Oil

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Oil

The old saw that ‘we hang together or we get hung separately‘ is a perfect description of how the left has disintegrated into irrelevance. Too often, groups will focus on modest gains for their own narrow constituency, while selling out other allies. Over the long term, each component of the coalition is so weakened, making…

Before I get into the meat of the post, if, after reading this, you end up obsessing over trade deficits too, then I’ve failed (just wanted to make that clear). But imagining what the possible consequences of placing the trade deficit ├╝ber alles would be demonstrates why the current budget deficit fetish is absurd. Because,…

Dan Froomkin has a great article about the role that financial speculation plays in driving up gasoline prices*. Keep in mind that even Goldman Sachs, the largest oil trader, admits that speculation drives up oil prices. But what really disgusting is how this speculation-based rise in prices serves as a wealth transfer from, well, just…

A while ago, I raised the problem–an inconvenient truth, if you will–that moving to a renewable energy future is going to be difficult: My impression reading a lot of commentary about renewable energy is that there’s this fantasy that we just have to build a bunch of windmills, install some solar panels, buy a Prius,…

In light of the nuclear power plant partial meltdowns in Japan, there are calls for not expanding the U.S. nuclear power plant capacity, and even shutting down existing plants. What bothers me about this is that there is no discussion of how we make up the energy production shortfall–I’ll get to energy conservation in a…

Someone tell me why we didn’t nationalize BP assets in the U.S., fire the board of directors and other high-level managers, and then use the assets to fix all of the problems–including the unemployment caused by the spill. Because this sounds like the clarion calls of freedom and liberty to me (italics mine): In the…

BP, Scientists, and Gag Agreements

Last week, I wrote about a column by biologist Marc Lipsitch, who described a conflict of interest for scientists that has not been discussed: gag agreements for scientists who accept industry funding. In other words, if the corporate funder doesn’t like the results, nobody will hear about them. These agreements also present other problems, such…

BP: not only trashing our oceans, but the First Amendment too! From Raw Story: Journalists who come too close to oil spill clean-up efforts without permission could find themselves facing a $40,000 fine and even one to five years in prison under a new rule instituted by the Coast Guard late last week. It’s a…

The reason your dividends were (past tense) higher than U.S. Treasury yields is because there was risk involved in this investment, even if you pretended otherwise. That’s why you get more money back–because you’re holding more risk. Privately held companies are not back by the full faith and credit of sovereign states. Welcome to the…

President Obama has been arguing that if he had tried to regulate the oil industry before the BP disaster, it would have gone nowhere and Republicans would have pissed and moaned about oppressive regulations: In an interview with POLITICO, the president said: “I think it’s fair to say, if six months ago, before this spill…