

The ink up top Petrobras faces growing fuel deficits - report is quite interesting. Brazil is increasing its oil imports. Another article stating such this morning: Amid high hopes, Brazil's oil industry faces setbacks

Over the past year, Brazil's state-run oil giant Petrobras' financials have deteriorated and production setbacks have forced South America's largest economy to increase its oil imports. Recent offshore spills have raised questions about whether Brazil has implemented adequate safety measures for the deep-sea oil exploration that's supposed to make Brazil the world's fifth largest oil producer by 2020.

Brazil's deepwater pre-salt oil fields will not save the world from peak oil. How about that for a news bulletin?

Ron P.

I think that we have hit peak calculators, especially among the members of the MSM, since there seems to be a global inability to subtract domestic consumption from production for many oil producing countries, leading to stories such as one from Bloomberg talking about Brazil--a net importer of petroleum liquids, with a pattern of increasing net imports of petroleum--taking market share away from OPEC.

"peak calculators" +10

I'm there too in tax season, just doesn't give the numbers I want anymore.

They are supposed to substantially increase ethanol production over the next couple of years, which might stem the increase for a while but probably won't push them to net liquids export status.

Cost-cutting drives solar cell process at Twin Creeks

San Jose, California, startup company, Twin Creeks Technologies, says it has figured out a way to substantially cut the cost of making silicon solar cells. The company’s technology reduces both the amount of silicon needed and the cost of the manufacturing equipment. The company can produce solar cells for about 40 cents per watt, half the present-day price of the cheapest cells at 80 cents.


Just a rumor for now... Obama's first priority is getting re-elected:


(Reuters) - Britain has decided to cooperate with the United States in a bilateral agreement to release strategic oil stocks, two British sources said, in an effort to prevent high fuel prices derailing economic growth in an election year.

enough of a rumour to drop Brent by $1.50 on the report.

U.S.: No Deal to Release Oil Reserves

The Obama administration hasn't reached an agreement with the U.K. to release crude oil from its emergency reserves and a report suggesting otherwise was inaccurate, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday.

related Oil flat after US denies reports on reserves

U.S.: No Deal to Release Oil Reserves

Stuff like this is so easy to see through. They have this so called discussion regarding releasing oil, that they just happen to want us all to know about yet there is no specific deal right now. It's a ploy to scare off what they think is driving oil price up, the speculator. So the price does respond by going down but only a tiny bit (signifying price probably has more to do with supply & demand). Tomorrow that vaccuous threat will be forgotten and the price will jump back up.

But the US & Brits did this also to feel out the political and public response to the idea, so if and when Israel collides with Iran or the price of oil impinges on the economy too much, the seeds will have been sowed to tap those reserves without a bunch of the usual pre-announcement to see how people 'feel about it' needing to take place.

Agree that this was a carefully floated rumor by the Obama administration to test public and market response. If the most they could get out of it was $2/bbl Brent reduction then I'd say it was a failure. We'll see if Brent drifts further downward tomorrow or recovers today's losses.

Chevron sees pricey oil destroying U.S. demand

"We're seeing that right now," he said. "If you look at the peak in U.S. oil consumption it was about 21 million barrels a day as little as about three years ago. It's now down to about 19 barrels a day ... and high prices are partially contributing to that."


The U.S. has been able to grow their economy and at the same time reduce oil consumption. This is a good thing because I believe there will be less and less oil available for the U.S. to import as China and India increase their demand and the supply of oil available to export continues to decline. I suppose it will depend on the decline rate in the supply of oil available to export, and the price of oil.

If you subtract the borrowed 1.5 trillion and the knock on 1.5 trillion adder to the economy did America grow?

Hmmm some growth is rather tricky to measure.
For example, the recently reported "growth" in retail sales.

Higher gas prices lift retail sales

Consumers spend more in February, but much of the additional growth in retail sales came at the pump.

Auto sales were up but then that is the new "subprime lending".
See Mike Whitney on that:


Lastly, there’s this from an article titled “Auto Bonds drive into the Fast Lane”:

“In their quest to find a haven from Europe’s sovereign-debt troubles, some money-market funds are turning to debt backed by auto loans, spurring a barrage of sales and sending interest costs on the debt toward all-time lows.

Some $15.3 billion in auto-related securities have been sold this year, surpassing the $9 billion issued in the same period in 2011, according to Barclays Capital…

Asset-backed securities have been popular among money funds in part because they are backed by tangible assets, making them potentially less risky than other debt. In the case of auto bonds, they are backed by car loans to consumers and dealers. The interest paid on those loans is pooled to pay bond investors….

