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News from November 2008

Price swings in heating oil lash New England

Price swings in heating oil lash New England thumbnail

There is no business plan for what New England heating oil dealers and customers have gone through this year. Thousands of people locked into heating oil contracts as the price of crude soared close to $150 in July, then watched prices descend below $50 even faster. Many are stuck with the contracts they signed and […]


Big Oil is a Big Cheapskate to Charity

Big Oil is a Big Cheapskate to Charity thumbnail

ExxonMobil and its brethren have enjoyed record profits recently, but they continue to pull up the rear when it comes to charitable giving At the same time ExxonMobil’s (XOM) record-breaking profits are making news, the company is running ads touting its philanthropic support for health and education programs in the U.S. and abroad. ExxonMobil’s commercials […]


Don

Don thumbnail

The world’s most prominent environmentalist on carbon taxes, clean coal and the dangers of illusion. Former Vice President Al Gore ZAKARIA: Would you bail out the carmakers? GORE: Whatever assistance might be forthcoming should be focused on speeding the changes that are absolutely essential to ensure that our companies are competitive in the global marketplace. […]


Oil majors eye $5-billion ships to cut costs

Oil majors eye $5-billion ships to cut costs thumbnail

London Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell PLC is leading the charge but U.S. rivals Exxon Mobil and Chevron and Australia’s Woodside are also eyeing Floating LNG or FLNG. Companies hope FLNG will be cheaper than building onshore liquefaction facilities, speed up the time it takes to bring fields on-stream, reduce projects’ environmental footprints and […]


Geothermal systems conserve energy and reduce bills for heating and cooling

Geothermal systems conserve energy and reduce bills for heating and cooling thumbnail

You may not know anyone with a geothermal heating and cooling system in the house, but you will soon. With tax credits and financial incentives plus lowered utility bills and increased energy efficiency, the numbers of geothermal homes are growing A geothermal system taps into the consistently moderate temperatures underground. A closed system of pipes […]


Iran presses case for OPEC output cut

Iran presses case for OPEC output cut thumbnail

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran’s oil minister said on Sunday the oil market is estimated to be oversupplied by about 2 million barrels per day (bpd) and OPEC will have to decide next month in Algeria about how to stabilize prices. Gholamhossein Nozari made the comments a day after OPEC ministers met in Cairo, where they […]


US ethanol sector to shrink

US ethanol sector to shrink thumbnail

In the ethanol industry’s infancy, small, locally owned plants were the way for farmers to capitalize on a booming industry. Then, all of a sudden, Wall Street found out there was money in ethanol and jumped on board. Today, the industry is struggling due somewhat to the global economic recession and bad gambles made by […]


Higher power

Higher power thumbnail

Massachusetts: What if some nuns in Wrentham decided to put up a wind turbine? And then high school officials in Worcester? And a Canton bank chairman? And pretty soon, the question wasn’t where do wind farms belong, but how many windmills can we squeeze in to every last available space? That day is coming. While […]


Pipelines race out of the mountains, into yards

Pipelines race out of the mountains, into yards thumbnail

DENVER (AP) In just the past 10 years alone, more than 20,000 miles of new natural gas pipelines have been built and brought on line. Those pipelines can carry more than 97 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day. The owners of property over which new pipelines are planned are concerned about leaks into […]


Obama likely to move on several energy fronts

Obama likely to move on several energy fronts thumbnail

Before the financial crisis took over the public debate this fall, Americans were up in arms as gas prices soared above $4 per gallon. The economy’s steep decline has now sent gas prices tumbling below $2 per gallon in many areas. But Obama, in a recent interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” said falling gas prices […]


U.N. climate boss warns of ”cheap, dirty” energy fix

U.N. climate boss warns of ”cheap, dirty” energy fix thumbnail

POZNAN, Poland (Reuters) – The world must avoid a “cheap and dirty” fix for the economy that could undermine the fight against global warming, the U.N.’s top climate official said on Sunday. Yvo de Boer said the world risked a second financial crisis if governments reacted to economic slowdown by building cheap, high-polluting coal-fired power […]


Mandates driving surge to the river for hydropower

Mandates driving surge to the river for hydropower thumbnail

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) There is mounting political pressure to get more energy from alternative sources and developers are pushing ambitious projects to exploit America’s biggest rivers for power. “Some of these applications have been around for decades, but there’s renewed interest now,” said Jeff Hawk, spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Pittsburgh district. […]


Britain

Britain thumbnail

BRITAIN The recommendation will be contained in Building a Low Carbon Economy – the UK’s Contribution to Tackling Climate Change, the inaugural report of the committee, chaired by Lord Adair Turner. The 500-page report will set out what Britain needs to do if it is to achieve the 80% target for cutting emissions it has […]


Political critics owe American oil firms an apology

Political critics owe American oil firms an apology thumbnail

Apologize and do it now, Barack Obama, John McCain and all you members of Congress who ranted about Big Oil’s price-gouging and the way future-markets speculators were abusing the wallets of consumers at the gas pump. Those prices have come down to the lowest level in almost four years, something like $2 a gallon on […]


With oil prices in retreat, OPEC struggles to maintain unity

With oil prices in retreat, OPEC struggles to maintain unity thumbnail

Over the summer, the OPEC cartel couldn’t prevent oil prices from surging to record levels even when its members pumped full out. Now, the producers seem equally unable to stop prices from collapsing as the global economy cools down. Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries left an informal meeting in Cairo this […]


