When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Monday - September 17, 2012

Gas Pains

Doesn’t Seem To Be A Media Crisis This Time Around

Price of gasoline up more than half a buck since early summer; you now pay more than 50% more at the pump than you did in 2009; current gas prices are higher than when media panicked daily under “evil Bush”.

Well that about says it all I think, but I’ll give you some quotes and links. We’re being screwed over, and our nation continues to not have an energy plan in our own best interests. Gee, that’s news.

The Federal Reserve’s announcement last week to move forward with more stimulus measures in an effort to spur economic growth caused oil prices to jump. In addition, the escalated violence in the Mideast and North Africa has led to concerns of supply disruptions. This comes at a time when Iran’s output is down because of sanctions against the country. In 2011, the Middle East and North Africa were responsible for approximately 36 percent of global oil production.

“With the stimulus announcement and increased tensions overseas, it’s surprising oil prices are not above $100 a barrel,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. “However, it’s very likely the cost of a barrel of oil will surpass $100 this week, as concerns of a supply disruption in the Middle East intensify.

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like motorists will see much of a decrease, if any, at the pump, as initially expected this time of year. Instead, gas prices are likely to increase.”

The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.86, 3 cents more than last week. Florida’s average of $3.81 and Tennessee’s average of $3.67 both increased 2 cents from a week ago today, while Georgia’s average of $3.77 fell 4 cents from last week, respectively.

$3.86 is average? Really? Dude, gas is $3.86 in Jersey, and we have the lowest state fuel taxes going. I’m afraid to even look up what gas costs in California or New York.

Gas prices in August on average rose to $3.78 per gallon in Ohio and $3.80 in the region, the highest average prices ever recorded for the month, and the first monthly increases since March, according to a Hamilton JournalNews/Middletown [Ohio] Journal analysis.

Last month, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Ohio was 12 cents higher than it has ever been in August, and it was 13 cents higher than any previous August in the Cincinnati-Middletown region, according to data from the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

Rising fuel costs are tied to limited supplies resulting from refinery shutdowns and producers switching over to winter blend gasoline, experts said. The pain at the pump that intensified in August has not receded, and gas prices in the Cincinnati region and Ohio are on track to set a new record for the month of September.

“It was the most expensive August for gas prices ever in the state of Ohio,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with “It’s going to be really close, but September could be a record-setting month.”

Between July and August, the average price of unleaded gasoline in the state and the Cincinnati-Middletown region increased by about 34 cents, the largest spike in prices during that time frame, according to AAA records that go back to 2000.

The price hike occurred largely because refineries were operating at reduced capacities as a result of Hurricane Isaac, DeHaan said. Some Midwest oil refineries also had production problems, including a ruptured pipeline in a Wisconsin field.

“There have just been a lot of supply constraints,” he said.

Really? “supply constraints”?? You expect us to believe that the price shot up because there wasn’t enough gas to go around? That’s what supply constraints means. Raise your hand if you got rationed at the pump, or had to deal with a “no gas today” sign at a filling station that was a going business. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller??


The average gas prices in August rose to $3.78 per gallon in Ohio and $3.80 in the region, the highest average prices ever recorded for the month.

Cincinnati/Middletown region

Year Sept. Aug.

2012 $3.88 $3.80

2011 $3.53 $3.59

2010 $2.71 $2.67

2009 $2.44 $2.53

2008 $3.77 $3.67

It blew me away the other day when the Shell station, always the greedy pigs in the neighborhood, suddenly raised their price to $3.89 the other day, while “Apu” up the street here at the no-name station was pushing his swill for $3.71.  The next day his price was $3.73, then $3.80, and today it’s $.389. Meanwhile the Shell station has jacked it to $3.93. And that’s cash price, for the anemic 87 octane goat piss 10% ethanol blended crap that passes as regular these days. Um, no, Regular is 89 octane, no alcohol. Economy is 87, no alcohol. Regular Gasahol may be 87/10, but let’s call it that clearly, and constantly remind everyone that just about all cars 7 years old or older will get about 10% lower MPG on that thinned out mix than they would on straight up gasoline.

Oh, and I distinctly remember the vertical drop in gas prices at the end of the summer in 2008. Gas dropped to under $2 a gallon here in NJ for a couple of days. It was sweet. And I’m pretty sure I blogged about filling up my tank for just a twenty.

CORRECTION: MY ERROR. IN DECEMBER 2009 GAS COST UNDER $1.50 PER GALLON IN NJ and here is the post: linky link. And in the comments there we have news of $1.37 in Missouri and $1.29 in Kansas City, even $1.79 in Florida ... so $2.44 is Ohio seems like a FUDGED PRICE to me. Try $1.43 media boy, you lying sucker of Obama’s limp noodle. Try admitting to a 300% gas price increase under Obama if the current spike goes up another quarter dollar. We’re already at 270% using the numbers from the stations right down the street from me.

Gas prices getting out of hand
People can’t afford even higher pump costs

There’s a lot of talk about getting the U.S. economy going. That’s a difficult task when gasoline prices are so high.

According to reports last week, the price at the pump is hurting consumer spending habits and slowing the already-weak economic picture. Based on the price spikes that have occurred locally in recent days, escalating gas prices will do more damage has we head into winter. The formula is simple: If gas prices go up, consumers will have less money to spend elsewhere.

Normally, gas goes down a bit in the days following Labor Day. But consumers were having to pay more at the pump through the weekend, as gas prices hit an unusual mid-September spike. Figures released by AAA on Friday show the national average jumped 5 cents this week, raising prices to $3.87 for a gallon of regular gasoline. This is just 7 cents short of the year’s highest price — $3.94 set on April 5.


Gas prices have risen more than 50 cents per gallon in the past two months.

Higher gas prices are eating up a bigger share of Americans’ incomes. Spending at the pump accounts for 8.2 percent of the typical family’s household income — just below last year’s 8.3 percent. Those represent the biggest slice of household income spent on gas since 1981. The typical household spends about $342 per month on gas. Before prices began rising in 2004, households spent less than $200 per month.

But it’s for your own good!! And after all, wasn’t this one of Obama’s campaign promises? Something about energy prices “necessarily going to skyrocket”?? Well, you voted for it, so make room in the hen house for another chicken coming home to roost. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/17/2012 at 11:02 AM   
Filed Under: • Oil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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calendar   Monday - August 06, 2012

the night watchman

I do not recall ever seeing this before.

