“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of 'Energy Independence.'

I guess we can dream

Myths About Breaking Our Foreign Oil Habit

By Robert Bryce Washington Post
Sunday, January 13, 2008; B03

With oil prices still flirting with $100 a barrel, everyone is talking about the need for "energy independence." Late last year, President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007; Sen. John McCain has declared, "We need energy independence"; and Sen. Barack Obama has called for "serious leadership to get us started down the path of energy independence."

This may all be good politics. But the idea that the United States, the world's single largest energy consumer, can be independent of the $5 trillion-per-year energy business -- the world's single biggest industry -- is ludicrous on its face. The push for energy independence is based on a series of false premises . Here are a few of the most pernicious ones.

1 Energy independence will reduce or eliminate terrorism.

In a speech last year, former CIA director R. James Woolsey Jr. had some advice for American motorists: "The next time you pull into a gas station to fill your car with gas, bend down a little and take a glance in the side-door mirror. . . . What you will see is a contributor to terrorism against the United States." Woolsey is known as a conservative, but plenty of liberals have also eagerly adopted the mantra that America's foreign oil purchases are funding terrorism.

But the hype doesn't match reality. Remember, the two largest suppliers of crude to the U.S. market are Canada and Mexico -- neither exactly known as a belligerent terrorist haven.

Moreover, terrorism is an ancient tactic that predates the oil era. It does not depend on petrodollars. And even small amounts of money can underwrite spectacular plots; as the 9/11 Commission Report noted, "The 9/11 plotters eventually spent somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000 to plan and conduct their attack." G.I. Wilson, a retired Marine Corps colonel who has fought in Iraq and written extensively on terrorism and asymmetric warfare, calls the conflation of oil and terrorism a "contrivance." Support for terrorism "doesn't come from oil," he says. "It comes from drugs, crime, human trafficking and the weapons trade."

2 A big push for alternative fuels will break our oil addiction.

The new energy bill requires that the country produce 36 billion gallons of biofuels per year by 2022. That sounds like a lot of fuel, but put it in perspective: The United States uses more than 320 billion gallons of oil per year, of which nearly 200 billion gallons are imported.

So biofuels alone cannot wean the United States off oil. Let's say the country converted all the soybeans grown by American farmers into biodiesel; that would provide only about 1.5 percent of total annual U.S. oil needs. And if the United States devoted its entire corn crop to producing ethanol, it would supply only about 6 percent of U.S. oil needs.

So what about cellulosic ethanol, the much-hyped biofuel that can be produced from grass, wood and other plant sources? Many in Congress believe that it will ride to the rescue. But the commercial viability of cellulosic ethanol is a bit like the tooth fairy: Many believe in it, but no one ever actually sees it. After all, even with heavy federal subsidies, it took 13 years before the corn-ethanol sector was able to produce 1 billion gallons of fuel per year. Two and a half decades elapsed before annual corn-ethanol production reached 5 billion gallons, as it did in 2006. But now Congress is demanding that the cellulosic-ethanol business magically produce many times that volume of fuel in just 15 years. It's not going to happen.

3 Energy independence will let America choke off the flow of money to nasty countries.

Fans of energy independence argue that if the United States stops buying foreign energy, it will deny funds to petro-states such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Hugo Ch¿vez's Venezuela. But the world marketplace doesn't work like that. Oil is a global commodity. Its price is set globally, not locally. Oil buyers are always seeking the lowest-cost supplier. So any Saudi crude being loaded at the Red Sea port of Yanbu that doesn't get purchased by a refinery in Corpus Christi or Houston will instead wind up in Singapore or Shanghai.

4 Energy independence will mean reform in the Muslim world.

The most vocal proponent of this one is New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, who argues that the United States should build "a wall of energy independence" around itself and thereby lower global oil prices: "Shrink the oil revenue and they will have to open up their economies and their schools and liberate their women so that their people can compete. It is that simple." When the petro-states are effectively bankrupt, Friedman argues, we'll see "political and economic reform from Algeria to Iran."

If only it were that easy. Between about 1986 and 2000, oil prices generally stayed below $20 per barrel; by the end of 1998, they were as low as $11 per barrel. As Alan Reynolds pointed out in May 2005 in the conservative National Review Online, this prolonged period of "cheap oil did nothing to promote economic or political liberty in Algeria, Iran, or anywhere else. This theory has been tested -- and it failed completely."

5 Energy independence will mean a more secure U.S. energy supply.

To see why this is a myth, think back to 2005. After hurricanes ravaged the Gulf Coast, chewing up refineries as they went, several cities in the southeastern United States were hit with gasoline shortages. Thankfully, they were short-lived. The reason? Imported gasoline, from refineries in Venezuela, the Netherlands and elsewhere. Throughout the first nine months of 2005, the United States imported about 1 million barrels of gasoline per day. By mid-October 2005, just six weeks after Hurricane Katrina, those imports soared to 1.5 million barrels per day.

So we're woven in with the rest of the world -- and going to stay that way. Today, in addition to gasoline imports, the United States is buying crude oil from Angola, jet fuel from South Korea, natural gas from Trinidad, coal from Colombia and uranium from Australia. Those imports show that the global energy market is just that: global. Anyone who argues that the United States will be more secure by going it alone on energy hasn't done the homework.

Robert Bryce is a fellow at the Institute for Energy Research. He is the author of the forthcoming "Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of 'Energy Independence.' "


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Bravo!
    The best factoid in there is that we import jet fuel from Korea.
    We import Gasoline too.
    (just like Iran)

    National Security DEMANDS that we build additional refining capacity, but have done ZERO for about 30 years.

    Then there's the Gulf, Anwar, Nuclear, and EFFICIENCY/CONSERVATION.

  3. Maybe we just need to get a little more creative in looking for alternative fuel sources that could lead to energy independence. For example, the obesity epidemic could provide a source for billions BTUs annually. In this scheme the government could seize the bodies of all fat people by emininet domain and process the fat for fuel. Private property rights be damned. This would be for the good of the public.

    Gordon Brown has stirred up a controversy by saying doctors should be allowed to remove organs from dead patients without permission.

    Surgeons at workIn a move to help thousands more people waiting for organ donations, the Prime Minister is backing a policy of "presumed consent".

    This would mean that, unless people opted out of the donor register or family members objected, hospitals would be allowed to take their organs for transplants.

    Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Brown said the change would help close "the aching gap between the potential benefits of transplant surgery in the UK and the limits imposed by our current system."

