Oil giants were threatened with the ‘full force of the law’ if they are found guilty of manipulating petrol prices.
Oil, of course, remains a key element in the fight for control of Libya. Via pipeline and tanker distribution, Libya’s oil resources supply a substantial part of the consumption in the United States and the European Union and are the major source of financial support for the Gadhafi regime. This primary aspect of the present and future national economy is vulnerable to the ongoing military battle for political control, war damage to lines, pumps, and port facilities, economic sanctions and naval blockades, and even vindictive sabotage by whoever plays the losing hand and wishes to leave behind a nation without any financial viability.
But what about water? One of the less well known projects undertaken by Gadhafi is “The Great Man-Made River Scheme,” a huge technological plan to shift fresh water from ancient underground aquifers in the Hamada, Murzuq, and Kufra basins in the Sahara Desert to irrigate new remote agricultural harvest and provide ample supply to Tripoli, Benghazi, and the concentrated population along the Mediterranean
The energy picture in this country is fast becoming ridiculous. While people are suffering to fill their tanks with $4 dollar a gallon gasoline and small businesses avoid new hiring on the back of rising energy costs, we are literally throwing away our domestic energy supplies — just throwing it away.
It’s sad but it’s true. The newest and most exciting domestic find of crude oil in this country is in the Bakken region of South Dakota, in the middle of nowhere on the Northeastern corner of the state.
It may not look like much on the map, but the Bakken represents an amazing find of conventional crude oil and natural gas: Surveys expect the Bakken to yield as much as the total proven reserves of crude oil in the entire United States, as much as 20 billion
Headlines are blaring about the threat of $5-a-gallon gas, but what those stories don’t tell you is that big oil couldn’t be happier. Rising gas prices let big oil pull off an amazing sleight of hand — the industry distracts the public with calls for more domestic oil drilling as it digs into Americans’ wallets.
The industry’s Congressional allies call for an “all of the above’ energy approach, and the new “drill here, drill now” mantra, don’t have anything to do with lowering gas prices. They are a way for the oil companies to channel frustration about gasoline prices, and to keep us trapped in an “oil-centric” approach to
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar yesterday announced an enormous expansion in coal-mining that dwarfs the Obama administration’s clean energy initiatives — suggesting that President Obama’s response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster increasingly involves doubling down on other forms of dirty, unsafe energy.
A statement from Wild Earth Guardians, Sierra Club, and Defenders of Wildlife put the announcement in perspective:
In other words, despite his administration’s rhetorical embrace of clean energy, when push comes to shove, Obama is effectively using modest wind and solar investments as cover for a broader embrace of dirty fuels. It’s the same strategy BP, Chevron, and other major polluters use: tout modest environmental investments in multimillion dollar PR campaigns, while putting the real money into fossil fuel development.
President Obama seems to be rushing to make this embrace even tighter: in the last week, the administration announced four new permits for deepwater offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico — the same type of exploration that led to the BP oil spill disaster – even as a huge new oil sheen covers the Gulf of Mexico and inundates Louisiana
When the Better Place electric car network idea was launched, the green types were ecstatic. With switchable batteries to extend the range of driving an electric car, which can take normally hours to recharge, Better Place not only introduced a novel way of making electric cars work today, they also said that the cars will be cheaper than traditional ones: with a pricing model more similar to the telecom industry. But new pricing schemes in Denmark raise eyebrows.
Developed by Israelis, Better Place is not an automotive company, but an infrastructure
It is a beautiful spring day in Washington. This is a nice respite from the horrors taking place in Japan and the ever-growing nuttiness of D.C. politics. Enjoying the weather provides a nice alternative to listening to the news or reading the newspaper.
The flood of nonsense in the traditional news outlets just continues to
It’s the black gold that drives nations mad and inevitably raises the question of whether America and the former European colonial powers give a damn about human rights as the basis for military intervention. If Libya didn’t have more oil than any other nation in Africa would the West be unleashing high-tech military mayhem to contain what is essentially a tribal-based civil war? Once again an American president summons the passions of a human rights crusade against a reprehensible ruler whose crimes, while considerable, are not significantly different from those of dictators the U.S routinely protects.
It is difficult to escape the conclusion that Moammar Gadhafi must now go not because his human rights record is egregious but rather because his erratic hold on power seems spent. After all, from the London School of Economics to Harvard, influential foreign policy experts were all too happy until quite recently to accept Libyan payoffs in exchange for a more benign view of Gadhafi’s prospects for change under the gentle guidance of what Harvard’s Joseph Nye celebrated as “soft power.”
But that revisionist appraisal of Gadhafi suddenly became an embarrassment when this nutty dictator — whom few in the world could ever understand, let alone warm to — was exposed by defections from his own armed forces to be akin to rotten fruit destined to drop. Libya’s honeymoon with the West, during which leaders led by Tony Blair and George
Last week, the New York Times concluded a story about the day on Wall Street with an interesting – and telling – dichotomy about the cause of skyrocketing gas prices:
Even as American oil supplies remained secure and ample – even as domestic oil production is at its highest level since 2003 – the price of crude in the commodities market is spiking ever upward. The price of gasoline has gone up more than 40 cents over the past three weeks nationally, and it continues to trend higher. Tom Kloza, head of the Oil Price Information Service, said that not only could gas prices continue to rise, but if unrest continues in the Middle East, the cost per gallon could spike to $5 or more.
While that fear is real, it relies on false causation. The two leading exporters of oil to the United States aren’t even in the Middle East; they are Canada and
Poor Barack Obama. If it weren’t for all these geopolitical crises, he’d have some fairly decent-sounding news to spin.
U.S. retail sales rose 1% in February, led by a 2.3% rise in auto sales. That’s the eighth straight month of increased retail sales.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate hit a two-year low at 8.9%, down nearly a point in only three
Americans at the pump are worried. They should be. As civil war looms in Libya, oil prices are up 19% in just three weeks, topping $105 a barrel. And even through there has been some easing today, that spells bad news not only for the American consumer, but also for our fragile economy and for our politicians trying to wrangle with the American Debt
On Friday, facing criticism of his energy policies against claims that he has caused prices to rise by having clamped down on domestic production of oil, President Obama sought to reassure the public that global oil supplies were adequate (NYTimes “Energy Policy Defended as Prices Rise” 03.11.11). He pointedly emphasized that supplies were sufficient to offset current political instability in the Middle East.
In the same breath he also ruled out any immediate release of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR). Integral to that statement, to that decision, President Obama revealed a dangerous lack of understanding of how oil markets currently function. Yes, there is adequate
My name is Johann Hari, and I am an addict. If you restrict the supply of my drug — as has happened over the past month — I become panicky and angry. If you cut it off entirely, my life will fall apart. I want my fix, I want it cheap, and I want it
The current budget wars in Washington are exposing a rift in American politics that finally puts to pasture the long used and abused labels “conservative” and “liberal.” I propose a new set of political terms that more accurately reflect the ideological battle taking place as Congress debates how to spend American dollars in a tough economy. Just as Hanna-Barbera’s cartoon characters, the futuristic Jetsons and the Stone Age Flintstones, met up in the 1987 cartoon “The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones,” two camps with wildly different mindsets are meeting on the floors of Congress. This budgetary battle is being fought between the Jetsonians and the Flintstonians.
The Flintstonian-proposed cuts in environmental protection, family planning and health care, and their war on collective bargaining reveal an ideological agenda that belies fiscal
The year is 2015. One million electric vehicles whoosh along America’s highways and the noise is, well, not likely to inspire fist-pumping rock and roll anthems. But if we reach the goal President Obama has set of one million EVs in four years, it’s the start of a quiet revolution that can ultimately free us from Big Oil.
Cars and trucks are so much a part of the American culture that it’s hard to believe we’ve been behind the wheel for barely 100 years. Henry Ford’s first Model T’s rolled off the assembly line in late 1908 — a do-everything, go-anywhere vehicle that could get up to 25
Blazoned on the top of the CNBC News page was the headline, “US Futures Turn Higher Following OPEC News.” The article goes on to advise that OPEC was considering raising production for the first time in two years.
Just six weeks ago we were given a similar pep talk by Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi. Then, with oil prices in the high eighties a barrel (today about $105/bbl for WTI) he responded to entreaties by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for making more oil available given that prices then were already negatively impacting the world economy. Mr. al-Naimi, assuming a mantle of statesmanship announced he was optimistic about energy markets alluding to Saudi Arabia’s spare capacity of some 4.5 million barrels/day which could be used to achieve global “supply-demand balance” (please see “Oil Drops as Saudi’s Signal More
How ‘fortunate’ we are to have two Nobel Laureates bringing their vested Nobel prestige to matters relevant to oil markets. From their authoritative perch they instruct us on matters of oil pricing and get it dangerously wrong while we pay at the pump and the economy sinks.
First we had Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman’s May 12, 2008 New York Times’ Op-ed, the “So Called Oil Bubble”(http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/12/opinion/12krugman.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=krugman&st=nyt&oref=slogin) with oil prices at $125 a barrel and steaming ahead to $147/bbl a few weeks thereafter, advising us that oil prices were all about ‘supply and demand’ and that neither speculation nor manipulation played a role. He thereby gave umbrage to our sleepwalking regulators and their agencies to continue to snooze away while helping the economy reach a near breaking point in September of that year. (please see “Paul Krugman and his Pious Pontifications at the Pump” 05.16.08) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/raymond-j-learsy/the-new-york-times-pious_b_102046.html?view=print
Now we have another Nobel Laureate, Steven Chu, Secretary of the Department of Energy, whose grasp of oil markets and how they function rivals that of Paul
In 2008 a young environmental activist named Tim DeChristopher bid on 13 parcels of land quietly put up for auction by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the waning days of the Bush Administration. This land was part of a larger offering by the BLM of federal public land in an attempt to open it up to oil and gas exploration. The majority of the land was near national parks in southern
Let’s consider for a moment the targets the federal government chooses to make an example of. So far, no bankers have been charged, despite the unmitigated greed that nearly brought the world economy down. No coal or oil execs have been charged, despite fouling the entire atmosphere and putting civilization as we know it at risk.
But engage in creative protest that mildly disrupts the efficient sell-off of our landscape to oil and gas barons? As Tim DeChristopher found out on Thursday, that’ll get you not just a week in court, but potentially a long stretch in the pen.
Tim is a hero not because he knew what he was getting
When President Obama conferred the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal on several American heroes yesterday, including Kentucky poet Wendell Berry, he forgot one last award: The Medal of Freedom to Tim DeChristopher.
Instead of being convicted today on two felony accounts for placing bids and disrupting an auction for pristine wilderness Utah sites that would have been opened to gas and oil exploration, 27-year-old Tim DeChristopher should have been receiving our nation’s highest honor for “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States.”
In truth, according to DeChristopher supporters, the leases auctioned to DeChristopher were later overturned by the Obama administration on the grounds that the George W. Bush administration’s Bureau of Land Management had failed to complete the analysis required by federal law for the “protection of national and cultural resources.”
Mr. President: Just as Rev. Martin Luther King,
Oil prices started to surge even before upheaval in the Middle East had spread to oil producing states. Now the specter of civil war in Libya is intensifying fears of spiraling prices, shortages, pipeline stoppages and, above all, of contagion.
This stark reminder of the impact of oil on the global economy should bring a timely dose of reality into the U.S. energy
NRDC’s Michael Jasny has been closely monitoring the unprecedented deaths of baby dolphins in the Gulf. In his post below, he provides an overview of three critical questions that we must answer to get to the bottom of this tragic and mysterious die-off. Dolphins are some of the earth’s most intelligent creatures. We owe it to future generations to answer these questions as soon as
When it comes to public officialdom we are sadly blessed with a plethora of functionaries who just don’t get it, leaving us to foot the tab for their lack of judgment or worse. Blind spots seem embedded in some of these functionaries and on the job experience seems to count for nil.
Here we have Fed Chairman Bernanke, seemingly oblivious to his past performance on the relationship between oil prices and the
Talk of unrest in the Middle East fills the airways. These are remarkable times. The rise of oppressed people standing up against their dictatorial regimes is a remarkable historical event.
The excitement of the financial media and the securities industry is palpable. Will the rising prices in oil end our “tenuous” economic recovery and plunge us into another recession?
Robert Prechter certainly thinks