H/T Doc Jeff yet again. 


Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert.

Congress said, “Someone may steal from it at night.”

So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said, “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?”

So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?”

So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and one was to write the reports.

Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?”

So they created two positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer then hired two people.

Then Congress said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?”

So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back.”

So they laid-off the night watchman.

NOW slowly, let it sink in.

Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter. Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter administration?

Anybody?  Anything?  No?  Didn’t think so!

Bottom line is, we’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency, the reason for which very few people who read this can remember!  Ready?

It was very simple; and at the time, everybody thought it very

The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977, TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

Hey, pretty efficient, huh?


34 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.

Ah, yes—good old Federal bureaucracy.


Hello! Anybody Home?

Signed, The Night Watchman


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/06/2012 at 06:01 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas PricesUSA •  
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calendar   Sunday - April 08, 2012

The Other Approach

Natural Gas Cars And Trucks?

The Road Less Traveled By?

Ha, This Road Barely Even Exists Yet!

America is swimming on a sea of natural gas. We have so much of it we don’t know what to do with it. The gas companies are running out of places to store it, and shutting down exploration and drilling rigs all over the place. The price of natural gas is dropping like a rock, and may fall below $1/Mcf. Why in heaven’s name don’t we run our vehicles on this stuff? It burns clean too; far cleaner than gasoline or diesel even with the best catalytic converters and scrubbers we can design.

The U.S. natural gas market is bursting at the seams. So much natural gas is being produced that soon there may be nowhere left to put the country’s swelling surplus. After years of explosive growth, natural gas producers are retrenching.

The underground salt caverns, depleted oil fields and aquifers that store natural gas are rapidly filling up after a balmy winter depressed demand for home heating.

The glut has benefited businesses and homeowners that use natural gas. But with natural gas prices at a 10-year low — and falling — companies that produce the fuel are becoming victims of their drilling successes. Their stock prices are falling in anticipation of declining profits and scaled-back growth plans.

Some of the nation’s biggest natural gas producers, including Chesapeake Energy, ConocoPhillips and Encana Corp., have announced plans to slow down.

“They’ve gotten way ahead of themselves, and winter got way ahead of them too,” says Jen Snyder, head of North American gas for the research firm Wood Mackenzie. “There hasn’t been enough demand to use up all the supply being pushed into the market.”

So far, efforts to limit production have barely made a dent. Unless the pace of production declines sharply or demand picks up significantly this summer, analysts say the nation’s storage facilities could reach their limits by fall.

That would cause the price of natural gas, which has been halved over the past year, to nosedive. Citigroup commodities analyst Anthony Yuen says the price of natural gas — now $2.08 per 1,000 cubic feet — could briefly fall below $1.

Natural gas burns much cleaner than either gasoline or diesel, and produces far less CO2. So why not use it to power our cars and personal trucks? Any number of cities now use NG powered buses. Why not cars too?

Did you know that there is only one natural gas powered car for sale in the USA? Honda makes it. Of course. It’s the Honda Civic GX. It sells for several thousand dollars more than a regular Civic, and at full tank pressure it has a range of about 250 miles. It also has a trunk so small that it’s volume is only envied by Corvettes and Miatas; you’ve got room for a couple bags of groceries and a briefcase, and that’s about it. And given an equal engine size, it only makes about 2/3 the power of a gasoline engine.

That’s the problem - or one of the problems - with natural gas powered vehicles. Gasoline and diesel are pretty energetic mediums. Natural gas only has 65% of the energy of gasoline, 58% that of diesel. And it’s a gas, not a liquid. At maximum pressure, 3600psi, which only a few of the rather rare natural gas filling stations can provide, natural gas is just under 4 times the volume of liquid gasoline (3.92:1). So to get a vehicle with the range of 15 gallons of whatever gas powered car you’re driving, you would need a tank that could hold the same volume as 60 gallons of gasoline. And built tough as a scuba tank as well. And to match the power, you’d need an engine about 25-35% larger. So your 2.5L 4 cylinder would have to become a 3.2L V6. So for the tiny little cars our masters in government want us to drive, it just doesn’t make much sense, unless you NEVER take a drive more than 100 miles round trip. For mid-size vans, SUVs, and pickup trucks though, natural gas could work. These vehicles are larger to begin with, often sit higher off the ground, and usually have pretty big gas tanks. Some of them come from the factory with two gas tanks. And most of them are already available with a selection of larger engines. So they could be built to run on natural gas, with a tank big enough to give them a reasonable range. People would have to stop thinking in terms of miles per gallon, and start thinking in terms of dollars per mile. Or 100 miles. Whatever. It’s an apples and oranges thing, but the bottom line is that while gasoline seems to cost more every day, natural gas gets cheaper by the hour. And you could fill up you NG pickup for about half the cost you’re now paying for diesel ($4.15/g down the street here). And you’d be making any rational hippies smile (forgive me that oxymoron), creating far less pollution than even one of those PZEV cars you see zipping around.

All you need is a place to fill them up. Or invest several thousand in a home compressor to use the natural gas your house runs on (assuming that gas is clean enough for your state’s CARB equivalent). Too bad Obama did all his alternate energy investments in unicorn circle jerk companies, and not in the one field that we actually have a major advantage and a tremendous abundance in.

GM, Chrysler to Launch Natural Gas-Powered Pickups

As gasoline prices continue to climb, automotive manufacturers GM and Chrysler are transitioning to natural gas-fueled heavy duty pickups. Among the top U.S. compressed natural gas (CNG) companies, Clean Energy Fuels (NYSE: CLNE) supplies its customers with CNG equal to a gallon of gasoline for $2.59, while the current national average of gasoline is $3.79 a gallon. Americans haven’t seen gas prices even close to $2.59 since late 2009.

Honda is currently the only manufacturer of a CNG fueled car, selling roughly 2,000 of its Civic GX natural gas models last year in a limited number of states. Honda is expanding this year to offer the Civic GX in 50 states, expecting to double sales nationwide.

But with soaring gas prices and heightened interest in clean-burning, domestically produced natural gas, Detroit automakers join Honda in recognizing the potential gains in manufacturing CNG fueled vehicles.

At the 2012 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, General Motors disclosed its plan to produce its Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra bi-fuel pickups later this year.

Chrysler followed suit with the launch of its Ram 2500 heavy duty pickup that can run on both CNG and regular gasoline. The bi-fuel Ram 2500 costs roughly $12,000 more than a gasoline-powered pickup, Chrysler assures buyers that the initial higher payout costs of a natural gas powered pickup will create “significant cost savings over the life of the truck”.