    Katherine Murphy, the Patients Association charity, said: "We don't think a private decision, which is a matter of individual conscience, should be taken by the state.

    "If people want to give the gift of life, that is their right, but it must be something that is a voluntary matter

  4. Obviously, there is a growing market for "carbon alternatives."

    How's that? Am I learning to speak the lingo?

    If there is money to be made from "going green," I say let's be in the vanguard, But let's keep the government out of it or at the very least minimize government interference.

  5. All the basics that this Robert Bryce mentions seem accurate enough.

    Most are points that have been made here, often.

    The only Middle Eastern country that the US imports large amounts of oil from, Saudi Arabia. A small amount comes from Iraq and Kuwait, but less tha 600,000 barrels per day, combined. The Saudis sell US 1,400,000 barrels per day.

    Same as Mexico, less than Canada.

    If the US wanted to cut that Saudi string, we could. From ethanol produced both in the US and some of the other countries of America.
    Other than Mexico or Canada. Energy produced in the Americas is a step closer to independence, via an American Union of Free Trading countries. Mr Bryce does see that Union as being an extention of US, a case of short sightedness.

    But that Americas production would not put a crimp in Arabic Sovereign Funds, the Chinese & Indians replacing US as the market for those 2,000,000 barrels per day of oil supply. There would be no surplus, nor any preciptous drop in world market in crude oil prices.

    As Mr Bryce points out, US policy towards the Saudis and other Gulf States was set well before the current oil price spikes, even before the founding of Israel.

    Our policies in that Region not developed or continued because of either the oil or the Israelis, but the other MAJOR European and Asian players.

    The Crimean War was not about oil.
    The Crusades were not about oil.
    The driving force in that region are historical, cultural & religious. Not industrial, though that is now has become a mitigating but not the driving factor.

    Israel was not founded nor fought over, because of oil.
    Its' future not tied to oil.

    whit's previous post, Alfred C Newman on the Road in Arabia, just another thread, woven into the cloth. More tasting of the pudding of whom the US is allied with, though not perhaps, the real reasons why.

  6. The Chinese are already on that course, stout.

    Selling organs on the world medical market. Executing political prisoners, on demand, to provide a supply. At this point the Japanese are the primary market for those harvested organs.

    Te Brits just want to catch up, not wanting to be behind, on that curve.

  7. George Will tells US that the Republican Party could not be in worse shape for the November elections than it is.

    Not even if its' Leader had tried.
    But what if the last two Leaders of the GOP had tried. What if the Presidents 41 & 43 did not have the best interests of the GOP in mind, when they did their Deciding.

    Food for thought.

  8. Drunk on power, someone drove the Republican party right into the wall and the ensuing pileup is prety chaotic.

    But I believe there is one candidate positioned to come through the smoke and wreckage...Mitt Romney.

  9. When a liberal from Massachusetts is the best Republican horse, the race is lost.

  10. Federally mandated Health Insurance, forced by Law to be purchased by the citizen, without the freedom to opt out, is just another tax.

    Another limitation of economic freedom.

    If that has become the "conservative" position.
    I'll opt out of "conservatives".

    ROMNEY: No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.

    THOMPSON: I beg your pardon? I didn't know you were going to admit that. You like mandates.

    ROMNEY: Let me -- let me -- oh, absolutely. Let me tell you what kind of mandates I like, Fred, which is this. If it weren't...

    THOMPSON: The ones you come up with.


    ROMNEY: Here's my view: If somebody -- if somebody can afford insurance and decides not to buy it, and then they get sick, they ought to pay their own way, as opposed to expect the government to pay their way.

    ROMNEY: And that's an American principle. That's a principle of personal responsibility.

    So, I said this: If you can afford to buy insurance, then buy it. You don't have to, if you don't want to buy it, but then you got to put enough money aside that you can pay your own way, because what we're not going to do is say, as we saw more and more people...

    GIBSON: Governor, (inaudible) you imposed tax penalties in Massachusetts (inaudible).

    ROMNEY: Yes, we said, look, if people can afford to buy it, either buy the insurance or pay your own way; don't be free-riders and pass on the cost to your health care to everybody else, because right now...

    THOMPSON: The government is going to make you buy insurance...

    ROMNEY: No, the government is going to stop...

    THOMPSON: ,.. and make you pay -- I mean, the state -- your state plan, which is, of course, different from your national plan, did require people to make that choice, though. The state required them to do that.

    What was the penalty if they refused?

    ROMNEY: They refused to pay your -- let's go back, Fred. What's your view? If somebody...

    THOMPSON: Well, I asked the question first.


    ROMNEY: OK. Well, I'll answer your question, you answer mine.

    ROMNEY: If somebody is making, let's say $100,000 a year, and doesn't have health insurance, and they show up at the hospital, and they need a $1,000 repair of some kind for something that's gone wrong. And they say, "Look, I'm not insured, I'm not going to pay." Do you think they should pay or not?

    THOMPSON: Did your plan cut people off at $100,000? Was that the level?

    ROMNEY: No, actually...

    THOMPSON: Did it only apply to people with $100,000 income and over?

    ROMNEY: It actually applies to people at three-times federal poverty. They pay for their own policy. At less than three-times federal poverty, we help them buy a policy, so everybody is insured, and everybody is able to buy a policy that is affordable for them.

    The question is this, again, if someone could afford a policy and they choose not to buy it, should they be responsible for paying for their own care?

    Or should they be able to go to the hospital and say, "You know what? I'm not insured. You ought to pay for it."

    What we found was, one-quarter of the uninsured in my state were making $75,000 a year or more. And my view is they should either buy insurance or they should pay their own way with a health savings account or some other savings account.

    That I will oppose, today, tomorrow, forever. The Government forcing citizens to buy anything, forcing them to "save".

    If a person does not want health insurance, that is their informed decision to make. Not one for Mr Romney and his liberal friends to dictate.

  11. Mr Romney never did answer the question posed by Mr Thompson.

    THOMPSON: ,.. and make you pay -- I mean, the state -- your state plan, which is, of course, different from your national plan, did require people to make that choice, though. The state required them to do that.

    What was the penalty if they refused?

  12. Sorry about the re-order. I would rather look at that fine filly than the old stoat.

  13. Family of 4 Federal Poverty level
    $20,650 lower 48
    $25,820 Alaska
    $23,750 Hawaii

    $61,950 or above, pre tax
    means that:
    GIBSON: You all have proposed free market, consumer-purchased insurance. And you all talk about giving tax deductions for buying insurance.

