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News from September 2012

California Expected To Account For 25% Of U.S. EV Sales

California Expected To Account For 25% Of U.S. EV Sales thumbnail

  Who loves you, electric vehicles? California loves you, that’s who. The Golden State, with 12 percent of the nation’s population, will account for nearly a quarter of all electric vehicle sales between now and 2020, according to a new report, which says nationwide sales of the plug-ins will hit about 400,000 by the end […]


Obama Admin Offers GOM Acreage in March Sale

Obama Admin Offers GOM Acreage in March Sale thumbnail

As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau Monday announced that BOEM will offer 38 million acres in the Central Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration and development. […]


IEA: Transportation must reduce dependence on oil

IEA: Transportation must reduce dependence on oil thumbnail

As oil currently powers 92% of the world’s transportation and with growth in transportation demand rising in developing countries, the International Energy Agency released two reports to show how the right policies and technologies could improve the fuel efficiency of road vehicles. Unless action is taken now, the agency said, oil demand in transportation will […]


Low flow impacts

Low flow impacts thumbnail

  In its Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012), the US Energy Information Administration presents three scenarios for oil markets: a high oil price case, a reference case, and a low oil price case. In the low oil price case, crude oil prices in 2035 are $62/bbl (in 2010 dollars) vs. $145/bbl in the reference case […]


Are we wildly underestimating solar and wind power?

Are we wildly underestimating solar and wind power? thumbnail

Right now, renewable energy sources like solar and wind still provide just a small fraction of the world’s electricity. But they’re growing fast. Very fast. Three new pieces of evidence suggest that many policymakers may be drastically underestimating just how quickly wind and solar are expanding. 1) Solar is growing exponentially. Let’s start with this chart […]


The “Switch Energy Project” Highlights the Scale of Our Energy Challenges

The “Switch Energy Project” Highlights the Scale of Our Energy Challenges thumbnail

Every year in Washington DC, the annual Environmental Film Festival screens thought-provoking films. And at this year’s festival in March 2012, one of the world premieres was the film “Switch.”  “Switch” follows Dr. Scott Tinker on a spectacular journey to explore the world of energy in a sweeping period of transition. And we’re pleased to […]


Keeping Peak Oil Reality In Mind # 8: No Plans?

Keeping Peak Oil Reality In Mind # 8: No Plans? thumbnail

An observation worth noting … and pondering, from James Gustave Speth: High on any list of our duties to future generations must be the imperative to keep open for them as many options and choices as possible. That is our generation’s gift of freedom. Here, the first order of business is to preserve the possibility […]


The Potential of Methanol

The Potential of Methanol thumbnail

Last week I received an email from John Bockris, a retired Distinguished Professor from Texas A&M University. I presume Professor Bockris had come across some of my writings on methanol, as that was the topic of his correspondence. I don’t think Professor Bockris realized that we had met when I was a first year chemistry […]


CBO on Electric Cars – Don’t Buy Them!

CBO on Electric Cars – Don’t Buy Them! thumbnail

  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) did a good job of shredding the electric car industry and the government’s role in its evolution with this report (Link):     I’m not knocking electric cars, I’m knocking DC’s role in this industry. Washington has provided the loot necessary for research on battery design, it has committed […]


How High Oil Prices Will Permanently Cap Economic Growth

How High Oil Prices Will Permanently Cap Economic Growth thumbnail

For most of the last century, cheap oil powered global economic growth. But in the last decade, the price of oil has quadrupled, and that shift will permanently shackle the growth potential of the world’s economies. The countries guzzling the most oil are taking the biggest hits to potential economic growth. That’s sobering news for […]


Iran Attack Still Set For 2013

Iran Attack Still Set For 2013 thumbnail

Ill-assorted figures this week cited 2013 as the year in which the United States was expected to go to war on Iran. Among them was Iran’s atomic commission director Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, and players in the US-Iranian war game staged at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in […]


Ugo Bardi: Degrowth and peak oil

Ugo Bardi: Degrowth and peak oil thumbnail

  This is a condensed version of the talk that I gave at the 3rd international conference on degrowth, in Venice, on Sep 21 2012 Hello, everybody; I think you came to listen to me today because you want to know something about the situation with crude oil, that is of “peak oil”. So. what […]


Wyoming, Alaska top list of states that use most energy

Wyoming, Alaska top list of states that use most energy thumbnail

In 2010, the United States used roughly 97.7 quadrillion Btu of energy, up from roughly 95 quadrillion in 2009. To put that in perspective, the U.S. Energy Information Administration(EIA) estimates global consumption at roughly 500 quadrillion Btu. Effectively, the U.S. population, which accounts for approximately 4.5% of the world’s population, uses a fifth of its […]


N.Y. laughing gas: latest anti-drilling claims

N.Y. laughing gas: latest anti-drilling claims thumbnail

Skip Dickstein/Albany Times Union State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens rightly rebuffed anti-fracking activists’ demands for endless studies. In their desperation to block Gov. Cuomo from giving the okay for fracking in New York, die-hard opponents of the natural gas drilling technology are floating laugh-out-loud-funny health and environmental threats. Most hilariously, the enviro-activists have demanded […]


Chavez Presidency May Have Squandered Venezuela Oil Riches

Chavez Presidency May Have Squandered Venezuela Oil Riches thumbnail

On the streets of Caracas, vast slums blanket the hillsides while squatters hang laundry in the windows of abandoned buildings. Trash-strewn alleys are riddled with potholes and lined with broken streetlamps. The city’s main waterway, the polluted Guaire River, is known more for sewage than swimming. While oil has ushered in spectacular construction projects for […]


First Tidal Power in U.S. Starts Flowing to the Grid

First Tidal Power in U.S. Starts Flowing to the Grid thumbnail

IEE Spectrum reports that a tidal power project has gone live in the US – First Tidal Power in U.S. Starts Flowing to the Grid. An offshore turbine is finally spinning in the United States! It’s not the kind you’re imagining, but this is a milestone nonetheless: The Ocean Renewable Power Company announced that its […]


Global oil exports in decline since 2006: What will importing nations do?

