Archive for the 'Peak Oil' Category

Stupid is easy.

Aug 20, 2008 in Clueless Conservatives, Peak Oil, Politics

This is today’s GOP. Screw facts. Screw thought and depth. The fact that Newt Gingrich is what the rightwingers call a “thinker” is testimony enough. Crooks and Liars points to this chock-full-o-stupid video:

[youtube uVZKbjfAGu4]

…and the Think Progress rebuttal. The idea that inflating your tires sends profits to Big Oil is purely imaginary, but Gingrich laps it up and Hannity chortles along.

But that’s not all. See, this is the kind of stupid that just shouldn’t happen from anybody with a college degree. Or a high school diploma, for that matter. Watch and listen to the video. Obama talked about good tire pressure as something that would deliver as much benefit as offshore drilling. Big Thinker Newt Gingrich counters that it wouldn’t offset ALL THE OIL WE IMPORT FROM ABROAD.

Hello? This is what talking with rightwingers is like. There is no logic. There is no sticking to the argument. There is no admission of wrong. Obama is right about tire pressure. But they laugh and point and make up shit because it sounds funny to their tiny brains. TP quotes Arnold Schwarzenegger today:

…you can reduce your fuel costs by more than 15%. And I am talking about simple things, like proper tire pressure, avoiding rapid starts and stops, and keeping your engine tuned.

You think we’re going to get an extra 15% out of offshore drilling?


UPDATE: ISCA still provides good nuggets:

Aug 17, 2008 07:58 from Lammam P Yrruf
Any flirtation I may have had with the Conservative movement took the last nail
in its coffin when every “conservative” I encountered began laughing and
mocking a politician for endorsing personal responsibility as an important
element of economic change.

p.s. Limekiller is still a chickenshit:)

Finally…somebody the wingers will listen to about the energy crisis.

Jul 23, 2008 in Energy, Peak Oil

The average Republican blogger (I say Republican because they are most certainly not conservatives) is unable to distinguish between hard science and politics. This is why Al Gore is frequently lampooned; because he delivers an unpopular message and was once a Democratic politician. This sort of irrational behavior is entirely predictable considering that a lot of individuals find that problems are more easily digested when they come pre-packaged as a Left versus Right issue. Hacks are also aware of this sad arrangement and will leverage a persons reflexive hatred for short term gain. Enter Larry Kudlow, the WSJ editorial board, and the throngs of other media acolytes who are anxiously looking for scapegoats and band-aid solutions.

T. Boone Pickens is a rich Texan who votes Republican. He also funded the 527s responsible for the Swift Boating of John Kerry. How’s that for Red State cred? Like Al Gore, Pickens also agrees that we can’t DRILL! DRILL! DRILL! our way out of our current energy crisis. He’s also put together a plan that could realistically transition us away from fossil fuel sources of electrical power generation to renewable sources like wind and solar. The plan has its problems but it’s remarkable in its forward thinking pragmatism. It’s also encouraging (and a relief) to know that a person the ditto-heads will listen to is getting out in front of this issue in a big way. Here’s a link to his promotional website.



Oil: $500 per barrel in 3-5 years.

Jun 23, 2008 in Energy, Peak Oil

Dr. Seymour Hirsch, senior energy advisor for Management Information Systems, Inc., was recently on CNBC discussing the dire supply problems we face. As the title of this post suggests he thinks that $500 a barrel oil is a possibility within a three to five year time frame. He also mentions oil sands/shale as realistic supply of liquid hydrocarbons which should make some of our recent commentators happy. The video can be found here.


One less scapegoat.

Jun 21, 2008 in Energy, Middle East, Peak Oil

Another oil price myth takes it on the chin. U.S energy secretary Samuel Bodman said yesterday that it was limited production and not the dirty deeds of market speculators that is to blame for rising energy costs.


If you get enough people wishing for oil independence…

Jun 20, 2008 in Clueless Conservatives, Energy, Peak Oil, Uncategorized, WTF?

Let’s take a trip into make-believe land where all of the world’s problems can be blamed on scheming liberal hippies and sinister Socialists.

