Perhaps we are getting a little more attention

So there I was, glancing back over the site to the time, a year ago, when we commented several times on the President's proposals on the costs of gas and what could he do about it. But I was also amused to note that, at the time, Prof G looked into the popularity of the words peak oil using blogpulse. At the time he found a peak had occurred for the phrase, as you can see.

So being curious I did it again.

And suddenly we have another peak, though this is about twice as high as the last one.

To turn to the President's plans; if I understand this correctly, the President has stopped filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in order that there should be that much more (only actually around 70,000 bd) crude oil to go around and to keep prices down. Which would suggest that there is a shortage, where every little helps.

But when we go to the Doha meeting of OPEC their comment:
Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi, the powerbroker within OPEC and its convincing voice on extra capacity, said while it would offer more oil if the market wants it, the demand isn't there.

'There's no demand even for light crude,' Naimi said, referring to the higher quality oil favored by most refiners. The usable spare capacity is judged to be as low as 1.7 million barrels a day of high-sulfur, harder-to-refine crude.

'Send the customers, we will give them what they want,' said Naimi.

would suggest that the supply of crude is not the problem.

Well, the Murphy refinery at Meraux (125,000 bd) is scheduled to reopen the second week in May; so we should soon be back in production at all the refineries, just as the new Hurricane season starts. This should allow some greater influx of crude, to provide additional gas to the market, and perhaps this might influence prices. Though following through on the scenario that developed last year nothing much helped.

It would be nice, for those of us who look for answers, if there were more funds for creative processes outside of the defined few, since, as has been said before, the answers will be in bb's not a single bullet. Unfortunately we are not seeing that level of creativity in the allocation of funding. Pity, really!
"With international oil prices breaching US$75 per barrel, China's crude prices, which fluctuate with international benchmarks, are expected to rise considerably as well. The country's Daqing crude price is forecast to rise to 4,701 (US$586.55) yuan/ton in May, 421 yuan/ton higher than that in April"

One last try.  Does this indeed mean that China expects oil to go to $83/b on the June contract, and does this mean that they are willing to bid to $83/b next month?

I don't think you have the conversion factor barrels/tonnes right.
No, I was assuming 7 barrels per ton.
Perhaps an industry person can comment in more detail but this chart indicates that 1 ton of oil averages 7.33 barrels. Note that actual barrels per ton depends on the specific gravity of the particular oil in question. The exchange rate of yuan for dollars that I can find today is 0.124844 per dollar.

A price of 4701 yuan thus translates (today) into $586.89 which is close enough to the original poster given currency fluctuations. At $586.89 per ton, this works out to $80.06 per barrel.

So yes, the Chinese appear to be willing to bid oil above $80 per barrel soon.

It will be interesting to see what happens when gasoline inventories are released tomorrow. ConocoPhillips' big refinery at Belle Chasse is back up and running at full rates since the last update, but the decline in gasoline inventories for the past 7 weeks has been steep. I expect us to go below the bottom of the average range tomorrow, keeping the pressure on gasoline prices. But the decline shouldn't be as steep this week.


I think it will go lower, but be sure to look at the EAST figures.  This decline is being fueled (sorry the pun) by the purging of eastern stocks. Presumeably that is due the flushing of MTBE supplies and preparation for ethanol.

The president's statement notwithstanding, this MTBE purge will continue until all of the MTBE gas is out of the system.  Whether the gas going out for sale is reformulated with ethanol or straight-up gasoline is another story altogether.  As soon as these declines are wrapped up, I cannot fathom continued declines in gas stocks, given most refineries seem to be up to speed at the moment.

Also, I have to believe there will be some demand destruction at these high prices. That should help inventories rebound.

Off topic, but yesterday someone from the U.S. House of Representatives domain was visiting my blog. I was feeling pretty good about that. This morning, someone from the CIA domain ws visiting it. I wonder if I should be concerned? Both were reading my essay on windfall profits. I captured a screenshot:


The inventory numbers are out. I haven't had time to look at them in detail, but the Breaking News at CNN Money is:

Crude oil stocks fall by 200,000 barrels. Gasoline stocks fall 1.9 million barrels. Both are larger declines than expected. More soon

Also, in the other thread I reported on today's COP earnings release:

HOUSTON, April 26, 2006 --- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] today reported first-quarter net income of $3,291 million, or $2.34 per share, compared to $2,912 million, or $2.05 per share, for the same quarter in 2005. Total revenues were $47.9 billion, versus $38.9 billion a year ago. During the quarter, the company reinvested 141 percent of its net income into the development of oil and gas resources and its global refining business, excluding the acquisition of Burlington Resources.

Emphasis mine.


I think the CIA domain gets spoofed a lot, or it may be the CIA spidering your wesbsite (ie automated without being singled out) for data mining purposes - basically what the search engines do but with different ends in mind. Just a few possibilities.
It wasn't just the domain. The location was also in D.C.

Anyway, thanks for the info. I have to admit I did a double-take when I saw that this morning.


Matt Savinar says his site is regularly visited by the CIA, DIA, and other government agencies.  Maybe just employees surfing in their spare time, maybe not.

I don't think it's automatic spidering, because I run several personal sites for friends and family, and I never see government agencies on the visitor source list.  Google, yes, the CIA, no.

A number of people I know with blogs have had similar experiences. Maybe they primarily spider sites that contain "speech" in order to look for potential dangers as defined by them.
At what price level will higher oil prices cause the economy to go into a recession and cause oil demand to fall?

(McKillop has been predicting, for some time, that higher oil prices, at least up to the $75 range, would not slow the economy.)
Whatever Happened to Oil Price Elasticity?
by Andrew McKillop
Author & Consultant
April 25, 2006


Getting back to the narrow question of why oil demand (and world gas demand now growing at around 5%-per-year) are much less than unaffected by rising prices, but are directly increased by higher oil and gas prices, we finally call on facts. We can use theory first, but finally we call on facts, because scientific theory is based on and comes from facts. The other way round is called economics - that is, bending facts to fit brokenback theories.

Price elasticity of anything has an underlying notion, hard to quantify, of `satisfaction', and another of `substitution'. Neither of these have much place for the vast majority of oil and gas users. Nobody uses oil and gas `for the fun of it', or at least very few persons. Equally, the famous `hi-tech emerging new energy' substitutes and alternatives simply don't exist. They may exist on the Nasdaq or in people's heads and PCs, and in cute business video presentations, but not in the real economy.

So the simple fact that oil and gas demand is increasing much, much faster than during the cheap energy 1990s, with much, much higher oil and gas prices should at least allow us to accept reality, and find or develop theories that fit. When we go back to economic theory notions of `elasticity', as mentioned above, we soon see that they don't apply in large measure, or any convincing way to explaining what is happening. The bottom line is however very simple: until and unless interest rates are sharply raised, to double-digit annual rates, oil and gas prices can go on crawling ever up. With the ever surer approach of Peak Oil, they will in any case have no other direction to move.

