Thursday, July 10, 2008
  Cummins With a 5 speed: The Way It Was Meant to Be
While laid off from work, I got decided to ditch the 47RE automatic transmission in my truck with a 5 speed NV4500. It took about 2 days to get the automatic out and about a day to get the NV4500 in. All the parts for the swap were purchased from a guy in New Jersey who was parting out a 98 Ram 2500 24 Valve. Many of the parts were interchangeable. I put a brand new Southbend clutch and flywheel. The setup is rated for 450 HP and 1000 ft-lbs of torque. The new setup is like driving a dump truck. The truck just seems happier with the 5 speed. It was definitely built for towing, because I shift into second at 5 mph. First gear is pretty low.





The floor shifter console didn't come out too bad





Neither did the clutch pedal



The automatic and transfer case is still sitting in the bed. Gotta find someone to buy it or get a crane to take it out because its too damn heavy to lift by hand.

 
Monday, March 24, 2008
  My 1984 300SD






I bought this 300SD last July for a kind of weekend cruiser. I haven't driven it much, but it's in much better shape than my other two 300d's. It's kinda like driving a couch around, and it's not real quick (0-60 time of around 20 seconds), but it rides real nice. And with diesel currently around 4.30 a gallon, it's not that expensive to run at 30 MPG compared to my truck. Its got a few odds and ends that need a little attention, but it's my new favorite car. It also helps that the engine and a lot of other mechanical parts are identical to the 300D, because I have not one, but two parts cars.
 
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
  A Tier 2 Bin 5 Rant
I saw this video on YouTube of a 2008 F-350 with the 6.4L Powerstroke diesel shooting flames out of its exhaust. Apparently, this is not the only truck to have had this problem. Ford and International, the maker of the Powerstroke Diesel, are currently suing each other back to the Stone Age due to warranty and recall issues. In the 2007 -2008 model years, all diesels are required to run on ULSD, be equipped with particulate filters, and are required to use a low ash lubricating oil. The particulate filters are an interesting, and apparently troublesome component. When the filters become plugged with carbon particles, the engine richens the combustion mixture to increase exhaust gas temperatures to almost 1000 degrees. Although the systems vary from engine to engine, this can be accomplished by choking the intake air down so that combustion temps increase, leading to increased exhaust temps. This leads to increased fuel consumption and conditions, that are in my opinion, undesirable in a diesel. As an example, the highest EGT I've seen in my truck is 1024 degrees while climbing a 14% grade doing 90 MPH with 30 psi of boost. Once again, the EPA has taken a perfectly good concept and added so much prohibitive crap to it that it becomes a nuisance to run instead of an improvement. We just purchased a 2008 Chevy 3500 HD with the new LMM Duramax at work. It has a decent amount of power, however its fuel consumption has totally dumbfounded me. I averaged 7 MPG on the highway with NO LOAD! I thought they were supposed to be efficient. Guess not.


Why is the cost of diesel fuel so fucking high at the pumps?

It averages 3.57 per gallon while regular gas costs 3.13 where I am. Diesel is a byproduct of gasoline manufacture. Why would it cost more? Moreso, how can truckers and other large volume buyers be tolerating this? Anyone have any insights as to why this would be? Please enlighten me, I obviously am missing something.

Meanwhile, I'll be cruising in my 2001 Cummins 24V that has no egr, no pcv, no cat, and lotsa power at 22 MPG.
 
Sunday, September 02, 2007
  Cummins Exhaust Plus Shiny
The truck is back from getting a whole new front end after I rear ended someone 2 miles from my house on the way back from Bayonne, NJ. Everything forward from the engine needed to be replaced, like the grille, hood, bumper, headlights, radiator, intercooler, AC condenser, and tranny cooler. I ordered an MBRP exhaust system for it about a week after the accident. I finally installed it two days ago right after driving it back from the body shop.

Much nicer front end, and they touched up all the scratches and dents on the fenders and doors.

Oooh....shiny

They body shop apparently couldn't figure out how the stock badges went together, so they put a nice gap in between the Ram and Cummins badges. They did them both like that on the each side, so it doesn't look too bad. I guess it gives the truck a more customized look, and a nice emphasis on the fact that there's a 24 valve Cummins under the hood.



The exhaust system is fucking sweet. My truck sounds like a Kenworth semi now. Installing it wasn't as bad as I expected. Removing the old system was more difficult than putting the new one in. Its a 4 inch system from the turbo back, and splits at the muffler for a pipe out each side.

This is the passenger side:

And here's the driver side:

The heat wrap on the pipe is to prevent the rear brake hose from resting on the pipe and possibly melting through it.


Here's the old exhaust system for comparison:
 
Sunday, October 15, 2006
  Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
I ordered an Edge Juice performance module with the Attitude Monitor for my truck. When I get back from Oswego, I plan on installing it. It advertises an added 120 horsepower and 350 extra ft-lbs of torque, with 5 adjustable levels that I can change on fly.

Level 0: no added horsepower, a 1.3 MPG increase in fuel economy
Level 1: 40 extra horsepower, 150 ft-lbs more torque
Level 2: 60 extra horsepower, 200 ft-lbs extra torque
Level 3: 80 extra horsies, 250 ft-lbs extra torque

After Level 3, I run the risk of destroying my stock torque converter If I push it too hard.

Level 4: 100 more HP, 300 ft-lbs added torque
Level 5: 120 extra horsepower, 350 pounds more torque over stock

We'll see exactly how much this makes my truck go faster.


Another added plus, it will tell me the exact fuel pressure going into the troublesome Bosch VP44 injector pump. The stock lift pump has a habit of dying on these trucks, and shortly after, the 2000 dollar injector pump will chew itself up from overheating and lack of lubrication. Just another added piece of mind.

Install pics to come. Hopefully I'll have time to bomb around before I get shipped off to South Korea at the end of the month.
 
  The Mercedes Benz I-5 Revisited
Lets take another look at the Mercedes Benz diesels....

My 1984 300D:





After I bought my 2001 Dodge Ram 2500, I planned on selling the Benz for whatever I could get for it.

Here's a brief description:

310,649 miles
Peeling clearcoat
Passenger window does not work
Dent in passenger side front fender
Minor body rust
A/C leaks
Rear half of exhaust system (resonator and muffler) fell off, but I still have it


After my little sister got her drivers license, my father was going to buy her a late model diesel Volkswagen, but when he saw the Benz sitting idle in the front yard, he had other plans.

My sister, who is a vegan hippie, was started her senior year independent study on alternative energy. She decided to base her project on biodiesel. The old 300D would be a perfect test platform for her homebrew biodiesel, as well as being a reliable and safe first car.

Its a heavy car, can't go excessively fast, and its fairly good in the snow. It'll also teach hear basic maintenence, its cheap to run and fuel, and it rides very nice.

The JZA's father gave all his children the option of buying their own cars, or driving his diesel Mercedes.

The diesel Mercedes are all mechanical, and they were built very ruggedly. If something went wrong with them, they were built to stay running instead of stopping upon failure. You can even push start them, and they can run without a battery. Just keep it full of fuel and change the oil once in a while. How many 22 year old cars do you still see on the road?
 
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
  Rollin' In Style
The DZA is now the proud owner of a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 with a Cummins Turbo Diesel. This is a big step up from any other vehicle I've owned, and I must say, I'm very satisfied with it so far. Its the first vehicle I've owned that was manufactured in this century, and also the first vehicle with saftey features such as airbags and anti-lock brakes. Its also the first vehicle I've had to take a loan out on, and the first vehicle I've purchased with a gurantee/warranty.



Mmmm... Sexy.....



Under the hood is a Cummins "B" series turbo diesel engine. Its a straight six diesel, which is unique for a heavy duty pickup truck. Both Ford and Chevy use V8 engines in their diesel trucks. It displaces 5.9 liters, which is almost a liter per cylinder. It starts without the use of glow plugs, only requiring a heater grid in the intake when its really cold. In this truck, the engine is rated for 235 horsepower and 460 ft-lbs of torque. With the addition of an aftermarket tuner, such as the Edge Juice Module, up to 120 hp and 350 extra pounds of torque can be produced. Thats just from plugging something in! The amount of aftermarket performance products for the Cummins engine surpasses the selection for Fords and Chevy's. There are people producing 600 hp and 1500+ pounds of torque at the rear wheels with just bolt-on components. The engine can handle up to 54 psi of boost pressure in stock form before the head needs to be o-ringed to the block. From the factory, the turbo puts out 22 psi. The B series engines have been known to surpass 350,000 miles before needing an overhaul, when properly maintained.




The sum'bitch comes from the factory with a 4 inch exhaust system!




Next to the Benz, for a reference.





I'm almost afraid to drive it. Compared to anything else I've driven, its probably the best looking. A grease conversion might be a possibility, and perhaps some performance tweaks. Wish me luck!
 