Iran plans to replace oil with nuclear energy

Iran plans to replace oil with nuclear energy thumbnail

Iran …Iran currently suffers from an electricity shortage that has forced the country into adopting a rationing program by scheduling power outages – of up to two hours a day – across both urban and rural areas. Iran plans to construct additional nuclear power plants to provide for the electricity needs of its growing population. […]


Finding fuels of the future

Finding fuels of the future thumbnail

As the population of the Earth grows and demand for energy increases, more effort is put into the research of alternative fuels – and more fuel is added to a broader debate. The National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has been open for five years and is leading the […]


Climate change gathers steam, say scientists

Climate change gathers steam, say scientists thumbnail

PARIS (AFP) Even without additional drivers, the IPCC has warned that current rates of greenhouse gas emissions, if unchecked, would unleash devastating droughts, floods and huge increases in human misery by century’s end. But the new studies, they say, indicate that human activity may be triggering powerful natural forces that would be nearly impossible to […]


America needs Big Three to succeed developing next generation of vehicles

America needs Big Three to succeed developing next generation of vehicles thumbnail

…Not only would the immediate economic ripple of a GM, Ford or Chrysler failure be of tsunami-like proportions, but the inevitably stalled or lost progress on alternatives to the internal combustion engine would be catastrophic. Understand that the new propulsion technology in which the auto industry is playing a lead role is not just about […]


Memo to Obama

Memo to Obama thumbnail

Help develop local responses to food and energy crises …My recommendation to the next U.S. president, therefore, is based on the need to develop such a local response to the twin problems of energy and food. The sharp fluctuations in the price of oil in the past 12 months has severely affected developing economies such […]


America Cannot Tolerate Unending Immigration

America Cannot Tolerate Unending Immigration thumbnail

…Whether they come from Somalia, Burma or Ethiopia, they find themselves ripped out of their cultures, languages and family connections. They arrive in the USA without any skills that benefit America. They cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars in resettlement costs. They become cab drivers, grocery baggers and other jobs that require no skills other […]


Greenhouse gases will heat up planet ‘for ever’

Greenhouse gases will heat up planet ‘for ever’ thumbnail

New study shows the effects of CO2 pollution will be felt for hundreds of thousands of years Global warming is for ever, some of the world’s top climate scientists have concluded. Their research shows that carbon dioxide emitted from today’s homes, cars and factories will continue to heat up the planet for hundreds of thousands […]


Oil price rebound may be five years off

Oil price rebound may be five years off thumbnail

The recent collapse in oil prices to roughly US$55 per barrel makes this summer’s rise to US$150 per barrel feel like a bad dream. Higher oil prices were a red herring that diverted central bankers’ attention from the global credit crisis to fighting inflation. Even now that the focus has firmly shifted to promoting economic […]


War footing needed for Philippines survival against global warming

War footing needed for Philippines  survival against global warming thumbnail

Wind power is one of the renewable energy sources that can be harnessed in the effort to save ourselves from disasters due to climate changeThe Philippines is vulnerable to the quadruple-whammy effects of global warming. These are rising sea levels, floods spawned by killer typhoons, dwindling water supplies induced by droughts and shriveling food supplies […]


Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists

Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists thumbnail

A revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists claim.The technology can generate electricity in water flowing at a rate of less than one knot – about one mile an hour – meaning it could operate on most waterways and sea beds […]


Nigeria: Power Woes to Worsen

Nigeria: Power Woes to Worsen thumbnail

Nigeria’s power generation problems may worsen following the shutting down of a major gas facility belonging to Anglo Dutch giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), at Soku, the country’s oil and gas nerve center. Power generation has already dropped by over 800 megawatts owing to inadequate gas supply to Egbin and Sapele Power Stations.Also, Nigeria’s […]


OPEC Defers Decision on Output Cut, Seeks $75 Oil

OPEC Defers Decision on Output Cut, Seeks $75 Oil thumbnail

OPEC deferred a decision on reducing production this year by two weeks to gauge the impact of earlier cuts, as it seeks to push oil prices back up to $75 a barrel. Crude has dropped 62 percent from July’s record of $147.27 a barrel as the global recession erodes sales. Ali al-Naimi, the oil minister […]


Did peak oil go away? No

Did peak oil go away? No thumbnail

With the price of oil plummeting below $50 a barrel, shedding close to $100 since July, and commensurate readings appearing at the gas pump, people have something to feel good about during an otherwise dismal economic time. Unfortunately, it may mislead the less informed to dismiss warnings about imminent peak oil as so much Y2K […]


U.S. researchers closer to creating new solar cells

U.S. researchers closer to creating new solar cells thumbnail

U.S. researchers have taken one step closer to creating high-efficiency solar cells using cheap plastic with a dash of silicon, it was announced on Saturday. The solar cells, being developed by researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), have significantly greater sunlight absorption and conversation than previous polymers, the university said in […]


How are we going to face up to energy crisis?

How are we going to face up to energy crisis? thumbnail

As the world economies battle for air, all of us are facing challenging times. But what lies behind the crisis, and what about beyond it? Beneath the surface of world instability bubbles a much more fundamental issue. How are we going to face up to the earth’s energy crisis? And at what cost do we […]


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