Gee I wish I could understand that:
Demand is INCREASED by higher oil prices.
The economy is not slowed by it.

I truly don't understand how this works. I mean, my own discretionary spending diminishes. The extra money I'm spending on gas is somehow being recycled to my benefit?
Anyone care to light my lantern on that?

The issue is one of more dollars in the third world (oil exporting) economies stimulates worldwide economic growth more than high prices depress it. McKillop has pretty impressive data to back it up.

Now that is a good example of theory actually listening to practice, instead of shouting it down.
"Nobody uses oil and gas 'for the fun of it'"

Oh, then what's NASCAR? - and won't it be looked back upon similarly to the Roman spectacles?

Tomorrow is here.

Crude oil stocks fall by 200,000 barrels. Gasoline stocks fall 1.9 million barrels. Both are larger declines than expected.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending April 21, 2006

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged nearly 15.1 million barrels per day during the week ending April 21 up 343,000 barrels per day from the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 88.2 percent of their operable  capacity last week. Gasoline production increased last week, averaging nearly 8.5 million barrels per day, while distillate fuel production also increased compared to the previous week, averaging 3.8 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged nearly 9.9 million barrels per day last week, up 199,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged nearly 9.8 million barrels per day, a decrease of 417,000 barrels per day from the comparable four weeks last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged over 1.3 million barrels per day, the fourth largest weekly volume ever. Distillate fuel imports averaged 379,000 barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) inched lower by 0.2 million barrels from the previous week. However, at 345.0 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories remain well above the upper end of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories dropped by 1.9 million barrels last week, and are now below the lower end of the average range. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 1.0 million barrels last week, and remain above the upper end of the average range for this time of year. Increases were seen in both low-sulfur distillate fuel (diesel fuel) and high-sulfur distillate fuel (heating oil) inventories. Total commercial petroleum inventories rose by 2.8 million barrels last week, and remain above the upper end of the average range for this time of year.

Total products supplied over the last four-week period has averaged 20.6 million barrels per day, or 1.3 percent more than averaged over the same period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline demand has averaged over 9.1 million barrels per day, or 0.3 percent above the same period last year.

Distillate fuel demand has averaged nearly 4.1 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, or 2.8 percent below the same period last year. Jet fuel demand is up 3.3 percent over the last four weeks compared to the same four-week period last year.  

Who was it that suspected the inventory report had bad news, and Bush saw it early, hence yesterday's speech?

The market doesn't seem to worried.  Crude and gasoline are both down on the NYME.
Yeah, but I wonder what would have happened if Bush hadn't given that speech?  As several people noted, you could when Bush's speech began, in the oil price chart in the sidebar of this site.

Anyway, it looks like it's back up to where we started, and a few cents more...

The four week running average of total petroleum imports was 11.852 mbpd (a slight increase over last week), which is the first increase we have seen since total imports started falling from the 2/24/06 number (12.749 mbpd).   Given how high light, sweet crude oil and product prices have been bid up, it makes sense that are finally seeing a supply response into the US.  I suspect that  some importers are unable or unwilling to buy oil at these prices.
Do I believe my eyes? Westexas is admitting that imports are UP!
Tis true.  A 20% to  25% increase in light, sweet crude oil prices has resulted in a 1.3% increase in the four week running average of total petroleum imports, which is still 7% below the 2/24/06 number.   What we don't know is whether the total world net export supply is down, as some importers are unable or unwilling to buy.  

IMO, in regard to oil prices we are going to see steadily higher highs and higher lows, as the markets allocate declining crude oil and product supplies to the highest bidders.

This is what is ironic about the US Congress complaining about high prices.  IMO, the only thing keeping the US market supplied is higher prices.

There is a front page (below the fold) article in today's WSJ titled Oil Minister Asserts Iran Won't Cut Exports Despite Nuclear Standoff (paid subscription required).  It may be posted for free at in a day or two.

The article is quite supportive of westexas' theory about declining net export capability:

In the past decade, Iranian output has stagnated at about four million barrels a day with the involvement in recent years of a handful of foreign oil companies. Meanwhile, Iran's domestic consumption has soared, reducing crude-oil exports, now about 2.5 million barrels a day. Domestic gasoline use has significantly outstripped domestic refining capacity, forcing Iran to import large volumes.


Already, [capacity expansion] efforts are being slowed by sharply declining output at its existing fields. ... Mr. Vaziri said the country needs the big, new investment to create fresh crude-oil production capacity of some 1.3 million barrels a day by 2010. But with average output-decline rates of some 6% to 7% a year from existing fields, those new fields would only bring a net addition of some 500,000 barrels a day in the time period, he said.

That plan doesn't account for another problem: soaring domestic consumption, which is eating into the amount of Iranian oil available for export. Mr. Vaziri said his country's gasoline use is growing at an eye-popping rate of 10% a year. Already, Iran is importing 25 million liters a day of gasoline, equivalent to nearly 160,000 barrels a day. Plans to add new refining capacity could gobble up another 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian crude production -- leaving no new crude to export to the rest of the world.

"We have a problem in the use of gasoline," Mr. Vaziri said.

Analysts say Iran's oil output prospects are dimmer. The decline rates cited by Mr. Vaziri add up to a loss of at least one million barrels a day by 2010. Just to keep its output steady, Iran would have to add that much in new production. With rising gasoline use, Iran's oil exports could slip, even without the impact of any sanctions.

Thanks for the story.  I saw the article in the paper, but I hadn't read it yet.  Note that the WSJ's headline, IMO, is a little misleading.  It should have read, "Iran unable to maintain current oil exports."  

Iran is one of top four net oil exporters.  The bottom two, Iran and Norway, are definitely declining.  The top two, Saudi Arabia and Russia are, at best, flat to slightly up.  The economies in all four countries are growing fast, and domestic consumption in at least three, all but Norway, is increasing fast.

This is the reality of 2006.  What the top exporters can, or will, export is declining.  What the top importers want to import is increasing.  Price is where the battle will be fought, if we are lucky.  If we are not lucky, the battle may involve weapons, conventional and otherwise.

Westexas: Kudos. I had not even heard the concept of declining exports caused by increased internal consumption in oil-producing countries until I read your posts. You should write a book. Your logic is sound- as oil prices increase, the economies of oil-producing countries will soar, along with their oil consumption. Very impressive.
Thank you very much.  Ever since I saw the HL plots that Khebab did on top exporters, I have been trying to sound the alarm.   Total production is interesting, but net export capacity makes the world go 'round.
Geko45 pointed out at that the numbers - gasoline down, distillates up - suggest that individuals are not cutting back on driving (yet), but industry is.  
And here's the new graph of gasoline inventories:

We are now below the average range.  

I'm sorry, but I just don't take Naimi's comments very seriously any more.

They're like the bin Laden tapes that always seem to pop up whenever the administration is in some kind of trouble. They could be real; or they could be just more psych-ops.

