Thursday, May 29, 2008

Time to socialize, er... nationalize, er.. take over the oil companies?

Here we go again! Only this time, look at the faces on Maxine's collaborators' faces when she... well... watch.

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Is demand finally slowing?

A couple interesting articles:

[1] The average per-gallon price topped $4 in 11 states.

[2] People are finally cutting back.

My guess? Short term, prices will come down a bit (don't they always go up right before a 3-day weekend?). Long term, prices will increase dramatically. Unless there is a world-wide depression, in which case, all bets are off. Bottom line: Supply is decreasing. Peak oil is hitting countries, now:

That said, the fundamental supply is shrinking and demand is increasing. Alternatives to burning stuff for energy are the only thing that will get us through the coming decades. One person's perspective.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Peak Oil Impact On Airlines / Airports.

Airports Lose Passenger Flights As Peak Oil Starts To Bite.


Is there a relationship between the falling dollar and rise in oil prices?



Greentech labor shortages.

What happens when tons of VC money goes into one particular industry (like the DotBomb)? Talent shortage.


Oil company gets into batteries!

Exxon Mobile strategically investing "windfall" profits wisely - into battery technology.

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More electric car companies

Check out ZENN Motor Company and Dynasty Electric Car.

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Pandering, redux

Both Hillary Clinton & John McCain appear to not understand the simple supply & demand relationship. Until addiction to oil is cured, expect more unrealistic and inconsistent promises.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

$10 to $12 a gallon?

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Export Land Model: Is it worse than the pessimists think?

Available oil (to importing countries) could reduce dramatically faster than originally thought.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Never thought I'd say this: Thank you, GM.

GM's efforts on an electric vehicle. GM's efforts on a fuel cell vehicle.

No all we need is to [1] increase wind farm capacity utilization from an average of 15% up to the "stated" 23%, or even more and [2] ensure The Grid can handle it.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Google & "Big Oil" Invest $115 million in Solar.

I will always remember the "Go" in Google!

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Banks now investing in greentech!

Citigroup has pledged $50 billion to green initiatives over ten years, including $31 billion for clean technologies.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Move to electric vehicles

GM is moving to electric vehicles in a Big Way: A123 Systems, whose founder Ric Fulop said "Somebody lit a fire under [GM's] butt in 2006. I’ve never seen a large company move so fast and put so many resources behind something."

One of the reasons? All car-makers are being / will be pressured to increase fuel efficiency. Electric vehicles is one way to do this.

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"Plug-in" calculator

This web-tool allows you to calculate your average gas use (gallons) and carbon footprint. Check it out!


Monday, May 05, 2008

Oil doubles in a year

Here's another hint that it might make sense to invest in commercializing renewable energy technology, right about now:


Friday, May 02, 2008

Electric vehicle a reality: now.

Responding to consumer demand, market trends and to position themselves for the future, General Motors, Ford, Tesla, Renault and dozens of other automobile companies are bringing plug-in hybrid vehicles to market. (Example: Tesla unveils (125 mph equivalent) production electric car!)

According to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, if plug-in hybrid cars account for 20% of new-car sales in the U.S. by 2020, up to 160 new power plants will be needed. This makes the current efforts to “turn down your air conditioner” pale in comparison to the impact of the move towards electric vehicles.

Just as shifting to corn-ethanol has produced an unintended consequence of no real carbon reduction and rising food costs, a shift to electric vehicles will dramatically reduce or even negate all current and future climate-change effort – without a corresponding substantive move toward renewable energy production.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Gas Tax "Holiday"?

Unbelievable! First, (some) politicians want to buy your vote by giving you back you own money (via the stimulus package). Then they want to do the exact opposite of what needs to be done to reduce our gas consumption (again, by trying to buy your vote) - by deleting Federal taxes on gasoline over the (pre-election) summer.

The reason this is the exact opposite of what is needed to help us reduce our dependence on oil is: Higher prices reduce consumption. Lower prices (now) encourages higher demand, which uses supply and equals higher prices (later). Again, short-term thinking.

Even though I am for market-driven solutions, the exact right thing to do would be to increase gas taxes (reducing demand) and use that money to develop innovative new technologies to support our utilities and oil companies to move toward carbon-reducing solutions. Unfortunately, that is not politically savvy: John Anderson tried that in 1980 and only received 7% of the popular vote. Lesson learned! Which is why we're now in a downward spiral of lower dollar value and upward spiral of oil prices. Don't blame the oil companies, don't blame the politicians, blame ourselves for being fooled. not once, but every election cycle.

Thomas Friedman's article is worth reading: especially if you're interested in how tax policy & energy strategy do (or don't) work.

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