Drumbeat: March 23, 2012

Analysis - Global oil outages at 1.2 million bpd in March - survey

(Reuters) - Global oil supply outages are running at more than a million barrels a day, a Reuters survey has found, helping provide justification for the United States and Britain should they release strategic reserves in a bid to cut oil prices.

Civil unrest, adverse weather and technical glitches disrupted 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of global oil output in March on the 90 million bpd world market, according to a Reuters calculation from information provided by companies, government agencies and traders.

While disruptions of supply to the world oil market are commonplace, it is rare and perhaps unprecedented that such a large volume of oil is offline at any one time outside a single major disruption.

Oil up near $124, supply worries support

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil rebounded to around $124 a barrel on Friday after Thursday's sell off as supply concerns underpinned prices despite reassurances from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Gas could hit $8 on Iran showdown, experts say

Gas prices could double if Iran acts to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil-tanker traffic near the beginning of next year, cutting global economic growth by more than 25%, a leading energy-consulting firm says.

Unhappy public not sure who to blame for high gas

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Families canceling vacations. Fishermen watching their profits burn up along with their boats' gasoline. Drivers buying only a few gallons of gas at a time because they can't afford to fill the tank.

From all corners of the country, Americans are irritated these days by record-high fuel prices that have soared above $4 a gallon in some states and could top $5 by summer. And the cost is becoming a political issue just as the presidential campaign kicks into high gear.

Gas cards return as destinations gear up for tourists

As climbing fuel prices threaten to put the brakes on spring and summer trips, some hotels and destinations are returning to a familiar tactic to lure visitors: gas cards.

"When you hit a milestone like $4 a gallon (the nationwide average is $3.84 a gallon for regular unleaded, but 10 states now average between $4.01 and $4.46 a gallon), it gets people's attention," says senior analyst Gregg Laskoski of GasBuddy.com.

Rising gas prices help my business

Who says rising gas prices are a pain? What is a problem for many turns out to be beneficial for some.

The oil industry's plan to lower gas prices

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The oil industry recently laid out a set of proposals it believes will instantly lower gasoline prices.

The proposals call for more domestic oil production, fewer environmental regulations on refineries and fuel, and for not raising taxes on the industry. They're basically what the Republican presidential candidates are calling for.

But analysts say those ideas will do little to lower gas prices in the short term.

From Engineering Marvels, a Turnaround in U.S. Oil Output

Just a decade ago, complete wells were fracked at the same time with millions of gallons of water, sand and chemical gels. Now the wells are fracked in stages, with various kinds of plugs and balls used to isolate the bursting of rock one section at a time, allowing for longer-reaching, more productive horizontal wells. A well that once took two days to drill can now be drilled in seven hours.

No Quick Fix?

For over 40 years the left has brought out one argument after another against fossil fuels. Whether it is "peak oil," "carbon emissions," "can't drill our way out," or "no quick fix," every argument has the same goal: to force Americans off fossil fuels and onto expensive, government-regulated green alternatives. All of these arguments have turned out to be wrong. Peak oil may be 200 years away; carbon emissions have not raised the sea levels by 12m, devastated our croplands, or engendered monster storms. We can drill our way out, and yes, there is a "fix."

Everything from "peak oil" to "no quick fix" is a thinly disguised attempt at government takeover of the energy sector, something the left has plotted since at least the 1930s. The left's goal is to shift control of a vital sector of the economy, and one that plays a crucial part in the lives of all Americans, into the hands of government. Along with ObamaCare and financial regulation, it is the third leg of Obama's socialist takeover of the economy.

Keystone pipeline: Separating reality from rhetoric

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- President Obama stopped in Cushing, Okla., on Thursday to announce a fast-track approval process for a portion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline -- although it's not the part for which he's taken political heat for blocking.

The portion likely to start construction soon runs from Cushing, a key repository of U.S. oil, to the Gulf Coast.

Republicans Blast Obama on Energy

President Obama's two-day trip to highlight his energy policies has lit a fire under the Republicans, who say he is distorting his record and trying to duck responsibility for high gasoline prices.

It's a sign that energy will be a big issue for the rest of this political year, and that all sides will continue their efforts to make gains by bashing each other. The trigger for the debate has been rising gas prices, which reached a national average of $3.86 per gallon on Wednesday, up from $1.83 in January 2009, when Obama took office.

Obama Plan on Oil Pipeline Segment Won’t Quell Keystone Debate

President Barack Obama satisfied neither critics nor environmentalist allies with an announcement of an expedited review for an oil pipeline as he wrapped up a four-state trip defending his energy policies.

Obama’s Worst Speech Ever: “We’ve Added Enough New Oil And Gas Pipeline To Encircle The Earth”

Obama will, I’ve said, be remembered for a “failed presidency” simply for failing to seriously fight for a climate bill. And this speech certainly guts any possible claim for a climate legacy.

Ironically, as Brad Johnson notes over at TP Green, Cushing is “ground zero for climate disasters in the United States.” In the last five years, “Cushing alone has been hit by disastrous drought, severe summer storms, ice storms, and wildfire.”

China Mulls Giving Oil Majors More Autonomy In Setting Fuel Prices -Report

BEIJING – China is studying a system that would allow its three major oil companies to independently set the prices of refined oil products when global oil prices are below $130 a barrel, the Shanghai Securities News reported Friday, citing a government researcher.

China may also incorporate "relatively cheaper" West Texas Intermediate--the U.S. light, sweet benchmark, which is traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange--into the crude basket it tracks, the newspaper said, citing Jiang Xinmin, deputy director at the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Pakistan considering allowing petrol imports from India

Pakistan is expected to bring out a notification next month allowing import of certain goods, including petrol and food items from India, Energy Secretary Ejaz Chaudhry has said.

Saudi to fill in for any Iran disruption: IEA

(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia will be able to pump enough oil to compensate for any loss of Iranian output caused by Western sanctions, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday.

"There is no fear of disruption of supplies and you know Saudi Arabia is going to bring more oil to the market," Maria van der Hoeven, the executive director of the agency that advises developed nations, said while attending an Asia Gas Partnership conference in New Delhi.

U.S. Says Iran Crude Buyers Must Pledge Cuts to Avoid Sanctions

The Obama administration wants China, India and 10 other nations to present specific plans of how they will curtail Iranian oil imports, saying past cuts aren’t enough to win them an exclusion from new U.S. sanctions.

Iran oil sanctions: India tells West to appreciate its needs

NEW DELHI: India will continue to import oil from Iran without violating any international law and has requested the United States and the European Union to take into account the country's oil needs, oil minister Jaipal Reddy said on Friday.

IEA exec: no waiver yet for India as its Iran oil deals run from April

(Reuters) - India has not got a waiver yet to U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil buyers as the South Asian nation said its annual oil deals with Tehran run from April to March, the International Energy Agency's executive director told Reuters.

South Africa's Sasol No Longer Buying Iranian Crude Oil

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa's Sasol Ltd. (SSL) said Friday it has stopped buying Iranian crude oil and is sourcing more Arabian crude in its place.

The company, the world's largest coal-to-motor-fuel producer, said it also continues to buy from West Africa, declining to give any pricing information.

Govt not looking at diesel price decontrol: Reddy

Oil minister S Jaipal Reddy today said the government is not contemplating decontrol of diesel prices and admitted to "some kind of" discontinuation of petrol deregulation of late.

"As of now, we are not contemplating deregulation of diesel prices," Reddy told reporters on sidelines of 7th Asia Gas Partnership Summit in New Delhi.

India moves to quell $211 billion coal furor

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India lost up to $211 billion in revenue by selling coalfields too cheaply, a government auditor's draft report said, sparking a furor in parliament on Thursday that added to pressure on the prime minister after months of scandals and policy missteps.

The prime minister's office called the estimated loss "exceedingly misleading," after the report - leaked from the federal auditor and published in the Times of India - prompted lawmakers to demand an explanation and rattled investors.

Operations resume at new Iraq oil export terminal

(Reuters) - Iraq's new offshore oil export terminal resumed operations and loading late on Thursday, sources at the South Oil Co. said.

Two major U.S. oil cos interested in TAPI pipeline

(Reuters) - Two major U.S. oil companies are interested in a four-country pipeline that would ship gas worth billions of dollars from Turkmenistan to India and Pakistan, a U.S. government official said on Friday.

The building of the U.S.-backed "TAPI" pipeline through some of Afghanistan's most volatile regions presents a major challenge, adding to the project's other hurdles such as gas pricing and transit fees.

Morgan Stanley-Hired Ship Hauls Frozen Gas 14,500 Miles to Tokyo

A liquefied natural gas tanker hired by Morgan Stanley, the bank that ships the most commodities, is hauling a cargo about 14,500 miles from the U.S. to Japan, where the fuel fetches almost seven times more.

Statoil big Arctic oil find could be bigger-report

OSLO (Reuters) - A major oil find in the Arctic made by Statoil could contain an extra 350 million barrels of oil reserves, Norwegian daily Dagens Naeringsliv reported on Friday.

The Skrugard oil find - so far estimated to contain between 200 and 300 million barrels, with a potential to hold up to 500 million barrels - boosted the interest of oil firms in the Norwegian Arctic when it was discovered last year.

Russia to Return to Saving Oil Revenues in Funds

Russia will return to its pre-crisis practice of applying the so-called 'budget rule' and saving the country's oil revenues in special state stability funds, Presidential Economic Aide Arkady Dvorkovich said on Friday.

Harper Says Canada to Speed Energy Reviews in Bid for Asia Sales

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his government plans to reform its regulatory system so energy projects can get faster approval as the country looks to sell more oil and gas to Asia.

Athabasca oil sands: Making headlines, then and now

Fifty years ago, the Athabasca oil sands took their first small steps toward becoming – depending on your point of view – North America’s economic salvation or its environmental cataclysm.

Exxon Mobil to sell some Europe gas stations - paper

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp has put 78 French gas stations on the block, part of a wider effort to sell out of such activities in Europe following similar moves in the United States, financial daily Les Echos reported on Friday.

Energy Brokers Get Shelter From EU’s Shift to Exchanges

The global credit freeze and record oil prices of 2008 prompted regulators around the world to shift more trade onto exchanges such as ICE Futures Europe in London and Nord Pool ASA in Oslo, increasing transparency. The rules for OTFs would allow brokers including GFI Group Inc. to retain trades that might have moved to the more-regulated markets. The exchanges oppose this, saying they’ll be shut out of the $2.6 trillion non- exchange commodity derivatives business.

Chavez Turns to Generals to Defend Revolution Amid Illness

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who began his climb to power in a failed revolt two decades ago, is returning to his military roots and promoting fellow coup plotters to top posts to ensure the survival of his revolution.

The socialist leader says he’s fit enough to win another six-year-term in October after undergoing cancer surgery in February for a third time in eight months. Still, the former tank commander’s treatment of his illness as a state secret has fueled speculation his health is worse than he’s letting on.

Citi’s Report: Fuelish or Farsighted?

Earlier this week, Citigroup’s Ed Morse previewed the bank’s new energy report, “Energy 2020: North America, the New Middle East?” in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Yesterday the bank released the full report—and it’s a doozy.

In the report, Citi’s strategists argue that North America could become the largest provider of new energy during the next decade, as new technology adds once inaccessible sources of fuel to the mix.

Crude Oil Prices And The 'Peak Oil' Environment

Peak Oil can be defined at least 4 ways but one way is simple: Peak Oil is when supplies and stocks are tight enough, relative to demand, to make price slides short and price hikes long, until and unless the economy tilts into recession or by policy decision in response to a dysfunctional and parasitic bank, finance and insurance sector is either pushed or allowed to fall into recession.

Tom Murphy Interview: Resource Depletion is a Bigger Threat than Climate Change

I see climate change as a serious threat to natural services and species survival, perhaps ultimately having a very negative impact on humanity. But resource depletion trumps climate change for me, because I think this has the potential to effect far more people on a far shorter timescale with far greater certainty. Our economic model is based on growth, setting us on a collision course with nature. When it becomes clear that growth cannot continue, the ramifications can be sudden and severe. So my focus is more on averting the chaos of economic/resource/agriculture/distribution collapse, which stands to wipe out much of what we have accomplished in the fossil fuel age. To the extent that climate change and resource limits are both served by a deliberate and aggressive transition away from fossil fuels, I see a natural alliance. Will it be enough to avert disaster (in climate or human welfare)? Who can know - but I vote that we try real hard.

Chevron Says Brazil's Reaction To Spill Is Out Of Proportion

BRASILIA – The legal reaction to a Chevron Corp. (CVX) oil spill in Brazil in November is "out of proportion compared to the event," according to Rafael Jaen Williamson, the oil company's director of corporate affairs.

Arctic Council group works on spill response plan

GIRDWOOD -- Representatives of the eight nations in the Arctic Council gathered Thursday for continued discussions on a petroleum spill preparation and response plan in northern waters and a spokesman for the meeting host said it couldn't come too soon.

Recycled Motor Oil Could Help Alleviate Foreign Oil Dependency and Help the Environment

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire) - According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), more than 600 million gallons of motor oil is purchased each year. Joseph Franceschi, an engineer at Universal Lubricants believes the proven technology "reduces imported oil," with less energy expended than refining a product from "virgin" crude oil. Current estimates are that it takes 42 gallons of crude oil, but only 1 gallon of used oil, to produce 2.5 quarts of new, high-quality lubricating oil.

Dieter Helm to head the UK's new green accountant

Economist Dieter Helm is to head a new Natural Capital Committee (NCC), which will aim to value the UK's natural resources, as part of a package of measures announced in the UK's new budget today.

The appointment seems logical in that Helm has championed this kind of measure as key to sustainable global development, but he is also famously of the view that fossil fuels are still plentiful, renewables expensive, and shale gas an important future energy source in the UK that will drive gas prices down.

Budget 2012: oil and gas industry gets £3bn tax break to encourage drilling

China National Nuclear in Talks With Areva on Uranium Stakes

China National Nuclear Corp. said it’s in talks to buy a stake in uranium mines owned by Areva SA as the world’s biggest energy consumer prepares to resume approval of new reactor construction.
A £3bn tax break from the chancellor to help BP and others drill new deep wells in pristine waters off the north of Scotland was condemned as "absolutely shocking" by green campaigners.

'Hell no, we won't glow': Dozens of anti-nuclear activists arrested at Vermont Yankee protest

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. -- A 93-year-old anti-nuclear activist was among more than 130 protesters arrested at the corporate headquarters of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant Thursday, the first day of the plant's operation after the expiration of its 40-year license.

A Tally of Green Jobs

For the first time, the federal government on Thursday released an estimate of the number of so-called green jobs in the United States economy, saying that 3.1 million people are employed in the production of goods and services that benefit the environment.

Electric cars risk losing green sheen in Japan

TOKYO (AP) — Electric car owners who prided themselves on being green now find themselves in a bind as Japan's government maneuvers to restart dozens of nuclear power plants idled after last year's meltdowns.

First High-Speed Cargo Train Calls at London

This week a test run of a high-speed freight train between Lyon St Exupéry airport (France) and St. Pancras International Station in London (United Kigdom), passing via Paris Charles De Gaulle airport and the Channel Tunnel demonstrated the efficiency, speed and environmental benefits of a shift in intermodal container traffic from air to the high-speed rail network.

China over takes US as world's wind power leader: report

China has overtaken US in the wind power generation sector by consolidating its position as the world leader in both newly and cumulative installed capacities in 2011, the China Wind Energy Association (CWEA) said on Friday.