    Let me do a little math. The average family employer-provided insurance, when the company's buying, it's $13,000 a family.

    Now, you talked about a $15,000 to $20,000 deduction -- right? -- for people buying their own insurance. If you take a median-income family of $62,000 in this country, you've just saved them $3,000 on their taxes. That doesn't come close to buying an insurance policy.

    The median-family income, that's the Federal Poverty Level.
    All those below, get a subsidy

    That's the Romney Plan, in Mass.
    Extended across the US?
    Who pays for the sub-median income earners subsidy, the State or the Feds?

    ROMNEY: I think my plan is a good plan that should be adopted by other states. I wouldn't tell every state...

    GIBSON: In your plan, would you mandate...

    ROMNEY: I would not mandate at the federal level that every state do what we do. But what I would say at the federal level is, "We'll keep giving you these special payments we make if you adopt plans that get everybody insured." I want to get everybody insured.

    A true blue State liberal.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. The Federal Poverty level, TIMES THREE that's the ROMNEY ADJUSTED Federal Poverty Level. for mandated Health Insurance purchases

    All those below, get a subsidy

  16. $13,000 - $63,000
    A new mandated 20% expenditure, which is a heck of a new tax.

  17. 47 million uninsured
    minus 25% = 35,250,000 that would require a subsidy.

    $13,000 mandated expense, the subsidy would range from $13,000 to almost none, dependent upon income actual level.

    Average $6,000 times 35.25 million
    $229,125,000,000 required in subsidies

    11,750,000 get a $13,000 per year mandated expense = $458.25 BILLION per year

    35.25 million get a $6,500 per year mandated expense = $229,125,000,000

    $607.375 BILLION in reallocated income, annually, under a "Romney Administration of Health Care."

    Plus the $229,125,000,000 required for subsidies.

    Almost a Trillion dollars

  18. Robert Bryce is pretty much a know-nothing, journalistic gadfly. The last two articles of his I Googled up was a negative piece on the F-22, and the pessimistic piece on the "Surge."

    He has, as far as I can ascertain, absolutely no expertise in "Oil Production," or in Alternative Fuels.

  19. Rufus, I was trying to get an accurate understanding as to how much gas could be derived from an acre of switch grass. If the math worked, it would make a tremendous amount of sense to plant the grass and similar suitable grasses along the entire length of the Mississippi where ten of millions of wetlands once mitigated flooding. The money saved on flood damage and the revenue derived from a network of biogas dedicated land, as well as a reduction in trade imbalance for imported oil would make for a very powerful combination.

  20. ...that's why you don't quit in the third quarter ... Habu

    DR....but,but, but that's because we ah, but, I didn't rally want to quit, but ah .. blah,blah ,blah..the record Dr , your unctuous record of cut and run.

  21. Guys, it's not a matter of, do we "Want to" replace petroleum; We "HAVE TO."

    Global Oil Production is at, for all Practical Purposes, "Peak Oil." We hit slightly over 82 million barrels per day in May of 2005, and there's very little chance we will substantially produce more than that for any length of time, "Ever."

    It looks, however, that we will need much more than that in barrels of oil equivalent, in just a few years. Did you read about India's new $2,500.00 car? This in a country of over a Billion people that currently has only a million cars.

    Every oil field that has ever produced more than a million bpd is in Decline, and we haven't discovered one in decades. We have to discover (and produce) another four million bpd, every year, just to stay even with current demand. (That's how much the current fields are declining.)

    These are Facts, gentlemen. No matter how much a gadfly journalist writes what you want to hear they won't go away.

  22. How many barrels of oil does a 500MW power plant replace?

  23. It certainly would, Deuce. You could figure about 1,000 gallons/acre of ethanol, and, probably, another 50% - 100% of energy equivalent if you gassified it.

    That would be, what? 76 Million btu's of ethanol (one caveat, however, that seventy six mil btus of ethanol can effectively replace 116,000 btus of gasoline in a properly tuned engine,) and 114,000,000 - 152,000,000 btus when converted to biogas.

  24. That should have read: "could effectively replace 116,000,000 btus of gasoline.

  25. Mat; A Lot?

    I don't know, Mat; but, there's no doubt that solar, wave, wind, biomass, waste, and gulf stream-generated power will be Vitally Important to our future energy needs.

    And, yes, Detroit really can build much more energy efficient engines. Google up Ford's new Eco-boost engine. (a four-cylinder, 2.0 liter, turbocharged engine that delivers 285 hp, and gets 20% better fuel economy than previous engines. And, this on gasoline.)

    Oh yeah, the Germans invented the technology in the "forties," I believe.

  26. Rufus,

    It's interesting that no one did the math. I'm trying to google the info, and so far, nada.

  27. I just woke up, Mat; and, that looks like way too much work before my second cup of coffee.


  28. :)

    1000 MW alternative energy power plants will soon become the norm. I'm just curious to know as to how many we need to replace imported oil.

  29. Anyone who wants to jump in here go ahead. My thought on renewing the wet lands embankments along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and creating a new source for energy independence intrigues me.

  30. It's going to be hard to knock those Ms Welfare/Cotton farmers off the guvmint teat, Deuce.

    We're Americans. We'll do it when "The Price is Right." Or, when the government kicks us off the teat.

  31. Or, Gives us a Bigger Tit!


  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. One ton of coal = about 3 to 4 barrels of crude

    1 kilowatt hour of electricity = 3413 British thermal units (Btu)

    1 barrel of crude oil = 5,800,000 Btu
    1 ton coal = 16,200,000 to 26,000,000 Btu
    1 pound of coal = 8,100 to 13,000 Btu

    For instance, one of our customers operates a 500 MW plant. The boiler servicing the plant consumes 225 tons of coal per hour when operating at full load. This equates to 5,400 tons of coal per day, enough to fill 54 rail cars. Another boiler located at a different 500 MW plant uses 160 tons of coal per hour, which equates to 3,840 tons per day. Less coal is consumed in the second case, since the coal used has a higher energy content.

    1 gallon of gasoline = 125,000 Btu

    1 gallon of ethanol = 84,400 Btu

    1 gallon methanol = 62,800 Btu

    1 gallon of gasohol
    (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline) = 120,900 Btu

    1 gallon of E-85
    (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) = 90,500 Btu

  34. Good Work, Rat.

    So, one acre of Deuce's switch grass could replace up to 20 barrels of Oil (which is just a bout -a tad less - what the average American uses in a year.)

