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Saturday, February 21, 2009

U.S. Gas Production Seen Sliding for 4 Years

Posted by AccGURU

U.S. Gas Production Seen Sliding for 4 Years

U.S. Gas Production Seen Sliding for 4 Years: Chart of the Day

By Joe Carroll
Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. production of natural gas, the most widely used furnace fuel in the world's largest economy, may tumble through 2012 as low prices prompt producers to shut down drilling rigs from Louisiana to the Rocky Mountains.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows the relationship between reductions in drilling by U.S. energy companies and output from gas wells. The red line shows the number of rigs drilling for gas in the U.S., as tracked by Baker Hughes Inc. In 2001-02, the so-called rig count declined for nine months in a row. Gas production, shown in white, declined for the next four years and didn't return to the 2001 level until 2007.

Energy companies probably will slash onshore U.S. gas drilling to 800 or 900 rigs this year from a peak of 1,606 in 2008 after prices for the fuel plunged 70 percent from their 2008 high, said Keith Hutton, chief executive officer at Fort Worth, Texas-based producer XTO Energy Inc. As a result, gas output probably will decline by 3 percent to 5 percent in 2009, Hutton told investors on a conference call yesterday.

Idling rigs slows new discoveries and prevents companies from offsetting output declines that average 30 percent a year from established wells, Hutton said.

"If your underlying decline rate is 30 percent and you drop your rig count in half, it's hard as hell to catch back up," said Hutton, 50. "If you start picking rig count up 10 or 15 percent a year and it takes you three or four years to get back to the old rig count, you're going to decline almost the entire time. We're set for falling gas production for quite awhile here."

London-based BP Plc is the largest producer of U.S. gas, followed by Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. and ConocoPhillips of Houston, according to the Natural Gas Supply Association in Washington.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Carroll in Chicago at jcarroll8@bloomberg.net.


Brzezinski Warns Of Riots in US

Posted by AccGURU

Brzezinski Warns Of Riots in US

By Press TV

February 21, 2009 "Press TV" -- - -Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former national security advisor, has warned that the US could witness riots if economy continues its downward spiral.

"There's going to be growing conflict between the classes and if people are unemployed and really hurting, hell, there could be even riots!" said Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's national security advisor, in a recent interview with NBC.

"In 1907, when we had a massive banking crisis, when banks were beginning to collapse, there were going to be riots in the streets," he added.

At least 3.6 million jobs have been wiped out throughout the US since the recession began in December 2007. The jobless rate officially reached a 16-year high of 7.6% (11.6 million people) last month.

Earlier this week, a new Federal Reserve report said that US unemployment could increase to 8.8%, causing the economy to contract for a full calendar year for the first time since 1991, when a contraction of 0.2% was registered.

The Obama White House has put forward an array of measures, including a $787 billion stimulus package, in the hopes of reviving the flagging economy.

Brzezinski, meanwhile, made some recommendations to the young administration.

He proposed the creation of a voluntary national solidarity fund, whose contributors would be those who became wealthy in recent times.

"Where is the moneyed class today? Why aren't they doing something: the people who made billions, millions. I'm sort of thinking of Paulson, of Rubin [former treasury secretaries]. Why don't they get together, and why don't they organize a national solidarity fund in which they call on all of those who made these extraordinary amounts of money to kick some back?" he argued.

"I was worrying about it because we're going to have millions and millions of unemployed, people really facing dire straits. And we're going to be having that for some period of time before things hopefully improve," said Brzezinski.


Climate Change is about more than the mechanism

Posted by AccGURU

Climate Change is about more than the mechanism
Open for comment......

Climate Change is about more than the mechanism
Blog Post Blog of Christine Milne
Friday 20th February 2009, 4:06pm
by ChristineMilne in


After a year of rushing headlong into an ill-thought out emissions
trading scheme, the global financial meltdown has given Australia
pause for thought in how we deal with the climate meltdown.

Thus far, however, we are still having the wrong debate. With crunch
time on the emissions trading legislation fast approaching, we are
bickering over the right mechanism to use when, fundamentally, our
entire attitude must change.

Think of it on a personal level. The contestants on Australia's
Biggest Loser aren't going to win the competition and get healthy
lives back by setting themselves a meagre weight loss target and then
arguing between Atkins and Weight Watchers to achieve it. They will
only succeed if they make a determined commitment to themselves to
rebuild a healthy body, changing their whole attitude and lifestyle to
achieve that vital and realistic goal.

Instead of fighting over how little we can get away with cutting our
emissions, we need to commit to doing whatever it takes to deliver a
safe climate to our children. Instead of asking whether taxing or
trading carbon is better for achieving incremental emissions cuts, we
need to get moving fast on total decarbonisation of the economy. Until
we accept that challenge, the policy debate is largely a distraction.
Once we change our attitude, either mechanism can succeed.

The carbon tax versus emissions trading argument is a hoary old
chestnut that divides experts and non-experts the world over. Both
sides have strong arguments in their favour and both have their
drawbacks. The Australian Greens tend to support emissions trading
because trading guarantees a particular environmental outcome and lets
the market decide the price, whereas a tax sets the price and lets the
market decide the environmental outcome. Given that Lord Stern warned
us three years ago that climate change is the world's biggest market
failure, we would rather be guided by a definite climate outcome than
by the whims of the market.

