But let us not forget that the Saudi’s can put a barrel of oil on the deck of a ship for $17 – $25 per barrel. So we may have a long way to go. But isn’t this exciting!

This is my third and last post on the subject.


Tech 6,917 views

How Will The 2014 Drop In Oil Prices Affect The World Economy And Geopolitics?

This question originally appeared on Quora: How will the 2014 drop in oil prices affect the world economy and geopolitics?

Answer by Alex Song, Hedge Fund Analyst, on Quora

  • Domestically, lower energy prices means more money for discretionary spending. The equivalent effect on the US economy is a tax cut for consumers on the order of $100-125bn. Think about how low gasoline prices are now compared to where they were a few months ago. This saving generally translates into higher consumption on other things like retail spending. For airlines, this will be awesome because the cost of fuel and flying decreases, the effects of which may be passed on to consumers. Net-net, analysts estimate higher consumer spending should boost US GDP by .4%-.5% over the next year. This will be balanced by lower domestic energy production, however.
  • Internationally, for countries like China, Japan, and South Korea, which are huge energy importers, each 1% drop in crude prices is the equivalent to billions of dollars saved on their trade balance. Japan, in particular, has been suffering from a trade deficit for the past few quarters. The predominant reason is due to the mounting cost of energy imports (which they were forced to increase due to their shutting down all of their nuclear reactors following Fukushima in 2011). Plummeting oil prices is net-net a huge positive for them. In other parts of the world, low oil prices are squeezing countries like Russia, Iran, and Venezuela in very negative ways. In the near-to-medium term, it may force them to adopt a more conciliatory stance toward the rest of the world on political issues and reforms (Ukraine/Crimea, nuclear initiatives, etc.) due to the poor state of the economy. In particular, Russia may be forced to acquiesce on Ukraine just to get Western Europe to lift its embargo.




Go there and read. There are many other linked articles. More next week.


I know I posted about this last week. I know that usually transportation is not thought of as saving residential energy. But gasoline is selling for the same price as it was when I was in college. I know that this makes me sound like an old foggey. But this is a serious issue. Gas is selling for $1.88 today.


PUBLISHED: Dec 23, 2014 10:18am

UPDATED: Dec 23, 2014 03:07pm

Oil prices continue to drop after Saudi comments

NEW YORK, Dec 23: 

World oil prices yesterday resumed their downward trajectory following comments from key Middle Eastern oil producers that they have no plans to cut output.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in February dropped US$1.87(RM6.53) to US$55.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

European benchmark Brent oil for February delivery fell US$1.27 to US$60.11 a barrel in London.

Yesterday’s trade marked a return to the dominant downward trend in the oil market following a brief rally Friday.

Appearing at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi Sunday, leading Middle Eastern producers held firm against any moves to cut production to boost crude prices.

“If they (non-OPEC countries) want to cut production they are welcome. We are not going to cut, certainly Saudi Arabia is not going to cut,” Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said.


Go there and read. Google it for heaven’s sake. More next week.


But nobody knows why. They claim they do. One guy claims it is because of Fracking in the US. Another gal claims it is because of Saudi Arabia output is so high. Other people blame a lack of consumption. I believe it maybe because the speculators have unleash a flood of cheap oil from tanker storage. That does not change the fact that we are all guessing. This leads to some really confused reporting.




GAS PRICES: Inland pumps average $2.71 a gallon


The eight days of Hanukkah. The Twelve Days of Christmas. So why not the weeks and weeks of plummeting fuel prices?

Again proving to be a gift with seemingly no end in sight, the average price of regular gasoline nationwide dropped an additional 25 cents a gallon in the past two weeks, to $2.39. That’s the lowest it’s been in more than five years.

And, just in time for the year-end travel boom, industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said prices will likely keep falling into the new year. Lower crude oil prices are driving prices down, along with an abundant oil supply and the rising value of the U.S. dollar, Lundberg said. The Consumer Comfort, Consumer Sentiment and Consumer Confidence indices were all at their highest levels since 2007, according to the American Automobile Association, which said the consistent decline in prices is the longest the organization has ever tracked.


