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 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 48
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I have bad knees, so I can't bicycle. But I can walk The exercise is great! I WALKED to get milk yesterday instead of driving
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 49
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Posted: 5/27/2008 5:05:40 PM
I just started back up on my bike, and use it to get to work. Saves me twenty dollars a week, takes me less time than the bus and subway does, and I get in great shape doing it.

I was actually jumping anxiously for the chance to start doing it again, it's been a long winter here.

Some people go drive their Hummer to the gym, take the elevator to the second floor, and then get on that 'ol Stairmaster for a good work out - or ride the stationary bike.

This way, I at least feel the wind in my hair.....no wait....I don't have any......
 ErehwonEnoon
Joined: 2/13/2008
Msg: 50
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Posted: 5/27/2008 5:51:31 PM
Guy Negre developed a motor that maximizes the performance of engines powered by compressed air. I have followed the exploits of his company MDI Group for about 10 years. Last year his company formed agreements with Tata (car company in India) to produce a vehicle. A vehicle using compressed air is as safe as a vehicle powered by propane (similar storage system) but with out the concern of fire. The biggest problem with this technology is that has taken forever for deployment. If it is valid technology, I believe it will only be a footnote because of the way it has been marketed.
 Beaugrand®™©
Joined: 3/24/2008
Msg: 51
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Posted: 5/27/2008 8:39:25 PM
One of my classmates in high school (this had to be around 1966-67) converted a lawn mower engine to run on compressed air; it was mostly a matter of grinding new cams to change the valve timing. I recall it ran for about 4-5 minutes on a 5-gallon air tank at probably 150 psi. The Indian motor runs on a 4,300 psi tank, IIRC.

Edit: Apparently it comes with a 220v compressor that fills the tank in 3-4 hours.
 EarlzP
Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 52
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Posted: 5/28/2008 5:54:19 AM
There are many good ideas at the forums, the problem is we will never see them implemented, the oil companies do not have now and will not have the incentive to get involved until there is no longer a drop of oil left in the ground

What we need is a group of energy experts put together to start to research the different alternative fuels and develop a plan to bring them in a usable form to us the consumers.

Some where along the line we decided or were brainwashed into believing that the word government is a dirty word when the fact is we are the government, our tax dollars should be working for us to protect our economy and our environment.

We elect the people who are supposed to be representing our interests and when they drop the ball we allow them to continue in office and even re-elect them, our country is in the deep stuff and we need to start paddling while we still have oars, taking control of our government is no more then taking control of ourselves since we are the government, it does matter who we elect but only if we give him/her the direction and support to get things done

The internet gives us the perfect medium to start the process of taking back our government and ensuring that we leave some thing to the next generation, together we can force changes that will benefit our country and ensure our future
 Beaugrand®™©
Joined: 3/24/2008
Msg: 53
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Posted: 5/28/2008 9:06:48 AM
So a TV station interviews two car mechanics who believe that alcohol causes sludge problems? I'm sure I can find two mechanics who will claim the opposite, that alcohol makes engines run cleaner. Hardly unbiased reporting, using questionable sources.

Alcohol in gasoline fuel serves more than one purpose: it acts as an oxidizer to control otherwise unburned hydrocarbons, and it increases the octane rating of gasoline.

The larger issue is that using corn as the feedstock isn't the smartest strategy, but ADM is a big contributor to the Republican party.
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
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Posted: 5/28/2008 6:24:12 PM
Look at the recent rise in in thefts of one VERY strange product - waste vegetable oil.




The latest in thefts - used cooking oil

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 21, 2008


SAN FRANCISCO - Afew years ago, drums of used French fry grease were of interest only to a small network of underground biofuel brewers, who would use the slimy oil to power their souped-up antique Mercedes.

Now, restaurants from Berkeley, Calif., to Sedgwick, Kan., are reporting thefts of old cooking oil worth thousands of dollars to rustlers who refine it into barrels of biofuel in backyard stills.

"It's like a war zone going on right now over grease," said David Levenson, who owns a grease hauling business in the Mission District. "We're seeing more and more people stealing grease because it lets them stay away from the pump, but it's hurting our bottom line."

Levenson, who converted his '83 Mercedes to run on canola oil, collects from 400 restaurants. Last week his pump truck arrived at a dive bar known for its chili-cheese fries to find someone had already helped himself to their barrel of yellow oil.

Grease is transformed into fuel through a chemical process called transesterification, which removes glycerine and adds methanol to the oil, leaving a thinner product that can power a diesel engine. Biodiesel can also be blended with petroleum diesel, and blends of the alternative fuel are now sold at 1,400 gas stations across the country.

But as the price of diesel soars, so, too, does the value of grease. In three years, the price of soybean oil, the main feedstock for biodiesel made in the United States, has tripled. Last week, a gallon of crude soybean oil fetched 66 cents on the open market, according to the National Biodiesel Board.

