Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Fuel Fixers

The above article, published in this week's New York Times Sunday Magazine, concerns James Giffen whose participation in the Kazakhstan bribery scheme was documented in a two-part article in FTW in 2002. I have been unable to find part 2 on the FTW website or on the net. But Mike says it contained an interview he conducted with a member of the Kazakhstan parliament who implicated Dick Cheney in the scheme.

China Secures New Access to Kazakh Oil
Terrorism Damage Bill Passed by House
Transcript of Bill Moyers Show on Iraq War

"PHIL DONOHUE: Our producers were instructed to feature two conservatives for every liberal.
BILL MOYERS: You're kidding."

BILL MOYERS: Now that memo said, "Donohue presents a difficult public face for NBC in a time of war. At the same time our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity." Did you know about that memo at the time?
PHIL DONOHUE: No. No. I didn't know about that till I read about it in The NEW YORK TIMES.
BILL MOYERS: What did you think? What does that say to you? That dissent is unpatriotic?
PHIL DONOHUE: Well, not only unpatriotic, but it's not good for business."

"ERIC BOEHLERT: One of the first big embarrassments was Powell had talked about this British intelligence report.
COLIN POWELL: I would call my colleagues attention to the fine paper that United Kingdom distributed yesterday, which describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities.
ERIC BOEHLERT: Literally within a day or two it was proven in the British press that that had simply been downloaded off the Internet. And was plagiarized. And it actually contains the typos that were in the original.
BRITISH REPORTER: (2/7/03): The British government dossier is supposed to be about Iraqi deception and concealment. It says it draws upon a number of sources including intelligence material. Well, actually what it largely draws on is a thesis written by a Californian post graduate student...
ERIC BOEHLERT: That was just the first of many embarrassments that were to come. But within days the British press was going crazy over this revelation.
BRITISH REPORTER: As for the student himself, he's accused the government of plagiarism.
BRITISH REPORTER: If the government is reduced to trawling academic journals then how good is the rest of its case for war against Iraq?"

Cynthia Mckinney Announces Run for Presidency
China's Presence in Africa is Wake-Up Call for Europe
Iraqi Kurds: Turkish Warplanes Bomb Northern Iraq Again
Rumsfeld Torture Case Dismissed in France
Tar Sands Versus Clean Water
Carbon Conscious Consumer

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

FTW Blog Regrets the Death of Iranian Friend, Ali Samsam Bakhtiari
In light of Bakhtiari's death several weeks ago, it is interesting to read his unusual personal post on his website in June of this year.

The Biggest Environmental Crime in History
Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Fighting Obesity
World Food Supply is Shrinking, UN Agency Warns
Flameout: Corn Based Ethanol
Ethanol Set to Take Giant Leap
“That means fewer acres for fruits, vegetables, soybeans, alfalfa and other crops, and higher food prices,” said Jesse Sevcik, a vice president at the American Meat Institute.

And even CERA has doubts:

“Congress is making the assumption that the technology will appear,” said Aaron Brady, an ethanol expert at Cambridge Energy Research Associates. “To make billions of gallons of next-generation biofuels, a lot of things have to go right within the space of only a few years.”

Major Anti-Bush Talk Show Host Gets "Fed-ded"

Comment by an FTW ally:

"This is largely a Northern California story, or is it? KGO Radio's Bernie Ward, one of the only three mainstream Left radio talk show hosts in the region, and a bigtime critic of Bush-Cheney, has been indicted on Internet kiddie porn charges because, as a journalist, he was working book on the subject.

While he may have been careless about how we went about his research, it is obvious that he is not a kiddie pornographer. This is a political silencing through and through. It is also a cautionary tale about what happens to critics of the administration when even small mistakes are made."
China Link Suspected in Lab Hacking
The New Middle East Map: Ethnic Cleansing and Petroleum
The Advantage of Balkanizing Iraq: Michael Kane
Iran Bourse to Start Work Soon
Scout's honor.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Time to Reassure People and A Time to Scare the Cr*p Out of Them

Jenna Orkin

Might it sometimes be appropriate for the government to lie in order to reassure the public? Asked this question during a Court of Appeals hearing yesterday in Benzman vs. EPA, the case brought by residents, students and office workers exposed to and in many cases sickened by the environmental hazards following 9/11,* EPA lawyer Alisa Klein answered, "Yes."

Competing interests such as the economy or the "return to normalcy" [sic] might supercede that of public health, she argued.

There's no question that Ms. Klein accurately represented EPA's position. In addition to their compelling urge to reopen Wall St. ASAP after 9/11, the protocols they have developed to respond to a dirty bomb also take into account the economic import of the area exposed, regardless of the fact that an area that's important to the economy will also be more densely populated.

Accepting, for the moment, the mindbending reasoning that requires us to be reassured by a government which has admitted that it will lie whenever it feels like it, let us turn now to some situations in which said government has seen fit not to reassure us but in fact, to scare the sh*t out of us.

The lead-up to the Iraq war, when Condoleeza Rice dropped a metaphorical bomb into the conversation with her allusion to a mushroom cloud, comes to mind, as do the "Hoo-oo-oo - Be very afraaaaid" references at the time to chemical and biological weapons labs.

Ditto Iran, up until last week.

Then there are all those toys with kooties and that contaminated toothpaste from China. I'm not saying they're safe. I'm just wondering why they've garnered such prompt headlines while the press on American products such as Zonolite has traditionally been sluggish, never mind Agent Orange and depleted uranium. Some of the interests that have rightly decried lead-contaminated toys from China have, on the other hand, put up the strongest resistance to changing the lead laws in New York City housing, for example. (Also compare the press on avian flu with that on the numerous offenses of the American food industry.)

And remember the good old days of Homeland Security orange alerts and Osama's sneak previews? The ones that tended to come just before an election or some other sensitive event?

They don't fall into the category of reassurance but doubtless those in charge knew what they were doing those times also.

The government may not be consistent about wanting to reassure us but it certainly is consistently entertaining.