I just don't know what to believe, and I feel like I'm being manipulated most of the time.

OPEC's convincing voice? Stop it, you're killing me!
I did a recent search for "peak oil" on one of the most popular repub/conservative blogs,, and got ZERO responses.

On the other hand, "oil for food" (i.e. Iraq) got about 32 responses. And "global warming" got about 46 hits.

It has been that way for the last year and a half that I have monitored that site. These people and just about all the right-wing blogs (except for a few econoblogs) are deathly afraid of the topic. And it isn't because it is an "end-times" marker.

this is basically on-topic, and i am frankly surprised someone else hasn't posted this (maybe below, haven't gotten there yet), but did anyone see the keith oberman show last night?  he had a piece about and personal videos circulating the web, and there was a part about the "make your own chevy tahoe ad" campaign.  well, after referring to the ad campaign, the reporter said something like "unfortunately (for chevy) most of the submissions looked like this:" and then it showed a clip of a tahoe with tag lines "why don't you just walk" and (drum roll) "peak oil is here". (transcript available tomorrow)
recognition in the msm! ...if only fleeting
to those TODers (or just PO-aware folks) who made ads, good work!  
Huffington Post had a Peak Oil guy up last night, one of their guest bloggers.  He said it was a conspiracy and there is no such thing as PO.
Do you mean this one?: link

It is the lack of transparency that has permitted the oil patch and OPEC in particular to bamboozle the world into turning "shortages and peak oil" into accepted Gospel. In my book, "Over a Barrel: Breaking The Middle East Oil Cartel" I go into great detail dispelling this myth.
Do you mean this one?: link

It is the lack of transparency that has permitted the oil patch and OPEC in particular to bamboozle the world into turning "shortages and peak oil" into accepted Gospel. In my book, "Over a Barrel: Breaking The Middle East Oil Cartel" I go into great detail dispelling this myth.
There seem to be VERY FEW of us Repubs who have gotten the message. Yes, I'm a registered Repub, but I take my Repubism seriously, as in Republic not Empire. The Republican party has been almost completely taken over by neocons and nutty Christers. God Will Provide or The Empire Will Provide. Feh.
I wish we could get back to good old fashioned real republicans who weren't just nasty and corrupt and who truly believed in fiscal responsibility. I might vote for one! No great fan of most Demos either.
the possibility of fiscal conservatism was greatly reduced the day the towers fell.  when we moved on Iraq, it was pretty much the EOS.
Why is that?

You mean we were pre-programmed to financially self-destruct just because of one terrorist attack?

We were pre-programmed to financially self-destruct ... but it had nothing to do with the loss of 2 buildings and a couple of thousand people (I don't want to sound callous, but on a grand scale, for a nation of 300 million people, 3000 is just a loss of one out of every 100,000; not much different than some rare disease).

We were/are programmed to self destruct because the game is one where the best bullsh*tter comes out ahead in each round. It is not win-win on each exchange. It's tails they win and heads you lose. When some fancy-named water-in-a-plastic bottle company sells you water for 100 times cost, it's not fair and balanced. The game belongs to those who can and do psyche you out.

Same with cars and gasoline. Why does a machine that pollutes the atmosphere, puts you in hock and just drives you in circles cost $30,000?

"When some fancy-named water-in-a-plastic bottle company sells you water for 100 times cost, it's not fair and balanced."


Step Back,

Why do you hate our freedoms?



Yo. It wasn't my people who slammed the jets into the towers. It was "them that sell us crude" (and maybe them that kiss their cheeks too).

--still stepp'in

You have been instructed that you are an individual and that that is what is most sacred and important - they are just selling the trinkets by which you are trying to create/celebrate/instantiate your individuality. And isn't it great to see "everyone" performing this ritual by chasing essentially the same set of individuality tokens? The modern house has become less a home and more a mausoleum to the self - mini Pharaohs chambers, the bulk of the content having no interest to posterity.
Ah, if the Pharaohs did it in a radically different time and place, maybe it isn't so much "instruction" as something internal?
That is one reason I am paring down my house.  My home has been filled for a long time with the dust of my existance.  Solomon wrote in that all this stuff is "chasing after of the wind". The Richest man of his day, also considered the wisest man of his day or ever, and he knew that nothing on this green earth was going to last.  As a Christian I am advised not to seek worldly wealth as a subsitute for the riches of Christ.  I am also not to worry about what I wear or what I eat today, Or worry about anything for that matter.  I have always thought that we are as Christians supposed to take care of the stuff we are given.  The Earth is something we are supposed to take care of, not polute, grind to dust or savage.  

So over the last few weeks I have been giving things away, and throwing away the junk I have collected,  It has been enlightening to see the things I have stored for years.  

But if any of you would like a 3 peice Queen sized bedroom set, with a serta mattress only 4 years old, let me know you'll have to pick it up.   I have been sleeping on the floor for about a month now, got to rest in a Hammock yesterday.  Product made in China, Failed through a design flaw which would have not been there had they not used plastic that was not rigid enough to take the strain.

A big named US company had to make in China, ColeMan, the Outdoor outfitter of the ages,  made in China.  I want to growl about things, but I am just not going to worry.

PS.  If the end of the world is just around the corner, I am not suppose to worry about that either, I am not the star of the show, just a guy doing his itty bitty part.  
GOD bless you.  

Dan Ur

I have been going through the same thing. I look around my apartment (only 600 sq ft) and see all the 'stuff' I have collected. I try to go through and thin it out. I've even been tempted to quit my corporate job, go back to Colorado, work as an EMT on an ambulance and live out of a VW van. But not quite that couragous yet.

But why are you sleeping on the floor?

You have been instructed that you are an individual and that that is what is most sacred and important
There is nothing wrong with that. Just as the average Joe focuses on the symptoms of Peak Oil (higher gas prices) and not the cause (demand > production), so too it is with this.

The problem is not individualism or capitalism. The problem is credit. President Thomas Jefferson strongly opposed a national bank, fractional banking, and fiat currency. Our Constitution, Art 1, Sec 8, Cl 5 says The Congress shall have Power ... To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures. The Federal Reserve Bank is unconstitutional as well as our entire banking system. That is the problem. Kunstler touches on this in TLE saying that our present banking system requires increased amounts of debt which requires increased amounts of energy, however, he missed the part about it being unconstitutional.

When you have the world's reserve currency, you can just print more (or more technically, transmit a few more electrons between banks' computer systems) in exchange for a tangible product. Today's housing bubble is different from the stock market bubble in 2000. All the latter did was shift around a few more electrons on computer systems. The former involves actual resources and manual labor.
"We were pre-programmed to financially self-destruct ..."

Funny post, becuase it almost implies that humans are perfect beings, and would be living in splendor without external programming to mess them up.