While GM and Chrysler’s success in expediting the shift toward making natural gas fueled vehicles a mainstream reality is a significant step in the right direction, further progress is crippled by environmental concerns about natural gas extraction methods and limited access to refueling stations.

I would want some decent engineers to take a look at a variation on this approach. Natural gas may not be the best thing for reciprocating engines; gasoline and diesel are petroleum products, so in addition to burning they also provide a bit of lubrication to the upper cylinder area. You don’t get any of that with natural gas. Perhaps the best approach is for a steady RPM gas turbine that drives a generator that powers electric motors that drive the vehicle. Kind of like turboprop aircraft, which are extremely efficient as long as you don’t want to fly too fast, too high, or too far. Run the generated electricity across just a couple of smaller batteries, so you’d have some cranking power around to start the vehicle in the morning, and the ability to limp home a dozen or so miles if you ran out of fumes. Could it work? Try it and see. Even Paris Hilton knows that the best approach is all approaches. Well, assuming those are genuine approaches, and not phony money laundering payback schemes for your big money bundlers.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/08/2012 at 09:02 PM   
Filed Under: • Oil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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calendar   Monday - April 02, 2012

Govt Caused Panic In Britain

Petrol Frenzy Continues In England

based on rumors of impending gas trucker’s strike, gov told people to stock up

panic buying ensued, not abating yet

Petrol retailers: Government intent on creating fuel crisis
The Government was accused of creating a fuel crisis due to its advice over how to prepare for a potential tanker driver strike.

Representatives of petrol station operators said that the Government action could see forecourts run dry within days.

Petrol sales soared by 45 per cent yesterday, after the Government suggested people should stock up on fuel as a “precaution” against a possible strike by tanker workers over the Easter weekend.

Francis Maude, the Cabinet Secretary, today told drivers they should make sure they have enough fuel in their vehicles and “maybe a little bit in their garage as well in a jerry can”.

However, both the AA and firefighters have now called on him to withdraw the advice, because of the risk of explosions in garages.

There were secenes of long queues at petrol pumps in Liverpool, Preston and Kent, while pumps ran dry in Wilmslow, Cheshire, and Llandudno Junction in North Wales.

And the news was immediately full of stories of sick people dying because the ambulances couldn’t fuel up, and other stories of foolish people getting horribly burned by trying to decant gas from one container to another in their kitchens, by candlelight, while smoking. This lead to ‘Elf & Safety and their fellow do-gooders on the fire squad warning people not to store gas in their houses, on top of their furnaces, inside their fireplaces and so forth ... because your typical Englishman is just too stupid to understand that gasoline burns really well. And the press is chock full of pictures of people topping off, and filling up their plastic jerry cans (in the UK gas jerries are green) along with jam jars, oil bottles, and every other kind of improper container. Plus the requisite photos of endless lines at the pumps, and the “no petrol” signs up at the forecourts (gas stations are called forecourts over there). And there is no strike, and there is no actual shortage of fuel.


The Government’s emergency plans to deal with a national petrol shortage are not “fit for purpose” because forecourt staff have not been trained and have no idea how the plans should work, petrol retailers have warned ministers.

The ‘National Emergency Plan - Fuel’ will be enacted by the Government if there is an official petrol shortage. It will see up to 700 of the UK’s 8,500 forecourts designated as ‘official’ stations with instructions to prioritise sales to the emergency services.

However RMI Petrol, the trade body that represents independent petrol forecourts, has today written to Energy Minister Ed Davey warning him that the Plan is inadequte and full of “flaws”.

Petrol retailers argue that the Plan is so secretive that they will not know if they are a designated station until an emergency is actually called. They say that staff have not been trained, the plan has not been rehearsed, and they have not been told who to prioritise petrol to.

Retailers also argue that having only having two or three ‘official’ outlets in each city will lead to far longer queues at forecourts as motorists scramble for the available petrol. The retailers argue that any available fuel should be shared equally between all stations.

Earlier stories told of the Army being called up to drive the tanker trucks - “petrol lorries”. The problem is, that the government came up with this whiz-bang plan, but didn’t bother to tell anyone about it. So now we have the guys at the pumps - who I am sure are catching hell from the motorists - crying that they weren’t properly trained or let in on the plan. “Nobody told me nuttin” as some of might say over here. I wonder if the thousand or so soldiers on the call-up list knew they were on it, or if they even know how to drive one of those rigs or pump the fuel?

I’ve been following this situation for a couple of days now. I think the correct term is “a right proper cock up”. I have not seen anything that says that it is all just a test run of their emergency preparedness plan, but it’s obvious that the government is getting a huge windfall in taxes. Taxes probably account for 70% or more of the fuel prices in the UK. So, was this all just a mistake? “Loose lips sink ships”? Or was it a planned move to a) outrage the public fully against the driver’s union a few weeks ahead of any rumored strike; and/or b) a quick way to bring in mountains of cash to refill the nearly empty tax coffers?

It’s a fair question. I have also not heard anything about the minister who made the original announcement getting the sack. I would think “causing needless public panic” would be a firing offense even for their government, wouldn’t you?

The other rumor is that next week the fire brigades will go around to everyone’s sheds and garages and start handing out fines for improperly stored petrol and fuel hoarding. Sweet.

So let’s all have a chuckle at the Daily Stupid in the UK. But stop and think for a minute. Their leader and our leader seem awfully chummy, and we’ve seen so many times before that what happens over there happens over here, and vice versa. Their unhinged left isn’t much different than ours. And the petrol crisis, deliberately or accidentally manufactured, is still a crisis. A bit of a National Emergency. The kind which gives governments all sorts of “temporary” yet extraordinary powers if they feel like it. And last week’s news here was that Teh Won just did another one of his end-run Executive Orders that give him and the rest of the government even more emergency powers. Makes me wonder if this whole thing is a trans-Atlantic Beta Test.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/02/2012 at 04:35 PM   
Filed Under: • Oil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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calendar   Tuesday - March 27, 2012

Coal For The Win

Federal Courts Smack EPA Again

Just a quickie post to help spread the goodness. US District Court has ruled that the EPA can’t (danger, non-PC term ahead!!) be an indian giver and arbitrarily rescind coal mining Clean Water Act permits once they’ve been issued.

h/t to Soylent Green, who gets to use his Dalek GTFO graphic again for the smackdown. Details are at Global Warming.

