March 7, 2012

ZUBRIN: Keystone XL rejection weakens America and strengthens her enemies – Washington Times

ZUBRIN: Keystone XL rejection weakens America and strengthens her enemies – Washington Times.

The United States is by far the world’s leading oil importer. Thus, it follows that when the price of oil goes up, our economy is severely taxed and, therefore, it goes down. Indeed, every oil price increase for the past four decades, including those in 1973, 1979, 1991, 2001 and 2008, has been followed shortly afterward by a sharp rise in American unemployment.

It is in this light that the extreme malfeasance of the Obama administration in preventing the implementation of the Keystone XL pipeline becomes apparent. While much has been made of the loss of 20,000 jobs building the pipeline, that is the smallest part of the matter. The real issue is that by forbidding the pipeline, the Obama administration is acting to block the introduction of 270 million barrels per year of Canadian oil into the world market. At current prices above $100 per barrel, this will cause a loss to the North American economy of $27 billion per year, sufficient to create 270,000 North American jobs – at $100,000 per year each. (Canada draws 65 percent of its imports, which amount to 31 percent of its gross domestic product, from the United States. The two nations thus share one economy.)

March 7, 2012

Iran’s Unacceptable Enrichment – Robert Zubrin – National Review Online

Iran’s Unacceptable Enrichment – Robert Zubrin – National Review Online.

There has been much public discussion recently about the Iranian nuclear program, particularly the question of when it might be determined that it had crossed a “red line” defining it conclusively as a nuclear-weapons, rather than a power-reactor, program. An analysis of Iran’s actual production suggests that the line has already been crossed.

Some of the discussion has been quite absurd. For example, page 1 of the February 25 New York Times features a story entitled “U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb.” Meanwhile, on page 8 of the very same edition, David Sanger and William Broad report that International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have determined that Iran is now producing large quantities of 20-percent–enriched uranium-235 in a facility located under 250 feet of granite protection. Since commercial reactors require only 3-percent–enriched uranium-235, a factory producing 20-percent–enriched fissile material is clearly part of a nuclear-weapons program.

February 7, 2012

ZUBRIN: Rising oil prices threaten economic crash – Washington Times

ZUBRIN: Rising oil prices threaten economic crash – Washington Times.

In recent days, oil prices have climbed above $100 per barrel. As chaos spreads through the Arab world, we could soon see much worse.

According to recent testimony given to Congress by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, the current soaring oil prices are no reason for concern. According to the stock market, which has dropped hundreds of points each time oil prices have edged up another dollar or two, the situation is a five-alarm emergency. Who is right?

January 20, 2012

LUFT: Market-based future for ethanol – Washington Times

LUFT: Market-based future for ethanol – Washington Times.

Domestic product is critical insurance policy against oil shocks

For years, ethanol has been the fuel free marketers loved to hate. Much of this is for good reason. Ethanol represented what most Americans dislike about Washington: undue government intervention in the free market, abuse of taxpayer dollars and political favoritism. The result is that for many people, ethanol is identified with pork and corruption rather than with energy security.

ut as of January 2012, Congress has ended the 30-year practice of putting $6 billion a year,known as the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit, into the pockets of big oil companies for the ethanol blended into our fuel. Also finished is the 54-cent-per-gallon import tariff on Brazilian sugarcane ethanol. Now that ethanol has lost these protectionist measures, intellectual consistency warrants that free marketers continue to make wrong right. Unsubsidized ethanol should be able to compete with unsubsidized gasoline, methanol and other fuels at the pump so consumers can choose to purchase the cheapest fuel. Today, this cannot be done since most of the cars sold in the United States are blocked from burning anything other than gasoline.

 

 

January 18, 2012

Cutting Coal Would be ‘Irresponsible’ « Behind The Plug

Cutting Coal Would be ‘Irresponsible’ « Behind The Plug.

It’s no secret that coal is important to the American economy and energy sector. The coal industry is responsible for more than 550,000 jobs across the country—including the jobs of Americans who are working to develop and implement clean coal technology.

