How Americans Came to Oppose Fracking
Nov22

How Americans Came to Oppose Fracking

by Walter Brasch For the first time since high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as nonconventional fracking, was developed, more Americans oppose it than support it. According to a national survey conducted by the independent non-partisan Pew Research Center, 47 percent of Americans oppose fracking, while 41 percent support it. This is a 7 percent decline in support from March 2013, and a 9 percent increase in...

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The Republican War on Science and Education
Nov18

The Republican War on Science and Education

While America and other western nations are concerned about climate change and ISIS, Republican conservatives take stances similar to some of those of ISIS and Boko Haram. The conservative wing of the Republican Party, which seems to dominate the party’s ideology, appears to be waging its own war against science and education. (Fortunately, they’re not quite as brutal in how they handle women as their Islamic counterparts.) Some of...

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Despite Solyndra, Energy Loan Program Now Making A Profit
Nov14

Despite Solyndra, Energy Loan Program Now Making A Profit

Before Republicans became obsessed with Benghazi, and now putting far more significance on Jonathan Gruber’s comments on the Affordable Care Act than, as I explained earlier in the week,  there actually is, they loved to scream about Solyndra. Solyndra was granted loan guarantees under a program which was started under George Bush and expanded in Obama’s stimulus program. Never mind that the entire stimulus package was highly...

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The Driving Force Behind the US Oil Boom (Guest Voice)
Nov07

The Driving Force Behind the US Oil Boom (Guest Voice)

The Driving Force Behind the US Oil Boom by James Stafford of Oilprice.com The shale revolution’s sweet spot is oilfield services, the lower-risk backbone of the American oil and gas boom that pays off regardless of a play’s economics. Behind the stardom of the explorers and producers who have put themselves on the revolutionary shale map and absorb most of the risk—are the service providers who make up a highly lucrative market...

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Russia warns it’s coming for the Arctic’s oil, including an area Canada claims as its own
Oct31

Russia warns it’s coming for the Arctic’s oil, including an area Canada claims as its own

MOSCOW – Russia has warned that it will revive its claim to a huge swathe of the Arctic in the hope that it can secure the rights to billions of tons of oil and gas. Moscow has long seen the seabed off its northern coastline as a mine of valuable hydrocarbons and is keen to...

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Peak Water
Oct30

Peak Water

For several years we have been hearing about Peak Oil but a greater threat to the human race is Peak Water.  We have heard about the drought and water shortages in California but that state is not unique. The Central Valley boasts some of the globe’s fastest-depleting aquifers—but by no means the fastest overall. Indeed, it has a rival here in the United States. The below[above] graphic represents depletion rates at some of the...

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Eight Months of War: Gains and Losses in the Ukraine Campaign (Gazeta, Russia)
Oct25

Eight Months of War: Gains and Losses in the Ukraine Campaign (Gazeta, Russia)

It has been eight months since the beginning of the Euromaiden protests, the toppling of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych and the current crisis over Ukraine. This editorial from Russia’s Gazeta takes stock of what Russia has gained and lost, and freely admits that in terms of the Russian social contract, ‘sausage in exchange for freedom can be considered terminated: the trend now is not sausage, not freedom – but...

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Plunging Oil Prices
Oct14

Plunging Oil Prices

To get the WTI oil price, please enable Javascript. Oil prices have been plunging.  This is bad news for many oil exporting nations. The biggest energy story in the world right now is the collapse of global oil prices. And for major producers like Russia or Iran or even Saudi Arabia, that’s unsettling news. How bad is it? One good place to start is with this excellent chart from The Economist looking at the...

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A Fracking Good Letter
Oct04

A Fracking Good Letter

by Walter Brasch The oil and gas industry has retreated from its entrenched position to have the public delete the “k” in “fracking,” and write it as “frac’ing” or “fracing.” Those who have been the strongest advocates for fracking scorned and mocked those who place the “k” in the word. The problem is that without the “k,” the word sounds like “frasing.” However, the first use of the word “fracking” can be traced to an oil and gas...

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All Eyes On Kenya: The Next Big Oil Exporter (Guest Voice)
Oct02

All Eyes On Kenya: The Next Big Oil Exporter (Guest Voice)

All Eyes On Kenya: The Next Big Oil Exporter by James Stafford Not even the specter of a spillover of Islamic extremism from Somalia can dampen the atmosphere in Kenya, where commercial oil production is expected to begin in 2016 and discovery after discovery has made this the hottest and fastest-paced hydrocarbon scene on the continent. When it comes to new oil and gas frontiers, today it’s all about Africa. And more specifically,...

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Why a UN Climate Agreement Cannot be Reached
Sep22

Why a UN Climate Agreement Cannot be Reached

This week the UN will convene a climate summit where Secretary General Ban Ki Moon will ask leaders to bring “bold announcements and actions that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015.” For those who have marched in cities around the world this weekend demanding change, the summit offers a new opportunity to finally set the world on a corrective path...

