Oil, Iran and the peak – March 8

– Stop blaming oil speculators and start listening to them: A war with Iran would devastate the economy
– We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran
– Oil creeps toward top of Asia’s economic worry list
– 10th ASPO-International Conference in Vienna May 30 – June 1
– Ölreserven: Der “Doomsday” war gestern

Review: Petroplague by Amy Rogers

We have a brand-new entrant to the oil-eating-bug-runs-amok tradition: the self-published novel Petroplague. It’s a Crichton-esque thriller written by microbiology professor-turned author Amy Rogers, who says she aims to “blur the line between fact and fiction so well that you need a Ph.D. to figure out where one ends and the other begins.” The plot involves a batch of experimental, oil-hungry bacteria inadvertently loosed upon Los Angeles, which proceed to wreak a near biblical swath of destruction. Part ecology lesson and part cautionary tale, Petroplague is an entertaining entrée into the subject of oil depletion and its implications for society, human health and the environment.

The peak oil crisis: East Coast refineries redux

Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy issued a detailed report on what could happen to the availability of oil and prices in the event the third and largest of the three Philadelphia refineries in question be forced to close down this coming July. Given enough time, the markets and the infrastructure will rebalance, but for now it looks as if the Northeast may be in for some abnormally high gasoline and diesel prices in comparison to the rest of the country.

Peak oil – Feb 14

– Peter Tertzakian: Mr. Darcy’s earth shattering results
– Four Scenarios For The Future Of Energy
– Le pic de pétrole passé depuis 2005 ? Un expert (Jean Laherrère) nous répond
– Flawed views on peak oil rear their ugly heads again
– Ex-Shell CEO Hofmeister takes on Tad Patzek in debate on oil crisis (Feb 14 in Madison)

Energy and presidential politics

Va. Governor Bob. McDonnell is on a GOP VP short list and recently threw his endorsement to candidate Mitt “corporations are people, my friend” Romney. But in an era of energy decline it’s worth learning how heavily Big Coal funds McDonnell, who calls himself a “friend of coal,” and how uncommitted he is to clean energy.

The hydrogen dream

Cesare Marchetti proposed hydrogen (H2) as a large-scale energy vector almost fifty years ago. The main concern then was to find a simple way to feed transport systems with what seemed to be a fountain of energy about to come from the expanding nuclear park. The nuclear dream is largely gone, but hydrogen lives on. Is this dream about to come true as a piece in the transition puzzle to a post-fossil fuel world? That’s what I was expecting to find out at a renewable energy / efficiency conference the University of Lorrain.

Commentary in Nature: Can economy bear what oil prices have in store?

Stop wrangling over global warming and instead reduce fossil-fuel use for the sake of the global economy.

That’s the message from two scientists, one from the University of Washington and one from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, who say in the current issue of the journal Nature (Jan. 26) that the economic pain of a flattening oil supply will trump the environment as a reason to curb the use of fossil fuels.

The “tipping point” for oil supply appears to have occurred around 2005, says James W. Murray, UW professor of oceanography. The commentary concludes: “This will be a decades-long transformation and we need to start immediately. Emphasizing the short-term economic imperative from oil prices must be enough to push governments into action now.”

The peak oil crisis: On closing our refineries

Here is one more thing for those of us who live in the northeastern U.S. to start worrying about – the refineries that make our gasoline, diesel, heating oil, etc. are dropping like flies.

In today’s economy, these refineries are simply losing so much money that their owners who are not major oil companies that make billions from oil production are having put them up for sale or close them down.

How the pipeline died — and how to bury it for good

This Wednesday afternoon, the Obama administration rejected the permit for Keystone XL, a 1,700 mile oil pipeline that would have run from the tar sands of Alberta to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. The announcement is a huge victory for the grassroots climate movement. While the fight to stop the Keystone XL pipeline is over for now, the political battle over the consequences of Obama’s decision is just beginning. Big Oil front groups like the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are already spending millions of dollars on TV ads to bash the President over Keystone XL.

Energy – Jan 11

– Biofuels become a victim of own success – but not for long
– Brazil, short of biofuel, can’t open spigot to US
– Keystone XL pipeline: Oil chief issues threat to Obama over decision
– Oil sands pipeline battle turns ugly
– Arab News: Renewables making inroads in emerging global energy mix