*I am one of the original plaintiffs in the case.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Light Goes on for Ben Stein About Goldman Sachs
"Goldman has a fascinating culture. It is sort of like what I imagine the culture of the K.G.B. to be. You always put the firm first. The long-ago scandal of the Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation, which raised hundreds of millions just before the crash of 1929 to create a mutual fund, then used the fund’s money to prop up stocks it owned and underwrote, was a particularly sad example. The fund, of course, went bust.
Now, obviously, Goldman Sachs does many fine deals and has many smart, capable people working for it. But it’s not the Vatican....(Ed:??)
...Should Henry M. Paulson Jr., who formerly ran a firm that engaged in this kind of conduct, be serving as Treasury secretary? Should there not be some inquiry into what the invisible government of Goldman (and the rest of Wall Street) did to create this disaster, which has caught up with some Wall Street firms but not the nimble Goldman?"
Paulson Finds Bush's Treasury No Career Enhancer Like Goldman
Gulf Pegs to Dollar in Question
BBC on Sino/U.S. Economic Warfare
NY Times Series on Global Warming Trends
Ice Free Passage Possible in Arctic by 2010
Algae Emerges as Potential Fuel Source
It works particularly well if you don't have to breathe at the same time.
Manhattan Turns to New Jersey to Fulfill its Need for Electricity

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Peak Oil in Time Magazine
...and Moneyweek
Peak Oil is now officially mainstream. Congratulations and condolences, all.
UN Warns of Climate Related Setbacks
"Some economists and development experts criticized the report yesterday, saying that a quick, costly shift away from fossil fuels, the main source of emissions, could actually backfire, blunting the climb toward prosperity that they say is a prerequisite for action to improve environmental quality.
Another reason for focusing on economic growth and increased ability to withstand climate shocks, this camp says, is that risks are rising not only because of warming but also because population growth in poor places is greatly increasing how many people are exposed to today’s climate-related hazards."
So you see, we have to increase the population to create economic growth to take care of our overpopulation problem.

Backyard Gardens Shelter Europe's Orphan Seeds
Kennedy Assassination Anniversary
Cogent argument with scholarly links from oilempire.us
Will Europe Impose Exchange Controls to Head Off Disaster?
Bet Your Bottom Dollar Tensions Will Follow
Digital Gold as Replacement for Dollar
Never Enough Gold Jewelry
Attack on Liberty Dollar Also Seized Metal Dies in Idaho
Our Diseased Monetary Bloodstream
Drums of War with Iran: Nuclear Weapons or Compound Interest?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

SEC Eyes Goldman Sachs' Good Fortune
As the world watches the once almighty U.S. dollar implode, it can be somehow reassuring to read the few people who understand and are willing to divulge what's really going on.

The author of the article above, John Crudele, has FOIA'ed the President's Working Group on Financial Assets - mentioned in the article and known to its would-be intimates as the Plunge Protection Team - with tragicomic results that have provided fodder for an ongoing saga. This group of masters of the universe is the financial equivalent of the National Energy Policy and Development Group, the equally elusive and powerful enclave whose meeting minutes the Sierra Club, among others, sought in vain to obtain

Why Kuwait Wants to Shift to Heavy Oil
One guess.
OPEC May Launch Currency Basket
Clearcutting the Climate Conference
Thanks, Global Warming!
Written without irony in a usually astute and subtle publication. But the prospect of profit makes demons of the best of us.
White House May Stop Distribution of Anti-Radiation Pills
They're such a downer, after all.
Global Warming Could Kill Half of All Plant and Animal Species
California Plans Global Warming Suit Against EPA
London Review of Books on True Motives of Iraq Invasion
U.S. Disclosure Cited as Proof of Gold Cartel's Price Capping Efforts

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bhutto's Husband Blames Pakistani Intelligence for Attack
Pentagon Backs Plan To Beam Solar Power from Space
Megadroughts May Have Driven Human Evolution
Teaching Peak Oil to People with Limited English
"Dave," who manages this website, teaches ESL in China. Having taught ESL in New York, I'm intrigued by his ambitions for a number of reasons, the first being that people who've sacrificed to come to the U.S. don't like to hear that they might be better off back home. On the other hand, they're less invested in the belief that America is an honorable country. Many of them have reason to know better.

Moment of Zen:

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111=12345678987654321

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Where Has All the Oil Gone? (Wall Street Journal)
A Quest for Energy in the Globe's Remote Places
"There are no easy barrels left."
"[T]he world’s fast-rising use of fossil fuels, by contributing to global warming, could eventually make the Arctic more accessible for oil and gas production."

Belgian Court Reportedly Reopens Case Against Total in Myanmar
Myanmar is the latest in a series of conflicts that appear to be about democracy and oppression but are really about oil. Not that the oppression isn't real; just that world censure is selective.

Kurds Reach New Oil Deals, Straining Ties with Baghdad
The tri-partite division of Iraq -Kurdish in the North, Sunni in the middle and Shia in the South - proceeds according to FTW prediction and Neocon plan.

Nuclear Industry Gets Burst of Energy: GAO Report
Equatorial Guinea Energy Profile
U.S. Called Lax at Handling Bio Hazards
Marshals Arrest NH Tax Evaders
What would the late Aaron Russo have said about this? Perhaps the couple in question (and now in custody) were inspired by his movie.
Pataki Named to Global Warming Task Force
Fall of the Consumer Economy
All That Glisters [sic] May Not Be Gold

At Least Someone Has Energy To Burn: Man Circumnavigates Globe on Own Power
We may all need to take a leaf from his book and a deep breath.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Guantanamo and Cocaine Traffic
Who Owned Drug Plane That Crashed in Mexico?
Lovelock's Solution to Global Warming
Why I Distrust Goldman Sachs' Good Fortune
Citigroup Acknowledges Central Bank Scheme to Suppress Gold Price
How Central Banks Control the Gold Price

"Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalistic System was to debauch the currency. . . Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million can diagnose." John Maynard Keynes

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Jenna Orkin

September 11, 2007 8:30 A.M.

At the corner of Fulton and Church, two dozen cops stand around, murmuring. Nearby huddles a smaller contingent of firefighters. More are undoubtedly on the A list of the actual ceremony in Zuccotti Park from which we hoi polloi are barricaded. The sky is fittingly bleak, spitting needles of rain.