It’s high time the EPA got some heat. The place is run by rabid greenies and they are utterly out of control, even worse than the ATF or the MTA. A few thousand more beatings like this and perhaps they’ll learn their place.

Judge Jackson: “Based upon a consideration of the provision in question, the language and structure of the entire statutory scheme, and the legislative history, the Court concludes that the statute does not give EPA the power to render a permit invalid once it has been issued by the Corps. EPA’s view of its authority is inconsistent with clear provisions in the statute, which deem compliance with a permit to be compliance with the Act, and with the legislative history of section 404.”

Here’s hoping that Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to bankrupt the coal industry continues to be thwarted at every turn. Jackwad.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/27/2012 at 02:22 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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calendar   Friday - March 23, 2012

He’s Not a Slow President, He’s Not a Fast President

he’s a half fast president

Obama Supports Lower Half of Keystone XL Pipeline

Cuz half a solution is better than none?

When you don’t know whether to shit or go blind, is it best to just close one eye and fart?

President Barack Obama will send a memo to federal agencies on Thursday directing them to prioritize permitting for TransCanada’s southern leg of the Keystone oil pipeline, a senior White House official said on Wednesday.

Facing a barrage of Republican criticism over high gasoline prices during the election year, Obama will visit Cushing, Oklahoma, on Thursday to promote his energy policies, which include support for the southern leg of the pipeline.

The pipeline would drain a glut of crude in Cushing, the storage hub for U.S. crude oil traded on the futures market, easing deliveries to refineries along the Gulf Coast.

“More oil is flowing into Cushing than can flow out, creating a bottleneck that takes away the incentive for additional production, while also preventing oil from reaching refineries along the Gulf coast,” the senior official told reporters in a conference call.

And naturally, once the lower part of the pipeline is built and the glut is drained, then the pipes sit empty and this becomes another huge government boondoggle. Awesome plan Barry. Awesome.

PS - his “help” on this is close to non-existent anyway: no approval from His Oneness is needed, although a “get it done” memo from the boss tells you more than you want to know about bureaucratic heel dragging.

An oil-state Republican says when President Barack Obama stands in Cushing, Okla. on Thursday to announce that he is expediting the permit process for the southern section of the Keystone XL pipeline, he’ll pulling a fast one on Americans:

“The problem is, we don’t need any presidential approval for that (the southern section of pipeline),” said Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.). “It doesn’t cross any international lines,” Sullivan told Fox & Friends on Thursday.

The Oklahoma-to-Texas section of the pipeline requires permits from the states, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sullivan said – “and it’s going to happen in spite of the president,” he added.

“And I think this is nothing more than a con job. Oklahomans don’t appreciate very much this photo opportunity that he’s doing. And I don’t believe the American people are going to believe in this con job, either.”

Maybe the best energy investment the government could make would be to take a couple billion from his crony’s phony green start-ups and build a new, large, generic oil refinery. Perhaps in Cushing OK. Run it with spare experts from all the oil companies, and use it as a training center for new petro-engineer graduates, and supply generic diesel / heating oil / jet fuel (they’re all very similar mixes) all year long. Sell that to the oil companies at cost, perhaps with some 20 year buy-in plan so that in a generation the refinery becomes a shared privatized endeavor. Whatever. But it would take a whole lot of pressure off the other refineries, and bring down the cost of industrial energy (trains, planes, ships, heating factories and homes) significantly. And as part of the big picture, an increased national refining capacity would mitigate seasonal price spikes. Well, that assumes that the other refineries we have actually stay open. That is not always the case:

2/27/12: The U.S. Energy Department on Monday said fuel markets in the Northeast “could be significantly impacted” if Sunoco closes its Philadelphia refinery in June, leading to tight supplies and price spikes is some areas. The report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that supplies of ultra-low sulfur diesel would be most affected by refinery shutdowns and transportation constraints.

“If the Sunoco Philadelphia refinery closes, price impacts are highly uncertain,” said the report. “If areas cannot be adequately supplied in the short term, prices can spike.”
Markets have been able to accommodate the closure of the ConocoPhillips refinery in Trainer closed in September and Sunoco’s Marcus Hook refinery shut down in December, the Energy Department said, partly offset by the startup of a Delaware City refinery in October after a two-year hiatus during a change of ownership. But the potential loss of the Sunoco Philadelphia refinery “presents a complex supply challenge, and no single solution has been identified by industry participants that will address all of the logistical hurdles that must be overcome.”

Pittsburgh and western New York state, which now are supplied through pipelines from the Philadelphia refineries, would most likely suffer dearly if supplies of diesel and heating oil were constrained.  Sunoco, which has its headquarters in Philadelphia, announced last year that it would shut down its 335,000-barrel per day refinery in the city if it is unable to find a buyer by June. The plant along the Schuylkill River represents 24 percent of the refining capacity in the Northeast.
Sunoco said it has lost nearly $1 billion in three years on refining and is committed to exiting manufacturing and focusing its business on retail marketing and logistics. If the Sunoco Philadelphia refinery shuts down in July, suppliers may need to find 240,000 barrels a day of gasoline and 180,000 barrels of ultra-low sulfur diesel by 2013.
ultra-low sulfur diesel, which is increasingly in demand to meet environmental regulations, presents a greater challenge because little is produced overseas. Local marketers would need to transport the fuel from Gulf Coast refineries. But pipeline capacity from the Gulf Coast is limited, as is the supply of U.S.-flagged vessels that would be needed to carry the fuel between U.S. ports.
The supply issue would be further complicated because New York state is requiring that heating oil - essentially the same thing as diesel - meet ultra-low sulfur levels in July. The Energy Department said New York’s heating oil requirement will effectively increase ultra-low diesel demand by 70,000 barrels a day. Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont are scheduled to adopt ultra-low sulfur heating oil standards through 2018.

Refineries in the Northeast have supplied about 40 percent of the region’s gasoline, 60 percent of ultra-low sulfur diesel and 45 percent of the heating oil. Imports and deliveries from the Gulf Coast make up the rest.

With U.S. demand for fuel in decline, U.S. refiners say that they are losing money because of an oversupply of refining capacity and rushing to shut down unprofitable facilities.  In addition to the three refineries near Philadelphia that are currently on the market, Sunoco shut down its Eagle Point refinery in 2010. Sunoco is currently converting the Gloucester County plant to a fuel terminal. A huge refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands, jointly owned by Hess Corp. and Petroleos de Venezuela, is also closing this month.

