INDEX - ENERGY ID# 0517-10



POSTED: 6 September 2005 - 1:45pm

A Lesson from Katrina

aerial photo of a smoldering downtown New Orleans from

America in the Aftermath
by Juan Wilson on 6 September 2005

I've been getting emails from good hearted people about the issue, but I don't agree with proposals to petition the government to lower or cap gas prices. This may sound bizarre, but I am not hoping gas prices come down or have any artificial cap what so ever.

I believe that the alarming rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will lead many in this world to a horrific future of natural catastrophes and starvation. To lessen the great suffering ahead of us is to find methods to drastically reduce our use of oil. Switching to ethanol and bio-diesel won't help in this matter either.

One could argue that the damage to New Orleans and the Gulf oil infrastructure was brought on in part by climate change that was caused by burning the very gulf oil that will be in such short supply in the future.

Let's hope that we don't have to experience many more Katrina's before we learn some tough lessons - lessons as important to America as what we should have learned from 9/11. Namely, that we should reduce dependency on oil, not invest in it! It's a matter of changing lifestyles.

High price and low availability of gas is about the only way to reduce consumption for most Americans... and that is exactly what is coming as we pass world peak oil production in the next couple of years. More competition for fewer oil resources. It will not make sense to simply burn oil when we will need it for higher value uses like lubricants, plastics, and pharmaceuticals.

The less we use oil now the more forgiving the world and nature will be to us in the future. Treating nature right is not just a "nice" thing to do... tomorrow it will be a required survival technique.

One of the few ways people will conserve, protect, respect nature, is if they are economically compelled to due so. If it costs $100 to fill up your SUV you may decide to take your bike the next time you go to the market. Incentives like that will eventually help the world and you.

There is a rocky road ahead for America and the on-the-go lifestyle it has become addicted to. Now is the time to start looking for an exit ramp that looks good before the tank reads EMPTY!



Global Warming meets the Perfect Storm
28 August 2005 - 8:00pm

CNN radar image Sunday night of Katrina before landfall

New Orleans in Peril
by Juan Wilson 28 August 2005

I've been glued to my TV watching the slow-motion train wreck of Hurricane Katrina as it moves inevitably towards the mainland USA. She has not made landfall as I write this but the disaster is only a few hours away.

As New Orleans is evacuated, with dire predictions of a million residents possibly caught without homes when the storm passes; as a new record of over $70 a barrel is set for oil in anticipation of the suspension oil drilling and oil refining in the Gulf of Mexico, I am amazed that two things have not been reported on CNN, Fox or MSNBC as they look for things to talk about in their 24/7 coverage of this biblical storm:

1) Global Warming

2) End of the Cheap Oil

I know from relatives who live in Florida that there was much talk last year about global warming as the cause of the five hurricanes that blasted the state in a little over a month. Many residents talked about leaving the state. Little of this was reported in our national media.

Global warming is largely produced by greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of gasoline. Katrina appears to be bearing down on the source of her creation as she takes aim at the Gulf Coast of the United States where 25% of US crude is pumped.

New Orleans may sustain such damage that it will make little sense to invest the billions necessary to rebuild it. It is a city that should never have grown so large in so bad a location. About 70% of the city is below sea level and is sinking (due mostly to man-made effects on the environment). If the levees are topped by Katrina the city may be under water for a long time.

I can only feel pity for those who did not have a gassed up car to escape Katrina. Several thousand are huddling now in Superdome. It was advertised as a refuge of last resort. People there would likely have to stay in the arena until Tuesday with no light, air-conditioning or perhaps even water. It was expected that flooding in the city would enter and flood the field of the Superdome thus leaving only the higher seats dry.

The news coverage noted that no food or medical services were being provided at the Superdome, however there would be soldiers.The people I saw entering the stadium were overwhelmingly black with a scattering of street people. All were being checked by National Guard troops for implements of terrorism. An interview on CNN with two guardsmen revealed such confiscated items as an allen wrench, a fork, and a nail clip. Insanity rules. What a nightmare, and whose idea was it?



Gulf storm creates record oil price

SOURCE: FAITH HARDING 28 August 2005 - 8:00pm

Already Reuters in Sidney Australia reported that...

oil prices surged to a record above $70 a barrel on Monday as one of the biggest storms in the history churned through the Gulf of Mexico, forcing major oil producers and refiners to shut down operations.

Prices leapt as Hurricane Katrina, the 11th named storm of what is expected to be an unusually severe season, threatened to do lasting damage to vital U.S. oil and refining assets in the Gulf of Mexico, further straining an industry that has struggled to keep up with two years of strongly rising oil demand.

More than 40 percent of all U.S. crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was reported closed down due to the hurricane, with the total expected to rise significantly as more operators report affected production to the U.S. government on Monday.

The full extent of the damage and how long it will affect supplies will only be known after the storm clears.

"We're just going to have to wait and see what's left," said Chevron Corp. spokesman Matt Carmichael.

Katrina, described by one official as a "perfect" hurricane, revved up to a maximum Category 5, far stronger than last year's Hurricane Ivan, which tore up platforms and pipelines along a very similar path through the Gulf, disrupting output for months.

The Gulf of Mexico normally pumps about 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of U.S. crude, a quarter of domestic output and equivalent to nearly 2 percent of global oil production, similar to the estimated spare capacity within OPEC.

"We can expect two months of lost production, and coming in the peak-demand period this is the worst possible news," said David Thurtell, strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

"The only way we can avoid yet higher prices is if President Bush releases supply from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve."


ounter Code -->