Thursday, October 29, 2009

Barrel of Oil Cost to Increase by End of 2009

With uncertainty in the air about the future cost of a barrel of oil, CARE contacted our good friend Michael J. Economides, a nationally energy analyst, to provide us with some foresight. As a regular contributor to national TV and radio programs and PhD petroleum engineer that has performed technical and managerial work in more than 70 countries; Dr. Economides has both the credibility and expertise to predict how much a barrel of oil will cost in months ahead. With both international political calculations and oil-producing nation's economic policies guiding the future price for a barrel of oil, things can get confusing sometimes and it takes an expert to provide clarity. Below is Dr. Economies's case that the cost of a barrel of oil will soon increase from $80 per barrel to $100 per barrel.

$80 oil on the way to $100 by the end of 2009
Oil has been flirting with $80 per barrel and from the start of this year I have been predicting $100 oil before the end of the year. Almost all other analysts were predicting $40 to $60 oil. I am not quite ready to declare that I was exactly right and they were wrong but it looks like increasingly so.

There are obvious and real underlying reasons for the escalating oil prices which we will expound upon below but news headlines have ruled the price of oil since at least 2004. There was no real rational economic reason for almost $150 oil (which for people with short memories may seem to have happened last century – it happened a year ago, July) nor was there any reason for below $40 oil, which happened right after the late last year "crises" such as the economic crisis, the credit crunch crisis etc. In fact had it not been for those events delegating oil announcements to the seventeenth page of newspapers, a report by the International Energy Agency in Paris last November, which showed that world oil production from operating wells has been declining by 9.1 percent per year, the largest ever, would have shot the oil price to over $200. In fact, even now, there is a lingering possibility that a strike by Israel on Iran may close the Straits of Hormuz and will shoot the price overnight to the stratosphere.

The headlines started in 2004 and included the Abu Ghraib photographs, which increased enormously the fear factor in the Middle East, the re-Sovietization of Russia’s oil industry following the assault on Yukos by then President Vladimir Putin and the re-nationalization of Venezuela’s oil industry by the Hugo Chavez government. That perfect storm of headlines created one of the most telling and repeatable events from 2004 to last year’s economic collapse. With escalating energy and energy product prices, every quarter ExxonMobil, the largest multinational oil company, would announce the biggest profits of any company in the history of the world and "Big Oil" would be in the mouth of many politicians in many countries as the devil-incarnate himself. And yet that very same day, mystifying to many people, their stock would plunge because in smaller letters they would announce that their oil production and reserves were declining. Shut out of reserves in some of the most prolific oil provinces of the world, such as Russia and Venezuela, international Big Oil was, and is, in trouble.

Recent hints of economic recovery and the price of the dollar are offered now as the reason for the oil price escalation. They are real reasons but they hide others. There should be no mistake: oil producing countries love $100 oil and they have little incentive to shoot themselves in the foot by increasing production. Neither the price escalation of the previous four years nor the oncoming one have anything to do with "peak oil". This will eventually happen but not for decades. Physically but not necessarily politically, the world can produce 130 million barrels of oil per day, compared to the current 85 million, but with proper investment and management and will.

Many of the oil producing and exporting nations are run by regimes that want the oil revenue not for technological and even business re-investment and long-term resource management but to affect other internal political and geopolitical aims.

Let’s look first at Russia. From 1998 and the admittedly imperfect privatizations that involved Yukos and Sibneft when the country produced 6 million barrels per day to 2005 when production escalated to more than 9.5 million barrels per day (almost 10% increase per year) Russia was the brightest spot in the international oil business. There was talk of increasing production to 12 million barrels per day which some Yukos executives touted as very realistic. Since then Russia has vegetated to about the same production and the tax regime and government control of the oil business can mean only one thing: imminent declining production and no incentive to do any of the spectacular things that Yukos and Sibneft became legendary for.

Venezuela is an even bigger factor, considering its oil dominance in the Western hemisphere. Before Hugo Chavez took office in 1999 Venezuela was producing 3.4 million barrels per day and there were concrete plans to increase that production by now to 6 million. Instead, after the massive firing of practically all petroleum professionals and the re-nationalization and expulsion of international oil companies, Venezuela is producing 2.6 million barrels per day, the lowest volume since the first nationalization in the 1970’s.