Global oil exports in decline since 2006: What will importing nations do? thumbnail

It is with trepidation that independent petroleum geologist Jeffrey Brown has watched global oil exports decline since 2006. With all the controversy in the past several years over whether worldwide oil production can rise to quench the world’s growing thirst for petroleum, almost no one thought to ask what was happening to the level of […]


Iran Accuses German Siemens Of Sabotaging Its Nuclear Plant

Iran Accuses German Siemens Of Sabotaging Its Nuclear Plant thumbnail

It seems you can’t turn your back on the Middle East for more than a few minutes without something going bump in the desert. Sure enough, a few shorts hours after we reported that the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards is certain war with Israel is coming, here comes Iran again with the stunning admission that […]


Tech Talk – conclusions on the Chinese energy situation

Tech Talk – conclusions on the Chinese energy situation thumbnail

Although Energy Policy has not been a significant issue in the current political debate over who should be the next President of the United States, this has not been a particularly good month for that future. In August the Alaskan pipeline pumped an average of 399 kbd from the North Slope. As winter approaches that […]


Energy After The Peak: Merger Of Coal And Refiners Replaces Conventional Oil

Energy After The Peak: Merger Of Coal And Refiners Replaces Conventional Oil thumbnail

The chart above shows the number of refineries and their output in North America over time. Its clear following the 1970 oil shock that major integrated oil companies have not invested in refineries. This gave rise to the independent refiners as an important resource in the US. Over half of the refining capacity is now […]


The Pricing of Crude Oil

The Pricing of Crude Oil thumbnail

The Reserve Bank has an interesting analysis of how crude oil is priced in world markets – The Pricing of Crude Oil. Arguably no commodity is more important for the modern economy than oil. This is true in terms of both production and financial market activity. Yet its pricing is relatively complex. In part this […]


Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says expects Israel to launch war

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says expects Israel to launch war thumbnail

Israel will eventually go beyond threats and will attack Iran, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Saturday. As speculation mounts that Israel could launch air strikes on Iran before U.S. elections in November, Mohammad Ali Jafari told a news conference that the Jewish state would be destroyed if it took […]


Peak oil & the end of our industrial civilization with Max Keiser

Peak oil & the end of our industrial civilization with Max Keiser thumbnail

In this edition of the show Max interviews Mike Ruppert from collapsenet.com. He talks about the decline of the American empire at the end of the age of oil. Mike Ruppert is an American author, a former Los Angeles Police Department officer, and investigative journalist and peak oil advocate.


Power plants are big energy hogs

Power plants are big energy hogs thumbnail

It’s often forgotten when talking about energy production that environmental impacts stretch far beyond air pollution and emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Less discussed, particularly in the context of electricity generation, is the dependence and impact on fresh water resources that are vital to other industries and ecosystems. If more frequent and intense droughts are […]


Has vehicle efficiency really curbed U.S. oil demand?

Has vehicle efficiency really curbed U.S. oil demand? thumbnail

Improving vehicle efficiency is often cited as a major reason for declining U.S. oil consumption since 2005. But is there any evidence for that claim? Falling domestic oil consumption is a key factor in the new narrative about the U.S. achieving “energy independence” in the next eight years through a combination of improved vehicle efficiency […]


Thresholds in the economic effects of oil prices

Thresholds in the economic effects of oil prices thumbnail

As U.S. retail gasoline prices once again near $4.00 a gallon, does this pose a threat to the economy and President Obama’s prospects for re-election? My answer is no. The graph below plots average U.S. gasoline prices, adjusted for inflation, over the last decade. This is now the fourth time we’ve been near the $4 […]


China in closed door negotiations to purchase Mexican crude oil without using US dollars

China in closed door negotiations to purchase Mexican crude oil without using US dollars thumbnail

Mexican crude oil to be sold to China without using the US dollar as its trading currency Sources inside the Mexican government refuse to confirm that the Mexico government has been in secret negotiations with China over possible crude oil sales to China without using the US dollar. China officials claim meetings held with the […]


21 Facts About America’s Decaying Infrastructure

21 Facts About America’s Decaying Infrastructure thumbnail

You can tell a lot about a nation by the condition of the infrastructure.  So what does our infrastructure say about us?  It says that we are in a very advanced state of decay.  At this point, much of America is being held together with spit, duct tape and prayers.  Our roads are crumbling and […]


Iran oil production to remain steady in 2012

Iran oil production to remain steady in 2012 thumbnail

Iran’s crude oil production will remain steady this year compared to last year, the country’s oil minister was quoted as saying. Rostam Qasemi’s remarks, made to an Iranian news agency on Friday, countered a forecast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) of a fall in Iranian production this year. Iran produced about 3.5 million […]


Natural gas not the key to energy future

Natural gas not the key to energy future thumbnail

Big utilities have been using their big ad budgets to try to convince the American public that natural gas is the salvation for our country’s energy concerns. Quite simply, it is not. While we do have large shale deposits in the U.S. that contain natural gas (extracted via a controversial technique called hydro-fracking), much of the […]


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