The demand from the $2.7 trillion money-market fund industry has helped spur more sales, dealers said. It also has pushed short-term risk premiums, or the amount of interest buyers demand over Treasurys or some other benchmark, lower.” (“Auto Bonds Drive Into the Fast Lane”, Wall Street Journal)

As most TODers know the future of autos in the age of Peak Oil is not good.
Not nearly as close to edge as airlines even as IBM has an Ad about their
wondrous technology which will manage double the airplanes in 10 years but
in trouble all the same as car ownership and miles driven continue to decline
with Peak Oil gasoline prices.

Environmental Crunch 'Worse Than Thought': OECD

Pressures on Earth's ecosystem are now so great that future generations could be doomed to falling living standards, the OECD said on Thursday in a report looking to the mid-century.

... "The prospects are more alarming than the situation described in the previous edition," it said, speaking of "irreversible changes that could endanger two centuries of rising living standards."

The report made these points:

- CLIMATE CHANGE: Carbon emissions from energy use are likely to rise by 70 percent by 2050, "locking in" more disruptive climate change. On present trends, the world's average temperature will be 3.0-6.0 degrees Celsius (5.4-10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than in pre-industrial times, compared with the UN's target of 2 C (3.6 F).

To reach the 2 C (3.6 F) goal would cost only 0.2 percentage points in economic growth each year on average if starting today.

"This pales alongside the potential cost of inaction, which could be as high as 14 percent of average world consumption according to some estimates," the OECD warned.

OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction

Climate Change Chapter of the OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction

... Express Elevator to Hell, Going Down!

From IEA: Europe looked to Latin America for oil supplies during Libya’s civil war

... As well as receiving 500,000 additional barrels of oil a day (kb/d) from Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Iraq and Angola, Europe also turned to Latin America. By the end of the year 80 kb/d of Colombian oil was being imported to Europe whilst previously only small amounts had been supplied to European refineries.

One reason for looking so far afield was down to the kinds of sweet crude oil European refiners were used to receiving from Libya and their high yields of gasoline, low-sulphur diesel and jet fuel.

The significant additional Saudi and Iraqi crudes supplied were sour, and therefore not a direct replacement for lost Libyan supplies. This limited their use as a like-for-like replacement within many of Europe’s oil refineries.

That begs another question, what does the Export Land Model look like when filtered for just sweet crude? Another words, how much sweet crude gets exported, and who gets it? Does Europe look even more vulnerable in this model?

Africa to generate more e-waste than Europe by 2017

Better known as a dumping ground for used electronic goods from developed countries, Africa is set to outstrip Europe in the volumes of e-waste it generates within five years, experts said Thursday.

The two major contributing factors are population growth and increased avalibility of mobile phones, computers and accessories, the experts said on the sidelines of the Pan-African Forum on E-Waste at the UN environment agency in Nairobi.

"You have to bear in mind that there are efforts undertaken at all levels to increase access -- it's part of development," she said, describing the growth of both the population and the penetration rate as "exponential."

related Higher European Union e-waste collection objective is unfeasible

An example of the disconnect between people and the food that comes from nature ...

Is It A Peanut Or A Tree Nut? Half of Those with Allergies Aren’t Sure

Adults and children in a recent study could correctly identify, on average, fewer than half of an assortment of the peanuts and tree nuts that are among the most common food allergens in the United States.

The study included samples of peanuts as well as cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachios, almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts and pine nuts.

Participants then were asked to visually identify each of 19 nuts in a display box... On average, the participants correctly identified 8.4, or 44.2 percent, of the nuts. Adults did better than children, averaging 11.1 correct answers compared to 4.6 correct, respectively. Only 21 participants, or 1.9 percent of the study population, correctly identified all 19 forms of nuts.

Nuts are expensive and not a part of most peoples diet. The peanut is an exception. I would bet most got the peanut.

Yet, diets have become so far removed from what would be expected for an area.

Diseases from imported food on the rise: CDC


I wonder how many knew peanuts are peas. Legumes

Cashews and peanuts are legumes. Speaking of nuts and legumes. Did you know there were attempts to farm brazil nuts, but it didn't work. The reason why is because only a certain strain of bee pollinates them and that bee only exists in a healthy Brazilian rainforest ecosystem. Seperate the tree from the forest into neat rows, the bees ignore the trees and there's no nuts to harvest. Also, the trees drop these big husks that hold numerous brazil nuts, and there's only one animal that can break through the tough shells. It's a large rodent that has developed a set of very long tough front teeth evolved just for that specific food source. It buries the nuts in different locations, but has poor memory, so some of the nuts grow into trees.

