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News from February 2009

Robert Bryce: ‘Galactically Stupid’ and Other Random (Tardy) Notes from CERAWeek

Robert Bryce: ‘Galactically Stupid’ and Other Random (Tardy) Notes from CERAWeek thumbnail

…Perhaps the most compelling lecture was delivered on February 11, by Juan Enriquez, an authority on genetic engineering. The founder of Synthetic Genomics and the author of As The Future Catches You, Enriquez gave his view on what he sees as the looming revolution in synthetic life forms that will have a big impact on […]


Oilman touts alternative energy

Oilman touts alternative energy thumbnail

Wind farms, natural gas part of Pickens Plan to make US energy self-sufficient Billionaire Oklahoma businessman T. Boone Pickens wants the United States to wean itself from foreign oil. The 80-year-old was in Helena Friday touting his Pickens Plan


Adapting to water woes

Adapting to water woes thumbnail

The southwestern United States is moving headlong toward an environmental catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions. The already drought-prone region is almost entirely dependent on a shrinking snowpack and sparse rain in the Colorado River Basin. As the planet


High Speed, High Cost, High Income Rail

High Speed, High Cost, High Income Rail thumbnail

…Long ago, I was a rare critic of DC’s Metro subway plans, not because I was against mass transit, but because it was a highly inefficient way of spending mass transit funds compared to light rail or exclusive bus lanes. At the time we could have had ten times as many miles of light rail […]


Ethanol fuels said to violate Islamic law

Ethanol fuels said to violate Islamic law thumbnail

A prominent Saudi scholar warned youths studying abroad of using ethanol or other fuel that contains alcohol in their cars since they could be committing a sin, local press reported Thursday. Sheikh Mohamed Al-Najimi, member of the Saudi Islamic Jurisprudence Academy, based his statement on a saying by the prophet that prohibited all kinds of […]


Massive Climate Change Action in DC Scores Early Victory

Massive Climate Change Action in DC Scores Early Victory thumbnail

In addressing our nation this week, President Barack Obama called on us to “confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more. This unprecedented act by our Congressional leadership marks a symbolic step toward a new era of clean energy. We still have a long way to go, of course. […]


Mexico’s Oil Challenge Rises with New Output Drop

Mexico’s Oil Challenge Rises with New Output Drop thumbnail

Doubts are growing that Mexico can halt a four-year decline in crude oil production after its January oil output slumped to a more than 13-year low, due to bureaucratic delays and technical challenges. Crude output in Mexico, a top U.S. supplier, dropped 9.2 percent year-on-year in January to 2.685 million barrels per day, its lowest […]


BP

BP thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — BP Plc The country


Humans facing population cull if temps rise 4C in next 100 years

Humans facing population cull if temps rise 4C in next 100 years thumbnail

ONLY “10 per cent” of the human race will be left if global temperatures rise by a predicted 4 per cent in the next 100 years. ALLIGATORS basking off the English coast, the Sahara desert stretches into Europe and 10 per cent of humans are left. Science fiction? No, this is the doomsday prediction if […]


Risks of Global Warming Rising: Is It Too Late to Reverse Course?

Risks of Global Warming Rising: Is It Too Late to Reverse Course? thumbnail

The negative impacts of climate change are beginning to appear–and we may soon cross a threshold of significant damage The risk of catastrophic climate change is getting worse, according to a new study from scientists involved with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Threats “Most people thought that the risks were going […]


Deutsche Bank analyzes oil production costs

Deutsche Bank analyzes oil production costs thumbnail

HOUSTON, Feb. 27 — A new Deutsche Bank analysis finds that in the short term, oil prices likely would have to fall to $20/bbl and below for nonmembers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to shut in a large amount of production. However, with investment now falling, the downside risks to supply forecasts are […]


Ethanol boom-bust scares off investors-analyst

Ethanol boom-bust scares off investors-analyst thumbnail

WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Investors burned by the recent boom and bust in the U.S. ethanol industry will be wary of pouring money into plants for the next generation of biofuels without more stable returns, a J.P. Morgan analyst said on Friday. U.S. law requires that 10.5 billion gallons (40.8 billion litres) of ethanol […]


Iraq needs more oil production to rebuild country

Iraq needs more oil production to rebuild country thumbnail

BAGHDAD: International companies have been chomping at the bit for years to tap Iraq’s vast oil wealth. But Iraqi officials are the ones who have stepped up efforts to get firms on the ground quickly Low crude prices have not diminished foreign oil companies’ desire to tap into Iraq after years of sanctions and other […]


Obama team eyes green jobs, insulated homes

Obama team eyes green jobs, insulated homes thumbnail

$16 billion weatherization plan unveiled at middle class task force meeting President Barack Obama’s task force on middle-class issues began its work Friday with a panel discussion on green jobs Vice President Joe Biden, who chairs the task force, called the weatherization plan a “historic partnership to create thousands of jobs in the retro-fitting and […]


California declares drought emergency

California declares drought emergency thumbnail

California farms also face cutoff of federal water starting Sunday SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday declared a state emergency due to drought, requested broad conservation measures and said farm losses in the coming season could top $2 billion. Total economic losses in 2009 could be nearly $3 billion, the governor said. […]


Chrysler scraps clocks in race against time

Chrysler scraps clocks in race against time thumbnail

DETROIT (Reuters) – Chrysler LLC, which is seeking $5 billion in additional federal aid to survive, has lowered the thermostat, dimmed the lights and stripped the clocks from the walls of its sprawling headquarters to save cash. The automaker’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan includes a 15-story office tower and a technical center covering 121 […]


