“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."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oil Peaked. Get Over It. No More 'Drill Baby Drill'. Too Risky.

Here is Simmons a year ago. How did his predictions do then?


The Gulf Coast oil spill's Dr. Doom


Interview by Nin-Hai Tseng, reporterJune 9, 2010: 1:31 PM ET

FORTUNE -- As an oil and gas industry insider, Matt Simmons speaks with a bold voice and makes even bolder predictions.
For more than 35 years, Simmons has run a Texas-based boutique investment bank, Simmons & Co., which specializes in the energy industry. At times, with his somewhat doom-and -loom-like take on things, there's a hint of conspiracy theorist in his tone. But it's hard to ignore that Simmons is deeply connected and has been pretty much right on in the past: When oil was $58 a barrel the year Twilight was released, Simmons predicted prices would be at or above $100 within a few years. By 2008, when Fortune profiled Simmons, the price of crude had hit $147 a barrel.

As a big believer that wind power is the way of the future, Simmons says the era of easy oil is over and that world oil production will eventually fail to meet expected future demands.

These days, Simmons has been weighing in on BP (BP) and the worst oil spill in U.S. history, following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. As BP struggles to permanently stop the gush of oil, Simmons has been warning that the scale of the spill is much bigger and that there's a larger leak several miles away.

Simmons also thinks that perhaps the only way to seal the gush of oil is by doing what the Soviet Union did decades ago -- setting off a bomb deep underground so that the fiery blast will melt the surrounding rock and shut off the spill.

Fortune caught up with Simmons this week to hear his thoughts on the Gulf Coast oil spill, the future of BP and what's ahead for offshore drilling.

Experts forecast an active hurricane season this year. We know it could disrupt efforts to stop the spill, but how else do you think storms could impact the Gulf Coast?

We've got to stop the gusher first. Then we have to deal with the other issues. There's a lake at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico that's over 100 miles wide and at least 400 to 500 feet deep of black oil. It's just staying there. And only the lightest of that is what we're seeing hitting the shores so far. If a hurricane comes and blows this to shore, it could paint the Gulf Coast black. We should have been pumping this oil out onto other tankers weeks ago.

How do you think the U.S. government should handle this disaster?

I think the government should ask BP to leave the United States and turn its operation over to the military. Put the U.S. Navy in charge. Have all the contractors report to the Navy -- the cleanup efforts, the whole nine yards. Because as long as it's in BP's hands, they're going to spin the information as long as they can.

What do you think is in store for the future of BP?

They have about a month before they declare Chapter 11. They're going to run out of cash from lawsuits, cleanup and other expenses. One really smart thing that Obama did was about three weeks ago he forced BP CEO Tony Hayward to put in writing that BP would pay for every dollar of the cleanup. But there isn't enough money in the world to clean up the Gulf of Mexico. Once BP realizes the extent of this my guess is that they'll panic and go into Chapter 11.

There's currently a ban on new deepwater oil projects for six months to prevent other disasters. What lies ahead for offshore drilling?

First of all, to the industry's credit, we went 41 years in the United States without an oil spill. In a minor sense, this is what happened to the Challenger. We had so many successful shuttle takeoffs that the space station got kind of casual about this. But this is worse. BP was so certain that there wasn't any risk that three years ago they thought the insurance industry was ripping them off, so they're self-insured on this. How stupid! It was the best thing that ever happened to the insurance industry.

How do you think the Gulf Coast oil spill will change the energy business, if at all?

Profoundly. We're going to have to go back and re-examine all of our regulatory rules and realize the easy stuff is imminent and the rest of the stuff we do is really risky. We have to start questioning whether it's worth the risk, and do we need to get really serious about developing some alternative energy sources? Now I'm working on a big project in mid-coast Maine called the Ocean Energy Institute, and we're hoping that within the next year we can actually create 50 megawatt offshore wind turbines -- one every five miles a part -- and turn that offshore electricity into desalinated sea water and liquid ammonia. It could replace motor gasoline and diesel fuel.

What are the lessons learned from this environmental disaster?

That oil peaked. The easy stuff is over. We have to continue drilling in shallow water, but we probably need to take a deep breath and step back. Until we develop a new generation of equipment that can respond to these accidents, just don't go into the ultra-deep water and deep formations because it's just too risky.


  1. The answer to the oil challenge is not to produce "Green Electricity".

    The disconnect from the reality of our 300 million vehicle fleet, it is so obvious, as to be comical.

  2. But yes:

    Drill, Baby, Drill

    That is as dead as a doornail.

  3. NYTimes

    ... investors were shaken by the prospect that the British oil giant might cut its dividend. ...


  4. Hamas, Turkey to work to sue Israel

    Justice ministers of Hamas, Turkey, agree to work together to prosecute Israeli officers involved in deadly raid on Gaza flotilla.

    According to reports in Turkish media, the first lawsuit in planning is a petition for compensation for the families of those killed and injured in the raid. The second suit to be filed will be for the violation of the charter on maritime operations in international waters.

    If they decided to move forward with the claims, the suits will be filed with the International Criminal Court at The Hague and at the court of arbitration in Washington.

    Interesting remnant of the "Progressive Era of Republicanism"

    Special to The New York Times.

