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G M
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« Reply #300 on: July 01, 2011, 12:11:26 PM »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Oil-prices-back-to-before-the-cnnm-2461149112.html?x=0&.v=3

Oil prices: back to before the strategic reserves were tapped

"Community organizer" brilliance strikes again!
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DougMacG
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« Reply #301 on: July 01, 2011, 02:08:06 PM »

"Oil prices: back to before the strategic reserves were tapped"

That policy was so flawed most serious analysts didn't bother to criticize it.  First you have the Obama/far left admitting that supplies matter in prices and that prices matter in preventing growth and hiring, in eroding our standard of living and in his private non-re-election polling.  Then they choose the only source we know of that has a strictly finite amount available.

He could have coupled that with openings in ANWR, offshore etc and hit the market with the news that ongoing supplies are coming for as far into the future as the eye can see.

I wonder how much oil would come from ANWR, which they trivialized when they stopped it - wouldn't be enough to make an impact, as compared to the total that can come once emptying our reserve.

What will be the impact on supplies and prices later when we have to buy oil and take it off the market to build back a strategic reserve?

Not really chess players, they couldn't think one move ahead.
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G M
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« Reply #302 on: July 01, 2011, 02:30:27 PM »

"Oil prices: back to before the strategic reserves were tapped"

That policy was so flawed most serious analysts didn't bother to criticize it.  First you have the Obama/far left admitting that supplies matter in prices and that prices matter in preventing growth and hiring, in eroding our standard of living and in his private non-re-election polling.  Then they choose the only source we know of that has a strictly finite amount available.

He could have coupled that with openings in ANWR, offshore etc and hit the market with the news that ongoing supplies are coming for as far into the future as the eye can see.

I wonder how much oil would come from ANWR, which they trivialized when they stopped it - wouldn't be enough to make an impact, as compared to the total that can come once emptying our reserve.

What will be the impact on supplies and prices later when we have to buy oil and take it off the market to build back a strategic reserve?

Not really chess players, they couldn't think one move ahead.

Don't forget the degradation of the storage caverns that had water pumped in to remove the oil.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #303 on: July 04, 2011, 12:07:40 AM »

No idea as to the validity of this source or its conclusions, but I have noted various times previously about how low the margin requirements are for oil futures , , ,

=======================

The Contango Game: How Koch Industries Manipulates The Oil Market For Profit
By Lee Fang on Apr 13, 2011 at 11:55 am

In recent weeks, gas prices around the country have surged to levels unseen since the 2008 oil spike. However, market fundamentals are not driving the nearly $4.00/gallon gas prices. In fact, under the Obama administration, oil production is at record highs and there is adequate global supply of crude. As Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner Bart Chilton has explained, rampant oil speculation, which is at its highest level on record right now, is to blame for current prices.

Currently, the public knows very little about the oil speculation industry because a conservative majority on the CFTC has refused to implement a mandate from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill to curb abuses. Meanwhile, Republicans are pushing steep cuts to the CFTC, hampering any new rules on oil speculation that may be released later this summer. Fortunately, both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the CFTC have so far survived the latest round of budget cuts.

While much of the attention on oil speculators has rested on the backs of investors and commodity traders, the petrochemical conglomerate Koch Industries occupies a unique role in manipulating the oil market. Koch has little business in the extraction process. Instead, Koch focuses on shipping crude oil, refining it, distributing it to retailers — then speculating on the future price. With control of every part of the market, Koch is able to bet on future prices with superior information. As Yasha Levine notes, Koch along with Enron pioneered a number of complex financial products to leverage its privileged position in the energy industry.

In 2008, Koch called attention to itself for “contango” oil market manipulation. A commodity market is said to be in contango when future prices are expected to rise, that is, when demand is expected to outstrip supply. Big banks and companies like Koch employ a contango strategy by buying up oil and storing it in massive containers both on land and offshore to lock in the oil for sale later at a set price. In December of 2008, Koch leased “four supertankers to hold oil in the U.S. Gulf Coast to take advantage of rising prices in the months ahead.” Writing about Koch’s contango efforts to artificially drive down supply, Fortune magazine writer Jon Birger noted they could be raising “gasoline prices by anywhere from 20 to 40 cents a gallon” at the time. Speaking with the Business Times, Koch executive David Chang even boasted that falling crude prices in 2008 provided an opportunity remove oil from the market for future delivery:

CHANG: The drop in crude oil prices from more than US$145 per barrel in July 2008 to less than US$35 per barrel in December 2008 has presented opportunities for companies such as ours. In the physical business, purchases of crude oil from producers and storing offshore in tankers allow us to benefit from the contango market where crude prices are higher for future delivery than for prompt delivery.

A recent presentation from Koch Supply & Trading, the Koch unit devoted to selling financial products, confirms that Koch has taken advantage of a lax regulatory environment to aggressively trade on future oil prices. “The return of speculators to Oil, the ‘macro trade’ is alive and well,” reads slide 36:

Koch Supply & Trading Risk Management

The slideshow, given to an industry association for oil speculators, describes Koch as the “world’s top five crude oil traders and actively trades about 50 types of crude oil around the world.” Notably, Koch “has trading operations in London, Geneva, Singapore, Houston, New York, Wichita, Rotterdam, and Mumbai.”

As a recent Center for Public Integrity report uncovered, Koch lobbied aggressively against Obama’s financial reform bill, particularly on provisions related to transparency in the energy trading market. Is Koch again buying up supply in expectation of higher crude prices during the summer or beyond — as many analysts have predicted? No one knows, especially when the energy speculation and trading industry currently operates with virtually no regulation.

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G M
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« Reply #304 on: July 05, 2011, 04:41:45 PM »

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/04/028825.php

Posted on April 15, 2011 by John Hinderaker

Contango Confusion


The Think Progress web site is a Soros-funded mouthpiece for the Obama administration. Someone at Think Progress or its parent, the Center for American Progress, has instructed cub reporter Lee Fang to devote full time to attacking Charles and David Koch and their company, Koch Industries. (It would be interesting to know who gave that instruction, and why.) We have deconstructed several of Mr. Fang’s attacks, all of which have been juvenile. But his latest effort is perhaps his most pitiful yet.
 In “The Contango Game,” Fang tries to show that Koch Industries “manipulates the oil market for profit.” Unfortunately, young Mr. Fang has neither the business experience nor the intelligence to understand the issues about which he writes. The result is that nearly every sentence is a howler. Among other things, while a contango market is the main subject of Fang’s post, he doesn’t know what the phrase means.
 Fang begins with the claim that oil prices are high these days because of speculation. Whether it is even possible for “speculators”–some call them investors–to have a material impact on the price of oil over time is dubious. While partisans like to blame speculators for rising oil prices–never, however, for falling prices–objective studies, like this one by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2008, have failed to document any such influence.
 Moreover, if you don’t like commodity futures investors–sorry, speculators–you are barking up the wrong tree by attacking Koch Industries. Koch buys and sells physical oil; it transports oil; it refines oil. It does some unhedged trading too, but in that field it is a minor player compared to, say, Goldman Sachs. If Think Progress wants to attack petroleum speculators, Goldman Sachs should be in the dock–except that Goldman Sachs is a top contributor to Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.
 Our cub reporter continues:


 While much of the attention on oil speculators has rested on the backs of investors and commodity traders, the petrochemical conglomerate Koch Industries occupies a unique role in manipulating the oil market.

This is just ridiculous. In the world of petroleum, where Exxon Mobil is number fourteen on the worldwide list, Koch is hardly in a position to “manipulate” anything.


 Koch has little business in the extraction process. Instead, Koch focuses on shipping crude oil, refining it, distributing it to retailers — then speculating on the future price. With control of every part of the market, Koch is able to bet on future prices with superior information.

Huh? Koch sells oil to retailers, and “then” speculates on the future price? Isn’t that a little late? One wonders whether these people even read what they write before publishing it.
 And what is this about “control of every part of the market”? Fang just made that up. The oil business is highly competitive, and Koch Industries is, in international terms, a small player. Let’s take refining: the U.S. Energy Information Administration publishes data on America’s biggest refineries. Koch owns three of the 141 largest refineries in the United States; its biggest weighs in at number twelve. So how, exactly, does Koch “control every part of the market”?
 Young Mr. Fang continues:


 In 2008, Koch called attention to itself for “contango” oil market manipulation. A commodity market is said to be in contango when future prices are expected to rise, that is, when demand is expected to outstrip supply.

This is incorrect. “Contango” is not “market manipulation.” On the contrary, it is the natural state of most markets. It simply means that at a given time, the price of a forward or futures contract is trading above the present spot price. This is what you would expect, given the time value of money. Occasionally, for various reasons, this usual condition may not hold; then we have what is called “backwardation.” A contango market has nothing to do with any expectation; rather, if the futures price is higher than the spot price, as is normally the case, it is a contango market.
 It is quite remarkable, really, that anyone would try to write a blog post about a contango market without even knowing what the term means. Mr. Fang continues:


 Big banks and companies like Koch employ a contango strategy by buying up oil and storing it in massive containers both on land and offshore to lock in the oil for sale later at a set price. In December of 2008, Koch leased “four supertankers to hold oil in the U.S. Gulf Coast to take advantage of rising prices in the months ahead.”

An interesting claim. Koch certainly does buy oil and store it; it is in the oil business. However, I would be curious to know what “big banks” “buy[] up oil and stor[e] it in massive containers both on land and offshore.” In any event, if Koch or any other company has sold oil on a futures contract, it has to produce or buy the oil and store it until the contract comes due. This, apparently, seems sinister to young Mr. Fang. I am guessing his experience in the business world is not extensive.
 More:


 Writing about Koch’s contango efforts to artificially drive down supply, Fortune magazine writer Jon Birger noted they could be raising “gasoline prices by anywhere from 20 to 40 cents a gallon” at the time.

Pretty much every word of this sentence is false. Contango is the most common market condition, not an “effort[] to artificially drive down supply.” And Fang simply misquotes the cited Fortune article, which claims that “a 200,000 barrel-a-day decrease in supply could raise gasoline prices by anywhere from 20 to 40 cents a gallon.” It did not attribute any such decrease in supply to Koch Industries or any other company.
 Mr. Fang continues:


 Speaking with the Business Times, Koch executive David Chang even boasted that falling crude prices in 2008 provided an opportunity remove oil from the market for future delivery:


 CHANG: The drop in crude oil prices from more than US$145 per barrel in July 2008 to less than US$35 per barrel in December 2008 has presented opportunities for companies such as ours. In the physical business, purchases of crude oil from producers and storing offshore in tankers allow us to benefit from the contango market where crude prices are higher for future delivery than for prompt delivery.