  35. Ok, a 500 MW oil power plant consumes how many barrels of crude per year?

  36. Capitalism is the real 'agent of change'

    This past week's issue of the Economist has a heart-rending vignette from one of the most ruthlessly capitalist industries on the planet:

    "In 2006 EMI, the world's fourth-biggest recorded-music company, invited some teenagers into its headquarters in London to talk to its top managers about their listening habits. At the end of the session the EMI bosses thanked them for their comments and told them to help themselves to a big pile of CDs sitting on a table. But none of the teens took any of the CDs, even though they were free."

    "That was the moment we realized the game was completely up," an EMI exec told the magazine. In the United States, album sales in 2007 were down 19 percent from 2006. Don't blame me. I still buy plenty of CDs. But that's because I like Doris Day, and every time I try to insert one of these newfangled MP3s into my fax machine it doesn't seem to play. But if you're not Mister Squaresville, and you dig whatever caterwauling beat combo those London hep cats are digging on their iPods, chances are you find the local record store about as groovy as the Elks Lodge.

  37. Barrels of oil, barrels of schmoil. I've read every word in this thread twice, not seen the word nuclear once. Alfred E. Neumann for President! And the broad on the airbus for first lady.

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. Looks kinda like 16,000 barrels/day X 365, don't it?

  41. Sure there is, bob, nuclear discussed.

    mat's answer/ higher construction costs of a plant + operating expenses + 1,000 to 10,000 years of site security, after the 30 year operating life of the facility is over.

  42. I found it!


    1) A $2.43-billion, 917-MW, 195-million-gallons-per-day ( MMg /d) crude-fired plant at Shuaibah-3 (Shoaiba-3)

    2) An 850-MW, 47-MMg/d plant at Shuqaiq-2

    3) An oil-fired 2,500-MW to 3000 MW, 220-MMg/d plant at Ras Az-Zour

    All we need to do now is calculate the average efficiency of producing MW/Barrel of crude for these three.

  43. I though 1,500 or so, rufus.
    think you've got an extra zero.

    But I suck at arithmatic.

  44. 195 million/42 gallons per barrel=?
    ?/2 = 500MW.

  45. 5,840,000 barrels? Call it Six Million Barrels.

    Divide that by twenty acres, and you get 300,000 acres?

  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. There's only 1 million cars in all of India? One car per thousand peoples? How do they ever get anything done?

  49. Make sure you are not off by a factor of ten, rufus, or that I'm not.

    Could be 30,000 acres. A much more achievable number.

  50. Bicycles, tricycles
    motor bikes of under 125cc's

  51. The Ms Delta 1,000 miles by 50 miles = 50,000 sq mi. X 644 = 3,220,000 Acres. That be 5,000 Megawatts. Right?

  52. Dr. Bill has put that 10,000 years of site securtiy baby to bed a thousand times.

  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

  54. Not per the EPA, but even so, the 1,000 years is still a viable number, even after reprocessing.
    Which we have no facilty to do, in the US.

  55. These gas prices don't seem to be making a dent in pickup sales, around here anyway. Every new car lot is jam packed with the new models, and I don't see any big sales or price reductions being advertised, as I've been looking, thinking of buying one. The answer may be in the good current farm economy, around here. If Detroit and Toyota would quit announcing all these new gizzmos coming along out in the future it would help me personally as to what to buy. I don't buy a vehicle very often.

  56. 1000 MW
    = 212 million-gallons-per-day
    = 5.1 million-barrel-per-day

  57. Oops, I forgot to convert the switchgrass to "Gas." Multiply that by Two. 10,000 Megawatts.

  58. Ask yourself why the Brits, the French, the Japanese, and many others seem to not find those nuclear problems surmountable.

  59. mat's numbers for an existing come in at 2.321 million barrels per year.

    195,000,000 / 42 = 4,623,000 barrels for 1,000Mw
    4,623,000/2 = 2.321 million barrels for 500Mw

  60. Via Wiki:

    The United States imports a net 12 million barrels of oil a day (MMbd)

  61. Because
    1. they have no coal reserves
    2. No respect for future generations, based upon their reproductive levels.

  62. You build 3 or 4 of these 1000MW plants and there goes the need for imported oil.

  63. I think you're going the wrong way, Rat. You've got to multiply the tons of coal by three, or four, not divide.

  64. Better than wiki, mat
    The US Governments' Energgy Information Administration.
    They break it down by country of source, amounts YTD & monthly on an average daily basis.

  65. I'm beginning to worry about Ash. He may have been detained by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, for posting at the Elephant Bar. Mat, watch your back.

    1.) may contain some truth

  66. Or they may have figured out that coal puts more radioactive crap in the air than nuclear ever would.

  67. Bob,

    I still have my Israeli Passport. Though I'm not sure if trying to take refuge in the Israeli embassy will do any good. :D

  68. That's what I thought, first, then reconsidered, now reconsidering again.

    Think you're right.
    Especially with mat's example factored in.

  69. dRat,

    12 million barrels of oil a day (MMbd) looks about right.


    Introducing Br. Bill to the Elephant Bar, and the wider world--

    Dr. Bill takes on Al Gore, climate hysteria, and nuclearphobes.


  71. I was not disputing the number, mat, just giving a better source than wiki.

    A little more info on sourcing, rather than round numbers, and the Feds update monthly.

  72. How efficient are electric cars compared to oil power plants or gasoline engines?

  73. 4,000MW through alternative energy power plants, in a 4 years time span, seems like a very doable proposition.

  74. Multiply that by 365, mat.

    Each 1000Mw plant annual production x 3 or 4 supplements one days worth of imports.
    The 12 million barrels

    Seems you're taking the annual output and comparing it to one days imports.

  75. Efficient as hell, if you got the nuclear plants to fire them up. There seems to be a battery disposal problem.

  76. We'd need 1,500 of those 1,000 Mw alternative energy sourced generating plants

  77. The CIA says this, about US:

    Electricity - consumption:
    3.816 trillion kWh (2005)
    Electricity - exports:
    19.8 billion kWh (2005)
    Electricity - imports:
    44.53 billion kWh (2005)

    Oil - production:
    7.61 million bbl/day (2005 est.)
    Oil - consumption:
    20.73 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
    Oil - exports:
    1.048 million bbl/day (2004)
    Oil - imports:
    13.15 million bbl/day (2004)
    Oil - proved reserves:
    21.37 billion bbl (1 January 2006)

  78. The answers are in the btu numbers, mat.

    Then figuring how to figure 'em.