Rovin, a frequent ranter on Common Sense Political Thought, has bought into the “WE CAN SOLVE GAS PRICES BY DRILLING HERE!!!!!!” myth so much that he’s gone ahead and created a blog to start a little movement. And it is classic winger hysteria; no facts but a lot of bluster with the usual list of grievances.

Here’s an EIA study showing that drilling ANWR would reduce the price of a barrel of oil by…..are you ready? 75 cents.

Here’s another EIA study
that shows what impact offshore drilling off the continental United States would have on a barrel of oil. Care to guess how much? If you guessed half the production rates of ANWR you would be correct!


PS> forgot to mention, those projected savings are by the year 2025 and don’t factor in the natural depletion of other sources of liquid hydrocarbons or natural gas.

See what happens when you accept every bit of flatulence that escapes from Limbaugh’s lips as fact?

Peak Oil Watch

May 29, 2008 in Peak Oil

The WSJ:

Oil Exporters Are Unable To Keep Up With Demand
Domestic Needs, Sluggish Investment Crimp Shipments

The world’s top oil producers are proving unable to put more barrels on thirsty world markets despite sky-high prices, a shift that defies traditional market logic and looks set to continue.

Fresh data from the U.S. Department of Energy show the amount of petroleum products shipped by the world’s top oil exporters fell 2.5% last year, despite a 57% increase in prices, a trend that appears to be holding true this year as well.

There are several reasons behind the net-export decline. Soaring profits from high-price crude have fueled a boom in oil demand in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East, leaving less oil for export. At the same time, aging fields and sluggish investments have caused exports to drop significantly in Mexico, Norway and, most recently, Russia. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries also cut production early last year and didn’t move to boost supplies again until last fall.

One prediction of Peak Oil theory is that oil-exporting nations will realize it is in their greater self-interest to keep and use their oil. Another is that output will plateau, and then decline.

This is our time to prepare.


The market has spoken.

May 10, 2008 in Energy, Ethanol, Iowa, Peak Oil

Here at Iowa Liberal we’ve spilled a lot of ink bemoaning the ethanol boondoggle and contended that mass transit is a better idea than expecting consumers to wait around for whatever combination of miracle alternative fuels that will allow them to carry on driving Ford Expeditions and GMC Yukons. And we’ve never said that these alternatives won’t exist, just that they’re not scalable to the point of providing a viable replacement for gasoline. Metro commuters seem to agree:

Mass transit systems around the country are seeing standing-room-only crowds on bus lines where seats were once easy to come by. Parking lots at many bus and light rail stations are suddenly overflowing, with commuters in some towns risking a ticket or tow by parking on nearby grassy areas and in vacant lots.

“In almost every transit system I talk to, we’re seeing very high rates of growth the last few months,” said William W. Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association.

“It’s very clear that a significant portion of the increase in transit use is directly caused by people who are looking for alternatives to paying $3.50 a gallon for gas.”

Some cities with long-established public transit systems, like New York and Boston, have seen increases in ridership of 5 percent or more so far this year. But the biggest surges — of 10 to 15 percent or more over last year — are occurring in many metropolitan areas in the South and West where the driving culture is strongest and bus and rail lines are more limited.

Hopefully we wont have to wait until gas is six or seven dollars a gallon before state and local leaders start looking into light passenger rail service along I-80 or I-380. Regardless of those who are pathologically opposed to anything resembling mass transit it’s inevitable that pubic demand will bring these alternatives to the fore simply because it’s more economically feasible than waiting for electric cars (which would necessitate a massive overhaul of the electric grid, the costs of which would invariably be shifted onto taxpayers) or E85 ethanol which, even in it’s infancy, is proving to be a massive disappointment.


My oil!

Apr 29, 2008 in Economy, Energy, Peak Oil, Uncategorized


As oil prices soared to record levels in recent years, basic economics suggested that consumption would fall and supplies would rise as producers drilled for more oil.

But as prices flirt with $120 a barrel, many energy experts are becoming worried that neither seems to be happening. Higher prices have done little to suppress global demand or attract new production, and the resulting mismatch has sent oil prices ever higher.