This is a good opportunity to clear away the mists of confusion and explain what was going on in late 2008. Due to the worldwide recession, the demand for crude oil plummeted. Refineries didn’t want any more oil; they couldn’t sell all that they were producing, and their storage facilities were full. At the same time, oil production continued; you can’t turn oil wells on and off like a light switch. Thus, the spot market plunged to a fraction of what it had been months earlier. There was almost no demand for immediate delivery of oil.
 At the same time, refineries knew that they would be selling their inventories over time, and demand was expected to pick up. Thus, refineries wanted to lock in future deliveries of oil at reasonable prices. This led to an unusually steep contango curve; that is, the price of oil to be delivered, say, six months in the future was considerably higher than the price of oil to be delivered immediately. Another way of putting this is that there was a huge demand for storage of crude oil. Anyone who had the financial ability to buy large quantities of crude without quick resale, and had access to storage, was able to make good money. That is exactly what Koch Industries and a number of other companies did.
 This is not “market manipulation,” it is market satisfaction. Koch sold oil when customers wanted it, at a price dictated by the market. The problem with web sites like Think Progress and smear artists like Lee Fang is that they have zero understanding of economics and zero understanding of business. Thus, pretty much everything they write on these topics is wrong. They cater to an audience of the ignorant.
 Let’s wrap up. Poor Mr. Fang concludes with this howler:


 A recent presentation from Koch Supply & Trading, the Koch unit devoted to selling financial products, confirms that Koch has taken advantage of a lax regulatory environment to aggressively trade on future oil prices. “The return of speculators to Oil, the ‘macro trade’ is alive and well,” reads slide 36:

The Power Point presentation embedded in Fang’s post was given by a Koch Supply & Trading employee at a conference in Geneva. Its intended audience was prospective clients for Koch’s risk management services. Companies like airlines, for example, need to assure themselves of a future supply of petroleum products, and need to manage the risks associated with price fluctuations. This is a service that Koch Supply & Trading provides. If you actually look at the Power Point presentation, it is an impressive product. It explains Koch’s expertise in this area. The reference to “speculators” had nothing at all to do with Koch Industries, but rather was one line in a discussion of prospects for future price movements.
 The basic problem with a site like Think Progress is that its “reporters,” ill-informed, uneducated, inexperienced amateurs like Lee Fang, try to write about subjects of which they have no understanding. Worse yet, they slander the very people who do understand those topics–the people who produce products and make our economy go.
 There is another level of irony here. Koch Industries is a classic example of an American company that doesn’t just push paper, but actually makes products. Its business is production, not “speculation.” Think Progress, on the other hand, is funded by one of the world’s most successful speculators: George Soros. Soros has made billions by manipulating markets, without ever producing anything. He is the definitive speculator and market manipulator (in particular, currency markets) of the 20th century. If Soros bothered to read what his minion Lee Fang wrote, he no doubt would burst out in laughter at Fang’s ignorance. But that, apparently, doesn’t bother Soros. He is happy to promote ignorance as long as it advances his own selfish political interests.
 UPDATE: A reader writes:


 Nice job on the Koch piece. I’m in the business, and you explained it all very well. The Koch presentation about speculators (the “macro” people) is about the flow of money into specific commodity markets. The flows are large enough to make the markets move against the fundamentals in the short run.
 In other markets, for example soft commodities (ags), contango is referred to as “carry,” the source the phrase “the carry trade,” which is mainly used in reference to interest rates and FX. Everyone has the opportunity to buy the nearby and sell deferred. The difference between the two needs to cover the cost of storing and financing the inventory, which in the Koch case includes the daily cost of chartering a ship to use as storage, which is in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars per day. If contango/carry didn’t exist, no one would have an incentive to hold inventory.

FURTHER UPDATE: “Think Progress” is rapidly becoming the punching bag of the internet. For another fun devastation of a remarkably stupid Think Progress post on Koch, Governor Walker and Justice Prosser, see Professor Bill Jacobson. These people are really making it too easy; George Soros may want to demand his money back.
 MORE: Another highly knowledgeable reader writes:


 Your comments on contango are exactly right. Koch and the other market participants REACTED to extraordinary contango pricing in the market; they did not just wake up one day and decide to inventory oil on spec to create the contango conditions. The contango trade is possible because spot prices DROPPED….compared to longer term pricing in the first instance. The image implied that Koch somehow “artificially” removes supply because they inventory oil is itself ludicrous. They don’t “remove supply”— they buy oil for immediate delivery at spot prices….the market price today…that anyone can get and that clears current supply. And in the future, to realize on the trade, wouldn’t they on this logic have to dump their inventory then “artificially” creating “excess” supply…and driving prices down? If the claim is that Koch and others are “artificially” reducing current supplies which tends to raise spot prices, it would thereby cause spot and future prices to converge and eliminate the point of the trade!
 The idea that Koch “occupies a unique role in manipulating the oil market”…and has “control of every part of the market…with superior information”….with NO, zero, nada oil production of its own is laughable on its face, as you note. This is an arbitrage trade; by definition not “speculative” if you’re long the crude and short the forward. Your price spread is locked in risk-free…it’s only “speculative” if you’re missing one leg of the trade. Koch and — horrors! — some banks or financial institutions who also did the same trade actually went out and leased ships and storage facilities? Well, so what? In fact, the very existence of the leases for storage of physical product is evidence that the forwards are not speculation just as the existence of forwards means that the storage of physical product is not speculative.
 The utter stupidity of this “journalism” is summed up in the breathless conclusion. “Is Koch again buying up supply in expectation of higher crude prices during the summer or beyond – as many analysts have predicted?”…well, duh!…Koch itself, as the article notes, is NOT a producer of crude oil…they are a refiner and buyer only. So, OF COURSE they are “buying up supply” if they believe — quite reasonably, as the article itself suggests — that prices in the future will be higher! What else would they or any rational user of crude oil do?
 Obviously this moron doesn’t know the difference between hedging and speculation. Indeed, the very source cited concludes that expected future higher prices, quoting the U.S. government’s Energy Information agency, are due to….”continuing strength in worldwide liquid fuels consumption.”….in other words….market fundamentals!….not “speculation.”
 The article is absurd….nonsense on stilts….hysterical propaganda obviously intended as prolefeed…nothing but a collection of question begging assertions, non sequiturs and shamefully misrepresented citations to frighten and outrage the ignorant who, like the author, evidently have no concept whatsoever how any of these businesses and markets actually operate.

That pretty well sums up Think Progress.
 OKAY, ONE MORE, from reader Craig Pirrong:


 I wrote the book on manipulation (The Law, Economics, and Public Policy of Market Power Manipulation, Kluwer, 1996). I’ve also published 10 scholarly articles in economics journals and law reviews on the subject. My next book (Structural Models of Commodity Price Dynamics, Cambridge UP, forthcoming) is all about the determinants of contango, backwardation, storage, etc. Based on 25 years of scholarly research and market experience, I can say that Fang the Farcical knows not the first thing about either manipulation or commodities pricing. You would think that Soros could have found a junior assistant trader to teach Fang the basics. But then there wouldn’t have been a story, would there?

Lee Fang, RIP.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #305 on: July 05, 2011, 06:44:13 PM »

If we wanted to squeeze the profit per gallon and power and influence out of oil companies, we would expand production, not curtail it.  Companies like Exxon-Mobil and Koch are in a business that includes owning oil at the various points of the production and transportation process.  When prices are forced up with excessive regulations, it forces out competition, forces up prices and gives a windfall to big oil companies.  I wonder if that is what the Obama policies intend.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #306 on: July 05, 2011, 08:16:06 PM »

GM:

Thanks for that.  I am using it for return fire with the person who sent it to me  grin
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G M
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« Reply #307 on: July 05, 2011, 08:30:04 PM »

GM:

Thanks for that.  I am using it for return fire with the person who sent it to me  grin

Good.   grin
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #308 on: July 09, 2011, 10:24:00 AM »



http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/08/house-gop-set-to-repeal-incandescent-bulb-ban/
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G M
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« Reply #309 on: July 09, 2011, 10:44:10 AM »


But, but mercury poisioning is good for the environment or something.....
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G M
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« Reply #310 on: July 09, 2011, 10:54:31 AM »


http://epa.gov/cfl/cflcleanup-detailed.html

What to Do if a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulb or Fluorescent Tube Light Bulb Breaks in Your Home: Detailed Recommendations
Other Types of Light Bulbs
Follow the recommendations on this page if you've broken another type of mercury-containing light bulb, such as:

Fluorescent bulbs:

•Linear, U-tube and circline fluorescent tubes
•Bug zappers
•Tanning bulbs
•Black lights
•Germicidal bulbs
•High output bulbs, and
•Cold-cathode fluorescent bulbs.

High intensity discharge bulbs:

•Metal halide
•Ceramic metal halide
•High pressure sodium, and mercury vapor.

Mercury short-arc bulbs; and

Neon bulbs.
 
Download and print a three-page
PDF version of this overview and the
detailed recommendations (91K, about PDF) |
en español (30K, about PDF)
Related Information
•Why is it important to take these steps? Learn more about CFLs and mercury.

•Find out how to recycle and dispose of a CFL after it burns out
•Color brochure: Download and print a two-page brochure on how to safely clean up and recycle compact fluorescent bulbs (869K, about PDF)  |  en español (876K, about PDF)
•Main CFL page
Disclaimer
This document contains information designed to be useful to the general public. This document:

•does not impose legally binding requirements, nor does it confer legal rights, impose legal obligations, or implement any statutory or regulatory provisions;
•does not change or substitute for any statutory or regulatory provisions;
•presents technical information based on EPA’s current understanding of the potential hazards posed by breakage of mercury-containing fluorescent lamps (light bulbs) in a typical household setting;
•is a living document and may be revised periodically without public notice.

EPA welcomes comments on this document at any time and will consider those comments in any future revisions of this document.

View the most important steps to reduce exposure to mercury vapor from a broken bulb

Note that these steps are precautions and reflect best practices for cleaning up a broken CFL.  If you are unable to follow them fully, don't be alarmed.  CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury -- less than 1/100th of the amount in a mercury thermometer.  However, if you are concerned about the risk to your health from a potential exposure to mercury,  consult your physician.

Recommended steps:

•Before cleanup
•Cleanup steps for:
◦Hard surfaces
◦Carpeting or rugs
•Future cleaning of carpeting or rugs: air out the room during and after vacuuming
•Actions you can take to prevent broken compact fluorescent light bulbs
Before Cleanup
1.Have people and pets leave the room, and avoid the breakage area on the way out.

2.Open a window or door to the outdoors and leave the room for 5-10 minutes.

3.Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning (H&AC) system, if you have one.

4.Collect materials you will need to clean up the broken bulb:
◦Stiff paper or cardboard
◦Sticky tape (e.g., duct tape)
◦Damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces)
◦Glass jar with a metal lid (such as a canning jar) or a sealable plastic bag(s)
Cleanup Steps for Hard Surfaces
1.Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place debris and paper/cardboard in a glass jar with a metal lid. If a glass jar is not available, use a sealable plastic bag. (NOTE: Since a plastic bag will not prevent the mercury vapor from escaping, remove the plastic bag(s) from the home after cleanup.)

2.Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. Place the used tape in the glass jar or plastic bag.

3.Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place the towels in the glass jar or plastic bag.

4.Vacuuming of hard surfaces during cleanup is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. [NOTE: It is possible that vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor, although available information on this problem is limited.] If vacuuming is needed to ensure removal of all broken glass, keep the following tips in mind:
◦Keep a window or door to the outdoors open; 
◦Vacuum the area where the bulb was broken using the vacuum hose, if available; and
◦Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and seal the bag/vacuum debris, and any materials used to clean the vacuum, in a plastic bag.


5.Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly.
◦Check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your area. Some states and communities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center.

6.Wash your hands with soap and water after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing bulb debris and cleanup materials.

7.Continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the H&AC system shut off, as practical, for several hours.
Cleanup Steps for Carpeting or Rugs
1.Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place debris and paper/cardboard in a glass jar with a metal lid. If a glass jar is not available, use a sealable plastic bag. (NOTE: Since a plastic bag will not prevent the mercury vapor from escaping, remove the plastic bag(s) from the home after cleanup.)

2.Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. Place the used tape in the glass jar or plastic bag.

3.Vacuuming of carpeting or rugs during cleanup is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. [NOTE: It is possible that vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor, although available information on this problem is limited.] If vacuuming is needed to ensure removal of all broken glass, keep the following tips in mind:
◦Keep a window or door to the outdoors open;
◦Vacuum the area where the bulb was broken using the vacuum hose, if available, and
◦Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and seal the bag/vacuum debris, and any materials used to clean the vacuum, in a plastic bag.

4.Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly.
◦Check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your area. Some states and communities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center.

5.Wash your hands with soap and water after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing bulb debris and cleanup materials.

6.Continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the H&AC system shut off, as practical, for several hours


Future Cleaning of Carpeting or Rugs: Air Out the Room During and After Vacuuming
1.The next several times you vacuum the rug or carpet, shut off the H&AC system if you have one, close the doors to other rooms, and open a window or door to the outside before vacuuming. Change the vacuum bag after each use in this area.

2.After vacuuming is completed, keep the H&AC system shut off and the window or door to the outside open, as practical, for several hours.   

Actions You Can Take to Prevent Broken Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Fluorescent bulbs are made of glass and can break if dropped or roughly handled. To avoid breaking a bulb, follow these general practices:
•Always switch off and allow a working CFL bulb to cool before handling.