And of course Iraq, with a demonstrable ability to escalate its oil production to 6 million barrels per day has been languishing at 2 million. It may have been quieted down a bit but the sectarian violence is barely beneath the surface and the risks are still great. In a recent auction for oil blocks the interest by international oil companies was abjectly disappointing.

Saudi Arabia is the only country with excess production capacity, estimated at 2.5 million barrels per day, and this is a role that the country found itself once more, in the 1980s, when at the prompting of then US President Reagan it overproduced. The ensuing oil price collapse contributed greatly to the demise of the Soviet Union which depended on oil for almost all its foreign revenues. Russia today depends pretty much at the same level on oil and gas and Saudi Arabia has the capability, if it chooses, to bring enormous hardship on that and other oil producing countries. There is no evidence they will do so, considering it will bring huge hardship on them as well.

Finally, the signs of imminent Chinese exploding oil demand are already here. After phenomenal economic growth in the first seven years of this decade, oil demand was growing by annual double digits. A short-lived slowdown lasted for a few months after the dire headlines of last year’s economic crisis. But Chinese economic growth has bounced back to more than 8 percent. So did oil demand which just came in with vengeance. Last January and February, Chinese oil imports stood at 3.1 million barrels per day, compared to an average of 3.87 million barrels per day in 2008. But from March to June oil imports averaged over 4 million barrels per day and in July they jumped to an unprecedented 4.6 million barrels per day, close to a 20% increase over the average of 2008. (Source: China Customs, August 2009.) This level of imports inch towards the two-thirds of total demand that the United States has been experiencing.

All signs point that oil is on its way to $100 very soon and it will not stop there.

Prof. Michael J. Economides, University of Houston and also Editor-in-Chief Energy Tribune Houston, TX.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Will America Run Out of Oil?

Most Americans live hectic lives and don’t have time in their day to pay attention to news reports about “peak oil”. But would more people pay attention to the supply of oil if the price for a gallon of gas at the pump skyrocketed in the near future? You bet!

Is there an oncoming energy crisis to be caused by peak oil production? Will global oil production become stagnant due to international political strife? Will humanity experience a global oil shock by the year 2012? Our CARE blog contributor and former conference call guest Byron King from the Whiskey and Gunpowder (an investment newsletter) thinks so. While we at CARE don’t necessarily agree, or disagree, with Byron King’s viewpoint on "peak oil," he offers a noteworthy perspective on the situation. You’ll want to note that he writes from an investment perspective.

Peak at 85 Million Barrels of Oil a Day
Eighty-five million barrels a day. That’s the most that can be produced. So when recession causes a temporary decrease in world consumption, it can seem like those 85 million barrels are enough. But consumption is bound to resume its upward climb, while those 85 million barrels a day are all we get. The day of reckoning has just been delayed for a little bit.

"Can’t we get more than 85 million barrels?" some folks are bound to wonder. Let’s look into that.

Those Stubborn "Peak" Curves
This week I was in Denver, attending the 2009 conference of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO). Despite all the happy talk in the Big Media about how the oil situation is under control, I assure you that the oil situation is NOT under control.

The market meltdown and world recession of the past year has bought some time, or stolen some time may be a better way of saying it. All the "peak" curves are still out there, but are merely adjusted a bit to the right on the timelines.

As Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey likes to say on the television show Mail Call, "Wipe that smile off your face." We’re staring at an energy problem that’s coming down the tracks like a runaway freight train. It’s just astonishing that more people don’t appreciate the looming impact of Peak Oil.

Meanwhile, the politicians are fooling around with the health care issue. Hmmm... I have some news for them. If you screw up energy, health care isn’t going to matter very much.

Oil Output Not Increasing
It might be a comforting thought to believe that world oil output can increase. Indeed, many policymakers in the U.S. and Europe apparently dream themselves to sleep at night pondering how the current oil volume of about 85 million barrels per day could move upward to, say, 95 million barrels per day — "if only the world oil industry were more efficient."

Yeah, right. Except the global oil industry is not that model of dreamland efficiency. Sure, there are some bright spots. The big internationals like Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, etc. are good. There are some really good state oil firms like Brazil’s Petrobras and Norway’s StatoilHydro. Saudi Aramco is outstanding. These guys are all doing great work to keep the world’s pipelines and tankers filled.

