‘The Bush administration wants to eliminate federal support for geothermal power just as many U.S. states are looking to cut greenhouse gas emissions and raise renewable power output.
The move has angered scientists who say there is enough hot water underground to meet all U.S. electricity needs without greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Department of Energy has not requested funds for geothermal research in our fiscal-year 2008 budget,” said Christina Kielich, a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy. “Geothermal is a mature technology. Our focus is on breakthrough energy research and development.”‘
‘Halliburton, the big energy services company, said today that it would open a corporate headquarters in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai and move its chairman and chief executive, David J. Lesar, there.
The company will maintain its existing corporate office here as well as its incorporation in the United States. [..]
The announcement about the Dubai move, which Halliburton made at a regional energy conference in Bahrain, comes at a time when the company is being investigated by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegations of improper dealings in Iraq, Kuwait and Nigeria. Halliburton has also paid out billions in settlements in asbestos litigation.’
‘”Changes in climate are now affecting physical and biological systems on every continent,” the report says, in marked contrast to a 2001 report by the same international group that said the effects of global warming were coming. But that report only mentioned scattered regional effects.
“Things are happening and happening faster than we expected,” said Patricia Romero Lankao of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., one of the many co-authors of the new report. [..]
The hardest-hit continents are likely to be Africa and Asia, with major harm also coming to small islands and some aspects of ecosystems near the poles. North America, Europe and Australia are predicted to suffer the fewest of the harmful effects.’
‘To cut down on costly imports of petroleum, of which Myanmar does not have much, its ruling generals want every vehicle in the country to run on natural gas, of which it has plenty.
Since 2005, the junta has managed to get around 11,000 taxis and buses in Yangon [..] to convert to compressed natural gas (CNG).
Unfortunately, during this time it has installed only 20 filling stations for a city of 5 million people.
More unfortunately, the CNG pumps they have installed are so archaic they can take 30 minutes to fill up one vehicle.
Even more unfortunately, every time a power blackout strikes — which is at least once a day — the pumps grind to a halt.’
‘Indonesia will drop hundreds of concrete balls into a mud volcano in a bid to brake the flow of hot liquid that has displaced more than 10,000 people and inundated entire villages in Java, an official said on Friday.
The torrent of hot mud has been flowing since an oil drilling accident in May in Sidoarjo, an industrial suburb of East Java’s Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city.
Numerous attempts to cap or curb the flow since it started have failed.
But now the government plans to try concrete balls linked by metal chains.’
Followup to Poisonous mud wreaks havoc on Java.
‘How far would you drive for a gallon of “terror-free” gas?
Consumers in Omaha, Neb., will be able to answer that question soon as the nation’s first “terror-free” gas station is scheduled to open there Thursday. [..]
The Terror-Free Oil Initiative, a group that says it is dedicated to encouraging Americans to buy gasoline that originates from countries that do not export or finance terrorism, is the driving force behind the idea.’
`A high school lunch period was disrupted Monday by a greased, naked student who ran around screaming and flailing his arms until police twice used a stun gun on him, authorities said.
Taylor Killian, 18, had rubbed his body with grapeseed oil to keep from being caught, and got up after the first time he was shocked to continue running toward a group of frightened students huddled in a corner at Westerville North High School, Lt. Jeff Gaylor said.
“That prank went a little farther than he intended, I guess,” Gaylor said. [..]
Police said that an administrator ordered Killian to stop, but that the student made a sexual gesture and kept running.
Killian is in jail and charged with inducing panic, public indecency, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.’
`Oil traders and others believe that the Saudi decision to let the price of oil tumble has more to do with Iran than economics.
Their belief has been reinforced in recent days as the Saudi oil minister has steadfastly refused calls for a special meeting of OPEC and announced that the nation is going to increase its production, which will send the price down even farther.
Saudi Oil Minister Ibrahim al-Naimi even said during a recent trip to India that oil prices are headed in the “right direction.”
Not for the Iranians.’
`You saw the stories that dominated the headlines in 2006: the war in Iraq, North Korea’s nuclear tests, and the U.S. midterm elections. But what about the news that remained under the radar? From the Bush administration’s post-Katrina power grab to a growing arms race in Latin America to the new hackable passports, FP delivers the Top Ten Stories You Missed in 2006.’
`But polio is not the only threat Justice faces. Almost since birth, he has had respiratory trouble. His neighbors call it “the cough.” People blame fumes and soot spewing from flames that tower 300 feet into the air over a nearby oil plant. It is owned by the Italian petroleum giant Eni, whose investors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. [..]