•Always handle CFL bulbs carefully to avoid breakage. 
◦If possible, screw/unscrew the CFL by holding the plastic or ceramic base, not the glass tubing.
◦Gently screw in the CFL until snug. Do not over-tighten.
◦Never forcefully twist the glass tubing.

•Consider not using CFLs in lamps that can be easily knocked over, in unprotected light fixtures, or in lamps that are incompatible with the spiral or folded shape of many CFLs.

•Do not use CFL bulbs in locations where they can easily be broken, such as play spaces.

•Use CFL bulbs that have a glass or plastic cover over the spiral or folded glass tube, if available. These types of bulbs look more like incandescent bulbs and may be more durable if dropped.

•Consider using a drop cloth (e.g., plastic sheet or beach towel) when changing a fluorescent light bulb in case a breakage should occur. The drop cloth will help prevent mercury contamination of nearby surfaces and can be bundled with the bulb debris for disposal.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #311 on: July 09, 2011, 11:14:53 AM »

About one year ago Glenn Beck had some go outside in front of his studio and act all this out. VERY funny bit and  tragic that this is what we have come to.
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G M
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« Reply #312 on: July 09, 2011, 11:18:04 AM »

**Oh, it gets even better!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/07/AR2010090706933.html

Light bulb factory closes; End of era for U.S. means more jobs overseas

Lights out for ordinary bulbs made in the U.S.
The last major U.S. factory making ordinary incandescent light bulbs will soon be closing. When it does, the remaining 200 workers at the Winchester, Va., plant, about 70 miles west of Washington, D.C., will lose their jobs, marking a small, sad exit for a product that began with Thomas Alva Edison's innovations in the 1870s.
By Peter Whoriskey
Wednesday, September 8, 2010; 9:48 PM

WINCHESTER, VA. - The last major GE factory making ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the United States is closing this month, marking a small, sad exit for a product and company that can trace their roots to Thomas Alva Edison's innovations in the 1870s.

The remaining 200 workers at the plant here will lose their jobs.

"Now what're we going to do?" said Toby Savolainen, 49, who like many others worked for decades at the factory, making bulbs now deemed wasteful.

During the recession, political and business leaders have held out the promise that American advances, particularly in green technology, might stem the decades-long decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs. But as the lighting industry shows, even when the government pushes companies toward environmental innovations and Americans come up with them, the manufacture of the next generation technology can still end up overseas.

What made the plant here vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014. The law will force millions of American households to switch to more efficient bulbs.

The resulting savings in energy and greenhouse-gas emissions are expected to be immense. But the move also had unintended consequences.

Rather than setting off a boom in the U.S. manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas, mostly in China.


 Consisting of glass tubes twisted into a spiral, they require more hand labor, which is cheaper there. So though they were first developed by American engineers in the 1970s, none of the major brands make CFLs in the United States.

"Everybody's jumping on the green bandwagon," said Pat Doyle, 54, who has worked at the plant for 26 years. But "we've been sold out. First sold out by the government. Then sold out by GE. "

Doyle was speaking after a shift last month surrounded by several co-workers around a picnic table near the punch clock. Many of the workers have been at the plant for decades, and most appeared to be in their 40s and 50s. Several worried aloud about finding another job.

"When you're 50 years old, no one wants you," Savolainen said. It was meant half in jest, but some of the men nod grimly.
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« Reply #313 on: July 09, 2011, 11:32:41 AM »

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/deadly-cost-of-green-light-bulbs/story-e6frg6so-1225708008534

Deadly cost of 'green' light bulbs

Michael Sheridan
From:The Australian
May 04, 2009 12:00AM


A HEAVY environmental price is being paid for the production of "green" light bulbs in China's cost-cutting factories.

Large numbers of Chinese workers have been poisoned by mercury, which forms part of the compact fluorescent light bulbs.

A surge in foreign demand, set off by an EU directive making these bulbs compulsory within three years, has also led to the reopening of mercury mines that have ruined the environment of a remote part of China.

Doctors, regulators, lawyers and courts in China are increasingly alert to the potential damage to public health of an industry that promotes itself as a friend of the Earth but depends on highly toxic mercury for its core product.

Making the bulbs requires workers to handle mercury in either solid or liquid form because a small amount of the metal is put into each bulb to start the chemical reaction that creates light.


Mercury is recognised as a health hazard by authorities worldwide because its accumulation in the body can damage the nervous system, lungs and kidneys, posing a particular threat to babies in the womb and young children.

The British Government says that if a compact fluorescent light bulb is broken in the home, the room should be cleared for between 15 and 30 minutes because of the danger of inhaling mercury vapour.

Former Howard government environment minister Malcolm Turnbull announced in February 2007 that by 2010 bulbs such as the compact fluorescents should be used to replace incandescent bulbs he had banned.

Documents issued by the Chinese Health Ministry, instructions to doctors and occupational health propaganda all describe mercury poisoning in lighting factories as a growing public health concern.

"Pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding must not be allowed to work in a unit where mercury is present," states one official rule book.

In southern China, compact fluorescent light bulbs destined for Western consumers are being made in factories that range from hi-tech multinational operations to sweatshops.

Tests on hundreds of employees have found dangerously high levels of mercury in their bodies, according to doctors and health officials in the cities of Foshan and Guangzhou.

Dozens of workers who were interviewed on condition of anonymity described living with the fear of mercury poisoning. They gave detailed accounts of medical tests that found numerous workers had dangerous levels of the toxin in their urine.

"In tests, the mercury content in my blood and urine exceeded the standard but I was not sent to hospital because the managers said I was strong and the mercury would be decontaminated by my immune system," said a young female employee, who provided her identity card.


Doctors at two regional hospitals said they had received patients from a factory run by major manufacturer Osram, which said its latest tests on workers had not found any with raised levels of mercury.

In one Chinese-owned factory, Foshan city officials intervened to order medical tests on workers at the Nanhai Feiyang lighting factory after receiving a petition alleging dangerous conditions, according to a report in the Nanfang Daily, an official newspaper. The tests found that 68 out of 72 workers were so badly poisoned they required hospitalisation.

A medical journal reported a survey of 18 light bulb factories near Shanghai, which found that exposure levels to mercury were higher for workers making the new compact fluorescent light bulbs than for other lights containing the metal.

The potential for litigation may be greatest in the ruined mountain landscape of Guizhou province in the southwest, where mercury has been mined for centuries. The land is scarred and many of the people have left.

Until recently, the conditions were medieval. Miners hewed chunks of rock veined with cinnabar, the main commercial source of mercury.

They inhaled toxic dust and vapours as the material seethed in primitive cauldrons to extract the mercury. Nobody wore a mask or protective clothing.

The Chinese Government shut down all the big mercury mining operations in the region in recent years in response to a fall in global mercury prices and rising concern over dead rivers, poisoned fields and ailing inhabitants.

But in this remote corner of a poverty-stricken province, demand for mercury had brought the miners back.


A Chinese entrepreneur, Zhao Yingquan, has paid $3 million for the rights to an old state-run mine. The Luo Xi mining company used thousands of prisoners to carve out its first shaft and tunnels in the 1950s.

The Sunday Times
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« Reply #314 on: July 09, 2011, 11:38:52 AM »


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431198

CFL Bulbs Have One Hitch: Toxic Mercury
by Elizabeth Shogren

February 15, 2007

The Environmental Protection Agency and some large business, including Wal-Mart, are aggressively promoting the sale of compact fluorescent light bulbs as a way to save energy and fight global warming. They want Americans to buy many millions of them over the coming years.

But the bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, a neurotoxin, and the companies and federal government haven't come up with effective ways to get Americans to recycle them.

"The problem with the bulbs is that they'll break before they get to the landfill. They'll break in containers, or they'll break in a dumpster or they'll break in the trucks. Workers may be exposed to very high levels of mercury when that happens," says John Skinner, executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America, the trade group for the people who handle trash and recycling.

Skinner says when bulbs break near homes, they can contaminate the soil.

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, and it's especially dangerous for children and fetuses. Most exposure to mercury comes from eating fish contaminated with mercury,

Some states, cities and counties have outlawed putting CFL bulbs in the trash, but in most states the practice is legal.


Pete Keller works for Eco Lights Northwest, the only company in Washington state that recycles fluorescent lamps. He says it is illegal to put the bulbs in the trash in some counties in Washington, but most people still throw them out.

"I think most people do want to recycle, but if it's not made easy, it doesn't happen," Keller says. "And they're small enough to fit in a trash can. So by nature, I think most people are not recyclers. So if it's small enough to fit in a trash can, that's where it ends up."

Experts agree that it's not easy for most people to recycle these bulbs. Even cities that have curbside recycling won't take the bulbs. So people have to take them to a hazardous-waste collection day or a special facility.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency program concedes that not enough has been done to urge people to recycle CFL bulbs and make it easier for them to do so.

"I share your frustration that there isn't a national infrastructure for the proper recycling of this product," says Wendy Reed, who manages EPA's Energy Star program.
That programs gives the compact bulbs its "energy star" seal of approval.

She says that even though fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, using them contributes less mercury to the environment than using regular incandescent bulbs. That's because they use less electricity — and coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of mercury emissions in the air.

"The compact fluorescent light bulb is a product people can use to positively influence the environment to... prevent mercury emissions as well as greenhouse gas emissions. And it's something that we can do now — and it's extremely important that we do do it," Reed says. "And the positive message is, if you recycle them, if you dispose of them properly, then they're doing a world of good."

Reed says the agency has been urging stores that sell the bulbs to help recycle them.

"EPA is actively engaged with trying to find a solution that works for these retailers around recycling the product, because it's really, really important," Reed says.

But so far, she says the biggest sellers of the bulbs haven't stepped up to the plate.

"The only retailer that I know of that is recycling is IKEA," she says, referring to the Swedish-owned furniture chain store.

Reed says the EPA has been prodding other retailers, such as Wal-Mart, to do more.

"We are working with Wal-Mart on it, we are making some progress. But no commitments have been made on the part of Wal-Mart," she says.

Wal-Mart didn't respond to requests for a comment on the issue.

EPA also has asked retailers to sell the lower mercury compact bulbs that some manufacturers are making. Engineers say you can't cut mercury out completely.

Some other big companies have started paying attention to the recycling problem.

General Electric has been making compact fluorescents for 20 years. Now the company admits that the little bit of mercury in each bulbs could become a real problem if sales balloon as expected.

"Given what we anticipate to be the significant increase in the use of these products, we are now beginning to look at, and shortly we'll be discussing with legislators, possibly a national solution here," says Earl Jones, a senior counsel for General Electric.

In fact, Jones said he was having his first talks with congressional staffers on Thursday.
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« Reply #315 on: July 09, 2011, 11:47:18 AM »

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23694819/

Compact fluorescent light bulbs, long touted by environmentalists as a more efficient and longer-lasting alternative to the incandescent bulbs that have lighted homes for more than a century, are running into resistance from waste industry officials and some environmental scientists, who warn that the bulbs’ poisonous innards pose a bigger threat to health and the environment than previously thought.

Fluorescents — the squiggly, coiled bulbs that generate light by heating gases in a glass tube — are generally considered to use more than 50 percent less energy and to last several times longer than incandescent bulbs.
 
When fluorescent bulbs first hit store shelves several years ago, consumers complained about the loud noise they made, their harsh light, their bluish color, their clunky shape and the long time it took for them to warm up.
 
Since then, the bulbs — known as CFLs — have been revamped, and strict government guidelines have alleviated most of those problems. But while the bulbs are extremely energy-efficient, one problem hasn’t gone away: All CFLs contain mercury, a neurotoxin that can cause kidney and brain damage.
 
The amount is tiny — about 5 milligrams, or barely enough to cover the tip of a pen — but that is enough to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe drinking levels, extrapolated from Stanford University research on mercury. Even the latest lamps promoted as “low-mercury” can contaminate more than 1,000 gallons of water beyond safe levels.


SNIP----

As long as the mercury is contained in the bulb, CFLs are perfectly safe. But eventually, any bulbs — even CFLs — break or burn out, and most consumers simply throw them out in the trash, said Ellen Silbergeld, a professor of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins University and editor of the journal Environmental Research.
 