Europe mulls running ageing coal plants until 2020

Europe mulls running ageing coal plants until 2020 thumbnail

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Dozens of aging European coal-fired power stations could win life extensions to 2020 if they agree to scale back their operating hours, according to a proposal to be tabled by the European Union’s Czech presidency. The proposal has been made in an overhaul of EU acid rain laws, seen by Reuters on […]


Sunoco refinery workers to strike if no deal: union

Sunoco refinery workers to strike if no deal: union thumbnail

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Workers at Sunoco Inc’s (SUN.N) two refineries in Pennsylvania will go on strike at noon EST on Sunday if an agreement cannot be reached in line with a new national contract for refinery workers, the United Steelworkers union said on Friday. “Sunoco is the only refiner left that hasn’t honored the national […]


A road map to better US roads

A road map to better US roads thumbnail

It sounds Orwellian, the idea of tracking drivers from space, then taxing them based on miles traveled. But taxing miles instead of gasoline is a more reliable way to pay for America’s highways. And it’s not the Big Brother intrusion it appears to be. Gas taxes As vehicles become more fuel-efficient, they’ll drink less gas, […]


IEA says oil capacity crunch looms

IEA says oil capacity crunch looms thumbnail

The International Energy Agency fears that an expected recovery in oil demand from 2010 and oil project cancellations due to low crude prices and the credit crisis will mean no spare oil capacity at the end of 2013. “That is our concern. Investment, investment, investment, that is what we are asking,” IEA Executive Director Nabuo […]


World faces last chance to avoid fatal warming: EU

World faces last chance to avoid fatal warming: EU thumbnail

BUDAPEST (Reuters) “It is now 12 years since Kyoto was created. This makes Copenhagen the world’s last chance to stop climate change before it passes the point of no return,” European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told a climate conference in Budapest on Friday. “Having an agreement in Copenhagen is not only possible, it is […]


For survivalists, the end is always nigh

For survivalists, the end is always nigh thumbnail

THE end, when it comes, will be swift. A spiralling economy and diminishing oil supplies will lead to power outages, food shortages, a breakdown in law and order, and ultimately, complete societal collapse. “I anticipate that it’ll happen quite fast, like the bushfires,” says Tony, a 44-year-old ex-stockbroker. Tony, who lives with his wife and […]


PDVSA seeks a 40% cut from contractors

PDVSA seeks a 40% cut from contractors thumbnail

Venezuelan Minister of Energy and Petroleum and chief of state-owned oil company PDVSA Rafael Ramirez said that the holding is engaged in negotiations so that oil contractors lower the rates they charge for services by 40%. “In most cases, we have five-year term agreements. We are reviewing the contracts because the current rates are unbearable,” […]


Analysis: oil, gas deals give Russia long-term win

Analysis: oil, gas deals give Russia long-term win thumbnail

MOSCOW Russia launched its first liquefied natural gas plant on the Pacific island of Sakhalin, the first facility of its kind for shipping Russian gas abroad. And in Beijing, Russian and Chinese officials signed a major long-term oil contract and pipeline deal. The result? In a stroke, Russia locked in two huge markets as energy […]


EIA: US Revised 08 Oil Use -6% Vs 07; At 10-Year Low

EIA: US Revised 08 Oil Use -6% Vs 07; At 10-Year Low thumbnail

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Amid record-high oil prices and a weakening economy, U.S. oil demand fell in 2008 by 6%, or 1.26 million barrels a day, to a 10-year low of 19.419 million barrels a day, the latest government data show. The drop reported by the Energy Information Administration on Friday was the largest decline since […]


New Taxes for Oil and Gas Companies: Where Does this Lead Us?

New Taxes for Oil and Gas Companies: Where Does this Lead Us? thumbnail

The oil and gas industry is already pulling back sharply. If one looks at drilling rig counts, the number of drilling rigs operating in the United States has dropped by close to 40% from peak levels in 2008. Now changes to the tax law which would make it more expensive for oil and gas companies […]


$25 Billion to Promote Electric Cars Is Untouched

$25 Billion to Promote Electric Cars Is Untouched thumbnail

WASHINGTON With General Motors and Chrysler making repeat visits to Washington to ask for bailout money to stave off insolvency, some members of Congress are starting to ask why the Energy Department money is not flowing yet. The loans also are intended to help fulfill President Obama


The Canadian Oil Boom

The Canadian Oil Boom thumbnail

Scraping Bottom: Once considered too expensive, as well as too damaging to the land, exploitation of Alberta’s oil sands is now a gamble worth billions. One day in 1963, when Jim Boucher was seven, he was out working the trap In Boucher’s memory, though, the change begins that day in 1963, on the long trail […]


Shell Sees Global Oil Demand Doubling By 2050

Shell Sees Global Oil Demand Doubling By 2050 thumbnail

As oil companies plan for the future, they are expecting prices and demand to be higher. Oil company executives were on Capitol Hill this week to discuss offshore drilling, which they say needs to be part of America’s long-term energy policy. Shell Oil Company President Marvin Odum tells Steve Inskeep that he expects demand throughout […]


China to build 9 refining bases in 3 years

China to build 9 refining bases in 3 years thumbnail

China, the world’s No. 2 enegy consumer, plans to build nine crude oil refining bases in coastal areas during the next three years, local media reported Thursday, citing the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planning agency. According to China Knowledge news service, under the country’s petrochemical stimulus plan, three of the new […]


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