But much of the rest of the world’s oil industry lacks the knack for capital discipline and crisp project execution. Venezuela’s oil industry is a basket case, what with the Chavez-led nationalizations and mass firings of recent years. Output is falling in Venezuela, and this from a nation with among the largest hydrocarbon reserves anywhere in the world.

Mexico’s national firm, Pemex, is nothing but a piggy bank for the politicians, who suck most of the investment capital away from the oil patch and into their own boondoggles. Thus is Pemex walking off a cliff of underinvestment, depletion and decline. According to Matt Simmons, Pemex may not be exporting any oil at all to the U.S. within 18-24 months.

Iran’s oil industry is in a slow death spiral, despite the occasional report of Chinese assistance with field development. Apparently, there’s a "Twitter Revolution" going on in Iran that includes people at the grass roots impeding the oil industry. Well, it worked to depose the Shah back in 1979. Perhaps the Iranians can rid themselves of their mullahs in a similar way.

Next door in Iraq, chaos reigns. According to Matt Simmons, the Iraqis "are in the dark about how to run their oil industry." The Iraqi oil legislation is so burdensome that almost all players within the international energy industry are spurning Iraq, including the Chinese. Wow. When the Chinese won’t invest in your oil fields, there MUST be something wrong.

And so it goes. The bottom line is that we should expect a global oil shock by 2012, or earlier if global economic activity kicks into high gear. It should go without saying that despite any calamities that may come from such a thing, you would be very happy if you’d taken advantage of lower oil prices to stock up.

Byron King--Prior to joining Whiskey and Gunpowder, Byron received his Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, was a cum laude graduate of Harvard University, served on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations and as a field historian with the Navy. Our resident energy and oil expert, Byron is the editor of Outstanding Investments and Energy and Scarcity Investor.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rare Earth Elements: Vital to Strengthening America’s Economy/Security

Following the publication of the commentary “Happy Talk on Green Jobs” and in conversations surrounding the topic, CARE’s executive director, Marita Noon, is often asked a question, “What are rare earths?” Rare earth elements such as lanthanum, cerium, and many others of are of great importance to the energy sector of our economy and are vital to preserving America’s national security interests. The green energy revolution that environmentalists advocate is impossible to achieve without a secure supply of rare earth elements. REEs are used in the construction of wind turbines, hybrid vehicles, and emerging energy technologies. REEs are also vital to our national security, such as in the construction of jet fighter engines, missile guidance systems, underwater mine detectors, space-based satellite power plants, and military communication systems. And here’s the scary part--China controls 95% of the world’s REE production and environmental extremists are repeatedly blocking American companies from mining efforts that would allow reaching the REEs that we need to keep America free and prosperous. This is an energy issue and a national security issue. Found in one of our favorite sources, Whiskey and Gunpower (an investment newsletter) we discovered a good overview of Rare Earths and the current situation. Most of our posting from Whiskey and Gunpowder come from their Energy Editor Byron King, but this posting introduces a new writer: Doug Hornig.

Why All the Fuss Over Rare Earths?
Rare earth elements (REEs) have been the mystery metals of the mining world for years. Now, suddenly, everyone’s heard about them.

Before we delve into the reasons behind all the publicity, here’s the basic skinny on REEs: One, they are rare, at least sort of. Two, they are indispensable to modern technology. Three, the number of active, dedicated producers is tiny, with more than 90% of the world’s supply coming from China.

If you took high school chemistry, you probably remember the periodic table of the elements. But if you’re like most of us, even if you pulled a 95 on the chem final, you may not recall many of the details today. And there’s a better than even chance you never bothered to memorize the names of the REEs. It’s time to get reacquainted.

They’re generally clustered in a separate grouping at the bottom of the table, are known collectively as the lanthanoids, and these are their names, in order of atomic number (57-70): lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, and ytterbium. Yttrium (39) and lutetium (71) are also sometimes included.

Need to Know, Point 1: Rarity
Fact is, we begin with something of a misnomer. These elements are not, strictly speaking, rare. Earth’s crust is full of them. True, they’re not as common as iron, carbon, or silicon, but are about on a par with nickel, copper, and zinc. Even the scarcest is way more abundant than gold, platinum, or palladium.

What is rare about them is that they’re widely dispersed. Very seldom are they found in economically exploitable deposits. Complicating matters further is that there are so many of them, and they clump together. They have to be separated first from the ore and then from each other.