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
  Friends Of Big Oil
This is taken off of the Journey To Forever mailing list:

Friends of big oil


60/Sixty Plus Association (member of the Cooler Heads Coalition, associate of Competitive Enterprise Inst.
Front Group for BIG OIL)


Accuracy in Academia (Council for the Defense of Freedom front group, Accuracy in Academia (AIA) is Reed
Irvine. AIA is an outgrowth of Accuracy in Media.) http://www.hartwilliams.com/ava/ava0112.htm
http://rightweb.irc-online.org/gw/1582
SCAIFE OIL FORTUNE Funding Accuracy in Media, Inc. = $4,075,000
Accuracy in Media
SCAIFE OIL FORTUNE Funding Accuracy in Media, Inc. = $4,075,000
http://www.aim.org/who_we_are/faq.html TASSC Fred Seitz associated
http://www.aim.org/static/19_0_7_0_C


Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty has received $160,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
KOCH OIL Funding Acton Institute For The Study of Religion and Liberty = $212,500
SCAIFE OIL FORTUNE Funding Acton Institute For The Study of Religion and Liberty = $565,000
White Star Oil Fortune (Earhart Foundation) Funding Acton Institute For The Study of Religion and Liberty
= $166,500


Africa Fighting Malaria
Africa Fighting Malaria has received $30,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
Tobacco Whitecoat Roger Bate associated. (DDT is Chlorine Product, Olin Sponsor of Bate)
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Africa_Fighting_Malaria
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africa_Fighting_Malaria
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Roger_Bate
http://www.aei.org/scholars/filter.,scholarID.76/scholar.asp
http://www.cei.org/dyn/view_Expert.cfm?Expert=105 http://timlambert.org/2005/09/ddt-use-in-south-africa/
CEI $25,000 Earhart earmarked to Roger Bate.


Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (TASSC Associated, member of the Cooler Heads Coalition, associate of
Competitive Enterprise Inst. Front Group for BIG OIL)
1994 sponsor of two felony fraud science hoaxes consucted by TASSC S. Fred Singer.
http://tobaccodocuments.org/lor/92756807-6876.html
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Alexis_de_Tocqueville_Inst...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_de_Tocqueville_Institution http://tobaccodocuments.org/lor/92756102-
6120.html


American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research
American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research has received $1,309,523 from
ExxonMobil since 1998.


American Council on Science and Health (associated:TASSC Fred Singer, TASSC Patrick J. Michaels,
TASSC Alan Moghissi, TASSC )
American Council on Science and Health has received $110,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
SCAIFE OIL FORTUNE Funding American Council on Science and Health = $205,000
OLIN Munitions & Chlorine-DDT Funding for ASCH = $865,500
http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/1998Q4/ashes.html "... Yet ACSH executive director Michael Fox is a
member of TASSC's advisory board, as are ACSH chairman A. Alan Moghissi and board members Victor
Herbert and F.J. Francis. Another 46 members of the ACSH advisory board also serve on the advisory board
of TASSC. ..."


American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research has received $1,625,000 from ExxonMobil since
1998.
KOCH OIL Funding American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research = $50,000
SCAIFE OIL FORTUNE Funding American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research = $6,251,000
White Star Oil Fortune (Earhart Foundation) Funding American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy
Research = $448,800
OLIN Munitions & Chlorine-DDT Funding American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research =
$7,022,124


American Enterprise Institute-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies
American Enterprise Institute-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies has received $105,000 from
ExxonMobil since 1998.
OLIN Munitions & Chlorine-DDT Funding Brookings Institution = $1,217,000
KOCH OIL Funding Brookings Institution = $829,400


American Friends of the Institute for Economic Affairs
American Friends of the Institute for Economic Affairs has received $50,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
White Star Oil Fortune (Earhart Foundation) Funding Institute of Economic Affairs = $542,291


American Legislative Exchange Council (TASSC Patrick J. Michaels associated)
American Legislative Exchange Council has received $1,189,700 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
KOCH OIL Funding American Legislative Exchange Council = $393,000
SCAIFE OIL FORTUNE Funding American Legislative Exchange Council = $1,545,000
OLIN Munitions & Chlorine-DDT Funding American Legislative Exchange Council = $215,000


American Petroleum Institute : funded by the major oil companies BP, Chevron Texaco, ConocoPhillips,
Exxon Mobil and Shell Chemical.
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=American_Petroleum_Institute
API is a member of the National Wetlands Coalition and has provided funding to the Cato Institute, Citizens
for a Sound Economy and other organizations that oppose regulations aimed to prevent global warming.


American Policy Center / EPA-watch (TASSC Patrick J. Michaels, TASSC Bonner Cohen, TASSC A. Alan
Moghissi associated)
(member of the Cooler Heads Coalition, associate of Competitive Enterprise Inst. Front Group for BIG OIL)


American Spectator Foundation
American Spectator Foundation has received $15,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.


Americans for Tax Reform (Grover Norquist President)
KOCH OIL Funding Americans for Tax Reform Foundation = $20,000
SCAIFE OIL FORTUNE Funding Americans for Tax Reform Foundation = $700,000
OLIN Munitions & Chlorine-DDT Funding Americans for Tax Reform Foundation = $525,000


Arizona State University Office of Cimatology
Arizona State University Office of Cimatology has received $49,500 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
Associated: Robert C. Balling Jr., Sherwood Idso, father of Craig and Keith Idso, is an adjunct professor at
the ASU Office of Climatology. All of the Idsos are associated with the (Greening Earth Society) Western
Fuels Association and the (Greening Earth Society) Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global
Change (associated TASSC A. Alan Moghissi).


Aspen Institute
Aspen Institute has received $61,500 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
KOCH OIL Funding Aspen Institute = $1,115,000


Association of Concerned Taxpayers (member of the Cooler Heads Coalition, associate of Competitive
Enterprise Inst. Front Group for BIG OIL)


Atlantic Legal Foundation (TASSC Michael Fumento, TASSC Frederick Seitz, TASSC A. Alan Moghissi)
Atlantic Legal Foundation has received $20,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
KOCH OIL Funding Atlantic Legal Foundation = $20,000
SCAIFE OIL FORTUNE Funding Atlantic Legal Foundation = $1,530,000
OLIN Munitions & Chlorine-DDT Funding Atlantic Legal Foundation = $210,000


Atlas Economic Research Foundation : TASSC Fred Singer (shared offices with SEPP for nearly ten years)
Atlas Economic Research Foundation has received $680,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
KOCH OIL Funding Atlas Economic Research Foundation = $68,500
SCAIFE OIL FORTUNE Funding Atlas Economic Research Foundation = $2,325,000
OLIN Munitions & Chlorine-DDT Funding Atlas Economic Research Foundation = $5,000
White Star Oil Fortune (Earhart Foundation) Funding Atlas Economic Research Foundation = $1,524,742
http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/ADTI_Frauds_01.html http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/Singer-Nightline.html


Blue Ribbon Coalition
Funders have included the Alaska Forestry Association, American Forest and Paper Association, American
Petroleum Institute, Boise Cascade, Battle Mountain Gold, Chevron, Colorado Mining Association, Crown
Butte Mines, Exxon, Honda (US), Idaho Mining Association, Louisiana Pacific, Marathon Oil, Polaris, Potlach
Corp, Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas, Ski-Doo, Suzuki, and Yamaha. (Blue Ribbon Magazine)


Capital Legal Foundation
SCAIFE OIL FORTUNE Funding Capital Legal Foundation = $425,000
OLIN Munitions & Chlorine-DDT Funding Capital Legal Foundation = $150,000


Capital Research Center and Greenwatch (founded under the umbrella of the National Legal Center for the
Public Interest)
Capital Research Center and Greenwatch has received $190,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
National Legal Center for the Public Interest has received $215,500 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
SCAIFE OIL FORTUNE Funding National Legal Center for The Public Interest = $125,000
OLIN Munitions & Chlorine-DDT Funding National Legal Center for The Public Interest = $63,000


Cato Institute : TASSC Fred Singer, TASSC Patrick J. Michaels
Cato Institute has received $90,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
KOCH OIL Funding Cato Institute = $12,999,240
SCAIFE OIL FORTUNE Funding Cato Institute = $2,057,500
White Star Oil Fortune (Earhart Foundation) Funding Cato Institute = $217,600
OLIN Munitions & Chlorine-DDT Funding Cato Institute = $832,500


Center for American and International Law
Center for American and International Law has received $177,450 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
There are several "Institutes" within the Center, one of which is the Institute for Energy Law (IEL).
ExxonMobil is a "sustaining member" of IEL, as is BP America. IEL's other "supporting members" include
ChevronTexaco and ConocoPhillips. Several ExxonMobil attorneys, as well as attorneys for ...
 
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
  More on Hemp



Its just mindblowing how many idiots there are in this country. Hemp has been labelled the most profitable crop that can be grown. Its potential for energy production, not to mention the reduction of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. How can a wonderful plant like this be illegal to produce, but the tobacco industry is allowed to exist?

http://biomassive.org/g2012/hemp/

http://www.globalhemp.com/Archives/Magazines/the_most_profitable_crop.shtml

Legalize it, Motherfuckers
 
  WTF, Hilary Clinton?
Sen. Clinton: Cut Oil Imports by 50% by 2025
 
Monday, May 22, 2006
  The D9 And Why Some People Hate Caterpillar



The Caterpillar D9 bulldozer is Caterpillar's most notorious piece of equipment. It weighs about 54 tons and is powered by a 474 HP Cat diesel engine. Not only is it capable of razing an entire town with its 13 foot blade and optional ripper attachment, it also serves a very important position in the mining, forestry, construction, and waste management sectors.