Figures released by the CWEA said China had 17.6 gigawatts (GW) of wind turbines installed in 2011. Though this was down 6.9 per cent from the previous year, it took China's cumulative wind power installed capacity amount to 62.4GW, up 39.4% year-on-year, by the end of 2011.

EU mulls 'green lawsuits' against China

Massive state subsidies are "squeezing out" European wind and solar companies from China’s renewables market, the head of EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht’s cabinet has said, adding that court action should be considered against barriers to trade.

Groundwater Crisis Unfolds in Times Square

To mark World Water Day, digital animations conveying the gravity of global declines in groundwater just went on display on two billboards in Times Square. The animations, based on satellite data provided by NASA and the University of California, Irvine, and statistics from the United States Geological Survey, will be shown several times each hour through April 22.

Cosy amid the thaw

As the ice retreats, rich Arctic deposits of oil, gas and other minerals become accessible. High commodity prices make them lucrative. The US Geological Survey estimates that the Arctic has around a quarter of the world’s undiscovered and recoverable oil and gas reserves.

Fiji: It's all about survival

AS the world braces for tougher climate conditions in the coming decades, it has become more and more clear that climate change is having a direct impact on our food system.

The issue of food security has become of extreme importance especially for Pacific island people today. The world's most vulnerable people are at risk of falling into the hunger and poverty trap as extreme weather because of the effects of climate change, such as droughts and floods, are already causing an increase in food prices. This increase threatens food security in many parts of the world, pushing the poor into destituteness as they spend more of their income providing for themselves and their families.

India bans its airlines from paying EU carbon tax

India has barred its airlines from complying with the European Union's carbon taxation scheme, with the government saying no Indian carrier would share emissions data with the EU.

"Though the European Union has directed Indian carriers to submit emission details of their aircraft by March 31, 2012, no Indian carrier is submitting them in view of the position of the government," Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said Thursday in parliament.

Carbon Plan Could Pay Off for Airlines

LONDON — Emirates, an airline based in wealthy Dubai, has been among the outspoken opponents of a system making airlines account for their pollution on all flights using E.U. airports.

Yet Emirates could make a modest profit of €1.5 million, or $2 million, from a small surplus of permits, each representing a ton of carbon dioxide, that airlines can trade as part of the system.

The Good Samaritan and global warming

Much, but not all, skepticism about global warming comes from fear of local responsibility for a global problem. This might require personal sacrifice in how we live and practice our faith.

3Qs: What is 'global weirding'?

Auroop Ganguly — an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering who heads Northeastern’s Sustainability and Data Sciences Lab — explains how global climate change and extreme weather, such as hurricanes and heat waves, could affect water sustainability, critical infrastructures and human health.

Rising sea levels imperil our state

Florida is in the crosshairs of climate change. Rising seas, a population crowded along the coast, porous bedrock, and the relatively common occurrence of tropical storms put more real estate and people at risk from storm surges aggravated by sea level rise in Florida, than any other state by far.

Some 2.4 million people and 1.3 million homes, nearly half the risk nationwide, sit within 4 feet of the local high tide line. Sea-level rise is more than doubling the risk of a storm surge at this level in South Florida by 2030. For the hundreds of thousands of Floridians holding 30-year mortgages, that date is not far off in the future.

I am sure everyone read this:
We understand this is an election year...

A copy of my email to one of the reporters, Clifford Krauss, and my latest feeble attempt to put the "flood" of rising US crude oil production in its proper context:

Global annual (Brent) crude oil prices doubled from $55 in 2005 to $111, an average rate of increase of one percent per month, although actual prices have of course been above and below this trend line. The available production data over this time frame, from the EIA and BP, show that global crude oil production and global total petroleum liquids production have been virtually flat, with a slight increase in total liquids production of about 0.5%/year (inclusive of low net energy biofuels).

A study of the top 33 net oil exporters in the world, which account for 99% plus of total global net exports, and which we define as Global Net Exports of oil (GNE), shows that GNE fell from 46 mbpd (million barrels per day) in 2005 to 43 mbpd in 2010 (BP & EIA data, total petroleum liquids).

Furthermore, China and India (“Chindia”) have been consuming an increasing share of this declining volume of GNE. At the 2005 to 2010 rate of increase in Chindia’s combined net oil imports as a percentage of GNE, the Chindia region alone would consume 100% of GNE by the year 2029, 17 years from now.

While the US has shown a small increase in crude oil production, up from the pre-hurricane rate of 5.4 mbpd in 2004 to 5.7 mbpd in 2011, a net increase of 0.3 mbpd, this is virtually a rounding error in the context of the multimillion barrel per day declines that we have seen in GNE, especially the ongoing decline in the volume of GNE available to importers other than China and India, which dropped from 40 mbpd in 2005 to 35 mbpd in 2010.

And while it is certainly true that US net oil imports have declined, a significant contributor to the decline in net imports was a large decline in US consumption, which was down by 1.5 mbpd from 2004 to 2010 (EIA).

So, while slowly increasing US crude oil production is very important, the dominant trend we are seeing is that developed oil importing countries like the US are being gradually priced out of the global market for exported oil, as global oil prices doubled from 2005 to 2011, and as developing countries like the Chindia region consumed an increasing share of a declining volume of global net exports of oil.

wt - Along those same lines: "Peak Oil can be defined at least 4 ways but one way is simple: Peak Oil is when supplies and stocks are tight enough, relative to demand, to make price slides short and price hikes long...".

Not hardly. Such conditions occurred from time to time in the US long before we reached our own PO. Seems like almost daily someone is trying to redefine PO or "energy independence" to support their particular agenda.

The increase in the price of crude oil has spurred this frantic quest to scrape the bottom of the barrel (literally), using fracking techniques -correct me if I am wrong - that produce about 90% of the oil in the first year of a well. How long can we estimate this will last?
On the other hand, the MSM has heralded the export of finished petroleum products. This consumes some amounts of the crude oil, either extracted in the U.S. or imported from Canada? Probably due to the lower WTI versus Brent prices and a favorable crack spread?
I find it more difficult to link what amount of crude relates to these exports - could you help?

My guess, and Art Berman concurs, is that at least 90% of the wells currently producing oil from shale formations will be plugged and abandoned, or down to 10 bpd or less, 10 years from now.

Regarding the US emerging as a net exporter of refined petroleum products, it's due to weak demand in the US, as global annual crude oil prices doubled from 2005 to 2011; it's basically a symptom of Peak Exports.

"Regarding the US emerging as a net exporter of refined petroleum products, it's due to weak demand in the US..."

Given that line, a logical question would be "What are we doing exporting a taxpayer subsidized resource?" If "We produce and refine more than our market needs" according to Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute*, why would that product be sold at a rising premium to those partially financing it? Why would drilling more wells into relatively dry ground help lower prices to the taxpayer? According to the head of the API, we're already making more than we need.

I think there is supposed to be another line about how the refined product is made from imported oil as a service.

Given the lies of the KSA about reserves, the line of misinformation coming out of the API, and the endless old-school arguments trying to address the new realities of market trading under the new rules**, all statements claiming to be about the realities of oil are losing trustworthy foundation.

Here is the API site:
This is where we learn that Keystone is going to add 20,000 new jobs right away. This will ramp up to hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The API seems to be the source of the recent media misinformation.


http://www.kcrw.com/news/programs/tp/tp120321what_are_the_real_ca (at 24:00)


Looking at the comments, it seems that many of the NYT readers have been educating themselves about the reality of our situation, and aren't buying the MSM story line. A bit of progress, perhaps...

I might be in the minority...

West Texas

As usual you've done a masterful job of stating the facts. This is something that should be forwarded to the editors of every business journal as well as members of congress (assuming that they can read).

When I first starting following peak oil here on TOD it was the Export Land Model that was my "OH S*&$" moment. From then on I knew we were in trouble.


I agree with Old Leatherneck - your summary should be repeated over and over again because it captures the predicament we are in. My only suggestion would be to write in an more active language without all of the qualifiers and acronyms (which confuse IMHO).

Something like:

Global annual (Brent) crude oil prices doubled from $55 in 2005 to $111 in 2011, an average rate of increase of one percent per month.

Over this same time frame (2005 to 2011), despite heroic efforts by all oil producers, global crude oil production (crude plus condensate) have been flat. No increase.

The oil available to the United States comes from 2 sources - our production and global exports from other countries.

Global net exports over this period fell from 46 million barrels per day in 2005 to 43 million barrels per day in 2010. A drop of 3 million barrels per day over that period. This ongoing trend is due to slowing production from the exporters accompanied by increasing consumption within the exporting countries.

Our oil production, from the pre-hurricane rate of 5.4 million barrels per day in 2004 to 5.7 million barrels per day in 2011, increased only 0.3 million barrels per day. One tenth of the decline seen in global net exports available to us. Therefore the dominant trend is significantly less oil available to the United States every year. The minor uptick in our production is a red herring.

This dominant trend is actually much worse than it appears because China and India are consuming an increasing share of the global net exports available.

Better writers might be able to make it crisper. It would also help to have something like a simple bar graph showing the US production increase vs the ongoing loss in global exports. That would help with the innumerate.

Good idea T E that the data needs to be written for the layperson. It would be nice to find a way to get the final version to some high volume MSM to repeatedly get it in front of the politicians and people to drive it home with clarity.

I like this idea. A succinct "boilerplate" statement such as above, with graph, that can be occasionally pasted into the drumbeats where appropriate, to catch the attention of visitors and newbies who may be otherwise unaware of the essence of our predicament.

The fact that you report:"While the US has shown a small increase in crude oil production...."
is overwritten by fictions in the WSJ and the New York Times as we have seen. Here is another one on the same lines:

Why North America is the new Middle East: Citibank
Excerpts: In fact, the United States alone is on course to become the largest liquid producer in the world and looks almost certain to overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia before the decade is over, writes Ed Morse, Managing Director and the Head of Global Commodities Research at Citibank, in a note to clients.
The North American crude oil and natural gas liquids base appears to have the potential to nearly double from 15.4 million bpd in 2011 to almost 27 million bpd by 2020, says the U.S. bank, as oil sands and shale oil and production ramps up.

It does not help that he is selling something, and then goes on to mix the US with North America.

He is writing an Ad, to sell people on investing in the boom, while they can still sell a boom.

But telling people that the end is almost here, or that the globe is running out of clean water and good food is almost pointless, when they just have to turn to the MSM and any politican that wants to get elected and they get a different story. The number of Websites that tell people the exact oppisite of what TOD talks about are growing not shrinking. The number of people concerned with what is going to be at the Movies this weekend is growing not shrinking. The number of people totally clueless is growing not shrinking.

It is like the recent storms in the plains states.

Why would you keep building stick houses that high winds would blow down every year, if you did not get told that stick houses are better than dug out earth shelters? If the laws say you can't have earth shelters, but must have stick houses that the high winds can knock down.

We are a country full of idiot ideas, that get repeated over and over again and then people wonder what hit them. No one seems to care unless it is something new on TV that they might miss. That some of these reality programs have gone on for more than a decade running must tell you something about the minds of the people watching them, or something.

The list is getting longer and longer of things that just don't fit the MSM's game plan.

Recent weather events all over the USA and globe will just have to go a few more years, and when store shelves run bare of things like bread, it will be to late to inform people that the writing has been on the wall for decades now.

I am almost to the point of giving up reading the comment sections of some articles, as the people seem totally clueless that they are being lied to, and led down rosy paths to their own deaths, by people wanting to get their last dollar before they push them over the edge of the cliff.

Rant off.

Yeah, RE: Comments.

Since they aren't built into any sense of a Responsible Dialog, these have developed into a truly toxic mix of misinformation, and the ugly rearing of people's fears. Without being able to interact with each other in a constructive way, they are completely un-self-correcting in these ways.

Stay Away. I'm sure they're very rough for one's mental balances. Any expressions of Humility, Moderation or Generousity are discouraged and almost immediately set-upon.

The level of anger in the comments is really something, too. Even music videos on YouTube.

The MSM news is the corporate news.
NPR is little different. Warren Olney's "To the point" has some good moments.
KPFK is independent. A lot of it is fluff and "Music you might not care for".
I'm down to Ian Masters' "Background Briefing" as about the only thing regularly worth listening to.


md - I suppose it depends how you spin the same fact: "...the United States...has become a net exporter of refined petroleum products like gasoline for the first time since the Truman presidency." Valid explanation of the same fact: foreign consumers with stronger growing economies can afford to out bid US consumers for refined products and are thus driving up domestic prices and taking those resources from us.

Yeh. If we're so into energy independence,why would we be celebrating exports of gasoline? Missed is that we are importing oil to make refined products. Who is "we" anyway? I want my check.

NYT article was definitely puke worthy. So glad we are exporting our way to energy independence.

Well, I'm not sure that the headline is incorrect, but the what that means is not what they think that means. A world where the US has little choice but rely on it's declining resources (current increase in production doesn't change the overall curve much) is not the rosy future they are trying to sell. And what that "energy independent" US will really look like some of us might get to see!

But this is an election year, and the NYTimes works for the blue team, I suspect this is partially at least an attempt to make things look better due to that. Not that they'd be telling the truth if it WASN'T an election year...

I am convinced that people won't get it until there is rationing, or gas hits $10 a gallon in the US. If then.

I am convinced that people won't get it until there is rationing, or gas hits $10 a gallon in the US. If then.

Nah, the vast majority will remain misinformed, ignorant, and angry -- pretty much the way they are now. After all, it's much easier than educating themselves. I suspect reading comprehension (or lack thereof) is a major factor.

Remember, people, this is the same NYT that was a cheerleader for the invasion of Iraq. The same NYT that was a cheerleader for the bailout of big, insolvent banks.

And now, the NYT that's claiming we are on our way to energy independence.

But, you guys continue to support it with your subscriptions, because it supposedly proves your superiority to the average dolt.

All it really proves, though, is how much you're a sucker for the nice, "gift wrapped" version of BAU American Empire and growth forever.

Subscriptions? No need to subscribe. You can read anything you want there for free.

"..because it supposedly proves your superiority to the average dolt."

Chill, Oilman. I think you missed the implied SARC tag that accompanies most NYT links here. It should be pretty clear that this crowd is not too starry-eyed about the Old Grey Mare, there.

Thanks for taking the time to point-out that the NY Times is the lead daily publication of the US Propaganda and Indoctrination Systems.

FOR ALL "Just a decade ago, complete wells were fracked at the same time with millions of gallons of water, sand and chemical gels". FYI I did my first multi-stage frac of a well over 30 years ago. The reason we are seeing higher numbers of frac stages is that the horizontal legs are being drilled much longer: each frac stage only improves a relatively short section of the lateral. And they are being drilled longer because shorter laterals aren't providing sufficient URR. IMHO the increasing number of frac stages per hz hole is not due so much to improved new technology but a response to the smaller margins from shorter wells with fewer frac stages.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the problem isn't really "fracking". The problem is a bunch of "new people" doing it in areas of high population and a lack of regulator experience and funding in these "newly opened areas." So a guy who's been doing it for thirty years in a state or area that knows the game and how to revenue it up isn't going to do the same thing as a guy with a new super soaker fracking rig up in PA?

Kind of like going hunting on opening day on public lands. A bunch of folks with new guns, lost, and eager to get something.

I'm just trying to get an analogy that makes sense. Like comparing the horror story in Gasland with what I know our friends in TX have been doing a good long while.

I've got family who have fracking near their house, and the foundation has started to get borked (doors won't close or open, etc.). They can't sell either.

