Archive for June, 2007

Luft nominated “best and brightest”

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Gal Luft co-founder of the Set America Free Coalition was nominated by Esquire magazine as one of America’s “best and brightest” for 2007. Luft who is also executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security was one of six honorees for 2007 who were invited by Esquire to speak in New York at its 2007 Best and Brightest Forum.

For more than a year, Esquire editors researched and interviewed scores of experts for its annual list showcasing the top minds in the worlds of science, culture, education and the arts. Luft was described by the magazine’s editors as “one of America’s most dogged advocates of energy independence.”

China gearing for crisis

Friday, June 15th, 2007

“There will be an oil crisis worldwide after 2020, and China’s annual oil needs will reach 450 million to 610 million tons at that time. China should speed up the development of alternative energy, especially coal-based fuel and bio-materials-based fuel,” said a draft of a report by the China’s National Development and Reform Commission and several government ministries. According to the draft, more than 50 percent of oil processed in China is used as transportation fuel. Currently, imported crude oil accounts for over 45 percent of China’s total demand for fuels.

The report recommends the use of methanol as an alternative to fossil fuels in the country’s auto industry, stating that methanol can be used in the automobile industry, and “will not cause great harm to people’s health if used in the correct way”.

Victory in the Senate

Friday, June 15th, 2007

A key victory in the battle to break America’s dependence on foreign oil. By a vote of 63-30, the Senate approved an amendment to H.R. 6, The CLEAN Energy Act of 2007, sponsored by a bi-partisan group of Senators.

The language of the amendment is part of the Dependence Reduction through Innovation in Vehicles and Energy (DRIVE) Act, which is based on the Set America Free Blueprint and is aimed to reduce U.S. oil use by seven million barrels per day in 20 years – more than twice what we import from the Middle East today.

“The passage of this amendment is a key victory in the battle to break America’s dependence on foreign oil and strengthen our national security,” said Senator Joe Lieberman. “The United States of America today holds only 1.5 percent of the world’s oil reserves. A large portion of the world oil reserves are held by nations such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Russia and Libya. We cannot leave our national and economic security dependent on a resource that lies largely in the hands of others – including other nations that are either volatile or undemocratic or aligned against the United States.”

The amendment would direct the Executive Branch to identify within 9 months, and to announce within 18 months, federal requirements in order to achieve a 2.5 million barrel-per-day reduction in U.S. oil consumption by 2016, a 7 million barrel-per-day reduction by 2026, and a 10 million barrel-per-day reduction by 2031; and direct the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to publish an analysis identifying the oil savings projected to be achieved by each measure to be announced, and demonstrating that the listed measures will achieve the overall specified oil-savings. It also includes specific requirements for the Executive Branch to evaluate, review, and update the action plan.

OPEC declares war on biofuels

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

The Financial Times reports today that Opec warned Western countries “that their efforts to develop biofuels as an alternative energy source to combat climate change risked driving the price of oil through the roof.” Preempting the G-8 meeting where energy security and global warming will be central issues, Abdalla El-Badri, OPEC’s secretary-general, said the powerful cartel was considering cutting its investment in new oil production in response to moves by the developed world to use more biofuels. He said OPEC members had so far maintained their investment plans but he warned: “If we are unable to see a security of demand…we may revisit investment in the long-term.”

Mr El-Badri statements and warnings that biofuel production could prove unsustainable as it competed with food supplies reveal a deep rooted fear among OPEC members that the West’s biofuels project will ultimately reduce global demand for their product and eventually break their economic backbone. We are probably doing something right.

Hurricane alert

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane experts Philip Klotzbach and Dr. William Gray issued their updated forecast for the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season. In their report released on the Tropical Meteorology Project website, the CSU forecasters continue to forecast an active hurricane season across the Atlantic and Caribbean basins. Klotzbach and Gray cite expected cool neutral or weak-tomoderate La Niña conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and above average Tropical and North Atlantic sea surface temperatures as the main factors in their above average forecast for the Atlantic and Caribbean hurricane season, which starts on June 1st and continues through November 30th.

In addition, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their prediction for the upcoming hurricane season on May 22nd in correlation with Hurricane Preparedness Week. Their forecast also calls for above average tropical system activity across the Atlantic and Caribbean oceans, with the governmental division expecting 13 to 17 named storms, 7 to 10 hurricanes and 3 to 5 major hurricanes. NOAA cites above average Atlantic sea surface temperatures and the possible development of a La Niña episode in the equatorial Pacific Ocean as the main factors for the expected heightened activity for the season.

We Americans have to grow up

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel was the only Democratic candidate in last week’s presidential debate who did not sympathize with complaints about high gas prices. He said that as president, he would not to anything to reduce prices at the pump but instead would confront the issue of U.S. dependency on foreign oil.

In a refreshingly candid response Gravel said, “We Americans have to grow up. If we want to get off the dependency in the Middle East, we have to own up to the problem, these things cost money.”