Bong.


But some leftist hippies have labelled the Caterpillar Corporation as one of the most evil corporations in American History. The D9 has found a niche in many military applications, probably due to its ejaculation of raw intimidation and the ability to strike fear into any poor schmuck who is unfortunate enough to find himself in front of it. In the mid 1960's, the Israeli military bought a bunch of D9s and fabricated an armor system rendering them impervious to any type of small arms fire, RPG's, land mines, and sniper fire. The resulting armor conversions added about 15 tons to the D9, bringing its gross tonnage to 69 tons. The Israelis even took it a step further and installed crew operated machine guns, grenade launchers, and air conditioning in them, thus turning the bulldozer into a full blown war machine, which the Israelis lovingly refer to as "The Dooby". Being the savages that they are, the Israelis used the new and improved Killdozers to destroy entire Palestinian towns and raze Palestinian olive plantations. In urban warfare and counter-terror operations, the D9s has also been used in standoff situations with opponents barricaded in buildings. In order not to risk Israeli soldiers, the D9 shakes the house until the barricaded gunmen surrender. After the building is evacuated, the D9 razes the structure in order to detonate and bury any explosives that remain inside. Hamas chief bombmaker and the plotter of the Passover massacre, Case Aduwan, was killed in April 7, 2002, after he was tracked by the SHABAK and the YAMAM and a D9 destroyed the house he was hiding after heavy exchanges of fire. In Hebron, the IDF used the armored D9 to stop the local Hamas leader, Bassal Qawasameh, who shot at the D9 with machinegun, but was killed when the D9 demolished the house where he was hiding. One year after, Imad Qawasameh surrendered to IDF forces, after a D9 started demolishing his house. Armored D9 bulldozers have demolished many structures in Rafah, Gaza strip during battles with militants and operations to uncover smuggling tunnels. The destruction of hundreds of structures in Rafah is a highly controversial issue. The Israel Defense Forces claim that the destruction of buildings and tunnels is a security necessity and that most houses destroyed were used for terrorist activity. However, Palestinians claim that the destruction has left thousands of people homeless, and is done systematically in order to create a cleared "buffer zone" between Rafah and Philadelphi Route. Protests against this destruction have caused further controversy, through such as incidents as the death of civilians such as Rachel Corrie. According to Jewish Voice for Peace (a left-wing group whose goal is to prevent selling of Caterpillar equipment to Israel) "since 1967 Israel has used Caterpillar bulldozers to demolish nearly 9,000 Palestinian homes, leaving more than 50,000 people homeless. Since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000, Israel has razed the homes of 12,737 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the past two years the Israeli army deployed Caterpillar bulldozers to uproot 1,000,000 Palestinian olive trees." However, many dispute JVP claimed figures, mainly because the IDF operates many different kinds of bulldozers and engineering vehicles, most of them are civilian tools on licensing.



Also Bong.

Caterpillar maintains that it has no say over what any of its customers do with its products once purchased, even though the hippies still won't stop bugging them.


Many people mistake Marvin Heemeyer's Killdozer for a Caterpillar D9, but it is in fact a Komatsu D335A. His improvised armor was based on the IDF design for their D9's.

As far as I'm concerned, Caterpillar can keep selling D9's until the Israelis and Palestinians wipe themselves out of existence.

Peace out.
 
Friday, May 19, 2006
  Ultimo Destructo


The Unimog is a multipurpose truck built by Mercedes Benz. They are 4 wheel drive, have a very high ground clearance, and a very low center of gravity. They are also equipped with portal axles and transmissions with up to 24 speeds, including creeper gears. Its like a combination of a truck and a tractor. They're rated for towing up to 40000 lbs. They can climb a 52 degree incline, descend a 56 degree incline, and traverse a 45 degree slope. Hummers and jeeps ain't got shit on this. They also are available with hydraulic circuits, an on board air compressor, front and rear pto's and front and rear three point hitches, which is what agricultural tractors use to pull implements such as plows, sprayers, manure spreaders and mowers. It can also take a 10 foot snowplow or 10 foot snowblower on the front. Its top speed is between 50 and 70 mph. This would make one hell of a plow truck. While contractors are out getting stuck in their F-350s when a 3 foot blizzard hits, this'll be clearing the roads with a quickness.

 
  Maybe Canada Will Turn Out Useful....
Another Greencarcongress article.

Production of Canadian Crude to Nearly Double by 2020 Due to Oil Sands
17 May 2006
Capp06
Forecast of Canadian Oil Sands versus Conventional Oil Production. Click to enlarge. Source: CAPP

Production of crude oil in Canada is set to nearly double by 2020, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ (CAPP) just-released annual Crude Oil Forecast.

This marks a significant increase from the projections last year, driven by increasing oil sands production.

Total Canadian oil production is projected to increase from 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2005 to 4.6 million bpd in 2015—an increase of 750,000 bpd from CAPP’s 2005 forecast. Growth after 2015 will bring total Canadian production to nearly 4.9 million bpd by 2020.

Oil sands production, which now exceeds one million bpd, is forecast to reach 3.5 million bpd by 2015 and 4.0 million bpd by 2020, accounting for more than 80% of Canadian production. In 2005, oil sands production represented 45% of total Canadian output.

Both in-situ and mining projects contribute to the growth in oil sands production, with a four-fold increase in production for each category.

Production of conventional crude oil has declined gradually in Canada since the late 1990s. Although the lifespan of conventional producing wells is being extended as marginal wells are economic due to higher oil prices, conventional production continues to decline.

The growing total production will need more pipeline capacity to meet demand from new and expanded markets. A number of new pipelines and expansions have been announced and potential shippers are assessing the alternatives to determine which projects they support.

The increase in our overall production is important but the changing mix of the Canadian crude slate from traditional conventional crude to oil sands heavy blends and synthetic crude is also a big issue for the industry. It’s critically important for pipelines and refineries to be able to process both the added volumes of crude and the new mix.
—Greg Stringham, CAPP Vice President, Markets and Fiscal Policy

Conventional heavy oil and bitumen oil must be diluted with a lighter commodity such as condensate/pentanes or synthetic crude to lower the viscosity and density of the crude, thereby allowing for efficient transportation through pipelines.

The main source of diluent so far has been condensates/pentanes produced in western Canada. These products are in decline, and will not provide sufficient supplies of diluent to match forecast growth of oil sands bitumen.

Accordingly, producers have been evaluating options to import condensate using either existing infrastructure such as railroads or through a condensate import pipeline. As an alternative, producers are also considering using synthetic for blending.

CAPP’s 2006 production forecast contains two supply scenarios based on the evolution of each scenario.

In addition, a constrained production case shows how delays in the growth of markets, pipelines, infrastructure, equipment and labour could potentially slow oil sands development.

The forecast does not factor in possible environmental constraints on growth in oil sands production, such as water availability.
 
Thursday, May 18, 2006
  New And Improved
Its been a while since I posted here, but I saw an article that caught my eye:

Taken from Greencarcongress.com

"A father and son team—Dr. Nikolay Shkolnik, an entrepreneur and inventor, and his son Alexander, a PhD student at MIT—have developed an engine architecture they claim will achieve 50% fuel efficiency (compared to the ~30% of existing engines) and drastically reduce pollutant emissions.

The architecture, based on a patent-pending “High-Efficiency Hybrid Cycle” (HEHC) thermodynamic cycle, borrows elements from Otto, Diesel, Atkinson and Rankin cycles. LiquidPiston, Shkolnik’s company, is implementing the HEHC cycle in a rotary piston engine: the LiquidPiston Engine.

(In April, LiquidPiston was named one of the four finalists in the ECOnomics Environmental Business Plan Challenge presented by GE & Dow Jones. The ECOnomics winner will be announced this month and receive a $50,000 prize.)

The HEHC Cycle. The basic cycle uses a discrete compression chamber, isolated combustion chamber, and expander chamber.

Air (with no fuel) is compressed to a high ratio (> 18) in a compressor cylinder of the engine. The resulting compressed charge is directed into an isolated combustion chamber, where fuel is injected and auto ignites.

Combustion occurs under truly isochoric conditions (volume stays constant) and is allowed to complete until all fuel is fully combusted. The combustion products then expand into the expander cylinder, which has large volume than the intake volume.

Optionally, a small amount of water may be used to facilitate cooling, lubricating and sealing of combustion chamber and pistons.
A small amount of water (an optional component) may be used in the system. Water may facilitate the cooling, lubricating, and sealing of combustion chamber and pistons."



If it ends up getting mass produced, it would be great. The design is not really size prohibitive. The engine could be used in applications from chainsaws to locomotives.
 
Monday, May 15, 2006
  A Hopeful Future
 
Saturday, April 01, 2006
  Audi's Diesel Insanity



The engine in the Audi R10 Le Mans car is a 12 cylinder, turbocharged, all aluminium, diesel engine. It produces 650 horsepower and about 810 ft-lbs of torque, and its making history at the Le Mans races. I'm actually surprised that Mercedes Benz didn't come up with this first. I'm sure Audi could take their crazy new engine, take the horsepower down a few notches to about 350-400 hp, and put it in the A10 or S10 for a really sick high end performance diesel luxury.
 