(Yes I'm aware fracking is a symptom of the real problem of peaking recoverable resources, but it's such a big fat target right now.)

noble - You make some very valid points IMHO. But I can't defend my cohorts working in PA as being like those inexperienced hunters you allude to. The oil field folks who are doing the work in Yankeeland are the same ones who do fracs for us in Texas. IOW they ain't newbies and can't use that as an excuse. Most of us in the oil patch (especially in Texas and La. where they crucify you for breaking the rules) will follow the regs. But if the regs aren't there no one should expect any company to spend more money then they have to. As I've said many times: it ain't personal...just business. They just need to tighten the regs and enforce them. The additional cost to do it right isn't going to stop one new well from being drilled/frac'd. Just cuts into our profit margin a bit.

Ok Rock,a short followup. What is the likelihood of different geology in PA vs TX having to do with the problems for your Yankee cousins? ie TX being a vast seabed of old deposits vs PA an area ancient mtn building and convoluted, fractured and eroded layers?

And if I still have your attention, well drillers around here have been advertising Hydrofracturing for at least a decade as a method to improve well gpm and delivery. Take a 1 or 3 gpm well and bring it to 10, maybe. And they state the maybe. I assume it is the same basic process, yet here we dealing with potable, domestic water. It seems the frack fluid of gas extraction would kill the well for domestic uses, that at best, they could only use high pressure and fine sand. But maybe I'm missing something. That a long subsequent purge would "clean" the well. Or maybe it's just a function of depth and pressure, that water wells 400 to 500 ft deep aren't encountering the pressure of gas wells, so don't need the frack fluids to force the sand along.

Water wells are fractured with only water and air at around 3500 psi. I posted several links a while back. The rig that fracked my sister's well had a fairly elaborate filter system to prevent contamination from oil, etc.

ghung- any chance of re-posting your links, does the water frac use sand to keep the fissures open?


A view inside a fracked water well

Further explanation and slides

I can't find a useful animation I posted earlier (my connection is very slow today). If I do, I'll post the link.

Thanks Ghung.

doug - The rock mechanics can be very different from those PA deposits and our relatively young rocks down in Texas. But the origins of the deposits might not be too different. Again, with re: to the mechanics of frac'g there are parameter differences in the models but no significant difference in the risks. The physical nature of the earth won't allow deep (8,000'+) fracs to propagate to the surface anywhere on the planet. But bad cement jobs, split casing and improper dumping of frac fluids can happen just as easily in Texas or PA. So far the biggest difference I've seen between the two regions are the regs and how well they are or aren't enforced. Some may still not believe me but operators in Texas and La. try very hard to not have those problems. And again, not because we're such holy stewards of the land but because the penalties are so severe. And you almost always get caught.

But that all has to do with oil/NG extraction. I don't know much about stimulating water wells but I'm fairly sure the process is very different then how we do it in the oil patch. For one thing you couldn't do for the expense alone. The two types of projects exist in different world AFAIK.

Thanks Rock. I followed your comments alot on the Macondo blowout and really appreciated it. Still a couple nagging questions about drilling in general, but I'll save them for a rainy day.

You hit the head on water well drilling...hard to see several million working for domestic or stock water.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the problem isn't really "fracking". The problem is a bunch of "new people" doing it in areas of high population and a lack of regulator experience and funding in these "newly opened areas."

Yes, that's basically correct, except the real problem is a bunch of "new people" in the media in areas of high population reporting on things they don't understand. This is only a new advance in those areas which don't have much oil and gas.

In areas like Texas where oil companies have frac'ed hundreds of thousands of wells over the last 50 years with no known cases of groundwater contamination, and where the regulators have decades of experience monitoring it, it is considerably less controversial.

40 years ago when I was a snot-nosed young computer operator feeding three-foot long trays of punched cards into a giant supercomputer at a seismic processing company in an attempt to find more oil, frac'ing was already an old technique. (We didn't find much more oil and US oil production peaked in 1970.)

Hi Rocky,
I've been regularly reading TOD for a few years now, and since you post regularly, I have read a great deal of your posts. I'll start by saying that I certainly respect where your opinions come from, and I value the insight that guys like yourself provide in this forum. I should also note that I fully understand and trust the geologists who state that, in general and in the short term, there is nothing inherent in a correctly performed hydraulic fracturing process that would pollute aquifers.

However, I have to speak up and disagree with your claim that "...the real problem is a bunch of "new people" in the media in areas of high population reporting on things they don't understand"

I am a resident of Southwestern Pennsylvania, which has been at ground zero for Marcellus shale development over the past couple of years. My wife and I have been relatively active in our community, attending several local informative and community organizing meetings regarding the Marcellus development. At these meetings, I have met a few local citizens who have had their water contaminated shortly after drilling operations on their property (we assume due to spillage and/or poorly constructed wastewater lagoons) and subsequently waged long and costly battles with the gas company. I’ve met others who have tailed wastewater trucks and witnessed illegal waste dumping into rivers, and others who are concerned about roads being torn apart by heavy truck traffic. We are living in a primarily rural area that is experiencing an unprecedented and rapid invasion of industrialization. We have a state DEP that is arguably quite industry friendly, and most definitely understaffed. We have joined a concerned citizens group that has been trained to perform “visual assessments” of drilling sites and report any observed violations to the DEP. From what we have experienced with this program, the DEP is stretched very thin in attempting to properly regulate the drilling boom here.

The reporting of the local media here is contrary to your insinuation that the media is spreading misinformation about the dangers of gas drilling. Despite the very real issues experienced by real people that I’ve met at the aforementioned meetings, the overall mood of this primarily conservative and/or elderly community is that the Marcellus gas development is a very positive thing. Ironically, this attitude is, in my opinion, due in no small part because of misinformation spread by the media! The Marcellus boom has been trumpeted as an economic panacea for a rust belt region that has been in the economic doldrums for decades. Because of the intense hyperbolic language used, most folks dream about the promised economic revival, and block out any possible negative effects. I can’t speak for local television news, since I don’t have TV.

However, I do read three local newspapers regularly, and the primary focus of articles about Marcellus drilling is economic development – not environmental contamination issues. The only newspaper that addresses environmental issues regularly is the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and their reporting usually consists of DEP figures and studies, not Gasland-type criticisms. As far as radio, I can turn on the local FM conservative talk radio station, or the local country music station, and hear a weekly show called “Natural Gas Matters” in which gas company land-men champion the economic glories of gas drilling, laughing and telling stories about recently made millionaire land owners who leased to the gas company and now own 3 expensive cars and live wonderful life of luxury. At no point can I find an alternative station telling the stories of those people I met at the community meetings, conducting an interview with Art Berman, or otherwise challenging the narrative of economic salvation. The closest thing I have heard is a one-time half-hour interview on the local NPR affiliate with a Duquense University professor who expressed a desire for more regulation and a slower pace of development.

In conclusion, from my perspective on the ground here in Marcellus land, we do indeed have some very serious regulation and pollution problems – and these are the “real” problems. Also, the media is a problem, but not in the way you suggest.

YH - "I’ve met others who have tailed wastewater trucks and witnessed illegal waste dumping into rivers...".

Bravo! From the start I've been telling anyone in your part of the world who would listen to stop fixating on those red Halliburton frac trucks and keep an eye on those innocuous looking water haulers. Those "midnight hauls" have always been (and always will be IMHO) the greatest risk factor y'all have confronting you. In Texas not only do the land owners keep a close watch but many oil patch hands do as well. I've mentioned it many times: my 11 yo daughter drinks well water every day. If I caught one dumping that crap near her well the least of their problems would be getting busted by authorities. LOL. And yes...I've helped bust two midnight haulers.

"In conclusion, from my perspective on the ground here in Marcellus land, we do indeed have some very serious regulation and pollution problems – and these are the “real” problems."

From what I've read that appears to be very true. Regulators with the right laws and enforcement abilities would go a long way towards reducing those risks. And the cost to do so? That was something that just floored me when I read it: PA has never charged charge any oil/NG production tax...ever. The state govts of Texas and La. have collected many $billions over the decades. At one point long ago the entire Texas university system was funded by those taxes and royalties from state owned lands. My tuition in grad school ran less than $100 per semester. I did read that your new R governor ran on a "no new tax" pledge but y'all should beat some common sense into him. Between fees and production taxes the oil patch in both Texas and La. pay for extensive enforcement of the regs...and then some. Did you know that the state of La. gets, on average, 1/8 of the value of all the oil produced in the state. Based upon the amount of oil you produce in PA today and current oil prices, the state would be collecting over $30 million/year from the oil alone. PA has given the oil industry $billions it could have collected over the decades. And did I mention that most counties in Texas collect about 2% of the total revenue from all oil/NG produced in their county?

And would companies top drilling in your state if it started collecting production taxes? Given the taxes in Texas and La. and that those two states together account for more wells drilled than the rest of the country combined...I don't think so. The companies won't like it. I don't like it but it doesn't keep me awake at night either...just the cost of doing business.

Stay concerned about your potential environmental problems. But a more effective effort might be to get behind the tax situation. Talking politicians and citizens won't help your situation nearly as much as a well funded regulatory system like we have down here would do IMHO. Did I mention who was the enforcement arm of the Texas Rail Road Commission? The Texas Rangers. And I don't mean the baseball players. LOL.

But seriously: get some of your folks concentrating on educating the public about your screwed up tax laws. With the problem of state funding these days and the high price at the pump I would think you could get a real firestorm brewing quickly. Easy research: go on line and find out what other states collect in production taxes, find out how much oil/NG has produced from the beginning in your state and calculate the current value of those taxes. Trust me: you and your neighbors will be so pissed off. It would be time to grab the pitch forks and light the torches. LOL.

Wow. Thanks for pointing out the tax revenue situation, Rockman. That is some great advice. I think I will have a go at doing some of that research you suggest. I am going to start by mentioning these points to family and friends in conversations, and also see if I can bring it up at the next meeting I attend. We are in a situation here in Pennsylvania where Governor Corbett and his administration are doing some serious cutting of education funding. My wife is a teacher, and has been working with a pay freeze and without a contract for the past year. There are also very large proposed cuts to the state universities in this year's budget. It's a sad situation to see something as important as education sacrificed.

YH - My curiosity got the best of me. Here's a website you might want to keep:

It gives total oil/NG production for PA. Had PA collected oil/NG severance taxes in 2011 at the same rates we have in Texas: DRUM ROLL, PLEASE....the state of PA would have collected $390 million. And if your counties had collected the same ad valorum tax as the typical Texas county they would have collected another $100 million.

That's almost half a $billion for just one year. Think how much regulatory enforcement that could pay for. Think how much money PA lost over the last 70 years. And remember La. dings the oil patch even harder. That's many, many $billions your state gave to us dirty lying bastards! LOL

Another subject: economic value of oil/NG ops in your state. Yes: jobs way over hyped. All the high paying jobs go to experienced oil patch hands and not the newbies. But don't forget this economic value: your land owners royalty payments. Mostly small property owners. Just a rough guess but they were paid almost $1 billion in just 2011. And those folks paid state income taxes so the public gained some value from the royalty payments. So the citizens of PA made a great deal of money even without collecting severance tax.

Curious that TPTB would spin the value of jobs yet I haven't heard them bragging about the income boosts to its citizens.


One of my work mates was telling me about a hunting buddy of his, who has 300 ac in Haynsville La. and as you may guess is doing well for himself. The numbers he mentioned for royalty check was $500,000 per month. I was impressed, but a bit skeptical. Would this be a normal number for 300ac in shale country?

He didn't say what month and if it was declining due to natural gas price or production decline, but just a couple of these checks and they would all be doing a Jed Clampet.

Guess who buys the beer on there hunting trips now?

pusher - I back calculated. Assuming a 25% royalty and $4/mcf it would take a well doing 17 milliom cu ft per day . That would make it one of the best wells in the trend. BUT that would only be for the first month. Given the high decline rate the check after 12 monts would be closer would be closer to $50,000 to $100,000. Maybe he has one of the best wlls but more typically his first check would be close to $150,000. Still not bad. But the $500,000? As we say in Texas it ain't bragging if it's true. In this cas I'm thinking it's a brag.

Regardless: he should not just be buying the beer but all the BBQ and paying for the deer lease too. Throwing a couple of hunting camp "hostesses" wouldn't be asking too much IMHO. LOL


Thanks for that, it seemed high to me. The other thing he mentioned that didn't make sense was, that there was several rigs drilling on the property, which for 300ac didn't sound right. maybe they were using his property to drill the neighbors as well and getting a cut. It sounded more like he had 3000 ac to me, but i think that would be out of the question down that neck of the woods. Now if it was in aust, it could be in square miles, and I don't to here how big things are in Texas, because we will beet you out on that any day lol.

I think I could live on $150,000 a month, with out being greedy.

pusher - Two possibilities. The surface locations may be on his land but the bottom hole on his neighbors. Or the wells may be drilled on his land but are targeting different formations. That's one downside to hz drilling: typically you're only hz in one reservoir. I would be surprised if each well is assigned less than 160 acres. They may have gotten an exception but at most you could drill only two wells in the same formation on 300 acres

Rockman - again, thanks a lot! The website you linked is very informative, and the numbers you cited comparing Texas' taxes to PA's lack of taxes are pretty mind-blowing. Ugh.
As far as land owners collecting royalty payments, while that aspect of the economic value of gas drilling curiously does seem to take a backseat to the claim of new job creation, it does get alot of mention as well. It gets particular hype on the "Natural Gas Matters" weekly radio program you can catch on a couple of the stations here.
Also, I don't know if Texas and La. have anything like this, but here in PA, the property surface rights and mineral rights can be owned by separate entities. This has a strong personal effect on my family right now, because when my Dad purchased the farm in the 1970's from the bank, the bank kept the mineral rights. So, Chevron has come to us and essentially told us that they have plans to drill a Marcellus well on our farm, and that there is nothing we can really do to stop them. My parents have had to hire a lawyer to make sure they receive fair compensation, hunker down, and prepare to deal with a drilling operation about 500 yards from their home. The bank will be getting all of the royalty money.

YH - In Texas and La. the minerals can be separated from the surface rights. La does have a quirk: if the minerals aren't being produced after 10 years the minerals rights revert to the surface owner. It may be a long shot but check which "minerals rights" the bank owned. I read some time ago that there was a legal challenge to what minerals were what minerals. Apparently at one time in PA oil/NG were not classified the same as coal. IOW owning the rights to mine coal didn't give the right to produce oil/NG and vice versa. The legal argument that the organic rich Marcellus should be treated like coal and not oil/NG. A weak argument IMHO. But an argument none the less.

Another tip: have you water well and soil around the drill site sampled and tested by a certified company. If you don't want to spend that money you might ask the company drilling the well to do it at their expense for THE SAKE OF EVERYONE'S PROTECTION. LOL. You ever play poker? Friendly chats with an operator have similar slants. Also, if you have the capability you might offer your services for dirt work, etc. I always offer my surface owners the work. A bit of good will and a small check goes a long way. And something to keep in your back pocket: noise pollution. Check for any legal limits in your area. Especially night time noise levels. And even if there aren't and you think the noise is excessive make a quick complaint. Might be handy if you have a local cop who could deliver the message to the drill rig. Might get a little check. Complaining about traffic and dust might get you something. Also, if you have the capacity you might offer to sell them some well water. And check your rights: they might drill their own water supply well and they might not have that right even if they have the minerals leased.

I've been worked over by surface owners like this many times. The "game" can almost be fun sometimes.

I actually had the same thought about arguing that shale gas could be classified as coal, since my Dad had language put in the deed that there was to be no stripping of coal without the surface owners' consent. However, there is also very clear language in the deed that the bank retains all "oil and gas" rights.
We talked to three different lawyers about possibly arguing that point, and none of them thought it would work.
So, we have moved on to just accepting that we'll have to work with Chevron, and thinking about negotiating the type of things you're mentioning like water testing and noise pollution. The tips are much appreciated!