And that’s not all. Refineries in the islands and even down South America way are shutting down, idling, or running at partial capacity and taking a loss. Gosh, you’d think all that hopey-changey recovery would have brought demand back up by now. Nope.

Another Caribbean refinery able to run heavy, sour crude oil will cease operation.

Citing “unfavorable refinery economics and the outlook for continued unfavorable refinery economics,” Valero Energy Corp. said it will halt crude runs at month’s end of its 235,000 b/d facility in Aruba.

Valero’s move follows by 2 months the announcement by Hovensa LLC, a joint venture of Hess Corp. and Petroleos de Venezuela SA, of closure of the 350,000 b/d refinery at St. Croix, VI (OGJ Online, Jan. 18, 2012). Hovensa will operate the facility, capacity of which had been reduced from 500,000 b/d, as a terminal.

Now I am totally confused again. Gas prices are high because there is high oil demand, yet oil refineries are closing because there is low gas demand. An oil glut at the tank farm in Oklahoma is slowing down oil refining and thus kicking up the prices, but refining is slowing down anyway because prices are too high and nobody is driving or heating their homes (ie, demand is off). Huh? This reads like some chicken-egg-thing death spiral. Is it even remotely possible that Maxine Waters was right, and that energy should be nationalized? Perish the thought. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/23/2012 at 11:14 AM   
Filed Under: • Obama, The OneOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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calendar   Monday - March 19, 2012

Gas Prices Spike Again

I thought we were going to catch a little break when local gasoline prices dropped 3¢ last week to $3.51.9, but they’re right back up again today to $3.57.9. And that’s at the no-brand station down the road. Gas costs more at the big name stations. And yes, I know, you’ve got it worse; New Jersey doesn’t put much state tax on gas, so it’s worse in almost all the other states, which do.

But we’ve got it easy. Gas is going up in the UK too, and yet another tax hit this coming summer will make it even worse.

Record fuel hike ‘will force drivers off road’

Fears are growing that an increasing number of motorists will be priced off the road if fuel prices continue their relentless rise.

Petrol and diesel now cost more in the UK than ever before — with a further 3p VAT rise planned in August prompting panic among drivers.

New figures from March’s AA Fuel Price Report reveal that Northern Ireland consumers are forking out an average 139.2p a litre for unleaded and 145.9p for diesel.

That’s more expensive than anywhere else in the UK, where around 68% of the pump price is actually attributable to duty and VAT.

Before tax, the UK has one of the cheapest fuels in Europe but, once it is added, local diesel prices are the highest in the EU, while local petrol is among the dearest.

Let’s see, there are 3.785 liters in a US gallon, so with the upcoming VAT added in, this amounts to 526.87p per gallon. But with 100 pence per pound, that’s £5.2687. A pound is currently worth $1.58.376, so that works out to $8.34.5 per gallon. Which means it costs about $125 over there to fill up the tank on a mid-size car or small pickup. That’s about 2 1/2 day’s wages over here after taxes if you have a minimum wage job. On the other hand, if you take away all the taxes on UK gas, it’s only $2.67 a gallon. Add back in the 18.4¢/gal federal gas tax we pay and your state’s taxes and fees and you’ll see that the actual cost of the gasoline itself is quite a bit less expensive over there. $2.67 + NJ’s $0.32.9 combined tax adds up to $2.98.9, a price I will gladly pay right now if I could find it.

Funny thing, that. Remember the whole economies of scale lecture in Economics 101? Strange how the UK, which uses not a tenth of the gas that the USA does, manages to get it to the pumps for such a lesser price. Perhaps they have more refinery capacity available per unit gallon, imported & domestic, and thus have a bit of competition regulating the free market. Perhaps they have just one or two blends nationwide. Perhaps they don’t do the silly E10 gasohol sleight of hand with the ethanol, a price relationship that I can’t understand.  And I’m pretty sure that the stupid ethanol subsidy is finally over, although I don’t remember hearing anything about that on the news.

Just now I learned that cellulosic ethanol is a total flop, coming in at 100 million gallons shy of its 2010 federally mandated production goal of 100 million gallons, 250 million gallons shy of its 2011 mandated goal of 250 millions gallons, and almost certainly 500 million gallons shy of its 2012 mandated goal of 500 million gallons. In other words, not one damn drop. And it’s the heart and soul of the Renewable Fuel Standard that demands the blending and sourcing of ethanol. Hey, imagine that. A government program put into law based on a circle jerk dream of technological advancements that don’t even exist. Government: We Know Better Than You.  Go on, look it up. And the oil companies are forced to purchase waivers from the government for not using this alcohol, because it doesn’t exist. Guess who pays for the waivers, eventually? And I’m not seeing Congress toss this nonsense legislation, or even hit the Pause button on it.  We’re totally screwed.

All I know is that gas is costing me more than it EVER has before, and I’m getting 2-3mpg less with this 10% mix crap that is the only stuff for sale, compared to real gasoline. And I’m NOT blaming Bush for it either. I’m blaming the guy in charge and his 535 moronic minions down the street.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/19/2012 at 04:10 PM   
Filed Under: • Oil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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calendar   Friday - March 16, 2012

yeah, there’s that

Drill Here, Pump Here, Spend Here

Smith School of Business professor Peter Morici hits the nail on the head with his essay on high gas prices and the search for oil. And blames the whole damn mess on Obama and his running dog Chu. Their failed policies. Not Bush’s or anyone else’s. Theirs.

Gasoline prices are zooming past $4 a gallon and the United States is hardly freer from the grip of imported oil or closer to robust economic recovery. With his approval ratings dropping precipitously, U.S. President Barack Obama is blaming speculators and investigating fraud and at the pump when this mess is the direct result of failed federal energy policies.

By word and deed, the Obama administration has sought to limit off-shore oil exploration and development and hasten the commercial viability of solar, wind and alternative vehicle technologies.

The annual trade deficit on petroleum is about $300 billion. Raising U.S. oil production to its sustainable potential of 10 million barrels a day would cut import costs in half, directly create 1.5 million jobs. Applying Obama administration models for assessing the consequences of stimulus spending, it would indirectly create another 1 million jobs.

Overall, attaining U.S. oil production potential would boost gross domestic product about $250 billion. Not bad, considering that it could be accomplished by reducing dependence on foreign oil, increasing federal royalty and tax revenues and cutting the federal deficit.