Pedestrians pour out of the PATH station, a few talking loudly. A woman mimes, "Ssh."

A man with his arm around his twelve-year-old son is being interviewed for TV. He's flown in every year from San Diego, he says, to pay his respects.

Three hulks in black T-shirts reading "Investigate 911" with a picture of the towers billowing smoke, stride purposefully towards some meeting place.

In the plaza of Brown Brothers Harriman a sculpture of a giant red cube stands poised on one corner like a ballerina on pointe; a feat of engineering rather than art but these days no one cares about the difference. Across the street to the east is Chase Manhattan; to the south, HSBC; to the north, Bank of America. A block away stands the beleaguered former Deutsche Bank, - also site of a more recent tragedy - sixteen storeys shorter from its catastrophe-ridden deconstruction. We are in the heart of the beast.

The clock of Trinity Church which, for several months after September 11, 2001, was frozen at five to nine, inches towards 8:46.

At 8:43 a choir starts singing. At least that's when we in the plaza are able to catch a few high notes. Sounds like a harmonized version of the Star Spangled Banner. The distance adds to the removed, ghostly nature of this ceremony which seems designed to attenuate the memory of 9/11 and, as they are so fond of saying in booming downtown, to "move on."

South Korean TV wants to talk. I tell them they probably won't use what I have to say. They persist.

I tell them I'm here because 9/11 signalled the beginning of the end for much of America. Then I tell them, in brief, why I think so.

The reporter - who is the most respectful journalist I've ever come across, and in Lower Manhattan over the last six years, there have been many - says, "But some people want to move forward."

I am not giving him the poignant sort of soundbite he is looking for but he takes several minutes' worth of footage.

Next to a marble slab honoring that great New Yorker, Harry Helmsley, an African American guy blows a shofer, a beautiful ram's horn which, he explains, he laminated himself. It's a gesture of ecumenism since although he's Christian, he is playing a traditional Jewish instrument of mourning.

A reporter from WNYC who's been diligent about the environmental issue, also approaches for an interview in the course of which 9:03 comes and goes without apparent acknowledgment. This is what a moment of silence looks (and sounds) like from a block away.

As I leave I pass the podium where family members are reading the names of the victims ("...and my brother, firefighter....") including one whom I knew slightly from the playground when our children were small. The reading is slow and deliberate so as not to shortchange anybody. They are up to the letter D.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Zimbabwe: Main Baker Almost Out of Flour

The baker, Lobel's, has almost exhausted its 4000 ton reserve and has two days' worth of flour left.

Monday, September 03, 2007

"They're Back!" 130 Liberty Street Official's Record at Ground Zero

Patterns That Reveal Gold Price Capping
How Far Will the Crash Go and What Do We Do Now?
Baer Says Iran Conflict is Coming
Zbig Endorses Obama
Most Interesting Hypothesis To Date on Motives for Iraq Invasion

Wisdom from Saturday night's fortune cookie: A bargain is something you don't need at a price you can't resist.

"They're Back!" 130 Liberty Street Official's Ground Zero Record

Jenna Orkin*

The fire at 130 Liberty Street on August 18 resulting in the deaths of two firefighters, Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino, has shed light on a number of metaphorical cockroaches and other scurrilous characters who have been operating behind the scenes of the ill-fated 'deconstruction' of the toxic former Deutsche Bank building.

One such, brought to light by the New York Sun , is Michael Burton, project manager at the site for United Research Services, a company linked to the collapse of the Minneapolis bridge this summer.

Burton rose to prominence during the cleanup of Ground Zero when he was Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction which he had helped create in 1997.

While one might have expected federal agencies such as FEMA and EPA to take charge of the cleanup, in a deposition for a lawsuit filed by Worby Grone Edelman and Napoli Bern against the city, Burton stated that FEMA's role in the disaster was simply to pay the State. while the abdication of EPA has been voluminously documented.

As far as speed goes, Burton’s m.o. worked. While initially projected to take 1½ years and cost $1.4 billion, in the end the cleanup took only 10 months and cost $800 million. But other priorities got lost in the process.

One was legal. The premium placed on "getting back to normalcy" [sic] led to the destruction of evidence from a crime scene of international importance. Burton and other DDC officials made the decision to transport much of the structural steel to scrap yards, to be shipped abroad and melted down for reuse.

Burton cleared the decision with Richard Tomasetti of Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers, the prime consultant on the cleanup job. However, referring to the subsequent WTC investigation by the National Institute of Standards and Technology... Tomasetti later admit[ted] that had he known the direction that investigations into the collapses would take, he would have taken a different stand.

The other cost was human health. By waiving environmental laws on the pretext of emergency, the cleanup exposed the surrounding community to record levels of contamination. The barge operation, for instance, took place largely at the doorstep of Stuyvesant High School, (where this writer’s son was a student) and within a few blocks of a college, several elementary schools, a middle school and a residence for 5000.

Nor was the exposure restricted to Lower Manhattan or even New York City. This writer also remembers receiving an email from South Korea around December 2001 saying they were getting WTC scrap - Was it contaminated?

According to the WGENB lawsuit, safety during the cleanup was also not a high priority with Burton although defenders of the operation point out that injuries were comparatively low.

Bechtel, one of the four main contractors involved, maintained that the safety discrepancies they reported to Burton were wholly ignored. And in an intra-agency memo to Burton, DDC Health and Safety Officer Bob Adams wrote, “There was minimal follow-through by project management on safety... Universal opinion at the WTC Site was that there was a lack of commitment by senior project management to address safety concerns in a timely manner; and hold the supervision accountable. The City, the DDC and the contractors appeared to only address safety issues when doing so was convenient for the schedule of the project."

As for health, despite the by now infamous assurances that post-9/11 conditions downtown were relatively harmless, Burton apparently knew better. Unlike some Ground Zero workers who went home in contaminated clothes, thereby exposing their families, when Burton got home, he stripped before going inside to avoid contaminating the house, his main worry at that moment being that the neighbors might be looking.