  79. "Multiply that by 365, mat."

    No you don't.

  80. It is a Brave New World, bob.

    That Alex Jones version of reality, gettin' closer every day.

    Who'd have ever thought ...

  81. Remember,

    = 195-million-gallons-per-day

    1000 MW
    = 212 million-gallons-per-day
    = 5.1 million-barrel-per-day

    No need to mix apples and oranges.

  82. It won't be fair to the older folk, Rat. My aunt, she liked it warm. 78 degress of thereabouts, while here, it wouldn't affect me much, keeping it at 60 as I do.

  83. Think you do, mat
    Your numbers
    A $2.43-billion, 917-MW, 195-million-gallons-per-day ( MMg /d) crude-fired plant at Shuaibah-3 (Shoaiba-3)

    195,000,000 / 42 gallons per barrel
    That 4,633,000 barrels per day.

    Yep, you're right
    So for $10 Billion, doubled for alternative energy to $20 billion we'd be off imports.

    By Btu counts, if not converted infrastructure costs. While we spend that in four months in Iraq.

    Does not make sense, though

    The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, a nuclear power plant located in Wintersburg, Arizona, about 45 miles (80 km) west of central Phoenix, is currently the largest nuclear generation facility in the United States, averaging over 3.2 gigawatts (GW) of electrical power production in 2003[1] to serve approximately 4 million people.

    3.2 gigawatt = 3200 megawatt
    Which is equivilent to three of those Shuaibah-3 plants

    I do not believe that one more Palo Verde would make the US energy independent.

  84. What do we use - about 400 thousand megawatts. Long way to go. Switch grass could do base load for the Ms Valley it looks like. Supplement that with Solar during the day and you would get there.

  85. If it would, the US is being taken for a ride, by its' own government. Mr Romney totally wrong about energy independence not being reachable in a decade.

  86. Most of the polls in Michigan seem to be showing Romney a little ahead. But the record of the polls this year doesn't bring much confidence.

  87. "..the US is being taken for a ride, by its' own government."

    And that's why you need an Italian mafia boss to get the bureaucracy in line. :D

  88. You must admit, the races this year are at least interesting--

    Dirt Begins To Fly On Obama

    On one side we have up from slavery and woman arise, on the other a Mormon and a fundamental born again, and more. I've never seen anything like it.

  89. Always take a mafia boss over a bureaucrat, Mat, they can do you less harm, in the long run.

  90. I agree about Rudy, given the current candidates.

    The US uses, today, based upon CIA
    3.816 trillion kWh = 3,816,000,000 mega watts of electric, annually.

    divided by 365 = 10.545 million megawatts per day

    So adding 3,000 megawatts of daily production, that is a drop in the current electrical bucket, let alone enough to replace the 12 million barrels of oil imported daily.

  91. Keep in mind that coal to electricity can lose up to 2/3 of it's btu's from plant to consumer. Add in the fact that coal mining is very energy intensive and locally produced switch grass (very, very energy non-intensive,) and it looks somewhat different.

  92. A mafia boss won't get his hand in your house, and fiddle with your thermostat.

  93. Abdication of Leadership, by Mr Bush, bob.

    Keeping Mr Cheney on will have dire consequences, in the long run.

    For both the GOP and the country.

  94. Rat, pay attentiion when they say kilowatt/hrs. It's not the same as base load.

  95. Caucus in the Casino It's not so odd, come to think of it. I still vote in the Union Hall here. And I've never been in a union. Probably a good way to get the vote out.

  96. Looks like we need about 1,400 megawatts for every million people.

    I would say that switch grass in the Ms Delta could provide base load for about 14 Million people. Top it off with a liberal dose of Solar and you could take your coal and shove it.

  97. The guys upstairs support Hillary.

    But in Las Vegas, Clinton, a senator from New York, is supported by many hotel and casino executives, while Obama has the backing of two key unions -- the Nevada chapter of the Service Employees International Union and the culinary workers, which announced its endorsement Wednesday after fierce lobbying from all three Democrats.

  98. This comment has been removed by the author.

  99. To put that 3 million acres in perspective - we planted 90 Million Acres in Corn this year.

  100. The whole conversion business begins to boggle my mind, rufus.

    I do graphic art, distribution and sales. Some organizational work, but not much of that.

    I do know that we could take the whole of the vehicle fleeet to E-20ethanol, with no ill effects. That the 20%+- of the oil that would be replaced, could be Saudi or Venezuelan, as the case required.

    I know we are not moving, with dispatch, on that course.

  101. I do know that 1,500,000 barrels of ethanol could be produced in the Americas.

    For 2007 Wagner Rossi, president of Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento, expects a production growth of 21.9%, bringing the total ethanol production to 21.298 billion litres. Four litres = 1.06 gallons

    So Brazil produces 5+ billion gallons of ethanol annually, currenting, and are increasing production at 20% per annum, currently, or 1 billion gallons.
    divided by 42 = 24 million barrels per year.
    To replace Middle East oil takes 2,000,000 barrels per day while just Saudi oil, 1,400,000 barrels.
    511,000,000 barrels annually.

    Increased investment in Brazilian production, increasing growth to 40%, matched with investments in US production gets the US off Saudi oil within five years.

    Without having to change delivery infrastructures or the vehicle fleet in the US.

    If that was the desired effect that the US wanted to realize.

    But it is obvious that has not been the case.

  102. Rat, we're currently using about 8.1 Billion gallons/yr. (7.6 bgy that we're producing, and 0.5 bgy that we're importing duty-free from Brazil.)

    By the end of this year it will be almost 10 billion gal/yr, and by the end of 2010 we'll be replacing 15 billion gal/yr of gasoline with ethanol.

    The cellulosic, and E20 is coming. It'll take a couple of years is all.

  103. Deuce, I expect Switch Grass to take hold in Tennessee, first, - followed by Ga, Fl, SC, and, possibly, La, Ks, Ok and Tx.

    Texas, and Ok will, eventually, raise a shit-load of Sorghum (similar to switch grass but more drought-tolerant.

