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  • Oil Limits and Climate Change – How They Fit Together

    Published: 16 April 2014

    We hear a lot about climate change, especially now that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently published another report. At the same time, oil is reaching limits, and this has an effect as well. How do the two issues fit together?In simplest terms, what the situation means to me is that the “low scenario,” which the IPCC calls “RCP2.6,” is closest to what we can expect in terms of man-made carbon emissions. Thus, the most reasonable scenario, based on their modeling, would seem to be the purple bar that continues to rise for the next twenty years…

  • Drilling Company Sues BP For Loss Of Business After Deepwater Horizon Disaster

    Published: 15 April 2014

    An oil drilling services company filed a lawsuit against BP Monday, seeking compensation for the loss of business it says resulted from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.Crescent Drilling and Production Inc., which provides engineering services for companies drilling for oil both on and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, alleges that because of the moratorium imposed on new Gulf leases after the spill, Crescent experienced a loss of revenue that it wants BP to be held accountable for. The company claims that under the Oil Pollution Act, BP is responsible for all damages that result from the oil spill, including…

  • Peak Soil: Are We Taking More Than the Earth Can Give?

    Published: 15 April 2014

    There is a tendency for humans to perceive ill occurrences as unconnected events, rather as the Biblical plagues of Egypt: water into blood, frogs, lice, wild animals or flies, deceased livestock, boils, storms of fire, locusts, darkness and death of the firstborn. Scientists now believe that these events really happened, but they were in fact all results of a single cause: not the wrath of a punitive God, but climate change. Modern humans are aware of contemporary global menaces: a changing climate, peak oil, a dodgy economy that could collapse at any moment, and the extinction of honey bees, but…

  • Scientists Discover Eco-friendly Way to Make Ethanol

    Published: 14 April 2014

    Scientists have found a highly efficient way to make liquid ethanol from carbon monoxide gas. The discovery could provide an eco-friendly alternative to conventional ethanol production that uses corn and other crops.“We have discovered the first metal catalyst that can produce appreciable amounts of ethanol from carbon monoxide at room temperature and pressure —a notoriously difficult electrochemical reaction,” says Matthew Kanan, an assistant professor of chemistry at Stanford University and co-author of the study that appears in Nature.Most ethanol today is produced at high-temperature fermentation facilities that chemically convert corn, sugarcane, and other plants into liquid fuel. But growing crops…

  • New Tidal Turbines to be Installed in Canada’s Bay of Fundy

    Published: 14 April 2014

    Siemens business Marine Current Turbines Ltd., Bluewater Energy Services B.V., and Minas Energy cooperate to install first of its kind tidal turbine in Canada’s Bay of Fundy.Under the project, M.C.T. and Bluewater have agreed to jointly develop a 2 megawatt floating tidal current turbine, called SeaGen F. The turbine will be the first of its kind to be installed in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, in cooperation with Nova Scotian project developer Minas Energy.M.C.T. will impart its expertise in tidal current turbines; while Bluewater will contribute its know-how in the field of floating platforms and subsea moorings. Minas will be in…

  • U.S. Crude Reserves Hit Highest Levels in nearly 40 Years

    Published: 11 April 2014

    New data from the Energy Information Administration shows that crude reserves in the U.S. hit their highest levels since 1976. The EIA released a report on April 10, entitled “U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves (2012),” which indicated that 2012 marked the fourth year in a row that proven oil reserves increased. Not only that, but 2012 marked the largest increase in oil reserves for a single year – 4.5 billion barrels – since 1970. That is a remarkable feat since 1970 was the year that vast reserves, around 10 billion barrels, were booked in Alaska.  Why the…

  • Senate Dems Press Obama on Keystone XL

    Published: 11 April 2014

    Eleven Senate Democrats sent a letter to President Obama urging him to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline by May 31st. The letter calls for a decision before then to avoid further construction delays. “We need a definitive timeline laid out, a timeline that reduces the comment period for federal agencies, officials and other entities,” they wrote. “We cannot miss another construction season.”The Senators came from swing districts and many are up for tough reelection battles. Nearly all also have a history of support for the oil industry. The eleven senators signing on were Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Heidi…

  • Transportation Emissions Could Rise by 71% by 2050

    Published: 11 April 2014

    A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published on April 13 finds that the transportation sector is set to be the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions out of all major energy sectors. Emissions from cars, trucks, planes, and ships could rise by 71% over the next several decades from 2010 levels. Most of the demand will come from emerging economies and rising incomes in countries like China, India and Brazil. As consumers make more money, they will purchase cars for the first time. For example, in China, per capita GDP hit $10,661 in 2014, up…

  • Gulf Coast Storing Oil Due to Supply Glut

    Published: 10 April 2014

    The surge in oil production from fields across the United States is leading to a supply glut along the Gulf Coast, forcing oil into storage tanks. Oil rich shale plays like the Eagle Ford, Permian Basin, and the Bakken are churning out more oil than refiners can handle. Yet U.S. law prohibits the export of crude so oil is sitting in storage up and down the Gulf. EIA reported that stockpiles reached 202 million last week, the most ever. Oil can, however, be transported to between U.S. ports within the United States, and there are 13 designated ships that are…

  • Putin Postpones Payment by Ukraine for Gas

    Published: 10 April 2014

    On April 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that Gazprom should postpone the upfront payment of billions of dollars by Ukraine for natural gas. Gazprom has been insisting that it transition to an upfront payment system to supply gas to its neighbor, but Putin said that should wait, “given the difficult situation in Ukraine.” Still, it is not as if Putin absolved Ukraine of the $16 billion debt, and even went further, hinting at the possibility that natural gas supplies could be cut off if Ukraine fails to pay.Gazprom recently increased prices for natural gas to Ukraine to $485 per…