The demolition of the former Deutsche Bank is 9/11 Redux, the same cast of characters (not only Burton but also Bovis, one of the four main companies at Ground Zero which is also implicated in the WGENB lawsuit) performing the same activities with the same ASAP mindset. And once again, the scope of the scandal is only being fully recognized when it's too late.

*Jenna Orkin of the World Trade Center Environmental Organization is one of twelve original plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the EPA.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fire Claims Lives of Two Firefighters at Ground Zero; Wall St. Journal Blames Community

Jenna Orkin*

The tragic fire at the former Deutsche Bank building in Lower Manhattan nine days ago which took the lives of two firefighters, Joseph Graffagnino, 33 and Robert Beddia, 53, and which has already spawned two criminal investigations, highlights problems about which the community of Lower Manhattan has been warning for years.

The company hired to perform the demolition of the building whose chief claim to fame, post-9/11, was that it had been contaminated with 150,000 times the normal levels of asbestos among other toxic substances, (which have since been reduced to a supposedly "safe" level) has "apparently never done any work like it" nor much of anything else since it was incorporated in 1983.

But while the John Galt Corporation has proven as mysterious as the eponymous character in the Ayn Rand novel, Atlas Shrugged - which opens with the question, "Who is John Galt?" - this elusiveness has allowed it to serve as an effective front for members of Safeway Environmental Corporation whose contract had been cancelled because of mob connections. One of Safeway's owners, Hank Greenberg, is a two-time felon who has been linked by the FBI to the Gambino crime family. So it was no great surprise, when a building in the process of demolition on Manhattan's Upper West Side collapsed ahead of time, trapping pedestrians including a seven-month-old baby, to learn that Safeway Environmental was in charge.

Another firm involved in the demolition of the former Deutsche Bank, United Research Services, told Minnesota transportation officials that it would be able to fix flaws in the Minneapolis bridge that collapsed this summer.

A third firm, Bovis Lend Lease "presided over" nine major safety incidents in the past five years apart from those at the former Deutsche Bank.

On top of this shaky foundation (not the sort one wants when demolishing the equivalent of a former Superfund site) the NYC Fire Department failed to check the standpipes at the former Deutsche Bank building every 15 days as required by law. Thus the firefighters who went in on Saturday were unaware of the broken standpipe in the basement which prevented water from reaching the two trapped members of their company.

Lest the reader assume that last Saturday's tragedy might result in at least a temporary show of caution, the following Thursday two more firefighters sustained serious head injuries from debris that fell from scaffolding at the site.

Shocking as all these events are, they are no surprise to the community of Lower Manhattan which initially brought to the public’s attention the shadowy connections of Safeway Environmental, protested the hiring of the equally dubious John Galt Corporation, highlighted unsafe conditions at the site such as windows falling out of the building and urged the City and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which owns the former Deutsche Bank building, to put in place emergency plans both for the work site as well as for the surrounding area.

Yet when the fire broke out, many residents received no warnings or instructions.

It is therefore particularly galling to read an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal as well as a letter in the New York Times which essentially blame Saturday's tragedy on the community's preciousness about any remaining environmental hazards in the building.

The Times letter, whose writer lives in Brooklyn, maintains that the community's concern for 'every speck of dust and every fiber of asbestos' has delayed the demolition process and that somehow that delay caused the fire. For surely if the building had already been demolished, it wouldn't have caught fire, now, would it? And if you could go back in time and stop your grandparents from meeting....

The Wall Street Journal article compares the community's arguments (which are supported by scientific expertise as well as legal precedent) to "the endless debate and litigation we've also layered into efforts to surveil and prosecute terrorists." (That pesky Constitution again.)

The arguments put forth in these two pieces attempt to pit the interests of firefighters and site workers against those of residents, office workers and students. In fact, these populations have worked together effectively for six years and have always been able to see through the divide-and-conquer tactics of their opponents. They understand that such finger-pointing is designed to divert attention from the corrupt entities whose purported job is to protect the public but whose true purpose is to uphold the economy (particularly their own piece of it.) In this latter endeavor those entities have indeed done a heckuva job.

*Jenna Orkin of the World Trade Center Environmental Organization, is one of twelve original plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the EPA.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

US Attorney Comptroller Warns: Learn from the Fall of Rome
Cost/Benefit Analyses of Sustainability
CIA OIG Report
Bank Pulls Speech to Quell Instability
The Fed Blinks
Russia Restores Bomber Patrols...
...and Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties
Russia's resumption of Cold War activity includes a recent flag-planting caper by a submarine on the floor of the Arctic, throwing down the gauntlet to Canada and the U.S.
Venezuela to Get its First Oil From Ocean Floor
Zimbabwe Situation
Stan Goff: How Pat Tillman Died
Group Threatens to Sue Pentagon Over Military Role in Evangelical Festival
Warming Will Pause, Then Full Steam Ahead, Scientists Contend
Warming Will Exacerbate Global Water Conflicts
This is another instance of an article being of interest not so much for what it says, which is no news to readers of this blog, but because of who's saying it: The Washington Post.
Fight Global Warming by Taxing McMansions, Dingell Says

Albert Einstein once speculated that if honeybees were to become extinct, the world would starve in less than four years.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Mike Ruppert Update

A colleague at another website wrote today asking the following question, among others. I answered the other questions but sent this one on to Mike whose response is below.


Here's something I've wondered about for a while. Given the probability of increasing die-outs over the next several decades, and more aging baby boomers dying, there will be an increasing number of estates that go up for grabs, seized or badly gutted by the govt. if families and individuals do not plan legal steps carefully to pass on to family members or charitable causes. If one were to steer people towards ways to contribute money that would fight the criminal system instead of feeding it, what would they be? What would MCR recommend? Too bad FTW is gone...

The entire universe of charities and foundations has been corrupted, making good places harder than ever to find.

Mike Ruppert's response

Very big and very good things happening here. Very fast. Very, very good.

You know, as far as I'm concerned these days I wouldn't trust ANYcharity. That's not becuase I know they're all dirty or compromised. It's because I am just so burned out on trusting anything that's"in-the-system" that I won't take the time to even ponder thequestion.

There is no time left to do anything except get ready.

Get ready.