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
  For The Asshole In All Of Us...
The Hummer H1 Alpha.


Complete with a GVWR of 10,300 lbs and a 6.6 liter Duramax Turbodiesel Engine.



Of course, if the 130,000 dollar sticker price is a little too much for you, there's always the older H1, with the 6.5.




Still badass.



I hear they're a pain in the ass to maintain, which they seem to require a lot of. Their fuel economy sucks ass, with 12.7 mpg on the highway for the H1 with the 6.5L. I'd imagine that the Duramax is a little bit better, but not by much. If I did have one, I would probably drive it on the weekends, possibly to the beach or the bars. I don't think I would like to drive something like this on a daily basis.
 
Friday, March 03, 2006
  Biodiesel Rental Cars
Where?

In California! Where else?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060301/sc_nm/life_biodiesel_dc
 
Sunday, February 26, 2006
  Wikipedia Entry on Fuel Oil
Check it, bitches.
 
Friday, February 24, 2006
  Biodiesel Micro-Reactors


http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ncs/newsarch/2006/Feb06/microreactors.htm

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/02/microreactor_fo.html

This will change the energy industry. These reactors utilize what I call the "stackability" design. A single reactor will only produce a trickle, but when a bunch of them are used together in parallel, the array becomes capable of producing an exponential amount of fuel. Further research is going into the metallic catalyst, eliminating the need for a dissolved catalyst (lye) Therefore, the only two products required are alcohol and vegetable oil. Ethanol (the most easily produced alcohol) can be used without any additional guesswork.
 
  Chrysler Diesels in America
Article Here

Daimler-Chrysler is on the right track with diesel vehicles in the United States. Apart from their extremely clean cars, they are also planning to offer every single car and truck they sell in a diesel version. A diesel viper? A diesel half ton truck? I could see the future getting much more awesome.
 
Saturday, February 18, 2006
  Not a diesel, but
Still badass. Someday, parhaps this '65 Impala Small-block with less than 60k miles will be mine. I only ever drove it once, and I'll say this: It's a landshark, it's a slushbox, it's got 4-wheel drum brakes, but by God, it's fucking butter. And you could have a menage-a-trois in the driver's seat, comfortably.

 
Thursday, February 16, 2006
  Project
I have a 1990 F-350 Diesel thats sitting in my front yard right now. I'm thinking of pulling the engine, rebuilding it, and then building a diesel/grease powered generator set out of it. Generator heads are availiable online, and I think that International engines are pretty standard prime movers in the generator industry, so mating a generator head to that engine wouldn't be a problem. That engine can easily pump out 125 kilowatts of three phase electricity. Thats enough to run a few houses or maybe even a small machine shop. Another idea: I could build my own exhaust gas heat exchanger to go along with the genset. Around 600,000 BTU (conservative estimate) of hot water could be recovered from that engine that would normally be wasted. I could build an entire cogeneration plant for under 5000 dollars. My house could be excessively heated and powered on 3 gallons of grease per hour. We're talking every appliance in the house on full blast with the heat cranked up to 95 degrees. God bless America... and our energy gluttony.
 
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
  Another Blast From The Diesel Past
Here's another history lesson with Professor DZA.

The Lister Diesel engine was first manufactured in 1929 by The R A Lister & Co. It was a small, air cooled, hand cranked diesel engine. They were available in either one or two cylinder versions. The rated horsepower of the two cylinder version was around 15 hp. I have personally used one while at dive school. It was powering a Quincy 390 compressor. I had the joy of starting it by hand every single day when we were on dive ops. It started with out glow plugs or electricity of any kind, ran for 12 hours on 2 gallons of diesel fuel, and supplied breathing air for a hyperbaric chamber and 7 divers. I've been told that big dive companies like Caldive still use them every day on their dive boats. There's a reason for that. Reliability. They need their oil changed every 250 hours, and they need to be kept full of fuel. Thats it. There's very little to go wrong, and in the rare event that something does go wrong, its either the injector or the injector pump. There's a bunch of people who have made generators for them to run their houses during power outages, and yes, they will run on B100 very nicely.


Heres a picture of one:


 
Sunday, February 12, 2006
  The Big Three are getting pissed
Another article I found. It seems that there is a patent dispute over the toyota hybrids (the Prius and Highlander). I wonder if Detroit and its fledgling automakers have anything riding on this.



U.S. to probe Toyota hybrid patents
Trade body to investigate whether automaker infringed on patent held by Solomon Technologies.
February 10, 2006: 10:28 AM EST

TOKYO (Reuters) - A U.S. trade body is to investigate a complaint that Toyota Motor Corp.'s popular Prius and Highlander hybrid models infringed a patent, according to the body's Web site.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will look at a claim that the patent is owned by Florida-based Solomon Technologies Inc., it said.
Toyota's Highlander hybrid
Toyota's Highlander hybrid

Toyota (up $0.78 to $103.29, Research) shares edged higher in morning trading in New York.

Solomon Technologies filed a complaint with the panel last month saying the hybrid transmission in the two popular vehicles infringed its patent related to motor and transmission systems.

If the ITC agrees with Solomon, Japan's top auto maker could be banned from importing the systems and the Prius and Highlander hybrid models that they power. The ITC said opening a case does not mean it has made any decision on the merits.

A Toyota spokesman said it cannot comment on ongoing cases.

In September, Solomon applied to a Florida federal district court for an injunction against Toyota barring infringement and damages for unauthorized use of its patented technologies.

Toyota sold 110,000 Prius models and 18,800 Highlander hybrid SUVs in North America last year.
 
  Another Pimpmobile for Sale
I found this car on ebay motors. I don't think I have ever seen a diesel s-class in the states past the 1991 model year. This is a '94, and I must say, I would definitely not mind driving around in one.





 
  Sweden Knows Where Its At
Sweden has announced plans to make itself and its economy oil-free by 2020. Again, these articles are taken from the Journey To Forever mailing list. Check It.



Sweden plans to be world's first oil-free economy
15-year limit set for switch to renewable energy
Biofuels favoured over further nuclear power
John Vidal, environment editor
Wednesday February 8, 2006
The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/oil/story/0,,1704954,00.html

Sweden is to take the biggest energy step of any advanced
western economy by trying to wean itself off oil completely
within 15 years - without building a new generation of nuclear
power stations.

The attempt by the country of 9 million people to become the
world's first practically oil-free economy is being planned by a
committee of industrialists, academics, farmers, car makers,
civil servants and others, who will report to parliament in
several months.

The intention, the Swedish government said yesterday, is to
replace all fossil fuels with renewables before climate change
destroys economies and growing oil scarcity leads to huge
new price rises.

"Our dependency on oil should be broken by 2020," said
Mona Sahlin, minister of sustainable development. "There
shall always be better alternatives to oil, which means no
house should need oil for heating, and no driver should need
to turn solely to gasoline."

According to the energy committee of the Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, there is growing concern that global oil
supplies are peaking and will shortly dwindle, and that a
global economic recession could result from high oil prices.

Ms Sahlin has described oil dependency as one of the
greatest problems facing the world. "A Sweden free of fossil
fuels would give us enormous advantages, not least by
reducing the impact from fluctuations in oil prices," she said.
"The price of oil has tripled since 1996."

A government official said: "We want to be both mentally and
technically prepared for a world without oil. The plan is a
response to global climate change, rising petroleum prices and
warnings by some experts that the world may soon be running
out of oil."

Sweden, which was badly hit by the oil price rises in the
1970s, now gets almost all its electricity from nuclear and
hydroelectric power, and relies on fossil fuels mainly for
transport. Almost all its heating has been converted in the past
decade to schemes which distribute steam or hot water
generated by geothermal energy or waste heat. A 1980
referendum decided that nuclear power should be phased out,
but this has still not been finalised.

The decision to abandon oil puts Sweden at the top of the
world green league table. Iceland hopes by 2050 to power all
its cars and boats with hydrogen made from electricity drawn
from renewable resources, and Brazil intends to power 80%
of its transport fleet with ethanol derived mainly from sugar
cane within five years.

Last week George Bush surprised analysts by saying that the
US was addicted to oil and should greatly reduce imports
from the Middle East. The US now plans a large increase in
nuclear power.

The British government, which is committed to generating
10% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2012, last
month launched an energy review which has a specific remit
to consider a large increase in nuclear power. But a report by
accountants Ernst & Young yesterday said that the UK was
falling behind in its attempt to meet its renewables target.

"The UK has Europe's best wind, wave and tidal resources
yet it continues to miss out on its economic potential," said
Jonathan Johns, head of renewable energy at Ernst & Young.

Energy ministry officials in Sweden said they expected the oil
committee to recommend further development of biofuels
derived from its massive forests, and by expanding other
renewable energies such as wind and wave power.

Sweden has a head start over most countries. In 2003, 26%
of all the energy consumed came from renewable sources -
the EU average is 6%. Only 32% of the energy came from oil
- down from 77% in 1970.