That has translated into more pain at the pump, with gasoline setting a fresh record of $3.60 a gallon nationwide on Monday. Experts expect prices above $4 a gallon this summer, and one analyst recently predicted that gasoline could reach $7 in the next four years.

No way!

In the United States and through much of the developed world, the higher fuel prices have led drivers to reduce their consumption, and gasoline demand is expected to drop this year. But that drop will be more than offset by the rise in energy demand from developing countries. In the next two decades, demand is projected to jump by 35 percent, and developing countries will consume more oil than industrialized countries.

C’mon, why they wanna do that? Only Americans really need cars!

The outlook for oil supplies “signals a period of unprecedented scarcity,” Jeff Rubin, an analyst at CIBC World Markets, said last week. Oil prices might exceed $200 a barrel by 2012, he said, a level that would very likely mean $7-a-gallon gasoline in the United States.

Some regions are simply running out of reserves. Norway’s production has slumped by 25 percent since its peak in 2001, and in Britain, output has dropped 43 percent in eight years. Production from the giant Prudhoe Bay field in Alaska has dropped by 65 percent from its peak two decades ago.

Shhh…teh oil is 4evah eff U don make teh oil angry witchoo!

“It’s a crunch,” said J. Robinson West, chairman of PFC Energy, an energy consulting firm in Washington. “The world is not running out of oil, but rather it’s running out of oil production capacity.”

That’s right, man, you go, dude! The world is NOT RUNNING OUT OF OIL! We’re just having a harder time figuring out how to get it, but the world is NOT RUNNING OUT OF OIL! If we could just drill some MORE, we’d be okay because THE OIL WILL ALWAYS BE THERE!

Lookee here, watch me with this calculator…if I decide that the world will need 15 million barrels a day from Saudi Arabia, I just multiply that by 100% and that’s what Saudi Arabia will be able to produce.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, is completing a $50 billion plan to increase capacity to 12.5 million barrels a day, but it signaled recently that it would not go beyond that. That means Saudi Arabia could fall short of the 15 million barrels a day that most experts had expected it to produce in the long run.

Not 100%? Who will give me 100% so my calculator will work right? OPEC give me 100%?

OPEC’s 13 members plan to spend $150 billion to expand their capacity by five million barrels a day by 2012. But OPEC will need to pump 60 million barrels a day by 2030, up from around 36 million barrels a day today, to meet the projected growth in demand. Analysts say that without Iran and Iraq — where nearly 30 years of wars and sanctions have crippled oil production — reaching that level will be impossible.

Fine, OPEC is retarded anyway. Somebody else give me 100% Maybe 1000%?

But the International Energy Agency estimates that current investments will be insufficient to replace declining oil production. The energy agency said it would take $5.4 trillion by 2030 to raise global output. Otherwise, it warned that a crisis before 2015 involving “an abrupt run-up in prices” could not be ruled out.

Pfft! Everybody is retarded.


p.s. If only there were some way we could spend about $400 billion to power the whole nation on solar by 2050

More wishful thinking on the liquid hydrocarbon front.

Apr 28, 2008 in Energy, Peak Oil

Those Brazilian oil fields that were supposed to stave off our collective day of reckoning have a lot in common with most of the other off-shore petroleum deposits that are supposed to allow us to keep commuting to work in Ford F350 extended cab pickups. They’re almost physically impossible to get to making them prohibitively expensive to exploit:

April 28 (Bloomberg) — Brazil’s plan to become one of the world’s biggest oil exporters hinges on exploiting crude 6 miles below the ocean surface in deposits so hot they can melt the metal used to carry uranium to nuclear plants.

Tapping what may be the biggest oil finds in the Western Hemisphere in three decades will require equipment that can withstand 18,000 pounds per square inch of pressure, enough to crush a pickup truck, pipes that can carry oil at temperatures above 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 Celsius) and drill bits that can penetrate layers of salt more than one mile thick.

Much like the “Jack” discoveries made a few years ago, nobody is even venturing a guess as to how much each barrel of oil extracted would have to cost in order to make such a venture profitable. If you guessed “a helluva lot” then you’re probably close. Rest assured, though, that when we get to that point we’re going to have more to worry about than the cost of driving our Ford Expedition to the Denny’s buffet.