My health is fully restored (even improved). I have recently come into an inheritance after a two and a half year struggle. About 75% of all of FTW's debts (and mine) are paid in full. The rest will be taken care of soon; including refunds to all FTW subscribers and customers who paid for things they never received. Within the last month, myattorney and I have been to Los Angeles and Ashland.

Ashland proved to be a very loving homecoming.

In Ashland we had an excellent meeting with a detective and intell anylast from the Ashland Police Department. I canot say much except that there's a real possibility that one or more people are going to go to jail over the burglary of June 06. There's a lot more coming on that front.

As for me, Jenna and I are moving to Oregon within the year and we are taking our own advice.

Get ready.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Is Creaking America on the Road to Ruin?
More mainstream recognition of what FTW has been asserting for years.
"According to a report by Ernst & Young, the consultancy group, published in June, the US has a funding shortfall for infrastructure of $1.6 trillion (£785 billion), a sum needed merely to repair and bring the existing infrastructure back up to scratch."
Central Banks Take Emergency Credit Crunch Action
This looks like the work of an international arm of the Plunge Protection Team.
International Forum on Globalization
Food that Travels Well
In case we forgot that the devil is in the details, the article claims "...that lamb raised on New Zealand’s clover-choked pastures and shipped 11,000 miles by boat to Britain produced 1,520 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per ton while British lamb produced 6,280 pounds of carbon dioxide per ton, in part because poorer British pastures force farmers to use feed. In other words, it is four times more energy-efficient for Londoners to buy lamb imported from the other side of the world than to buy it from a producer in their backyard. Similar figures were found for dairy products and fruit."
Tillman Memo Contradicted Citation
CIA Report on 9/11 Due Labor Day

From Anne Scott

I am about to tell you the story of my morning. This does not end tragically, nor is it of global importance. It is a small, local happening. But the much broader significance will be frighteningly, gut quiveringly, evident.

For background: I've not had a dog for more than twenty years. Much travel with work and frequent moves made it impossible to happily raise a dog. Imagine my joy, after buying the farm, to find a lovely young pup at our local shelter. Never was a dog born who so richly deserved a farm. Nor has a better farm dog walked this earth.

This morning she walked up to the glass door and waited for me to see her. In horror I saw she had a face filled with porcupine quills! I grabbed a heavy shirt, gloves, pliers, and raced out to help her. I was only able to remove one quill before realizing she would not allow me to proceed. Even with two of us to hold her, it was not going to happen. She weighs eighty pounds, and though sweet tempered, even during this ordeal, I feared hurting her even more.

I called her vet at six a.m. No one there, and no one on call. I called another and within half an hour, she arrived and immediately sedated Sakai. Within an hour, the Dr. returned with more help and transported her to the clinic. By the time I arrived, moments later, they had already removed all the quills, given antibiotics and she was groggily returning to the world. I could not stop crying or saying thank you, thank you.

The bigger meaning of all this came crashing down on me as I waited for help to arrive. Peak oil, mega disasters, war, martial law, name your poison. I am more prepared and self-sufficient than ninety eight percent of the population, yet I was helpless in a fairly routine situation. I now will become more prepared. A stretcher to move someone, sedatives to give if needed, and what ever else occurs to me when my mind is operating at normal again. Because it is one thing to intellectualize about "help not arriving" and another thing entirely to feel the result of what could have been, and most probably, will be. The future is about no help being able to arrive.

I shall never forget the look in Sakai's eyes this morning. She did not whimper, or cry. Just looked at me.....help me mommy.....

I am crying as I write, can't seem to stop. She is sleeping peacefully and has just enough energy to wag her tail when I walk up.

So, now! I shall make more preparations. I'll miss something, no doubt. But I'll learn every lesson the Universe is sending. And say Thank You...Thank You.

Her name, Sakai, was given to her by the woman who rescued her and brought her to the shelter. It is from a Native American language and means "Brave little one".


Thursday, August 02, 2007

White House OKs Tillman Case Interviews
Russians Plant Flag on the Arctic Seabed Is the Arctic seabed American, Canadian or Russian? I guess Russia just settled that issue.
Washington Post on Tillman: "'The system failed' is the ultimate cover-up...
The way the system works, of course, is to ensure that government officials -- particularly high-level government officials -- are always insulated from incriminating evidence. Lower-level flunkies know what to tell their bosses and how to use the chain of command to insulate themselves from higher-up decisions. If each person at each level behaves as mandated, decisions can be made without any real responsibility and accountability."
Richard Myers at Tillman Trial Myers was less successful than Rumsfeld at dodging questions.
China Climate Change Storms Affect 200 Million
Bearish on Bees The New Yorker's in-depth study of Colony Collapse Disorder ending on an upbeat note, whether justifiably or not.
Gangs In the Military
Zimbabwe's Chaos One of three articles on Zimbabwe in the New York Times in the last two days. The first, a page one in-depth study of the collapse of the country, mentioned oil in passing but placed the full weight of the blame on Mugabe.
Why Mugabe Cannot Retire
Pacifica's Kellia Ramares' Own Sicko Videos
McKinney Libel Suit Against Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thursday, July 26, 2007

100$ Oil Price May Be Months Away: CIBC, Goldman
Producers' Own [Oil] Consumption Rises; Exports About to Plummet
The first in a four-part series by Jeffrey Brown
Mexico, Venezuela Oil Slumps Could Hit U.S. Supply
Conoco Phillips and Tyson Collaborate on Renewable Fuel from Animal Fat
See Mike's article on soylent and thermal depolymerization. If they can do it to animals, they can do it to people, should that ever become necessary.
New Details on Tillman's Death
General Faces Demotion in Tillman Case
CIA Dissenters Aided Prisons Report
Filipino Gets Six Year Sentence in Cheney Spy Case
Venezuela Seizes Over 28 Tons of Drugs
Wall St. Starts to Lean Democratic
Must be that they've seen the light, eh? So Move-On would have us believe.
Letter to the Editor of the New York Times

July 17, 2007

The article on the world's energy challenge, (Big Rise Seen in Demand for Energy) mischaracterizes what Peak Oil advocates believe. We do not suggest that the world is running out of oil. Peak Oil means that production, particularly of 'easy oil' which is cheaper to obtain, reaches a peak after which it declines, becoming harder and more expensive to get. In a time of rising demand such as the article describes, the growing discrepancy can have devastating economic and social consequences. In fact, the IEA report corroborates what Peak Oilists have been warning for a long time.

