As long as we remain committed to fossil fuels, that are by nature scarce and under the control of venal corporations and corrupt governments, we will be vulnerable to price manipulation, terror, and war.

Washington Post:

ISTANBUL — Iran on Sunday rejected U.S. accusations it was responsible for devastating attacks on two oil installations in Saudi Arabia that struck at the heart of the kingdom’s oil industry and forced Aramco, the state oil company, to suspend its production output by half.

A rebel group in Yemen, known as the Houthis, had claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attacks, saying that it had sent a fleet of attack drones toward the two oil facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia. Hours later, though, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a Twitter message, directly blamed Iran for what he said was “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” and said there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen” — leading to speculation they had been launched directly from Iran, or on Tehran’s behalf, by allies in Iraq.

Abbas Mousavi, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, called the allegations “pointless” while Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister, chastised Pompeo in a Twitter message on Sunday. “Having failed at ‘max pressure’, @SecPompeo’s turning to ‘max deceit’” — a reference to the Trump administration’s imposition of sanctions and other pressure tactics aimed at ending what the United States calls Iran’s malign regional policies.

Read the rest of this entry »

Trailer: “Radioactive”

September 15, 2019

Patti Poppe is CEO of Consumer’s Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, which has been a quintessential, conservative, coal based, rust belt generator for decades, up until just a few years ago.

Now things are changing. See if you can detect it.
Talk is 20 minutes, followed by Q and A.

Below, David Saggau is Chair of Minnesota’s second largest utility. I’ve titled the short clip from his 2017 talk “Wind is the New Baseload”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why Dim Bulbs Love Trump

September 11, 2019

Recent rant in North Carolina. Note sparse crowd of dead-enders.

They’re still incensed about more efficient bulbs.


The Trump administration is rolling back requirements for new, energy-efficient lightbulbs. The Energy Department announced the move on Wednesday, withdrawing standards that were to be put in place to make commonly used bulbs more efficient. 
The new standards were included in energy legislation implemented under President George W. Bush and finalized under the Obama administration. They were set to go into effect in January 2020 and gradually phase out incandescent and halogen bulbs. This includes the everyday pear-shaped bulbs as well as bulbs used for items such as bathroom vanities, recessed lighting and candle-shape lights, to be replaced with energy-efficient, LED versions, which are illuminated by light-emitting diodes. 
In its announcement of the rollback, the Energy Department says the new lightbulb standards were established in 2017 “in a manner that is not consistent with the best reading of the statute.” 
Last March, NPR’s Jeff Brady reported, “Thanks to a 2007 law signed by President George W. Bush, shelves these days are largely stocked with LED bulbs that look more like the traditional pear-shape incandescent version but use just one-fifth the energy. A second wave of lightbulb changes was set to happen. But now the Trump administration wants to undo an Obama-era regulation designed to make a wide array of specialty lightbulbs more energy-efficient.”

In other news, The Trump administration proposed new supports for Typewriters, 8 Track tape players, and Beta max video cassettes.In other news, The Trump administration proposed new supports for Typewriters, 8 Track tape players, and Beta max video cassettes.In other news, The Trump administration proposed new supports for Typewriters, 8 Track tape players, and Beta max video cassettes.

Fukushima: Still Simmering

September 11, 2019


TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power (9501.T) will have to dump radioactive water from its destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean as it runs out of room to store it, the environment minister said on Tuesday.
Tokyo Electric, or Tepco, has collected more than 1 million tonnes of contaminated water from the cooling pipes used to keep fuel cores from melting since the plant was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. 
“The only option will be to drain it into the sea and dilute it,” the minister, Yoshiaki Harada, told a news briefing in Tokyo. 
“The whole of the government will discuss this, but I would like to offer my simple opinion.” 
The government is awaiting a report from an expert panel before making a final decision on how to dispose of the radioactive water. 
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, in a separate press briefing, described Harada’s comments as “his personal opinion”.
Tepco was not in a position to decide what to do but would follow the policy once the government made a decision, a spokesman for the utility said. 
The utility says it will run out of room to store the water by 2022. Harada did not say how much water would need to be dumped into the ocean. 
Any green light from the government to dump the waste into the sea would anger neighbors such as South Korea, which summoned a senior Japanese embassy official last month to explain how the Fukushima water would be dealt with. 

Read the rest of this entry »


 Saudi Arabia new energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has announced the kingdom plans to enrich uranium for its future civilian nuclear power program. The move could mark the start of a race for nuclear weapons in the Gulf as attempts by the United States and European Union to strike a new deal with Iran on its nuclear plan falter. 

Reuters reported that the kingdom’s new energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, told a meeting of the OPEC oil cartel in Abu Dhabi on Monday: “We are proceeding with it cautiously … we are experimenting with two nuclear reactors.”
It comes after the kingdom, which is the world’s largest oil producer, said it wanted to expand its energy resources at home beyond fossil fuels in order to free up more oil for export. The nuclear reactors could be one alternative.
Saudi’s former energy minister said in April that Riyadh’s use of the reactors would be peaceful and in compliance with “international framework governing … nuclear energy and its peaceful use.” However, the kingdom previously said it would not sign any deal that would restrict its nuclear program. The same technology used to enrich uranium for civilian reactors can also be used to produce fuel for nuclear weapons  


Ultimately the kingdom wanted to go ahead with the full cycle of the nuclear program, including the production and enrichment of uranium for atomic fuel, he told an energy conference in Abu Dhabi. 

The tender is expected in 2020, with U.S., Russian, South Korean, Chinese and French firms involved in preliminary talks about the multi-billion-dollar project.

Reuters has reported that progress on the discussions has been difficult because Saudi Arabia does not want to sign a deal that would rule out the possibility of enriching uranium or reprocessing spent fuel – both potential paths to a bomb. 
International concerns about the dual technology helped lead to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and global powers. Under the deal Iran can enrich uranium to around the normal level needed for commercial power production. 
But in response to U.S. sanctions imposed since Washington withdrew from the deal in May last year, Iran has been breaching the limits it imposed on its atomic activities step by step.

Another week, another animal abandoned and lost in the climate catastrophe.