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Peak Oil and the socio-economic impact of depleting fossil fuel resources

Peak Oil and the socio-economic impact of depleting fossil fuel resources.

by Gary NullKurt CobbNate Hagens, originally published by Progressive Radio Network  | FEB 13, 2014
57:08

Progressive Radio’s Gary Null talks peak oil, climate change, economy, culture, policy and much more with Kurt Cobb and Nate Hagens.

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About Gary Null:
About Kurt Cobb:

Kurt Cobb is an author, speaker, and columnist whose novel Prelude provides a startling reinterpretation of contemporary events and a window onto our energy future. He …

About Nate Hagens:

Nate is a well-known authority on global resource depletion. Until recently he was lead editor of The Oil Drum, one of the most popular and highly-respected websites for analysis and discussion of global energy …

Energy Crunch: no end to the storms

Energy Crunch: no end to the storms.

by Energy Crunch staff, originally published by New Economics Foundation  | TODAY


Image via tim_d/flickr. Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Three things you shouldn’t miss this week
  1. Big oil stagnates:


    Source: Wall Street Journal

  2. “We can expect growing pressure points around water, food, and energy scarcity as the century progresses…Hovering over all of this is the merciless march of climate change. Because of humanity’s hubris, the natural environment, which we need to sustain us, is instead turning against us.” – IMF’s Christine Lagarde delivers her Richard Dimbleby lecture
  3. Nuclear setback as EC attacks Hinkley Point subsidy deal – Nuclear plant in doubt as European Commission says subsidies of up to £17.6bn risk handing EDF excess profits and may constitute illegal state aid.

 

It took major storm damage and record floods to get energy prices off the front pages, but any ministers hoping for a brief respite on the turmoil over energy policy will be no doubt disappointed.
The government’s nuclear plans look shakier after the European Commission tore into its recent deal with EDF on Hinckley Point C. The EC warns that a guaranteed strike price of £92.50/MW – double the current market rate – risks handing EDF excess profits and falling foul of state aid laws. The Commission also questioned assumptions used to reach this figure, and points out the government’s own research showing that nuclear plants could be built by 2027-30, even without subsidies.
Two new test fracking sites in Lancashire were named by Cuadrilla this week, but the hyperbole around shale was dampened as even Chancellor George Osborne admitted it probably won’t deliver cheap gas. Cuadrilla Chairman and government advisor Lord Browne said that it will take five years to establish the viability of the resource (even longer to start producing gas), and Business Secretary and former Shell executive Vince Cable described shale gas in the UK as “a long-term possibility – no more than that.” Lord Browne was also dismissive of chances for carbon capture and storage, thus inadvertently adding to the climate case against new gas. Meanwhile the industry faces a legal blockade from Sussex landowners and challenges over disposal of radioactive waste water.
DECC did get some positive news this week with the announcement that the UK had met its first carbon budget. But a reality check – much of this was due to the economic crash, and emissions are on the rise again. Both the UK and US currently favour an ‘all of the above’ energy policy, pursuing both fossil and renewable energy sources. While progress on clean energy should be applauded, it will ultimately come undone without plans for an orderly reduction of fossil fuel production.

One such reduction seems likely from our chart of the week, though it’s far from intentional. Oil giants Exxon, Shell and Chevron have been spending at record levels, but production continues to stagnate. Is the industry now reaching a turning point? Commentary such as this from FT blogger Nick Butler would certainly suggest so.

Related Reports and Commentary
Macroeconomic impacts of oil price volatility: mitigation and resilience – Zoheir Ebrahim, Oliver R. Inderwildi, David A. King – final report link (paywall)review copy pdf download.
A Year of Cracking Ice: 10 Predictions for 2014 – Michael Liebreich, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Nexus Guide: How Food, Water and Energy are Connected – GRACE Communications Foundation

Oil Security 2025 report – US remains vulnerable

Oil Security 2025 report – US remains vulnerable.

From the report website:

The inaugural work of the Commission on Energy and Geopolitics, “Oil Security 2025: U.S. National Security Policy in an Era of Domestic Oil Abundance,” explores the potential for U.S. oil production to impact American foreign policy and national security in the coming decade and presents a series of recommendations designed to safeguard and advance U.S. interests.

Link to the report page

Link to full report (PDF) Released January 15, 2014

 

Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

US still vulnerable to oil shocks, say generals

Ed Crooks, Financial Times
The US remains vulnerable to oil price shocks caused by disruptions in the Middle East and other producing regions in spite of the North American shale boom, a commission of former generals and senior officials has warned.
(15 January 2014)


How the oil boom could change U.S. foreign policy

Brad Blumer, WonkBlog, Washington post
The United States is suddenly awash in crude oil. From 2008 to 2013, domestic oil production rose by 2.5 million barrels per day — the biggest five-year increase in the country’s history. Last year, U.S. produced more oil than it imported for the first time since 1995.

So what does that mean for the rest of the world? Or for U.S. foreign policy? Well, for starters, it probably doesn’t mean that Americans can now safely ignore the Middle East. The U.S. economy is still heavily reliant on oil, and prices are still largely swayed by what goes on in the global markets. Disruptions in places like Saudi Arabia, Iran or Iraq still have a big impact. That’s one conclusion of a major new report by a commission of former generals and senior officials, backed by Securing America’s Energy Future (SAFE).

“The oil boom has sparked a lot of loose talk about how we can now ignore what goes on in the Middle East,” said Adm. Dennis Blair, a former director of National Intelligence who led the commission, in an interview Tuesday. “But that’s just not true.”

Blair pointed out that the oil boom has already had some impact on U.S. foreign policy. For example, increased North American oil production likely allowed the United States and Europe to impose stricter sanctions on Iran without worrying as much about resulting price spikes. There are also early, tentative signs that China could become more cooperative on Middle East issues now that the fast-growing nation has displaced the United States as the biggest oil importer from the region.

But what’s arguably more telling is how much hasn’t changed. Even with the boom, the United States is still quite vulnerable to oil shocks…
(16 January 2014)


Report: Energy boom won’t end US ties to global oil politics

Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Fuelfix
National security leaders are warning that, even as ever more crude flows from American fields, the U.S. still will be tethered to the global politics of oil and involved in unstable regions that supply it.

In a report issued Wednesday, a group of former military brass, presidential advisers, ambassadors and politicians insist that it’s an illusion that surging U.S. oil production could unshackle the nation’s foreign policy decisions from concerns about safeguarding worldwide crude supplies.

“This is an antidote to those who just glibly say more oil production means we’re free of foreign entanglements,” said Adm. Dennis Blair, the former director of national intelligence, and co-chairman of the Commission on Energy and Geopolitics that produced the 108-page analysis.

“We Americans like to think we can produce our way and work our way out of something,” Blair said in an interview with FuelFix. “Unfortunately, the fact that we are now drilling as much oil as we are is not going to, in and of itself, keep America out of the vulnerable situation and the series of entanglements in places around the world that we have been in the past.”…
(15 January 2014)

Testosterone Pit – Home – The Quiet Triumph Of Oil And Gas In Obama’s Policies

Testosterone Pit – Home – The Quiet Triumph Of Oil And Gas In Obama’s Policies.

 

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