    November 6, 1922, Monday

    Page 1, 1060 words

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 5.--Plans have been perfected by the International Chamber of Commerce, the American section of which has headquarters in Washington, for the establishment of a new international court of arbitration for the settlement and adjustment of commercial disputes between different countries.

  5. Alex Pareene at Salon:


    Incumbents are in trouble, unless they are "outsider" incumbents. An incumbent can become an outsider by having an opponent who is friends with insiders, as long as those insiders aren't the Club for Growth or, again, Bill Clinton.

    Women are expected to do great in November, unless they are from Washington, or are considered part of the "establishment." (As long as your definition of the establishment does not include eBay.) Again, if you are endorsed by Sarah Palin, none of this applies.

    The Tea Parties won big, except that they might've helped the GOP lose big in November, which would be a victory for the Tea Parties. Mitt Romney is in serious trouble.

    Voters are very, very angry, so only expect between 90 and 95 percent of Congress to be reelected.

  6. Steven Taylor at Outside the Beltway:

    John Sides notes that while it is true that the percentage who say that their member of congress does not deserve re-election is at an all-time low (40%), the predicted re-election rate for this cycle in the House is still 87% (which is low relative to the average over the last several decades, but not radically so).

    While he notes (as one might suspect) a relationship between the variables exists (i.e., as the percentage of respondents who think that their representative does not deserve re-election increases the percentage of incumbents re-elected decreases), it is not as strong as the media narrative would like to suggest: “There is a relationship between responses to this item and the reelection rate (and it’s statistically significant, in fact). But the relationship is substantively very small.” He has a graph at the link above. One has to understand that the re-elect number ranges from 85%-98% from 1964-2008, meaning that the amount of variation is not that high to begin with and that, therefore, the odds of a given incumbent being re-elected are extremely high.

    If we look from 1964-2008, the re-election rate has dipped below 90% five times (1964: 87%, 1966: 88%, 1970: 85%, 1974: 88% and 1992: 88%) (Source). As such, if Sides’ prediction is accurate, we aren’t talking about an unprecedented outcome. Low? Yes. Radically, unprecedentedly low that is all anger-powered and revolutionarily uncommon? Not so much.

    Ultimately, I would argue that if the re-elect rate for the House is 85% or higher, then most of the media narrative that we have been subjected to this year will end up being a lot of sound and fury that will have signified a whole lot of not all that much (and this strikes me as a likely result, to be honest). Even if we have a result that is “historical” and is in the 80% range, it is hard to make the case that an incumbent re-election rate of that magnitude demonstrates a massive amount of voter anger. The bottom line is that a substantially large percentage of the current House is returning in January (and in the Senate too, although the numbers under discussion are for the House only).


  7. Kentucky Senate -
    Paul vs. Conway
    Rasmussen Reports
    Paul 49, Conway 41 Paul +8

  8. Dr. Doom proof that even a stopped clock gets it right 2 times a day.

  9. Most Wanted Mexican Smuggler Shot At Border

    " Innocent" Mexican 14 year old actually on 10 most wanted human smuggler list.
    (Mom says he just went out to play)

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Holy Christ!
    That choir boy is the son of Jesus:

    "Damn them! Damn them!” the boy’s sister, Rosario Hernandez, sobbed at a wake in the family’s two-room adobe house on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez.

    “There is a God, so why would I want vengeance if no one will return him to me. They killed my little boy and the only thing I ask is for the law” to be applied, said the boy’s father, Jesus Hernandez.

  12. Paul and Angle:
    Could these two stopped clocks luck out and be THE two that got lucky on the roulette wheel of politics?

    All I know is that the formerly dour Reid now grins like the cheshire cat.

  13. Mexican police chased away U.S. border agents after teen slain .

    Gosh, for some reason my usual habit of linking from Drudge or the NY Times would have come up a dry hole this time.

    Beats a Blow Out or a painful fuck, though.

  14. Democrats had NO expectation of picking up that KY Senate seat. None, nada, zip, zilch, squat.

    To have Conway in spitting distance of Paul is itself amazing.

    Josh Marshall thinks Angle just saved Reid's ass.

  15. Politico:

    Dems' tough new immigration pitch
    By: Carrie Budoff Brown
    June 10, 2010 04:36 AM EDT

    Long pilloried for being soft on illegal immigration, top Democratic officials have concluded there’s only one way they can hope to pass a comprehensive immigration bill:

    Talk more like Republicans.

    They’re seizing on the work of top Democratic Party operatives who, after a legislative defeat in 2007, launched a multiyear polling project to craft an enforcement-first, law-and-order, limited-compassion pitch that now defines the party’s approach to the issue.

    The 12 million people who unlawfully reside the country? Call them “illegal immigrants,” not “undocumented workers,” the pollsters say.

    Strip out the empathy, too. Democrats used to offer immigrants “an earned path to citizenship” so hardworking people trying to support their families could “come out of the shadows.” To voters, that sounded like a gift, the operatives concluded.

    Now, Democrats emphasize that it’s “unacceptable” to allow 12 million people to live in America illegally and that the government must “require” them to register and “get right with the law.” That means three things: “Obey our laws, learn our language and pay our taxes” — or face deportation.