YH - Chevron, eh? That's good for you. They spend a lot of money on PR. You should be able to play them better than most companies. Good luck.

Greetings, fellow SWPA resident...

I think RMG is right about one thing: the operators around here are't "new people"; they are mostly very experienced hands from out of state. We have a seismic survey crew from Texas swarming over our county right now; the crews placing the geophones are mostly Guatemalans; the well down the road is being drilled by a crew that just moved up from the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana.

I agree with your observation that the media around here portrays the shale boom as the economic salvation of a historically depressed area. Every development is touted as a new source of employment and revenue for the area. But I haven't seen much local employment (except maybe truck drivers) or revenue flowing into state or local coffers. Shoot, until last month Pennsylvania didn't even charge an impact fee for shale drillers.

And yes, there are environmental concerns, not the least of which are the lax regulations on wastewater disposal. Apparently it's legal to dump "produced" water right into rivers, as long as the rate is limited to keep the concentration low. And there are numerous instances of ground water contamination from sloppy operations, which rarely result in fines or successful legal action. So there's plenty of work to be done.

PT in PA

SWPA - "Apparently it's legal to dump "produced" water right into rivers, as long as the rate is limited to keep the concentration low".

Just unbelievable. Did you catch my post about driling in a wetlands area in La? It's illegal for me to pump rainwater that falls on my drill site over my 2' tall ring levee to the ground next to it? Much more pollutants get spilled on a mall parking lot than on one of my drill sites. I have it hauled away to a certified disposal site. Get caught dumping produced fluids into a bayou in La. and besides losing your company you could end up in state prison. And some folks think the oil patch rules politicians down here and that the northern states are the great protectors of the environment. Somebody up north is getting their money's worth from their lobbyists. LOL.

Hey PT - it's cool to see someone from this neck of the woods on TOD! I think we're pretty much in agreement on these issues. I especially know where you're coming from on the local employment issue. I don't know a single family member or friend or friend of a friend who has landed a job in the gas drilling field.
Here in Fayette county, there was a lot of drilling going on in 2009 and 2010, but my observation is that things have really slowed down over the last year. Where are you in SW PA? Have you noticed a drop off in the drilling?

YH, I'm in Fayette too, Farmington to be exact. We should compare notes, but I don't exactly want to post my email or phone number in this forum...

Farmington... cool. My soon to be brother-in-law lives in Chalk Hill. Our farm is in Brier Hill - a little area that used to have a coal patch - about halfway between Uniontown and Brownsville. I haven't mentioned this yet, but my parents are actually bracing themsevles for dealing with a Marcellus well on their portion of the family farm. Thanks to another screwed up PA law - the separation of land and mineral rights - we can't keep Chevron off of our land, since when my Dad bought the farm in the 1970's, the bank he bought it from kept the mineral rights. It's a really sad situation - they're planning on putting the well pad right in a patch of woods that has some really beautiful and productive shagbark hickory trees, and also some of the best black raspberry patches on the farm.
Anyway, I'd definately be interested in sharing notes and discussing energy issues with a fellow Fayette Countian. I don't know about you, but it sure is hard for my wife and I to meet people around these parts who understand even a small fraction of the energy, economic, and environmental challenges we are and will be facing.
If you're interested, you can send me an e-mail at wgabonay@yahoo.com

The separation of mineral rights from surface rights is not unusual in common law jurisdictions. It's not hard to do, and is quite common in oil and gas prone areas.

In Alberta, I would say that about 95% of the land has had the mineral rights separated from the surface rights - the Alberta government owns about 85% of the mineral rights because it retained them on most of the homestead land, and most of the freehold land has had the mineral rights separated as well.

However, and this is probably a key difference from PA, an oil company wanting to drill on a farmer's property has to get a surface lease as well as a mineral lease. Having a mineral lease does not give them the right to use the surface. Leasing the surface is not as lucrative as leasing the mineral rights, but usually involves a significant amount of up-front money from the oil company to drill the well, and a nice yearly cheque until the well is abandoned and the lease properly reclaimed and returned to the owner some decades later.

In Alberta you can also negotiate the terms you want on the surface lease with the oil company, including the lease rate, and in a case such as yours, it could involve a clause forbidding them to damage the shagbark hickory trees and black raspberry patches on the farm. In general, they have to make it worth your while to let them drill.

You couldn't actually stop them from drilling, but you could dictate where and under what conditions they could drill. If they objected they could take you in front of the Surface Rights Board to get a right-of-entry order, but you get to make your case as well, and the Board most likely would take exception to unnecessarily destroying trees and raspberry patches, and tell them to change their drill site. As a result they much prefer to negotiate.

BTW, the money the Alberta government gets from the oil companies is considerably higher than even Texas extracts, mainly because it does own 85% of the mineral rights.

Interesting information about how things work in Alberta, RockyMtn - thanks. In my opinion, the Alberta type of arrangement makes more sense. The difference is between Alberta and PA is as you suspect: in PA, owning or leasing the mineral rights gives that party the right to do anything on the surface that they need to in order to extract the minerals.

Good luck to you YH ... you are confronting massive money interests and powerful political forces, so local authorities, state authorities, and the media, will not be your friend. They are inherently corrupt, or at best, compromised because of where their income comes from by conforming. It's hard, but at the end of the day, hopefully truth will out.

Thanks, Cargill. Agreed that all of the parties you mentioned probably will not be friendly about taxing oil and gas production - especially at the state level. I kind of have a bit of hope that local authories might be a little less friendly with the gas companies, but maybe that's expecting too much. I guess the real hope is that maybe if the word got out to enough citizens, somehow a type of direct democracy might actually work in the U.S... lol. Probably asking for too much...

Thanks for the answers from Rockman and RockyMtn.

My relatives (bless their hearts) see me as the "government" since that's where I work.

So they call me.

Although I have nothing to do with anything connected directly to resource extraction and never have, they think I "know stuff."
I tell them to read the site here, but they're older and don't get much beyond Drudge and Facebook.

I'm trying to 'splain it to them a little.

At least they understand that we're going after energy in a place where they didn't think we would be going -- and using a tech that's scary to them.

I try to get them to look at this as a resource peak rather than focus on the technology used to extract the resource that happens to be in their neighborhood.

You know, sometimes people just need a visual analogy they can relate to. This may not be perfect but it works when I try to explain where we are, to people I talk to.

When you go to a fast food restaurant, you get a drink where the cup is packed full with crushed ice. This ice is then saturated with your favorite sofa. When you first put the straw in, you get a gusher return on your effort. But, as the soda is depleted, you have to suck harder, then you have to poke the straw around in the cup, looking for a small reservoir of soda trapped near the bottom. At some point, you then need to wait for the cup to rest, so the remaining, insignificant, volume of soda can collect and be extracted. And finally, if you really get desperate, you can wait for some ice to melt and the water will flush the rest of the soda into a retrievable pool. This 'water-cut' soda is a far cry from the good old days, when simply poking the straw in the cup, rewarded you with an almost effortless gush of soda.

Sound familiar?

And, when you see someone slamming their straw into the ice (fracking it!), you never get the illusion that they will soon be back to the good old days when the soda was flowing.

eastie - Dang good analogy IMHO. Especially the high water cut phase. BTW: don't get pulled into a bar bet as to how fast a guy can drink the entire can of beer. Much faster than you can imagine: turn the can over and cut a hole in the bottom. Place finger over hole and turn upright. Pop the top and start drinking. I've seen guys suck the can completely in just one second or so. Not that I spend much time in bars making bets. At least not anymore.

... turn the can over and cut a hole in the bottom.

In Australia we call that a "shotgun" - same in the the Confederacy, Rock?

Yes, but it's a verb. To shotgun.

The next stage on the TPP (Total Producible Pop) analogy would be this article about tapping into our Used Motor-Oil Reserves, which probably aligns pretty well with those eager folks who aren't too proud to do a quick faceplant, and go slurping up the puddles of Soda that are lying around on the Formica Tabletop.. and then the juicy little dual-puddle down in the formed seat, and some that made it to the floor. Yum!

'Good to the last Drop!'

Sound familiar?

"An analogy?:

Take someone to McDonalds and buy them a coke. Chat along... about peak oil if you must. The drinking of the coke makes the coke go away. Your guest may find themselves moving the straw around, getting to deeper reserves through the ice. They may try extending production, but the ice melts and soon all that's produced is water. Hopefully, more coke may actually be made from within the paper of the cup: the a-biotic coke theory."


On CNBC this am Big Oil vs Govt. at the 5.30 mark the spokeswoman for oil said the US supplies 10-11% of world market. Wouldn't that put US at approx.9 mbpd US production http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000080246

And good interview this am was a man from Platts at the end of the interview he made the comment about lack of brain power errr bodies to drill the prospect if opened up.Also that off the east coast is mostly NG and at 2.30 there won't be a rush to develop those areas.http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000080245 I'm begining to think that the population is being brought around slowly.

Here is that link. Oil Politics & Drilling

This is a great video with the Platts executive telling it like it is and largely different from what the republicans have been saying.

Ron P.

Depends on which definition of "oil" you use. EIA data follow:

US Crude + Condensate in 2011 was 5.7 mbpd, global was 74 mbpd (7.7%)

US Total Liquids in 2011 was 9.7 mbpd, global was 87 mbpd (11.1%)

However, a big contributor to US total liquids is the (low net energy) biofuels component, and the refinery gains from refining about 9 mbpd of imported crude oil had a material impact too.

An intermediate definition is total petroleum liquids, but we don't have the BP data for 2011 yet.

He was speaking of "all liquids" as they usually do. The US produced, in 2011 7.67 percent of Crude + Condensate according to the EIA.

Ron P.

The US is currently exporting about 3 million barrels per day of oil products, while importing 2 Mbpd of oil products, leaving a gap of 1 Mbpd of net oil product exports. This is mostly gasoline and diesel fuel, particularly diesel fuel since a lot of countries are short of diesel.

In reality, this is caused by a drop in US consumption of 1.5 Mbpd, which left the refineries with a lot of surplus capacity, which they are using to refine foreign oil for foreign exports. It is questionable how long this will last since many refineries are losing money, and half the refineries in the Northeast have shut down or will shut down in the near future.

If you look at the latest week's EIA data, the US imported 8,224,000 bpd of crude oil and exported 38,000 bpd of crude oil, giving 8,187,000 bpd of net crude oil IMPORTS.

A lot of the oil product exports went to countries like Mexico and Venezuela which are selling crude oil to the US and buying the products back because they have insufficient refinery capacity of their own. This may seem like a good deal to the media types, but in reality I think most of the refineries are losing money doing it.

This shows how oil exporters are using more of their own oil for domestic consumption. Since they have not expanded refinery capacity they ship the oil to the US which currently has excess capacity, at least until those three big east coast US refineries close this year.

So I guess "net exports " are overstated.

What's the news on this mornings sudden oil spike? Brent just spiked over $126.14 from $123.20. Now $124.79 and rising.

EDIT: $124.88

Reports of a larger than expected decline in Iranian oil exports, according to CNBC, and probably some short covering too, as oil prices bumped up.

Loren - That spike in the futures price came and went in a few minutes. But the futures as well as actual oil prices have been trending upwards rather consistantly since the beginning of Feb. I sell Light La. Sweet oil and recently those prices have been inching towards $130/bbl...up from around $110/bbl just 6 weeks ago.


Eddie Morra ‏ @convert_trader

Chatter. Israel mobilizing.

That seems to be one rumour anyway.

Mobilizing what?

My sense is that we will have multiple tails trying to wag the dog as the US elections grow closer, but I pray that Iran isn't involved. Even the imaginationally challenged PTB must know it'll be a lose/lose for all concerned. Just the thought pegs my short-term doom-o-meter, but western leaders, especially in the US, can't seem to function without their boogeymen. Imperial thinking at its most transparent.

You can't justify the Pentagon budget without the bogeys. And, from the overclass perspective, Iran is indeed a genuine oil-security threat, because it remains a somewhat loose cannon, not to mention a threat to the Saudi "royal family" system.

But a war would implode the world economy, so I still think they'll keep this along the brink but not over it. Israel has already been told no several times. Their role is to look crazy (not that they aren't, of course), so the whole thing can be sold more easily to a confused and mis-informed public here in the USA.

By any ideology's explanation of the futures market, short-term effects CAN be generated by/for/through speculators. Every little hump is a money-making event.

The problem is, for Iran all major options are lose:

  • If they sit back and allow sanctions to bite, they lose.
  • If they stop their nuclear program, they lose (both power generation and the higher threat of attack by US/Israel).
  • If they strike at the US, they lose (eventually).

At the moment they're probably best option is delaying things till they have a few working nukes, then telling the US to back off the sanctions or they close the gulf.

As far as the US is concerned, bringing things to a head by provocation and then mowing down the Iranian military & nuke capability from the air is probably best. Before the elections is even better.

Everyone has backed themselves into their separate corners, it would take thinking beyond the level exemplified to fit it without military action.

If they stop their nuclear program, they lose (both power generation and the higher threat of attack by US/Israel).

Nobody is asking them to disband their civilian nuclear activities. They are merely being asked to stop enrichment and let Russia or somebody else supply their enriched uranium. For their fuel security, they could be supplied with fairly large stockpiles of low-enriched uranium. They have been offered attractive deals, but turned them down.

Nevertheless, I find it ironic that the only country that actually dropped nuclear bombs on human beings on this planet is telling other countries what to do with their nuclear programs.

I'll point this out as long as I have to. I don't care what any American ra-ra war apologist has to say about "justified cost."

I find it really weird that the country which sheltered Osama gets to keep Nuclear weapons while a country with very little known history of promoting insurgent groups and no known history of international terrorism is showered with sanctions.

I read that before posting. Read that entirely and you will find that except for Hezbollah, most of the other accusations are just claims. No evidence has been presented. Violence is of course despicable but if you must have your pickings then Hezbollah was meant to counter the IDF. I am not saying that Iran is innocent but compared to some of the other 'allies' it ranks pretty low.

Yeah, and compare that to the number of times the US has threatened or invaded other countries.

Oh, I forgot--when we do it, it's 'legitimate' and 'rational' but when they do it's irrational terrorism. I get it now.

America "Killing Brown-People (and a few Germans) since 1776"

I think the nuclear attacks on Japan (and the firebombings of German and Japanese cities) were atrocities and crimes against humanity. Nevertheless, I really, really like that the US try to prevent nuclear proliferation. But I'm sort of a practical guy - never been much of a fan of tu quoque arguments.

Would a land invasion of Japan been preferable? Vast numbers of people were going to die either way: it was a fight to the death. Furthermore, how would the Societa have reacted had the bombs not been dropped as a show of force?

We all get to die. There are many better ways to die than in a nuclear war.

That depends on where you are. Personally, being at ground zero of a nuke is on my list of better ways to die. Surviving a truly full scale nuclear war wouldn't be.

You can die however you like.. this is about how we chose to kill.

Maybe the best thing about our use of Nukes is that it has helped to remove this platitude of exceptionalism from the USA's legacy. Maybe it's helped us start down the path of just being Normal Human Beings again, and not self-perceived gods.

Very likely. It marked a watershed in the way the world conducted warfare from then on, for better or worse.

Would a land invasion of Japan been preferable?

The necessity of nuking Japan is a highly debated topic, and of course covered in length in wikipedia.