  104. I remember reading about the amount of wetlands drained along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. It was a staggering amount in the millions of acres. That natural overspill attenuated the natural flooding. If switch grass likes water without irrigation costs, it would make sense to reverse and restore the wetlands, pick up the annual cost of flooding which must average $7-8 billion per year. If you saved $5 billion, that would support a $100 billion bond issue to fund the biogas plants and buy back the land. Add back the revenue stream from taxes on the biogas and you have one hell of a jobs program.

  105. Let me know when the FIRST Commercially Viable Switchgrass Plant comes on line, OK?

    Meanwhile Rufus, I missed your answer to my question f where sugarcane stands in this competition.
    As I said they've been firing boilers and making electricity w/it for a Century out here.

  106. Seems a bit strange to commit the nation's energy supply to a source that has yet to see commercial viability.

  107. Nobody's Committed anything, yet, Doug. Well, except for the rather meager $300 million, or so, that the DOE has pledged for helping fund a couple of the first cellulosic plants. Range Fuels in Ga, Poet's corn cob/stover project in Emmetsberg Iowa to name a couple.

    I answered your sugar cane question on the thread on which it was asked. Look back.

  108. More traffic here, I put this there:
    The Hillary Film an ADVERTISEMENT, restricted under McCain-Feingold, passed on by Bush,

    F..... Up Royally by the Supremes, not doing the job Bush didn't do,


  109. I'm just saying there's NO argument to be made for a Romney Sized Govt Mandate BEFORE viability is proved.

  110. That is why we invest in the Americas, doug, where sugarcane is king, proven and reliable.

    That'd be good for about half of the required need, within five years.

    Then, as duece says, move into the flood plains of the Mississippi with what ever plants are the most viable. If the switchgrass doesn't workout, we're still ahead, moving people out of those areas.

    On top of that, more coal fired plants, a few nukes, to please bob.

    I've assisted with distilling potatos in my youth, some other grains as well. Mostly assisted in their consumption, that was quite a summer, back in '74 or '75. I know we distilled in gallon batches, not barrels.

    Can't remeber which distilled the best, that period, it's all kind of in a fog.

  111. Deuce, we have about 400 Million Acres under cultivation.

    Texas, alone, probably has 100 Million Acres NOT under cultivation that would grow sorghum, or switch grass fairly well. We have 40 Million Acres in the Conservation Reserve program where we pay farmers $50.00/acre NOT to grow crops; but, the gov. has said it would still pay them the Fifty if they would put it in switch grass.

    That scrub land in Tx, plus the Conservation Reserve Program land would supply 100% of the country's electricity needs without any help from solar, wind, waste, wave, or anything else.

  112. I grew up on a farm in that ex-swampland Ms River Valley.

    Some of that land is pretty good land. Some is kind of poor. A lot of it is wasted on cotton which has to be heavily subsidized by the government. That cotton-land, as an example, would be great "Grass-land." The Drier land will raise a decent sorghum crop.

    We're a little ahead of the game, here. When the "Price" gets right everything else will start to fall into place.

  113. Doug, I posted This answer to your question back on the earlier thread:

    Doug, Sugar Cane is probably the Best Ethanol Feedstock, at least in areas where it grows well. They say they can produce it for around $0.65/gal in Brazil (that's quite a bit less than it takes to make corn ethanol;) but, keep in mind they, essentially use "slave" labor in many cases.

    Sugar Cane to ethanol should be a great industry for Hawaii, it would seem, although I don't know exactly how the U.S.'s goofy sugar subsidies might affect it. I know any time you run into "sugar" you run into a buzzsaw in the U.S.

  114. Offshore wind farm on Lake Ontario: Huge potential

    ...story in today's Toronto Star takes a look at plans by a local power developer that wants to build a 710-megawatt offshore wind farm in the middle of Lake Ontario, just east of Toronto. Trillium Power Energy Corp. says the project, which has secured access to crown land, would cost more than $1 billion but could be complete by 2010 if it can get through its environmental assessment and negoatiate a power purchase deal with the Ontario Power Authority.

    If this thing ever got built, it could end up being the largest wind farm in North America, and one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world.

    The electricity produced would be sent to the mainland via underwater cable, which would connect to the Lennox oil/gas power plant located near Kingston. Apparently there's enough high-voltage transmission at Lennox to carry the power back into Toronto and surrounding areas.

    The project would consist of 142 turbines, meaning each turbine would be a massive 5 megawatts each. John Kourtoff, president of Trillium, told me they've studied 36 years of wind data on the site -- about 15 kilometres offshore of Prince Edward County, near Belleville -- and have determined the project would not affect bird migration pathways. The turbines would actually be placed in shallow waters, no deeper than 12 metres, so there would be no risk of collision by ships. The bases would provide a sanctuary for aquatic life and should lead to a repopulating of fish species, said Kourtoff.

  115. “Germany, in less than six years, has installed enough wind projects to generate 14,000 megawatts of power,” observes Evelyn Iritani, writing for the Los Angeles Times.

  116. THIS is Significant.

    GM invests in Deuce's Switch Grass.

  117. the gov. has said it would still pay them the Fifty if they would put it in switch grass.

    I hadn't heard that. I'm going to check that out. Not that I doubt what you say.

  118. From what I can see, switchgrass would provide some fine small game hunting land if you could get through it.

  119. You may not want to have Dick Cheney in your hunting party.

  120. OR, Mike "Stay out of my way" Huckabee.

  121. You want "Fiscal Stimulus?"

    Hows about $170 Billion in Fiscal "Stimuli?"

  122. Dog the Gunner, and the ex-Math teacher.
    "The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war. In many of those cases, combat trauma and the stress of deployment — along with alcohol abuse, family discord and other attendant problems — appear to have set the stage for a tragedy that was part destruction, part self-destruction."
    I wonder how many homicides are committed by a random group of 400,000 20-something male CIVILIANS?

  123. Thanks, Rufus!
    Here, Sugar is almost totally mechanised but would not have a chance were it not for subsidies and giant landowners that own the govt.
    Don't know how the economics of Cane would work with Ethanol in the mix.
    Are there quite a few acres in the south that are good cane climates?
    Anybody know where Beets (sugar) fit in?

  124. ...aren't there quite a few acres...

  125. Age group 18 - 34 commit 65% of the homicides

    Average age of assailant 20 years
    30 homicides per 100,000 population
    Dept of Justice

    1.5 million troops have cycled throug Iraq

    15 groups of 100,000, statistical average would be 450 homicides

    At 121, about a third of the civilian statical average.