“This is an enormous amount of mercury that’s going to enter the waste stream at present with no preparation for it,” she said.
 
Manufacturers and the EPA say broken CFLs should be handled carefully and recycled to limit dangerous vapors and the spread of mercury dust. But guidelines for how to do that can be difficult to find, as Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, discovered.
 
“It was just a wiggly bulb that I reached up to change,” Bridges said. “When the bulb hit the floor, it shattered.”
 
When Bridges began calling around to local government agencies to find out what to do, “I was shocked to see how uninformed literally everyone I spoke to was,” she said. “Even our own poison control operator didn’t know what to tell me.”

The state eventually referred her to a private cleanup firm, which quoted a $2,000 estimate to contain the mercury. After Bridges complained publicly about her predicament, state officials changed their recommendation: Simply throw it in the trash, they said.
 
Break a bulb? Five steps for cleanup
That was the wrong answer, according to the EPA. It offers a detailed, 11-step procedure you should follow: Air out the room for a quarter of an hour. Wear gloves. Double-bag the refuse. Use duct tape to lift the residue from a carpet. Don’t use a vacuum cleaner, as that will only spread the problem. The next time you vacuum the area, immediately dispose of the vacuum bag.
 
In general, however, the EPA endorses the use of fluorescent bulbs, citing their energy savings. Silbergeld also does not discourage their use because of their energy savings, but she said the EPA could be sending mixed signals to confused consumers.
 
“It’s kind of ironic that on the one hand, the agency is saying, ‘Don’t worry, it’s a very small amount of mercury.’ Then they have a whole page of [instructions] how to handle the situation if you break one,” she said.
 
Limited options for safe recycling
The disposal problem doesn’t end there. Ideally, broken bulbs and their remains should be recycled at a facility approved to handle fluorescent lamps, but such facilities are not common.

California is one of only seven states — Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin are the others — that ban disposing of fluorescent bulbs as general waste. And yet, qualified recycling facilities are limited to about one per county. In other states, collection of CFLs is conducted only at certain times of the year — twice annually in the District of Columbia, for example, and only once a year in most of Georgia.
 
In fact, qualified places to recycle CFLs are so few that the largest recycler of of fluorescent bulbs in America is Ikea, the furniture chain.
 .
“I think there’s going to be hundreds of millions of [CFLs] in landfills all over the country,” said Leonard Worth, head of Fluorecycle Inc. of Ingleside, Ill., a certified facility.
 
Once in a landfill, bulbs are likely to shatter even if they’re packaged properly, said the Solid Waste Association of North America. From there, mercury can leach into soil and groundwater and its vapors can spread through the air, potentially exposing workers to toxic levels of the poison.
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« Reply #316 on: July 09, 2011, 12:04:34 PM »


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/8462626/Energy-saving-light-bulbs-contain-cancer-causing-chemicals.html

Energy saving light bulbs 'contain cancer causing chemicals'

 Fears have been reignited about the safety of energy saving light bulbs after a group of scientists warned that they contain cancer causing chemicals.
 
Scientists claim that several carcinogenic chemicals are released when energy saving light bulbs are switched on

 


By Victoria Ward

7:16AM BST 20 Apr 2011


Their report advises that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone’s head, as they emit poisonous materials when switched on.
 

Peter Braun, who carried out the tests at the Berlin's Alab Laboratory, said: “For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment.”

The bulbs are already widely used in the UK following EU direction to phase out traditional incandescent lighting by the end of this year.
 

But the German scientists claimed that several carcinogenic chemicals and toxins were released when the environmentally-friendly compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) were switched on, including phenol, naphthalene and styrene.
 

Andreas Kirchner, of the Federation of German Engineers, said: “Electrical smog develops around these lamps.
 
 
“I, therefore, use them only very economically. They should not be used in unventilated areas and definitely not in the proximity of the head.”
 
British experts insisted that more research was needed and urged consumers not to panic.
 
Dr Michelle Bloor, senior lecturer in Environmental Science at Portsmouth University, told the Daily Express: “Further independent studies would need to be undertaken to back up the presented German research.”
 
The Department for the Environment insists the bulbs are safe, despite the fact that they contain small amounts of mercury which would leak out if the glass was broken.
 
Advice on its website states: “Energy efficient light bulbs are not a danger to the public.
 
“Although they contain mercury, limited at 5mg per lamp, it cannot escape from a lamp that is intact.
 
“In any case, the very small amount contained in an energy efficient bulb is unlikely to cause harm even if the lamp should be broken.”
 
The latest report follows claims by Abraham Haim, a professor of biology at Haifa University in Israel, that the bulbs could result in higher breast cancer rates if used late at night.
 
He said that the bluer light that CFLs emitted closely mimicked daylight, disrupting the body's production of the hormone melatonin more than older-style filament bulbs, which cast a yellower light.
 
The Migraine Action Association has warned that they could trigger migraines and skin care specialists have claimed that their intense light could exacerbate a range of existing skin problems.
 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #317 on: August 18, 2011, 03:38:39 PM »

http://thegazette.com/2011/08/15/for-first-time-more-corn-to-be-used-for-ethanol-than-livestock/

For first time, more corn used for ethanol than livestock

15 August 2011 (Cedar RAPIDS, Iowa)
For the first time ever, more of the corn crop may go into gas tanks than into the stomachs of cattle and poultry destined for kitchen tables.

That fuel now tops livestock as the primary user of corn struck at least one observer as noteworthy.

“That’s a first-time-ever type of change,”  University of Missouri Extension economist Ron Plain said in a statement released by the university.

“For forever,” Plain said, “ feed was the largest single use of corn.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #318 on: August 31, 2011, 08:00:33 AM »

This could just as easily have gone in the Liberal Fascism thread:

By RYAN TRACY
With solar panel prices falling and a prominent manufacturer in bankruptcy, the U.S. solar industry has been hard-pressed for good news. But Washington continues to hand out loan guarantees.

The Department of Energy says the guarantees will create U.S. jobs in the green-energy industry. But critics say the government is trying to pick winners instead of leaving that function to the marketplace, citing the struggles of several companies that received government funds.
 
SoloPower plans to use a $197 million federal loan guarantee for expansion. Above, one of the company's modules is installed on a roof.

The White House this month made final a $197 million guarantee for SoloPower Inc., a maker of lightweight solar panels in San Jose, Calif. Two more guarantees for solar manufacturers valued at a combined $425 million are due to be approved before a Sept. 30 deadline.

The funding comes from the 2009 economic-stimulus package, which set aside enough cash to back about $60 billion in loans for renewable energy and transmission projects. Congress twice has raided those funds, leaving enough to back $25 billion in loans. The DOE has until the Sept. 30 end of the federal government's fiscal year to dole out the funds or lose them.

While demand for solar panels is rising, competition from Chinese manufacturers has driven down prices and made it hard for U.S. makers to compete.

Evergreen Solar Inc. this month filed for bankruptcy protection after closing a Massachusetts plant built with the help of state and local subsidies. Evergreen's panel technology, which uses less polysilicon than competitors do, looked like a good bet in 2008, when prices of the material were high. Polysilicon's price has plummeted since.

Solyndra Inc., which received a $535 million loan guarantee from the DOE to build a factory in northern California in 2009, last year had to close an older factory and lay off workers.

Some European countries subsidize solar power and other renewable energy sources by guaranteeing producers electricity rates that will help offset the producers' costs, which are then passed on to consumers. But proposals for such "feed-in tariffs" in the U.S. have stalled at the federal level.

Jesse Pichel, a clean-energy analyst at investment bank Jefferies & Co., said feed-in tariffs would give market forces a greater role in picking winning technologies. "The government really should not be picking technology bets," Mr. Pichel said. "It's fraught with potential failures."

The DOE acknowledges that loan guarantees don't always pan out but are worthwhile nonetheless. "While not every company will succeed in this competitive industry, we believe that solar generation and manufacturing play a vital role in helping America win the clean energy race," said DOE spokesman Damien LaVera.

To compete with larger manufacturers in China, SoloPower is targeting a niche of commercial and industrial buildings. The company's panels are lighter and potentially less expensive to install on rooftops because they are built without glass, said Chief Executive Tim Harris. "You want to get as much power per roof as you can. We can simply get more panels on the roof," he said.

SoloPower will use the government-backed loan to build a plant in Portland, Ore., and to expand a factory in San Jose, Calif. The company expects the plants to employ 450 people at full production.

Without the guarantee, "the jobs would have ended up offshore, almost certainly," Mr. Harris said. "I don't think there would have been any way to get this financing here in the states."

As the loan-guarantee program runs out of stimulus funds, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are looking for changes.

Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D., N.M.) has said the loan-guarantee program "has not worked as well as we had hoped." The program, set up by Congress in 2005, didn't receive major funding until 2009.

Mr. Bingaman has introduced a bill to create an independently run clean-energy bank that could make direct loans or take a stake in projects. In theory, it would sustain itself after receiving about $10 billion in start-up funds from Congress. The full Energy Committee approved the proposal in July, but it still lacks a funding mechanism and has yet to be taken up on the Senate floor.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #319 on: September 12, 2011, 09:33:23 AM »

A follow up here from the energy argument over on 'Glibness':

10 of the last 11 recessions were preceded by oil price spikes. http://reason.com/archives/2011/03/08/oil-price-shocks-and-the-reces  Oil prices spike when supplies don't keep up with demand and especially when there are interruptions or fears of interruptions in times of tight supplies.  This is not theoretical.  Healthy economies have abundant supplies of reasonably affordable energy available.  Places with unreliable energy supplies such as third world countries with frequent grid shutdowns make lousy locations for business expansions.

I don't understand the denial that our failure to produce sufficient energy is hurting our national security and our geo-political strength.  We compete with China to import oil, but they are using our dollars.  When our next confrontation with Russia comes we can ask, who artificially stimulated their economy at our expense?  We did.

If oil prices can double in a period of months and not years, how can anyone deny the sensitive relationship between having adequate supplies and having affordable prices?
---
The energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie released a report on Wednesday http://www.api.org/Newsroom/upload/API-US_Supply_Economic_Forecast.pdf  that attempted to quantify the additional jobs and revenue that would result from a relaxation of the federal government’s current anti-energy policies. You can read the report in its entirety, but here is the bottom line:

    Wood Mackenzie’s analysis found that U.S. policies which encourage the development of new and existing resources could, by 2030, increase domestic oil and natural gas production by over 10 million boed, support an additional 1.4 million jobs, and raise over $800 billion of cumulative additional government revenue.

Wood Mackenzie compared a “current path case” against a “development policy case” to derive these figures. This is the current path case; i.e, continuation of the Obama administration’s policies:

    • The “Current Path Case” assumes the following policy and regulatory initiatives:

    • Continued “slow walk” of Federal permitting for offshore Gulf of Mexico
    •The case assumes an increase from current offshore exploration and development activity levels, but not back to pre-Moratorium rates

    • Tighter Federal hydraulic fracturing and water disposal regulations which are beyond the current state regulations
    • Slow down of onshore drilling due to increased cost of well completions. Results in a negative impact on development economics

    • No opening of new areas for exploration and development
    • No new exploration and development in frontier areas of Alaska, Eastern Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic and Pacific offshore, and Federal Rockies

    • Restrictions on new pipeline development from Canada
    • Curtailment of oil sands pipeline infrastructure into the U.S.. No development of the Keystone XL pipeline or other future Canada to U.S. pipelines

If the federal government got serious about job creation, we would have the development policy case:

    • The “Development Policy Case” assumes the following policy and regulatory initiatives:

    • Opening of Federal areas that are currently “off limits” to exploration and development
    • Commencement of leasing, drilling and development activity in currently closed regions. Regions to be opened include: Eastern Gulf of Mexico, portions of the Rocky Mountains, Atlantic OCS, Pacific OCS, Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) – 1002 Area, National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska (NPRA) and Alaska offshore

    • Lifting of drilling moratorium in New York State
    • Commencement of drilling and development of Marcellus shale in New York State

    • Increased rate of permitting in the offshore Gulf of Mexico
    • Allows for a return to pre-Moratorium exploration and development activity

    • Approval of the Keystone XL and other future Canada to U.S. oil pipelines
    • Facilitates additional Canadian oil sands development, thereby increasing the demand for U.S. supplied equipment and infrastructure

    • Regulation of shale resources remains predominately at the State level
    • Environmental regulation of shale gas and tight oil plays are not duplicative or unduly burdensome. Permitting levels are at sufficient rates to develop resources in a timely manner



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JDN
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« Reply #320 on: September 12, 2011, 09:50:51 AM »

Doug said, "If oil prices can double in a period of months and not years, how can anyone deny the sensitive relationship between having adequate supplies and having affordable prices?"

