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Might as well face it, you’re addicted to oil

Chris Nelder, Smart Planet
America, we need to talk.

Have a seat.

Remember when President George W. Bush told you seven years ago that you’re addicted to oil?

Well, you’re still addicted, and it’s clear that many of President Bush’s prescriptions for breaking that addiction — “zero-emission coal-fired plants”, nuclear energy, next-generation biofuels, and hydrogen — have gone nowhere. Even now, they remain part of President Barack Obama’s climate plan. We are no closer to “moving beyond a petroleum-based economy” now than we were in 2006.

It’s time to get serious about your problem. So here’s a little tough love...
(21 August 2013)


Low-Priced Oil Is Really a Mirage

John R. Hummel, WSJ Letters
...The world is walking a tightrope between the need for additional oil supplies and the reality of limited future supply increases. As an example, tight oil production experiences rapid depletion compared with traditional oil fields. Current optimism about tight oil production increases is like the crew of the Titanic bragging about how fast the ship was pumping water out...
(18 August 2013)


How Resource Shortages Sparked Egypt's Months-Long Crisis

Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The Atlantic
With more than 600 people killed and almost 4,000 injured from clashes between Egyptian security forces and Muslim Brotherhood protesters, the country's democratic prospects look dismal. But while the violence is largely framed as a conflict between Islamism and secularism, the roots of the crisis run far deeper. Egypt is in fact on the brink of a protracted state-collapse process driven by intensifying resource scarcity.

Since the unilateral deposition of President Morsi, the army's purported efforts to "restore order" are fast-tracking the country toward civil war. The declaration of a month-long state of emergency--ironically in the name of defending "democracy"--suggests we are witnessing the dawn of a new era of unprecedented violence with the potential to destabilize the entire region.

Underlying growing instability is the Egyptian state's increasing inability to contain the devastating social impacts of interconnected energy, water and food crises over the last few decades...

A major turning point for Egypt arrived in 1996, when Egypt's domestic oil production peaked at about 935,000 barrels per day (bpd), dropping since then to about 720,000 bpd in 2012. Yet Egypt's domestic oil consumption has increased steadily over the past decade by about 3 percent a year. Since 2010, oil consumption--currently at 755,000 bpd--has outpaced production. It is no coincidence that the following year, Hosni Mubarak was toppled.
(19 August 2013)


Plan to Ban Oil Drilling in Amazon Is Dropped

Clifford Krauss, New York Times
Six years ago, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador offered the world what he considered an enticing deal: donate $3.6 billion to a trust fund intended to protect nearly 4,000 square miles of the Amazon jungle and his country would refrain from oil drilling in the rain forest.

The plan won applause from environmentalists, and international luminaries like Bo Derek and Leonardo DiCaprio opened their wallets. The plan was backed by the United Nations, but governments generally balked at contributing, and only $13 million was collected...
(16 August 2013)


Iraq's faltering oil resurgence raises price fears

Ajay Makan, Financial Times
Growing violence, political paralysis and infrastructure problems have thwarted Baghdad's plan to boost output - posting challenges for policy makers...
(8 August 2013)


China to leapfrog US in oil imports by 2017

Du Juan, China Daily
China will surpass the United States as the biggest crude oil importer by 2017 as its economy continues to grow and as Chinese drivers push up demand for fuel, according to a report on Tuesday by global energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

According to the report, China will spend $500 billion annually on crude imports by 2020.

"The price China pays will far outstrip the peak cost ever incurred by the US of $335 billion annually with US import spend falling to only $160 billion annually by 2020," the report said.

From 2005 to 2020, China's oil imports will rise from 2.5 million barrels per day to 9.2 million barrels a day. US imports, on the other hand, will fall from a peak of 10.1 to 6.8 million barrels per day within the same period. That roughly represents a 360 percent increase in China's crude oil imports and a 32 percent decline for the US during that period...
(22 August 2013)

Oil well pump jacks image via Richard Masoner/flickr

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