The Swedish government is working with carmakers Saab
and Volvo to develop cars and lorries that burn ethanol and
other biofuels. Last year the Swedish energy agency said it
planned to get the public sector to move out of oil. Its health
and library services are being given grants to convert from oil
use and homeowners are being encouraged with green taxes.
The paper and pulp industries use bark to produce energy,
and sawmills burn wood chips and sawdust to generate
power.





01 October 2005
Mona Sahlin, Minister for Sustainable Development

Sweden first to break dependence on oil! New programme presented
http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/3212/a/51058

In recent weeks we have read about and anguished over the devastation in the United States. These natural
disasters have also reminded us how vulnerable we are to the forces of the weather. A hurricane that puts a
number of oil rigs out of action affects the availability of oil, the economies and the price of petrol around the
world.

We have seen the consequences in every country. In light of the oil supply disruptions, the Swedish
Government recently decided to allow withdrawals from the country's emergency stocks of petroleum
products. The whole world is now dreading the problems brought about by dependence on oil. In a situation
where President Bush speaks to the nation about using cars less - and where Ford and Toyota demand that
the President takes steps to reduce dependence on oil - each and every one of us can see how the devastation
created by the hurricanes rapidly changes the attitude towards fuel. It is as though the idea that oil is a finite
resource is only now seriously having an impact on the debate. But there is reason to believe that this
awareness will also remain on the agenda in the slightly longer term.

Climate change is the greatest and most important environmental challenge of our time. Most of the world's
climate researchers agree that the Earth's climate system is changing - and in order to slow down these
changes, emissions of greenhouse gases must be reduced. The Government is therefore setting a new policy
target: the creation of the conditions necessary to break Sweden's dependence on fossil fuels by 2020. A
Sweden free of fossil fuels would give us enormous advantages, not least by reducing the impact from
fluctuations in oil prices. The price of oil has tripled since 1996! Old oil price records are now being beaten at
a rapid rate.

It is already a major competitive advantage for Sweden's industry and the economy that, by international
standards, the country has such a small dependence on oil. Swedish policy instruments such as investment
grants, norms for energy use, loans with interest subsidies and information drives have formed the basis of a
conscious policy to gradually reduce oil use. Since 1994 the use of oil in the housing and services sector has
decreased by 15.2 TWh. The use of oil in industry has remained largely unchanged - although industrial
production has increased by 70 per cent! Measures to increase energy efficiency and to promote the
development of district heating continue to be politically important tools. An increasing number of households
are taking advantage of the benefits of district heating and heating pellets; car industry order books are being
filled with hybrid and ethanol cars. This trend must be speeded up. The Government is therefore presenting a
national programme against dependence on oil with the following main features.

. Tax relief for conversion from oil. It is unacceptable that many owners of single-family homes are dependent
on oil for their heating and are thus hard hit by high oil prices. In the next few weeks I will be presenting a
Government Bill on financial support for the owners of single-family homes and multi-dwelling buildings in
order to encourage conversion from oil heating to renewable energy heating, beginning next year. The public
sector must take the lead and set a good example. For some time now, therefore, special support has been
available to libraries, public swimming baths and hospitals, for example, that become more fuel efficient by
converting to renewable energy.

. More renewable energy. Oil and coal are finite fuels. The target must be that we base our entire energy
supply on renewable fuels. The EU trading system represents an important step towards improved
competitiveness in renewable energy at European level. In our country, renewable electricity has increased by
approximately 4.5 TWh since 2002, not least by means of the green certificate system. We will give a longer
term perspective on electricity certificates in a Government Bill to be presented next spring. The level of
ambition has been set very high - by 2016, renewable electricity production will have increased by 15 TWh
from the 2002 level. A directive to state-owned Vattenfall means the company will be responsible for major
investments in renewable energy for the future. A new inquiry will submit proposals to the Government on how
also agricultural production of renewable energy can be increased.

. Measures for renewable fuels. Breaking dependence on oil in the transport sector will be a great challenge
and the Government therefore has an ambitious policy to increase the percentage of renewable fuels. For the
individual, it will pay to choose an environmentally friendly car. Carbon dioxide neutral fuels will be cheap -
they are exempt from both carbon dioxide tax and energy tax for a five-year period. Environmental cars will
be exempted from the Stockholm Trial with environmental charges and will have access to free parking in
some municipalities. Cars that are classified as a taxable benefit and run on environmentally friendly fuel will
continue to enjoy tax relief. The Government will give priority to purchasing environmentally friendly cars.
Sweden is also working actively in the EU for us to permit a higher blend of ethanol in petrol, a measure which
would quickly have a great positive effect. The readjustment of the transport sector requires both international
and national efforts with broad contributions by researchers, industry, users and the state.

. Research and new knowledge for a renewable society. Resources for energy research will now be increased
substantially - the level advised in the budget amounts to some SEK 815 million per year. Next year the
Government will therefore present a new Bill in this area. The purpose of these measures is to achieve more
renewable energy production and more efficient energy use. Special research projects in areas such as energy
use in built environments, biofuels, gasification of biomass, and commercialisation and risk capital provision
may also be called for.

. Continued investment in district heating. District heating has increased radically in Sweden in recent years and
the Government wants this trend to continue. The Government will thus offer clear financial incentives where
biofuels and environmentally friendly heating will be economically advantageous. New money for climate
investment programmes in all the municipalities in the country will also be significant in reducing dependence on
fossil fuels.

Along with high oil prices and climate change, an increasing number of countries are recognising the problem
with fossil fuels. Sweden has the chance to be an international model and a successful actor in export markets
for alternative solutions. But this requires conscious investments - not a reactionary policy that obstructs the
transition to alternative energy sources and investments in the environment of the future. Breaking dependence
on oil brings many opportunities for strengthened competitiveness, technological development and progress.
The aim is to break dependence on fossil fuels by 2020. By then no home will need oil for heating. By then no
motorist will be obliged to use petrol as the sole option available. By then there will always be better
alternatives to oil.

Mona Sahlin
Minister for Sustainable Development




Now if only The US could catch up. The JZA might be interested in one of their diesel Saabs.

-The DZA
 
Saturday, February 11, 2006
  Mo Preachin'
With all my ranting and raving about the impending energy crisis and the kickass potential of biofuels, you might be wondering why the current alternative energy industry isn't climbing ahead of fossil fuels by leaps and bounds. President Bush announced major Federal investment in ethanol and photovoltaics, namely, in his State of The Union speech. You also might be asking why commercial biodiesel and ethanol are so freaking expensive when compared to conventional fuels.

I'll tell you why.

Along with Big Oil and Big Fast Food, there is also a Big Agriculture. The two biggest commercial producers of biodiesel and ethanol are Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). Ethanol is easy for them to make, as it takes old corn and sugarcane stalks and brews it directly into a fuel. Biodiesel is made from virgin soybeans, and after the oil is extracted from them using petroleum based solvents, the meal is sold as animal feed to third world countries. ADM has an abundance of soybeans and corn, and they have little concern of expanding their alternative energy industry, so the price of biodiesel is kept high.
 
  Hemp as an energy solution
This was taken from the Journey to Forever Website. If you haven't visited it yet, do it. Do it now!

Invisible farming

Industrial hemp is a high-yielding multi-purpose "fuel and fibre" crop that has great potential for biomass energy. Hemp yields four times as much biomass as a forest can yield. An acre of hemp yields 10 tons of biomass in four months, enough to make 1,000 gallons of methanol fuel, with about 300 lb of oil from the seed (about the same as soy).

Hemp is widely grown in many countries but not in the US, where it's illegal because of a stubborn confusion with the plant's cousin, the drug marijuana. Industrial hemp is the same species of plant but without the drug. In fact hemp contains another chemical (CBD) that actually blocks marijuana's drug effect -- hemp is not only not marijuana, it could be called "anti-marijuana".

The US previously acknowledged the distinction and hemp was widely grown there -- the US State Department still acknowledges the difference internationally. But domestically, growing hemp is banned in the US. In Europe it's subsidised, like oilseed rape and flax. Canada, Russia, Japan, China and dozens of other countries grow large quantities of hemp, while Americans pay $25 million a year for imported hemp fibre and oil products.

Meanwhile an estimated 32 million law-breaking Americans smoke marijuana, probably a lot more than that, and that's not counting Canada. Most of the drug is locally produced, not imported. We've no idea what acreage that represents, but it's obviously a major agricultural industry, and it's invisible. How can you hide a crop for 32 million people? It's produced with no extension agencies, no subsidies, no bureaucrats, no chemical corporations, no marketing boards, no Big Agriculture, and with no apparent use of farming land.

How would the Americans who claim there's not enough land to grow biofuels explain that? Could enough bio-energy for 32 million people also be produced that way, from harmless industrial hemp, tucked away out of view off the agricultural map and nobody even notices it?

Of course it's clandestine and hidden because the US marijuana growers are under pressure from the law, but on the other hand the whole human race is under much more pressure than that to find sustainable answers to its energy problems, and so far we're not being very imaginative about it.

However the illegal drug growers might be managing it, it's obvious that people estimating how much land it will take to grow enough biofuels aren't asking the right sorts of questions.