Those numbers have encouraged biofuel enthusiasts to plunder restaurants' greasy waste, and have even spurred the City of San Francisco to get into the grease-trap cleaning business.

"Restaurants and staff are no longer looking at this material as trash," said Karri Ving, who runs the city's waste cooking oil collection program. "Unless you lock down every trash can, thefts are going to happen."

Drivers for Blue Sky Bio-Fuels, which manufactures bio- diesel for San Francisco's municipal program, often find their 300-gallon Dumpster outside the Oakland Coliseum nearly dry, despite the dozens of concession stands that dump there. Losses there alone have cost $3,700 in forgone oil revenues in the last year, the firm said.

In Kansas, Healy Biodiesel reports thousands of dollars in losses from used cooking oil heists from restaurants near Sedgwick, about 20 miles north of Wichita.

Standard Biodiesel in Seattle started working with police to try to catch fly-by-night home-brewers pilfering up to 30,000 gallons of the oil they collect from restaurants every month.

To manufacture the renewable fuel legally, biodiesel producers must register with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Also, biodiesel consumers must pay the government taxes to help with road upkeep.

http://www.newsday.com/services/newspaper/printedition/wednesday/nation/
ny-usoil215695958may21,0,7627256.story


There's no ONE solution to the problem, that's the bad news.

The good news ?

There's literally dozens (perhaps hundreds) of small easily obtainable ways towards a better future. Many of these doors are unlocked , ironically, by higher gas prices.
 ErehwonEnoon
Joined: 2/13/2008
Msg: 55
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Posted: 5/28/2008 6:54:25 PM
One of the options that I don't believe has been mentioned so far is the use of Low Speed Vehicles. LSV's are usually powered by electricity and have a top speed that is roughly 40k (25 mph). This is actually a legislated speed as opposed to a functional limitation. Check out zenncars.com and read/watch some of the media reports.
 Beaugrand®™©
Joined: 3/24/2008
Msg: 56
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Posted: 5/30/2008 12:31:31 PM
from http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/20828/?nlid=1099 :


A biorefinery built to produce 1.4 million gallons of ethanol a year from cellulosic biomass will open tomorrow in Jennings, LA. Built by Verenium, based in Cambridge, MA, the plant will make ethanol from agricultural waste left over from processing sugarcane.

The new Verenium plant is the first demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in the United States. It will be used to try out variations on the company's technology and is designed to run continuously. Verenium wants to demonstrate that it can create ethanol for $2 a gallon, which it hopes will make the fuel competitive with other types of ethanol and gasoline. Next year, the company plans to begin construction on commercial plants that will each produce about 20 to 30 million gallons of ethanol a year.

Until now, technology for converting nonfood feedstocks into ethanol has been limited to the lab and to small-scale pilot plants that can produce thousands of gallons of ethanol a year. Since these don't operate continuously, they don't give an accurate idea of how much it will ultimately cost to produce cellulosic ethanol in a commercial-scale facility.

Almost all ethanol biofuel in the United States is currently made from corn kernels. But the need for cellulosic feedstocks of ethanol has been underscored recently as food prices worldwide have risen sharply, in part because of the use of corn as a source of biofuels. At the same time, the rising cost of corn and gas have begun to make cellulosic ethanol more commercially attractive, says Wallace Tyner, a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University. A new Renewable Fuels Standard, part of an energy bill that became law late last year, mandates the use of 100 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels by 2010, and 16 billion by 2022.
 Beaugrand®™©
Joined: 3/24/2008
Msg: 57
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Posted: 6/10/2008 9:42:34 PM
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/226/story/39270.html
The solution to high gas prices no one wants — driving 55


By Paul Wenske | Kansas City Star

Jon Zehnder, 54, knows he's a curiosity because, as his bumper sticker says, "I drive 55."

"I like to drive fast, but I'm old enough to remember the energy crisis in the 1970s," said Zehnder, a social worker who lives in Lindsborg, Kan. "And," he added with a laugh, "I’m saving a butt load on gas."

But even in a time of $4-a-gallon gas, the slow lane is lonely these days.

For all the griping about spiking gas prices, there's no clamor for the return of the little-lamented 55 mph speed limit of the '70s and '80s — though most agree it reduces consumption and saves money.

"It's not that people haven't thought of it — just no one is even close to discussing implementing it," said Therese Langer, speaking for the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. "It’s not high on anyone's list."

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the cost of driving rises faster above 60 mph — adding nearly 20 cents per gallon for each additional 5 mph. The Alliance to Save Energy, in Washington, estimates that restricting speeds to 55 mph could reduce the use of oil imported from the Persian Gulf by up to 20 percent a day.