Thus REE production comes primarily from other mines’ byproducts. The miner strips off the metal he’s really after, then sends the REE clusters to a specialty refiner.

Need to Know, Point 2: Applications
It’s safe to say that life as we know it would be very different without the REEs. The more our technological accomplishments pile atop one another, the more crucial these metals become. Because of their unique properties, there are generally no substitutes for them.

Of all the REEs, the one people may have heard of is neodymium. Alloys containing it have revolutionized permanent magnet technology, allowing miniaturization of all sorts of electronic components in appliances, A/V equipment, computers, communication systems, and military gear. Your hard drive probably has neodymium in it. So does your DVD player.

Liquid crystal displays depend on europium. Fiber-optic cables can’t function without erbium. Virtually all specialty glass products, from mirrors to precision lenses, are polished with cerium oxide. Several REEs are essential constituents of both petroleum fluid cracking catalysts and auto emissions-control catalytic converters. Half a dozen REEs go into the manufacture of the energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs that will soon be mandatory. Lanthanum-nickel-hydride rechargeable batteries are replacing older ones based on lead or cadmium. And no REEs, no electric cars. Nor next-generation wind turbines.

That’s only a partial list. But what makes REEs an increasingly sensitive topic is their role in national defense. Here are a few small items that have become dependent on them: jet fighter engines, missile guidance systems, underwater mine detectors, range finders, space-based satellite power plants, and military communications systems.

Think the Pentagon is very, very interested in maintaining a steady REE supply?

Need to Know, Point 3: Supply
95% of the world’s REE production originates in China. If you’re looking for reasons why we’re so nice to the premier Communist power left standing, this is a biggie.

We weren’t always so dependent. Not long ago, mines such as Mountain Pass in California made us nearly self-sufficient in REEs. But in the early ‘90s, China flooded the market with cheaper product, until it had driven all of its competitors out of business.

Today, Mountain Pass is being revived, but the start-up of an old mine is a lengthy and costly process. There are also some from-scratch REE development projects under way in the U.S., as well as Canada and Australia. But for the moment, China holds the hand with all of the high cards in it.

Forget your hard drive. Forget 11th-grade chemistry experiments. This is a national security issue. The American government cannot afford to lose that supply source, period. Maybe someday, but not now.And that’s what’s behind the recent furor over these obscure elements. Because China threatened just that, a cutoff. The one thing that really gets Washington’s knickers in a twist. In August, the story broke in the mainstream press. Sources in China leaked news of a draft copy of a report from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. It allegedly calls for a total export ban on five of the rare earths, with the rest restricted to a combined export quota of 35,000 metric tons a year, far below annual global consumption of 125,000 tons, and rising fast.

This doesn’t look like a move they’d follow through on, if only because of the lost trade revenues. And it’s only a recommendation; final approval rests with China’s State Council. But consider it an opening shot across our bow, if you wish. Or perhaps they’re telling us they need their REEs for the domestic economy, and we’d best go find our own supplies. Either way, the scramble is on to find alternatives.

That could backfire. REE prices and demand were already dropping last fall as the recession deepened, and China maintains a decided competitive advantage beyond control of supply: lax environmental standards (many REEs are highly toxic). Thus the new companies could spend the fortunes required to come on line, only to find themselves victims of yet another market glut engineered by the Chinese. Still, these metals are so important, it wouldn’t surprise us if the U.S. government subsidized domestic production, rather than risk a squeeze.

The Market
The market took due notice of the China story, driving the stocks of Western REE producers, and would-be producers, nearly straight up. Since late August, Avalon Rare Metals has gained 120%, Arafura Resources is up 75%, Rare Element Resources has added 72%, and Lynas Corp. is 50% higher (China, ever the master strategist, exploited the credit crisis to grab 25% of Arafura and more than 50% of Lynas). Lurking in the background is Molycorp, the private company redeveloping Mountain Pass. It’s planning an IPO that may well come out of the gate red hot.

With market action this frantic, the sector is on the frothy side at the moment. The heady market caps being awarded to these companies are obviously not based on fundamentals, and a savvy investor takes care not to get caught on the wrong side of a bubble.

Even though the Chinese export ban may never materialize, the ever-growing need for REEs is dead serious. And while the current bubble may pop any day, the long-term prospects for successful miners are outstanding.