If there was no other reason to increase domestic oil supply and refinery capacity, this alone is more than sufficient. Keep the money in the USA and it builds jobs. Send the money to sandland and it funds terrorists. Good enough for me.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/16/2012 at 06:01 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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calendar   Thursday - March 08, 2012

Oh for the love of …

Just in case you weren’t 110% certain that the Obama Regime not only has its head up its ass when it comes to a national energy policy, but is actively working against our better interests ...

Subsidized Wind Farms Paid To NOT Generate Electricity

Wind farms in the Pacific Northwest—built with government subsidies and maintained with tax credits for every megawatt produced—are now getting paid to shut down as the federal agency charged with managing the region’s electricity grid says there’s an oversupply of renewable power at certain times of the year.

The problem arose during the late spring and early summer last year. Rapid snow melt filled the Columbia River Basin. The water rushed through the 31 dams run by the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal agency based in Portland, Ore., allowing for peak hydropower generation. At the very same time, the wind howled, leading to maximum wind power production.

Demand could not keep up with supply, so BPA shut down the wind farms for nearly 200 hours over 38 days.

“It’s the one system in the world where in real time, moment to moment, you have to produce as much energy as is being consumed,” BPA spokesman Doug Johnson said of the renewable energy.

Now, Bonneville is offering to compensate wind companies for half their lost revenue. The bill could reach up to $50 million a year.

The extra payout means energy users will eventually have to pay more.

“We require taxpayers to subsidize the production of renewable energy, and now we want ratepayers to pay renewable energy companies when they lose money?” asked Todd Myers, director of the Center for the Environment of the Washington Policy Center and author of “Eco-Fads: How the Rise of Trendy Environmentalism is Harming the Environment.”

“That’s a ridiculous system that keeps piling more and more money into a system that’s unsustainable,” Myers said.

Green energy advocates also oppose BPA’s oversupply solution.

If even the greenies agree that this plan is asinine, it has to be stupid beyond imagination. Hey Obama, I don’t have oil beneath my house, so how about sending me a couple of million bucks for not drilling for what isn’t there? What the hell, it’s only somebody else’s money anyway!

Of course, the ultimate in Stoopid Policy was to build the windmills in the first place, without massive capacity increases to the power grid and a battery farm the size of Delaware. So now the power companies, which couldn’t afford to build the things in the first place and got huge bucks to do so, are being paid to not use them when they actually can work. Naturally the windmill geniuses blame the evil hydro-power folks, all of whom probably work for Halliburton and are out to Kill All The Fish™, for maliciously continuing to generate electricity when water is flowing in the rivers. The audacity of that defies belief! Why, with that kind of attitude, you’d expect the windmill folks to generate electricity with their Whack-a-Bird™ toys when the wind blows. The nerve!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/08/2012 at 05:39 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas PricesStoopid-People •  
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calendar   Monday - January 23, 2012

Let The Cheating Begin

EU To Officially Embargo Iran Oil

Is it just old cynical me, or was your very first thought “here comes another Oil for Food scandal”?

BRUSSELS – The European Union formally adopted an oil embargo Monday against Iran and a freeze of the assets of the country’s central bank, part of sanctions meant to pressure the country to resume talks on its nuclear program.

Diplomats said the measures, which were adopted in Brussels by the EU’s 27 foreign ministers, include an immediate embargo on new contracts for crude oil and petroleum products, while existing contracts will be allowed to run until July.

EU diplomats are calling the measure part of a twin track approach toward Iran: increase sanctions to discourage what they suspect is Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons but emphasize at the same time the international community’s willingness to talk. Iran says its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague called the embargo part of “an unprecedented set of sanctions.”

“I think this shows the resolve of the European Union on this issue,” Hague said.

Rrrriiiight. Sure, I believe it. Embargo. Uh huh. Big noise now, but it won’t even start until July. So this is just a lot of noise right now.

Except they cut a deal where poor little Greece, who lives for cheap Iranian oil, can do an end run, right? No? Wanna bet? Wanna watch Greece suddenly become a next exporter of oil when the embargo starts?

To protect Europe’s economy, struggling with a two-year-old debt crisis, foreign ministers agreed to delay full implementation of the oil embargo until July 1, an EU diplomat said.

That will give countries such as Greece, which rely heavily on Iranian oil, to find alternative sources.

Alternative sources, like old Hugo down in Venezuela, who isn’t part of the embargo and will probably act as front man for the mullahs? Or China, who, despite assurances from the Saudis that they would match production, isn’t part of the embargo?

Oh, and of course the price of oil just jumped $12 a barrel, to $111, on top of the 30¢ price jack you’ve seen at the pump over the past couple of weeks. Here we go again, $4-5 gas coming soon.

Thank God Obama killed the pipeline. As politics shuts down one international source after another (Nigeria will tip soon), it’s so reassuring to know that our Fearless Reader has done whatever he can to stop our supply from any and all other sources. Not.

The only way to make an embargo real is to do it at the point of a gun. Genuine old school naval blockade at sea, and armies along the borders. And let them do what they do best. Anything less is just an exercise in bullshit.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/23/2012 at 02:28 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsEUro-peonsOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas PricesWar On Terror •  
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calendar   Thursday - January 19, 2012


While Blaming Others, Obama Kills Keystone Pipeline

image image

Like you didn’t know this was coming, right? Now Canada will put in a 90 degree elbow and turn the pipeline west, and sell all their oil to the damn ChiComs. Dipshit.

President Obama announced Wednesday that he will deny a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, blaming Republicans for imposing a “rushed and arbitrary deadline” which he said did not give officials enough time.

Will no one rid us of this turbulent priest president? November 5 can’t come fast enough.

GOP lawmakers immediately excoriated the president for the decision. House Speaker John Boehner said Obama is “selling out American jobs for politics,” and said Republicans in Congress would continue to push for the pipeline.

The decision does not necessarily kill the project. The State Department said the denial “does not preclude any subsequent permit application”—and within hours pipeline company TransCanada announced that it would reapply for a permit.

But the decision at least delays the project, one that unions and GOP lawmakers alike said would be a boon for job creation as well as energy security.

“Until this pipeline is constructed, the U.S. will continue to import millions of barrels of conflict oil from the Middle East and Venezuela and other foreign countries,” TransCanada said in a statement Wednesday, saying it is “disappointed” by the administration’s call. “Thousands of jobs continue to hang in the balance if this project does not go forward.”

