Archive for Peak Oil


Bike Story

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This video documents how Boulder, Colorado planned for multimodal transportation and implemented a high-functioning bike system. Let’s learn these lessons and make it happen here in Asheville.


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Pickens Plan One Year Later

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One year ago today, oil maven and sometimes Republican political activist T. Boone Pickens announced a novel plan to dramatically reduce foreign oil consumption in the United States.  The plan outlined a strategy to displace foreign oil by using domestic natural gas as a transportation fuel.  The area where natural gas would have the largest immediate impact is in the trucking sector.  In order to ensure adequate supply of natural gas, Pickens proposed a dramatic increase in clean wind  electricity to displace electricity generated by natural gas power plants.

The plan is appealing but challenging.  It is appealing because it points us to two energy sources that the United States has in abundance: wind and natural gas.  Challenging because it requires very big changes to our infrastructure to make it happen.  That wind power will make up a huge proportion of our electricity supply is obvious.  But it will take decades and it is more likely to displace coal than natural gas generation.  Truck engine makers are starting to offer CNG based engines, but it will be a long time before fleets adopt these engines in any great numbers.  In terms of the passenger car market, there is only one CNG based vehicle on showroom floors: the Honda Civic GX.  Then there is what I call the alternative fuel paradox.  Higher adoption of alternative fuels will drive up the price of that fuel and drive down the price of traditional petroleum, thereby slowing alternative fuel adoption.  Finally, it admittedly does not address the carbon issue, though CNG would burn far cleaner in trucks as opposed to diesel.

Even though I have some doubts, I went ahead and signed myself up on today.  Since it is the one year anniversary of his announcement, he labeling July 8th as Energy Independence Day.  Having listened to this guy for the least year, I can say I am a lot more educated on America’s energy situation than I was.  It might be worth taking a look just for that.

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Strive Not To Drive

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Coming next week…

A hundred transit-minded Ashevillains are wandering around the Asheville Civic Center’s banquet room looking at route maps, taking surveys, and gearing up for the Transit presentation.  If you’re interested, the session lasts until 7pm and folks are encouraged to come by at any point.  This Master Plan process is expected to culminate in July with a comprehensive, complimentary plan for the future of the way we move people through our city.  Cyclists and Scooterists, Bussers and Pedestrians are here to help shape our City’s transportation future.

If you haven’t taken the Transit survey, do it now:  TRANSIT SURVEY

Stay tuned.  More updates after the jump.

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Ain’t Got No Gas

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Tell anyone in western North Carolina that Shell was bagged, and they’ll know what you mean.  I’m lubing up my neglected bicycle to serve until the petrol is flowing again.  It’s good for me, but I can ride to work.  I’m wondering if there will be a rash of siphoning this week, leaving folks who filled their tanks in long lines shaking their fists at befumed thieves.

Categories : Energy, Local, Peak Oil
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Big Oil, John McCain, and Action

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More of this, please.

The hearing was supposed to focus on how rising fuel costs and other problems facing the airline industry are hurting the economy and entrepreneurs across the country.

But the committee’s top Republican, U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio, also used the occasion to argue that one way to bring down fuel costs would be to authorize more exploration and production of oil in the outer continental shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Heath didn’t like his meeting getting hijacked by this lame Republican talking point, and he let old boy have it:

“Whether it’s in the committees or on the House floor, I see a lack of maturity, quite frankly, in this house of Congress, where members are actually fighting against one another for their own political posturing or political game of power,” he said.

In what appeared to be a rebuttal to Chabot, Shuler said oil and gas companies already hold leases on nearly 68 million acres of federal land that could produce an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day. That would nearly double total U.S. oil production and would increase natural gas production by 75 percent, he said.

“But yet we stand on the House floor, and people kind of think they’re Hollywood stars because of C-SPAN, and we talk about (drilling in Alaska) and talk about it when we haven’t even united together as a body, the people’s House, and said what can we do to better our country,” Shuler said.

An anonymous source told me last week that Shuler has joined the bipartisan House Peak Oil Caucus. Given his stances on alternative fuels, I’m not surprised. The more Shuler addresses bread and butter issues like this, the better. He’s been quite strong on energy, environment, labor, and education. The first term Congressman ought to get pissed off more often, because he makes a lot of sense when he does.

Tell it like it is, Deputy Whip Largely, and know that progressives will applaud when you behave like a progressive.

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While you’re anxiously waiting for the Starbucks to open on the ground floor of the Parkside Condo Highrise, come bite your fingernails with a gaggle of liberals down at the Asheville Brewing Company. In this brave, new Asheville where condo developers can scheme with City and County staff to buy our public park land and turn it into luxurious living for the millionaires among us, it’s vital that we plebians behave as though nothing is wrong.

We can ignore Maj. Gen. Taguba leveling war crimes charges against George W. Bush and KBR telling our military to suck on it in Iraq. We can ignore the occupation of Iraq altogether while pretending that the do-nothing Democrats in Congress have already held the Bush administration to account. Global warming? Fuggedaboutit. Gas prices? F5 that shit. A massive wave of foreclosures, ballooning national debt, the plunging value of the dollar? Who has the time?

Come whistle while Rome burns tonight at the Asheville Brewing Company, 77 Coxe Ave., Downtown Asheville. Drinking Liberally, that left-leaning cabal of well-educated, well-heeled, well-bourbon political love children comes together for another Thursday night praising the light and cursing the darkness. We’ll start at 7ish and go until the goings gone. Everyone’s welcome. The only cost is your tab.


Another Record

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AFP: “The price of crude oil struck a record high point of 139.89 dollars a barrel on Monday even as Saudi Arabia is said to be preparing to increase output.

New York main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, beat its all-time high of 139.12 dollars recorded on June 6.”

UPDATE: And another record…

“Corn soared to a record in Chicago, extending its rally to a ninth straight session, as floods in the Midwest threatened production in the U.S., the world’s largest producer and exporter. Soybeans rose to a three-month high.”

h/t Atrios

Categories : Economy, Energy, Peak Oil
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Oil hits $117

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The Huffington Post reports “Retail gas prices set new records Friday on their seemingly relentless march toward $3.50 a gallon, and diesel prices pushed further above $4 a gallon. Crude futures, meanwhile, surged to a new record of $117 a barrel…”

Read the rest of the article.

One word: Peak Oil

Categories : Peak Oil
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