Cashews are not legumes. They are in a different botanical family (Anacardiaceae), and are related to mangos and pistachios.

It was free response. I'd say 58% for the adults is half decent. I wonder if they accepted goober and groundnut as acceptable responses for peanut? They say 95% got peanuts correct when in the shell.

Sorry to break this to you guys ...[ROCKMAN, RMG, Westexas, and all the Rockhounds out there] ... but NASA is NOT going to come knockin' on your door to ask you to drill a 800 ft hole on some asteroid, and save the Earth.

Their going with Plan B...

Could a Nuke Stop an Asteroid After All?

Harry Stamper: What's your contingency plan?
Truman: Contingency plan?
Harry Stamper: Your backup plan. You gotta have some kind of backup plan, right?
Truman: No, we don't have a back up plan. This is it.
Harry Stamper: And this is the best that you c - that the-the government, the *U.S. government* can come up with? I mean, you-you're NASA for cryin' out loud, you put a man on the moon, you're geniuses! You-you're the guys that think this sh!t up! I'm sure you got a team of men sitting around somewhere right now just thinking sh!t up and somebody backing them up! You're telling me you don't have a backup plan, that these eight boy scouts right here, that is the world's hope, that's what you're telling me?
Truman: Yeah.

Bear: What's up, Harry? Did NASA find oil on Uranus, man?


Something along these lines may do the trick, if launched with sufficient lead time...


This concept has potential, but there are some specific technical issues to work through...

I think we in the oil industry were all aware that drilling a hole in an asteroid wouldn't do much good to save Earth. It probably comes as news to the entertainment industry, though.

Watching some of these Hollywood movies can be a really hilarious time, particularly if you have a few beer in the process.

Gas To Liquids circa 1997

Predictions from the past:

"Under conditions that may be considered reasonable, a GTL project with present technology could be cost competitive with crude oil prices around $25 per barrel but any shifts in the key cost factors could significantly raise the competitive price. This uncertainty about world oil prices, rather than the technology has served to limit GTL investment."


Oops - I guess $25/barrel was a bit off.

Maybe not so much. NG is only $15 per bbl, or even a little less, today. There just aren't many conversion plants. Which is nice, else NG would be more like $15 instead of $2.30.

Magellan to Expand Crane-to-Houston Pipeline to 225,000 BPD

Magellan Midstream Partners LP (MMP) will expand the capacity of its Crane, Texas, to Houston crude-oil pipeline to 225,000 barrels a day, according to a statement from the company.

Shape of things to come ...

Greece on the Breadline: HIV and Malaria Make a Comeback

... Reveka Papadopoulos said that following savage cuts to the national health service budget, including heavy job losses and a 40% reduction in funding for hospitals, Greek social services were "under very severe strain, if not in a state of breakdown. What we are seeing are very clear indicators of a system that cannot cope."

According to Papadopoulos, such sharp increases in communicable diseases are indicative of a system nearing breakdown. "The simple fact of the reappearance of malaria, with 100-odd cases in southern Greece last year and 20 to 30 more elsewhere, shows barriers to healthcare access have risen," she said. "Malaria is treatable, it shouldn't spread if the system is working."

"This is something we are used to seeing in sub-Saharan Africa, not Europe.

Tree rings reveal past water woes for south-eastern US

When it comes to US drought it's the semi-arid west that springs to mind but the humid tropical south-east has water worries too. The drought in the region from 2006–2009 left a number of cities, including Atlanta, with just two to four months' water supply.

Now a study of tree-rings in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin indicates that the current south-eastern drought is not as bad as many in the past 346 years. Droughts of extended duration occurred more often from 1696–1820, the trees revealed. What's more, today's water plans are based on data for the unusually wet period in the mid-20th century.

Graphene in new ‘battery’ breakthrough?

Researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University claim to have invented a new kind of graphene-based "battery" that runs solely on ambient heat. The device is said to capture the thermal energy of ions in a solution and convert it into electricity. The results are in the process of being peer reviewed, but if confirmed, such a device might find use in a range of applications, including powering artificial organs from body heat, generating renewable energy and powering electronics.

The technology is quite different to conventional lithium-ion batteries, for example, which convert chemical energy into electricity. "The output of our device is also continuous and it works solely by harvesting the thermal energy of the surrounding copper-chloride ions, which, in theory, is limitless," says Xu.


Richard Feynman explained why this is impossible with his ratchet and pawl example. I stick with the winner of the noble prize at least until they get past peer review.