    “We lost control of the message in the 2007 debate,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigrant rights group that worked with Center for American Progress founder John Podesta on the messaging overhaul.


  16. The Dems have caught the wave.
    The politics of euphemism.

    Now, Democrats emphasize that it’s “unacceptable” to allow 12 million people to live in America illegally and that the government must “require” them to register and “get right with the law.” That means three things: “Obey our laws, learn our language and pay our taxes”

    Become a regularized legal resident

    — or face deportation.

    Meaning they are not deported if they register.
    But become regularized, legalized residents of where ever they are living, today.

    Solves the AZ SB1070 problem. There'd be no reason not to become regularized, if they were not a felonious criminal.

    Truth is, the majority of them, they are already "paying taxes".

    It's a winner.

  17. Right where I've been, on the Immigration Issue, all along.

    While the Federals still will not fence the border.

    Leaving the defensible frontier, a strip of mud, in a river bottom.

    Ride that tide!

    Go Green, Baby, Go Green!!

  18. As I said before BP is a bad actor and I would love to see them gone.

    On the other hand,

    If BP files for bankruptcy, where do they do it? I would assume the UK.

    If so, they are likely to get good terms because of how important they are to the British economy.

    If BP goes under does a UK court discharge all their liabilities and are the cleanup and other costs dumped on the US taxpayer?

    I don't know how the specifics of the bankruptcy laws would apply in this case. Just asking.

    Trying to figure out if it's better to push guys into bankruptcy or keep them operating and milk them for years until as much of the costs as possible are recovered.


  19. Price of E85 in the Midwest: $1.83/gallon.

    Mileage on E85 for the new Buick Regal: Probably about 30 mpg. (basically, same as gasoline.)

    Cost to drive a mile: About $0.06.

    Performance: Better than gasoline.

    Feedstock for some of that ethanol: Waste paper.

    Are we crazy?

  20. Maxine Waters should be running our petroleum industry, just like I always said. These 'pros' know nothing, Maxine knows the whole gig, rig to rig, and, she's incorruptible.

  21. It doesn't matter "who" runs our petroleum industry. It's Yesterday's technology, and we're becoming a "backwater" nation by bankrupting ourselves depending on it.

  22. We're going to be "in and out" of recession until we get off of the stuff.

    We're sending all of our "seed money" to the Middle East to buy oil, and protect the fields, and what little we have left we're sending to China because we don't have the investment dollars to build our own high-tech factories to compete with their slave labor.

    We're becoming the "trailor-trash" of the world. Living hand to mouth, and wondering what it takes to get out of our sorry predicament.

  23. Our tax system is so fouled up that we collect, virtually, NO income taxes from the Major Corporations.

    Last year, Exxon paid NO Income Taxes in the United States.




  24. Embrace Maxine, because she is the reality.

    Regardless of the 2010 election, regardless of the 2012 election, the Leviathan lumbers on.

    No change in course or speed, just the show at the Captain's Table changes, at best.

  25. Part of a comment at

    Efforts to Limit the Flow of Spill News

    Excerpts from long article;
    "A pilot wanted to take a photographer from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans to snap photographs of the oil slicks blackening the water. The response from a BP contractor who answered the phone late last month at the command center was swift and absolute: Permission denied.

    “We were questioned extensively. Who was on the aircraft? Who did they work for?” recalled Rhonda Panepinto, who owns Southern Seaplane with her husband, Lyle. “The minute we mentioned media, the answer was: ‘Not allowed.’ ”

    Journalists struggling to document the impact of the oil rig explosion have repeatedly found themselves turned away from public areas affected by the spill, and not only by BP and its contractors, but by local law enforcement, the Coast Guard and government officials."

    "In a separate incident last week, a reporter and photographer from The Daily News of New York were told by a BP contractor they could not access a public beach on Grand Isle, La., one of the areas most heavily affected by the oil spill. The contractor summoned a local sheriff, who then told the reporter, Matthew Lysiak, that news media had to fill out paperwork and then be escorted by a BP official to get access to the beach. "

  26. (Reuters) - More than 400 people accused of having ties to trafficking for Mexican drug cartels were arrested in 16 U.S. states on Wednesday, U.S. authorities said on Thursday.

    As part of the latest sweep, 429 people were arrested and nearly 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg) of marijuana, 247 pounds (112 kg) of cocaine, $5.8 million in U.S. currency and 141 weapons were seized, the Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration said.

    The suspects were charged with various offenses, including conspiracy and distribution of illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamines.

    The sweep is the latest effort by Mexico and the Obama administration to try to clamp down on drug trafficking along the border where violence has escalated. Pressure has grown on the two governments to tackle the problems.

  27. They'll never be able to convince me that a Nation the size, and wealth, of Mexico can't defeat a "drug gang" in armed combat.

    They can pee on my leg, and coo into my ear about "how warm the rain is" until the cows come home, but I'm convinced Calderone, and all the rest down there, are dirty.

  28. There are moments, though, when the window opens.

    This is one of those moments in history.

    Technological advances have come at just the right time, in bio-engineering.
    Greatly enhancing the distillery process.

    The distilleries that would be required, to service 250 million acres of energy agriculture that could quickly be coming on line ...