On the other hand, if you are saying we are built a bit imperfectly for this modern tech/industrial society, I might be on board with you.  That isn't really programming for destruction though, it's more (and I think this is the case) that we are a bit clumsy in our path to solutions.

Naw, I was being more cynical than that, odograph. I was thinking maybe the government and bankers were pre-programmed for a looting party, but had to wait for a pretext to divert people's attention while they did it.

And they certainly did it, quite successfully, it appears.

Nah I'd place it much, much further back. The early 70s oil problems and the Club Of Rome predictions scared the hell out of everyone. If there's one thing at the very heart of the American "way of life" or belief system it's cornucopianism. Along comes the 1970s and as I've noted elsewhere, there was more privation and hunger than was 'supposed' to happen in Amurrika.

The North Sea oil discoveries saved our asses then, but the public didn't know that - all they knew was, they tossed Jimmy Carter out on his ass and voted in Reagan and everything was okie-dokie. Just keep singing "High Hopes" and "Happy Days Are Here Again" and everything will be just peachy. Just trust that invisible hand, and all that blather and things will be fine.

Again, feh.

I know, I lived all through this. But it certainly seems like the minute the pretext of the terror attack happened, the gears were already in place to professionally loot out the U.S. Treasury while a stunned populace lost its ability to think.

It may have been one of the greatest, best-organized robberies in history. It's all gone, all of it. Trillions of dollars.

Immediately after 9-11, Bush trotted out the first Patriot Act and Congress rubberstamped it. Few read it before they voted it into law because the text of the Act hadn't even been printed yet.
I know, I lived all through this. But it certainly seems like the minute the pretext of the terror attack happened, the gears were already in place to professionally loot out the U.S. Treasury while a stunned populace lost its ability to think.

It may have been one of the greatest, best-organized robberies in history. It's all gone, all of it. Trillions of dollars.


I remember when Reagan was President and increasing the deficit and the economy was strong and saying, "Heck, I could do that and look good." Spend money I did not have to boost the economy. It worked. That is why Cheney said early in the 1st term, "Reagan proved that deficits do not matter." This has been a calculated move to power it up the economy (it worked) and keep money away from the Feds so Democratic Party handouts after 2008 would be more difficult to implement.

I also find it ironic that Australia, in its third term with a Republican like govt. has just ELIMINATED their national debt/ They paid it off! We will have to wait for another Clinton type President to do the same.

The Australian right wing party (National) is far to the left of the Democrats in America. Australia is pretty much a European soicalist country with good weather, great beaches, big, honking mineral deposits, and people that know how to party.
There are worse places.
I don't have the link but read recently that the Bush administartion has borrowed (added to the national debt) 1 trillion additional US dollars which is more than all the added debt from all previous US president's combined!

Sure seems like it was planned.

Actually they've added $3 trillion, quickly heading for $4 trillion.

The macro-game is to try to bankrupt government, and then privatize it and profitize it. The idea would be to return to the 19th Century robber baron era, where financial elites are in charge, and the middle class goes away.

It's the opposite of "The New Deal."

It wasn't the North Sea oil development that saved our asses, it was all the oil discoveries made with improved seismic from improved semiconductors and software. The North Sea oil fields were just a significant part of it, but not all of it.
No, this has been building for years. Jerry Pournelle, one time scientist and more lately computer journalist and science fiction author, has written for probably 15 years about the slow transition of the US from republic to empire. It's been going on since before that since Jerry admits that he finally just recognized it mid-stream. It's not just Bush. Clinton was part of it. So were Bush Sr. and Reagan. And you can probably count Nixon, Johnson, and Kennedy in that "empire" school of thought as well, though I'm still not sure about Ford or Carter.

Bush is the culmination of what the Demopublicans have worked so hard to create for 60 years - an all-powerful state. Having created the throne for Caesar were the damnfools so stupid as to not expect Caesar to take the throne?

It was doomed long before then.  

Stirling Newberry argued at DailyKos that fiscal conservatism died with Newt Gingrich.  Or Newt Gingrich's leadership role in the House, anyway.

The reason is simple: Gingrich wanted to have a lock step Republican majority with the intent, originally, of downsizing the government. However, the two great attempts to do this were abject failures, politically and economically. The first was the "government shut down" of 1995. The attempt to force their budget priorities on America lead to Americans realizing that government does, indeed, make their lives better. It created an understanding of "government the service organization" in the Democratic Party, and in the country.

The second massive failure was "Freedom to Farm". Remember that? How if we just pulled the plug on farm subsidies and let farmers farm, they would do so much better? Instead, falling commodity prices led big agri-business to gobble up thousands of family farms. Even in Nebraska they called it "Freedom to Fail".

In short, when tested, the theory that the upstanding hard working red states would do great without Washington on their backs - failed all the way round. And at this moment, though few people understood it at the time, there was the death of the idea of libertarian-conservatism as the future of America.

The large tax cuts were before 9/11.


the possibility of fiscal conservatism was greatly reduced the day the towers fell.  

Let me call bullshit on the idea that 'fiscal conservatisim' is somehow 'A Republican Value'.

Look at the spending increases whenever Republicans have been 'in charge' of the Congrees/WhiteHouse.  

Words != actions when it comes to 'lets cut spending' happy talk.  

The closest you had to that was Clinton and you crucified him. Enjoy GWB.
Clinton was the last great traditional Republican president.
Hi Fleam,

At least you are honest enough to acknowledger the hypocrisy of the current Republican party.

I would not typically be bothered by political posturing, but I find the "pull yourself up by our bootstraps", "stay in school", "don't do drugs", "work hard" rhetoric by the Republican "do gooders" difficult to take.

If  were affiliated with this party, I would be bothered by the chasm between rhetoric and reality.

Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and a lot of that stuff does work because the system is NOT your friend. You have to be far sneakier, far more devious, than portrayed. The system won't help you with college unless you're in the right square in the race/class matrix. Surprise! You can often have a MUCH better life being a friggin' plumber. Work hard and stay off of drugs are good ideas, that stuff's called dope for a reason lol. But don't work hard for The Man, since the working class's earnings have actually declined over the last 30 years. Instead, work hard for yourself. And do something real, "they" keep saying manufacturing type jobs are dead in the US, I call bullshit on that one. Peak Oil or not, there's TONS of room for small manufacturers in the US - Peak Oil will only accentuate that need and if things go slowly so we don't take the Catastrophic Downfall choice for a future, we have a golden age of the small manufacturer ahead.

Modern "republicans" go out and buy a huge SUV for the bogus tax rebate, real Republicans buy the thriftiest and most sensible thing they can get, and then only if a financial analysis shows they're better off having a car at all. Sadly, I fall into that group, I'd rather not have one of the annoying things at all.

I may be out of line here, so sorry about that in advance. I am not an American, unfortunately. I don't vote and I kind of watch the American political scene as a 'neutral' observer.