Even so, "there doesn't appear to be any eagerness on Capitol Hill to revisit the issue," said Ronnie Kweller of the alliance.

No, indeed. Paul Hesse, a spokesman for the U.S. Energy Information Administration, said his agency willingly would analyze the value of a 55 mph speed limit if asked by a congressman. None has asked.

In truth, the situation today is different, said Mike Right, spokesman for AAA. In the 1970s the crisis turned on shortages caused by the oil embargo and turbulence in Iran. Today, there are no shortages. Instead, Asian demand is causing prices to skyrocket.

"Back in the '70s people were fearful they would get to a strange area, there wouldn't be any gas, and they’d be stranded," Right said. In contrast, today, higher prices seem more an irritant to commuters with busy lifestyles who want to arrive at work or play as fast as their wheels can take them.

"I don’t think the public is ready for those kinds of regulations imposed on their daily lives today," Right said.

In the 1970s, life was slower. There were fewer interstates. In metro areas, people lived closer in, and most didn't care if their cars got only 14 miles to the gallon. After all, gas cost less than 40 cents a gallon.

But then the Arab-Israeli conflict triggered the Arab oil embargo. World crude prices quadrupled (to $12 a barrel). Gas at the pump shot up to 55 cents per gallon — horrors.

When the shortages occurred, the government contributed to the long lines at the pump by reallocating supplies.

"That created a lot of problems," said American Petroleum Institute economist Ron Planting. "It’s very hard for someone in Washington to figure out how much fuel every station in the country needs."

Many Americans recall rationing based on whether a license plate ended in an odd or an even number.

But the most unpopular measure: Congress and President Richard Nixon imposed the 55 mph speed limit and made its adoption in every state a condition for highway funding.

TV ads warned: "Don’t Be Fuelish." But many consumers simply ignored the law. Singer Sammy Hagar had a hit single with "I Can’t Drive 55."

In 1987 and 1988, Congress allowed states to raise speed limits to 65 mph on certain highways. And in 1995 the law was repealed. How much was saved has long been a matter of debate. But the episode raised awareness, at least temporarily.

Congress pressed automakers to increase fuel efficiency, and the average mileage nearly doubled, to 27.5 miles a gallon by 1987. Automakers also began to experiment with hybrids.

Even so, Americans fell in love with sport utility vehicles and big trucks — and fuel efficiency took a back seat again.

Howard****nson, a spokesman for Kansas Highway Patrol Troop A in Olathe, Kan., outside Kansas City, said troopers have not seen a whit of change in how fast people drive — nor in the number of tickets handed out.

"There’s no slow up there,"****nson said, laughing.

"When cars started getting better gas mileage, we just built bigger cars," he said, adding, "People are still in a hurry — but the only reason they'd slow down again is if we lowered the speed limit again."

But if that's going to happen, it appears it will happen only voluntarily. Some strides are already being made.

Earlier this month trucking giant Schneider National Inc. capped its drivers at 60 mph, saving an estimated 3.8 million gallons of diesel fuel a year.

The American Trucking Association has called on other members to do the same.

\ Recently a broad mix of business and consumer groups launched the Drive Smarter Challenge campaign, urging Americans to adopt more efficient driving habits. The diverse membership includes the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Exxon Mobil Corp., the Wal-Mart Foundation and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Their Web site, www.drivesmarterchallenge.org, helps estimate the annual savings of using fuel-efficient practices.

"pI'm not sure whether most people make the connection between how fast they drive and how much fuel they use," said Deron Lovaas, the group’s vehicle director.

One person making that connection is Tim Castleman, of Sacramento, Calif., who in 2002 started www.drive55.org, a Web site devoted specifically to the merits of slowing down. At first the site got only a trickle of curious visitors. Since the surge in gas prices, page hits have soared to more than 1,000 a day. Castleman said some visitors send him hateful e-mail. But others post favorable responses or buy a pro-55 bumper sticker.

"I think we all have memories of when the speed limit was 55," said the retired heating and air-conditioning contractor. "Some hated it then, and they hate it now.

"What we’re trying to do," Castleman said, "is avoid mandates and get a voluntary victory garden thing going. We’re all concerned about what’s happening at the pump."
 Beaugrand®™©
Joined: 3/24/2008
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Posted: 6/11/2008 7:41:27 AM

Do you not think they would be able to provide some sort of political pressure on governments to wise up?