Hemp Biomass for Energy
http://www.fuelandfiber.com/Hemp4NRG/Hemp4NRG.htm
 
Thursday, February 02, 2006
  President Bush May Be Starting To See The Light
This was taken from the Journey To Forever Biofuels Mailing list:

" Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is
often imported from unstable parts of the world" Yes, GWB actually
said that on national TV.

So I admit I didn't watch the speech last night (since watching him
talk makes me want to puke). But I read the text today and found it
very interesting.... and confusing given who said it. Some very
specific energy statements, that I never expected to hear from him.
PV research almost doubles. Cellulostic ethanol gets a big boost.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/01/20060131-6.html
Also
http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2006/35.html I can't believe
that Jeff was invited to meet with the president -- this little
student competition may actually be having some small effect on
national energy policy? Apparently Bodman loves the Solar Decathlon
competition, which might just have something to do with the proposed
funding boost PV research is getting?

The relevant exerpt from the speech:
"Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we
have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often
imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this
addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10
billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable alternative
energy sources -- and we are on the threshold of incredible advances.

So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative -- a 22-percent
increase in clean-energy research -- at the Department of Energy, to
push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our
homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired
plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe
nuclear energy. (Applause.)

We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase
our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and in
pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We'll also fund additional
research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from
corn, but from wood chips and stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to
make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six
years. (Applause.)

Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach
another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil
imports from the Middle East by 2025. (Applause.) By applying the
talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically
improve our environment, move beyond a petroleum-based economy, and
make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past.
 
Monday, January 23, 2006
  The DZA Be Preachin'
If anyone does a google search for "Biodiesel", they're probably going to stumble across The National Biodiesel Board website, The Journey To Forever website, and a number of other websites dedicated to homebrewing biodiesel. These sites are all fine and good, but I for one am not going to be making biodiesel in a meth-lab fashion in my garage, for the sole reason of rebelling against establishment or any other leftist hippy reason. I want to persue the manufacture of biodiesel and alternative fuels mostly for economic gain. When I say "economic gain", I mean that not only on a personal level, but on a national level as well. Biodiesel is all well and good for the environment. It's much cleaner than petroleum based diesel, it's biodegradable, and manufacturing it is also more efficient than petrodiesel when done correctly. The biggest selling point, which might be realized sometime in the near future, is it's ability to escalate the United States economy to a level maybe never before seen. Biodiesel keeps American dollars in America. The entire United States economy can run on biodiesel with no retooling whatsoever. Existing infrastructure will not need to be changed to run on this fuel. New jobs will be created and an oil embargo or boycott will have little to no effect on our economy. Biodiesel also has the advantage of being a very distributed industry. For example, if a biodiesel facility in the midwest has an accident or is rendered disabled, energy prices will not be affected in any other region of production. There will be no more price gouging or nationwide energy shortages from a regional event. In european countries, the biodiesel movement is already engaged on a federal level. In France, at least 5 percent biodiesel blends are mandated at fuel pumps. In the Black Forest region of Germany, B100 is mandated in all road and off road applications. All diesel vehicles manufactured in europe, like Fiats, Renaults, Citroens, BMWs, Mercedes Benzes, and Volkswagens are all warrentied to run on at least B20, some even up to B100. Interestingly enough, the same models those manufacturers sell in the US are usually not warrantied, and if they are, it's only up to B20 at the most. There's one main reason that Biodiesel is mainstream in the rest of the world and it's not in the US.


Price.


Biodiesel in Europe is usually cheaper at the pumps than petrodiesel. If that was the case in the US, we would be sucking down B100 as fast as we could produce it. The current manufacturing practice in this industry is to take virgin vegetable oil, usually soybean, and process it from there. There are around 3 billion gallons of waste vegetable oil and animal fats just thrown out every year in the US. That's a whole lotta biodiesel to be made. There is no measurable difference between biodiesel produced from virgin oil and biodiesel produced from waste oil. The only difference between the two products is price. It costs much less to produce it from waste fats than to grow an entire crop, and the use it exclusively for fuel. Like I said before, the next year is going to be a very interesting one. If biodiesel can be made, distributed, and sold for less than petroleum diesel, even if the difference is a few pennies, people will buy it. Americans may be somewhate frightened of sacrificing their giant SUV's for a tiny diesel econobox that gets 80 MPG. I don't understand their fears. I think a Duramax in a Denali would be badass. I have personally driven a BMW X5 with a 3 liter Diesel engine. I noticed no difference between that and a gas version, other than the stump-pulling amounts of torque.

America will eventually catch on. It will not be a gradual change. Something catostrophic will happen and everyone will be forced to catch up to the rest of the world. Lives will be lost and billions, maybe even trillions of dollars will be spent trying to keep a grip on the lifestyle that has been slowly slipping away for the past few decades, but eventually, a change will come.

There's a revolution calling.
 
Sunday, January 22, 2006
  So True
 
Friday, January 20, 2006
  When The Shit Hits The Fan
With this upcoming Iranian situation, the decreasing oil production in US-occupied Iraq, as well as all our other compounding problems in the Middle East, the World is going to become a very interesting place in the next year. If Iran decides to cut off its oil exports to the US, I would not be surprised if a barrel of oil was trading at around 100 dollars or more on the market and a gallon of gasoline costs somewhere near 5-7 dollars, maybe more. Even if we decided to tap into the Alaskan Tundra for oil, it would still be expensive. Why? Oil from the Middle is cheap. That's why we're buying it from them instead of drilling it ourselves. It's cheaper to buy a barrel of oil from Iraq or Iran or Saudi Arabia than it is to find it, drill it, pump it out, and refine it in the United States. Alaska is not the only place where the US has oil reserves. I have spoken to many old commercial divers who have worked in the offshore oil business. Aside from the Gulf Of Mexico, there are about 300 drilled and capped wells off the Eastern Seaboard, from the south of Florida to the tip of Maine. This is also not a cheap alternative. It costs even more to produce oil and natural gas from offshore wells than it does to produce it from land based ones. Our energy may even be more expensive than Western Europe, where a gallon of gasoline costs around 5 dollars a gallon. Western Europe's prices, however will be less affected by the Iranian Oil Bourse than ours, mostly due to the fact that they have a large quantity of offshore wells in the North Sea that they do not export from, for the most part. Europe's oil stays in Europe, and they don't really have to import any large percentage from the Middle East. It may be more expensive, but they are much less dependent on foreign oil than we are. In this current situation, Iran has our economy and our energy gorging way of life by the balls, even though we as a country will never realize it or admit it.


What do I plan on doing when energy prices are higher than me on a Saturday night? I currently own 2 Mercedes Benz 300Ds, diesel powered cars. I am also looking at buying another Diesel F-350, much newer and more efficient than the last one. I plan on buying a SVO conversion kit, like the one from Frybrid, to convert these vehicles to run efficiently on SVO/WVO. While the rest of the country is in the middle of an energy crisis, I'll be cruising around in a Mercedes or an F350 paying pennies for my fuel. Maybe if I really feel like being an asshole, I'll lean out the window and announce to the world that I saw it coming while lines form at the gas stations.
 
  The Ominous Black Cloud Is Getting Closer...
Here's another article I came across while cruising through the World Wide Wizzeb.



The Proposed Iranian Oil Bourse

Abstract: the proposed Iranian Oil Bourse will accelerate the fall of the American Empire.

By Krassimir Petrov, Ph.D.

I. Economics of Empires

01/19/06 "Gold Eagle" -- -- A nation-state taxes its own citizens, while an empire taxes other nation-states. The history of empires, from Greek and Roman, to Ottoman and British, teaches that the economic foundation of every single empire is the taxation of other nations. The imperial ability to tax has always rested on a better and stronger economy, and as a consequence, a better and stronger military. One part of the subject taxes went to improve the living standards of the empire; the other part went to strengthen the military dominance necessary to enforce the collection of those taxes.

Historically, taxing the subject state has been in various forms-usually gold and silver, where those were considered money, but also slaves, soldiers, crops, cattle, or other agricultural and natural resources, whatever economic goods the empire demanded and the subject-state could deliver. Historically, imperial taxation has always been direct: the subject state handed over the economic goods directly to the empire.

For the first time in history, in the twentieth century, America was able to tax the world indirectly, through inflation. It did not enforce the direct payment of taxes like all of its predecessor empires did, but distributed instead its own fiat currency, the U.S. Dollar, to other nations in exchange for goods with the intended consequence of inflating and devaluing those dollars and paying back later each dollar with less economic goods-the difference capturing the U.S. imperial tax. Here is how this happened.

Early in the 20th century, the U.S. economy began to dominate the world economy. The U.S. dollar was tied to gold, so that the value of the dollar neither increased, nor decreased, but remained the same amount of gold. The Great Depression, with its preceding inflation from 1921 to 1929 and its subsequent ballooning government deficits, had substantially increased the amount of currency in circulation, and thus rendered the backing of U.S. dollars by gold impossible. This led Roosevelt to decouple the dollar from gold in 1932. Up to this point, the U.S. may have well dominated the world economy, but from an economic point of view, it was not an empire. The fixed value of the dollar did not allow the Americans to extract economic benefits from other countries by supplying them with dollars convertible to gold.