I think Republicans and Democrats should drop the sectarianism and take a cool and unemotional look at the current administration. Are these guys really Republicans or even Conservative? I'm not sure they are. I think they are something different altogether. My Big problem is what are they? A lot of people think they're religious nuts, but I don't buy that either. If they are 'religious' what religion is it, and what God is their deity?

None of the following is meant to be definitive. I don't maintain that I sitting outside the US know all the answers. It's just a few thoughts and observations. It's meant to be taken with a pinch of salt. I believe that future historians will look back at the current Bush administration with something like dismay and incredulity! How did such a small and unrepresentative group of people ever get control of the Republican Party and the White House? A big problem for many of us outside the US is how come so many members of the White House team, people with real power, like Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld, never actually got elected by the people, they are appointees and have been given power by the President. It seems odd that one votes for Bush and then one gets a whole bunch of other guys along with him that one really knows nothing about in the bargain. It seems a strange sort of 'democracy.'

I think the White House is in the grip of a kind of cult or sect, some people call it the 'cabal.' I think they are an intellectual elite, who relish power and have some rather 'interesting' ideas about 'democracy.' I don't believe they really believe in Democracy. I think they believe in elite rule over the ignorant masses, who are incapable of understanding the complexities of the world, and have to be led by the elite 'priesthood' for their own good. The masses are merely 'sheep' looked after by 'good sheppards.' These guys do not believe in an American Republic. I think they believe in an American Empire. In order to build the Empire, the Republic must die or be sacrificed so the grand strategy can succeed.

Clearly this rough outline of mine isn't meant to cover everything. It's a Big and complicated subject. Academics will spend entire lives writing about this Whitehouse! It hasn't got much to do with the old fights between Democrats or Republicans about how one runs the American Republic. That is the old politics. The real fault-line is between those who support the birth of a true Empire in the Roman sense, or those who wish to see the Republic re-established.

I think most Americans, Republican or Democrats, don't support an Empire like Rome, but on truly global scale. Obviously the elite cannot say all this openly to the American people, so they don't. I alos think they believe in 'noble lies' which are cynically used to 'hoodwink' the masses for their own good. A final interesting point is, how are members of this 'elite cult' or 'Sheppards' going to retain power over the Whitehouse, if Bush falls or the 'Republicans' are regected by the 'sheep?' How about starting a process which, by its very nature may prove 'irriversable' in its consequences? So that it doesn't really matter if another group takes over the Whitehouse, the die is already cast? Launch America on a truly terrible course, with no realistic way back, at least not in our lifetime.

I don't know writerman, I think the generals' revolt belies something much deeper going on in Washington. I think a lot of important people have finally become aware that there is something very "unstable" about this administration.

I hope a "failsafe" order has quietly been put in place over at the Pentagon, and that if a disastrous order is given, it will not happen.

Somehow this administration has to be carefully removed by indictments and resignations. The wrong move now might send the world into thermo-nuclear war. Then it would be too late.

It's a difficult situation.

Don in Colorado -

I also have a hunch that something really big is going on behind the scenes in Washington, and I suspect it has to do with the possibility of the Bush regime launching an attack on Iran.  The Democrats do not appear to openly oppose such an attack, and many seem to even support the notion of 'fixing' Iran. So, it doesn't so much appear to be a Republican/Democrat thing, but rather something deeper. The 'generals' revolt' may only be the tip of the iceberg.

At any rate, the Bush regime getting increasing nervous about the Republicans losin control over Congress in November, and the calls for impeachment are growing louder and louder. Therefore, my thinking is that if indeed the Bush regime does plan to attack Iran, they will do it before November so that it becomes a fait accompli by the time the Democrats take control of Congress.

What would make for an extremely dangerous situation is if Bush ordered a  purge of high-ranking generals in an attempt to replace them with ones who willing to carry out a possibly nuclear attack on Iran. Under normal circumstances I would consider such an eventuality as quite far-fetched, but these are hardly normal circumstances.

This is explored in The Power of Nightmares.
My strongest objection is to the idea that this cabal is an "intellectual elite." ;-)

Actually beyond the joke, there probably is (seriously) an anti-intellectualism in their movement.

There's an interesting article in Rolling Stone magazine this week: The Worst President in History.  Written by an eminent historian.

Don't know why but the whole link doesn't appear.  Here it is again:

The end of long links is truncated, so the screen isn't stretched, forcing people to scroll.

But don't worry, the link should still work if you click on it.

BTW, what is a "Trackback URL" and how does it relate to a "permalink?"
writerman wrote: "I think they believe in elite rule over the ignorant masses, who are incapable of understanding the complexities of the world, and have to be led by the elite 'priesthood' for their own good. The masses are merely 'sheep' looked after by 'good sheppards.'"

writerman, your comments echo those of Shadida Drury, professor of political theory at the University of Saskatchewan and author of a number of books on the political theory of Leo Struass. As you may know, a number of prominent neo-cons were students of Strauss.

In an interview she said:

"A second fundamental belief of Strauss's ancients has to do with their insistence on the need for secrecy and the necessity of lies. In his book Persecution and the Art of Writing, Strauss outlines why secrecy is necessary. He argues that the wise must conceal their views for two reasons - to spare the people's feelings and to protect the elite from possible reprisals.

"The people will not be happy to learn that there is only one natural right - the right of the superior to rule over the inferior, the master over the slave, the husband over the wife, and the wise few over the vulgar many. In On Tyranny, Strauss refers to this natural right as the "tyrannical teaching" of his beloved ancients. It is tyrannical in the classic sense of rule above rule or in the absence of law (p. 70).

Dear WKO,

Thank you for the link to the interesting and rather frightening interview with Shadida Drury. If her assertions are correct, we almost seem to be entering the realm of something that appears closer to science fiction than normal politics. The very idea that a cult with secret knowlegde might have taken over the government of the United States, is difficult to swallow. It's like a nightmare, conspiracy theory, or paranoid movie plot.

Unfortunately, Drury makes a very plausible case that this is not fantasy, but reality. She argues well and clearly knows her philosophers. My problem is, I really don't want to believe her. I feel emotionally that I have to remain sceptical and dismiss a lot of what she says. If she's right, I'd feel both depressed and angry. I've sort of arrived at her position by another route, the opposite route that she took, so to speak. She seems to have moved from philosphy to real world politics, I've gone from real world politics to philosophy.

I kind of wish Strauss had thought more about how his own own teachings could be used, and abused, and vulgarised themselves. There's much in what Shadida Drury says that's deeply disturbing. I'm not sure I care for the idea of washing away the decadence of Liberalism, with blood, in perpetual war!

I wonder where a man like President Bush would fit into the secret hierahcy; is he one of the wise, a gentleman, or one of the vulgar mass?

Writerman: The USA is no different from China, Russia, Brazil or anywhere else with few exceptions (Japan, France, Netherlands and a few other countries). A system is in place where 1% win and 99% lose. Of that 1%, approx. 1/3 are winning solely because their ancestors won (GWB). The USA has always been like this. There was a short glory period for the working class (1950-1979) and now it is back to normal. Call it a cult if you like.
(writerman never replies to me so we have nothing to worry about)

What did you mean by this?