Your politicians exploit you all
We here in Canada should NOT have to cow tow to you America because of YOUR gross over consumption of OUR natural resource.
That's a big part of the problem- the matter of fuel conservation, rather than being a technical issue, has become a political issue. The US government, under Ronald Reagan, caved in to political pressure from automobile manufacturers and "froze" the CAFE standards. Fuel economy in the US peaked in 1989, and has declined every year since then, not because of technological limitations, but because of politics.
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
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Posted: 6/11/2008 10:09:39 AM
A friend of mine and I were talking about how poop could be a renewable resource. We'll never run out of it It's a valid consideration for a source of renewable energy, as is hydroelectric, solar and other current sources. Poop happens
 Beaugrand®™©
Joined: 3/24/2008
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Posted: 6/11/2008 3:20:04 PM

poop can be sifted out and somehow converted into fuel....
It's called "Thermal Depolymerization (TDP)," or "Thermal Conversion Process (TCS)." A plant in Carthage, MO, makes crude oil from turkey "offal" (guts). It can also use sewage as feedstock.
 HAGAR TH
Joined: 8/10/2007
Msg: 61
Gas Price Solutions
Posted: 6/14/2008 12:31:17 AM
Screw all this alternative fuel crap. The fact is we ahve more fuel and oil than we need for the next 200 years.

The simplest thing to do is Implement a Law that is ratified by all countries that OIL CONGLOMERATES cannot use their own money to SPECULATE in the OIL Futures Market and as well that 10% of all their investments must be invested into Clean energy and the development of them.
 HAGAR TH
Joined: 8/10/2007
Msg: 62
Gas Price Solutions
Posted: 6/14/2008 1:16:28 AM
That's a great vid! An oilman with some common sense.
 darjeeling
Joined: 3/11/2005
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Posted: 6/19/2008 9:21:31 AM
The Enron Loophole.

A 262 page addendum that was attached to an December 2000 US Omnibus Fiscal Appropriations Bill led the CFTC (Commodities Futures and Trades Commission) to surrender oversight from Energy Exchanges. This addendum was added at the last minute by lobbyists just before the Christmas recess and allowed Enron's market manipulations of the 2001 California Electric market and 300% price spikes.

That template has now become the de-facto standard by which the whole of the energy sector operates, from natural gas, to electric power, to oil (and all of its fuel derivatives).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNp0y0SjOkY&NR=1

The demagoguery of President Bush and Republican calls for expanded US drilling as a mechanism effecting price is completely disingenuous, and might be revealed by asking yourself two rather simple questions.

1. If all oil drilling in formally restricted areas were to be completely deregulated today ... how long might it be before any oil derived from the intercontinental shelf or ANWR would actually come to market?

2. Has anyone ever noticed a sign at their local gas station that lists the discounted price for gasoline that was derived from US domestically produced oil reserves?


The Great Oil Price Swindle- Market Manipulation or Fraud?
Commodities / Crude Oil
May 31, 2008 - 02:32 PM
By: Mike_Whitney

The Commodity Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) is investigating trading in oil futures to determine whether the surge in prices to record levels is the result of manipulation or fraud. They might want to take a look at wheat, rice and corn futures while they're at it. The whole thing is a hoax cooked up by the investment banks and hedge funds who are trying to dig their way out of the trillion dollar mortgage-backed securities (MBS) mess that they created by turning garbage loans into securities. That scam blew up in their face last August and left them scrounging for handouts from the Federal Reserve. Now the billions of dollars they're getting from the Fed is being diverted into commodities which is destabilizing the world economy; driving gas prices to the moon and triggering food riots across the planet.

For months we've been told that the soaring price of oil has been the result of Peak Oil, fighting in Iraq, attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria, labor problems in Norway, and (the all-time favorite)growth in China. It's all baloney. Just like Goldman Sachs prediction of $200 per barrel oil is baloney. If oil is about to skyrocket then why has G-Sax kept a neutral rating on some of its oil holdings like Exxon Mobile? Could it be that they know that oil is just another mega-inflated equity bubble---like housing, corporate bonds and dot.com stocks—that is about to crash to earth as soon as the big players grab a parachute?

There are three things that are driving up the price of oil: the falling dollar, speculation and buying on margin.

The dollar is tanking because of the Federal Reserve's low interest monetary policies have kept interest rates below the rate of inflation for most of the last decade. Add that to the $700 billion current account deficit and a National Debt that has increased from $5.8 trillion when Bush first took office to over $9 trillion today and it's a wonder the dollar hasn't gone “Poof” already.

According to a January 4 editorial in the Wall Street Journal: “If the dollar had remained 'as good as gold' since 2001, oil today would be selling at about $30 per barrel, not $99. (today $126 per barrel) The decline of the dollar against gold and oil suggests a US monetary that is supplying too many dollars.” Wall Street Journal 1-4-08

The price of oil has more than quadrupled since 2001, from roughly $30 per barrel to $126, WITHOUT ANY DISRUPTIONS TO SUPPLY. There's no shortage; it's just gibberish.