I'm curious, if we drill, and let's say world oil prices in 10 years double, why would America have "affordable" oil prices?   As a private enterprise, not to mention most oil companies are foreign owned,
they will sell their oil, where ever it is drilled, at the highest available price.  Do you think they BP will give a "discount" to America for oil drilled here versus in Brazil or somewhere else?  Nor
do I see how drilling will insure an "adequate supply" here in America.  Again, the oil company will sell the oil to the highest bidder. 

So drilling here has nothing to do with world oil prices, keeping the price of oil cheap in America, nor does it insure an adequate supply.

As before, I acknowledge a positive job impact.  But please acknowledge a negative environmental impact. 
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G M
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« Reply #321 on: September 12, 2011, 09:57:31 AM »

"As before, I acknowledge a positive job impact.  But please acknowledge a negative environmental impact."  The negative environmental impact on upper middle class white people, right JDN?
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JDN
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« Reply #322 on: September 12, 2011, 10:09:09 AM »

"As before, I acknowledge a positive job impact.  But please acknowledge a negative environmental impact."  The negative environmental impact on upper middle class white people, right JDN?
 

 huh huh huh

Frankly, it's a negative environmental impact on ALL people. 

But probably, the richer you are, the less of an impact it will be.  You have choices to move, probably you are not on site, etc.
So it's the average guy who is most affected.  In my furniture example, the workers, although fired, probably were further ahead.  They
will live longer and healthier being away from all those chemicals.  The owner didn't care; he wasn't on site very often.

Your point GM???  Or are you off on one of your tangents that has no point?

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G M
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« Reply #323 on: September 12, 2011, 10:18:23 AM »

http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_2_californias_environmentalism.html



A dirty secret about California’s energy economy is that it imports lots of energy from neighboring states to make up for the shortfall caused by having too few power plants. Up to 20 percent of the state’s power comes from coal-burning plants in Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and Montana, and another significant portion comes from large-scale hydropower in Oregon, Washington State, and the Hoover Dam near Las Vegas. “California practices a sort of energy colonialism,” says James Lucier of Capital Alpha Partners, a Washington, D.C.–area investment group. “They rely on western states to supply them with power generation they are unwilling to build for themselves”—and leave those states to deal with the resulting pollution.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.ceert.org/PDFs/reports/Coalreport.pdf

California’s dirty coal legacy

In 2004, coal plants located in the interior
West supplied an estimated 20% of all
electricity in California, which is twice
the share that comes from renewables.
Large quantities of air pollution are
discharged from these coal plants.
• The harmful sulfur dioxide emitted
from California’s share of out-of-state
coal plants exceeds the quantity of sulfur
dioxide released from all pollution
sources within the state of California.
• Ten times more smog-forming oxides of
nitrogen are released by California’s
v
share of distant coal plants than the total
amount of nitrogen oxides emitted
from all power plants within the state.
• California’s share of the mercury produced
from western coal plants is more
than 200 times the total amount emitted
from all power plants within the state
of California, which the EPA reported
was 9 pounds in 1999.
• Each year, California’s share of distant
coal plants releases a staggering 67
million tons of global-warming carbon
dioxide. The global warming pollution
emanating from these smokestacks is
equivalent to the emissions from more
than 11 million cars and cancels out
the reductions to be achieved by California’s
landmark global-warming
standards for motor vehicles and its
current renewable portfolio standard.
California buys power from coal
plants across the West. In addition,
major California electric utilities and
municipalities have a dedicated ownership
stake in some of the most-polluting
coal plants in the western United States.
Southern California Edison, the
Los Angeles Department of Water and
Power, the California Department of
Water Resources, the MSR Public
Power Agency, the Southern California
Public Power Authority, and the cities
of Anaheim, Riverside, Pasadena, Burbank,
and Glendale have various ownership
interests in the Four Corners and
San Juan power plants in New Mexico,
the Intermountain Power Project in
Utah, the Mohave and Reid Gardner
generating stations in Nevada, and the
Navajo Generating Station in Arizona.
These California-owned coal-fired
power plants are clustered in the heart
of the American Southwest, near the
renowned “golden circle” of national
parks and wilderness areas that includes
the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Bryce
Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef, Mesa
Verde, and Zion national parks. This is
the great canyon country that inspired
John Wesley Powell,Wallace Stegner,
and millions of American families who
travel here from across the nation.
It also is a region hard hit by air pollution,
including unhealthy ozone levels,
haze that obscures scenic vistas, and
advisories against consuming mercurycontaminated
fish. The Navajo, Hopi,
Zuni, and many other native peoples
live, work, and raise families in this area.
Air quality in the areas around these
plants would not pass muster in California.

Over the past three years, San
Juan County in northern New Mexico
has monitored some 51 violations of
California’s health standard for ozone.
In addition, pollution levels at the Grand
Canyon have violated California’s ozone
health standard 40 times over the same
period, and 21 violations have been
recorded at Canyonlands National Park.
National Park Service data show that
ozone concentrations have significantly
worsened over the past decade at the
Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, and
Canyonlands national parks.
A number of the region’s lakes and
reservoirs also suffer from mercury fish
consumption advisories. The water bodies
with protective warnings range from
Lake Mary in northern Arizona to the
McPhee, Narranguinnep, and Navajo
reservoirs in southwestern Colorado.
California’s appetite for coal-based
electricity has a major role in the air
pollution in the American West and the
global atmosphere.


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #324 on: September 12, 2011, 10:21:32 AM »

I will leave GM and JDN to work that particular point out, but in response to JDN's point about the fungibiity of oil and his assumption that therefor US oil will flow to the highest bidder, I could be wrong but I would interject that to the best of my recollection US law requires US oil to be sold in the US, though there may be an exception for Alaskan oil to Japan (and attendant purchases from Venezuela).  
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G M
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« Reply #325 on: September 12, 2011, 10:38:45 AM »

https://www.hcn.org/issues/305/15750

SHIPROCK, New Mexico — Along Highway 64 between Shiprock and Farmington, drivers bold enough to crack a window and bask in the desert heat often get a whiff of tarry air — a clue that something industrial lurks beyond the sagebrush and sandstone. In fact, two coal-fired power plants sit behind ridges on either side of the road, less than 10 miles apart.
 
The Four Corners Power Plant and the San Juan Generating Station, long criticized as two of the dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the country, could soon have a new neighbor: the proposed Desert Rock Power Plant, slated for construction on the Navajo Reservation. If built, it would be the first major energy development in the region in over 30 years.
 
"We have the labor, the land, and the resources," says Steven Begay, general manager of the Diné Power Authority, which was formed 20 years ago to entice another coal-fired power plant onto the reservation. "The Navajo Nation is growing, so we have to think about our options."
 
Begay and other tribal officials see the $2.2 billion plant as a way to spur economic growth; unemployment hovers above 40 percent on the reservation. When the plant begins operation in 2010, says Begay, it will provide nearly 400 long-term jobs and generate about one-third of the tribe’s annual budget in royalties and leases.
 
But Sarah White, president of Dooda Desert Rock, one of several Navajo groups opposing the development, disagrees about what the coal-fired plant will bring to the tribe. "We won’t benefit from it. We’ll get the trash, the smoke and the dirt," says White, who lives 15 miles from the proposed site. "I really want to believe that this is something that will work, but when I look at … San Juan and Four Corners, I see nothing but broken promises."
 

Clearing the way
 The new power plant is a joint project of the Diné Power Authority and Houston-based Sithe Global Power, which have already surveyed a 591-acre site for the plant and bought the grazing rights of six local ranchers.
 
Sithe and the power authority held off-reservation scoping meetings in cities such as Albuquerque, Phoenix and Farmington. They also visited Navajo chapter houses near the site, hoping to build support for the project. Instead, four chapters passed resolutions opposing it. Only one passed a resolution in support, but it did so with a sense of resignation: "This chapter understands that this is going to happen no matter what the people say," says Arthur Bavaro, Nenahnezad Chapter manager.
 
The resolutions are mostly symbolic: They have no direct impact on the plant approval process, which is handled by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. If the plans are approved, construction could begin by next year.
 
Only 61 percent of Navajo homes currently have electricity, but that isn’t likely to change with the new power plant nearby. Connecting transmission lines to isolated dwellings is too expensive. Instead, the plant’s 1,500 megawatts of electricity will be sold to cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas.
 
"Navajos are going through hardship just so someone in Los Angeles can run their lights day in and day out," says Lori Goodman, a board member of Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, a Navajo environmental group.
 
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« Reply #326 on: September 12, 2011, 10:45:09 AM »

A dirty secret about California’s energy economy is that it imports lots of energy from neighboring states to make up for the shortfall caused by having too few power plants. Up to 20 percent of the state’s power comes from coal-burning plants in Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and Montana, and another significant portion comes from large-scale hydropower in Oregon, Washington State, and the Hoover Dam near Las Vegas. “California practices a sort of energy colonialism,” says James Lucier of Capital Alpha Partners, a Washington, D.C.–area investment group. “They rely on western states to supply them with power generation they are unwilling to build for themselves”—and leave those states to deal with the resulting pollution.

GM; that is kind of my point.  CA is smart.  We don't want the "trash, the smoke and the dirt".  Energy production is dirty.  That's why I am happy oil is being produced in Brazil.  Overall, Brazil seems to be destroying their eco systems.  Better them than us.

Crafty, no that is not true.  Oil will flow to the highest bidder.  Even if Congress someday mandated that oil drilled in America must be sold to America (highly unlikely) I can't imagine that they would not be allowed to charge the going rate.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=can-offshore-drilling-make-us-independent

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G M
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« Reply #327 on: September 12, 2011, 10:49:23 AM »

GM; that is kind of my point.  CA is smart.  We don't want the "trash, the smoke and the dirt".  Energy production is dirty.  That's why I am happy oil is being produced in Brazil.  Overall, Brazil seems to be destroying their eco systems.  Better them than us.

Them? Like the Navajo?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #328 on: September 12, 2011, 11:36:50 AM »

"As before, I acknowledge a positive job impact.  But please acknowledge a negative environmental impact."

I abhor wanton the spewing of poisons and I don't know anywhere in America where that is still allowed.  There is no freedom to recklessly poison your neighbor.

Where I live, the air and water quality has only gotten cleaner in my lifetime, both are rated an A by even the most extreme environmental activists.  When we continue to emit less and less and cleaner and cleaner, the impact of these emissions is actually positive - because the earth at least where I am is cleaning itself faster than we are polluting.

Now, did you answer my question about how many vehicles the State of California (government) owns? -  or the federal government.  The best thing government could do right now to lower energy usage would be to radically downsize their own operations.  Has any leftist thought of THAT?

The most prosperous countries have historically and consistently been the cleanest.  Being poor doesn't solve problems.  You ignored the distinction between putting sulfur and soot in the air and the fact that the cleanest burning of a fossil fuel still releases CO2.  So does a deer, a moose and an eagle, lol.  I'm okay with reasonable steps to use everything more cleanly, wisely and efficiently.  I also favor keeping some freedoms such as the freedom to emit small amounts of CO2 for a non-essential drive to have the kids visit Grandma.  Do you favor a total immediate ban on all recreational and non-essential uses of gasoline, or why not?  Do you agree with the Obamas' behavior (and Edwards, Reid, Pelosi, Gore, etc.) that if it's me doing it, and I am important, who cares?

