Peak Oil, Energy

Documentary "GasHole" Returns

Tuesday, July 22nd at 7pm at The Village 8 Theater.

View the trailer.


"GasHole" is a new documentary film about the history of Oil prices and the future of alternative fuels.

Gore Challenges US Grid to get off the Fossil Fuels by 2018

A Tale of Two Democrats

Al Gore has called for the US to wean its electrical grid off fossil fuels in 10 years. Essentially he's declared that the coal industry should die in a decade. NY Times has the story.

It makes an interesting contrast to KY Governor Beshear's energy manifesto, which was coming up with new and creative ways to pollute with coal.

National Electric Rail Grid: A Silver Bullet?

So how do you get goods to market with zero oil? Right now, you don't. In the future though, it could be done even in the US, if we use this plan for electrifying our national railroad system.

The system is elegant in its construction plan. In the great plains there isn't a lot of electricity to support electrified rail, but there are huge rights of way already ceded to the railroad companies, and they can ship out giant cranes along the rail, and use it to erect massive windmills to power the freight. With the savings in truck traffic on our highway, and thus road wear, we may find that this project pays for itself.

The Oil Drum: Multiple Birds – One Silver BB: A synergistic set of solutions to multiple issues focused on Electrified Railroads

NYTimes: American Energy Policy, Asleep at the Spigot

How did we get to $145/barrel oil wrecking our economy? Read "American Energy Policy, Asleep at the Spigot". It includes a history of gasoline taxes and CAFE fleet milage standards at the national level.

TIME spells out what we already knew: lowered gas consumption makes life way better,28757,1819594,00.html

TIME Magazine lists "10 Things You Can Like About $4 Gas." Some are obvious (less pollution? really?), but there are a few surprises, such as "more cops on the beat." My favorite line: "cops are being told to cut down on idling their cruisers — which is sort of like telling a teenager to stop using his cell phone." 

Hansen Comes Out Slugging Against Coal

Famous Global Warming Scientist basically gives up on the world's remaining oil. "Oil is going to get used and it's going to get in the atmosphere . . . and it doesn't really matter much how fast we burn it" because it'll all be burned soon anyway. But: "Coal is the one that we could prevent, so I think the most important near-term thing is to say let's have a moratorium on coal." Read the whole article at the Washington Post.

Peak Oil - Barely Peaked and Already Kentucky In Trouble

The C-J deduces that state gas tax revenue loss from high oil prices might impact our ability to buy new or maintain old automotive infrastructure: Falling gas sales could hurt state road projeccts. In related news, Ford management declares focus on smaller vehicles is 'permanent', bad news for the local SUV plant workers.

Ceiling Fans Go Counter-Clockwise in the Summer, and Other Stuff I Learned During My LG&E Energy Audit...

Haven't gotten an LG&E Energy Audit yet--what are you waiting for? You can sign up at or call 1-800-251-7808 to schedule an appointment. The audit costs $15 but pays for itself quickly if you make the recommended improvements, which range from ceiling fan adjustment and new lightbulbs to installing more insulation. 

NYTimes Op-Ed: Hooray for High Gas Prices

This article is from a year ago in the New York Times, but it is still a good overview on why low gasoline prices are bad for America and the world.

For a long time I have felt the price of gasoline in the United States was way too low. Pretty much all economists believe this. Greg Mankiw blogged back in October about the many reasons why we should raise gas taxes.

The reason we need high gas taxes is that there are all sorts of costs associated with my driving that I don’t pay — someone else pays them. This is what economists call a “negative externality.” Because I don’t pay the full costs of my driving, I drive too much. Ideally, the government could correct this problem through a gas tax that aligns my own private incentive to drive with the social costs of driving.

Read the whole article....

Wall Street Journal Sings a New Song on Peak Oil

Update: What is peak oil?

The Wall Street Journal's reporting of peak oil is shifting radically in the last couple months. Here's their page 1, column 1 article from November 19th:

The current debate represents a significant twist on an older, often-derided notion known as the peak-oil theory. Traditional peak-oil theorists, many of whom are industry outsiders or retired geologists, have argued that global oil production will soon peak and enter an irreversible decline because nearly half the available oil in the world has been pumped. They've been proved wrong so often that their theory has become debased.

But $120/barrel does have a way of focusing the mind. Their May 29 article leaves out the snark:

"The sense in the market is that peak oil is here and that things will only get worse," says [Lehman Brothers Oil Analysit] Robinson. "But the verdict is still out on that."

Not so "debased" now, eh?

On May 22 they also covered the IEA's and US Dept of Energy's long overdue decisions to actually measure how much oil is in the ground, and provided a good description of Peak Oil in the process, or at least it's watered-down cousin, the "undulating plateau".

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