The makeshift clinic at a church where Justice Eta was vaccinated and the flares spewing over Ebocha represent a head-on conflict for the Gates Foundation. In a contradiction between its grants and its endowment holdings, a Times investigation has found, the foundation reaps vast financial gains every year from investments that contravene its good works.’
`Iraq’s massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.
The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.’
That’s a surprise. It never even occurred to me that the US government might have some interest in Iraqi oil fields.
`ExxonMobil Corp. gave $16 million to 43 ideological groups between 1998 and 2005 in a coordinated effort to mislead the public by discrediting the science behind global warming, the Union of Concerned Scientists asserted Wednesday.
The report by the science-based nonprofit advocacy group mirrors similar claims by Britain’s leading scientific academy. Last September, The Royal Society wrote the oil company asking it to halt support for groups that “misrepresented the science of climate change.”
ExxonMobil did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the scientific advocacy group’s report.’
`A Lithuanian held on suspicion of theft in an Arctic Norway jail slipped out of custody – literally – by stripping naked, smearing himself with vegetable oil and sliding through the prison bars, police said Wednesday.
“He slipped through the bars on Christmas Eve,” said Svein-Erik Jacobsen, operation leader for the Oest-Finnmark Police District. The unusual escape made national news in Norway on Wednesday.
Another Lithuanian, held as an accomplice in the same cell, also used the technique to try to slip out of a window of the Vadsoe Jail, but failed, apparently because he was too big. The men had managed to bend the bars slightly to gain more space.’
`An overweight woman who got stuck in a South African cave trapped 22 fellow tourists for more than 10 hours and had to be prised free with liquid paraffin.
The woman became trapped in the Tunnel of Love obstacle in the Cango Caves in Western Cape on New Year’s Day.
The caves’ manager said the woman had been warned she might not be suitable but she insisted on trying. [..]
No drilling equipment was needed and the woman was eventually freed with a pulley and paraffin used to grease the surface at about 2320.’
Japanese men covered in oil trying to move furniture. They fall over a fair bit. đź™‚
‘Now, how many times does this happen in North America daily? we caught it on tape….while the driver should know better, look at the attendants directions. wonder if either of these two could find their ass with both hands??’
(1.3meg Windows media)
see it here »
`Want to spend less at the pump? Lose some weight. That’s the implication of a new study that says Americans are burning nearly 1 billion more gallons of gasoline each year than they did in 1960 because of their expanding waistlines. Simply put, more weight in the car means lower gas mileage. [..]
“The bottom line is that our hunger for food and our hunger for oil are not independent. There is a relationship between the two,” said University of Illinois researcher Sheldon Jacobson, a study co-author.’
`The Philippine Coast Guard is appealing for chicken feathers and human hair to help sponge up the country’s worst oil spill.
A tanker chartered by refiner Petron Corp sank in heavy seas on August 11, oozing about a 10th of its two-million litre cargo of industrial fuel off the central island of Guimaras, affecting 40,000 people and 200km of coastline.
Petron, in which the Philippine government and Saudi state oil firm Saudi Aramco each have a 40 per cent stake, said a fresh spill was spotted late on Wednesday.
“We are appealing for the supply of indigenous absorbent materials like chicken feathers, human hair and rice straw,” Harold Jarder, head of the Coast Guard in Iloilo, a province north of Guimaras, told Reuters.’
`The Mediterranean is threatened by its worst ever environmental disaster after Israel’s bombing of a power plant in Lebanon sent thousands of tonnes of fuel gushing into the sea, the environment minister charged.
“Up until now 10,000-15,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil have spilled out into the sea,” after Israel’s bombing of the power station in Jiyeh two weeks ago, Lebanese Environment Minister Yacub Sarraf told AFP Saturday.
“It’s without doubt the biggest environmental catastrophe that the Mediterranean has known and it risks having terrible consequences not only for our country but for all the countries of the eastern Mediterranean.”‘
‘Poisonous mud and gas is erupting from kilometres below the earth and 8,000 people are displaced and hundreds hospitalised on the Indonesian island of Java.
The calamity has been caused by a gas exploration project near Surabaya in East Java that has gone horribly wrong, and for the past six weeks, has unleashed hundreds of tonnes of hot toxic mud. [..]
An area of 12 square kilometres has now been covered and four entire villages have been affected, displacing almost 8,000 people.’
`Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s top marketer of biofuels, considers using food crops to make biofuels “morally inappropriate” as long as there are people in the world who are starving, an executive said on Thursday.
Eric G Holthusen, Fuels Technology Manager Asia/Pacific, said the company’s research unit, Shell Global Solutions, has developed alternative fuels from renewable resources that use wood chips and plant waste rather than food crops that are typically used to make the fuels.
Holthusen said his company’s participation in marketing biofuels extracted from food was driven by economics or legislation.’