Time to rethink that SUV purchase.

Mar 09, 2008 in Energy, Peak Oil, Uncategorized

Raving-liberal-moonbat Matt Simmons (of Simmons and Company, one the largest investment bankers in the energy markets) blows some minds at CNBC:

[youtube ECmelqdNyE4]

He certainly does put things into perspective.

Ever stop and think how $4..$5…even $6 dollar a gallon gas would change the way you carry on with your activities of daily living?  Probably in more ways than you think.


The market will provide us with alternatives.

Dec 12, 2007 in Energy, Peak Oil

Or so we’re supposed to believe.

I was perusing The Oil Drum and ran across this contribution by Hans Noeldner:

Somewhere along the way, we-the-people seem to have reached a consensus that when it comes to allocating natural resources, money should do the talking. In fact many true believers contend money is the only legitimate communicator.

…If our economy fails to charge us the “true cost” of denying future generations the fossil energy they might need to feed themselves 50 years hence; if our economy suffocates vast swathes of bio-productive land beneath highways and parking lots for our Happy Motoring convenience, if our economy fails to extract “flood money” from us to recompense millions of coastal dwellers for the loss of their ancestral homelands beneath rising oceans; well…perhaps the solution is to internalize those costs somehow.

The article suggests that perhaps some behavior modification is in order to hopefully mitigate some of the potential issues that a future of fossil fuel scarcity poses so naturally the free-market crazies gotta make an appearance.  Here’s a classic comment from user “Practical”:

What a lot of rubbish. Non market solutions to inequality and perceived misuse of resources have been tried many times with little success. Check out all the the socialist failures of the 20th century. Those who think they know better than the market are delusional, especially if they think imposing their ideas on the unwilling will improve the situation.

It’s easy to forget while you’re watching The Hitler Channelor listening to your iPod that all of the fancy things that you see around you and enjoy are the results of burning rocks and dinosaur juice.  And so I’m sure it’s also easy to believe that the market forces that rely on cheap rocks to burn will also provide innovative solutions for a way of life that doesn’t rely exclusively on said cheap dino juice.  Sooner or later, guys like Practical are going to have to realize that technology and energy are not interchangeable.  Technology does not create energy, it is reliant upon it.  So if he’s waiting for that hypothetical “they” to “come up with something” I’m afraid he’s going to be very disappointed.

And besides, where are the free-marketeers when it comes to other issues of behavior modification?  How about a free market solution to the sale of illicit drugs?  I mean, there’s obviously a demand, so why not let the market decide?    


Peak Oil is on schedule.

Dec 10, 2007 in Energy, Peak Oil

As entirely expected here at Iowa Liberal, documented further by the New York Times:

The economies of many big oil-exporting countries are growing so fast that their need for energy within their borders is crimping how much they can sell abroad, adding new strains to the global oil market.

Experts say the sharp growth, if it continues, means several of the world’s most important suppliers may need to start importing oil within a decade to power all the new cars, houses and businesses they are buying and creating with their oil wealth.

Indonesia has already made this flip. By some projections, the same thing could happen within five years to Mexico, the No. 2 source of foreign oil for the United States, and soon after that to Iran, the world’s fourth-largest exporter. In some cases, the governments of these countries subsidize gasoline heavily for their citizens, selling it for as little as 7 cents a gallon, a practice that industry experts say fosters wasteful habits.

What I find unexpected is that 7 cent gas didn’t turn these countries into economic superpowers. When all is said and done, the potential of oil countries will have been mostly wasted. The wealth has gone everywhere but to the people that live there, and now that their economies are just barely getting afloat, sure signs of oil’s scarcity continue to pile up. As exporters turn into importers, the energy vacuum will start tearing eyeballs out of sockets Total Recall style.


Oil isn’t shocking the system, it is the system.

Nov 25, 2007 in Peak Oil

And the wild ride has barely begun:

Since January, the price of a barrel of oil has almost doubled and is now approaching $100. Blame tensions in the Middle East, speculators on a quest for profit and the hunger for energy of rising powers, including India and China.