Doug Hornig--A former Edgar Award nominee, finalist for the Virginia Prize in both fiction and poetry, and a past winner of the Virginia Governor’s Screenwriting competition, Doug Hornig lives on 30 mountainous acres in a county that just got its first stop light. He is an admitted political junkie, but hates all political parties. Doug has authored 10 books and has written articles for BusinessWeek and other renowned publications. In addition he produces original analysis for Casey Research.

Friday, October 2, 2009

An Informed Voter's Opinions on Cap and Trade

Typically here at Comments About Responsible Energy, we feature opinions, current energy news, and have made available a cadre of experts who willingly share their insights with us. Upon reading, you are invited to add you comments or questions.

In the CARE Newsletter, The PowerLine, we frequently post questions from the “audience”—either an audience member from one of Marita’s speaking engagements or something that comes in via e-mail in response to the newsletter. We solicit the answer from an appropriate expert and post both the question and answer there.

But this posting is different. It is from a CARE Newsletter Reader and it does have questions. And we are inviting our various experts to comment on it. But we’ve chosen to post this piece here in the Blog because we think the author’s comments and questions may reflect some of what you are thinking. We invite you—expert or not—to respond to the thoughts and questions posted here. Tell Criss where she is right—or where she is off base. If you know the answers to her questions, please offer your insights.

My feelings on cap and trade can best be expressed by the following:
The root purpose of the Cap and Trade bill appears to me to be reducing greenhouse emissions and steer the U.S. away from fossil fuel dependency; the ultimate goal being reducing the emissions by 20% by the year 2020. It accomplishes this via various taxes, surcharges, fines and the like and then distributing these funds to the development and deployment of “renewable” energy sources.

When I look at gas, oil and coal I realize that they give us electrical energy, transportation/shipping fuel and a ton of by-products like: plastic, herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, more than 50% of all our composite materials, including fabrics, air and water filters and even pencils. Until recently these fossil fuels have been the most cost effective sources of these energy needs. We humans have known, consciously, as a whole, that these fuels put poisons into our air, water and soil. We have also been aware that they kill humans since at least the 1800’s. No government taxes in any country developed or made available these fuels and all their various uses to the masses, rather free enterprise did that. Governments did not really get involved until it was admitted just how deadly these poisons from burning these fuels can be. IE: There were thousands of deaths from these poisons. Also all three of these fuel sources are an earth resource. They are finite as far as we humans are concerned because it takes the earth millions if not billions of years to produce them. Worldwide consumption rates to these fuels are increasing each year. This means eventually they will become consumed to extinction. We humans currently, nor in the near future, have a way to make our own version of these fuels, en mass, quickly and cost efficiently.

I do not want to put any more poisons into our air, water and soil. So any replacement energy source will need to be cleaner than our existing ones. Nor do I want to rely on another finite earth resource for energy as eventually that too will be consumed to extinction. So they should be as renewable as possible. Nor do I want to have the new energy source to be more dangerous than any existing fuel source to harvest, refine, distribute and burn or utilize and dispose of in any way. Nor do I want to be charged to develop these new energy sources or to put these new sources into production. I believe that the private enterprise sector should do that. And the new sources must be at least as cost effective as the existing energy sources.

The existing alternatives to gas, coal and oil are hydro, solar, wind, geo-thermal and nuclear.

I rule nuclear out because it is based on another finite earth resource--uranium, which is rarer than gas, oil or coal. Rarer than diamonds. Plus it has some safety and security issues that have yet to be resolved. The large plants are almost as cost effective as existing gas, coal and oil, but the cost of safety and security make it uneconomical. Then there is the fact that it only addresses, on a large scale, just one energy need--electrical. It does not address transportation, other than large sea vessels, nor does it address all the by-products. Its safety and security issues also means that additional poisons can and have been, released into either or our air, water or soil. And radiation poison scares me as much as any other natural or man-made disaster or poison, if not more so.