I never knew Manchuria was part of Kenya, but with this candidate I’m certain of it. This is not incompetence. This is a deliberate and never ending effort to weaken and destroy the nation. The evil red puppet has to go.

“This political decision offers hard evidence that creating jobs is not a high priority for this administration,” said US Chamber of Commerce Pres. Thomas J. Donohue. “By placing politics over policy, the Obama administration is sacrificing tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs in the short term, and many more than that in the long term.”

Under an attachment to a bill extending a payroll tax holiday, Obama had until Feb. 21 to act on the 1,600-mile pipeline, which would carry heavy oil from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast. His administration earlier had deferred a decision on the project until 2013, but congressional Republicans hoped to force him to choose between labor union supporters, who back Keystone XL, and environmental groups, which oppose it.

Let’s see ... if I were President and our nice neighbors to the north wanted to build a pipeline to ship us endless barrels of oil, how long would it take me to decide if that was a good thing? DONE. Far less time than it took me to type D O N E. Subversive bastard.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/19/2012 at 04:17 PM   
Filed Under: • Obama, The OneOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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calendar   Tuesday - December 13, 2011

The Greening Of The Fleet

Or should I have called this post “The Fleecing of the Green”?

Navy gives bio-fuel a try, orders up nearly half a million gallons ...
At only 4 Times Regular Cost

A California company has been hired to provide 450,000 gallons of advanced biofuels to the U.S. Navy – the “single largest purchase of biofuel in government history,” according to the Navy – at $15 per gallon, or about four times the market price of conventional jet fuel.

And gosh, you’d better sit down for this one: Solazyme, the company that got the contract, not only is the recipient of $21.8 million in Obama’s Green Stimulus deal, on the company’s board sits T.J Galuthier, Clinton’s Deputy Secretary and Chief Operations Officer of the Department of Energy from 1999 to 2001, who also served on President Obama’s White House Transition Team, where he worked on the energy provisions of the stimulus package. A triple coincidence, imagine that. The guy who wrote the green stimulus is now in charge of a company that got a big fat green stimulus handout.

[Secretary of the Navy] Mabus notes that this 450,000-gallon buy — while comparatively large for military biofuels — is still tiny compared to the amount of fuel the Navy and the commercial airline industries consume. He’s promised that as the Navy buys more fuel, economies of scale will kick in, and prices will drop. But an MIT study of alternative jet fuels, conducted in association with the Navy, found that even under optimal conditions — with dozens of refineries up and running — the price of bio jet fuel would still be twice as high as the cost of the traditionally made stuff.

Read all about it here. And here. And here.

It ain’t easy goin’ green. Especially when we have enough regular oil right here in our own country, to run the military for the next couple of centuries. And I do hope that this algae derived fuel they’re buying works a whole lot better than the recycled french fry oil bio-fuel that’s out there. That stuff tends to clog the heck of diesel injectors on tractors and bulldozers and stuff whenever it gets cold. Oops.

I gather the whole carrier group is going to use this fuel on a test trip across the Pacific. I wonder how big the Navy’s fleet of tow trucks tow ships is?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/13/2011 at 07:24 PM   
Filed Under: • MilitaryOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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calendar   Monday - December 05, 2011

New Panamax Green Solution

Just because I’m a Conservative doesn’t mean I’m not in favor of green technology. The ones that work, I’m all for. Here’s one that might be able to cut the mustard.

Carbon Neutral Oil Tanker In The Works


covered in solar panels and using 20 high tech sails, this New Panamax tanker has 75% less carbon footprint

You may have heard that the Panama Canal is being enlarged. It’s a multi-year project that is well under way. A new set of locks, much larger than the original pair, is being built on both sides. The project seems to be running on time. These new locks will allow much bigger ships to transit Panama. One ship builder is using those new size constraints to design a far more efficient VLCC oil tanker, and while they’re at it they’re adding on everything they can find to add to that efficiency.

The smallest dimensions of the [current] locks are 110 ft (33.53 m) wide, 1,050 ft (320.04 m) long, and 85 ft (25.91 m) deep. Because of clearance issues, the usable sizes are somewhat smaller (for example, the maximum usable length of each lock chamber is about 1,000 ft (304.8 m). The maximum size of the ships that can transit the canal is known as the Panamax.
The new lock chambers will be 1,400 ft (426.72 m) long, by 180 ft (54.86 m) wide, and 60 ft (18.29 m) deep. They will use rolling gates instead of miter gates, which are used by the existing locks. Rolling gates are used in almost all existing locks with dimensions similar to those being proposed, and are a well-proven technology.

imageIn late August [2009], traffic jams at the Atlantic and Pacific entrances to the Panama Canal impeded a healthy chunk of the world’s maritime commerce. Each day, on average, more than 40 massive ships, many of them three times as long as a football field and piled high with cargo, rode at anchor in impromptu fleets that stretched across the horizon. On the Atlantic side, most of the ships carried grain from the American heartland, bound for markets in Asia; the vessels on the Pacific side from the Far East were jammed with cars and electronics destined for the U.S. East Coast. Some ships with daily operational costs of $40,000 waited as long as a week for passage.

Ninety-three years after it first opened for business, the Panama Canal is finally maxed out. Designed before the Titanic was even on drawing boards and while the Wright brothers were still learning to fly, the canal today handles more traffic than its builders could have ever imagined. About 14,000 vessels carrying 5 percent of the world’s ocean cargo—280 million tons—pass through the waterway each year. Despite running the canal around the clock—at close to 90 percent of its theoretical maximum capacity—canal officials are struggling to keep up.

A VLCC tanker is an oil tanker built to carry about 2 million barrels of oil. That turns out to be the largest practical size for these giant ships; a few ULCC ships have been built but they are too large for most waterways, including the English Channel. Crude oil is a liquid, and 2 million barrels worth is a fixed volume. The new locks on the Canal will allow ships to be built that carry that same volume, but in a longer, shallower, relatively slimmer hull design, and that immediately translates into increased efficiency, even with the same basic shaped hull. Use a modern high-tech super hull design, like the ones used on racing yachts, and the efficiency increases even more. Now use the latest generation of pod propulsion motors and you’ve got a huge ship that’s fast and nimble with significantly reduced operating costs. Want to go further? Cover the massive ship in solar panels, and stick on a couple of dozen super efficient dynawing sailmasts, and it not only produces a large part of the electricity needed to run those motors, it also uses the wind to help move the ship along. Lastly, install high efficiency engines that run on LNG to help run the generators, and put a set of scrubbers in the smokestacks. Bottom line: a faster tanker that sails across the world for a whole lot less time and cost, and produces only a fraction of the pollution that the current ones do. And that’s exactly what Sauter Carbon Offset Design came up with. Nice going. Now build one and prove your concept.