    The perfect small manufacturing business that Deuce has been advocating for, spread across the length and breadth of the United States.

    Effecting the balance of payments deficit that the US maintains, quickly.

    The effects of the War on Oil will soon become apparent, as the price at the pump begins to raise.

    If the conservationists are a head of the curve, already beating the Green Ethanol Energy drum, the electorate will catch the beat.

    Want to beat Obama and the progressive Left, then break out of the trenches.

    Employ the weapons of euphemism.
    Swing into his rear, disrupt their logistics, purloin their propaganda, steal their environmental thunder and grab a large chunk of the national electorate in the bargain.

    Go Green!

    And with it we stand a chance of advancing the dispersal of political power and authority away from the Federal Socialist elites and having it reside closer to the people of the several States.

  29. The blow to the Socialists, and to the "Military/Industrial Complex" would be severe.

  30. The "Good News:" Ford, and GM have reiterated their pledge to make 50% of their cars, and light trucks, Flexfuel by 2012.

    About 25% of their vehicles are flexfuel, today, and as more Flexfuel-Badged cars, and trucks, hit the streets more, and more filling stations are "jumping through the hoops" to install E85 pumps. They've installed about 100 in the last couple of months.

  31. A little bit better Treasury Statement this month. $-136 Billion vs $-190 last year.

    Interestingly, May was not only better than 2009, but, also, better than 2008. Not out of the woods, by any means, but better than the "doomsday" scenarios.

  32. Obama claims he's doing everything he can in the Gulf, but he has never even spoken to the BP CEO.

  33. Allowing for a reassessment of our Defense needs, based upon a more energy independent Americas.

    Dramatically limiting our CO2 exhausts, when compared to current fossil fuel usage. Which, whether is actually important, or not, carbon reduction is a political touchstone.

    Bringing US in line with the international goals we have set, for ourselves.

  34. He had no need to personally speak with the CEO of BP.

    There was nothing to be gained, by having the Chief Law Enforcement officer of the US conspiring with the chief criminal defendant.

    Obama has no magic touch, and he knows it. He manages accordingly.

    Uses staff and extensive delegation as his stock in trade. That has been apparent from the beginning of his assumption of authority.

  35. We used 839,000 Barrels of Ethanol/Day last week.

    We bought that from DOMESTIC Suppliers for about $1.50 gallon, compared to the $1.90/gal we paid for "Imported" gasoline.

    Of course, the Big question is: What would the price for that Imported Gasoline been if we had had to buy another 830,000 Barrels/Day of it?

  36. "The distilleries that would be required, to service 250 million acres of energy agriculture that could quickly be coming on line ...


    "And with it we stand a chance of advancing the dispersal of political power and authority away from the Federal Socialist elites and having it reside closer to the people of the several States.

    :) :)


  37. "The blow to the Socialists, and to the "Military/Industrial Complex" would be severe.

    :) :) :)


  38. "more filling stations are "jumping through the hoops" to install E85 pumps.

    :) :) :) :)

  39. ;)

    Stop it. You're killing me.


  40. Q, Go Here. Dept of Defense - Projected outlays 2010: $692 Billion

    What do you think that would be if you took our dependence on Middle Eastern Oil out of the picture?

    How many less tanks, helicopters, V22's, Aircraft Carrier Groups, Bombers, UAVs, Humvees, Strykers, Trucks (and, the fuel for all of the above) would we need?

    How many Generals would be "Retired?" How many Defense "Contractors" would be looking for gainful employment? Would we need a Billion Dollar Embassy in Iraq?

    How many attack submarines would we need to "guard" the Persian Gulf if we didn't "give a flip" about the Persian Gulf?

  41. Some people that live Here will be driving a nice Sports Sedan around for $0.06/mile this fall.

    Not a dime of their money will be financing 747's with Gold Toilets for Saudi Sheiks, or flying lessons for suicide bombers.

    What, exactly, is it that's "killing you?"

  42. Of course, you can buy E85 for $1.99 in Flint, Mich.

    That would come out to just a tisch less than $0.07/mile if you were getting 30 mpg on E85.

  43. "What do you think that would be if you took our dependence on Middle Eastern Oil out of the picture?

    And one pill makes you taller and one pill makes you small.

    I applaud you're being a visionary; but there is a certain value to hanging on to realistic expectations. Ethanol usage will grow. You have pointed out some of the reasons for it growing and areas where technology is supporting it.

    But all the gas filling stations "jumping through hoops"? At $80,000 - $100,000 per tank. I don't think so. They will do it as they are forced to or when it beomes reasonable on a cost/benefit basis.

    As for energy independance affecting defense spending that is silly. It is too tied to politics. Any money DOD can save in the ME they will spend in the Far East.

    As for "fuel for all the vehicles", we are limited until they start putting distilleries in Okinawa and Diego Garcia.

    Distribution is one of the big problems and I don't see a "massive" expansion of ethanol pumps. You talk about the price of ethanol in Iowa. How many times a week do you shoot up there to fill up?

    Rat talks as if adding 250 million acres of land to cellulose feed was the easiest thing in the world, just snap your fingers. I don't think it would be easy at all.

    Then there is the issue of the distilleries. You and rat might like having a distillery in your neighborhood but I suspect there are a lot of people wouldn't.