Jenna Orkin
Chairperson of the first NYC Peak Oil Conference, 2005

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

NYC Screening Sunday, July 29, of What A Way To Go: Life At The End Of Empire followed by discussion with filmmakers Sally Erickson and Tim Bennett.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Plame Case Against Cheney, Rove, Libby Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction
Global Oil Agency Warns of Supply Squeeze
Big Rise Seen in Demand for Energy
The news here is that the New York Times has been forced to acknowledge that rise although they make sure to misdefine and mischaracterize Peak Oil: "[the report] dismisses predictions from so-called peak oil theorists that the world’s oil deposits are on the decline; quite the contrary, the industry’s view is that the world’s resources remain abundant.
'Fortunately, the world is not running out of energy resources,' the report says in a 40-page summary. 'Coal, oil and natural gas will remain indispensable to meeting total projected energy demand growth.'" J.O.

Worst Case Scenario by Ran Prieur
As Dollar Crumples, Tourists Overseas Reel
Senate Panel Questions Payments for Energy Deals Off West Africa
World Bank Panel Probing West Africa Gas Pipeline
From the "Unintended Consequences of Climate Change" Department
Venezuela May Shoot Down Unidentified Aircraft, Universal Says
Iran to Maximize Oil Income in Non-U.S. Currency
Oversight Committee Calls Up Rumsfeld for Hearing on Tillman Death
Bush Claims Executive Privilege on Tillman
Generals Called to Testify in Tillman Case
Cheney's Office Implies It Has Executive Privilege Of Its Own
In Intelligence World, a Mute Watchdog

NYC: 1. Subway Service Reduced 2. Explosion
These two events a day apart raise questions about the reliability of the city's decaying infrastructure. You won't be surprised to hear, by the way, that the assurances regarding asbestos following yesterday's explosion exactly mirror those following 9/11: "Not as bad as we feared;" "No asbestos in the air." As they did after 9/11, the authorities are relying on air rather than dust tests (which have indeed been found to contain asbestos) because the results are more in their favor. The quality of the equipment they're using should also be examined. After 9/11 EPA used equipment that was 20 years out of date. For every fiber of asbestos they found, independent contractors found nine. The risk of cancer from the asbestos alone could be one person in ten. J.O.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Conflict of Interest, a 9/11 Windfall and the White House Council on Environmental Quality

Jenna Orkin*

James Connaughton, Cheney's Boy Wonder

June 27 James Connaughton, the Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality which coordinated with the National Security Council to edit EPA's press releases following 9/11, faced the music last Wednesday with a nimble tapdance.

Padded with cliche allusions to the 'unprecedented' attacks and a homespun vignette about his son's fear that dad was dead, Connaughton's testimony at the Senate Hearing Into Federal Government Failures on [the] Environmental Impact Of [the] 9/11 World Trade Center Attacks deftly passed the buck, pointing out that there was a flurry of press releases; they were the work-product of many people, and that anyway, the public doesn't read them.

But in the course of this fancy footwork, (First the blame is over here, now it's over there) the Chairman slipped on the banana peel of a detail.

In response to a question about the EPA Inspector General's Report of 2003 which showed how the White House CEQ "tweaked" EPA's press releases - for instance by changing cautionary statements about asbestos to reassurances and omitting advice to obtain professional cleaning - as well as why (in order to reopen Wall Street) Connaughton asserted that the 9/11 Commission later did a thorough investigation of the same issue coming to very different conclusions.

During a recess, this blog asked Connaughton if, by "thorough investigation," he was referring to the footnote on page 555 of the 9/11 Commission Report, the only mention the report makes of the environmental aftermath of the attacks.

"I am," he replied gamely. (His demeanour throughout the hearing was chipper, as of one who has nothing to hide, who is, in fact, eager for the chance to tell his side of the story.)

During the Commission hearings Richard Ben-Veniste had regretfully told the parent of a Lower Manhattan student that the Commission would not investigate the environmental issue.

This writer relayed that information to Connaughton.

"They changed their minds after the Inspector General's Report came out," he asserted. "They did a thorough investigation, interviewing lots of people."

The footnote in the Commission Report containing the fruits of said "thorough investigation" is four paragraphs long. One paragraph reads in its entirety:

"We do not have the expertise to examine the accuracy of the pronouncements in the press releases. The issue is the subject of pending litigation."

(This writer is one of twelve original plaintiffs in one of the pending lawsuits.)

As for coming to very different conclusions from the Inspector General's Report, while it is true that the Commission Report's footnote offers Whitman some support, it also says:

"The EPA did not have the health-based benchmarks needed to assess the extraordinary air quality conditions in Lower Manhattan after 9/11. The EPA and the White House therefore improvised and applied standards developed for other circumstances... Whether those improvisations were appropriate is still a subject for medical and scientific debate. See EPA Inspector General report, 'EPA's Response to the World Trade Center Collapse,' Aug. 21, 2003, pp. 9-19."

This writer then asked Connaughton about his less well-known but potentially even more explosive role as Chairman of the White House Task Force on Energy Project Streamlining which was established on the recommendation of Vice President Dick Cheney's infamously secretive National Energy Policy Development Group. The Task Force included representatives from 21 Federal agencies as diverse as the Departments of Defense, the Treasury and the CIA. (Two years later, its mandates were amended to include the security of pipelines.)

Connaughton frowned in concentration.

"Ah yes!" he said triumphantly, as though retrieving a bauble from the depths of memory.

"How does this position expand the normal powers of the CEQ?" this writer asked.

"It doesn't!" he asserted. "I inherited it."

The Task Force was created, and Connaughton appointed its Chairman, by Executive Order 13212 on May 18 , 2001 two weeks after Connaughton was appointed to the Council on Environmental Quality so it is difficult to understand from whom he 'inherited' it.