However, either way, it's a war crime. You're supposed to fight wars by targeting the opponent's _military_ (with reasonable collateral damage), even if that yields more casualties than a swift blackmail by slaughtering civilians.

Wrong. I'll hand you over to Stuart Slade, former nuclear targeteer and military historian:

Number one, Mutually Assured Destruction is not and never has been U.S. Government doctrine or policy. U.S. nuclear doctrine is that we should be in possession of a secure and effective nuclear deterrent force. What that translates to is that the United States should have nuclear forces adequate to destroy the war-making potential of its strongest opponent after absorbing a nuclear strike from that opponent. Mutually Assured Destruction was a term created to ridicule McNamara's "stability" arguments by pointing out the logical conclusion of those arguments.

Number Two. We never, repeat never, deliberately targeted civilians as part of planning nuclear strikes. What we actually targeted were things determined by the strategies dictated by the political powers that be. These might have been military bases, factories, C4I, whatever but the civilian population as a whole never featured on that list.

Number Three International law specifically accepts civilian casualties as a by-product of military operations provided they do not occur as a result of civilians being deliberately targeted or the means used are disproportionate to their aim. For example, the Russian artillery bombardment of Berlin was not a war crime despite the number of civilian deaths it caused because Berlin was a defended city and the bombardment was necessary to help troops take that city. Back in the day, ICBMs were so wildly inaccurate that we had to use large warheads to ensure destroying the specified targets. Therefore, any civilian deaths that resulted were covered by the first exemption - the target was the (say) factory and any civilians who died did so because they happened to live close to it. Their tough luck. Because of the ranges involved, we had to use strategic weapons so that falls under the second exemption. The means of attack was determined by range and everything else was a product of that requirement. So, the use of nuclear weapons was not a war crime.

Number Four The legal requirements for military operations and the position of civilians within that system is already defined by the appropriate treaties. Either Geneva 47 or Hague 05 depending on which country you belong to. We don't have to wait for a war.

Number Five When planning nuclear attacks, we went to gerat lengths to try and reduce civilian casualties wherever possible. As weapons got to be more accurate, we reduced the size of the warheads we used in order to reduce collateral damage. Today we use conventional precision-guided weapons to achieve results that, thirty years ago, we needed nuclear weapons to equal. Fifty years ago, we needed big nuclear weapons to equal those effects/

Number Six Contrary to popular belief, killing huge numbers of people isn't necessarily a war crime. The tests are A - were those people deliberately targeted and B- was the means used disproportionate to the strategic objective. If the answer to those questions is "No" then exterminating the entire population of a country is entirely legal under the laws of war.

Number Seven Just to finish this off. "Genocide" requires two elements. One is premeditation and the other is discriminatory motive. Genocide is the pre-planned elimination of entire groups of people on the grounds of their race or religion. We never planned to kill anybody on the grounds of race or religion, their deaths were the result of them living next to something we wanted to blow up.

As for the nukings themselves, another friend wrote at length about this in a similarly heated discussion elsewhere:

The atomic bombing probably saved lives no matter how you cut it. The target was never just Hiroshima and Nagasaki; it was Hiroshima, Kokura, Nagasaki and Koyto in that order of priority. Nagasaki was bombed only because that fateful day Kokura, was clouded over, and the atomic bomb was only to be dropped by optical sighting, radar bombing was not allowed. Bockscar attempted three bomb runs over Kokura before diverting to Nagasaki as fuel was becoming critical. All four cities were secretly kept off the list of conventional firebombing targets in ordered to ensure we had something suitably impressive to destroy with the nukes.

By August 1945 the USAAF had destroyed over 99 square miles of Japanese urban areas with conventional bombing, killing over 1 million people. All four reserved cities would have been high priority targets had attacks been allowed. Each would have easily suffered 50% destruction. The death toll in each city would most likely have been lower then atomic bombings, but collectively with four cities burned instead of two it is almost certain to be higher. In fact by August 1945 the US was bombing quite minor cities, barely worthy of the name, and many of them suffered destruction on the lines of 80-90%, literally they could be carpeted with napalm end to end. With some 1000 B-29s flying each with a payload of up to 20,000lb the US could drop as much explosive on Japan in a single air raid as the firepower of a nuke already!

So for the residents of Kokura and Koyto, the atomic bomb saved them. Never mind all the Japanese who would have starved to death or died otherwise from a war that continued even a few more months, let alone the year a blockade strategy would have taken to be effective (estimates of the death toll from a 1 year extension of the war are 17-40 million, potentially over 1/3rd the entire Japanese population). An invasion probably just wasn’t going to happen.

Every Japanese city was a major and valid military target. Japan had mainly distributed industry, its big factories were mainly just assembly halls and depended on parts produced by a huge number of small shops and fabrication plants spread throughout residential areas. Targeting one but not the other was physically impossible with WW2 technology, and this is exactly why the firebombing strategy was adapted. None the less Hiroshima and Nagasaki also each had several major war plants, the shipyard which built the battleship Musashi was in Nagasaki for example, only by 1945 it was busy churning out suicide submarines. Both were also major transportation hubs, made all the more important by the destruction of docks and railways elsewhere in Japan, and Hiroshima was headquarters of the Japanese 2nd Area Army as well as home to several major training bases. Indeed a large portion of the entire death toll at that city was military.

The US used two bombs, and indeed when the war ended a third bomb was being shipped out to Tinian to take another crack at Kokura, because we had no reason to assume that just one would be effective. Japan had at all points n the war confronted America with fanaticism and a complete disregard for its own personal. It had continued to hold out despite the effective collapse of its empire, the blockade of the home islands and the death of a million civilians already. Tokyo had been more then 50% destroyed… some [/b]56 square miles[/b] of the city burned to the ground right in front of the eyes of Japans leadership. Its coastal trade, vital the to the basic functioning of its economy had been stangled by mining, and by July and August American and British battleships had even begun bombarding the coastline. Okinawa had only concluded in June, where 2,000 kamikaze planes had inflicted more casualties on the US navy then Pearl Harbor, besides 75,000 army and marines losses, the highest for any battle of the Pacific campaign.

It was not a time to be weak or to hesitate, not a time to give Japan time to adapt to the reality of atomic attacks which in actuality weren’t that much worse then the firebombing they had already so long endured. The only hope was the shock effect could make Japans leadership hesitate themselves in demanding a last battle on Japanese soil, and you don’t increase shock by giving nice big breathing spaces. Three days was quite enough for Japan to decide to surrender, and we gave them that, indeed we suspended all naval and air attacks during the period to ensure the Japanese would be well able to understand what was happening. The Japanese stuck to wanting conditions, so they took another punch. Fuck them for having launched such a pointlessly brutal and hopeless war in the first place. They made bombing residential areas a deliberate policy of war years before even the Germans did, and raided Chunking hundreds of times as well as numerous other Chinese cities. They bombed Singapore, Manila, Rangoon and Hong Kong, and forced Thailand to ally with them on threat of burning Bangkok to the ground. They reaped what they sowed.

I also find it quite interesting that in 2007 Fumio Kyuma, a resident of Nagasaki, resigned from his second tenure as Japans defence Minster after he stated that he believed the atomic bombing of the city was ‘something that couldn’t be helped’ and initially publicly refused to apologies for the remarks. He has been elected nine times to Japans house of representatives for Nagasaki and continues to hold that office.

I'll give Wikipedia a pass on this, ta.

Your suggestion that they were not civilian targets is just asinine.

Wiki article on the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - "Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki"

Not by suggestion, fact. Please actually read a little about Imperial Japan's war machine make up before making this statement.

But okay, let's say that we don't drop the nukes and force a surrender by sheer "shock and awe", as it was (keeping in mind that Hirohito had toured firebombed cities post-attack and still felt resistance was a good way forward). What then? Options: blockade, or invasion. Okinawa gives us a good idea of how one of those options would've gone.

Okinawa was really bad not because the Japanese had high quality troops persay, it was a very mixed bag they deployed in reality including 40,000 ill trained militia, but because for the first time the Japanese actually got to deploy lots of heavy equipment and especially artillery (over 300 pieces) in a battle. They also for the first time had really large numbers of troops able to deploy for a defence in depth (about 120,000, they had 250,000 men on Luzon but spread over a much bigger area, and with generally poor preparations and equipment that made them easy to isolate in irrelevant areas, we never did destroy them), and lots and lots of civilian labor to help build fortifications.

This made the battle much more conventional then anything previously encountered… and like you say we had every reason to expect every aspect to get worse in Japan. Indeed Kyushu was defended by more Japanese soldiers then the US had had fought in ALL its previous Pacific fighting put together!

Indeed the US had a huge fear that even after it conquered Japan by invasion, outlaying Japanese garrisons and especially the Japanese army in China might still refuse to surrender. The worst fear was we’d reach the Tokyo Plan (this is as far as formal invasion planning went) and not even be able to find a government to surrender the place to us, they might all suicide or else flee and hide in the mountains. It might then take several years to actually conquer the country and eliminate surviving Japanese forces in the worst case scenario. Not realistic in hindsight maybe, but for the time it was awful scenarios like that US leadership had to contemplate if it didn’t use the atomic bomb, or used it in such a manner that the Japanese were not shocked into surrender.

I also like the moral superiority people take on this bombing issue, while somehow forgetting they'd be condemning MILLIONS more to death by starvation, had the war not been brought to a suitably abrupt stop. Also, where is the moral outrage over the Japanese war crimes in China, or hell, the far worse firebombings of Japanese industry prior to the nukes being dropped?

Let me guess: because America is talking about Iran's nuclear programme, and they're hypocrites for having used nukes. Or something. Am I close?

I have no love for American imperialism any more than my nation's past colonising (UK) either, but this absurd arm chair general bullshit from the 21st century is getting tiring. Maybe if we didn't attack Japan, because y'know the whole nation was basically one industrialised military complex by necessity, they'd just kiss and make up once we stopped being mean to them.

The real crime here is Hirohito not being strung up by the neck until dead, or left to rot in The Hague, and that was only because of the idiot MacArthur.

That is just absolutely nuts.

The problem is that any appropriately armed nation can use the same justification for nuking civilian populations to protect their priority interests.

This is far beyond a Tu quoque argument, since the US relationships with various Weapons-holding nations has been both ineffective AND mired with favoritism that has made our policies, no matter what they are named, end up functioning far more like Incentives than DisIncentives for more nations to desire this ridiculous capacity.

I really don't see what you think might be Practical about it at all. It's not even Tactical, and it's been a pretty poor Strategy, to boot.

In any case, heavy hypocrisy by the accuser sure does make the charge pretty slippery. Wait to see how many nations turn out to back waterboarding (Uncharged Civilians) in the coming years.

This is far beyond a Tu quoque argument, since the US relationships with various Weapons-holding nations has been both ineffective AND mired with favoritism

Now you widened the original argument by quite a bit. I maintain that Hiroshima and Nagasaki has little to do with US non-proliferation efforts.

I really don't see what you think might be Practical about it at all. It's not even Tactical, and it's been a pretty poor Strategy, to boot.

I'm not sure what you are talking about. 5 states (US, UK, FR, RU, CH) are "allowed" to have nukes. The other three official nuclear states, i.e. India, Pakistan och North Korea, have been heavily discouraged (not favoritized) and have been shut of civilian cooperation. Israel has not really admitted to having the bomb. That's all nuclear weapons countries there is, 9 in all. I think the non-proliferation work has been largely successful to date.

I am reading from the EIA site:
for U.S. Field production (http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=mcrfpus1&f=a)
An average of 5.2 million bpd in 2005.
an average of 5.7 million bpd in 2011
on http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=wcrimus2&f=w
a peak of imports in July 2005 of 11 million bpd
a December 2011 import figure of 9 million bpd.
Thus in 2005 11/(11 + 5.2) = 68%
In 2011 9/(9 + 5.7) = 61%
The NYT reports a drop from 60% to 45%.
Yes the EIA definition of crude oil is clear:
What am I missing?

The EIA is calculating net oil imports in terms of total liquids. We remain dependent on imports for about 60% of the crude oil processed in US refineries.

Yes. I am pulling the data from a subset of their table:
Weekly U.S. Imports of Crude Oil (Thousand Barrels per Day)
It gives bpds, based on weekly average for crude oil only

Here is a handy EIA table that shows total US data, including consumption and net imports, from 1949 to 2010:


In 2010:

C+C: 5.5 mbpd
NGL’s: 2.0
Biofuels: 0.9
Processing Gain: 1.1
Total Liquids: 9.5

Since biofuels aren't a material factor in oil exporting countries, we calculate net exports in terms of total petroleum liquids (C+C+NGL's).

Thank you, westexas!

Note that US total petroleum liquids production increased from 7. 2 mbpd in 2004 (prior to the hurricanes) to 7.5 mbpd in 2010, an increase of 0.3 mbpd (probably up to about 7.7 mbpd in 2011). In any case, from 2004 to 2010, the combined net exports from the seven largest net exporters in the Americas and the Caribbean fell from 6. 2 mbpd to 4.8 mbpd, a 23% decline in six years (1.4 mbpd), and from 2005 to 2010, the supply of Global Net Exports available to importers other than China & India (ANE) fell by 5 mbpd.

My current Titanic analogy is that, for the sake of argument, let's assume that water is pouring into the ship 10 times faster than than water is being pumped out. The water being pumped out is analogous to the slow increase in US crude oil production. The water flowing in is analogous to declining ANE.

Guess which one the MSM are focusing on?

I would use the analogy of being on the Niagara River approaching the Falls. The danger is evident to anyone who bothers to look, but instead people's minds are elsewhere, and the momentum is overpowering.

Thanks WT.

More recent Dec 2011 figures here:

C+C 5.88
NGL's 2.35
Biofuels: 1.0
Processing Gain: 1.1 (18.8-17.7)

Total Liquids (mbpd): 10.3

The thing I've always wondered:

The US consumption is claimed at 18-20Mbpd. Is that pre-processing or post-processing? Does it include gas type usage (eg Propane, Butane)?

In essence, what number ties up with what number?

Should we compare consumption numbers with the C+C number; the C+C+Biofuel+gain fudge; or the total liquids number?

US Crude Oil as a percentage of Total Liquids:

1970: 9.6/11.7 = 82%

2011: 5.7/10.1 = 56%

All you are missing is the realisation that you do need to believe what is written in the NYT. (or most other US MSM).

I was arguing a few weeks before with an English major writing for Bloomberg
I pulled his pants down when I pointed out that he added oil shale reserves twice. His source: the internet.

The devil is often in the details. From the NYT article:

In 2011, the country imported just 45 percent of the liquid fuels it used, down from a record high of 60 percent in 2005.

So the NYT article is not crude, but all liquids, allowing the journalist/analyst to net exports (which are chiefly finished products) against imports (which is chiefly crude) and get an accurate but misleading result. This is the type of journalistic short cut that often causes confusion. Also note your calcs are based on monthly bpd, and the NYT cite is an annual average.

You are right, monthly. I divided the # by 365 for bpd

Could you explain how this misleads or confuses? You expect the average reader will read "liquid fuels" and think "crude oil" instead?

Do you really expect anyone who isn't as steeped in the terminology as regular readers here to even get that far?

To most people it's comparing umbles and farlaps.

Maybe so. However if the simplification made is something like "what can I put in my gas tank?", then umbles and farlaps are exactly the same thing.

Essentially, yes. The chain of logic that I often hear goes as follows: we're exporting gasoline/diesel, therefore we must be producing all we need, and that fits because I hear that our production is growing. Therefore, high gasoline prices are caused by, depending on dem/rep affiliation: Big Oil, Speculators, Arab Autocrats, President Obama, etc.