The ripples from this price surge are washing up on every shore. It’s creating new wealth in such locales as Moscow, where oil barons are almost at a loss about how to spend their riches. But the effects in some other places are less predictable. Israelis fear a rush of people will chop down trees to heat their homes. Farmers in northern Iraq are abandoning their fields to sell gas. Fishermen in France, stung by the price of diesel, have rioted.


p.s. Thanks to those who have been patient while my body mends and my mind is a mush of painkillers. One week recovery time, ha! Takin’ her easy (for all you sinners) next week too…

James Kunstler’s speech to the Commonwealth Club of America.

Aug 26, 2007 in Economy, Peak Oil, Uncategorized


Get used to living on less.

Jul 20, 2007 in Energy, Peak Oil

IEA future Saudi productivity.

It’s time to start looking into local railroad and utility stocks (like MidAmerican Energy) and domestic coal futures.


Ladies and gentlemen, we are officially at peak.

Jul 10, 2007 in Energy, Peak Oil

Here’s some disappointing news for the perpetual motion crowd.

Turns out that oil and gas are finite and no amount of sideways drilling or salt-water displacement is going to change that fact.  Furthermore, no amount of ethanol, hydrogen, hog shit digesters, or what-have-you is going to replace the lifestyle that millions of barrels of oil a day could previously afford us. This dovetails beautifully with a teetering housing market built upon the largest credit run-up in human history. With no increases in future productivity to inflate the value of current assets we can look forward to some pretty nasty write-downs so I guess I might as well kiss my 401k goodbye.

Here’s raving liberal moonbat whacko Matt Simmons*:

[youtube 9mRLGtTzd8E]


*originally aired 3/07

A straight-up copy-and-paste job, folks.

Jun 26, 2007 in Energy, Peak Oil

I stole this from Salon:

Oil prices: You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet

A couple of data points about oil.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that world oil demand is growing twice as fast as last year:

The International Energy Agency, which monitors oil markets on behalf of industrialized nations, is forecasting average global oil demand of 86.1 million barrels a day this year, up 2 percent from last year. That is twice as fast as the 0.9% growth recorded in 2006, compared with 2005.

Demand is expected to accelerate further in the fourth quarter to 88 million barrels a day, an unprecedented quarterly volume and up 2.6 million barrels a day from the year-earlier period. In the second quarter, global oil demand already has risen at a 1.7% rate, more than double the 0.8% a year ago, according to forecasts and data compiled by the IEA.

Where’s the demand coming from? All over, but especially China.

The China Daily reports:

In the first five months this year, China’s net oil imports roared to 65.83 million tons, an increase of 11.5 percent from the same period last year. At the same time, China produced 77.51 million tons of oil, a 1.7 percent rise year-on-year.

Customs statistics show that from January to May, China imported 67.43 million tons of crude oil, up 9.6 percent year-on-year. Meanwhile, it exported 1.6 million tons, down 36.6 percent.

And people think the price of gasoline is high now.

Bwar-har-har! And they think gasoline will last forever. Zoinks!


Let the market fight global warming, right?

Jun 01, 2007 in Energy, Environment, Global warming, Peak Oil, Politics

The coal industry is spending millions lobbying for billions (gotta love the political system!) to subsidize the construction of coal-to-liquid plants which would likely double greenhouse gas emissions. “In addition to the carbon dioxide emitted while using the fuel, the production process creates almost a ton of carbon dioxide for every barrel of liquid fuel.”

A very interesting article…here are two paragraphs devoted to the environmental justification:

With both House and Senate Democrats hoping to pass “energy independence” bills by mid-July, coal supporters argue that coal-based fuels are more American than gasoline and potentially greener than ethanol.

“For so many, filthy coal is a dirty four-letter word,” said Representative Nick V. Rahall, Democrat of West Virginia and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. “These individuals, I tell you, have their heads buried in the sand.”

Zoinks, I just got pwned! Case closed, sir! The finely honed logic of a Democrat bought and paid for by the coal lobby. Of course, they must now be granted subsidies on a larger scale than ethanol plants!