I rule out solar and wind because again they only address electrical energy and do not address transportation or by-product. Yes there is some research to use electrical airplanes, but the successful ones so far are for one or two people and not mass transit or cargo. And yes we do have some electrical vehicles, but they too are not ready for economical en mass deployment (being small they are a safety risk to occupants up against say a dump truck, nor do they have the oomph to plow thru a snow drift). When implemented for large scale electrical production there are some environmental issues and they are not as cost effective as gas, coal and oil production plants in our current business economic model (mega bucks, mega profits, mega quickly). Although, these are very good and cost effective on a small non-commercial production scale, so much so that the energy companies are doing everything in their power to push the price up and they must perceive this as a threat to their mega bucks.

I rule out hydro energy as again this is mostly electrical energy and has some safety and security issues of its own to be resolved. Mainly concerning the dams themselves. They disrupt the natural flow and ecosystems of the river they are implemented on and there is the risk of dam failure which could result in deaths from flooding. Nor does hydro address all the by-products. They are however almost as cost effective as gas, coal and oil without the poisons.

I rule out geo-thermal as they only address electrical and are not quite as cost effective as our existing gas, coal and oil, very close but not quite. Nor do they address transportation and by-products.

My research also indicates that if the U.S. achieved its Cap and Trade Bill goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, the actual result worldwide would be barely over 1%. If all the other countries of the world did the same and reduced by 20% by 2020 the overall worldwide lowering of greenhouse gases in the air would still be in the single percentage points, almost double digit, but single.

Then there is my opinion that physiologically it does not induce or entice people to reduce and conserve their existing fossil fuel usage. Yes it does tax and fine or surcharge if we do not lower our consumption but it does so in a very negative way and not a positive way. Philologists have long been proponents of the quickest and longest lasting behavior changes occur thru positive reinforcement and not negative. IE: Give people a tax break if they lower their consumption (individual or company), taxes stay the same if they stay at the same level as today and then taxes go to a higher percentage rate if they increase consumption over today.

When I compare this research information against the bill, the bill does not address my requirements or priorities. It charges (taxes, fines, surcharges) me to make drastic changes to the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions but does not result in an overall reduction worldwide that is beneficial to humans, et al verses the cost of doing so. Nor does it address finding, developing and deploying en mass cost effective replacements to the electrical, transportation and by-product needs to get off coal, gas and oil. Nor does it address the issue of how to use our existing energy sources more effectively and cost efficiently. And last but not least it does not address the energy infrastructure which is over 50 years old, is falling down around our feet and looses approximately 20-30% of the energy we currently produce via transmission and conversion from AC to DC and DC to AC losses. We need a suite of replacements and no one alternative available today accomplishes enough to charge me to death for their deployment.

I am against the cap and trade bill as it exists today because it basically accomplishes nothing but charges the crap out of me.

My "debate" questions are really asking why everyone seems to be debating the disputed facts concerning greenhouse gas emissions and not zeroing in on the real issues:

Oil, Coal, Gas and Uranium are finite earth resources and will eventually become extinct. Doesn't really matter when they get used up, they will be used up and the longer we take to reduce or eliminate our use of them the faster they will be used up.

Other than people with a suicide wish--I doubt there is anyone who wants more poisons in our air, water or land. So cutting greenhouse gases is not really the issue--cutting all poison emissions is the real issue.

Our energy infrastructure or GRID is so old it is falling down around us. Just putting a computer program on it to re-route surges and drops does not fix this aspect. We need a new, more efficient and cost effective TRUE SMART GRID. We need to stop loosing energy we currently produce to transmission and energy type conversion as well as the physical aspects of the power lines being just too old and tired to keep up with today’s demands.

We need replacements for our electrical energy needs, our transportation (personal and bulk) energy needs and we need replacements for all the by-products that existing fossil fuels, particularly oil and coal, now give us.

Our current US Business Economic Model for Mega Bucks, Mega Profits, Mega Quickly (instead of just bucks, profits and quick) are killing research, development and deployment of any true changes to our existing mass energy systems and enterprises that can get us off these dang blasted finite earth resource fuels.

Our current US Government and energy businesses seem to think that we the American Citizens should pay for this development and deployment of new sources and fixes through taxes, fines, surcharges and debasement of our dollars. Sorry but they created the problem, it was not just us citizens, this needs to be free enterprise.

There seems to be an avoidance of the fact that NONE of the existing alternatives to coal, gas and oil will FIX our true energy issues or the environmental ones either and no one wants to go broke via any means to pay for the fix either. So why do we keep debating all this other crap instead of really brain storming for ideas to fix this mess?

Criss--An Independent, Informed Voter