Richard Sauter of Sauter Carbon Offset Design released his design for the “solar hybrid supertanker” today. If the ship is ever built, you can bet that some big oil company will be using it to tout its “green” credentials in short order.

Sauter’s certified carbon offset projects are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from super yachts and ships. His design team, Sauter Carbon Offset Design creates ships reducing greenhouse gas emissions down 50-100 percent by using all the technology available.

SCOD Presents Deliverance, a DynaWing Solar Hybrid Supertanker that qualifies as the Largest and by far the Greenest Post Panamax Vessel to be built and as such is the most Economical form of Crude Oil Transport to and from any part of the Globe.

To reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions by up to 75% this superior fluid dynamic Emax Supertanker obtains half of her power from LNG and the other half from the latest advances in Solar and Wind Power Technology.

The Emax Deliverance is a 2 million barrel 330,000dwt Supertanker designed specifically for the newly enlarged locks of the Panama Canal which will accommodate vessels that have a maximum length of 426m, a beam of 54m and a draft of 18 meters.

Being longer, narrower and having less draft than previous 2 million barrel VLCC’s, the hull of the Deliverance produces less drag which in conjunction with twin CRP Hybrid Propulsion Pods reduces fuel consumption and GHG emissions by 35%. An additional 20 to 30% reduction is achieved her 5,000 sq. meter
DynaWing Boom Furling sails and another 15 to 20% reduction by her Solbian Solar Power generating array. The realization of up to a 75% reduction is made possible by Mitsubishi’s Bubble Hull and Wartsila’s Coded Hybrid power system.

Generally speaking the total power requirement for a conventional 330,000dwt Supertanker is 30MWs.By comparison the total power requirement for the advanced 330,000dwt Emax Solar Hybrid Supertanker is 20MWs; 10MWs from LNG, 10MWs from the Sun and Wind.

Nice. Even when the sails are furled, the material that they’re made from will work as Fresnel lenses to concentrate light on the solar panels, making them that much more efficient. And lest you think this is all some kind of daydream, it isn’t. It’s pretty much built using off the shelf parts. The ‘bubble hull’ already exists. So do the engines, the solar panels, and the propulsion pods. Even the high tech Dynawing thing is proven tech - it’s the kind of sail used on the latest America’s Cup racing yachts.


The Dynawing design gives the same amount of thrust as a more conventional sail on a mast 25% taller. Shorter means sturdier, and sturdier means cheaper in the long run. But with 20 of these on the Deliverance, totaling half a million square meters of sail area, what it really means is quite a lot of thrust that took no fuel whatsoever to create. Sailboats don’t have exhaust fumes.

Roll it all up and you’ve got a supertanker that can save as much fuel cost in 4 years of operation as it took to build the ship in the first place. Which means it pays for itself, even if the thing cost 15% more than regular ships to build. And with a 25 year lifespan, that means 3 million tons less CO2 in the atmosphere. Nice. Why pollute if you don’t need to?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/05/2011 at 04:31 PM   
Filed Under: • High TechOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Pricesplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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Soylent Power

Old Aunt Edna Is Worth 150kWh

How’s this for the ultimate give-back to society? Extreme recycling? Or just more “journalism” designed to keep people upset?

Burning deceased humans will produce electricity
Turbines at crematorium will convert heat into as much as 150 kilowatt-hours per corpse

In Durham, England, corpses will soon be used to generate electricity.

A crematorium is installing turbines in its burners that will convert waste heat from the combustion of each corpse into as much as 150 kilowatt-hours of juice — enough to power 1,500 televisions for an hour. [which would give REAL meaning to the old “This broadcast sponsored in part by viewers like you”!] The facility plans to sell the electricity to local power companies.

Some might find this concept creepy. Others might be pleased to learn that the process “makes cremation much greener by utilizing its by-products,” in the words of cremation engineer Steve Looker, owner and chief executive officer of the Florida-based company B&L Cremation Systems, which is unaffiliated with the Durham enterprise.

In Europe, tightening regulations on crematorium emissions, coupled with the high price of energy, will lead more and more facilities to go the way of Durham in the future, Looker said. Will crematories in the United States follow suit?

According to Looker, whose company is currently testing different methods of utilizing cremation waste heat, the expensive turbine systems being installed in Durham are not yet economically viable for crematories here. “In the U.S., most crematories don’t have enough throughput,” he told Life’s Little Mysteries. “Cremation in some parts of Europe is over 90 percent, but it is not over 50 percent yet here.” That is, less than half of Americans opt for cremation. Most are buried.

Consequently, while burners in Europe typically run 24 hours day, ones in America operate only eight hours each day, Looker said. “A typical turbine system would cost somewhere between $250,000 to $500,000. If it’s running 24 hours a day, that’s a five-year payback. If it’s running eight hours a day, that’s a 15- or 20-year payback, which isn’t feasible,” he said.

However, Looker is hopeful that the situation could change in the near future. “Over the next 10 years, with the baby boomers coming through, cremation is going to reach 75 to 80 percent. Then, this might be feasible.”

Furthermore, a turbine designed by a company called Thermal Dynamic Engineering, which produces just 50 kilowatt-hours of energy but is much less expensive to install than the Durham system, will be available in the near future, Looker said.

Thus, it may indeed come to pass that deceased baby boomers will someday help power your household appliances.

Boy howdy, this ought to end the prejudice against the overweight. Think how much extra energy they’ll contribute! OTOH, it might provide the wrong kind of incentive to the more twisted types. Now put those twisted types in charge of the government ... or at least the judicial or health-care corners of it. Can you see a problem arising, mein fuhrer? Nein, es ist nicht ein problem auf allen! In some ways, this is nothing new to Europeans at all.

Huh, seems to me I read a sci-fi story similar to this ages and ages ago ... the aliens took all the fatties and wired them up to suck the energy out of them ... it was the greatest diet ever, until they ran out of chubsters.

Soylent Green is already here. It’s called ”bio-energy”, and a whole lot of unusual ideas can hide under that umbrella. But are they sick, or sensible?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/05/2011 at 01:19 PM   
Filed Under: • Oil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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