Economically, the American Empire was born with Bretton Woods in 1945. The U.S. dollar was not fully convertible to gold, but was made convertible to gold only to foreign governments. This established the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. It was possible, because during WWII, the United States had supplied its allies with provisions, demanding gold as payment, thus accumulating significant portion of the world's gold. An Empire would not have been possible if, following the Bretton Woods arrangement, the dollar supply was kept limited and within the availability of gold, so as to fully exchange back dollars for gold. However, the guns-and-butter policy of the 1960's was an imperial one: the dollar supply was relentlessly increased to finance Vietnam and LBJ's Great Society. Most of those dollars were handed over to foreigners in exchange for economic goods, without the prospect of buying them back at the same value. The increase in dollar holdings of foreigners via persistent U.S. trade deficits was tantamount to a tax-the classical inflation tax that a country imposes on its own citizens, this time around an inflation tax that U.S. imposed on rest of the world.

When in 1970-1971 foreigners demanded payment for their dollars in gold, The U.S. Government defaulted on its payment on August 15, 1971. While the popular spin told the story of "severing the link between the dollar and gold", in reality the denial to pay back in gold was an act of bankruptcy by the U.S. Government. Essentially, the U.S. declared itself an Empire. It had extracted an enormous amount of economic goods from the rest of the world, with no intention or ability to return those goods, and the world was powerless to respond- the world was taxed and it could not do anything about it.

From that point on, to sustain the American Empire and to continue to tax the rest of the world, the United States had to force the world to continue to accept ever-depreciating dollars in exchange for economic goods and to have the world hold more and more of those depreciating dollars. It had to give the world an economic reason to hold them, and that reason was oil.

In 1971, as it became clearer and clearer that the U.S Government would not be able to buy back its dollars in gold, it made in 1972-73 an iron-clad arrangement with Saudi Arabia to support the power of the House of Saud in exchange for accepting only U.S. dollars for its oil. The rest of OPEC was to follow suit and also accept only dollars. Because the world had to buy oil from the Arab oil countries, it had the reason to hold dollars as payment for oil. Because the world needed ever increasing quantities of oil at ever increasing oil prices, the world's demand for dollars could only increase. Even though dollars could no longer be exchanged for gold, they were now exchangeable for oil.

The economic essence of this arrangement was that the dollar was now backed by oil. As long as that was the case, the world had to accumulate increasing amounts of dollars, because they needed those dollars to buy oil. As long as the dollar was the only acceptable payment for oil, its dominance in the world was assured, and the American Empire could continue to tax the rest of the world. If, for any reason, the dollar lost its oil backing, the American Empire would cease to exist. Thus, Imperial survival dictated that oil be sold only for dollars. It also dictated that oil reserves were spread around various sovereign states that weren't strong enough, politically or militarily, to demand payment for oil in something else. If someone demanded a different payment, he had to be convinced, either by political pressure or military means, to change his mind.

The man that actually did demand Euro for his oil was Saddam Hussein in 2000. At first, his demand was met with ridicule, later with neglect, but as it became clearer that he meant business, political pressure was exerted to change his mind. When other countries, like Iran, wanted payment in other currencies, most notably Euro and Yen, the danger to the dollar was clear and present, and a punitive action was in order. Bush's Shock-and-Awe in Iraq was not about Saddam's nuclear capabilities, about defending human rights, about spreading democracy, or even about seizing oil fields; it was about defending the dollar, ergo the American Empire. It was about setting an example that anyone who demanded payment in currencies other than U.S. Dollars would be likewise punished.

Many have criticized Bush for staging the war in Iraq in order to seize Iraqi oil fields. However, those critics can't explain why Bush would want to seize those fields-he could simply print dollars for nothing and use them to get all the oil in the world that he needs. He must have had some other reason to invade Iraq.

History teaches that an empire should go to war for one of two reasons: (1) to defend itself or (2) benefit from war; if not, as Paul Kennedy illustrates in his magisterial The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, a military overstretch will drain its economic resources and precipitate its collapse. Economically speaking, in order for an empire to initiate and conduct a war, its benefits must outweigh its military and social costs. Benefits from Iraqi oil fields are hardly worth the long-term, multi-year military cost. Instead, Bush must have gone into Iraq to defend his Empire. Indeed, this is the case: two months after the United States invaded Iraq, the Oil for Food Program was terminated, the Iraqi Euro accounts were switched back to dollars, and oil was sold once again only for U.S. dollars. No longer could the world buy oil from Iraq with Euro. Global dollar supremacy was once again restored. Bush descended victoriously from a fighter jet and declared the mission accomplished-he had successfully defended the U.S. dollar, and thus the American Empire.

II. Iranian Oil Bourse

The Iranian government has finally developed the ultimate "nuclear" weapon that can swiftly destroy the financial system underpinning the American Empire. That weapon is the Iranian Oil Bourse slated to open in March 2006. It will be based on a euro-oil-trading mechanism that naturally implies payment for oil in Euro. In economic terms, this represents a much greater threat to the hegemony of the dollar than Saddam's, because it will allow anyone willing either to buy or to sell oil for Euro to transact on the exchange, thus circumventing the U.S. dollar altogether. If so, then it is likely that almost everyone will eagerly adopt this euro oil system:

The Europeans will not have to buy and hold dollars in order to secure their payment for oil, but would instead pay with their own currencies. The adoption of the euro for oil transactions will provide the European currency with a reserve status that will benefit the European at the expense of the Americans.
The Chinese and the Japanese will be especially eager to adopt the new exchange, because it will allow them to drastically lower their enormous dollar reserves and diversify with Euros, thus protecting themselves against the depreciation of the dollar. One portion of their dollars they will still want to hold onto; a second portion of their dollar holdings they may decide to dump outright; a third portion of their dollars they will decide to use up for future payments without replenishing those dollar holdings, but building up instead their euro reserves.
The Russians have inherent economic interest in adopting the Euro - the bulk of their trade is with European countries, with oil-exporting countries, with China, and with Japan. Adoption of the Euro will immediately take care of the first two blocs, and will over time facilitate trade with China and Japan. Also, the Russians seemingly detest holding depreciating dollars, for they have recently found a new religion with gold. Russians have also revived their nationalism, and if embracing the Euro will stab the Americans, they will gladly do it and smugly watch the Americans bleed.
The Arab oil-exporting countries will eagerly adopt the Euro as a means of diversifying against rising mountains of depreciating dollars. Just like the Russians, their trade is mostly with European countries, and therefore will prefer the European currency both for its stability and for avoiding currency risk, not to mention their jihad against the Infidel Enemy.
Only the British will find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They have had a strategic partnership with the U.S. forever, but have also had their natural pull from Europe. So far, they have had many reasons to stick with the winner. However, when they see their century-old partner falling, will they firmly stand behind him or will they deliver the coup de grace? Still, we should not forget that currently the two leading oil exchanges are the New York's NYMEX and the London's International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), even though both of them are effectively owned by the Americans. It seems more likely that the British will have to go down with the sinking ship, for otherwise they will be shooting themselves in the foot by hurting their own London IPE interests. It is here noteworthy that for all the rhetoric about the reasons for the surviving British Pound, the British most likely did not adopt the Euro namely because the Americans must have pressured them not to: otherwise the London IPE would have had to switch to Euros, thus mortally wounding the dollar and their strategic partner.

At any rate, no matter what the British decide, should the Iranian Oil Bourse accelerate, the interests that matter-those of Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, Russians, and Arabs-will eagerly adopt the Euro, thus sealing the fate of the dollar. Americans cannot allow this to happen, and if necessary, will use a vast array of strategies to halt or hobble the operation's exchange:

Sabotaging the Exchange-this could be a computer virus, network, communications, or server attack, various server security breaches, or a 9-11-type attack on main and backup facilities.
Coup d'état-this is by far the best long-term strategy available to the Americans.
Negotiating Acceptable Terms & Limitations-this is another excellent solution to the Americans. Of course, a government coup is clearly the preferred strategy, for it will ensure that the exchange does not operate at all and does not threaten American interests. However, if an attempted sabotage or coup d'etat fails, then negotiation is clearly the second-best available option.
Joint U.N. War Resolution-this will be, no doubt, hard to secure given the interests of all other member-states of the Security Council. Feverish rhetoric about Iranians developing nuclear weapons undoubtedly serves to prepare this course of action.
Unilateral Nuclear Strike-this is a terrible strategic choice for all the reasons associated with the next strategy, the Unilateral Total War. The Americans will likely use Israel to do their dirty nuclear job.
Unilateral Total War-this is obviously the worst strategic choice. First, the U.S. military resources have been already depleted with two wars. Secondly, the Americans will further alienate other powerful nations. Third, major dollar-holding countries may decide to quietly retaliate by dumping their own mountains of dollars, thus preventing the U.S. from further financing its militant ambitions. Finally, Iran has strategic alliances with other powerful nations that may trigger their involvement in war; Iran reputedly has such alliance with China, India, and Russia, known as the Shanghai Cooperative Group, a.k.a. Shanghai Coop and a separate pact with Syria.