Go there and read. More next week.


What the hell would the public know about their own self interest. Everybody outside of Chicago is just dumb hicks anyways.

Day 29 12/13/13 

Today’s Topic:  Who a potentially affected party must petiton in order to participate in a hearing.

Section 245.270 Public Hearings

The Act’s provision affording public hearings are critically important to ensuring that the public has the ability to fully understand hydraulic fracturing permits that may affect them, and challenge them if appropriate. We are therefore concerned that some aspects of the draft rules governing hearings could potentially undercut the robust public participation envisioned in the statute.

Section 1-50(b) of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act says any person having an interest that is or may be adversely affected [by a fracking permit], can petition the Department for participation in a hearing.

But Subsection 245.270(a)(6) of the Rules raises the bar, requiring the request for hearing to be served upon the Hearing Officer, the Department, and the ap

The weather outside is frightful. Especially in Southern Illinois. So now you have all the time in the world to post comments to IDNR’s website.


Effingham, December 5, Holiday Inn 6:30 PM – CANCELED
• Decatur, IL December 17, Decatur Civic Center 6:30 PM
• Carbondale, December 19, SIUC Student Center 6:00 PM

Today is Day 7 of the 45 day Comment period on fracking in Illinois.  You’ve made it to the end of your first week.  Thank you for your comments!
Today’s comment is on the lack of provisions to address fracking in a tornado-ridden state.
Here’s what to do to make your comment today:
Comment:  Number of draft regulations proposed by Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources describing safety measures regarding tornado strikes on fracking sites: ZERO.  Number of tornados in Illinois in the last 10 years: 674.
Historically, the number and intensity of tornadoes in IL is very high.  “In fact, Illinois has experienced some of the worst tornados in US history.” Dr. Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist.
Every county in Illinois has had multiple tornados as demonstrated by the maps in the following links:
A big swath of Washington IL was flattened by a tornado on Sunday, 11/17/13. What would have happened if this tornado had hit an area of the state covered in fracking sites?  Debris from the tornado has been found over 150 miles away.  Imagine if that debris had included “temporarily” stored flowback water or tanks filled with frack fluid or produced water?
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510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
United States

altGo there and comment. More later.


This is worse than a sick joke. It is a travesty.


Today (Wednesday, 11/20/2013) is Day 6 of the IDNR 45 day comment period on hydraulic fracturing, aka “fracking.” 
Today’s comment is on the Ridiculously Low Fines Assessed on Violators of the Rules
Here’s what to do to make your comment today:
Suggested Comment: IDNR proposes to fine violators of the rules from $50 (less than a typical traffic ticket) to $2500 dollars per violation and add up to $ 1000 for actually causing environmental harm and up to $2000 for “creating a hazard to the safety of any person”.  These are fines for companies making potentially tens of millions of dollars or in many cases even more?   (Note: The top 5 oil and gas producers—Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Chevron, BP, and Conoco Phillips—made 118.1 billion in profits last year; in the last decade they have brought in over 1 trillion in profits.)   Where is deterrence in these penalties?  Let us answer that.  There is no deterrence.
NOTE:  We have learned that IDNR only has to provide a summary of the comments it receives to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.  To ensure that JCAR sees our actual comments, will you please copy your comment and e-mail to JCAR@ilga.gov.
Thank you!
P.S.  We have learned from Senator Harmon that Central Illinois WILL have a hearing.  We have contacted IDNR to obtain details but they said the details are not yet available.
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510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
United States



Go there and comment. More later.


But it is all about the money now isn’t it? That would be a big YES. I imagine picking on some of the gentlest people in the world will land you in hell.