Among the proposed inducements winding through House and Senate committees: loan guarantees for six to 10 major coal-to-liquid plants, each likely to cost at least $3 billion; a tax credit of 51 cents for every gallon of coal-based fuel sold through 2020; automatic subsidies if oil prices drop below $40 a barrel; and permission for the Air Force to sign 25-year contracts for almost a billion gallons a year of coal-based jet fuel.

Carbon capture and storage is still far off, and likely to face stiff opposition.

…no company has built a commercial-scale plant that also captures carbon, and experts caution that many obstacles lie ahead.

“At best, you’re going to tread water on the carbon issue, and you’re probably going to do worse,” said Howard Herzog, a principal research engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a co-author of “The Future of Coal,” a voluminous study published in March by M.I.T. “It goes against the whole grain of reducing carbon.”

But we can make it happen by buying enough politicians!

But coal executives anticipate potentially huge profits. Gregory H. Boyce, chief executive of Peabody Energy, based in St. Louis, which has $5.3 billion in sales, told an industry conference nearly two years ago that the value of Peabody’s coal reserves would skyrocket almost tenfold, to $3.6 trillion, if it sold all its coal in the form of liquid fuels.

Coal industry lobbying has reached a fever pitch. The industry spent $6 million on federal lobbying in 2005 and 2006, three times what it spent each year from 2000 through 2004, according to calculations by

With such a potential return, what’s a few million?

People who babble about the existence of the free market might as well be talking about the existence of Sasquatch. It simply isn’t the way this country works, and hasn’t been for a very, very long time. And until public financing of elections is reached, legalized bribery will ensure that our current system continues to harm the environment.


UPDATE: Obama endorses these kinds of subsidies, which puts on him a burden to justify or drop it. I’m sure that in ten, twenty years when oil is increasingly scarce, there will be a lot of people saying, “I need some juice to put in my car NOW!” This may look like some sort of easy out, but it isn’t. It just makes it more difficult getting out. This isn’t going to change my support for Obama, but he’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.

Crude – The incredible journey of oil

May 29, 2007 in Energy, Peak Oil

This website is a fantastic resource for those in the know and highly instructive for the dipshits out there that think America’s power and greatness was a product of Toby Keith, apple pie and Supply Side Jesus.  It might stump wing-nut bloggers but I’m sure if they try hard enough they can eke out a liberal versus conservative paradigm!


Only the start.

May 02, 2007 in Energy, Peak Oil

Parts of Iowa are experiencing gas shortages.

“The scenario we have today in Iowa is simply one where supply is not meeting demand,” Heine said. “Today we are unable to supply all of our terminals in Iowa with no-lead. That is a function of lower volumes of supply coming into the pipeline system. It’s not a problem with the pipeline or distribution.”


Attention conservatives!

Apr 11, 2007 in Energy, Middle East, National Security, Peak Oil

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find a way to blame the following on liberals:

Finally, the future decline of Saudi production implies that peak total liquids is forecast to occur in mid 2009. This means that coordinated conservation plans need to start now.

Further evidence supporting Saudi Arabia’s production decline continues to emerge. The evidence is not only technical and economic, but also behavioural. The analysis of the further evidence, described below, shows that Saudi Arabia is highly unlikely to produce over 8.5 million barrels/day of crude oil and lease condensate, on an annualised basis.

Saudi Arabia is in decline now. This means that the world’s production is in decline now. Future supply will be unable to meet forecast demands. Governments, corporations and individuals need to start making coordinated plans to prepare for the decline in world production.

I think we all know who’s to blame for Peak Oil. Yeah, that’s right….Bill Clinton!


It’s the oil, stupid.

Apr 11, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Energy, Iran, Peak Oil, Uncategorized

“Conservatives” like this clown would have you believe that if Iraq were sitting on top of the worlds Macadamia nut reserves we would have still invaded Iraq.  Nevermind the fact that the worlds financial markets react reflexively to news from that region.

Iran’s aim is not only “to install 3,000 centrifuges at its Natanz nuclear facility but it has planned for 50,000 centrifuges,” the head of the country’s Atomic Energy Organization, Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

Almost a quarter of the world’s oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway between Iran and Oman at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Iran has the second-biggest proved oil reserves and is the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. 

No big deal, though, right?  We better get used to market instability because it’s here to stay.  Welcome to Peak Oil.