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AP

[Here come the shortages.] With consumers hit by oil price swings, federal regulators may be moving toward imposing limits on speculative energy trading, which some blame for price volatility.

The head of the U.S. agency weighing new curbs faulted "excessive" speculation but also underscored the role of financial investors in helping set fair prices that can benefit consumers.

 

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arclein

Now, that may be a picture that gets some people excited, but not me. I know that unconventional shale gas wells deplete very rapidly, paying out 60 to 90% of their production in the first year. It takes a great deal of drilling to maintain overall production rates, and in a low-price environment like today's, the prospects for additional drilling are dubious. For the straight dope on the North American peak question, I turned to David Hughes, the now-retired Canadian geologist who is a bona-fide expert on North American gas. He pointed out that it has taken 33,000 successful gas wells per year to exceed the 2001 peak, and noted that rig counts are still well down from last year. (According to Baker Hughes, gas rigs operating in the U.S. are now down to 665, the lowest number since May 2002, and off 59% from September of last year.) It's hard to imagine how this will not result in diminishing supply, and Hughes expects we'll feel the effects some time in the next six to

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arclein

Geothermal energy is the most efficient renewable energy alternative and is improving the fastest. Wind energy is second. + Fossil fuel technologies are no longer improving (in terms of efficiency) much - if at all. These technologies have likely reached their performance limits, though the government still spends far more on them. + Geothermal energy could become cheaper than fossil fuels with R and D spending of as little as $3.3 billion.

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arclein

Bøhmer experimented with the concept for a decade, inspired by the simplicity of a solar device invented in 1767 by Swiss physicist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure. The cooker, which consists of two boxes nestled inside each other and topped with Plexiglas to trap the sun’s rays, has evolved from a homemade cardboard contraption to a $6 plastic version that went into mass production this spring.

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PopSi

A former IBM engineer says his latest invention can turn regular cars into plug-in hybrids for between $3,000 and $5,000. He could be on to something.  

It fits into a wheel hub and can double a car's fuel economy. That's the claim of Dr. Charles Perry, who says his plug-in hybrid retrofit kit can save America 120 million gallons of fuel per day. Big talk. But then, inventors betting on revolutionary uphevals need to talk as big as they think. The former IBM electrical engineer designed the kit to transform existing automobiles into hybrids by placing an electric motor inside each wheel. Perry recently took first prize for his invention at a green energy competition at the Tennessee Technology Development Corp. The plan is to develop the kit into a product selling for between $3,000 and $5,000.

As part of the prize, Perry received a $50,000 grant, which will be matched by Palmer Labs LLC of Reston, Va., whose goal is to commercialize the inv

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arclein

Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 had some strong implications for the Canadian oil sands. Section 526 targeted unconventional petroleum sources with greenhouse gas emissions greater than conventional sources. In other words, Section 526 prohibits the government from purchasing fuels with a higher carbon intensity than gasoline. On June 17, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted for a bill that could put the oil sands back in our good graces. One amendment passed by a voice vote stated U.S. refiners would not be in violation of Section 526 by buying crude oil produced from Canadian oil sands.

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The Examiner

In one of the closest Congressional votes since Barack Obama took office, the Cap-and-Trade energy tax bill was approved by a very thin margin, thanks to the defections of 44 Democrats who voted against the President and the House leadership. The final vote in the House was 219 for and 212 against. All but 8 Republicans stood firm for the American people and voted against this ghastly piece of legislation. All but 44 Democrats voted in favor of this onslaught on our money and our sources of income

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Cap&Tr8tors

They have 4 Days from the time of their vote to change them, or we will work to vote them out of office. July 2, 2009. #capandtr8tors is the Twitter tag to use on this topic. HR 2454 RECORDED VOTE 26-Jun-2009 7:17 PM BILL TITLE: American Clean Energy and Security Act The following republicans voted FOR the largest tax bill ever passed by a session of Congress.

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NY Times

As Democrats strained to win over crucial holdouts on the way to narrow, party-line approval of global warming legislation, they were dogged by a critical question: Has the political climate changed since 1993? Veteran members of both parties vividly remember when many House Democrats, in the early months of the Clinton administration, reluctantly backed a proposed B.T.U. tax — a new levy on each unit of energy consumed — only to see it ignored by the Senate and seized as a campaign issue by Republicans, who took control of the House the next year.

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Technology Review

A cell phone that never needs recharging might sound too good to be true, but Nokia says it's developing technology that could draw enough power from ambient radio waves to keep a cell-phone handset topped up.

Ambient electromagnetic radiation--emitted from Wi-Fi transmitters, cell-phone antennas, TV masts, and other sources--could be converted into enough electrical current to keep a battery topped up, says Markku Rouvala, a researcher from the Nokia Research Centre, in Cambridge, U.K.

Rouvala says that his group is working towards a prototype that could harvest up to 50 milliwatts of power--enough to slowly recharge a phone that is switched off. He says current prototypes can harvest 3 to 5 milliwatts.

 

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arclein

Parabolic mirrors concentrate a lot of energy over the cross section of the energy collector and the intent is to drive the temperature as high as is safe. That means that the working fluid is the primary design constraint. These fluids go to 300 C plus and remain fluid under the temperature of boiling water.

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arclein

THAI sounds a bit like something out of a science fiction novel. It involves drilling a hole into the oil sands, injecting oxygen and igniting a continuous underground burn or "fireflood." Over the course of several months, that fireflood slowly works its way through the oil sands reservoir, heating up the bitumen so it drains into a horizontal collector well. No digging. No huge mining equipment. Just a few pipes, some wellheads and a modest processing facility. THAI is still considered experimental by the oil sands industry, but Petrobank is so confident that it works, it’s forging ahead with two commercial-scale projects using THAI.

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MSNBC

“There’s this feeling of ’here we go again’ with what happened last year,” Kloza said. “It hurts discretional spending. It leaves people to think about not taking those summer vacations.”

 Gas prices added another 2 cents overnight, climbing to their highest level in more than seven months to $2.592 a gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. A gallon of gas costs 48.2 cents more than it did a month ago, but it’s $1.397 cheaper than last year.

 This week, Goldman Sachs revised its forecast and predicted that oil would rally to $85 a barrel by the end of the year as the economy stabilizes and OPEC production cuts take hold.

 The forecast assumes, however, that the Or

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arclein

Scientific testing has found that up to 1.4 tonnes of fuel can be saved on a twelve-hour long haul flight powered by a 50/50 blend of second generation jatropha sustainable biofuel and traditional Jet A1. The remarkable result is one of the key findings from the Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400 Rolls-Royce powered test flight in December last year.

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arclein

I think that fusion energy is far closer than anyone imagines. Some very clever tricks are now been employed because they can actually be modeled and tested. This ability is becoming common place and that means that the best imaginations can advance the technology. In the meantime, just about any other plausible option has been dusted off and is now been actively pursued and most important, solar technology has dropped into the sweet spot in terms of costing and is now booming.

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HuffPo

For over thirteen years, multinational oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has done everything in its power to stop a trial from taking place at which the company must answer to charges that it colluded with the Nigerian military to commit serious human rights abuses to quell peaceful resistance to its operations in the Niger Delta region called Ogoni, including conspiring to bring about the conviction and execution of Ogoni l

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