This kind of thinking is kept aloft by commingling of crude oil products in the public mind.

I don't follow that line, at least how it could be drawn from *this* article, which clearly says the US still imports 45% of its liquid fuels.

Doing the math, the US imported 60.37 percent of all the crude+condensate we have consumed so far in 2012.

This is my main complaint with counting "all liquids" as oil. Bottled gas is not oil. Also it leads to a confusion factor when people compare what we are producing today with what we produce in 1970 and the decade that followed. They look at today's all liquids production and compare that with crude only production back then.

but there just appears that there is no way to educate the talking heads on TV as to what oil really is and how much we produce verses how much we import.

Ron P.

I think the “all liquids” statistic is doing exactly what it was created to do. Mislead and mystify the public into thinking everything is fine.


Global Warming May Have Fueled March Heat Wave Odds

According to several top scientists, the March heat wave that has shattered records across a wide swath of the U.S. bears some of the hallmarks of global warming.

In email conversations on Wednesday and Thursday, those same scientific researchers who specialize in studying the role climate change plays in influencing individual extreme events — a burgeoning field known as "extreme event attribution” — said global warming may have made March's soaring temperatures more likely to occur, although they add that natural variability has played a key role as well...

Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said...: "...I suspect when all the evidence is in we will find that the event likely would not have occurred without global warming, the odds will be so low”

"...bears some of the hallmarks of global warming.."

These scientists just keep getting smarter and smarter :-0

Yeah, you have to wonder how much further than five standard deviations from normal things have to get before they can something stronger than "bear some hallmarks of GW."

In this case, peoples basic sense that things are out of whack in a serious way is a more accurate indicator than the timid statements of some climate scientists.

A scientist always knows that they could be wrong.

The evidence for global warming has been strong enough to get scientists to use intemperate language regarding it for quite a while now.

Finally the evidence is so strong that it is evident to the man in the street, who is now going to be saying "why didn't you warn us?!"


Most people don't seem to mind the temp being 20-30 degrees F warmer than normal in March, but let's hope this trend doesn't continue into summer!

Something tells me the 20-30 degrees warmer than normal in Phoenix, in summer, would be rather unpleasant. I also think that is beyond the realm of possibilities in the near-term.

I suppose the only serious short term impact in the settled desert SW would come from night-time lows being significantly warmer than normal.

Even that would take a while to happen in an environment like that -- one on the margins from the start.

Here's something further from ClimateCentral taking the longer view:


State-by-State Look at How Early Spring Has Arrived

For most of the country spring has sprung earlier this year, but is this anything more than a single warm year? It seems that it is. During the past several decades, with the exception of the Southeast, spring weather has, indeed, been arriving earlier.

The article didn't mention the impact of the oceans. The Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic off the US East Coast have been much warmer than normal recently. The Northwestern Pacific has a large area of warm water, while the Northeastern Pacific has been cooler. The tropical Pacific appears to be in a transition from the La Nina phase to a new El Nino. The winds over the Arctic have pushed sea-ice out of the Bering Strait into the Bering Sea, the extent exceeding the long term average in that area, the result being an uptick in total extent the past few weeks. In the atmosphere, the temperature difference between the tropics and the polar region are near the yearly maximum and the warmer than normal winter in the eastern US left little snow cover and warmer soil temperatures that would normally have cooled the northward flowing air mass before it reached the northern US and Canada. It would appear to be difficult to nail down the exact cause for this recent burst of much warmer temperatures, and the possibility of changes in ocean circulation should not be overlooked, IMHO...

E. Swanson

Thanks for the heads up on ocean temps. What do you think that bodes for the hurricane season ahead?

And your last line is tantalizing--what do you think is going on with ocean circulation and why? Are there sites that follow this? I heard that some of the crucial research on this has been cut back. Do you have good sources of data?

Regarding Tom Murphy Interview: Resource Depletion is a Bigger Threat than Climate Change, linked above:

Tom: We deserve better than blind hope that someone somewhere will pull off a transformative energy miracle. Some things peak. We should acknowledge that once our inheritance is spent, we may not live like the kings we want to be. I can hope along with the rest of us that this isn't true.

Deserve? Hope that it isn't true that we can't "live like kings? Perhaps I mis-read, but this, IMO, is the basis of our many predicaments; the desire to live like kings, and the belief that we are somehow entitled to. Whether this is sociological or some bad joke perpetrated by natural selection matters little. This sense of entitlement to much more than we need must be dealt with before we stand a chance of making any meaningful progress. Throwing more energy at the problem only forwards the fallacy that we humans can, indeed, "live like kings".

That said, farther down the interview, redemption:

Tom Murphy: I think it is fallacious to think that humans will master the energy flow and resources even of Earth. Successful examples of long-term sustainable living tend to see people living as part of the energy/resource flow, but not as masters of it. We are only good at mastery in our fertile imaginations. The real world tends not to care what we can imagine. Titanic hubris. I would rather see humans try to live in equilibrium with natural services, rather than attempt foolhardy domination. Our attempts thus far are not very impressive: we're failing to hold it all together even now.

Until we face the realization that we are still hunter-gatherers, scurrying around the planet scrounging anything that will somehow improve our near-term chances of survival and comfort, we humans will never make the transition from scavengers to stewards of our environment; a prerequisite to the continuation of many species, not just our own.

Excellent! Live with the flow. As if we had a choice. After we circle the world with pipelines a couple more times,what then Obama?

I agree with most of what he says here, but I grow tired of the "my doom is doomier than yours" tone of the title.

If the ~40 degree F anomalous heat continues into the summer, much of this years corn (and just about every other crop) will be toast. By then any dispute about whether the heat wave has a GW fingerprint will be settled.

On the other hand, things could go back to "normal" (if there is such a thing any more) climate wise this year, but the financial response to the growing realization that we are at PO and about to fall off the plateau could crash the global economy this year and have similarly devastating effects.

So short term--it could go either way.

Long term--for almost all of human existence, humans lived without ff as an energy source. On the other hand, never since the beginning of human existence have atmospheric CO2 concentrations been this high, and when the full climate consequences of this rise (not to mention all the additional climate-toxins we dump into the system over then next few decades), we will likely have a climate much warmer than humans (or almost anything else) is evolved to handle.


"My doom is better than your doom
My doom's better than yours..."

It could be the theme song of a doomer show. And we have folks worried about planetary alignment, or arguing that resource depletion will mitigate climate change. The thought that these things will be cumulative and essentially permanent (excepting the planetary alignment thing) seems beyond most discussions.

Population is the redheaded stepchild, generally dismissed early from the table. Go figure...

Also, we've had climate refugees since Hurricane Katrina, which took place around the time I was looking for a house in 2005. I recall viewing several homes with refugees temporarily boarding in the attic or basement, or anywhere there was a spare room.

I read the reports of 1.3 million Floridians, for example, living in the storm surge zones, and keep asking myself where these people are going to go, when the storm surges come. And that's expected within the lifetimes of their current mortgages.

Not to mention the folks who will, inevitably, be driven out by drought, from land they can no longer farm.

One can play the "my doom is bigger than your doom" game all day long - but to keep imagining that climate change is sometime out in the far future is mistaken.

I watched the PBS Newshour program last night on the Texas water crisis, and Texan citizens themselves were saying people have been in denial for far too long. Their issues are right there, right now.

Coping With Climate Change: 2 Texas Towns Struggle for Water

Someone at RealClimate just mentioned that Jeff Masters calculated that four out of five households in the US have been affected by extreme weather. (Sorry, no citation was given.)

Heh - if the number of times I have bailed out my basement since 2007 is any indicator, add me to the list.

The declarations on this house indicated there had never been water in the basement prior to my purchase in 2006. That is borne out by the type of flooring that used to be in there - wood strips over the concrete, overlaid with chipboard, overlaid with adhesive vinyl tiles.

All of which came up and had to be removed when I got flooded in the rainstorms of 2007, which overwhelmed the sewer system. Twice in one year. Thank goodness for insurance - now I have ceramic tiles down there.

There was extensive sewer upgrading in 2008 - now I still get some water if it rains very hard, very fast and water pools in the street, but not so bad. I purchased sandbags too. They help.

Edit : I think the reason most people remain unaware of the changes is because they run from a heated/airconditioned home to a heated/airconditioned car to a heated/airconditioned office building and never make real contact with the earth. Those of us with our hands regularly in the dirt notice the changes.

"my doom is doomier than yours"

It's seems to be a strange competition among a group of concerned individuals who all have the same goal of saving civilization and the only planet they have to live on. When you get right down to it the root cause of the problems is overpopulation. As the population has increased, fossil fuels have been burned at a rate that is causing the climate change that will eventually make this planet unlivable for billions of people.

The root cause is not overpopulation. Overpopulation is itself caused by the atrocious and insecure living conditions of the poorest couple billion people. That is a result of capitalism and its politics.

The only humane and practical answer is to stop letting capitalists dictate basic policies, one of which is letting the poorest people remain desperate about where their next meal and their old age security will come from.

Japan is shrinking and Europe is treading water. The whole species could shrink, if the terms of life were shifted.

Social Darwinist talk about population will only worsen things, as it guarantees the poor will keep breeding to try to eke out their living.

The only humane and practical answer is to stop letting capitalists dictate basic policies, one of which is letting the poorest people remain desperate about where their next meal and their old age security will come from.

Permaculture: Care of Earth; Care of People; Results/Surpluses of those two fed back to those first two

The root cause is not overpopulation

Environmental destruction = population * standard of living

There's no getting around this formula.

True, rich people have fewer kids than poor people but making poor people richer will in the medium term greatly increase evironmental destruction (just look at China), which in turn will lower Earth carrying capacity, which in turn means that a sustainable population will have to be even lower.

The only humane and practical answer is to stop letting capitalists dictate basic policies

How would getting rid of capitalists lessen environmental destruction? Redistributing wealth does not change the above formula. We human's have evolved to worry about our own individual short term survival and benefit. This applies to both rich and poor people. It's ludicrous to believe that poor are somehow morally superior to rich people. Given the opportunity, they would do the same thing as the rich people. The big dieoff will happen well before we evolve out of this type of thinking.

Environmental destruction = population * standard of living

If "standard of living" is the logarithm of GDP, perhaps. For instance, look at this:

It seems China has increased GDP/capita tenfold, while ecological footprint has increased 2-fold.

Also, the US ecological footprint per capita has been flat since the 1970-ies, while GDP per capita has doubled, at least. So, in essence, footprint per GDP dollar is diminishing.

How would getting rid of capitalists lessen environmental destruction?

Agreed. It would do the opposite. Introducing capitalism in the Eastern Bloc was the best single event ever for the European environment.

China's Secret Weapon

Dang, must take some photos around here.


:) Are you in Baja, NAOM?

No, Wild, Wild, West. Mainland from Baja and go down.


Ideology much?

Capitalists become very good at exporting their ecological damage.

But they are also excellent at creating ravenous economies that eat up massive quantities of resources per person.

Industrial communism also did really bad things to especially the local ecology. But that doesn't mean that capitalism's sh!t don't stink too.

I find it funny that in the middle of a man made extinction event, we keep hearing about reduced ecological footprints. Fossil fuel agriculture is causing massive dead zones in the oceans, destroying fresh water rivers on the way. Almost all of the chemicals, plastics, and materials essential to modern industrial civilization are toxic and destroy life on earth, including humans. Global warming is already kicking in and if the current trend of male sperm count decrease continues, humanity will be extinct in two hundred years. But our footprint is lessened. It takes religious zeal to believe industrial civilization could ever be sustainable, they will believe until the bitter end.

I think the ecological footprint studies show just that, that industrial civilization can be sustainable. Sans co2, we are still within the carrying capacity of the Earth. Fossil fuels can be eliminated and a lot can be done to lower the remaining footprint farther, establishing a margin to the carrying capacity.

I think you have never read anything relevant on the subject.

We already had a mass extinction event before GW effects got started.

The nitrogen cycle is the most wildly out of sync.

So "sans CO2" we are still completely and utterly f'd.

It's ludicrous to believe that poor are somehow morally superior to rich people

Though I am a bleeding heart liberal myself, I don't think the poor are in anyway going to make better decisions. Anyways my distinction is not usually between poor and rich but rather between agrarian and tribal/nomadic societies. If you are looking for ancient wisdom about environment don't just look at poor people, look at the aborigines and tribal people. It is they who have cracked the key to 'sustainable' living and low ecological footprint.

It's just that when the poor are immoral, they mostly hurt themselves. When the rich act immorally, they hurt all of us.

It could also be argued that:

Money is power
Power corrupts
ergo: the wealthy are likely to be more corrupt than the poor

Just sayin'

Between countries, there is no doubt that you're wrong. A wealthier society is a less corrupt society. Within countries, you may or may not be correct, but I'd argue that the wealthy has more to lose by being corrupt.

No use arguing with one totally blinded by their own ideology.

Climate Change is scarier than PO- here's whyI would even go further than dohboi- I think climate change (AGW) is much scarier than PO. The vast amjority of people have no idea of what is really possible w/ AGW. Climate researchers have uncovered evidence that very rapid shifts in climate have occurred in the past where temps permanently dropped or rose by over 20 degrees in a matter of a few years (and, in some micro climates, a few weeks!). This kind of change will wipe out agriculture and therefore civilization. The problem is that we've been subjected to all the "inconvenient truth" type of material that seems to indicate changes must occur slowly and gradually. This representation has been repeated so often by scientists, etc. that it lulls us into thinking we are safe for now. AGW is not a matter of turning up the furnace- it is a chemical experiment The sky above us is a vast array of chemicals. As you may remember from science class, introducing a new chemical into a already existent mixture can produce little effect until it suddenly becomes violent. The odds are very high that AGW is inherently nonlinear. Researchers in the 80's were stunned at how tiny a volume of chemicals were necessary to cause massive ozone destruction. This is where our daily experience with the weather conditions us to relax. Every day we are subjected to gradual changes in temperature that instill in us the idea that the climate is slow moving. The sky seems so big and we seem so small that we find it hard to believe that we can damage it much. But the sky is made of gas, which can look big but be made of a much smaller amount of elements by volume than the sea or earth. The problem is, we don't see it as a gas and so we don't realize how very little there actually is of it in terms of molecules. We also don't realize that introducing new chemicals to it can cause serious chain reactions. Nobody can really be an "expert" on AGW because it is too complex of a system to fully understand- that is why it is so fundamentally disturbing. The climate "experts" making one pronouncement after another of gradual changes could all be creating a massive illusion of short term safety. We are like children opening chemical jar after chemcal jar in a sealed room.

I wonder if we are in a radical change period right now. If this continues through summer, the effects could be catastrophic. I thought I was too old to really be impacted. But now I wonder.

Anyway most people act like this summer weather in spring is a blessing. Not smarter than yeast. Reminds me of the dust bowl..

"Bands have a loose organization. Their power structure is often egalitarian...

...and has informal leadership; the older members of the band generally are looked to for guidance and advice, and decisions are often made on a consensus basis, but there are no written laws and none of the specialised coercive roles (e.g., police) typically seen in more complex societies… Formal social institutions are few or non-existent. Religion is generally based on family tradition, individual experience, or counsel from a shaman. All known band societies hunt and gather to obtain their subsistence.

In his 1972 study, The Notion of the Tribe, Morton Fried defined bands as small, mobile, and fluid social formations with weak leadership that do not generate surpluses, pay taxes or support a standing army.