As far as “buying on margin” consider this summary from author William Engdahl:

“A conservative calculation is that at least 60% of today's $128 per barrel price of crude oil comes from unregulated futures speculation by hedge funds, banks and financial groups using the London ICE Futures and New York NYMEX futures exchanges and uncontrolled inter-bank or Over-The-Counter trading to avoid scrutiny. US margin rules of the government's Commodity Futures Trading Commission allow speculators to buy a crude oil futures contract on the Nymex, by having to pay only 6% of the value of the contract. At today's price of $128 per barrel, that means a futures trader only has to put up about $8 for every barrel. He borrows the other $120. This extreme “leverage” of 16 to 1 helps drive prices to wildly unrealistic levels and offset bank losses in sub-prime and other disasters at the expense of the overall population.”

So the investment banks and their trading partners at the hedge funds can game the system for a mere 8 bucks per barrel or 16 to 1 leverage. Not bad, eh?

Is it possible that gambling on oil futures might be a temptation for banks that are already underwater from a trillion dollars worth of mortgage-related deals that have “gone south” leaving the banking system essentially bankrupt?

And if the banks and hedgies are not playing this game, then where is the money coming from? I have compiled charts and graphs that show that nearly two-thirds of the big investment banks' revenue came from the securitization of commercial and residential real estate loans. That market is frozen. Besides, this is not just a matter of “loan delinquencies” or MBS that have to be written off. The banks are "revenue starved". How are they filling the coffers? They're either neck-deep in interest rate swaps, derivatives trading, or gaming the futures market. Which is it?

Of course, there is one other possibility, but if that possibility turned out to be right than it would cast doubt on the legitimacy of the entire financial system. In fact, it would prove that the system is being rigged from the top-down by our friends at the Banking Politburo, the Federal Reserve. Here goes:

What if the investment banks are trading their worthless MBS and CDOs at the Fed's auction facilities and using the money ($400 billion) to drive up the price of raw materials like rice, corn, wheat, and oil?

Could it be? Could the Fed really be looking the other way so it can bail out its banking buddies while they drive prices skyward?

If it is true; (and I suspect it is) it hasn't done much good. As the Associated Press reported yesterday:

“The Federal Reserve announced Thursday that it will make a fresh batch of short-term cash loans available to squeezed banks as part of an ongoing effort to ease stressed credit markets. The Fed said it will conduct three auctions in June, with each one making $75 billion available in short-term cash loans. Banks can bid for a slice of the available funds. It would mark the latest round in a program that the Fed launched in December to help banks overcome credit problems so they will keep lending to customers.”

Another $225 billion for the bankers and not a dime for the struggling homeowner! The Fed is bankrupting the country with their permanent rotating loans to keep reckless speculators from going under. So much for moral hazard.

As far as speculation, there is ample evidence that the system is being manipulated. According to MarketWatch:

“Speculative activity in commodity markets has grown "enormously" over the past several years, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said in a news release. It pointed out that in five years, from 2003 to 2008, investment in the index funds tied to commodities has grown by 20-fold -- to $260 billion from $13 billion.”

And here's a revealing clip from the testimony of Michael W. Masters of Masters Capital Management, LLC, who addressed the issue of “Commodities Speculation” before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs this week:

“Today, Index Speculators are pouring billions of dollars into the commodities futures markets, speculating that commodity prices will increase. ...In the popular press the explanation given most often for rising oil prices is the increased demand for oil from China. According to the DOE, annual Chinese demand for petroleum has increased over the last five years from 1.88 billion barrels to 2.8 billion barrels, an increase of 920 million barrels.8 Over the same five-year period, Index Speculatorsʼ demand for petroleum futures has increased by 848 million barrels.

THE INCREASE IN DEMAND FROM INDEX SPECULATORS IS ALMOST EQUAL TO THE INCREASE IN DEMAND FROM CHINA.

Index Speculators have now stockpiled, via the futures market, the equivalent of 1.1 billion barrels of petroleum, effectively adding eight times as much oil to their own stockpile as the United States has added to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the last five years.

Today, in many commodities futures markets, they are the single largest force.15 The huge growth in their demand has gone virtually undetected by classically-trained economists who almost never analyze demand in futures markets.

As money pours into the markets, two things happen concurrently: the markets expand and prices rise. One particularly troubling aspect of Index Speculator demand is that it actually increases the more prices increase. This explains the accelerating rate at which commodity futures prices (and actual commodity prices) are increasing. The CFTC has taken deliberate steps to allow CERTAIN SPECULATORS VIRTUALLY UNLIMITED ACCESS TO THE COMMODITIES FUTURES MARKETS.

The CFTC has granted Wall Street banks an exemption from speculative position limits when these banks hedge over-the-counter swaps transactions. This has effectively opened a loophole for unlimited speculation. When Index Speculators enter into commodity index swaps, which 85-90% of them do, they face no speculative position limits.... The result is a gross distortion in data that effectively hides the full impact of Index Speculation.” (Thanks to Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis; the one “indispensable” financial blog on the Internet)

Masters adds that the CFTC is pressing to make “Index Speculators exempt from all position limits” so they can make “unlimited” bets on the futures which are wreaking havoc on the global economy and pushing millions towards starvation. Of course, these things pale in comparison to the higher priority of fatting the bottom line of the parasitic investor class.