The Amish Are Getting Fracked Their religion prohibits lawsuits—and the energy companies know it



It was late 2010 when a chipper agent for Kenoil, Inc., a drilling company in Eastern Ohio, drove to the nearby hamlet of Millersburg to visit Lloyd Miller. His car slithered down the hill overlooking the Millers’s home and white farm buildings, past a set of pine green drums, pipes, and gauges—a shallow oil well that Kenoil had drilled on the Millers’s property many years ago—and stopped in front of the aluminum barn where the family, who are Amish dairy farmers, lodges its horses and buggy. The agent had an unexpected business proposition for Lloyd and his wife, Edna: Kenoil wanted to lease the right to drill on the Millers’s land for shale gas. And for a lease of five years, he could offer them $10 an acre that same day.

The timing felt providential. The couple, who have several young children, were still paying off a 2006 loan they’d used to buy a small farm adjoining theirs. Gazing in the direction of his 158 acres, as he talked with me at his kitchen table in March, Miller said, “We thought, ‘Hey, that’s $1,500 we didn’t have.’” Still, he asked the agent about rumors of farmers who’d been given much larger signing bonuses in similar deals. He remembered the agent grinning dismissively as he said farms in the area were not leasing for more than what was offered. Miller, 46, considered the Kenoil well on the hill, and the years of good relations he had enjoyed with the company. “I just trusted him,” he said. The Millers signed the lease.

It was maybe two weeks, Miller figured, before they realized the enormity of what they’d done. First, their local paper, The Bargain Hunter, carried a front-page story advising farmers their land could be worth hundreds per acre to oil and gas companies. He compared notes with landowners nearby while on trips to the sale barns where farmers trade livestock, and when other farmers delivered hay for his cows. Miller is physically imposing—stout and broad-shouldered—but also painfully timid. When pressed on what his neighbors had earned, he gazed for a long time at Edna, who, with one of their daughters, was chalking the outline of a man’s pantleg onto a bolt of wool rolled out on the table. “My wife and I took turns kicking each other in the butt.” He paused for a long while. “Our ten dollars an acre compared to $1,000.”


Go there and read. More next week.


I always assumed that they were manipulating the process by holding refinery constant and manipulating available supple. But it looks like they are actually cooking the books as well. Wonder why it took 11 years to catch them at it and only in Europe? Come on! Russia is nothing but one big criminal open sewer. But we shall see as the investigation unfolds.


Oil price-fixing scandal heats up in Europe

Pablo Gorondi, AP Business Writer

The European Union’s executive arm, the Commission, confirmed it has raided the offices of a number of oil industry companies for possible price-fixing.

Here are some questions and answers on the investigation.

— Which companies were raided and why?

The EU Commission did not say which companies it is investigating. However, some firms have confirmed they are part of the probe. They include Britain’s BP, Royal Dutch Shell, which is listed in London and Amsterdam, and Norway’s Statoil. Platts, a division of McGraw-Hill Financial that compiles and provides data and news for the energy market, also said its offices in London were raided.

The three oil companies are all major producers in the international energy industry and contribute data to Platts’ Market on Close (MOC) pricing process, which every day publishes the final trading price for numerous commodities.

The EU said it has concerns that some companies may have tried to manipulate the pricing process by colluding to report distorted prices and by preventing other companies from submitting their own prices


Go there and read. More next week.


I got an email from Southern Illinois that said 30 big rigs had rolled through town yesterday morning. I figure that that is enough for 2 wells. It seems like some drilling company has decided to “go for it”. Which makes sick and disgusting sense. Many of the leases die at the end of April. I suspect that these will be test wells, because no one knows what is down there. It takes about  7 days to to drill a well and frack it. That would have the wells beginning to come in as the lease expires. This is what I said in print.

Thursday, April 11,2013

Letters to the Editor 4/11/13

Fracking and litter control act

By Letters to the Editor



I am writing to argue for a moratorium against fracking in Illinois (SB 1418). Chicago environmentalists argue that “fracking is going to happen anyway.” That is a total capitulation to the industry. The bill that the environmentalists endorse (HB2615) is amazing in the things it does not prevent. It does not force the frackers to recycle their water, allows for methane flaring, allows wells within 300 feet of water sources, allows wells within 500 feet of a house, does not allow adequate testing of produced waters especially for radiation and then allows that waste to be deep well injected and finally allows for the state to overrule counties and municipalities who do not want fracking or more protective measures.