    You and rat share a dream. I wish you well. I just wouldn't expect it to happen overnight.


  44. Under Pressure, Teachers Tamper With Test Scores

    "The staff of Normandy Crossing Elementary School outside Houston eagerly awaited the results of state achievement tests this spring. For the principal and assistant principal, high scores could buoy their careers at a time when success is increasingly measured by such tests. For fifth-grade math and science teachers, the rewards were more tangible: a bonus of $2,850.

    "But when the results came back, some seemed too good to be true. Indeed, after an investigation by the Galena Park Independent School District, the principal, assistant principal and three teachers resigned May 24 in a scandal over test tampering.

    "The district said the educators had distributed a detailed study guide after stealing a look at the state science test by “tubing” it — squeezing a test booklet, without breaking its paper seal, to form an open tube so that questions inside could be seen and used in the guide. The district invalidated students’ scores..."

    Test Tampering


  45. 'Rat once did a realistic analysis of changing out our auto fleet.

    (Back when the Everyread Bunny Mat said electrics would soon take over the World)

    Takes a little time and effort, but when read by an honest reader disabuses one of what turns out to be Pie in the Sky speculation.

    ...about as deep as BHO's policies and "passion."

  46. Haven't thought much about it analysis-wise, but at present Rufus's decentralized distilleries does seem like something that could be phased in more quickly than most technological changeouts.

  47. Having so little domestic Oil and refinery capacity on tap puts us at huge risk of natural, or manmade large scale disasters.

    Should have reserves in both similar to the strategic reserve.

    (wonder if BHO has been stealthily selling that off like Bill Clinton did?)

    One of the really good things Bush did was to fill it patiently and in a disciplined manner over time.

  48. Haven't thought much about it analysis-wise, but at present Rufus's decentralized distilleries does seem like something that could be phased in more quickly than most technological changeouts.

    Possibly true. But maybe not.

    Just trying to get a re-cycling plant for yard waste usually takes years.



  49. Chinese Workers at Honda Plant Plan March

    "ZHONGSHAN, China — Striking workers at a Honda auto parts plant here are demanding the right to form their own labor union, something seldom allowed in China, and are preparing for a protest march on Friday morning.

    "Meanwhile, other scattered strikes have begun to ripple into Chinese provinces previously untouched by the labor unrest.

    A near doubling of wages is the primary goal of the approximately 1,700 Honda workers on strike here in this southeastern China city, at the third Honda auto parts factory to face a work stoppage in the last two weeks. But this latest strike, which started Wednesday morning, has taken on political dimensions..."

    Sucess Breeds Its Own Problems


  50. Forgot this is New Millenium America.
    Even pre Obama was bad enough.

    Miracle they haven't come up with a way to bring Silicon Valley et al to a grinding near-stall.


  51. This guy. Simmons, sounds looney, kinda like some of us....


    It's hard to take him seriously, even if he does have some valid points.

  52. Whit,
    see my
    Thu Jun 10, 10:01:00 AM EDT

  53. Ah, where to start?

    Many ethanol pumps are added at a cost of $15 - $18K, not $80 to $100k. Often times it's not necessary to "add a tank." Virtually all of the tanks in use today are capable of handling straight ethanol.

    The cost wouldn't even be that high if the two "oil guys" on UL's Board hadn't been able to hold off the Underwriter Laboratory Certification of the pumps for E85 (despite 30 years of no problems in Brazil, or the U.S.) for going on 3 years. As a result of this the filling stations have been forced to spend an extra $5,000.00 per pump for extortion . . . er, insurance.

    2,318 stations have spent the money so far, and, as I said, about 100 have popped in the last couple of months. The UL announced a couple of days ago that it had certified the last component on the E85 pump, so we're looking for full "certificatiion" of an entire pump within days, or weeks.

    This will, likely, bring in some "Big Boxes," quite likely Walmart.

  54. The measure was sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-Alaska) and backed mostly by Republicans, who argued that EPA regulations would raise energy costs, kill jobs and harm the economy. The Hill reports.

    "We need to be growing our economy, not paralyzing it," she said."The time has come to take the worst option for regulating greenhouse gases off the table once and for all."

    She was taken to task by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), an environmental liberal facing a tough re-election fight against conservative Republican and former H-P CEO Carly Fiorina.

    Boxer "bashed Murkowski's measure during the debate, echoing Obama administration and environmental group claims that it's a gift to the oil industry made even more misguided by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill," The Hill writes. She said it was "ironic" that the measure was surfacing "at the same time that every American sees graphic evidence on television every single day of the deadly carbon pollution in the Gulf."

    Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who is also facing a tough re- election battle, wants an energy package on the floor next month.

  55. Dove is awaiting certification of it's hand pump on it's new liquid soap dispenser.

  56. The should have made Sully get an epa waiver for leaking hydralic fluids and jet fuel into the Hudson.
    Expedited by circumstances, of course.
    Gotta be reasonable.

  57. I am not going to argue with your numbers Ruf. Not worth my effort to start googling.

    In the past I've laid out pages in counter arguments as to why the great transformation will not occur in the time frame you say is possible. Not worth my time doing it again.