BTW, whatever happened to Huntsman's natural gas for transportation initiative.  That is the cleanest of the fossil fuels, yet the left has begun a war against it.  I favor all affordable and reasonable efforts to clean up our act and I will put my footprint up against anyone for frugality and efficiency.  For this so-called hottest summer on record and we used one portable air conditioner for one hour, the first time in more than a dozen years.  I have an electric bike, a wind powered boat, a 40 mpg old car, a light duty solar system, I've filled dozens of houses with small CFL bulbs, smaller high efficiency furnaces and 1.0 gpm showerheads, I close off from heat at all the coldest and draftiest parts of our house in winter and I carpooled Saturday to visit my friend who just sold his company for a billion dollars.  That said, I don't favor federal mandates to make everyone do all these things.  Everyone's circumstances are different.

Alleging that the world's second largest producer of oil, who intentionally leaves it's resources in the ground and skews the whole world market, cannot make an impact on price is economically absurd and patently false.  Maybe we can take a sharp political turn here toward energy production, test the theory and prove one of us wrong.  Oil prices work off of a futures market.  The impact of new production on prices will hit long before the product makes it to market.

Yes there is a world price for oil, but location matters and so does refining capacity and output.  If we could quit (the net) import of oil (prohibiting import and export makes no sense), the world market would return to its natural balance, where buyers and sellers come to agreement, presumably much lower than it is today with America using its (eroding) wealth to disproportionately buy up available supplies.  Besides rescuing our economy, that move would favor economic growth in all markets that buy our other products and help to alleviate poverty in third world countries.  You deny that or oppose that?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #329 on: September 12, 2011, 04:13:27 PM »



For all its soaring rhetoric, President Obama's "jobs speech" last week didn't demonstrate a lick of insight into why economies grow or how wealth is created. It was merely trademark Obamanomics: using government diktat to move money that's over here, over there.

Having spent an hour the day before with Ron Liepert, the energy minister from the Canadian province of Alberta, I found it especially disturbing to hear nothing in the speech about reversing the administration's anti-fossil-fuels agenda. Canada has recovered all the jobs it lost in the 2009 recession, and Alberta's oil sands are no small part of that. The province is on track to become the world's second-largest oil producer, after Saudi Arabia, within 10 years. Meanwhile Mr. Obama clings to his subsidies for solar panels and his religious faith in green jobs.

U.S. unemployment is high because capital is on strike. Short-term offers to coax investors into taking new risks aren't going to cut it when they have been forewarned that the president intends to pay for it all by raising taxes in the out years. The market dropped over 300 points the day after Mr. Obama's speech.

On the regulatory front the picture is even gloomier. Much of America's vast untapped energy potential lies dormant because Mr. Obama's regulatory watchdogs have spent the past three years throwing sand in the gears of the permitting process for exploration and exploitation on federal lands. Separately, TransCanada has been trying since September 2008 to get a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf Coast. The Environmental Protection Agency has so far blocked it.

Enlarge Image

CloseAssociated Press
 
TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline could mean 118,000 American jobs, if the U.S. government ever issues the permit.
.A glimpse of what all this has cost the U.S. economy can be seen by looking north to Canada, where animal spirits have been unleashed in the energy sector. Canada's close economic ties to the U.S. have traditionally meant that when the U.S. gets the sniffles, Canada gets swine flu. This time it's been different. Part of the reason is that Canada's housing market was not poisoned by a federal government push to put unqualified borrowers into homes they could not afford. After the 2008 collapse of the housing bubble in the U.S., the Canadian financial sector remained strong.

That alone was not enough to protect Canada from the effects of the U.S. recession. The manufacturing sector was hit hard, and in the first quarter of 2009 the economy contracted by an annualized 7.9%.

Yet Canada has outperformed the U.S. since then. In 2010, according to the International Monetary Fund, Canada grew at 3.2% versus 2.9% in the U.S. In 2011, the IMF estimates Canada will grow at 2.9%; unemployment is now 7.3%. The IMF's U.S. growth forecast is 2.5% this year, and U.S. unemployment is 9.1%.

One explanation for Canada's more robust growth is its strong commitment to energy, which has become more valuable in U.S. dollar terms under Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's inflationary policies. Alberta is now producing two million barrels per day but expects that number will grow to four to five million within a decade.

Alberta's oil and gas industry supports more than 271,000 direct jobs and hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs in sectors such as construction, manufacturing and financial services. The province has an unemployment rate of 5.6%. There are also some 960 American companies involved in Alberta energy, supplying equipment and technology, among other things. As an example, Mr. Liepert says, "dozens of Caterpillar tractors, made in Illinois and Michigan and costing $5 million a piece" work the oil sands. He says the region is on track to create more than 400,000 direct American jobs by 2035. The Bakken region of North Dakota, where private land ownership gives drillers relief from federal obstructionism, shares a similar, if smaller, story. Oil production there is booming, and North Dakota unemployment is 3.3%.

The Americas in the News
Get the latest information in Spanish from The Wall Street Journal's Americas page.
.TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline, if the U.S. ever issues the permit, will mean $20 billion in investment. The company says the construction phase will require 13,000 direct hires and indirect new jobs could total 118,000 in the U.S.

But Keystone XL is only a fraction of the potential that could be released if Mr. Obama changed his energy policy. In a study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute and released last week, the energy consultancy Wood MacKenzie estimates that pro-development policies could, by 2030, "support an additional 1.4 million jobs, and raise over $800 billion of cumulative additional government revenue."

On the other hand, according to the study, current policies "which slow down the issuance of leases and drilling permits, increase the cost of hydraulic fracturing through duplicative water or air quality regulations, or delay the construction of oil sands export pipelines such as Keystone XL, will likely have a detrimental effect on production, jobs, and government revenues."

A serious jobs proposal would address these issues. Mr. Obama doesn't have one.

 
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JDN
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« Reply #330 on: September 12, 2011, 10:07:33 PM »

Doug said, "Yes there is a world price for oil, but location matters and so does refining capacity and output.  If we could quit (the net) import of oil (prohibiting import and export makes no sense), the world market would return to its natural balance, where buyers and sellers come to agreement, presumably much lower than it is today with America using its (eroding) wealth to disproportionately buy up available supplies.  Besides rescuing our economy, that move would favor economic growth in all markets that buy our other products and help to alleviate poverty in third world countries.  You deny that or oppose that?"

"Alleging that the world's second largest producer of oil, who intentionally leaves it's resources in the ground and skews the whole world market, cannot make an impact on price is economically absurd and patently false."

Actually it's "patently" true.   grin  (by the way, we are the third largest producer, but more importantly our reserves don't even rank in the top 10)  http://exploredia.com/oil-reserves-by-country-2011/

It's not a matter of "opposing".  As for denying, please read my links; look up additional links, even look at Crafty's immediate previous post.  The American Petroleum Institute doesn't even believe it.  NO ONE, at least no one knowledgable  smiley  (maybe you do) says if we increase drilling we will lower world oil prices.  So forget that issue; it's moot.  Drilling more in America will not affect world prices.  Keep repeating that..... until you understand.

All this talk of the "market return to it's natural balance" is garbage.  No offense.  And to say that move would "help to alleviate poverty in third world countries" is also garbage.

Crafty's point, and I believe you too Doug have made the point that employment will increase.  More jobs.  There I agree.  That no doubt is a valid benefit of drilling.

My question is at what cost?  You say the most prosperous countries are the cleanest.  I'm not sure about that.  China is truly terrible.  And getting worse.  So is India.  So is Brazil......... Europe. It's a long list.... It's all real "garbage".  You know better than your point.     http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/31/world-carbon-dioxide-emissions-country-data-co2

Everyone knows energy, i.e. coal mines, spills from drilling for oil, nuclear, etc. do or could cause pollution; it's not rocket science.  So I repeat, at what cost?  I guess in my opinion, leave it up to the states.
If you want coal mines in your state, more employment, and are willing to sacrifice air quality and health, go for it.  And if there is a spill, destroying beaches and ocean life, or air quality,
don't call the Federal Government, let that state pay for it itself.  Sounds fair to me.  But I bet the majority of Americans will vote "NIMBY".
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DougMacG
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« Reply #331 on: September 13, 2011, 12:17:44 AM »

JDN, You may not believe supply or demand affect price but I would not recommend disclosing that right away if you are to apply for a job teaching economics, lol.

I'm sorry that you were duped on the term "proven oil reserves" in the United States. "...our reserves don't even rank in the top 10..."  This one is not wholly your fault.  You are repeating and reposting what other people are alleging without an interest in veracity.

“Proven oil reserves” in the U.S. only counts the petroleum that is available for development under current government regulations and it is 8.5 times understated from what the best science available tells us, and this figure doesn’t include oil shale, which has recoverable reserves of 1 trillion barrels, according to DOhttp://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=04212e22-c1b3-41f2-b0ba-0da5eaead952

March 30, 2011 by  John Hinderaker
On Energy, Obama Lies With Statistics
...
Obama: "America holds about 2 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves.  What that means is, is that even if we drilled every drop of oil out of every single one of the reserves that we possess — offshore and onshore — it still wouldn’t be enough to meet our long-term needs.  We consume about 25 percent of the world’s oil.  We only have 2 percent of the reserves.  Even if we doubled U.S. oil production, we’re still really short."

This is a perfect example of lying with statistics. Obama knows that most people assume that “proven oil reserves” equals oil known to be in the ground. And, in fact, in most countries around the world, that is more or less what it does mean. In Saudi Arabia, for example, “proven oil reserves” are whatever the government announces they are.

But in the United States, “proven oil reserves” is a legal term, not a scientific term. It is defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission. We wrote about this in detail in Obama’s Long Nose On Energy. This is the definition, unique to United States law, of “proven oil reserves:”

    Proved reserves. The quantities of hydrocarbons estimated with reasonable certainty to be commercially recoverable from known accumulations under current economic conditions, operating methods, and government regulations. Current economic conditions include prices and costs prevailing at the time of the estimate. Estimates of proved reserves do not include reserves appreciation.

The definition is in part economic; every time the price of oil rises, our “proved reserves” rise, too; likewise when the price falls. Most important, however, is that “proven oil reserves” only counts the petroleum that is available for development under current government regulations. So, to take two obvious examples, the petroleum in ANWR is not included in our “proven oil reserves,” even though the petroleum there is known to be vast, nor is the offshore petroleum in those areas–the large majority–where drilling is not permitted by current law. It is not nature, but Barack Obama and Congress that are limiting America’s energy resources.

It is disgraceful that the President of the United States is willing to deliberately mislead the American people in order to justify billions, if not trillions, of dollars in wasteful, politically-motivated boondoggles.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/03/028724.php
http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=04212e22-c1b3-41f2-b0ba-0da5eaead952
----
The Institute for Energy Research writes:

    In a recent report, CRS [the Congressional Research Service] said that the U.S. has 19.1 billion barrels of proven reserves, which is the number President Obama cites as 2% of the world’s oil. CRS, however, showed that between our proven reserves and oil predicted to be found, there is likely to be a combined 164.1 billion barrels, or 8.5 times as much as the president alleges. And this figure doesn’t include oil shale, which has recoverable reserves of 1 trillion barrels, according to DOE.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/03/028574.php
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G M
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« Reply #332 on: September 13, 2011, 08:23:46 AM »

"JDN, You may not believe supply or demand affect price but I would not recommend disclosing that right away if you are to apply for a job teaching economics, lol."

A simple question. Does increased supply act to lower prices? Yes or no.

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G M
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« Reply #333 on: September 13, 2011, 09:00:05 AM »

GM; that is kind of my point.  CA is smart.  We don't want the "trash, the smoke and the dirt".  Energy production is dirty.  That's why I am happy oil is being produced in Brazil.  Overall, Brazil seems to be destroying their eco systems.  Better them than us.

Them? Like the Navajo?

Manifest destiny, JDN? Your lungs must be protected, too bad for the Navajo? California uber alles?
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JDN
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« Reply #334 on: September 13, 2011, 09:18:26 AM »

"JDN, You may not believe supply or demand affect price but I would not recommend disclosing that right away if you are to apply for a job teaching economics, lol."