I am not an American, unfortunately.
"Modern "republicans" go out and buy a huge SUV for the bogus tax rebate . . .'



Why do you hate our freedoms?



No, no, it's "Why do you hate our Freedumbs?(tm)"
LOL :) thanx for the laugh
While we're free to choose, we're not free of the consequences of choice.
Just because you can choose to eat 5000 useless calories per day at McDonald's doesn't mean that you should, does it? Just because you can drive an SUV doesn't mean that you should, does it? Are you incapable of governing yourself to such an extent that you need the omnipotent welfare state to babysit you? And more to the point, do you believe that most people are incapable of self-governance?

I would suggest to you that the freedom to be wrong, the freedom to fail, is part and parcel of what has driven us through the evolutionary process so far. Yes, the consequences of failure can be dire but that doesn't mean we should embrace timidity in search of false security.

Perhaps it is time for western civilization to fail. Perhaps it is time for homo sapiens to fail on some large scale. And if it is, perhaps that is the best outcome possible for the future of our species and the future of the planet.

"Sadly, I fall into that group"

Do you mean sadly you have to own a car, or sadly you can't afford to choose what kind of better car than your $$$'s can support?

I have almost always tried to be Thrifty.  I have failed in the past, and will likely continue to fail at being thrifty, though getting 1,400 miles without a van would be a bit much to ask.  But I do hope the Refineries do come online and dump the high prices we have been seeing and when I do travel, the price of gas will ahve gone down a few cents, and I can afford to buy myself a few neat items like food.

Great news I will be in a city that is only 6 square miles in land area,  not 125.  Though my girlfriend is in a rental house in a town 7 miles away, she lives closer than my brother who lives in the same city as I do.  My current church is 2.5 miles away, the one that I might go to in Sterling is 0.5 miles away and even in bad weather not that far away.  I will be able to walk to most things with a lot more ease than here in Huntsville.

I mean sadly I have to own a car right now.
It seems that the Republican party likes to decive themselves:
Wow, that's pretty funny:

The real problem is that Bush has bought into the "peak oil" hoax.  Believing that oil and natural gas are fossil fuels, the President believes we inevitably have to run out.  After all, there only were so many dinosaurs, so there has to be only so much fossil fuel.  When the dinosaur fuel is gone, we're out.  Why?  Because there aren't any more dinosaurs to make more fuel.  That's the inherent logic of the fossil fuel theory.

I think the real reason the author is so angry is that he isn't speaking for as many Republicans as he'd like to.

This guy has it all wrong!  My dinosaur is still making fuel and it powers my SUV, my Mercedes and my personal rocket pack for only $1.49 a day!  Plus, thanks to CIA training programs, my dinosaur also generates positive cash flow from property investment while I sleep, with no money down!  To find out how you can get your own dinosaur send a signed blank cheque and your Social Security number to:

PO Box 6000

I can vouch for this Republican's author's naiveness about Peak Oil. I brought in "The End of Surburbia" to watch during lunch at my office and bring up the topic of Peak Oil. My Republican co-workers think I am nuts and a moron for even thinking about oil declining and I still am the butt of their jokes about oil.

It's truly saddening to see so many people blind to what's happening. I think it was JHK who wrote about how the people of Easter Island cut down every single one of their trees and died off because of a lack of fuel for heat. I was shocked how people could do such a thing in the face of certain death. Now I understand.
I don't know if it was cherry picking, but one of the cable news shows did a series of gas station interview about high gasoline prices last night.  The answer "we use too much" popped up quite a lot.

People are getting it, just not quickly.

I'd say wait a couple months and see if they answer gas price questions a bit differently.

FWIW -- I believe the Easter Island bit was from Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond...or at least that is where I had originally read it.
Jered Diamond's article appeared in Discovery Magazine, August, 1995:

Easter Island's civiliation did self-destruct from cutting down their trees, but it was not primarily from lack of fuel. They could no longer make canoes to fish (major source of protein) and without trees, the already poor soil eroded, destroying their vegetables (yams, I think).
Addendum: Story in detail in Jared Diamond's Collapse
If you haven't read Collapse, you should.  Fascinating study of several past civilizations and what did them in.  Lester Brown uses Collapse nicely as a backdrop to parts of Plan B 2.0 (another must-read) when discussing today's civilization.
People frequently mention the Easter Islanders - but I think the more instructive case for what we discuss here is the Norse in Greenland.  The Easter Islanders were totally isolated BUT the Norse in Greenland could observe a working lifestyle solution to their difficulties - the Eskimo/Inuit. But apparently the Norse lifestyle was non-negotiable - substitute cows for cars. The Greelanders adopted none (or few) of the technologies available to them.
Fleam and Matt,

I am a liberal kind of guy and have a neighbor in town who is very conservative.  Old style conservative business type.

He has successfully developed manufacturing sites in our town for hard industries.  He is currently at odds with the people who want to just put in housing and big box retail.

Both sets are Republicans but one is focused on creating wealth and the other set is interested in capturing wealth.

That is what I see has happened to the Republican party.  Too many of the party are only interesting in getting rich not creating a society and community.  The pary is still about money but the focus is very different than pre-70's.

My liberal tendencies are based in a focus on inclusion of all people in the community to take part in the U.S. dream.  I don't see that being possible anymore with the current Republican party.  It is not about hating freedom.


I am an "old school" Republican who has voted Libertarian and occasionally Democrat out of protest for a while now. Creating wealth means including everyone. What I see happening now is a move towards a high-tech feudal system of obscenely wealthy and privileged against the serf masses who don't even own their own property (real estate taxes demonstrate quite quickly who really owns what).

Someone else mentioned that old school Republicanism died with Newt Gingrich. That's probably true but I disagree with why. We do not need all the government we are paying for today no matter what the statist Dems claim about government being a pseudo "service" organization. Most of government is moving wealth from Peter to Paul in order to buy Paul's vote. However just as clearly, we do need some government so the anarchist extremists in the Libertarian party are just as wrong as the Democrats who chase the total statist Marxist bullshit dream.

Personally I felt like the tension between the Democrats and the old time fiscally conservative Republicans was a good thing. On the one hand, the unions, largely via the Democrats, were empowered to force corporations to come to the negotiating table and share the wealth. On the other hand the Republicans kept sniping at the Democrats socialist agenda in order to keep it to a reasonable size.

Now today we have two parties, neither of which cares about the average worker, both of which are on the corporate payroll (just from different sides) and being controlled by the same corporations while engaging in a large scale pillaging of the middle class solely for their corporate masters. Do these political fools think their corporate masters will still have a use for them when they are done sucking the life out of the dying middle class? If they do, they deserve the hideous fate that history suggests awaits them.