  126. Where you get the 400,000 number?

    But at 400,000, 4 groups of 100,000, same as the statistical average for the age group.

  127. Doug, we might see some "Cane" ethanol out of the Imperial Valley in Ca. It's not covered under the Sugar Subsidies, and its probably the best Sugar Cane land in the U.S.

    Virtually all the rest of the "Sugar" in the U.S. is subsidized about 3 times the Internatiional market price ($27.00 - $28.00 for sugar beets vs approx $9.00 international market price. This is Too Sweet. This cane will NEVER make ethanol.

  128. Rat, it's even worse. That 121 was over Six Years!

  129. It's a non-story the way it is written.

    The 1.5 million is over six years, too.

    The Iraq/Afghan vets do seem to in the low end of the violence spectrum.

  130. Fred is dead, and Mitt will take us all down.

    Posted by: Michael Medved at 4:47 AM
    This weekend, CNN released results of general election trial heats, pitting each of the four leading Republican candidates for President against both of the leading Democrats.

    The unmistakable message from this national exercise (surveying 840 voters on January 9 and 10th) is that Mitt Romney unequivocally qualifies as the weakest candidate the G.O.P. could field.

    In the head-to-head contest with Barack Obama he is utterly wiped out, losing by a margin of 22 points (59% to 37%). Against Hillary Clinton, Romney fares little better, falling 18 percentage points behind (58% to 40%).

    The results for other candidates show that this is a Romney problem, not a Republican problem.

    John McCain, for instance, virtually ties both Obama and Clinton – running 48%-49% against Obama and 48%-50% against Clinton. In other words, in a trial heat against Barack Obama, Senator McCain runs a startling 21 points closer than does Governor Romney.

    Even Mike Huckabee (despite remaining virtually unknown to many Americans) draws slightly stronger support than Romney – running 3 points closer to Obama and 4 points closer to Clinton.

    After spending more money than his major opponents combined, Romney appears more and more clearly unelectable, and a Saturday column by Gail Collins in the New York Times gives a clear explanation why. “Unfortunately, there’s something about Romney’s perfect grooming, his malleability and his gee-whiz aura that seems to really irritate both the other candidates and the voters,” she writes. “What bothers voters about Romney, as it turns out, is not his Mormonism but his inherent Mitt-ness.”

    She’s right, of course. As I’ve said repeatedly over the last several weeks, the problem for Romney isn’t his faith, it’s his phoniness. It’s even worse to see that in-authenticity combined with an all-too-visible mean and nasty streak in going after his rivals.

    I know many good people and committed conservatives who say they like Romney and insist, despite his back-to-back losses against flawed candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire, that he’d still be the strongest Republican in November.

    How then, do they explain his devastatingly poor performance in the latest trial heats – a performance that corresponds to his similarly feeble showing in prior polls (particularly against Obama) conducted by Rasmussen, USA Today/Gallup, and Zogby?

    With key primaries coming up in Michigan and South Carolina, support for Romney would seem to indicate a powerful and problematic Republican death wish.

  131. Plot to killqueen foiled
    Al-Qaida terrorists posing as TV crews planned to blow up Elizabeth with bomb in broadcast van

    Ayman al Zawahri, al-Qaida's No. 2, threatened the queen in a video communique issued last July following her knighthood of Salman Rushdie, author of the 1988 novel "Satanic Verses."

    "I say to [Queen] Elizabeth and Blair that your message has reached us and we are in the process of preparing you for a precise response," Zawahri threatened.

  132. Where you get the 400,000 number?
    ...out of my ass.
    So, you're saying vets are THREE TIMES LESS LIKELY TO MURDER than civilians?

    Seems like a big story, if News had some relationship to reality.

  133. Gee, Meathed sees no chance for Fred and doesn't even mention Rudy!

    McCain/Meathed '08!

  134. Hope Hewitt and Rush Bail on Mitt soon and start pushing Rudy and Fred.

  135. Top terrorists go free under Musharraf's care
    U.S., U.K. quietly protest released Pak prisoners --WND

    Pakistan's al-Qaida alarms Pentagon
    Head of Joint Chiefs: 'I think continued pressure there will have to be brought' --Washington Times
    well, duh!

  136. Top 3 importing countries:


    US imports grew 17% from '03 to '04


  137. Top 3 exporting countries:


    US exports grew by 13% from '03 to '04.

    US imports outpaced exports by 4% from '03 to '04.

  138. According to those figures, we're becoming more dependent.

  139. According to George Will, most of us would pay big time if Huck should get in and his sale tax make it through Congress, neither of which is likely to happen--

    Tuesday's Republican primary is in one of the nation's worst-governed states. Under a Democratic governor, Michigan has been taxed into a one-state recession. Native son Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate who best understands how wealth is created, might revive his campaign by asking: Who do you want to be president in 2010 when the Bush tax cuts, which McCain opposed, expire? Can automakers endure more regulations such as the fuel efficiency mandates that climate-fixers such as McCain favor? Do you want a president (Mike Huckabee, proponent of a national sales tax of at least 30 percent) pledged to radically increase the proportion of federal taxation paid by the middle class?

  140. If Romney should win in Michigan and Thompson (unlikely) in South Carolina, and Rudy in Florida, where are we then? Huck, McCain,Romney,Thompson,Giuliani. jeez

  141. Michigan prediction:



  142. Joint Chiefs Chairman: Close Guantanamo

    GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) -- The chief of the U.S. military said Sunday he favors closing the prison here as soon as possible because he believes negative publicity worldwide about treatment of terrorist suspects has been "pretty damaging" to the image of the United States.

    "I'd like to see it shut down," Adm. Mike Mullen said in an interview with three reporters who toured the detention center with him on his first visit since becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last October.

    His visit came two days after the sixth anniversary of the prison's opening in January 2002. He stressed that a closure decision was not his to make and that he understands there are numerous complex legal questions the administration believes would have to be settled first, such as where to move prisoners.
    Mullen the Moron.

  143. Since Hillary is the only one on the dem ballot in Michigan, the Daily Kos has been urging its devils to cross over and vote in the republican primary, an open primary, and to vote for Romney, this devilry causing the republican fight to linger on and on, wearing them thin.


    Myers fears Hollywood's end is near

    Publicist worried strike will hasten erosion of biz


    Hollywood publicist Julian Myers will turn 90 soon. And he worries the end may be near ... for Hollywood.
    Myers frets that the WGA stalemate -- with all of its acrimony, vitriol and job losses -- is a harbinger of ill things for the industry.