The Three Laws of Thermodynamics triumph over deluded inventors one more time!

- You can't win,
- You can't break even, and
- You can't get out of the game.

Stick to poker. At least bluffing can work there.

Coal to Liquid - $50/barrel (2009)

In terms of economics, coal-based liquid fuel becomes viable when the per-barrel price of oil exceeds the $45-50 range, according to separate studies. This is because of high front-end expenditures—a 10,000 barrel-a-day plant could cost $600-700 million or more to construct. All told, the refinement process is three to four times more expensive than refining an equivalent amount of oil. When biomass is mixed with coal, the process becomes even more expensive, and is only viable with oil prices above $90 per barrel, according to the Department of Energy.


I'm interested in CTL and GTL as they may provide a cap to the price of oil. It appears that the current $105/ barrel is high enough to make CTL and/or GTL cost competitive. Eventually this may bring some more supply to the market and cap prices. Of course, these are very dirty methods.

World Wind Power Climbs to New Record in 2011

Wind energy developers installed a record 41,000 megawatts of electricity-generating capacity in 2011, bringing the world total to 238,000 megawatts. With more than 80 countries now harnessing the wind, there is enough installed wind power capacity worldwide to meet the residential electricity needs of 380 million people at the European level of consumption.

Bravo, wind installers! Keep up the good work.

New Gingrich on Peak Oil, he doesn't understand it

Liberals have this desire to ration, to regulate, to control and the possibility that we could actually produce enough energy that we did not need the Middle East is something that most liberals just look at with fear because it suddenly means that you and I could be free, we could buy the kind of car that we want, we'd have a job here at home, the government would be less important. It's a fascinating experience.

The Left has believed for at least forty years now in a concept called Peak Oil that says 'gee, we're about to run out." Well, it turns out that our reserves in the US, because of new technology, which is something that the Left rejects - they don't believe the Wright Brothers invented flying, they don't believe Edison invented electric light, and they don't believe we're about to invent the next generation of interesting things.

No, Newt. Peak is is NOT about 'running out' and it is NOT about reserves. It is about production rate. If you want to tout how great you are on science/technology then try to get the science/technology right. Sheesh.

You're assuming he doesn't know better. He's a demogogue, not stupid.

Hmmmm. Good point. It could be either one . . . stupidity or dishonesty. Newt does not have a good record on science or honesty. But neither one speaks highly of him.

You're assuming he doesn't know better. He's a demogogue, not stupid.

No, he is a demagogue and ignorant but not necessarily stupid. And he actually doesn't know any better. A vast majority of people have no idea what peak oil is and that includes most politicians in Washington. What makes you think Newt is so much smarter than the average Joe?

Ron P.

I don't think you can excuse this on ignorance. He wrote a book on it. He had more than enough time studying oil to get a better grip on its issues.

He's stupid or a liar. I'm guessing more of the latter.

Liberals have this desire to ration, to regulate, to control and the possibility that we could actually produce enough energy that we did not need the Middle East is something that most liberals just look at with fear because it suddenly means that you and I could be free, we could buy the kind of car that we want, we'd have a job here at home, the government would be less important. It's a fascinating experience.

That paragraph by Newt is what drives me crazy about right wing politics. They take something like peak oil, and with no facts to back it up twist the perspective to make it seem like the person proposing the idea hates freedom, rejects the idea of energy jobs in the US, is hell bent on transferring more of our wealth to the middle east, wants to hold people back from their full potential of purchasing what they want, to regulate more and desires more government. How does a geologic idea get twisted into a pallet of rightwing paranoia?! That kind of thinking is a form is sickness so many people in this country have. There needs to be R&D into developing a pharm drug that can be prescribed to idiots like Newt so they can hold rational thoughts without twisting them into a basket full of lies.

Wow, that paragraph is a doozy. I ignored it earlier and just focused on the Peak oil one.

I'm just shocked by the utter blatant falsity of it. From 2000 to 2006, the GOP controlled the whitehouse, the Congress, and the Senate. With all that power and free from the yoke of those dirty liberal hippies, why didn't they unleash all this magical oil so that we could all have jobs and drive SUVs with V12s? We had two oilmen running the country . . . but somehow oil shot up to $147/barrel in 2007?

Or maybe Newt is a big fat liar making promises he can't keep. I'd like to think that people are seeing through his sophistry but they probably just don't like the creep that cheated on left his two previous wives.

Good point speculawyer, why didn't they unleash all that magical oil? Because the couldn't, but now it's the only major topic to jump on, so they make stuff up because getting elected is way more important than being truthful to the sheeple.