Many states have tried to establish hydraulic fracturing regulations that would allow the industry to drill safely. The problem is regulations do not work. The industry always violates the regulations and when caught pays the fine as part of standard operating procedure. These violations include injecting radioactive water underground, open pit storage of fracking and waste waters even where not permitted, the production of toxic fumes and the sickening of residents, well water contamination and the direct dumping of toxic water into springs and streams. They have gone so far as to sell toxic water to county townships to suppress dust in the summer and to de-ice roads in the winter as if that was safe. Homeowners are duped into selling mineral rights without being told that it will make their houses impossible to sell and wreck their mortgages. In Pennsylvania their violations include:

– 224 violations of “failure to properly store, transport, process or dispose of residual waste.”

– 143 violations of “discharge of pollutional material to the waters of Commonwealth.”

– 140 violations of “pit and tanks not constructed with sufficient capacity to contain pollutional substances.”

This does not include the actual damage that they do to the environment, like damaging the roads where they work, and flaring the natural gas that should be harnessed as a fuel source and the constant noise pollution that the above activities produce. I was visiting a friend in Colorado when such a well was put in and the noise and smell alone were enough to sicken me.

Doug Nicodemus


Go there and read. They did a whole 5 page article on the issue. More later.


Pro  Nuke people always ignore the long chain that leads up to the first Nuclear reaction, including mining the dangerous ore and the tremendous construction costs. This chain may negate at least several years of their contention that Nuclear Power is “carbon free”. They also never discuss the after chain. Which includes both the disposal of the waste from the reactor but eventually the cost of decommissioning the reactors themselves. I think that Yucca Mountain was a perfect response to that, but I am alone on that one. This piece also mentions the distructive economic system that these reactors would perpetuate, which is disgusting. BUT the larger picture is that nuclear reactors are totally unnecessary. I have included here only the Monthly Review’s preface.


On Nuclear Power

Response to John W. Farley’s ‘Our Last Chance to Save Humanity’


Monthly Review has long been on record as opposed to the expansion of nuclear energy.1 Most recently, some of the dangers of nuclear power, both in its present form and with continuing new technological developments, were spelled out by Robert D. Furber, James C. Warf, and Sheldon C. Plotkin of the Southern California Federation of Scientists, in their article on “The Future of Nuclear Power” (MR, February 2008).

Nevertheless, we recognize that many scientists, including climatologist James Hansen and our friend, physicist John W. Farley, now see a place for nuclear energy as a kind of last resort, given the dire planetary threat raised by the burning of fossil fuels—made even more dire by the current shift toward even dirtier, more carbon-emitting fossil fuels, such as lower grades of coal, oil from tar sands, and shale oil. If nuclear power presents great dangers to the human population and the earth, it also cannot be denied that the continuation of “business as usual” with respect to carbon emissions will lead to eventual social, economic, and ecological collapse, threatening civilization and most species, including our own. Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that some are looking at nuclear energy as a lesser, or more remote, evil. Moreover, the prospect, though still at the theoretical/experimental stage, of revolutionary developments in nuclear power technology, namely Generation IV plants, which could greatly increase the efficiency of nuclear fuel use, reducing the nuclear waste generated, is also changing the nature of the controversy for some.

Yet, in our view, none of this alters the essential nature of the problem: the crossing of planetary boundaries by an economic system that, as long as it exists, must continually produce more and more goods, and thus degrade the environment. In this context, a turn to nuclear energy as a solution is both myopic and a Faustian bargain. The development of alternative energy sources coupled with conservation, in the context of radical transformations in social relations, constitutes the only real, long-term solution.



Go there and read. More tomorrow.


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