    You continue to ignore realities like NIMBY, land use regulations,law suits, alternative opportunity costs for the land required, etc.

    I won't argue with you anymore. I will restrict my observations to

    Smiles :)
    Chuckles :) :)
    Laughs :) :) :)

    and the occasional bellybusters




  58. Too bad I'm comfortably ensconced in retirement.

    All of these people need assistance.

    (Common sense would help too.)

    Open Mike? Duh, I guess so


  59. Q, there's not a county in the U.S. that couldn't, easily, produce their own fuel. That's just a fact.

    The average county is about 1,100 sq miles ( 700,000 Acres.)

    The average county is approx. 100,000 people.

    We can, easily, average 500 gallons of ethanol per acre of switchgrass.

    New Engine Technology will bring our gasoline consumption down to around 350 gal/per capita. 110 Billion gpy.

    We can produce 40 Billion Gallon per year of gasoline, and about 12 Billion gpy of diesel, dometically.

    So, we will need 70 Billion gpy of ethanol (110 - 40.) We're, already set for 15 billion gpy from corn, and 5 from corn cobs. Fiberight says it can do 9 from solid waste (for $1.65/gal.)

    Call it 30, we need 40 more. 3,100 counties @ 13,000,000 gallon/county will do it.

    That would be 26,000 acres divided by 700,000 acres, or, 3% of our acreage. Three Percent.

  60. A new website will be monitoring the actual effects of Obamacare as they roll out

    "Fortunately a new website,, is going to monitor the leigslation as it unfolds..."

    Obamacare Website


  61. "Q, there's not a county in the U.S. that couldn't, easily, produce their own fuel..."



  62. May need to get to work on some genetically modified corn to use in your 60 day growing season up there in the Rockies, Quirk.
    Quick Like.

  63. There have been very few problems with "Nimby'ism" with regard to 100 Million Gallon/yr corn ethanol plants; I can't imagine very many problems at all with 10 mgpy cellulosic plants in Mississippi, Al, or Ga.

  64. There's Not, Q. You've been brainwashed.

  65. Has anyone seen truckloads, boatloads or trainloads of hay headed for the gulf coast?

    Have the Feds mobilized the nation to clean up the oil slicks? How come the Louisianans aren't out in force using the warehouses of human hair which have already been collected?

    I don't understand why everyone seems to be standing around with their thumbs stuck you know where. All I see are jackasses who want to dip their gloved hands into the sludge to show us how bad it is.

    I guess we really don't want to do anything too soon. Might interfere with the government takeover of BP. Wouldn't be prudent.

    This joker Simmons; oil 400-500 feet deep and 100 miles wide? Where did he get that information?

  66. I'm sorry, I exaggerated. I do occasionally see video of a couple of guys in hazmat gear cleaning up tar balls on a beach.

    The marshes though, that's prime grist in the propaganda war. Don't want to clean that up too soon.

  67. A few birds and some marsh are a small price to pay to eliminate those nasty hydro-carbons.

    Must wait until the public will accept a huge environmental tax on every gallon of gasoline.

  68. All those great ships, and technology from The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, etc can't be used because of the Jones Act.

    Bush suspended the Jones Act the day after Katrina, but, due to pressure from the Unions, Obama has yet to do so.

    Yep, the Unions are actively working against the cleanup.

  69. I wonder if its been determined the army of volunteers can't be used until they have completed the Federal course on oil spill cleanup.

  70. I was wondering about this?
    NEW ORLEANS – At the same time they are venting their fury on BP over the Gulf of Mexico spill and its calamitous environmental effects, Louisiana politicians are rushing to the defense of the oil-and-gas industry and pleading with Washington to bring back offshore drilling — now.

    As angry as they are over the disaster, state officials warn that the Obama administration's temporary ban on drilling in the Gulf has sent Louisiana's most lucrative industry into a death spiral.

  71. There's Not, Q. You've been brainwashed.


    Any feedback from the Tea Party in Memphis Ruf?

    Rat said we could have the whole shabang up and running in a year.

    Oh, that's right building the public support does take a little time.

    Then of course there is the planning for the expansion of crop land and distillery sites. That will take a little time.

    Then there is the imminent domain lawsuits if people are unwilling to sell their land for the new crops.

    Then there are NIMBY issues. (It took 9 years to get the wind farms approved off the east coast and there are still lawsuits holding up action there).

    Lawsuits do take up a little time.

    Then there is the distribution system that has to be put in place. That might take a little time.

    Then of course producers have to be convinced that they can make money producing the ethanol. And they have to gear up. That all takes time.

    Gee, energy independant in a year (rat) or two or three (you)? Mmmm, I don't think so.

    Me brainwashed?

    Sounds like rat has been sharing his toads with you again, either that or you took that step thru the looking glass again.

    I look forward to the day when they come up with a Cheshire Cat emoticom.


    (sorry closest I could get)



  72. That last emoticon does look pretty sad. I'm probably going to get in trouble for not being PC.


  73. The year after Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb we built 5,000 Electric Generating Plants.

    The Year after.

    In the next 5 years we built 127,000 power stations.


    Theoretically, we could do it in a couple of years.

    In practice? Yeah, five to ten years.