Concerning why so many disparate agencies had to be involved, Connaughton said, "The Defense Department because often the energy is located in other countries. The CIA?.... I don't know; I don't think they came to any meetings."

Serving at the pleasure of Cheney's Energy Task Force, Connaughton and the CEQ faithfully carried out the Vice President's environmental agenda of relaxing regulations (that is how "streamlining" happens) the better to serve business interests.

In fact, so lax did regulations become, they managed to offend Christine Todd Whitman, whom Cheney had brought into the EPA, a feat that is comparable to shocking Larry Flynt.*

"It was Cheney's insistence on easing air pollution controls," says the Washington Post, "not the personal reasons she cited at the time, that led Christine Todd Whitman to resign as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency."

In response to the Inspector General's allegation that a major reason the CEQ downplayed dangers in EPA's press releases was the need to reopen Wall Street, much has been made of the fact that one smoking gun press release was issued after Wall Street re-opened; ergo re-opening the markets couldn't have been a motive.

This reasoning is simplistic; bosses don't necessarily spell out their wishes. In an article entitled "Leaving No Tracks," the Washington Post quotes Paul Hoffman, a former Cheney Congressional aide, who says, "Cheney never told [Hoffman] what to do... He didn't have to.

His genius is that he builds networks and puts the right people in the right places, and then trusts them to make well-informed decisions that comport with his overall vision."

Through the CEQ, Cheney turns up again in the furor over climate change. When NASA scientists complained of the Bush Administration's censorship of the issue, (once again by editing press releases) the spotlight fell on one Philip Cooney, who reported to Connaughton.

...And the Horse He Rode In On

Before becoming the eager hatchet man of the White House's environmental policies, James Connaughton was a partner in Sidley, Austin, Brown and Wood, which has been ranked among the top five law firms representing the 250 largest companies in the U.S. for business litigation
and as the top provider of legal services to the hedge fund industry.

Clients have included J.P. Morgan Securities, Deutsche Bank, Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation Monsanto and GlaxoSmithKline. Sidley Austin represented Searle when it was cleared of price fixing and Marathon Oil when the federal government was ordered to provide it with a refund for the infringement of drilling rights.

The ties between Sidley Austin and the Bush Administration are extensive. Besides Connaughton, partner Patrick Morrisey has served as the Deputy Staff Director and Chief Health Counsel to the House Energy & Commerce Committee; Sidley's Senior Government Affairs Advisor, Dean Clancy is the former Program Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget. According to the Washington Post, Clancy is a "'proclaimer' for the Separation of School and State Alliance, which favors home schooling over compulsory public education in order to 'integrate God and education.'" In addition to opposing public schools, Clancy also opposes stem-cell research and federal taxes for which reasons Esquire magazine
calls him "a fanatic."

In 2007 President Bush appointed Sidley Austin partner Daniel M. Price, who had served in The Hague as the U.S. Deputy Agent to the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, as Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs.

Then there is Bradford Berenson who returned to Sidley Austin Brown & Wood after two years as Associate Counsel to the President

According to his biography on Sidley's website, his responsibilities to the President "included work on judicial selection, executive privilege, and responses to congressional oversight efforts. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, he played a significant role in the executive branch’s counterterrorism response. He worked on the USA Patriot Act, the military order authorizing the use of military commissions, detainee policy and anti-terrorism litigation, presidential action against terrorist financing, and the restructuring of the federal government to create a new Department of Homeland Security...

He previously worked on the defense of complex white collar criminal matters...

Mr. Berenson has defended criminal cases at every stage of development, from corporate internal investigations and grand jury proceedings through trials, sentencings, and appeals, in areas as diverse as government contracts, environmental crime, health care, and public corruption."

Conflict of Interest Alive and Well

At the White House Berenson worked closely with Cheney's Chief of Staff, David Addington, and fended off critics who demanded the recusal of Judge Antonin Scalia, after he went duck hunting with Cheney, in the Sierra Club case demanding access to Energy Task Force records.

Conflict of interest objections were apparently waived in this case because the Government Accounting Office also hired Sidley Austin to sue Cheney to obtain a list of officials from Enron and other companies who met with the energy task force.

The ubiquitous Mr. Berenson also served as the attorney for former Rove assistant Susan Ralston during the investigation of White House ties to Jack Abramoff as well as for Kyle Sampson, Alberto Gonzalez' Chief of Staff. He defended the habeas corpus stripping provisions of the military commissions bill and has stated:

"[T]he Geneva Conventions do not apply to Al Qaeda terrorists." (p. 55)

He has also maintained that the "process that's now in place in Guantanamo is, in many ways, superior to an Article V process.... [The prisoners] all get annual administrative review board hearings, and this is far in excess of the international law obligations and the law of war obligations." (p. 55)

Like Connaughton, Berenson is a zealous executant of the Cheney philosophy, stating, "[W]hen we are at war, we weigh the risks to innocents entirely differently than we do when we are not at war. Grievous damage to the lives and liberties and property of innocents are a regrettable but daily function of a state of armed conflict, of warfare the kinds of injuries that are totally unredressable in war time, but which we would never tolerate in peace time, if we were not at war." (p. 17)

And concerning executive privilege, he stated: "It's the President in time of war, the executive branch that's responsible for our security." (p. 18)

Cleverly, he suggests that a little fascism wards off the prospect of worse: "Were there to be more attacks on the scale of 9/11 or God forbid worse, there would inevitably be a far more draconian response than we've seen thus far. And so in the name of preventing that kind of response, which the public would demand, and in the name of ensuring our ultimate victory over an Islamo-fascist ideology, a religiously inspired fascist ideology, that is as illiberal as any the world has ever seen, we all need to keep first and foremost in our minds the need to wage this war effectively and ensure that the forces of right and the forces of liberalism and democracy prevail in the end." (p. 20)

Sidley Austin, then, may be justifiably described as an eminence grise of the powers that be. But lest it be viewed as biassed towards the right, it is also the law firm where, as a summer associate, Barack Obama met his future wife, Michelle.

How Sidley Survived 9/11 Not Only "Intact...."

On 9/11 Sidley Austin, which had merged with Brown and Wood in May 2001, (the same month that Connaughton left for the White House) had its offices in the World Trade Center. In an article written in 2003, Sidley describes how it accomplished the feat of "surviv[ing] 9/11 with vital records and employees intact."