    "The strike impasse is speeding the end of Hollywood filmmaking and television production," says Myers, who has been working in the biz since 1939 and is still an IATSE member. "There are more union contracts coming up for renewal, and already unionists are crossing union lines. IATSE is urging its members to go right on through. Insults are being exchanged, faces will be bashed and fatalities are a possibility."

    Myers, of course, remembers when such confrontations were more common. He recalls participating in a 1946 strike in which 900 unionists were arrested in front of Warner Bros. Studios and bussed off to a Burbank jail.

    Now, with tensions again running high, Myers worries that the town might be consumed.

    "Does a dying Hollywood need a civil war today to hasten its erosion?" he asks.

    Sometimes I think, one can only hope.

  145. Yep. then they'll be making those films in Canada, Italy and Spain.

    What is the advantage to keeping them in Gitmo, instead of Leavenworth, doug?

    They are already criminals, requiring trials in a standard US Court system, the UCMJ being the chosen Law. They are not POWs or "unlawful combatants" per Hamdan, so what is the point of keeping them in Cuba?

  146. This comment has been removed by the author.

  147. Film making, another industry that was pioneered in the US, that will now be outsourced, to lower cost production sites.

    The product will remain the same, or get even worse, from a political and cultural content stand point.

    Just another US industry, soon to be dead here, thriving there.

    Celebrate! Celebrate!
    Dance to the Music!!

  148. Name 3 hollywood titles made in the last 20 years that stick in your mind. (Exclude anything made in the last 6 months).

  149. Saving Private Ryan
    Apollo Thirteen
    Starwars tiology

    makes five.

    Dozens more, depending upon the time frame back we go.

  150. Alien
    blade runner

    That's what came to my head. All made over 25 years ago.

  151. Or eight, if the newer Starwars trilogy is included

  152. Spielberg, comes to mine
    With Tom Hanks

    Ron Howard's films
    The titles not all memorable, but the films were.

  153. Seems the Saudi are taking your advice, mat.

    Starting to buy stuff from the French

    France Offers Saudis Help to Explore Possible Civilian Nuclear Energy Program
    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (Associated Press) -- France's president offered Saudi Arabia help in exploring a possible civilian nuclear energy program as the French leader began a visit to the oil-rich kingdom on Sunday.

    President Nicolas Sarkozy and King Abdullah also signed agreements on oil and gas and political cooperation at the start of the visit. Sarkozy also intended to press the leader of the world's top oil producer for lower prices of crude, which reached a record high of $100 a barrel this month, according to a French diplomat.

  154. Hollywood at its best is when it collaborates with foreign crews. The Spaghetti Westerns being a good example.

  155. dRat,

    Do the French plan to provide security for those?

  156. They do not mention, mat, but they may, to go along with the submarines and border security.

    Wouldn't make much sense to get US help or training with border security.

    The Saudis want to buy more helicopters, ships, and submarines from the French as well as get help revamping border security systems. They also want to tap French expertise on railway construction as Saudi looks to build a TGV fast train link between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, as well as a subway in the capital Riyadh.

    Sarkozy offered the king the services of France's Atomic Energy Commission to explore the possibilities of a civil nuclear energy program in Saudi Arabia, the president's office said.

    The trip is Sarkozy's third to the Middle East in three weeks and during a December visit to Egypt, Sarkozy also expressed France's willingness to assist Egypt in the nuclear field.

    France was to sign a nuclear cooperation accord with the United Arab Emirates during Sarkozy's upcoming visit there Tuesday, the French leader told the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat in an interview published last week.

    The accord for cooperation in civilian nuclear activities, a first step toward building a nuclear reactor, would be the third France has signed recently with Arab nations, after Libya and Algeria.

    "I have often said that the Muslim world is no less reasonable than the rest of the world in seeking civilian nuclear (power) for its energy needs, in full conformity with international security obligations," Sarkozy told the London-based Al-Hayat.

    The Indians do have a nuclear capable sub launched cruise missile system, from China. Bet the Saudis could buy those, too.

    Go along with those US strike aircraft. Parity, been a long time coming.

  157. Eygpt, Libya and the Saudis

    All taking mat's advice, expanding their outsourcing from just US.

    The French, sell anything, to anyone. If the money is right.

  158. Guess the car-b-ques not turning Sarkozy off of Islamic cash.

    Not an Islamic, but an economic challenge, those car-b-ques.

  159. I guess your question can be taken either of two ways

    Security from the Sauds
    or security for the Sauds.

  160. The French are sniffing. That's what they do.

  161. That's an optimistic attitude, for an Israeli.

    The Saudis have the cash, no doubt of that. Cutting those US strings.

    If the French can sniff it out, they will.

    They have submarines ready to go
    There are six nuclear-powered Rubis/Am�thyste-class attack boats on active duty, currently based at Toulon. Starting in 2005, they will be relocated to Brest. The class will be gradually decommissioned by 2012, and replaced with the newly developed Barracuda-class attack submarines, which are to begin entering service in 2010.

    France's four SSBNs consist of two recent Le Triomphant- and two older Le Redoutable-class submarines, which are all based at Brest. Since 1991, two of an initial six Le Redoutable units have been decommissioned, and the remaining two are to be taken out of service by 2008-2010.

    2008, why, that is this year.

    Le Redoutable Weapons: 16 M4/TN 71 or M45/TN 75 SLBMs with six 150 kt warheads; 18 SSMs and torpedoes in four 21" (533 mm) tubes

  162. Then again there is the submarine they build for Pakistan

    The Agosta 90B is a modernised design built for the Pakistani Navy,

    PNS/M Khalid (S137) - built in France by DCN Cherbourg - completed in 1999
    PNS/M Saad ' (S138) - built in Pakistan with French assistance - completed in 2002
    PNS/M Hamzaa (S139) - built in Pakistan by Pakistani engineers without any assistance in 2006 - commissioned 14 August 2006

    Armament: SM 39 Exocet
    4 × 550 mm bow torpedo tubes.
    ECAN L5 Mod 3 & ECAN Fl7 Mod 2 torpedoes

    My bet, the Saudi try to buy the Le Redoutable boats, there are two going to be available, failing that a couple to four of the Agosta 90Bs

  163. dRat,

    You're missing the point. Without US protection there is no Saud money. Not even to cover the Saud's electricity bill.