Brimming oil tankers are presently sitting off the coasts of Iran and Louisiana. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve has been filled. Demand is flat. The world's biggest consumer of energy (guess who?) is cutting back . As CNN reports:

“At a time when gas prices are at an all-time high, Americans have curtailed their driving at a historic rate. The Department of Transportation said figures from March show the steepest decrease in driving ever recorded. Compared with March a year earlier, Americans drove an estimated 4.3 percent less -- that's 11 billion fewer miles, the DOT's Federal Highway Administration said Monday, calling it "the sharpest yearly drop for any month in FHWA history." (CNN)

The great oil crunch is another fabricated crisis; another "smoke and mirrors" fiasco; another Enron-type shell-game engineered by banksters and hedge fund managers. Once again, the bloody footprints can be traced right back to the front door of the Federal Reserve. Don't expect help from the regulators either; they've all been replaced with business reps like Harvey Pitt or Hank Paulson. The only time anyone in the Bush administration finds their conscience is when they're offered a multi-million dollar “tell all” book deal.

Can you hear me, Scotty?

By Mike Whitney


http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article4902.html

I've been saying for months now that the price spikes are basically the dumping of the investment classes bad debts assumed by the big institutional investors in financial derivatives backed by junk mortgages ... enabled by Bernakes' bailout of Bear Stearns ... onto the global markets; which essentially turns out to be that global consumers are paying for the free marketeers bad gambling debts.

What a great country.

The crow's ... caw.
 darjeeling
Joined: 3/11/2005
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Posted: 6/19/2008 10:17:39 AM
^^^^^^^^
Quackery and Hogwash.

Answer the two questions I posed in the post just before yours.


One last question: If Democrats oppose drilling today because it will take 10 years for our new oil to hit the market, doesn’t that mean their opposition to drilling 10 years ago was a mistake?


1. The Presidential directive limiting offshore oil drilling was implemented by George Herbert Walker Bush.

2. The Republicans controlled the Congress from 1994 until 2006; so to what 1998 Bill or vote are you refering?


And isn’t the definition of insanity “doing the same thing, but expecting a different result?”


Yup. That's exactly why we need to scrap the Enron loophole and Cheney's 2001 Energy Task Force template.

Caw


 EarlzP
Joined: 12/9/2007
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Posted: 6/19/2008 11:32:55 AM
There is one more solution we can just sit back and wait for the Japanese to develop the technologies of the future and if they can't do it then the Chinese will, we certainly won't ,why? because big business and our governement are far to busy stealing from the people who have supported and elected them into office, it only goes to reason that if we keep supporting businesses that relocate overseas and electing public servants that make it easy for them to leave that we must really like the way our economy is and want more of the same and if you can count on one thing you can count on our economy getting worst
 EarlzP
Joined: 12/9/2007
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Posted: 6/19/2008 2:27:51 PM
Their is no oil shortage, modern day carpetbaggers have found a way to drive up oil prices by playing the market, drilling will not ease an oil shortage caused by greed, laws made to protect the consumer from these predatory traders are the short term solution and the long term solution is investment in technology focused at eliminating our dependency on fossil fuels. We need to identify our enemies those foreign as well as well as those who are operating domestically

Big business has brain washed the people into believing that the government should not be in control, but the truth of it is We the People are the government we bear the final responsibility for the future of our country and we have not been doing a very good job of it

Big business has broken us down into factions easily controlled and easily manipulated factions based on things like religion, race, age , sex we are no longer a united country we are democrats and republicans and independents we are from the far left and the far right we are conservatives and liberals and ultra this and ultra that and radicals and so on. We each have our programs and none of us have the common goal of leaving behind the country that we found a country that our children can be proud of and pass on to the next generation

http://www.star-telegram.com/ed_wallace/story/659081.html

It wasn’t always this way.
In the past, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission acted as the cop on the beat, ensuring that buyers in the market were not distorting or manipulating prices beyond what supply and demand normally dictate. Certainly, if a hard frost hit Florida and cost growers an orange crop, then bidding up the price of the remaining oranges was both a wise investment and allowed under the trading rules. Right now investors know that if they borrow and invest huge amounts in commodities futures, they can create a shortage on paper – which drives prices up just like an actual shortage of any given product would. What kept traders from cornering the market that way in the past were the government’s anti-manipulation rules.