But still some critics argue we should simply flip the off switch on coal, without knowing the full consequences.

January 17, 2012

How to Reduce Oil Prices – Robert Zubrin – National Review Online

How to Reduce Oil Prices – Robert Zubrin – National Review Online.

The United States is by far the world’s leading oil importer. Thus, when the price of oil goes up, our economy is severely taxed. At the beginning of 2011, many economists were talking about an emerging U.S. economic recovery. Yet by spring, as oil prices climbed above $100 per barrel, it became apparent to all who were paying attention that no escape from recession was in sight.

The economic impact of oil prices on the American economy is shown on the graph below, which compares oil prices (adjusted for inflation to 2010 dollars) to the unemployment rate from 1970 to the present. Every oil-price hike for the past four decades, including those in 1973, 1979, 1991, 2001, and 2008, was followed shortly afterwards by a sharp rise in American unemployment.

January 5, 2012

Oil prices: What happens if Iran shuts down the Strait of Hormuz? – CSMonitor.com

Oil prices: What happens if Iran shuts down the Strait of Hormuz? – CSMonitor.com.

If the rhetoric doesn’t calm down, it may not be long before the price of oil moves into the $110- to $125-a-barrel range, energy analysts say.

At issue is a significant amount of the world’s oil that moves by sea. In 2011, about 17 million barrels of oil per day, or about 35 percent of the world’s seaborne traded oil, moved through the Strait of Hormuz, the US Energy Information Administration estimates. Much of this oil flows to AsiaJapan, China, India, and other emerging economies. But some of the oil flows to Europe, and a relatively small amount – some 1.1 million barrels per day – goes to the United States.

January 5, 2012

Oil Price Would Skyrocket if Iran Closed the Strait of Hormuz – Yahoo! Finance

Oil Price Would Skyrocket if Iran Closed the Strait of Hormuz – Yahoo! Finance.

HOUSTON — If Iran were to follow through with its threat to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit route for almost one-fifth of the oil traded globally, the impact would be immediate: Energy analysts say the price of oil would start to soar and could rise 50 percent or more within days.

December 19, 2011

The Methanol Story: A Sustainable Fuel for the Future

Rnichols.pdf application/pdf Object.

Development of vehicles that could operate on alternative fuels began in earnest as a response to the oil shocks of the
1970s. Of the various choices, methanol appeared to be the best candida~ for long-term, widespread replacement of
petroleum-based fuels. Initial support by the government was based on the desire for energy security, but the potential for
improvement in air quality became an important driver as well. Experimental fleets of dedicated methanol vehicles did well
in the field, but the lack of refueling infrastructure led to the development of the flexible fuel vehicle (FFV), a vehicle that
could operate on either gasoline or methanol with only one fuel system Oll’ board. Legislation was put in place to encourage
the auto industry to begin production, which started in 1993 for the M85 FFV at Ford. By the end of the decade, however,
full production volumes had been transferred to the E85 FFV (gasoline or ethanol). The technical, economic and political
reasons for this shift are emphasised and are discussed below, including visions for the future, and the direct
methanol fuel cell.

December 6, 2011

Methanol Wins – Robert Zubrin – National Review Online

Methanol Wins – Robert Zubrin – National Review Online.

On August 2, I published an open wager on National Review Online. I offered to bet up to ten people $10,000 each that I could take my 2007 Chevy Cobalt, which is not a flex-fuel car, and, running it on 100 percent methanol, get at least 24 miles per gallon on the highway. Since methanol averages less than half the price of gasoline — and can readily be made from coal, natural gas, or any kind of biomass without exception — this would demonstrate superior transportation economy from a non-petroleum fuel that is producible from plentiful American resources.

Unfortunately, no one took the bet. That fact alone says a lot. Of the 7 billion people on this planet, there are about a million or so who know a great deal about cars. Clearly, not one of them was sufficiently doubtful that it could be done to put his money on the line. Although it left me short a nice chunk of easy cash, the refusal of anyone to accept my challenge should have settled the matter. But some people, while refusing to take the bet, still demanded that I conduct the test anyway. I did, and here are the results.

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