The twilight of the Democratic Party is due to the decline of the labor movement.  Big Labor used to be the scariest lobbyists on the hill (not to mention corrupting elections in a way that made the GOP look like amateurs - but that's another story).

As I've said before, I think this may be connected to peak oil, if only tangentially.  Perhaps offshoring of manufacturing would have happened anyway, but peak oil U.S.A. sure helped it along.  And once management had the threat of moving overseas and hiring people willing to work for a dollar a day, the power of the unions was completely gutted.

In any case, what worked in the past may not work in the future...or even be possible.  

Christian Science Monitor printed this editorial today:

Creeping toward oil as a social good

A creeping federal role in oil has been taking place for decades, primarily for two reasons: One, foreign governments control more than three-quarters of oil reserves through national oil companies. And two, oil prices rise steeply when a crisis hits one of these often-unstable governments, or one of them uses energy as a weapon.

Look at recent months: Oil prices rose when terrorists tried to bomb Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure. Militants in Nigeria shut down a fifth of that nation's pipelines. Iran threatens an oil export cutoff. Iraq's oil industry struggles with attacks. Venezuela plays politics with oil exports. Russia restricts exports of natural gas. China's government-controlled oil importers, meanwhile, are roaming the earth to lock up new oil supplies, as Japan did before it.

These nonfree market forces can easily kick up prices in a laissez-faire oil economy. Last year, Americans paid 17 percent more for energy than in 2004, making energy the largest driver of inflation. Another oil shock like that in 1973 could cost $8 trillion, or almost two-thirds of GDP. Such a potentiality pushes even free-market conservatives to ask for a larger federal role in oil, simply for national survival.

Old style Republicanism died with William Howard Taft. We need another Teddy Roosevelt.
like I've said before
I don't know who owns the asian times
but here's some more.
Yesterday I mentioned that I'd seen a cable news feature with a eighty-whatever MPG gas-bicycle, and ended "it has begun."  That last part was my sense of humor, and I typed it while imagining an overly dramatic reading of those words ... "it has begun."

I was surprised by the negativity later, in response to this uptick in gas prices and peak oil awareness.  More bizarre to me was the idea that a ragged start to mobilization was seen (by doomers?) as a proof that we'd never do anything better.  I mean, like, what do you want in 48 hours?

This is a huge opportunity, and as public attention becomes focussed, this is the first time in six months when people might actually be listening.  I think it is a little better to use this  to name concrete achievable steps ... rather than to moan about how dead you are.  Jeez, if you feel that bad lay down in a hole and let someone cover you.

I quickly looked through the comments here and didn't see anybody else mention that the likely cause for the spike in attention has to do with the fact that TOD was mentioned in Newsweek's BlogWatch in this week's issue and on their online site.

It was mentioned in yesterday's open thread:

Also in the same issue of Newsweek, a decent column entitled "The Price of Addiction," by Jane Bryant Quinn. She doesn't come right out and use the phrase "peak oil", but she certainly alludes to it:

For years to come, we'll be in the hands of some of the most dysfunctional governments in the world. Oil prices will rise and economic growth will slow -- not this year, but almost certainly a few years out. We'll be paying in both treasure and blood, as we fight and parley to keep ever-tighter supplies of world oil flowing our way.

What has changed in the world? We're running out of the capacity to produce surpluses of oil. Demand for crude is expected to rise much faster than new supplies...

She is rather conservative about peak date (stating that "about three years from now, the non-OPEC world will start pumping at slowly diminishing rates" and "Within 10 or 15 years, it [Saudia Arabia] too may not pump enough to meet increased demand") but doesn't sugarcoat nontraditional sources:

On paper, we have alternatives, such as liquefied coal, oil sands from Canada and ethanol. But they're not anywhere close to production on a massive scale. For a smooth transition, mega-energy projects need to get started at least 20 years before oil supplies decline, writes Robert Hirsch...

Doesn't mention EROEI, but for a single-page MSM article I think it may get some people interested enough to type into their browsers...

Here's a link to the online version of the article:

Re: Various Subjects

To revive a tradition....

Much beloved and esteemed

I note, respectfully, that no light sweet crude spare capacity number was given by Mr. Al-Naimi. I note with some irony that it is the minister from Nigeria that said

'Today there is plenty on the market,' said OPEC President and Nigeria's Oil Minister Edmund Daukoru. 'It's refining constraints and a fear premium pushing up prices.'
I note the foolishness of not adding to the SPR with the hurricane season coming up and wonder how we will fill it to capacity so that when the big one rages through the GOM, there will be some buffer.

Also, on the news front, from Playing politics with gas prices

The 'outrage' factor has spread. In the San Diego area, at least three independent stations also closed in protest after they say they were quoted 40 cents per gallon more than their brand-name competitors.
Not getting that bulk discount. However, $0.40/gallon seems very high. How do we know price gauging when we see it?

The president speaks

Record oil prices and large cash flows also mean that Congress has got to understand that these energy companies don't need unnecessary tax breaks like the write-offs of certain geological and geophysical expenditures or the use of taxpayers' monies to subsidize energy companies' research into deepwater drilling.

I'm looking forward to Congress to take about $2 billion of these tax breaks out of the budget over a 10-year period of time.

Considering all the other subsidies, this plan amounts to nothing. At this point, all these tax breaks are giveaways in any case since throwing money at the problem does not increase recoverable reserves significantly (and if you're ExxonMobil, not at all).
This week Helen Clark, New Zealand's Prime Minister joined a rapidly growing but exclusive club, the penny has obviously dropped - she openly admitted the real reasons behind high oil prices, "because we're probably not too far short of peak production, if we're not already there."

There appears to be widespread consensus that one of the reasons for the recent run-up in the price of oil is the market's 'nervousness' over a possible US attack on Iran. This has appeared repeated in the MSM, and many TODers have agreed

Bush says that he's doing his best to to take positive measures to contain the rising price of gasoline (e.g., posponing the filling of the SPR, delaying gasoline reformulation, etc).

Well, may I humbly suggest to Maximum Leader that one very positive measure would be to publically pledge to the world that the US will NOT attack Iran.  If it is correct that nervousness over Iran is one of the main aggrevating factors, then such a move might immediately drop the price of oil by possibly $5/bbl or more. (What IS the thinking at TOD as to dollar magnitude of the 'Iran nervousness factor'?)

Of course that will never happen, but I think people out there should be aware that the Bush Regime itself shares some of the blame, for the rising price of oil because of its saber-rattling over Iran.  

Not to downplay the Iran factor, but there has been one excuse after another for high oil prices since the bull market began around 2000. Nobody ever mentions factors keeping the oil price from being even higher (e.g. it is not hurricane season, it is not peak driving season, Iran is not actually taking measures to restrict supply, the whole premise of Peak Oil has not caught on fully with Wall Street, etc.,etc.). Excuses can be made for why the oil price is too high, excuses can be made for why the oil price is too low.
to publically pledge to the world that the US will NOT attack Iran. ... the Bush Regime itself shares some of the blame, for the rising price of oil because of its saber-rattling over Iran.
Why ever would we want to do that? That's just like an anti-gun homeowner putting a big sign on his lawn saying, "Unarmed. There are no weapons in this house." We must not be reading the same news. Iran has threatened the US and Isreal. Google for Divine Strake to see what we are preparing.