From 2000 to 2006, the GOP controlled the whitehouse, the Congress, and the Senate.

Just a small semantic point ... the Congress includes the Senate, as well as the House of Representatives.

I'm seeing those talking points coming trough on some other salt-of-the-earth type sites I visit. They're getting some traction. I wondered why a topic like peak oil has been associated with liberals, but it was inevitable I suppose. It's the concept of limits - too many have confused freedom with the idea that one should never have any limitations to what one does, so even limitations associated with resource constraints or the laws of physics are to be rejected. Also giving anything up to be a part of a community are not acceptable.

This is not classical conservatism, it's a runt philosophy based in corporate manufactured "consumer culture" and endless marketing. People who believe they should never deny themselves anything are easy targets for product marketing and propaganda. There are analogous groups who consider themselves liberal but who also reject any kind of personal limits, but the rhetoric is different.

Basically, people who cannot make themselves live within limitations are weak of mind and easy to manipulate.

Some intresting stories out of the MSM lately about how an SPR release could help boost our economy (and maybe that of the UK) and lower motor fuel prices. How much relief an SPR release might provide:

From: http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/reserves/spr/spr-drawdown.html

“(2) In no case may the Reserve be drawn down under this subsection –

(A) in excess of an aggregate of 30,000,000 barrels with respect to each such shortage;
(B) for more than 60 days with respect to each such shortage;
(C) if there are fewer than 500,000,000 barrels of petroleum product stored in the Reserve; or
(D) below the level of an aggregate of 500,000,000 barrels of petroleum product stored in the Reserve.

And at what price would this “flood” of oil reach the market? Let’s recall the last release in 2011:

From: http://fuelfix.com/blog/2011/07/01/valero-tops-successful-bidder-list-fo...

“Fifteen companies were awarded oil. The offers ranged from $104.976 from Barclays Bank Plc to $109.76 a barrel by Valero. The oil from the SPR will be sold relative to Light Louisiana Sweet crude prices published by closely held Argus Media Ltd. Spot LLS was $107.49 a barrel at 8:06 a.m. Houston time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”

IOW the govt, by congressional statute, cannot sell the SPR much below market price. The last release was sold for about the price of Light La. Sweet. Lately LLS has been selling for around $125/bbl. And one more balloon busting thought: what if certain oil exporters (who appreciate the nature of their declining reserves) decide to cut back production to match the SPR release? Those exporters probably know the rules and limitations of SPR releases better than 99% of the American public. And how easy would it be to change the law? No problem…it would just take an act of Congress. And noting how well both parties have been working together lately that should be a snap. LOL

Tapping the SPR w/o some excuse of a crisis (such as bombing Iran) would be a craven political move and portrayed as such. I don't think anyone would try it.

But I could see some pols talking about it . . . because sometimes the talk about it is enough to drive down prices. Clinton pulled that trick.

Of course Obama will do it. And if the rules get in the way, they will be ignored or changed. The public outcry will be deafening and no politician is going to ignore it. It will receive near unanimous support. But will it have any noticeable impact at all? That's the big question. Of course any impact would be short-term only, but will even the short-term impact be measured in anything more than a few pennies, if even that? Also, how much of the released oil will just go to refined products shipped to Brazil, Europe, and other global destinations?

King - These are not rules. They are federal laws passed by Congress. A president can chose to ignore any federal law but it makes him immediately subject to prosecution. As I said, he could go to Congress and ask them to change the law. Otherwise the only way he can act unilaterally is to declare a national emergency and suspend the constituion. The law regulates how much oil can be released, what it's sold for and, most importantly, how much cannot be withdrawn. If folks haven't figured it out the last 500 million bbls is reserved for the govt and, in particular, the DOD. They call it the Strategic and not Tactical petrole reserve for a good reason. The folks who designed the law covering the SPR knew exactly what future pressures would be put on the political system and did what they could to prevent perverting the original intention of the SPR.

A president can chose to ignore any federal law but it makes him immediately subject to prosecution.

What a quaint idea - you really are an old fashioned kind of guy, aren't you?

"A president can chose to ignore any federal law but it makes him immediately subject to prosecution. "

Really? I haven't seen any evidence of that in decades!

aug - Heck...Bill Clinton was subjected to potential impeachment for messing with an intern. In the current political climate I can't think of a better gift the White House could give the R's then to make such a move. Nixon got kicked out of the White house for just lying about lying.

But the really important initial point I was trying to get across is that SPR releases will have little or no effect on fuel pricesIMHO. They system is designed to aid supply problems and keep prices from spiking...not to lower them.