In The Pipeline 7/11/11

Arnold isn’t the only who said “I’ll be back” — oil is up above the pre Sagging Poll Reserve release Wall Street Journal (7/11/11) reports: Oil is back on the upswing, flying in the face of international efforts to keep prices low…After an initial drop, crude-oil futures are back above the levels seen before the International Energy Agency in late June announced a plan to release 60 million barrels of oil from emergency stockpiles, ending Friday at $96.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The U.S. will release 30.6 million barrels toward that total…That futures contract is up more than 6% from the lows hit after the announcement. U.S. gasoline futures prices are up 11%, suggesting more pain at the pump in the weeks ahead…The rebound in Brent crude, a European benchmark, has been even steeper. Brent futures are up 13% from the lows. Last week alone, they surged almost 6%… Investors have overlooked the added oil and focused instead on expectations that relentless demand for oil, especially from consumers such as China, will continue to drive prices higher as the global economy recovers. Several Wall Street banks have raised their price targets for oil, arguing the IEA move won’t alleviate long-term supply worries. The gains underscore how little control governments have over oil prices, and financial markets in general…This is the third time the IEA has coordinated the release of strategic reserves among its member nations. The move was widely viewed by analysts as an alternative form of “quantitative easing,” aiming to drive down oil prices and prop up the economy, although the Paris-based energy watchdog for industrialized nations said the decision was mainly driven by the loss of Libyan production and an anticipated uptick in seasonal demand from refiners.

There are two things America got right: freedom and cars. Now, Obama is destroying both in record time The American Spectator (7/7/11) reports: Now Obama’s decided to ban cars outright…Not in so many words, perhaps, but his just-announced proposal that new cars be required by law to average 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025 will effectively do just that…Not one car sold in the United States currently averages 56 MPG — not even on the highway. Not even hybrids like the Toyota Prius, the best of the lot — which maxes out at 51 on the highway and 48 in city driving. The maximum highway mileage achieved by a current non-hybrid car (the 2012 Honda Civic HF) is 41 MPG. Its average mileage is 33 MPG…To achieve an average of 56 MPG, one or more of the following would be necessary:* Massive reduction in vehicle weight…It is easier – more efficient – to move a lighter car than a heavier car. A 2,000 lb. car will use less gas, all else being equal, than a 2,800 lb. car because a smaller, more fuel-efficient engine can do equivalent work in terms of accelerating the vehicle and maintaining speed…The problem is the engineering/economic conflict between weight and safety…For decades, the federal government has been passing one safety-minded mandate after another, each of which has had the effect of making newer cars heavier than their equivalents of the past. A current-year subcompact like the 2012 Fiat 500 weighs 2,363 lbs. — a porker in comparison to an equivalent subcompact from the ’70s such as an original model VW Super Beetle, which weighed about 1,900 lbs. That 400-plus pound weight difference is the main reason why, despite the Fiat’s 40-year advantage in technology — including computer-controlled fuel injection and overdrive transmissions — its gas mileage (30 city, 38 highway , 33 average) is only slightly better than the Beetle’s high 20s, low 30s.

The green movement is about money, population control and political power — don’t let anyone tell you different Daily Mail (7/11/11) reports: Energy bills are likely to double within five years as the Government drives a move to green power and building nuclear power stations, it is claimed…Energy Secretary Chris Huhne will outline plans this week for a major shift in power generation away from fossil fuels such as gas, coal and oil…The transformation is predicted to cost the nation £200billion, which will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher bills…The Government will put in place minimum price guarantees, higher than  the normal market price, for the electricity generated by new wind farms and nuclear power stations…This will guarantee it is profitable to build and operate the expensive and controversial facilities. However, it will also mean the  price paid by families for their electricity will also have to rise…Conservative estimates suggest energy bills will soar by 50 per cent over the next  20 years to fund the proposals – taking  the annual average bill up by £500, to  £1,500 a year. But City experts believe the real figure will be considerably higher.

Listen, do you want to know a secret? Do you promise not to tell, whoa, oh…Closer, let me whisper in your ear…wind energy is horrible for the environment Forbes (7/6/11) reports: The amount of energy available in the Earth system to be extracted by wind turbines is limited, and if sufficient energy is removed the world climate will be affected. These striking conclusions follow from a recent analysis by researchers at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry. Humans use energy in total at a rate of 17 TW (terawatts), 87% of which is provided by fossil fuels. In the effort to mitigate carbon emissions and climate change, sources of carbon-free renewable energy are sought, particularly wind power. From a simple engineering perspective, the more wind turbines are placed around the globe, the more energy can be extracted, with no particular effect on the overall energy of the atmospheric flow…From the various simulations used it was inferred that between 18 – 68 TW of mechanical wind power can be extracted from the atmospheric boundary layer, taken over all non-glaciated land surfaces. While a single wind-turbine does not affect the global atmosphere, the installation of a large number of such devices will interfere with the atmospheric circulation and diminish the extraction efficiency on the large scale, since any extraction of momentum will act in competition with natural wind-power energy dissipation by turbulence in the boundary layer.

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