<div class='quote'> Lay, DeLay, Gramm, Gramm & Clinton
The late, infamous Enron head, Ken Lay, realized in the eighties that he could make more money bidding up energy in the futures market than by actually creating and selling energy. But, under then-current rules, how much you could make swapping paper was limited. Fortuitously, Lay had excellent Texas political connections; and in November of 1992, the head of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission moved to exempt energy-derivative contracts and related swaps from any government oversight.
A vote was hurriedly put together before the Clinton White House would take over, and so Lay could finally start "dark" – unregulated – futures trading. The head of the CFTC was Wendy Gramm, wife of Texas Senator Phil Gramm; five weeks after she left, she became a board member of Enron in Houston.
Fast-forward to late 2000 and H.R. 5660, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, sponsored by Republican Congressman Thomas Ewing of Illinois. That bill went nowhere, even though Tom Delay’s wife Christine was then working for a Washington lobbying firm, Alexander Strategies – which Enron had paid $200,000 to push through legislation for permanent energy deregulation in these "dark" markets.
Six months later came Senate Bill 3283, also named the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. This time around the sponsor was Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, and now Phil Gramm was listed as one of the bill’s co-sponsors. Like it had in the House, this bill was destined to go nowhere until, late one night, it was attached as a rider to an 11,000-page appropriations bill – which was signed into law by President Clinton.
Now traders had an officially deregulated market for energy futures. Worse, that bill also deregulated many financial instruments – including the collateralized debt obligations that are at the center of today’s mortgage crisis, which may well cost us more than $1 trillion before it’s over.


Everybody Was Warned!
As USA Today wrote of this fiasco in January of 2002, "But, as a power marketer, [Enron] could buy enough energy-futures contracts in a region to create a virtual monopoly."
That’s right: As early as the winter of 2002, it was widely known that the 2000 Commodities Futures Modernization Act had created a monster, capable of running up energy prices outside of the normal law of supply and demand. Worse, our government had been warned this was going to happen. Representatives of the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the CFTC had already told Congress not to deregulate energy because "the market was ripe for manipulation." Everybody was warned; that’s why this deregulation bill was stealthily inserted into that appropriations bill without a floor debate.

Phil Gramm’s office denied that he had anything to do with writing the section of that bill that actually deregulated energy. And yet Prof. Michael Greenberger, formerly a CFTC board member himself, said that Gramm’s wife Wendy, along with a few lobbyists and Wall Street attorneys, had rewritten it. When Robert Manor of the Chicago Times wrote about this situation on January 18, 2002, neither Gramm could be reached for comment.
Kill It Before It Multiplies
When Enron failed and took its private, unregulated energy exchange to the grave, another rose to take its place. The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) was the brainchild of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, British Petroleum, Deutsche Bank, Dean Witter, Royal Dutch Shell, SG Investment Bank and Totalfina. In 2001 ICE purchased the International Petroleum Exchange in London; renamed ICE Futures, it now operates as an "exempt commercial market" under section 2(H)(3) of the Commodity Exchange Act. As the Senate hearings pointed out in the summer of 2006, "Both markets operate outside of any CFTC oversight."
If you reread the quotes at the start of this story again, you find that many officials in the government warned against what would happen in a deregulated energy market, because it was so easy to manipulate. We already know this to be true thanks to Enron’s California misdeeds. And, as we pointed out last week, British Petroleum was busted for manipulating the propane market and fined over $300 million; and Amaranth Partners was caught manipulating the natural gas market, unconscionably causing the futures price for natural gas to raise every Texan’s electric bills. (It took two years for Amaranth to be exposed.) And yes, the manipulation happened in the new "dark" and unregulated exchanges, making it almost impossible to uncover. So it’s not a question of "if" some "theoretically possible" manipulation and distortion of the market will result from this bill, championed by Phil Gramm, his wife Wendy and Christine Delay’s employer, Alexander Strategies. The reason it is not theoretical is because we keep catching well-known companies doing it on a regular basis.
No Conscience in Congress?
All you hear daily is that the world has a severe shortage of oil, or you can buy only 200 pounds of rice at one time, or we will have a gasoline crisis this summer, etc. But it takes only a minute to find hundreds of quotes from highly respected oil and economic analysts, (not to mention CEOs of the major oil companies), that completely dismiss the claim of oil, gas or food shortages that have been headlining the news.
Even more troubling is that within months of the CFMA’s going into effect, we knew it had enabled easy manipulation of any energy market, but nothing was done to fix it. Nor was anything done when the Senate held its hearings on this matter in 2006, or in the House hearings last December.