Critics of emissions trading point to the mess the Rudd Government has
made of its proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and argue that
a carbon tax would be simpler and therefore preferable, even if it
does not guarantee a specific carbon reduction and therefore climate

But the view that a tax is inherently simple can only be held by those
who have not been paying attention to what the Rudd Government has
been doing. At the urging of the big polluters, Ministers Wong and
Ferguson have bravely created complexities where no-one could have
imagined it possible, with the latest example being the ridiculously
complicated arrangements now being discussed for trade exposed
polluters to qualify for compensation.

If the Government has made such a mess of emissions trading, what
guarantee is there that they would not do the same with a carbon tax?
The moment the choice of a carbon tax is taken, you can bet that the
big polluters would be walking corridors and knocking on doors making
sure it is as weak and full of loopholes as possible. There is every
chance that the inherent simplicity of a tax would be muddied beyond
recognition by convoluted and intricate arrangements for compensation,
offsets and rebates, muting the price signal and undermining the
purpose of the exercise just as has happened with the CPRS. If the
level of the tax is geared towards the CPRS's pitifully weak 5%
emission cuts, very little will be achieved even if voluntary action
is counted.

There are signs that the Government is beginning to recognise what the
Greens have long said - that there is an abundance of cheap and easy
emissions reductions out there for the taking in an economy as energy
inefficient as our own. The first steps being taken towards home
energy efficiency in the recent stimulus package, and the rumours that
a big commercial efficiency push is coming, are positive signs. But,
with the current scheme design, they will only make it cheaper for
polluters to meet their weak obligations instead of being a reason to
aim for a stronger target.

The Government will convince no-one with their claims that the CPRS is
about transforming the economy when it is clear as day that its design
is geared to protecting existing industries at all costs. The policy
needs very significant work to make it both environmentally and
economically effective.

The Greens have been thinking about and working on these issues for
many years. We have a wealth of experience and expertise on how best
to design effective policies, garnered from best practice from around
the world, in successful economies such as Germany and California.

Our door is always open. The Government must recognise now that while
quick arrangements could be made in order to pass the stimulus
package, rushing through a deeply flawed CPRS will not be acceptable.


A lecture on the future of air travel

Posted by AccGURU

A lecture on the future of air travel
May be of interest to some Adelaide list members


Royal Aeronautical Society Adelaide Branch & Engineers Australia

The Air Transport System
of the Future

Tuesday 24th February 2009 at 5.30pm
(for a 6.00pm start)
The Gallery, National Wine Centre
Cnr Botanic & Hackney Roads, Adelaide SA

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Joachim Szodruch
Member of Executive Board, DLR,
Cologne, Germany

Air transport fulfils society's needs for mobility and is today a major
economic factor massively supporting also globalisation. After more than
100 years of powered flight we have established a rather optimised
system with dramatic performance improvements at aircraft level (fuel
burn, economy and environment) compared with any other form of
transportation. All the forecasts predict for the next 20 years that
passenger air traffic will increase on average by 5% annually.
The resulting challenges for the entire air transport system have been
within ACARE – the European Advisory Council for Aeronautics, and the
major goals are quantified in the Vision 2020.

This document is by now the most important and widely accepted strategic
guideline valid for all the aeronautical research activities in Europe.
The Vision 2020 has been further detailed in the Strategic Research
Agenda, where technological solutions for the elements of the air
transport system – the aircraft, the air traffic management and the
airports – are specifically addressed. One of the major research
establishments in Europe, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is
addressing exactly these challenges in their broad and extensive
research activities covering the entire air transport system. Major
contributions in all relevant fields are expected for the next decade.
Still the question remains if we can fulfil the already ambitious goals
of the Vision 2020 at all and if these goals are really sufficient in
order to build a competitive and sustainable air transport system for
the longer term future.

Prof. Joachim Szodruch graduated from the Technical University Berlin in
1971 followed by a post-graduate study at Cambridge University, England.
He started his professional career in 1973 as a scientific assistant at
the Aerospace Institute of the Technical University Berlin, where he
obtained his doctorate (Dr.-Ing.). In 1978 he received an Associateship
from the National Research Council and worked for two years at the NASA
Ames Research Center in California, USA.

In 1981 he joined MBB Civil Transport Division in Bremen, where he
started in experimental aerodynamics working on Airbus A310 and future
projects. Later he became responsible manager for all aerodynamic
research and was Assistant Chief Aerodynamicist. He joined Airbus
Industrie in Toulouse 1990 as a General Manager for Research &

Returning to Germany he became Vice President Product Development and
Technology at the DaimlerChrysler Aerospace Airbus Headquarter in
With the formation of Airbus as an integrated company in mid 2001, he
was appointed Vice President Future Projects and Technology based in
Toulouse, France. Since August 2002, he has been a Member of the
Executive Board of DLR – German Aerospace Center, in Cologne,
specifically responsible for Aeronautics and Energy. Within this
function he is Member of the Supervisory Board for the two European
wind-tunnel organisations – DNW and ETW.
Joachim Szodruch is currently President of the DGLR – German Aerospace
Society, and also an Associate Fellow of American Institute of
Aeronautics and Astronautics. Furthermore, he serves as Co-Chairman of
ACARE, the Advisory Council for Aeronautical Research in Europe.

For further information contact: Andrew Clark (0421 051 328)