`More than 150 people have been killed in an explosion at a petrol pipeline near Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos.
Police and Red Cross officials at the scene of the blast, on Atlas Creek Island, said many of the bodies had been burnt beyond recognition.
Reports suggest the blast may have been caused by an attempt to tap illegally into the high pressure pipeline.
Almost 2,000 people have died in a number of similar incidents in the country in recent years.’
`A small company in Madison, WI has developed a novel way to generate hydrogen cheaply and cleanly from biomass.
In the next couple of weeks, the technology, developed by Virent Energy Systems, will be used for the first time to continuously produce electricity from a small 10-kilowatt generator at the company’s facility in Madison. The unit is fueled by corn syrup, similar to the kind used by soft drinks manufacturers, says CEO Eric Apfelbach.
The company is also about to begin work on a $1 million U.S. Navy project to build portable fuel-cell generators. The goal is to make self-contained units capable of producing their own hydrogen from a biomass-derived glycerol solution or even antifreeze.’
`The amount of accessible oil worldwide could eventually be increased by roughly 30 percent with the help of new drilling, imaging, and oil extraction technologies, including the use of microbes, say MIT researchers. Theoretically, this number could be even higher; in a best-case scenario, the amount of oil that could be produced would double.
On average, using current techniques, about two-thirds of the oil in an oil field gets left behind, says Richard Sears, a vice president at Shell International Exploration and Production, Houston, TX. “The fundamental problem is basic physics. It’s not like the oil is in big tanks. We produce oil from rock — sandstone. The oil is actually held in the very small spaces between the grains of sand. The problem is, when you try to move that oil out of the rocks, because of the size of the spaces, you end up with a layer of oil coating the insides of the rocks.” About one-third of the oil in fields will always be inaccessible. That leaves one-third that could be recovered with new technologies — which is equal to the amount that would have already been extracted.’
`Police in Charleston County say a naked man exposed himself to his 66-year-old neighbor, then later attacked officers with nunchucks.
Police say 49-year-old Rudolph Claude Smith went next door to his neighbor’s apartment to borrow some oil for a workout. While he was in the woman’s home, police say Smith took off his clothes and asked the woman to “oil him up.”
According to a police report, Smith attacked two officers with nunchucks when they came to his home to make an arrest. They also say the oil made it difficult for them to get a good grip on him.’
‘It’s not just that America is being ruled by small and venal men, or that its reputation has been demolished, its army overstretched, its finances a mess. All of that, after all, was true toward the end of Vietnam as well. Now, though, there are all kinds of other lurking catastrophes, a whole armory of swords of Damocles dangling over a bloated, dispirited and anxious country. Peak oil — the point at which oil production maxes out — seems to be approaching, with disastrous consequences for America’s economy and infrastructure. Global warming is accelerating and could bring us many more storms even worse than Katrina, among other meteorological nightmares. The spread of Avian Flu has Michael Leavitt, secretary of health and human services, warning Americans to stockpile canned tuna and powdered milk. It looks like Iran is going to get a nuclear weapon, and the United States can’t do anything to stop it. Meanwhile, America’s growing religious fanaticism has brought about a generalized retreat from rationality, so that the country is becoming unwilling and perhaps unable to formulate policies based on fact rather than faith.’
`Mexican President Vicente Fox has announced the discovery of a new deep-water oil field, which is believed to contain 10bn barrels of crude.
The field is in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mexico says it could be bigger than its largest oil field, Cantarell.
Production there is said to have declined sharply in recent years.’
`Bruce Crower has made a name for himself with his aftermarket performance parts business Crower Cams, but at 75 years old Crower may have done the most remarkable thing in his life. Crower has developed a six-stroke engine that may just forever change the automotive world.
Using a modified single-cylinder diesel engine Crower converted it to use gasoline, then machined the necessary parts to create the worlds only six-stroke engine. The engine works through harnessing wasted heat energy created by the fuel combustion to add another two-strokes to the engine cycle. After the combustion stage water is injected into the super heated cylinder and steam forms forcing the piston back down and in turn cools the engine. The result is normal levels of power using much less fuel and no need for an external cooling system.’
`A car that can go from zero to 60 in four seconds and get more than 50 miles to the gallon would be enough to pique any driver’s interest. So who do we have to thank for it. Ford? GM? Toyota? No — just Victor, David, Cheeseborough, Bruce, and Kosi, five kids from the auto shop program at West Philadelphia High School
The five kids, along with a handful of schoolmates, built the soybean-fueled car as an after-school project. It took them more than a year — rummaging for parts, configuring wires and learning as they went. As teacher Simon Hauger notes, these kids weren’t exactly the cream of the academic crop.’