<div class="quote"> Today we call this situation the "Enron Loophole," but that’s untrue. It’s not a loophole: it was a new law passed in 2000 – and far more individuals than Ken Lay have used that law to line their pockets with hundreds of billions of American consumers’ hard-earned dollars. That’s not my opinion, that’s direct testimony by numerous experts before both the House and Senate. [\quote]

Professor Greenberger warned about our "New American Economy" far better than I could:
"Should we have an economy that’s based on whether people make good or bad bets? Or should we have an economy where people build companies, create manufacturing, do inventions, advance the American society and make it more productive? We are rewarding people for sitting at their computers and punching in bets. That’s not the way our economy is going to be built, and India and China, with their focus on science and industry and building real businesses, are going to eat our lunch, unless the American public wakes up and puts an end to an economy that praises and makes heroes out of speculators."

Greenberger’s statement explains why Detroit and other American manufacturers suffer while Wall Street speculators make a fortune — and your rapidly shrinking checkbook pays for it, every time you buy food, fuel or feed.
All because there is no shortage of these goods, you’re just being told there is because it’s more profitable – for a few – that way.
© 2008 Ed Wallace

Ed Wallace is a recipient of the Gerald R. Loeb Award for business journalism, given by the Anderson School of Business at UCLA, and is a member of the American Historical Society. He reviews new cars every Friday morning at 7:15 on Fox Four’s Good Day, contributes articles to BusinessWeek Online and hosts the talk show, Wheels, 8:00 to 1:00 Saturdays on 570 KLIF. E-mail: wheels570@sbcglobal.net
Everybody was warned; that’s probably why this deregulation bill was stealthily inserted into that appropriations bill without a floor debate.


We are the government it is our responsibility to assure the future of our country, 10% of the population may control 90% of the worlds capital but 90% of the population can and should make the rules can and should make the decisions that are needed to move our country out of the economic depression heading towards us today
 darjeeling
Joined: 3/11/2005
Msg: 67
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History
Gas Price Solutions
Posted: 6/19/2008 3:41:38 PM
It only makes sense to utilize our own resources as best we can,while developing renewables and alternatives.


I disagree ... if the tales of increased scarcity are indeed true, then it makes more sense to stockpile domestic resources, but consume those that are readily available from foreign sources (at a price), seeing that those we hold onto will geometrically increase in value as current reserves becomes progressively more depleted.

I, in fact, think that is the true reason why the energy conglomerates seek desperately to get access to these leases now ... to secure them before their true value is actually revealed ... to lock in a long term (and cheap) leasing arrangement.

Here's a question for you ( putting aside any ideas of evaporation or chemical degradation).

Lets say you have a 1,500 gal gasoline storage tank that you filled back when gas was $2.50 a gallon ... you've held onto you're reserve supply until now ... but at $4. 00 a gallon you have started to use it ... lets say that in the past 2 months you have pumped 150 gallons for your personal use and you now have 1350 gals left in reserve.

Your neighbour wants to buy 200 gallons from you at $4.15 a gallon ... do you sell it?


Anyway,in a free market system,nationalizing businesses and setting price limits,windfall profit taxes,and other regulatory practices have no place
.

I respectfully disagree. Free Markets are based on the assumption of having personal choice to purchase (or not) at any set price point. I maintain that in certain cases, as in the case of water or energy, that no such choice exists in actual reality, as demand will remain mostly static and only shift slightly in response to price hikes.

Should a landowner be able to claim an entire aquifer as his own and then be able to sell *his water* at whatever the market will bear to his dying-of-thirst neighbours?


Either let supply and demand work it's magic,while we supply all that we can so we're less dependant on foreign sources,or go ahead and turn this country into a socialist or communist economy(some are working on that now),and see how fast efficiency goes down the drain.


Manipulation and predation are not mechanisms of a free market, quite the opposite actually, but as in the day of the robber barons, I suppose there are those folks who believe that nothing is sinful as long as it serves the god of mammon and all is conducted on the sacred altar of profits.

caw
 EarlzP
Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 68
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History
Gas Price Solutions
Posted: 6/19/2008 5:31:00 PM
There is no shortage of oil the only thing driving oil prices is greed, that greed will bankrupt our country if it is not controlled, making a reasonable profit is one thing, but prices are being driven by the commodity brokers not by a shortage

Oil companies ARE NOT producing oil or gas on the vast majority of federal land onshore and offshore already under their control. Offshore, Big Oil is producing on only about 23 percent of the land they hold, while onshore, companies are producing on roughly 27 percent of the acres to which they hold the drilling rights.

Why should we agree to allowing more drilling when the oil companies are not taking advantage of 70% of the land they already have drilling rights on

The Bureau of Land Management has issued 28,776 permits for public drilling in the past four years, though only 18,954 wells were actually drilled. That means oil and gas companies have stockpiled nearly 10,000 drilling permits.

AGAIN Why should we agree to allowing more drilling when the oil companies are not taking advantage of 70% of the land they already have drilling rights on

There is no oil shortage that’s NO like in ZERO there are elements in our society that have been running out of control , carpetbaggers and they need to be stopped they are having a serious impact on our economy
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