…Many tribes are sub-divided into bands. Historically, some tribes were formed from bands that came together from time to time for religious ceremonies, hunting, or warfare…

Band societies historically were found throughout the world, in a variety of climates, but generally in sparsely populated areas. With the spread of the modern nation-state around the globe, there are few true band societies left."
~ Wikipedia

In part with all these convoluted and confusing discussions, debates and arguments hereon and elsewhere, I’ve begun wondering if we, as a species, were meant to be in much larger units than bands or tribes and at such population numbers as we are, and if Permaculture and/or somethings like it don’t somehow significantly catch on– and very soon– if Mother Nature doesn’t step in and make some decisions/settle some arguments for us and maybe kick us back to the stone age, kicking and screaming.

If nuclear issues, for example, can’t wake the likes of the educated, articulate and/or 'controversial' Monbiots-of-the-world up, then maybe this recent discovery won’t either…
And maybe we will initiate yet another mass extinction– which has apparently already begun– that, ironically, takes us down with it:

Arctic Methane Emergency Group

In that case, it won’t matter whether you call yourself a Libertarian, Communist, Free-Market Anarchist, or even Permaculturist.

“Over 98% of documented species are now extinct…”
~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_extinction

‘Do you feel lucky?’

One irony of course that I've mentioned before, and a pitiful one at that, is that we seem to be discussing things like this hereon-- like climate change, pollution, resource depletion, 'living like kings', etc.-- with many of those very members of the industry partially responsible-- petroleum engineers/geologists, etc.-- those who are or have been, 'drilling, baby, drilling', etc. our world to hell.

Thanks a lot, guys, just thanks.

"many of those very members of the industry partially responsible"

We're all at least partly responsible. But it is true that workers in the ff extraction industry represent a relatively small group who, if organized to do so, could bring the whole thing crashing down rather quickly before in crashes down (more than it already has) on the rest of life on the planet.

I've suggested that rockman lead the charge on this effort.

He has declined...so far '-)

(And I am, of course, always eager to let others bell the cat.:)

On the other hand, if all users of ffs in the world stopped using them, this would also bring the whole thing down. But that is even more unlikely, for now.

Really, everyone has to start seeing ff extraction and use as the most repugnant act a human can engage in--it is essentially holding a gun to your child's head and pulling the trigger.

I've given up on flying, long distance travel (by any conveyance, except perhaps foot or bike or possibly non-motor boat) and (most) meat eating. I still find it difficult to take the next step and forswear all car riding, though I did do so as a kid for a year or so when I started waking up to the consequences.

About the only hope I have left, and it is an exceedingly dim one, is that the human race has a satori moment, an Oedipus-realizing-he-killed-his-father-and-f'd-his-mother-so-put-his-eyes-out moment, a moment that turns one toward sack cloth and ashes and wandering in the wilderness...

Surely something beyond simple penitence is required of us at this point, just as a matter of common decency.

I'm still waiting.

Hanford contractors admit big safety problems remain

Hanford nuclear-reservation contractors acknowledge they still haven't resolved major safety problems and technical issues with a half-built, $12.2 billion plant to dispose of millions of gallons of radioactive waste.

So many technical issues now plague a $12.2 billion plant that's supposed to rid the Hanford nuclear reservation of millions of gallons of radioactive waste that contractors told a federal panel Thursday they can't say how much waste it ultimately will treat.

$12.2 billion and only half built... another $12+ billion spent on Yucca Mountain, and not one gram of waste has been "disposed of" or sequestered...

Who was it that argued with my assertion that this 'problem' isn't economically solvable?

If one made a graph of nuclear back-end costs for different countries and plotted it against GDP per capita, I think one would find a very strong correlation. Perception is everything here (it's not about safety, but perception of safety). Politicians are therefore very involved and make it all really really expensive, since that is a very cheap way for them to be perceived as strong and responsible.

Back-end costs, thus, will always be too expensive, but the costs will have no practical impact on safety. The only way to get a grip on costs is to somehow take the problem out of the realm of politics and into the hands of technocrats/scientists with clearly and reasonably defined and measurable goals. (Also, free trade and globalization should be allowed to help.) Then costs would decouple from GDP per capita. Won't happen in the foreseeable future.

Soooo, about $25 billion between them for...nothin'

I wonder how many PV panels and windmills and super-insulated homes we could have had for that much money?

(Of course, it's all a drop in the bucket compared to what we are wasting and have wasted on our various wars and on bailing out banksters.)

It wasn't for nothing! Some executive or banker somewhere made a huge pile of money and filled up his offshore bank account from this!

Hanford is pretty far inland from the Cascadia Subduction Zone that a large megathrust event wouldn't affect it directly, but would shake it pretty much the way Tokyo got shaken during the Sendai Earthquake. But there are fault zones nearby including ones along what they call the Olympic - Wallowa Lineament (such as the Yakima Hills Fault Zone) that are capable of producing M7 and maybe larger quakes. The largest historical quake was in 1872 in Lake Chelan to the north. Estimates of its size range from 6.8 to 7.2. These zones could get shaken loose and go as an aftershock.

The thing is, some of those tanks full of radioactive crud were not designed for the 6 decades they've been around and are probably not capable of withstanding even a minor event today. But they don't mention this in the news. They do need to drain these and vitrify the residue within glass. Or if these leak they will have to resort to other means like in-situ vitrification. Or freezing. I heard of one leaking tank. They radially dug holes diagonally below the plume and installed refrigeration equipment into each - and turned the entire plume into permafrost. One thing is that they have to do this work sometimes by remote control. Isn't it wonderful?


"They radially dug holes diagonally below the plume and installed refrigeration equipment into each - and turned the entire plume into permafrost."

Only permafrost if the refrigeration equipment stays on. Yet more things needing 24/7/365 electric power to remain "Safe". Didn't someone say a few days ago that we now have built something without an "OFF Switch"?

I wonder how many PV panels and windmills and super-insulated homes we could have had for that much money?

Well, Hanford was mostly about nuclear weapons not nuclear power. So it is a bit orthogonal.

But I wonder what we could have done with the $1Trillion spent on Iraq if we spent it on EVs, biofuels, solar, wind, etc.

Yes, and Hanford is but a couple hundred miles inland from one of the planet's most overdue subduction zones, too.

Overdue in what way? We have big quakes yearly. They just haven't been the proper type to cause a tsunami. I live on the edge of an inundation zone, so I do keep watch.

Overdue for a megathrust earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Potentially several straight minutes at magnitude 9. A modern high-rise city has never been subjected to this kind of shaking, but Seattle is certainly full of older, unreinforced buildings that will not be able to withstand anything remotely like it (and I get the sense that Portland and Vancouver are too).

Geological and historical evidence suggest they occur regularly with ~300 year periodicity, and the last one was in 1700...

Geological evidence suggests that not only does the Cascadia Subduction Zone often cause a massive tsunami up to 30 metres (100 feet) high when it lets go with a magnitude 8-9 earthquake, but that it also triggers the connected San Andreas Fault to let go as well.

In fact, most of the major earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault over the last 3,000 years appear to have been triggered by the Cascadia, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake being a major exception.

This sets the stage for a huge disaster involving the entire West Coast area when it happens.

I am looking for the share of crude oil that is used in the finished product exports.
December average is 2.9 million bpd: http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=WRPEXUS2&f=W for petroleum product export.

Well, it depends on many factors.

What is the average type of crude import? light/sweet to heavy/sour.

What is the makeup of the exported products? gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, home heating oil, bunker fuel.

I think a barrel of oil (42 gallons) has about 15 gallons of gasoline, 9 gal. of fuel oil (See Gasoil / D2), 10 gal. of jet fuel (Kerosene) and 4 gal of other "heavy" products such as lubricants, grease, asphalt / bitumene and plastics and 4 gallons of lighter condensates/naphtha.

But, I doubt we are exporting all of the asphalt, you know?

Considering the state of the highways, I think we are exporting all the asphalt...
Thank you eastex!
I thought we have a refinery gain. (8%?)
Which would say that our exported petroleum products, assuming they all are presented as in your post, the corresponding crude used in those exports would be 2.7 million bpd in 2011. The imports in 2011 for petroleum products were approximately 2 million pbd, thus a net export of 700,000 bpd.
This is substantial! It would net the crude imports to 9 - 0.7 = 8.3 million bpd.

Solar storm dumps gigawatts into Earth's upper atmosphere

A recent flurry of eruptions on the sun did more than spark pretty auroras around the poles. NASA-funded researchers say the solar storms of March 8th through 10th dumped enough energy in Earth’s upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years.

For the three day period, March 8th through 10th, the thermosphere absorbed 26 billion kWh of energy. Infrared radiation from CO2 and NO, the two most efficient coolants in the thermosphere, re-radiated 95% of that total back into space.

also Modeling extreme space weather

GOES-15 is just coming back online after unexpectedly entering safe mode a few days ago. X-ray sensor came back just in time to record a small flare of C6.5 which appears to have come from an area of the sun just rotating into view.

Maybe this is a sign that they need to put up some less sensitive instruments for tracking high-energy events?

It really is pretty bad. Every time there's even a moderate event it seems half the sensors go offline or return bad data (not flagged as such). Then all the NASA/NOAA/USAF etc. products based upon this data start outputting garbage or blank.

NASA knows, due to budget cuts, they don't have enough spacecraft or resilience against any really strong flares. One spacecraft has even been sitting in storage since being cancelled by Bush the younger.


On January 20th 2000- 8 days after becoming president George Bush canceled the launch of the DSCOVR satellite-

...Triana was removed from its original launch opportunity on STS-107 (the ill-fated Columbia mission in 2003). The $100 million satellite remained in storage for the duration of the Bush administration. In November 2008 the satellite was removed from storage and began recertification for a possible launch on board a Delta II or a Falcon 9. [4] [5] As of February 2011, the Obama administration is attempting to secure funding to re-purpose the DSCOVR spacecraft as a solar observatory to replace the aging Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft.[6]

Landmark case: Nigerian villagers sue Shell over oil spills

LONDON -- Around 11,000 Nigerian villagers who say their livelihoods were ruined in oil spills launched a legal battle Friday to seek compensation from Royal Dutch Shell.

The case marks the first time any oil firm has faced claims in the U.K. from a community in the developing world for environmental damage caused by oil extraction operations, the villagers' lawyers said.

Oil Rises Almost $3 a Barrel on Iran Report

Oil surged almost $3 a barrel after Reuters reported Iranian oil exports will drop by 300,000 barrels a day this month because of tighter sanctions.

... If there is a cutoff of Iranian oil, the Saudis will have a hard time making up for the lost supply.”

Although the actual chatter amongst some traders is that Israel is up to something.

Chatter that Israel is gearing up

I don’t make up the rumors but oil traders will believe anything. The rumor is that “Israel is mobilizing”.

If you believe an attack is coming on the weekend, you would want to be long yen, long oil and probably long gold. Long USD would be a safe bet as well.

If you believe an attack is coming on the weekend, you would want to be long yen, long oil and probably long gold. Long USD would be a safe bet as well.

Yeah? Well I'm long on seeds and drip irrigation..

Moon phase is about right, but logistically, U.S. is not where they would want to be prior to a shooting war.

Two carriers near Iran. Abraham Lincoln (in Persian Gulf) and Carl Vinson (off Iran’s south-eastern coast in the northern Arabian Sea). USS Enterprise in the Mediterranean with ultimate destination the Gulf region.

Or at least that's what Russian media has reported.

I have no idea where they would want to be prior to a shooting war. I'd personally want to be on Mars.

Sandstorms in the Gulf may put a lid on things for a while. CVN-69 Eisenhower seems to be off the map (Atlantic Ocean)

Comment from chatter story:

"What’s worse is that when there are no official news events, forex/stock market sites start narrating price movements by simply making up stories."

What a surprise - I made a post yesterday that Iran's exports may have already dropped roughly 300,000 bpd this year.

Anyway, if I were to guess, I'd say (without war) they will be down 600,000 bpd by mid-year. I will stick my neck out here and also say that OPEC will not makeup the next phase of Iran's decline.

Pencilling-In An Output Decline As Sanctions Take A Toll
April 1, 2012

Our forecasts therefore assume that Iranian crude exports will fall significantly in 2012, owing to both the imminent end to EU imports, as well as a desire by refiners and oil companies in Asia to comply with Western policy goals vis-à-vis Iran. At the time of writing, several of Iran's top Asian customers, including India's state-run refiners BPCL, MRPL and HPCL, China's Unipec, South Korea's S-Oil and Japan's Cosmo Oil, have all either begun cutting Iranian oil imports, agreed to do so, or have arranged alternate supplies with Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other countries. There is little scope for domestic consumption to absorb existing output, leading us to assume a 400,000b/d drop in production in 2012 to an estimated 3.2mn b/d, with 2013 crude output set to fall further to 3mn b/d. Given pre-sanctions EU imports of Iranian crude of around 600,000b/d, as well as planned cuts in Asian imports, this is a reasonable estimation in our view. In the event of a 'grand bargain' between Iran and the West, oil production would rapidly rise from this level, in which case we would intervene in our forecasts again.


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Special Report: Intel shows Iran nuclear threat not imminent

The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran's nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.

Those conclusions, drawn from extensive interviews with current and former U.S. and European officials with access to intelligence on Iran, contrast starkly with the heated debate surrounding a possible Israeli strike on Tehran's nuclear facilities.

Follow-up question, in the form of a quiz:

Which nation-state is presently in clear violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty?

a) Iran
b) USA

Hint: "Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament." NPT, Article IV


Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.

The statement misses the whole point. Iran is acquiring "rapid breakout capacity", and that's the problem. Keeping at it, they'll eventually will be a few months from having a deliverable nuclear warhead. It will be of little comfort then that, as far as our intelligence knows, they may not have decided to build one.

OTOH, I think that if Iran wants a nuke, we'll just have to accept that. A war with Iran is likely a much worse option than a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Plenty of other countries at are that feared level of capability; Japan, Canada, Germany, South Korea ... But, Iran is a special concern, cause we don't like them.

Yes, that we don't like them and perceive them as non-rational makes their nuclear capacity a problem. But I would say another problem is that Iranian breakout capacity would add to nuclear power centras and nuclear arms races, while the countries you mention are under US hegemony, or their enemies all already has nukes. (Eliminating breakout capacity from those countries would not change much, except making them even more dependent on the US.)

However, a nuclear Iran would make Saudi more interested in nuclear, for instance.

And which of the current slate of Repub presidential candidates do you find to be 'rational.'

Remains to be seen. Romney will shake his etch-a-sketch and who knows? Perhaps he'll adopt rational ME policies after that.

Above all else, political institutions — not culture or natural resources — determine the wealth of nations

Why do some nations, such as the United States, become wealthy and powerful, while others remain stuck in poverty? And why do some of those powers, from ancient Rome to the modern Soviet Union, expand and then collapse?

... Countries that have what they call “inclusive” political governments — those extending political and property rights as broadly as possible, while enforcing laws and providing some public infrastructure — experience the greatest growth over the long run. By contrast, Acemoglu and Robinson assert, countries with “extractive” political systems — in which power is wielded by a small elite — either fail to grow broadly or wither away after short bursts of economic expansion.

Elites resist innovation because they have a vested interest in resisting change — and new technologies that create growth can alter the balance of economic or political assets in a country.

... “Most consequential ‘policy mistakes’ are by design,” Acemoglu says. “These leaders are choosing policies that don’t maximize economic prosperity, because their objective is different: to hold onto power or simply enrich themselves.”

It's interesting to try and reconcile these conclusions with Greer's recent series on empires.

“Most consequential ‘policy mistakes’ are by design,” Acemoglu says. “These leaders are choosing policies that don’t maximize economic prosperity, because their objective is different: to hold onto power or simply enrich themselves.”