Richard Heinberg writes in Powerdown that there are a couple of choices the human race can make regarding Peak Oil: global-powerdown, or last-man-standing. I absolutely guarantee you we, China, India, and the rest of the world will be doing last-man-standing.

And the sooner oil rises in price, the better it will be for us to get through Peak Oil. The free-market will force people to consume less and change their lifestyles. It's going to be rough, but we need to start now.
PedalPusher -

Well, in all the news I've been reading it's been the US and Israel making a steady drumbeat of increasingly belligerent direct and indirect threats toward Iran, and not the other way around.

The threat posed by Iran to the US has been manufactured in the White House, just like the WMD threat posed by Iraq was manufactured in the White House. I just hope the American people are not going to be suckered into a war for a second time in a row.

Perhaps you get all your news from Rush Limbaugh?

My only point in the previous post is that by beating the war drums over Iran, the Bush regime shares a good deal of responsibility over oil market 'nervousness'. Whether this effect is $1/bb, $2/bbl, or whatever, there still has to be some effect.

Agreed, the reasons for War in the 21st Century is over oil - whether it be to ensure access or to take over the reserves. That's why were are in Iraq and not leaving. That's why we are going into Iran. However, no politician is going to publicly say that we need to invade Iraq and Iran to secure oil. That would allow China to say the same thing and escalate global tensions. So WMD's, Nukes, etc. has to be used as a cover story.

And I'm pretty much disgusted with the Republicans (and being one myself) on how they are handling everything else other than the War. I'm aware we are being lied to about the War, but we need the oil. What else can we do? Powerdown?
PedalPusher -

I would agree that the main reason we are in Iraq is oil, with Israel being a rather distant secondary reason.

However, when it comes to Iran, I really have a hard time seeing how attacking Iran is going to get us access to Iranian oil. I don't think anyone seriously thinks were are going to actually invade and occupy Iran while we are barely holding our own in Iraq.

Sure, we could  launch a massive air attack on Iran and destroy a lot of military and civilian infrastructure, but unless we invade and occupy at least the oil producing regions of Iran, we are not going to be getting a drop more of Iranian oil.

And judging from what I've seen of the way things have gone in Iraq, I think it is unrealistic to think we can bite off a chunk of Iran and quietly tap its oil reserves while the remainder of the country is unoccupied and overtly hostile. You simply can't operate giant oil fields in a perpetual 'Fort Apache' mode. Then you have the possibility of a scorched earth policy, in which the Iranians could easily destroy their own oil fields and terminal facilities if it became clear that the Americans were going to take them over.

No, strictly from the standpoint of oil availability, I can see nothing positive coming out of a US attack on Iran.  It would delight Israel, but it would do absolutely nothing for the US.

Of course, this delusional administration may still be operating under the fantasy that if we bomb Iran sufficiently hard, the Iranian people will rise up and replace the current regime with one that loves the US and is willing to give the US favorable access to its oil. As I recall, this was the game plan for Iraq also, and look how great that has turned out.

Is Divine Strake the hooker that Hugh Grant was caught with?
I wish we can keep TOD serious. Divine Strake is a nuclear detonation simulator using ammonium nitrate and fuel oil. The DoD is testing this in June to see how a low-yield "bunker buster" nuke would work.
What is interesting is the role reversal. Big bad "Commie" China uses the carrot and gets great results while the USA uses the stick and gets zero results.
Re: The Iran Nervousness Factor

This is a complex subject but I'll make a few observations.

  1. Iran said they were considering opting out of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. So, they're raising the (mi)stakes in this game of poker.
  2. Russia and China will never approve sanctions against Iran. They will never permit Iran's oil exports to be threatened.
  3. Wall Street knows what kind of cabal is running the US government and they are aware of #1 and #2 above.
In what way can the stand-off with Iran be alleviated? I don't know. As long as bombing is on the table, there is no solution. Israel will never allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons and the US will not back down or abandon them.

Although the observation is correct that the Maximum Leader should renounce preemptive force, he will never do so since that is his avowed policy. Iran is a case in point. If these guys wanted to attack Paraquay, they would do so.

All and all, I think Iran deserves worry. As to prices, I believe it is having a negligible affect--maybe a buck or two. What's driving oil prices, IMHO, is a growing imbalance between available supply and the quantity demanded for light sweet crude. All and all, the Iran "fear factor" is mostly a sham as far as the market is concerned. It has been noted on this thread that many excuses are given for not acknowledging the supply/demand imbalance and peak oil in general. Iran is a good example.

Jon Markman, an investment columnist and colleague of Jim Jubak over at MSN MoneyCentral, posted a column today called How China is winning the oil race.

At the end of the column Jon gives several links to sites covering oil in Africa, some of which may be of interest to TOD readers.

Unbelievable! As if the USA had never worked with autocratic dictatorial states! What is this guy smoking? PhilRelig, you need to point him to Antipas!
The first line was priceless: "Is America too ethical to have cheap gasoline?" They hate us because of our freedoms.
Per Bill Clinton

Snip ......

The Indians and Chinese are in this huge fight now to see who can get the most oil. We may be at a point of peak oil production. You may see $100 a barrel oil in the next two or three years, but what still is driving this globalization is the idea that is you cannot possibly get rich, stay rich and get richer; if you don't release more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Snip ......

From Speech at London Business School, April 24, 2006.

Many say we will see $3.50/gal this summer.  If you factor in Iran, who knows how high it could go. Everyone knows America MUST get off the oil.  After September 11, 2001 I expected our President to call on Americans to GET OFF THE OIL.  I was expecting a speech like the one JFK gave that motivated us to reach for the moon. As you know, this never happened.  Eventually I realized that the only way this is going to happen is for us to do it ourselves.  To that end I created this idea and have been trying to make it a reality..

The EPA is offering a research grant opportunity that I believe is a perfect fit for this idea.  I have sent an e-mail to a hand picked list of university professors who have experience with government research projects.  I'm looking to form a research team to apply for the EPA grant, conduct a social-economic experiment and surveys to determine to what extent the American public will support it, project the economic potential of WPH, and identify logistical, social and political obstacles as well as opportunities.

All government grants are awarded based on merit of the proposed research.  I believe WPH has merit but your help is needed to verify it. You can help by posting your feedback.  Let the professors and the EPA know what you think about WPH.  Do you think this idea is worth pursuing? We need to know if Americans will support a plan like this.

Do you have any ideas to improve the plan?

Share any and all of your thoughts.

Tell your friends and family about this Blog post and ask them to post their thoughts on WPH

Thank you