Some of these vital records which included client, personnel, vendor and services lists, backup tapes, floor plans with personnel locations identified, inventory lists of equipment, furniture, and supplies, procedures manuals, docket calendars, and blank checks, "were available because they were part of a planned dispersal in which they had been copied and sent offsite for safe keeping." Weekly computer backup tapes were also being stored in New Jersey.

The article is written in a breathless style, pausing to pay lip service to the dreadfulness of the day before going on to the myriad resourceful steps Sidley had taken to the benefit of their cherished clients.

Then comes the punchline. As far as Sidley Austin is concerned, September 11 had a silver lining made of real silver.

...But Also With A Windfall

In addition to all its other prudent measures, on September 1, 2001, Sidley had taken the extraordinarily felicitous step of not only renewing but also of doubling its insurance.

"When it was announced that the firm's insurance policies had just been renewed and doubled on September 1, 2001, applause filled the room. The insurance policies not only covered reconstruction costs for the files but for the organization's valuable art collection and personal effects as well."

This move joins a distinguished line of coincidences leading up to the attacks such as highly anomalous put options on United and American Airlines ; numerous war games including "practice Armageddons" which diverted planes away from the East Coast and introduced chaff onto the radar screens to paralyze pilots who wanted to respond; as well as dozens of warnings to agencies which are normally overlooked by the mainstream press.

Assessing its recovery plan from the attack, Sidley confesses that "some individuals listed as having supervisory roles in the disaster recovery plan ended up not having job assignments, which was frustrating to those sitting around on 9/11. Part of the problem stemmed from a lack of testing of the plan the year before."

But despite the frustration, over all "the firm," to use a Grishamesque phrase, dubbed its recovery effort a success.

One Minor Glitch

And so the reader comes away believing, even after encountering this sentence:

"By September 13, only one individual had not been located."

Written this way, the account relays the information concerning 'only one individual,' as an example of yet another triumph. What the article neglects to say, however, though it was published nearly two years after the disaster, is that the reason the individual was "not located" is that she was dead.

A telephone operator who dreamed of opening a candy business, Rosemary Smith was the only member of the firm not to make it out of the building alive. And while Sidley mentions her elsewhere on its website and has apparently put up a memorial to her somewhere in its offices, it is difficult to understand what the writer of the article means by the phrase, 'employees intact.'

The "good news" about the firm's assets, however, seems to be abundantly accurate.

*Jenna Orkin is one of twelve original plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Christine Todd Whitman and the EPA
White House, Cheney's Office Subpoenaed
Washington Post Cheney Series
China May End Coal Liquefying Projects
Pentagon: Al Qaeda Leader in East Africa Arrested
Al Qaeda in West Africa
Pakistan Heart of Pearl Story
"Arctic Tale" Puts Faces to Global Warming Threat
Computer Simulation of WTC Attacks
This is a deft way to hammer a few more nails into the coffin of true 9/11 research. By focussing on simulation technique rather than the substance of the study, the demonstration propagates its myth as gospel. J.O.

Jerome Hauer Promoted

This is Hauer’s reward for getting the US Gov to stockpile the dangerous, deadly, despicable anthrax vaccine that his company produces. Michael Kane
Jerome Hauer climbs the ranks at company formerly known as BioPort

IAEA Head: Iran Attack Would Be Act of Madness
Bank Melli Iran Will Launch Fund to Invest in Bourse

Thursday, June 14, 2007

U.S. Official Pushes Alternative to Pipeline from Caspian
Iran Seeks to Undermine U.S. Energy Plan for Europe

This is exactly what I was predicting since FTW published our article"Rapprochement" two years ago. The hidden truth is that the US, amidst increasing tensions with an increasingly hostile and emergent Russia, doesn't want to invest in those exensive and vulnerbale pipelines which would run so close to Russian borders, and real Islamic terrorists across the Steppes and into the Caucasus.

In 1997 Mobil was caught doing an illegal oil swap through Iran. Mobil knew, as all oil companies do now, that it is far more efficient to"plug" Caspian oil directly into Iran's pipeline system and ship it to the Gulf that way; far from any Russian threat. But that flies in the face of the US sanctions that have been in place since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979.

Since we have passed Peak there probably isn't time to build those pipelines anyway before shortages become much more painful and obvious. In the end what Iran and the US want here are not in conflict. The US will have to steer public and world opinion to avoid a loss of face. But Peak Oil will prove to be the trump card where we will see that al alliances are negotiable and subject to the overriding dictates of simple geography. -- MCR

Iran Discusses Storing Oil Reserves in China
Pakistan Questions Two in Daniel Pearl Killing
Iran Judge Says Detainees Admit "Activities"
Pentagon Holds Suspected Al Qaeda Member in East Africa
In case the genocide in Darfur isn't enough to galvanize the U.S. to rally behind another oil embroglio, Al Qaeda's always ready to oblige.
Al Qaeda Declares Holy War on India
U.S. Navy Plans Six Month West African Training Mission
Tenet Cashes In On Iraq
Corporate Takeover of U.S. Intelligence
Saudi Prince Got Secret Payments from U.K. Bank
GAO: Factors Influencing Gas Prices
A prize to anyone who can find Peak Oil mentioned in the GAO's analysis. Rather, they focus on those pesky "regulatory factors such as national air quality standards." Perhaps the global issue of the day will receive passing recognition in the separate study to follow:

"The price of crude oil is a major determinant of gasoline prices. However, a number of other factors also affect gasoline prices including (1) increasing demand for gasoline; (2) refinery capacity in the United States that has not expanded at the same pace as the demand for gasoline; (3) a declining trend in gasoline inventories and (4) regulatory factors, such as national air quality standards, that have induced some states to switch to special gasoline blends. Consolidation in the petroleum industry plays a role in determining gasoline prices as well

Also, we are working on a separate study on issues related to petroleum inventories, refining and fuel prices." J.O.
Glaciers Speed Up Due to Global Warming
Global Warming Breeds More Cats
Spain Sells 20% Gold Reserves