A simple question. Does increased supply act to lower prices? Yes or no.

Or from Doug, "JDN, You may not believe supply or demand affect price but I would not recommend disclosing that right away if you are to apply for a job teaching economics, lol."



Doug, a lot of the guys I quoted could apply for a job teaching economics.  But let me repeat myself since it is on another thread.  This is not Obama, but Oil Experts saying that
our increased production will NOT affect world oil prices.  Got it?  Will not affect world oil prices....   grin

"The problem is this: While increased oil and gas drilling in the United States may create good-paying jobs, reduce reliance on foreign oil and lower the trade deficit, it will have hardly any impact on gas and oil prices.

That's because the amount of extra oil that could be produced from more drilling in this country is tiny compared to what the world consumes.

Plus, any extra oil the country did produce would likely be quickly offset by a cut in OPEC production.

"This drill drill drill thing is tired," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, which calculates gas prices for the motorist organization AAA. "It's a simplistic way of looking for a solution that doesn't exist."
http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/25/news/economy/oil_drilling_gas_prices/index.htm

According to the CONSERVATIVE American Enterprise Institute,

Ken Green, resident scholar with the American Enterprise Institute think tank.


But experts disagreed about how much impact additional drilling could have. Crude oil is a global commodity, Green said.

"The world price is the world price," Green said. "Even if we were producing 100 percent of our oil," he said, if prices increase because of a shortage in China or India, "our price would go up to the same thing.

"We probably couldn't produce enough to affect the world price of oil," Green added. "People don't understand that."


I think Green was talking to you.   evil

GM, I'll try and dumb it down for you.  If you buy another six pack of beer tonight your "demand" will not affect world beer prices.  Or if Anheuser Busch increased their production, it would not affect world beer prices.  Like oil, beer is a global commodity.  As was said above, "That's because the amount of extra oil that could be produced from more drilling in this country is tiny compared to what the world consumes."  The same analogy applies to your beer. 

Time to move on; it's hard arguing with people who don't get simple math.  Or economics.  Or reject nearly all experts. There may be good reasons to drill, but affecting world prices is not one of them.
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G M
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« Reply #335 on: September 13, 2011, 09:21:35 AM »

What was the point of Obama tapping the SPR then? Lowering prices?
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G M
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« Reply #336 on: September 13, 2011, 09:41:05 AM »

What was the point of Obama tapping the SPR then? Lowering prices?

C'mon JDN. Why did Obama tap the SPR? What was he trying to do?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #337 on: September 13, 2011, 09:53:39 AM »

Just as oil is fungible, to a certain partial extent, various forms of energy are fungible.  I may be misusing some of the terms, but Baraq has waged war on oil (offshore and otherwise) coal, tar sands, shale oil, natural gas (the fracking issue, which is one I for one do not shrug off) and so forth.  I think if we were to pursue growth oriented polices with all of these, US energy prices would be lower than would otherwise be the case.
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JDN
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« Reply #338 on: September 13, 2011, 09:54:34 AM »

What was the point of Obama tapping the SPR then? Lowering prices?

C'mon JDN. Why did Obama tap the SPR? What was he trying to do?

It was  good PR.  That's about it.  No long term affect on oil prices.
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G M
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« Reply #339 on: September 13, 2011, 09:57:40 AM »

What was the point of Obama tapping the SPR then? Lowering prices?

C'mon JDN. Why did Obama tap the SPR? What was he trying to do?

It was  good PR.  That's about it.  No long term affect on oil prices.
Good PR how? No, there was no long term impact on prices because it was a one shot deal, as I pointed out at the time. Another stupid Obama "stimulus". Now, if he had domestic oil production instead, you would see an drop in price.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #340 on: September 13, 2011, 10:33:50 AM »

Crafty: "...US energy prices would be lower than would otherwise be the case."

It's not my post but I would like to insert the word *significantly* lower.

The point is that the price is artificially high right now because of a social engineering experiment.  Our government doesn't want us to drive, or manufacture, or recreate, etc.  We need to urgently get the production all the way up to just the level that is safe and efficient to produce in the context of the times we live in and then people can adjust and make their decisions about where to live, what to drive, where to locate their businesses, where to vacation, etc. 

If the same amount of government control and intervention had been exerted on the consumption side, perhaps an IRS style agent at every gas station scrutinizing your mileage log about where you drove and why, we would be in an uproar.  Instead we stifle production and go after the consumer like a frog in water on a heating stove.

JDN's argument that a little more production won't make a noticeable impact is what they said about ANWR.  They said the oil at full production wouldn't even make to market for 10 years.  That was more that 10 years ago!  Large projects like that and others tell the world that we are going to produce.  That weakens the power of the cartels and motivates other suppliers to get their product to market. Futures markets do not wait 10 years to respond.  The effect on prices of a serious change in policy would be nearly immediate and yes it would be global.

Demand at the margin is very inelastic because people already only buying what they need to do the things they want to do.  The amount of supply at the margin is extremely, extremely crucial in determining price.  Even the perception of future supplies moves prices.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #341 on: September 13, 2011, 10:51:53 AM »

Indeed!  Look at the volatility of the oil futures market!

Though in fairness it should be noted that the low margin requirements may well magnify the volatiility.
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G M
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« Reply #342 on: September 13, 2011, 10:54:26 AM »

We created more dollars and they dropped in value, but creating more oil won't cause it to cost less. At least not in JDN's little world.  rolleyes
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G M
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« Reply #343 on: September 13, 2011, 10:57:41 AM »

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/06/17/saudis-have-west-over-a-barrel

Saudis have West over a barrel And they don’t want to hear about oilsands development
 
 By Ezra Levant ,QMI Agency
First posted: Sunday, June 19, 2011 02:00 AM EDT

An OPEC billionaire has publicly said what everyone long suspected, but just hadn’t heard out loud before: Saudi Arabia doesn’t want the world to develop unconventional sources of oil, like Canada’s oilsands.

Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the world’s 26th richest man, worth more than $19 billion, told CNN he’s worried if oil prices stay around $100 a barrel, the West will look for other sources of oil and Saudi Arabia would lose its dominant position.

“We don’t want the West to go and find alternatives,” he said, “because, clearly, the higher the price of oil goes, the more they have incentives to go and find alternatives.” Give the sheik full marks for honesty. Saudi Arabia has the West just where they want us. They don’t want us getting any big ideas that would reduce our dependence on his dictatorship, and terrorist states like Iran.

It’s like when the head of Russia’s state-controlled natural gas company, Gazprom, denounced new technologies to produce shale gas, saying he was worried about the safety of “American housewives.” No, Gazprom executives and Vladimir Putin are not concerned about human rights and environmentalism in Russia, let alone the West. They’re concerned about competition that would free America and Europe from reliance on Putin’s natural gas.

The Saudi sheik didn’t condemn the oilsands by name — he just condemned what he called “alternative” sources of oil. But he couldn’t have been talking about anyone else. There are more than 170 billion barrels of oil in the oilsands we can recover with today’s technology. That’s 300 years worth at the rate we’re producing it. It’s the world’s second largest oil reserves, after Saudi Arabia.

But there are another 1.7 trillion barrels in place in the oilsands that we don’t yet have the technology to get out economically. That’s what this Saudi sheik is worried about. If oil stays at $100 a barrel, it’s worth it for Canadian scientists to invest in new technologies to get at that 1.7 trillion barrels.

It’s pretty tough to like Saudi sheiks, Iranian ayatollahs and Russian former KGB agents. Which is why you don’t usually see those folks attacking the oilsands in public. Prince Al-Waleed’s comments were a rare Saudi public criticism of the West. Normally, they leave that sort of thing to their allies — professional environmental lobbyists.

There are about 100 professional anti-oilsands activists in Canada, who do nothing but attack Canada’s oil industry. Typically they pose as grassroots environmentalists. But the facts are different.

Most environmental activists are actually paid professionals. And most work for foreign lobbyists.

Greenpeace, for example, is a $200-million multinational corporation based in Europe. If they don’t raise a million bucks a day in fundraising, they’d have to shut down.

As Vivian Krause has documented, the U.S. Tides Foundation, their Canadian arm Tides Canada and other foreign foundations have pumped about $200 million into Canada to fight development of the oilsands and forestry, among other causes. Imagine if Canadian lobbyists pumped $200 million into the U.S. to meddle in their political decisions: Congress would hold hearings and the Pentagon would go to Defcon 1.

The professional environmentalist movement is neither Canadian nor grassroots. It’s foreign, professional and well funded.

It may not be funded directly by Saudi Arabia — we have no evidence of that.

But every time a Canadian oil company is slowed down or our pipeline projects are delayed, it is another day the OPEC near-monopoly continues.

Canada’s environmental extremists might not be working directly for Sheik Al-Waleed, but they’re doing his bidding.

If he could send a message to Greenpeace, it would be one word: Shokran — thank you, in Arabic.

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G M
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« Reply #344 on: September 13, 2011, 11:05:15 AM »

Gosh, I'd hate to deprive the Saudis the ability to fund the global jihad and the Neo-Soviets.

Don't they know that oil production has no impact on price?  rolleyes
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DougMacG
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« Reply #345 on: September 13, 2011, 11:13:23 AM »

"[producing oil is] a simplistic way of looking for a solution that doesn't exist"

Good f'ing grief.

"Doug...This is not Obama, but Oil Experts saying that our increased production will NOT affect world oil prices.  Got it?  Will not affect world oil prices...."

And you understand that I oppose rule by experts and I think they are full of sh*t and I gave you specific information as to why.  Repeating BS doesn't make it smell better.  Got it!  wink  Did you see the price volatility charts I posted.  Who with a sane mind thinks that these input factors around the world don't move price in that market?  The answer is clearly someone with a competing agenda and non-existent professional morals, unless you are quoting them out of context.  I don't have time to chase down the motives of why a scientist, a politician or a think tank is willing to deceive to accomplish their anti-production agenda.  It is simply not rational to allow consumption, prohibit production, wonder why the economy tanks, say you have a laser focus on jobs, then not pick any of the low hanging fruit in the job growth business.  The Obama administration even admitted those are the easy jobs to add when they attack their enemy Texas.  Shameful.  They should ask themselves, what are their job growth  numbers without Texas.

Experts also said it would create a million new jobs in a very short order.

That part is obvious.  My point is that it also affects every other sector of the economy.  If you deny supply affects price, then that point is moot - with you.  Still you could give me the courtesy of an answer on what part of demand for energy, if that is where we choose to attack this, comes from our bloated public sector.  Not a mention of that from a guy who travels with his family in separate jets.

The repetitive loop here includes no acknowledgment whatsoever that the data these 'experts' base their nonsense on is off by a factor of 8.5 not counting a trillion barrels of recoverable oil from shale.  It is okay for you to exclude these proven reserves because others more credentialed than either one of us did?

I have made no impact on you but it was fun to see my words picked up again by the WSJ.  wink 
-----------
(Crafty;)"Indeed!  Look at the volatility of the oil futures market!  Though in fairness it should be noted that the low margin requirements may well magnify the volatility."

Yes, but on the downward side those forces magnify the move down.  The world oil price would easily be cut in half at least momentarily.  The question is where would the equilibrium price land and it would certainly be *significantly* lower than where it is now.  More importantly, the runaway increases would be halted as supplies become less volatile so that  business people in this one respect could begin to make business decisions with some sort of confidence.
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G M
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« Reply #346 on: September 15, 2011, 10:30:50 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/277246/achieving-2-gas-robert-zubrin

September 15, 2011 4:00 A.M.
Achieving $2 Gas
It’s possible, with the right policy.


Republican presidential contender Michele Bachman has said that if she is elected, gas prices will fall to $2 per gallon. Such promises have understandably been greeted with considerable skepticism. But $2 gas is exactly what America needs. The question is, how can we get it?
 
