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Peak oil & supplies - March 22

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


Russia to cut oil exports, raise domestic consumption - Sechin

RIA Novosti
Russia will cut oil exports and increase domestic oil consumption in a bid to stabilize world oil prices amid the ongoing financial crisis, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said on Sunday.

"We will be cutting oil exports through the expansion of domestic consumption. In particular, we plan to transfer 2 million tons of fuel to agricultural producers and also increase oil refining inside the country," Sechin said.

Sechin spoke on the eve of a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, which is set to decide on whether to cut oil output quotas further to keep world oil prices stable.

Sechin urged coordinated action with world oil producers, adding that Russia was ready to consider joining OPEC if all Russian accords and proposals were met.

Russia, which accounts for over 10% of global oil output, has so far acted as an observer at the 12-member organization. Sechin, who oversees Russia's fuel and energy sector in the government, earlier said Russia is considering different options in its cooperation with OPEC, from observer to membership.
(15 March 2009)



Saudi warns of 'catastrophic' energy crunch

Reuters via Kuwait Times
Saudi Arabia's oil minister warned of a possible "catastrophic" energy supply crunch without prompt investment. "In years to come, if traditional energy supplies should prove inadequate because capital expenditure was curtailed due to unsustainable prices, unreliable indication of future demand or hopes for a substitute that oil cannot deliver, such a supply crunch would be catastrophic," Ali Al-Naimi said yesterday.

The painful result would be felt sooner rather than later. It would effectively take the wheels off an already derailed economy." The world risked disaster by placing too much hope on untested alternative energy sources, Naimi told an OPEC conference of energy leaders. "We frankly court disaster if these supplemental resources on which such high hopes for energy security and sustainability are pinned do not fulfill their high expectations," he said.

Naimi said the world should not use low oil prices as a reason not to investment in the sources of future production, as to do so would only guarantee further shortages and soaring prices.
(19 March 2009)



Mass. conference on health care and peak oil (April 14)

Bristol Community College
Bristol Community College Holds One-day Conference on Health Care and Peak Oil

Bristol Community College in Fall River, MA is planning a one-day, first-of-its-kind regional conference entitled Public Health and Medicine at the End of the Oil Age: Challenges and Opportunities.

Dwindling supplies of fossil fuels are transforming "business as usual" in our world. Although we still hear mainstream pundits and media tell us then economy will improve in late 2009 or early 2010, the massive contraction of economic activity throughout the world informs us otherwise. Two areas of great importance and little-considered challenges are public health and medicine. To stimulate attention and action in these areas, Bristol Community College in Fall River, MA is planning a one-day, first-of-its-kind regional conference entitled Public Health and Medicine at the End of the Oil Age: Challenges and Opportunities. It is sponsored by the college’s Institute for Sustainability and Post-carbon Education and supported by the college’s Center for Business and Industry. The director of the Institute, Nancy Lee Wood, Ph.D., says that the conference aims to bring together anyone and everyone concerned about the future of public health and medicine in this era of fossil fuel decline and fiscal/economic decline. “Public health and medical systems will experience significant challenges in the face of the impending world-wide energy crunch,” she said. “This day-long conference will address the threats to medicine and public health - threats which are beginning to affect us all.”

The conference is to take place on Tuesday, April 14, from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the college’s main campus in Fall River in the Jackson Arts Center. The conference fee of $75 includes an all-organic lunch and refreshments, as well as the addresses and workshops. Continuing Education Units are available for nurses, social workers, and other healthcare providers. Information is on the Website at www.bristolcc.edu/postcarbon .

The morning sessions will begin with an analysis of “Peak Oil and the Economy” delivered by Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute, who is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost Peak Oil educators. Mr. Heinberg is author of numerous books, essays and articles on the subject of peak oil, including The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (New Society, 2003, 2005), Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World (New Society, 2004) and Peak Everything (New Society, 2007). His work is often featured on websites including Alternet.org, EnergyBulletin.net, GlobalPublicMedia.com, ProjectCensored.com, and Counterpunch.com. He has appeared in numerous documentaries including The End of Suburbia and Leonardo DiCaprio’s 11th Hour. Mr. Heinberg will deliver his talk live via webcast from California.

The second presentation will be given by Pittsburgh sociologist Dan Bednarz, Ph.D., who will speak on “Peak Oil’s Impact on Medicine: The Coming Crisis.” He is involved in building a consortium among public health and health care stakeholders and actors to address the bottleneck of ecological crises facing medicine and public health. Dr. Bednarz was a key organizer in the recently held first-of-its-kind national conference “After Peak Oil” which took place at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD on March 12th. Author of several articles addressing peak oil’s impact on health care, Dr. Bednarz has worked in academic public health, spending three years as the Associate Director of the Center for Public Health Practice at the University of Pittsburgh. His doctorate is in policy analysis from The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.

Jill Stein, M.D. will deliver the third address - “The Converging Crises in Climate, Food and Health: The Oil Connection.” Dr. Stein is a Harvard trained board-certified internist and previously served as a staff physician at Harvard Community Health Plan and Simmons College Health Center. She was also an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years. Dr. Stein co-authored the report, In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development and more recently Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging - With a Closer Look at Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. As a leader in Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility and the founder of the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities, Dr. Stein has been a voice for the health of communities, assisting citizen groups which seek improved environmental and social conditions for health at the community, state and federal levels.

The afternoon sessions will consist of alternating workshops offered by Dr. Bednarz - Sustainable Healthcare: A Post-Peak Oil Blueprint and Dr. Stein - Climate, Food and Health in a Post-Carbon World: The Way Forward.

“The conference is not merely technical, but is designed to provide practical information for anyone concerned about public health and medical care in the context of peak oil,” said Dr. Wood. “We are all consumers of healthcare and this day-long event will focus attention on this under-reported issue giving everyone who comes to the conference practical information and actions they can take to prepare for the post-carbon era.” As the supply of petroleum is expected to diminish steadily, and perhaps rapidly, in the near future, the Institute at BCC looks to provide education to help all professions and parts of society start to prepare now for the issues yet to come.

The full conference materials and registration are available on the College’s Web site at www.bristolcc.edu/postcarbon. For questions about registration, please call 508-678-2811, ext. 2154 or 2527.

For more information about the conference, please contact Dr. Wood at 508-678-2811, ext. 2043 or by e-mail: NancyLee.Wood@bristolcc.edu.

(21 March 2009)

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