  74. You don't "buy the land." You contract with the local farmers to put some of their non-productive land in switchgrass. These will be "small" facilities built "in the country." Next to the people that will be making money from them.

    Transportation? No. Local production, local use. No need for rail lines, pipelines, barges, ships, blah blah. The same truck that's been hauling gasoline from the blender to the local stations will now be hauling ethanol from the biorefinery to the station.

  75. Well, thankfully, Quirk's got hair all down his back, and all over his chest too. A lot of the better sort of women, don't like this shit.

  76. On the road to energy independence, Q, on the road.

    You can't battle the ever morphing euphemism.

    Whit despairs the lack of clean-up activity, the selective reporting and the fact that patience is not considered a virtue, amongst the DC Elites.

    Which is just the status que, exerting itself. As predicted.

    The next step in the ObamaEnergy Program, a modified form of Deuce's gasoline tax.
    Already heard the rumblings on that.

    Not a solution that helps.
    On any of the fronts.

    While the loyal opposition, here, practices creating smiley faces.

    Not even attempting to engage in the battle of euphemisms.

  77. "While the loyal opposition, here, practices creating smiley faces.

    Not even attempting to engage in the battle of euphemisms.>>"

    :) :) :)


  78. Is there any VALUE to the loose oil floating in the gulf?

    If so, why is to prevent oil harvestors from capturing the oil and SELLING it?

  79. Seems to me that tankers with a series of centrifuges on top could be used to scoop up and process the fouled water, send the oil below and dump the cleaned water overboard.

  80. Depending on the water to oil ratio, the devices are capable of extracting 2,000 barrels of oil per day from the gulf. BP is employing six of the machines in its tests.

    The Kostner machines are in place, churning out product. Fast as they can:

    June 7, 2010, New Orleans, LA

    Ocean Therapy Solutions conducted successful tests of its centrifuge devices in brown water this weekend and we plan to test the machines in deeper, blue water today. The blue water tests were delayed as we continue to outfit the barges with proper powers, pumps and crew quarters. We are pleased with the results we have obtained so far and continue to make adjustments to the machines to maximize their performance.

    The tests remain closed to media as we continue our work.

    They are on the cutting edge.

  81. Snakes are not pets:

    OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A suburban Omaha man has died after being strangled by his 9-foot, 25-pound pet boa constrictor, authorities said Thursday. Cory Byrne, 34, of Papillion died Wednesday night at a local hospital, just hours after police and paramedics pried the snake from around his neck, police said.

    Byrne had been showing the snake to a friend when it wrapped around his shoulders and neck and squeezed, Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said.

  82. It is by no means a simple process, running that centrifuge.

    Costner spent the past 15 years investing in a centrifuge technology that would make it possible for the petroleum industry to operate safely, without threatening the environment with oil spills.

    15 years of study and engineering development and it is still not turn key project at high volume production levels.

    Three days ago they were still not ready to launch the test barges. So, there you have it, "State of the Art" in centrifuge technologies, getting set up on the barge, at the dock.

    Fine tuning and prepping.
    Bet they have lights and everything, running 24/7, no?

  83. Whit...uh hay.

    Do you know what it would feel like getting hay stuck in your bathing suit, while you were swimming?

  84. The guy with the "technology" really is not ready, after 15 years.

    No Red Adair is Kevin Costner.
    Not John Wayne, either.

    I wish him well, hope his machines work, hard to think that the "Gill man" from Waterworld could really be the savior of the Gulf Coast, but maybe truth really is stranger than 3000 Miles To Graceland.

  85. NATO has a cash problem

    Well, who doesn't? I'm not surprised but the whirled wide credit collapse could allow the forces of darkness to regroup and rebuild.

  86. Do you know what it would feel like getting hay stuck in your bathing suit, while you were swimming?

    There you go, Mel.

    You know, it's really hard trying to get these guys to understand the practical realities and unintended consequenses of some of these suggested remedies.

    Although now Rufas has at least expanded the horizan on his expectations to 5 or ten years on the ethanol fix.

    All we can do is keep trying.


  87. Lauer: In all due respect, that feels strange to me, that here we’ve got the CEO of a company that’s responsible for the worst environmental disaster in US history, and I think - I’m just curious why you didn’t, why you wouldn’t pick up the phone and in some ways just give him a piece of your mind?

    Obama: Look, this has been the main critique of the administration, is “giving a piece of my mind” to these guys. Look, I would love to vent. I would love to just shout and holler because I’m thinking about this day in and day out. But my main job is to solve the problem.

    That's the ticket. Obama just wanted asses to kick. Except when it came to actual confrontation mano y mano, even with the safety factor of being over a phone.

  88. Try alfalfa, Melody, or, go skinny dipping, like my sis and I used to do at the lake. moon arising. Just make certain Diana of the forest is about, to keep things on the up and up.

  89. Lotta edycatin to be done, Q.

    Cain't get started without money. Lotsa money.

  90. The air was colder than the water, at midnight
    We shook and shivered by the firelight
    We were the only ones around
    Save the dog
    Then we jumped in, courageously
    All three of us
    The water felt so warm
    O my those were some good days
    Skinny dipping with my sis
    And my dog name Ezra

  91. Say guys (and gals) I am going to have to take off from the EB blog for awhile to get some things done.

    Would appreciate it if you could have the following resolved by the time I get back so we'll have something new to talk about.