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Arsenic-Laced Coffee Good for You
Sep20

Arsenic-Laced Coffee Good for You

by Walter Brasch You’re sitting in your favorite restaurant one balmy September morning. Your waitress brings a pot of coffee and a standard 5-ounce cup. “Would you like cream and sugar with it?” she asks. You drink your coffee black. And hot. You decline her offer. “Would you like arsenic with it?” she asks. Arsenic? You’re baffled. And more than a little suspicious. “It enhances the flavor,” says your waitress. “I really don’t think...

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Islamic State Barbarism Ignites Long-Absent Muslim Soul Searching (Die Zeit, Germany)
Sep08

Islamic State Barbarism Ignites Long-Absent Muslim Soul Searching (Die Zeit, Germany)

Since September 11, a continuing concern in the West has been the perception of a lack of Muslim introspection over the use of Islam as a fulcrum for terrorism. Now, with the emergence of the Islamic State, the most bestial, immoral and nihilistic band of terrorists the modern world has ever known, such a dialogue among the Muslim intelligentsia and average people alike appears to have begun. For Germany’s Die Zeit, columnist...

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New Technology Could End The Debate Over Pipeline Safety (Guest Voice)
Sep01

New Technology Could End The Debate Over Pipeline Safety (Guest Voice)

New Technology Could End The Debate Over Pipeline Safety by James Stafford, Oilprice.com Who could have ever imagined that North America would surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids? A decade ago, that would have seemed laughable. Yet that’s exactly what has happened; and it’s not just Saudi Arabia that has been left in North America’s dust — Russia has, too. The surge in North...

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Reagan Sets ‘Acid Test’ for Crisis-Beset Obama (La Stampa, Italy)
Aug29

Reagan Sets ‘Acid Test’ for Crisis-Beset Obama (La Stampa, Italy)

With President Obama confronting a wide array of crisis across the world, who can he turn to for advice about how to proceed? For Italy’s La Stampa, columnist Gianni Riotta suggests a little summer vacation reading: Reagan at Reykjavik by Ken Adelman. Riotta writes that for all of President Obama’s obvious gifts and advantages, he lacks one essential thing that Mikhail Gorbachev respected above all – and Reagan had...

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A Potential Energy Breakthrough?
Aug25

A Potential Energy Breakthrough?

Hydrogen is not an energy source but an energy transfer medium since it requires more energy to produce the hydrogen than you get out of it when you use it as a fuel.  If it was economical hydrogen fuel cells would be an ideal power source for motor vehicles if not for the negative ERoEI of hydrogen.   But what if the negative ERoEI could be greatly reduced?  Hydrogen is perhaps one of the most common elements on the Earth’s...

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Railroad ‘Bomb Trains’: Speeding to Disaster
Aug21

Railroad ‘Bomb Trains’: Speeding to Disaster

It’s 3 p.m., and you’re cruising down a rural road, doing about 50. A quarter mile away is a sign, with flashing yellow lights, alerting you to slow down to 15. It’s a school zone. But, you don’t see any children. Besides, you’re going to be late to your racquetball match. So, you just slide on past. You’re an independent long-haul trucker. You get paid by the number of miles you drive. If you work just a couple of hours longer every...

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France and the West Must Help Middle East ‘Choose Life Over Death’ (Le Monde, France)
Aug15

France and the West Must Help Middle East ‘Choose Life Over Death’ (Le Monde, France)

In 2002, he and his country opposed U.N. Security Council authorization for the war in Iraq. Today, he is insisting on it. In Le Monde, Former French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin writes that this time, the mistakes of the past must not be repeated, and a legal framework for war in Iraq must be created with the support and material assistance of countries around the region. In regard to current operations in Iraq, Villepin...

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Appeasement Again
Jul29

Appeasement Again

With a move towards enhanced sanctions against Russia, major European states believe they have taken a step to punish the Russians for their actions in Ukraine. But they have still not made the tough moves that would truly penalize the Russians. What they have taken are baby steps. The Europeans have not learned from history. And as George Santayana said- “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” The European Union and...

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As Russia’s Isolation Grows, Oil Companies Caught in Middle (Guest Voice)
Jul25

As Russia’s Isolation Grows, Oil Companies Caught in Middle (Guest Voice)

As Russia’s Isolation Grows, Oil Companies Caught in Middle By Nicholas Cunningham of Oilprice.com The confrontation between Russia and the West took a turn for the worse with the downing of a Malaysian airliner on July 17, and that could spell trouble for several major oil companies operating in Russia. Just one day earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama slapped sanctions on Russia over its ongoing role in the destabilization of...

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