This seems to be most valid when considering empires in decline; both the core and the periphery elites trying to keep the game going as long as possible. The signs are everywhere if one knows where to look. Keep kicking those cans...

Yeah, I agree. In an expanding economy, the elites can take their expanding slice and still leave a bit more for the masses each year. In a contracting economy, increasing their slice leaves less and less for the masses. The elites could take a smaller, but still very large slice, but they don't because ***enriching an elite class is the whole point of complex civilization***. I suspect that dynamic has a lot to do with the "Seneca cliff" that has been discussed here recently.

I concur tejanojim, that as the cliff approaches those with the most grab for as much as possible to stuff it away, while it is still possible to do so, yet that of course that leaves less for the rest. It's just another clear sign of people's innate understanding of the cliff quickly approaching.

The elites could take a smaller, but still very large slice, but they don't because ***enriching an elite class is the whole point of complex civilization***.

AFAIK, recessions typically covaries with increased equality, since capital gains goes down faster/more than total wages. Also, no, that's not the point of complex civilization. There is no point, in fact, just as evolution has no point.

This a half-true analysis. Compare with Ha-Joon Chang, not to mention actual history. The nations that "develop" do so for some of the reasons (e.g., land reform) these guys emphasize, but mostly because of strategic protectionism and import substitution. Japan, South Korea, China -- all did it the same way, as did England and the USA, if you know actual, real history.

Interestingly, if it were not for the Chinese Revolution, Japan would have been broken and impoverished under US occupation. Similarly, South Korea was permitted by the US to violate the official "open market" dogma due to North Korea and then the Vietnam War.

John Michael Greer is a rather crude guide on all this, btw. He fancies himself an expert on everything, but he clearly has only a crude and abstract command of capitalist history and sociology.

Ok, I'll bite. If Greer is no good, who should we be reading?

Greer is very good, as far as he takes you.

But he has a quirky and only partial appreciation of reality.

You should be reading all the things that have always been on target but out-of-bounds. Veblen, whose best works came after Theory of Leisure Class. A raft of stuff after WWII that's too long to list. Greer is trying to cash in on the fact that people have had their heads up their backsides for about 2 generations now. Hence, he sounds more profound than he is. he's struggling now to explain what he cares about without admitting that it takes attention to things he has dismissed, like Marx and Keynes, not to mention general sociology, which suggests dropping out to your own little farm is not a very good recipe for a planet of 7 billion humans.

Greer is very good, as far as he takes you.

But he has a quirky and only partial appreciation of reality.

You should be reading all the things that have always been on target but out-of-bounds. Veblen, whose best works came after Theory of the Leisure Class, though you'd never know that from the way college teachers teach him. There's also a raft of stuff after WWII that's too long to list. Greer is trying to cash in on the fact that people have had their heads up their backsides for about 2 generations now. Hence, he sounds more profound than he is. He's struggling now to explain what he cares about without admitting that it takes attention to things he has dismissed, like Marx and Keynes, not to mention general sociology, which suggests dropping out to your own little farm is not a very good recipe for a planet of 7 billion humans.

IMHO, it's a huge irony that, weak as our physical science literacy is in this country, TOD types need a 101 class in social science. That tells you something, I think. People still run the world, after all.

Translation: "I disagree with Greer".

John Michael Greer is a rather crude guide on all this, btw. He fancies himself an expert on everything, but he clearly has only a crude and abstract command of capitalist history and sociology.

Great writer, but marginally literate on the subjects he writes about.
Try: http://mhpbooks.com/books/debt/

Much chewer, and from a much more developed source.
I would love to take a writing course from Greer, but thermodynamics or political history, not a chance.

Sure, been meaning to read that one also.

On the contrary, I find Greer's big picture writings refreshing, an antidote to modern hyperspecialization, the phenomenon of people who know "everything about nothing" which seems to be more and more of us these days.

Audit: Gas lines tied to fracking lack oversight

Government auditors say federal officials know nothing about thousands of miles of pipelines that carry natural gas released through the drilling method known as fracking, and need to step up oversight to make sure they are running safely.

Nationwide, about 240,000 miles of gathering pipelines ferry the gas and oil to processing facilities and larger pipelines in the major energy-producing states. Many of these pipelines course through densely populated areas, including neighborhoods in Fort Worth, Texas.

... most of those miles are not regulated by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which means they are not regularly inspected for leaks or corrosion. In some states, officials don't know where the lines are.

Israel to hike electricity rates by 8.9% from April amid gas shortage

Israel's Public Utilities Authority said late Thursday that electricity rates in the country will be increased by 8.9% from April in order to compensate state-owned Israel Electric Corp. for a sharp increase in its fuel bill amid a shortage of gas supplies and rising oil prices.

The latest increase brings to over 20% the rise in local electricity prices in the past year.

Seems like alot of rising prices. I read yesterday where Trump is on some stump speech of runaway inflation. I thought he bowed out.

But what really has taken off is firewood. I called around this week, the local logging company says they can't get it anymore, that the dead stumpage is bought or no longer in the bid proposals. They log gov and private timber. The one self loader I found wanted $1600 a load. Thirty foot logs delivered. Said he had to increase due to fuel prices. A load is between 8-10 cords, depending on load weight restrictions, stacking. Searching the internet, gypos back east are selling at about $90/cord. There's alot of variation for the load size and that they must have access to unmarketable timber. Or the heat wave killed demand.

The warm winter killed demand around here. Wood lots, usually sold out this time of year, are nearly full. Our consumption this season was about half of last year's, and a lot of that was to keep the water hot.

That's just you're lying eyes, doug fir.

Bernanke says there's not too much inflation. He says the threat is just deflation. Believe him, he knows what he's talking about, and will lead America to regain its economic glory. The Atlantic says he's a "hero" so he must be.

We'll all become millionaires, and those dollars will buy us alot. Just put all your money into an S&P 500 fund, and you and your children will become rich beyond your wildest dreams. CNBC tells me so, and I know they are interested in getting accurate information out to the viewer.

I hear this JOBS act is gonna really fix us up good. After all, it's a jobs act, and it's about jobs, right?

This is interesting because I recall some reports about some enormous gas deposits that had been found. I wonder when these reserves might come on line.


Last year, the United States Geological Survey estimated that more than 120 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas reserves lie beneath the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, most of it within Israeli territory.

New Research on Adaptation to Climate Change in the U.S. and Australia

Coastal regions should take steps now to prepare for storm surges, fires, sea level rise, and other disruptions associated with global climate change and extreme weather events, according to new research by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

The case studies for adaptation responses are from New York City, the Southeastern Atlantic Coast States, New Orleans, Los Angeles–San Diego, and San Francisco in the U.S.; and in Australia from Melbourne, Sydney, South East Queensland, and Perth. Initiatives range from reconfiguring ecosystems and banning development in the wake of devastating fires in Melbourne; to creating one super-agency to manage water supplies in Los Angeles and San Diego; to the concept of "strategic retreat" of infrastructure, housing, and other assets vulnerable to storm surge and flooding in New York and Connecticut.

Free Report(pdf): Resilient Coastal City Regions

Ottawa scraps big plans for Arctic naval facility

Canada’s military has quietly downgraded plans for an Arctic naval facility the government has pointed to as a symbol of how seriously it takes northern issues.

Concerns about shoreline and permafrost stability have set back for years plans to upgrade the existing wharf, originally built in the late 1970s to service the now-closed Nanisivik lead-zinc mine.

DND will axe all permanent accommodations for personnel and will use "existing DND trailers" for those brief periods when the site is used for refuelling government vessels. "The trailers will require support from the local community for potable water and wastewater management," Watson's letter said.

and Planned Arctic naval base cut drastically

Looking Back on the Limits of Growth

Forty years after the release of the groundbreaking study, were the concerns about overpopulation and the environment correct?

By Mark Strauss
Smithsonian magazine, April 2012

Recent research supports the conclusions of a controversial environmental study released 40 years ago: The world is on track for disaster. So says Australian physicist Graham Turner, who revisited perhaps the most groundbreaking academic work of the 1970s,The Limits to Growth...

...Turner compared real-world data from 1970 to 2000 with the business-as-usual scenario. He found the predictions nearly matched the facts. “There is a very clear warning bell being rung here,” he says. “We are not on a sustainable trajectory.”

...apologies if already posted :-0

Related: Is it Too Late for Sustainable Development?

Dennis Meadows thinks so. Forty years after his book The Limits to Growth, he explains why.

From the article:-

However, the study also noted that unlimited economic growth was possible, if governments forged policies and invested in technologies to regulate the expansion of humanity’s ecological footprint. Prominent economists disagreed with the report’s methodology and conclusions. Yale’s Henry Wallich opposed active intervention, declaring that limiting economic growth too soon would be “consigning billions to permanent poverty.”

Too soon? (my bold) Too bloody soon? What a crazy statement! We've had unfettered rape and pillage of the environment, human labour and resources: still have billions living in sh*t up to their necks, but thank the stars we didn't constrain growth too soon!!

The assumption is that trickle down will help the billions. Not going to happen. Our continuation on current path will result in billions of deaths.

To Soon....Bloody Dare Not

It was my decision to be born a white American male in 1946 as a pioneer of the Baby Boomer generation. How dare anyone suggest that my lifestyle, pension, 401k, Social Security or investments be tampered with just to ensure that future generations can eke out subsistence living foraging off of what is left of this planet. As a Baby Boomer, I feel that my generation has failed!

I don't have a clue as to what the solutions are to preventing sociological, economic and climatological collapse, but we better unite globally to address these issues. While certain issues can be resolved locally or regionally the prevailing issues of resource depletion/allocation and climate change must be addressed universally.

"but we better unite globally"

Ay, there's the [big, fat] rub..

I agree Peak Oil has to be addressed globally since the market for Oil is global, but the United States, as the largest consumer of Oil, has to lead.

Unfortunately in the current political climate of the US, with one major political party denying peak oil and climate change, the chances of global leadership are diminishing rapidly. Even more disturbing to me as a local Democratic party official, deep in the heart of Texas, most of my peers have no clue as to what we are facing when it comes to energy, be it fossil fuel, nuclear or renewables. Other than the diehard liberals, most of them are no more than capitalists with a social conscience.

I agree Peak Oil has to be addressed globally since the market for Oil is global, but the United States, as the largest consumer of Oil, has to lead.

Since the market is global, nobody has to lead. In fact, nobody can lead. As prices change, consumption patterns all over the world adjust.

Here's my take on your statement: You're an ideologue who is not interested in averting the catastrophe of Peak Oil but rather intent on diverting the discussion to re-arguing philosophical ideas so that people spin their wheels and nothing is done.

Therefore, this will be my last reply to you.

I think you have old jep pretty well pegged. He's still worth reading once in a while. It takes all kinds, after all.

Agreed. Jeppen, I've spoken to you about this before. This isn't the place to re-hash the same old ideological battles. There's plenty of other places on the net to do that. It's the kind of thing people come to TOD to avoid.

I've yet to see you stop prolific statist rants and ranters, yet when I make comparably reasonable objections, you tell me to stop. I'm out of here.

"I'm out of here."

(The crowd cheers wildly.)

And to think I actually considered meeting you someplace for a beer some time.

Blasted ideologues.

I don't see re-hashing the same old arguments as useful or interesting.

What I'd like to see - what makes this type of discussion relevant - is acknowledgment that things are different now, or will be. The policies that worked for the expansionary stage of the empire might not work for the steady-state or decline.

If you can't acknowledge that, there's really no point in continuing here. Might as well take the discussion at any of the thousands of BAU politics sites out there.


I tend to think that free markets need more regulation than does Jeppen, but his perspective is very useful.

TOD desperately needs more information on how decentralized price markets work - that's not ideology.

Further, it would be a great shame if TOD went further down the road of self-selection, where everyone thinks the same - that would make TOD far less useful, and far less credible.

There's always a tension between being open to different views and being so open the signal to noise ratio suffers. On this particular topic - BAU politics - I think it's important to draw a firm line. Just look at how it's gone at sites like CNN and Yahoo. The political trolls have taken over, and anyone who was actually interested in intelligent discussion has long since fled. And it's only going to get worse as the election nears.

Most of you must know about it by now but there's a website called http://www.readability.com/

It automatically detects and installs an AddOn for your browser which helps you to remove clutter from webpages and helps in reading articles. It saves a lot of time and removes eye strain. Must have for TOD'ers. Also sends converted articles to your kindle for free

An easy way to turn off the unwanted ads and videos is to go into your browser ("options"-or-"tools", "content" in Firefox) and turn off Javascript. There are downloads that provide a button to turn Javascript on/off without all the clicks. Generally, Javascript is used just to be annoying, invasive, and to install malware. If a site won't work well without it, turn it back on. If a site won't let you navigate away without clicking on a request to navigate away ("are you sure?"), don't click on the dialog box. It may engage unwanted actions (my "Avast!" program often detects sneaky badness). Instead, disable Javascript and the box will not reassert itself when you try to close the page. Another way to close such a page is to go to the program manager (Ctrl + Alt + Delete, all at once) and close the browser application... but this will close all open pages and tabs.

Thanks. I already have all of these things and more, including flash blocker and Ad blocker, but what I find annoying is that even if you remove everything most articles are in an unreadable format. This App takes care of that. I just read Tom Murphy's article on this and it's amazing.

Thanks for the tip, wiseindian! I hadn't known about it. I just installed it, and at first look, it seems quite useful...

THANK YOU! I didn't know about this, and I really appreciate the tip. It might even be the tipping point in figuring whether a Kindle will really be of value to me. I drag books and magazines around with me everywhere I go, in case I have to sit and wait. AND I think it will help me with the reading of several web sites that use really TINY type, which is difficult especially for lengthy articles. I love that it will "save" articles I don't have time to read right now. It's going to help me with all the great links I get from TOD.

So, I may decide I really NEED a Kindle, after all. :)


They have an app on iOS which you can get for free, or give a voluntary donation. I also use Instapaper's add-on for Chrome to make reading more pleasurable.

We are involved in a local discussion about wind power here in Central NY. As might be expected, the discussion is often degenerating into lots of cherry-picked and misleading "facts."

One person who seems to be providing lots of "information" is a fellow named John Droz. I have found information that links him to the American Traditions Institute, which, according to sourcewatch, is a Koch Brothers linked think tank.

Mr. Droz has a web site:


that just "smells" really funny to me.

I have looked for some more background on this fellow, but it is hard to find.

If anyone has already done this, and is willing to share the information, I will be grateful for any assistance. I can be reached at hermitkarl via the gmail email system.

Thanks for any help.

Rev. Karl

Not much but here are a couple of links. Sea Level Rise, One More Frontier For Climate Dialogue Controversy refers to his connection to NC-20, a group trying to develop the coastal areas of North Carolina. Droz posted a couple of comments to the Yale article. The second was this gem:


I did check again my copy of the report. If you do a Find of the word “peer” you’ll see that it does not exist in the report. In other words there is no claim in that Report that the “references” are peer-reviewed. Maybe one of them told you that in some correspondence. The fact is that there references are NOT a collection of “peer-reviewed” papers.

I think he expects to find a "Peer Reviewed" stamp of approval on every published scientific article. On the front page of the NC-20 website, there's a link to The Great Sea-Level Humbug (pdf warning). For an amusing look at how sea levels haven't been rising, check out Figure 10 where the entire graph has been rotated until the changes in sea levels are horizontal.

If I find anything else I'll let you know but it looks like a lot of buffoonery.

Don't know if this has been posted, but worth a look. One of the best explanations of current supply situation I've seen in the msm: