Archive for October, 2006

A history lesson

Friday, October 6th, 2006
A recipe for conflict:
Almost all of China's energy imports are obtained through sea and it is worried the United States could hold its oil supply hostage.  [...] "A focus of Chinese concern has been on the security -- or, more properly, the insecurity -- of the sea lines of communication upon which almost all of China's energy imports travel," said Daniel Blumenthal, a former senior Pentagon official eyeing China's growing military might. China's strategists, he said, were aware Beijing did not exercise naval superiority through the seas linking its ports to the major oil producers in the Middle East. They also know that China was dependent upon the United States and other major powers on ensuring the safe flow of its energy imports, he said. "If China truly does not trust the US and its allies to provide for the security of the SLOCs (sea lines of communication) and is too suspicious to join in common efforts over the long term, it must develop the military capabilities to challenge them," Blumenthal said.
Remember 1941? Paranoia on the side of Chinese military strategists, coupled with China's growing oil dependence does not bode well. All the more reason to work with China on something all the globe's large energy consumers can agree on: reducing dependence on foreign oil. * * * * * * Further reading on China's posture: Army War College paper by Commander Jim Cooney: Chinese Oil Dependence: Opportunities and Challenges Further reading on maritime security as it relates to energy transport:  Foreign Affairs article by Gal Luft and Anne Korin:  Terrorism Goes to Sea

Now they are gone

Friday, October 6th, 2006
Philippe Petit and the Twin Towers The story of a bright summer morning, and what one man driven by a wonderous dream can achieve.  There was that bright morning in 1974, and another morning, that also started bright and beautiful, just over 5 years ago.  The contrast between what happened in the sky on those days like a sharp cut illustrates the fundamental opposition between our civilization and the forces of radical Islam that wish to destroy it.  Our wonder, our hope, our joy and appreciation of life, our ideals and dreams of reaching the heights of human achievement, contrasted with their ideal of nihilism, their striving to destroy what they could never envision creating, their love of death. "We tell them, in as much as you love life, the Muslim loves death and martyrdom. There is a great difference between he who loves the hereafter and he who loves this world. The Muslim loves death and [strives for] martyrdom." Mufti Sheikh Ikrimeh Sabri

Winter’s coming – tips on saving energy at home

Thursday, October 5th, 2006
some great tips from the Rocky Mountain Institute

Ethanol tariff: Stupid or really stupid?

Thursday, October 5th, 2006
Tom Friedman writes:
I asked Dr. Jose Goldemberg, secretary for the environment for Sao Paulo State and a pioneer of Brazil’s ethanol industry, the obvious question: Is the fact that the U.S. has imposed a 54-cents-a-gallon tariff to prevent Americans from importing sugar ethanol from Brazil “just stupid or really stupid.” Thanks to pressure from Midwest farmers and agribusinesses, who want to protect the U.S. corn ethanol industry from competition from Brazilian sugar ethanol, we have imposed a stiff tariff to keep it out. We do this even though Brazilian sugar ethanol provides eight times the energy of the fossil fuel used to make it, while American corn ethanol provides only 1.3 times the energy of the fossil fuel used to make it. We do this even though sugar ethanol reduces greenhouses gases more than corn ethanol. And we do this even though sugar cane ethanol can easily be grown in poor tropical countries in Africa or the Caribbean, and could actually help alleviate their poverty. Yes, you read all this right. We tax imported sugar ethanol, which could finance our poor friends, but we don’t tax imported crude oil, which definitely finances our rich enemies. We’d rather power anti-Americans with our energy purchases than promote antipoverty. “It’s really stupid,” answered Dr. Goldemberg.
Indeed.

Welcome aboard

Thursday, October 5th, 2006
We're very honored to report that Debra Burlingame, the sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines flight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, has joined the Set America Free Coalition.  Debra writes: "I am convinced that we will never see peace in the ME until those countries are forced to build societies that rely on human creativity and aspiration rather than a giant spigot in the ground [...] The balance must be changed.  No more petrodollars fueling both sides of the war."

OpinionSource energy editorial roundup

Thursday, October 5th, 2006
get it here.

President Bush on plug-in hybrids

Thursday, October 5th, 2006
In a WSJ interview: "Conservation will be achieved by new technologies, such as batteries that enable a car to go for the first 40 miles on electricity and your car doesn't have to look like a golf cart."  Especially good since only 2% of US electricity is generated from oil.

Nasrallah rants about the oil weapon

Thursday, October 5th, 2006
Hizballah chief terrorist Hassan Nasrallah whines and seethes regarding Arab countries, then concludes: "How can you possibly get a reasonable settlement, when you declare every day that you will never use the weapon of oil? When anyone talks to you about the weapon of oil, you mock him, and say: This kind of talk is backward."

Who are they kidding?

Thursday, October 5th, 2006
Oct. 4 2006:  "Saudi Arabia has always had in its mind not just big consumers but more importantly also had in mind poorer countries...It is our concern to bring down prices to reasonable levels." Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal Oct. 5 2006:  "Oil jumped a dollar to above $60 on Thursday after OPEC officials said the producer group will cut output by 1 million barrels per day as soon as possible to prop up prices.  Top world exporter Saudi Arabia will lower production by 300,000 barrels per day as part of the plan, an OPEC delegate said." Reuters Quick calculation:  the Saudi royal family, which controls 25% of global oil reserves, produces about 10 million barrels of oil a day (mbd).  At $60 a barrel, that equates to $600 million dollars a day. 

Foreign policy begins in our garage

Thursday, October 5th, 2006
Gal Luft in the Baltimore Sun: "America's ability to accomplish its main foreign policy goals - winning the global war on terrorism, spreading freedom and democracy around the globe and preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons - will be compromised as long as we are dependent on oil to the degree that we are today. "  Read the rest.