We can’t do it just by expanded domestic drilling. In order for gasoline prices to fall to $2 per gallon, oil prices must be cut to $50 per barrel. And oil prices are set globally, with the dominating influence being the OPEC oil cartel. Since 1973, this cartel, which controls 80 percent of the earth’s commercially viable oil reserves, has refused to expand production, thus keeping petroleum prices artificially high. While, with a more pro-business government, the United States might conceivably be able to expand its production by a million or two barrels per day, OPEC could easily counter by cutting its production to match, or more likely, by simply continuing its non-expansion policy and letting increased Chinese demand take care of the slack.
 

If we are ever to get $2 gas, the power of OPEC to control oil prices needs to be broken. The United States Congress could do this with a stroke of the pen, simply by passing the bipartisan Open Fuel Standard bill (H.R. 1687). This act would effectively destroy OPEC by requiring that all new cars sold in the USA be fully flex fuel, able to run equally well on gasoline, ethanol, and — most important — methanol. This latter capability is critical because methanol can be, and is, made cheaply in large quantities from coal, natural gas, or any kind of biomass without exception. The United States has only 4 billion tons of oil reserves, but we have 270 billion tons of coal, vast amounts of natural gas, and an enormous capacity to produce biomass. By requiring that all cars sold here (and thus all cars made worldwide) be compatible with methanol, the act would force oil to compete with a fuel whose sources are not controlled by the cartel, and that we and our allies possess in abundance.
 
Methanol has only about half the energy per gallon as gasoline, but is 105 octane, which means it can be burned more efficiently. Taken together, these two factors make methanol’s current spot price of $1.38 per gallon roughly competitive with $2 gasoline.
 
Of course, the passage of the OFS bill would not cause gasoline prices to crash instantly. While it would no doubt hit oil futures hard, and thus cut the speculative premium on petroleum prices, the most immediate result of allowing methanol to compete against gasoline in the vehicle-fuel market would be to send methanol prices up, perhaps by as much as 60 percent. This situation would not, however, last for long. Methanol can be made and sold profitably today for $1.38 per gallon. At a 60 percent markup, its manufacture would be super-profitable, and massive amounts of capital would rush in to expand production. This would drive the price of methanol down, dragging gasoline and oil down prices with it, until methanol reached a price point where its production offered no greater profit than that prevailing in the economy at large. The fact that methanol would reach this price — what Adam Smith would term its natural price — follows from the fact that the sources to make methanol are plentiful and diverse, so that no cartel can artificially limit its production.
 
This underscores the key issue. There is not a free market in oil. Adjusted for inflation, the price of oil has increased eightfold since 1973, but OPEC production has not increased at all. In a free market, such a price increase would spur increased investment, with subsequent expanded production driving the price right back down again. That is why the inflation-adjusted price of coal, and nearly every other industrial commodity, has not risen in four decades. But because of the cartel, oil production has not responded to price increases in the way that it should in a properly functioning capitalist economy. In order for the free-enterprise system to do its work and deliver the cheap fuel the world needs, the ability of this cartel to limit the world’s liquid-fuel supplies needs to be broken. The Open Fuel Standard bill would accomplish that.
 
High oil prices are wrecking our economy. Since the United States imports 5 billion barrels of oil per year, the current price of nearly $90 per barrel will hit us for $450 billion this year alone, a huge tax on our economy. As a result, millions of jobs and thousands of businesses are being lost. If this wealth-draining process is allowed to continue, fiscal necessity will require us to withdraw the military forces protecting our national interests abroad, without a shot being fired.
 
Instead of seeking to exploit this catastrophe by placing its blame on their opponents, or posing with empty promises of salvation contingent upon their promotion to higher office, politicians need to take action. Two-dollar gas is not just a nice idea for inclusion in a campaign speech. It’s a critical necessity for economic recovery.
 
Either we break the cartel, or the cartel breaks us. The Open Fuel Standard bill needs to be passed.
 
— Robert Zubrin is a member of the Board of Advisors of Americans for Energy and author of Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #347 on: September 16, 2011, 12:11:47 AM »


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOl4vwhwkW8&feature=player_embedded
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #348 on: September 16, 2011, 01:22:09 PM »



China Consolidates Grip on Rare Earths
By KEITH BRADSHER
 
BEIJING — In the name of fighting pollution, China has sent the price of compact fluorescent light bulbs soaring in the United States.

The price of compact fluorescent light bulbs has risen drastically in the last year because of the rising cost of rare earth metals.

By closing or nationalizing dozens of the producers of rare earth metals — which are used in energy-efficient bulbs and many other green-energy products — China is temporarily shutting down most of the industry and crimping the global supply of the vital resources.

China produces nearly 95 percent of the world’s rare earth materials, and it is taking the steps to improve pollution controls in a notoriously toxic mining and processing industry. But the moves also have potential international trade implications and have started yet another round of price increases for rare earths, which are vital for green-energy products including giant wind turbines, hybrid gasoline-electric cars and compact fluorescent bulbs.

General Electric, facing complaints in the United States about rising prices for its compact fluorescent bulbs, recently noted in a statement that if the rate of inflation over the last 12 months on the rare earth element europium oxide had been applied to a $2 cup of coffee, that coffee would now cost $24.55.

A pack of three 11-watt G.E. compact fluorescent bulbs — each the lighting equivalent of a 40-watt incandescent bulb — was priced on Thursday at $15.88 on Wal-Mart’s Web site for pickup in a Nashville, Ark., store. The average price for fluorescent bulbs has risen 37 percent this year, according to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

Wal-Mart, which has made a big push for compact fluorescent bulbs, acknowledged that it needed to raise prices on some brands lately. “Obviously we don’t want to pass along price increases to our customers, but occasionally market conditions require it,” Tara Raddohl, a spokeswoman, said. The Chinese actions on rare earths were a prime topic of conversation at a conference here on Thursday that was organized by Metal-Pages, an industry data firm based in London.

Soaring prices are rippling through a long list of industries.

“The high cost of rare earths is having a significant chilling effect on wind turbine and electric motor production in spite of offsetting government subsidies for green tech products,” said one of the conference attendees, Michael N. Silver, chairman and chief executive of American Elements, a chemical company based in Los Angeles. It supplies rare earths and other high-tech materials to businesses.

But with light bulbs, especially, the timing of the latest price increases is politically awkward for the lighting industry and for environmentalists who backed a shift to energy-efficient lighting.

In January, legislation that President George W. Bush signed into law in 2007 will begin phasing out traditional incandescent bulbs in favor of spiral compact fluorescent bulbs and other technologies. The European Union has also mandated a switch from incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient lighting.

Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is running for the Republican presidential nomination on a platform that includes strong opposition to the new lighting rules in the United States and has been a leader of efforts by House Republicans to repeal it.

China says it has largely shut down its rare earth industry for three months to address pollution problems. By invoking environmental concerns, China could potentially try to circumvent international trade rules that are supposed to prohibit export restrictions of vital materials.

In July, the European Union said in a statement on rare earth policy that the organization supported efforts to protect the environment, but that discrimination against foreign buyers of rare earths was not allowed under World Trade Organization rules.

China has been imposing tariffs and quotas on its rare earth exports for several years, curtailing global supplies and forcing prices to rise eightfold to fortyfold during that period for the various 17 rare earth elements.

Even before this latest move by China, the United States and the European Union were preparing to file a case at the W.T.O. this winter that would challenge Chinese export taxes and export quotas on rare earths.

Chinese officials here at the conference said the government was worried about polluted water, polluted air and radioactive residues from the rare earth industry, particularly among many small and private companies, some of which operate without the proper licenses. While rare earths themselves are not radioactive, they are always found in ore containing radioactive thorium and require careful handling and processing to avoid contaminating the environment.

Most of the country’s rare earth factories have been closed since early August, including those under government control, to allow for installation of pollution control equipment that must be in place by Oct. 1, executives and regulators said.

The government is determined to clean up the industry, said Xu Xu, chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Importers and Exporters, a government-controlled group that oversees the rare earth industry. “The entrepreneurs don’t care about environmental problems, don’t care about labor problems and don’t care about their social responsibility,” he said. “And now we have to educate them.”

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Beijing authorities are creating a single government-controlled monopoly, Bao Gang Rare Earth, to mine and process ore in northern China, the region that accounts for two-thirds of China’s output. The government is ordering 31 mostly private rare earth processing companies to close this year in that region and is forcing four other companies into mergers with Bao Gang, said Li Zhong, the vice general manager of Bao Gang Rare Earth.

The government also plans to consolidate 80 percent of the production from southern China, which produces the rest of China’s rare earths, into three companies within the next year or two, Mr. Li said. All three of these companies are former ministries of the Chinese government that were spun out as corporations, and the central government still owns most of the shares.
The taxes and quotas China had in place to restrict rare earth exports caused many companies to move their factories to China from the United States and Europe so that they could secure a reliable and inexpensive source of raw materials.

China promised when it joined the W.T.O. in 2001 that it would not restrict exports except for a handful of obscure materials. Rare earths were not among the exceptions.

But even if the W.T.O. orders China to dismantle its export tariffs and quotas, the industry consolidation now under way could enable China to retain tight control over exports and continue to put pressure on foreign companies to relocate to China.

The four state-owned companies might limit sales to foreign buyers, a tactic that would be hard to address through the W.T.O., Western trade officials said.

Hedge funds and other speculators have been buying and hoarding rare earths this year, with prices rising particularly quickly through early August, and dipping since then as some have sold their inventories to take profits, said Constantine Karayannopoulos, the chief executive of Neo Material Technologies, a Canadian company that is one of the largest processors in China of raw rare earths.

“The real hot money got into the industry building neodymium and europium inventories in Shanghai warehouses,” he said.
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G M
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« Reply #349 on: September 16, 2011, 01:36:16 PM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/08/AR2008030802595.html

Solar Energy Firms Leave Waste Behind in China

   
"It's poison air. Sometimes it gets so bad you can't sit outside. You have to close all the doors and windows," says Qiao Shi Peng, 28, shown in front of a dumping site in his village, who worries about his 1-year-old son's health. (Zhang Quanfeng - Photo By Zhang Quanfeng)
 
At left, cornfields in China's Henan Province died after a green energy firm dumped industrial waste inside a nearby village. The liquid waste evaporated and left white powder. Tests of the soil where the dumping occurred showed high concentrations of chlorine and hydrochloric acid, which do not exist naturally. (Zhang Quanfeng - Photo By Zhang Quanfeng)
 
By Ariana Eunjung Cha
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, March 9, 2008

GAOLONG, China -- The first time Li Gengxuan saw the dump trucks from the nearby factory pull into his village, he couldn't believe what happened. Stopping between the cornfields and the primary school playground, the workers dumped buckets of bubbling white liquid onto the ground. Then they turned around and drove right back through the gates of their compound without a word.

This ritual has been going on almost every day for nine months, Li and other villagers said.

In China, a country buckling with the breakneck pace of its industrial growth, such stories of environmental pollution are not uncommon. But the Luoyang Zhonggui High-Technology Co., here in the central plains of Henan Province near the Yellow River, stands out for one reason: It's a green energy company, producing polysilicon destined for solar energy panels sold around the world. But the byproduct of polysilicon production -- silicon tetrachloride -- is a highly toxic substance that poses environmental hazards.

"The land where you dump or bury it will be infertile. No grass or trees will grow in the place. . . . It is like dynamite -- it is poisonous, it is polluting. Human beings can never touch it," said Ren Bingyan, a professor at the School of Material Sciences at Hebei Industrial University.

The situation in Li's village points to the environmental trade-offs the world is making as it races to head off a dwindling supply of fossil fuels.

Forests are being cleared to grow biofuels like palm oil, but scientists argue that the disappearance of such huge swaths of forests is contributing to climate change. Hydropower dams are being constructed to replace coal-fired power plants, but they are submerging whole ecosystems under water.


 Likewise in China, the push to get into the solar energy market is having unexpected consequences.

With the prices of oil and coal soaring, policymakers around the world are looking at massive solar farms to heat water and generate electricity. For the past four years, however, the world has been suffering from a shortage of polysilicon -- the key component of sunlight-capturing wafers -- driving up prices of solar energy technology and creating a barrier to its adoption.

With the price of polysilicon soaring from $20 per kilogram to $300 per kilogram in the past five years, Chinese companies are eager to fill the gap.
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