    Energy Independance
    Illegal Immigration
    All Issues Associated With the ME
    The Gulf Spill
    The Unemployment Problem
    The Deficit
    World Peace


  92. Will do, thou Quirkest.

  93. P.S.

    I may be looking in on occasion so dont' think you can go badmouthiong me without my finding out about it.


  94. Now I'll only need to read half as much at the end of the day.

  95. T, what he wants accomplished he should be back

  96. Well, I'm glad That asshole is gone.

    Bet you'all didn't know Q stood for "Queer" did you.

    F'n Prick. Sh*thead. Scum.

    Man I'm glad he's gone. MF'er. Sumbitch.

    Place smells better, already. Whew. Now I feel all better. Pie, anyone?

  97. Bet you'all didn't know Q stood for "Queer" did you.

    You say "queer" like its a bad thing.

  98. It probly is to Q. :)

  99. Bob
    Rufus ....... X


  100. I think he's just going deep deep deep under under under to practice some real gonzo journalism. Which must be done alone, all alone, out there on the ice, or in the hellish green of a deep jungle, out there alone, all all alone, to practice true gonzo journalism. Best of luck, o gonzo Quirk!

  101. A little background music from Germany, circa 1981, very nice.

    Tangerine Dream - Exit

  102. Look'a there. The silly twerp gave "Me," li'l ol' me, a *Speshul Award.*

    Aw, thass nice.

    I'm almost sorry I said all those things.


  103. Out there on the ice, where a man can gather his true thoughtlessness, thought upon thought upon thoughtlessness, rising up, until, finally, it's the end of thought, all together, and a man stands naked and cold, before the mystery of all mysteries, naked, cold, and alone. And a small warm light begins to shine....just a little....there on the ice flow at the edge of all thoughtlessness. You think Quirker is going to sell more product, you don't read the Quirker aright. He's on a mission, interior, he's headed for the jungle, watch the monkeys play, or the ice, the Quirker is on a Quest!

  104. Relatives and friends of 16-year-old Abby Sunderland, the Thousand Oaks solo sailor trying to circumnavigate the globe, were clinging to hope Thursday that the young adventurer would be found alive by rescuers converging on a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean.


    "The wind is beginning to pick up," she wrote. It appeared she was facing 40- to 57-mph winds that night and gusts up to 70 mph, she said.

    "So I am off to sleep before it really picks up."

    Clinging to Hope

  105. rufus said...

    "All those great ships, and technology from The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, etc can't be used because of the Jones Act.

    Bush suspended the Jones Act the day after Katrina, but, due to pressure from the Unions, Obama has yet to do so."

    Unfreaking believable.

    And the GD MSM covers his sorry, worthless ass.

  106. Can't get much farther from nowhere than the middle of the Indian Ocean.

    Parents sound like zombies.

    "...she could be killed walking to school."

    Yeah, but the odds are just a tad different

  107. BBC News -

    A 16-year-old US sailor who went missing while sailing solo around the world has been found safe and well. Abby Sunderland's yacht was spotted by an aerial search team in the southern Indian Ocean, midway between Australia and Africa.

  108. The Associated Press -

    HOUSTON - With each new look by scientists, the oil spill just keeps looking worse. New figures for the blown-out well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico show the amount of oil spewing may have been up to twice as much as previously thought, ...

  109. Ha'aretz -

    While it is Turkey that has been changing its strategy vis-à-vis Israel by tilting toward the Arab and Muslim worlds, Israel has helped push it in that direction with a number of egregious tactical mistakes.

  110. Who in their right mind would let their 16 year old sail around the world anyway?

    I guess the same parents that would let their 17 year old do the same thing the year before.

  111. Can I just kill that little fuck myself? It's not even just about the murder but the manipulation and mind games he plays with people that makes me so very angry. Grrr....

  112. He'll be getting his, Mrs M, there is no doubt of that.

    He has not even begun to be "manipulated", yet.

  113. DR,

    Re: invasion of Soviet

    You are an illiterate moron.

    Re: peak oil

    ...just filled up at Hess on Disney property at $2.49.9 per gallon...The pumps all carry a sticker reading "Less Than Ten Percent Ethanol"...

    Re: leaving the EB

    I once left the EB for two years. Upon returning, I found nothing had changed, proving Newton's law of Inertia.

  114. Helen Thomas, Turkey, and the Liberation of Israel

    "...I used to think that oil, Arab demography, fear of Islamic terrorism, and blowback from its close association with the United States explained the global double standard that is applied to Israel.

    But after the hysteria over the Gaza flotilla, the outbursts of various members of the Turkish government, and Ms. Thomas’s candid revelations, I think the mad-dog hatred of Israel is more or less because it is a Jewish state. Period...

    ... one could now focus inordinately on the Jews by emphasizing that one’s criticism was predicated on cosmic issues of human rights and justice. And by defaming Israel the nation, one could vent one’s dislike of Jews without being stuck with the traditional boorish label of anti-Semite..."

    Bingo! And that is why Whit, WiO, Linear, Anon, Viktor et al are not fooled for a moment by the phonies here.