Whatever the strategic choice, from a purely economic point of view, should the Iranian Oil Bourse gain momentum, it will be eagerly embraced by major economic powers and will precipitate the demise of the dollar. The collapsing dollar will dramatically accelerate U.S. inflation and will pressure upward U.S. long-term interest rates. At this point, the Fed will find itself between Scylla and Charybdis-between deflation and hyperinflation-it will be forced fast either to take its "classical medicine" by deflating, whereby it raises interest rates, thus inducing a major economic depression, a collapse in real estate, and an implosion in bond, stock, and derivative markets, with a total financial collapse, or alternatively, to take the Weimar way out by inflating, whereby it pegs the long-bond yield, raises the Helicopters and drowns the financial system in liquidity, bailing out numerous LTCMs and hyperinflating the economy.

The Austrian theory of money, credit, and business cycles teaches us that there is no in-between Scylla and Charybdis. Sooner or later, the monetary system must swing one way or the other, forcing the Fed to make its choice. No doubt, Commander-in-Chief Ben Bernanke, a renowned scholar of the Great Depression and an adept Black Hawk pilot, will choose inflation. Helicopter Ben, oblivious to Rothbard's America's Great Depression, has nonetheless mastered the lessons of the Great Depression and the annihilating power of deflations. The Maestro has taught him the panacea of every single financial problem-to inflate, come hell or high water. He has even taught the Japanese his own ingenious unconventional ways to battle the deflationary liquidity trap. Like his mentor, he has dreamed of battling a Kondratieff Winter. To avoid deflation, he will resort to the printing presses; he will recall all helicopters from the 800 overseas U.S. military bases; and, if necessary, he will monetize everything in sight. His ultimate accomplishment will be the hyperinflationary destruction of the American currency and from its ashes will rise the next reserve currency of the world-that barbarous relic called gold.

About the Author: Krassimir Petrov (Krassimir_Petrov@hotmail.com) has received his Ph. D. in economics from the Ohio State University and currently teaches Macroeconomics, International Finance, and Econometrics at the American University in Bulgaria. He is looking for a career in Dubai or the U. A. E.
 
  Impending Doom
Here's an article that I recieved through my Journey To Forever Biofuel Mailing List.


Petrodollar Warfare: Dollars, Euros and the Upcoming Iranian Oil Bourse

"This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran
is simply ridiculous...Having said that, all options are on the
table."
-- President George W. Bush, February 2005

By William R. Clark

08/08/05 "MM" -- -- Contemporary warfare has traditionally involved
underlying conflicts regarding economics and resources. Today these
intertwined conflicts also involve international currencies, and thus
increased complexity. Current geopolitical tensions between the
United States and Iran extend beyond the publicly stated concerns
regarding Iran's nuclear intentions, and likely include a proposed
Iranian "petroeuro" system for oil trade. Similar to the Iraq war,
military operations against Iran relate to the macroeconomics of
'petrodollar recycling' and the unpublicized but real challenge to
U.S. dollar supremacy from the euro as an alternative oil transaction
currency.

It is now obvious the invasion of Iraq had less to do with any threat
from Saddam's long-gone WMD program and certainly less to do to do
with fighting International terrorism than it has to do with gaining
strategic control over Iraq's hydrocarbon reserves and in doing so
maintain the U.S. dollar as the monopoly currency for the critical
international oil market. Throughout 2004 information provided by
former administration insiders revealed the Bush/Cheney
administration entered into office with the intention of toppling
Saddam.[1][2] Candidly stated, 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' was a war
designed to install a pro-U.S. government in Iraq, establish multiple
U.S military bases before the onset of global Peak Oil, and to
reconvert Iraq back to petrodollars while hoping to thwart further
OPEC momentum towards the euro as an alternative oil transaction
currency ( i.e. "petroeuro").[3] However, subsequent geopolitical
events have exposed neoconservative strategy as fundamentally flawed,
with Iran moving towards a petroeuro system for international oil
trades, while Russia evaluates this option with the European Union.

In 2003 the global community witnessed a combination of petrodollar
warfare and oil depletion warfare. The majority of the world's
governments - especially the E.U., Russia and China - were not amused
- and neither are the U.S. soldiers who are currently stationed
inside a hostile Iraq. In 2002 I wrote an award-winning online essay
that asserted Saddam Hussein sealed his fate when he announced on
September 2000 that Iraq was no longer going to accept dollars for
oil being sold under the UN's Oil-for-Food program, and decided to
switch to the euro as Iraq's oil export currency.[4] Indeed, my
original pre-war hypothesis was validated in a Financial Times
article dated June 5, 2003, which confirmed Iraqi oil sales returning
to the international markets were once again denominated in U.S.
dollars - not euros.

The tender, for which bids are due by June 10, switches the
transaction back to dollars -- the international currency of oil
sales - despite the greenback's recent fall in value. Saddam Hussein
in 2000 insisted Iraq's oil be sold for euros, a political move, but
one that improved Iraq's recent earnings thanks to the rise in the
value of the euro against the dollar. [5]

The Bush administration implemented this currency transition despite
the adverse impact on profits from Iraqi's export oil sales.[6] (In
mid-2003 the euro was valued approx. 13% higher than the dollar, and
thus significantly impacted the ability of future oil proceeds to
rebuild Iraq's infrastructure). Not surprisingly, this detail has
never been mentioned in the five U.S. major media conglomerates who
control 90% of information flow in the U.S., but confirmation of this
vital fact provides insight into one of the crucial - yet overlooked
- rationales for 2003 the Iraq war.

Concerning Iran, recent articles have revealed active Pentagon
planning for operations against its suspected nuclear facilities.
While the publicly stated reasons for any such overt action will be
premised as a consequence of Iran's nuclear ambitions, there are
again unspoken macroeconomic drivers underlying the second stage of
petrodollar warfare - Iran's upcoming oil bourse. (The word bourse
refers to a stock exchange for securities trading, and is derived
from the French stock exchange in Paris, the Federation
Internationale des Bourses de Valeurs.)

In essence, Iran is about to commit a far greater "offense" than
Saddam Hussein's conversion to the euro for Iraq's oil exports in the
fall of 2000. Beginning in March 2006, the Tehran government has
plans to begin competing with New York's NYMEX and London's IPE with
respect to international oil trades - using a euro-based
international oil-trading mechanism.[7] The proposed Iranian oil
bourse signifies that without some sort of US intervention, the euro
is going to establish a firm foothold in the international oil trade.
Given U.S. debt levels and the stated neoconservative project of U.S.
global domination, Tehran's objective constitutes an obvious
encroachment on dollar supremacy in the crucial international oil
market.

From the autumn of 2004 through August 2005, numerous leaks by
concerned Pentagon employees have revealed that the neoconservatives
in Washington are quietly - but actively - planning for a possible
attack against Iran. In September 2004 Newsweek reported:

Deep in the Pentagon, admirals and generals are updating plans for
possible U.S. military action in Syria and Iran. The Defense
Department unit responsible for military planning for the two
troublesome countries is "busier than ever," an administration
official says. Some Bush advisers characterize the work as merely an
effort to revise routine plans the Pentagon maintains for all
contingencies in light of the Iraq war. More skittish bureaucrats say
the updates are accompanied by a revived campaign by administration
conservatives and neocons for more hard-line U.S. policies toward the
countries?'

?administration hawks are pinning their hopes on regime change in
Tehran - by covert means, preferably, but by force of arms if
necessary. Papers on the idea have circulated inside the
administration, mostly labeled "draft" or "working draft" to evade
congressional subpoena powers and the Freedom of Information Act.
Informed sources say the memos echo the administration's abortive
Iraq strategy: oust the existing regime, swiftly install a pro-U.S.
government in its place (extracting the new regime's promise to
renounce any nuclear ambitions) and get out. This daredevil scheme
horrifies U.S. military leaders, and there's no evidence that it has
won any backers at the cabinet level. [8]

Indeed, there are good reasons for U.S. military commanders to be
'horrified' at the prospects of attacking Iran. In the December 2004
issue of the Atlantic Monthly, James Fallows reported that numerous
high-level war-gaming sessions had recently been completed by Sam
Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel who has run war games at the
National War College for the past two decades.[9] Col. Gardiner
summarized the outcome of these war games with this statement, "After
all this effort, I am left with two simple sentences for
policymakers: You have no military solution for the issues of Iran.
And you have to make diplomacy work." Despite Col. Gardiner's
warnings, yet another story appeared in early 2005 that reiterated
this administration's intentions towards Iran. Investigative reporter
Seymour Hersh's article in The New Yorker included interviews with
various high-level U.S. intelligence sources. Hersh wrote:

In my interviews [with former high-level intelligence officials], I
was repeatedly told that the next strategic target was Iran. Everyone
is saying, 'You can't be serious about targeting Iran. Look at Iraq,'
the former [CIA] intelligence official told me. But the [Bush
administration officials] say, 'We've got some lessons learned - not
militarily, but how we did it politically. We're not going to rely on
agency pissants.' No loose ends, and that's why the C.I.A. is out of
there. [10]

The most recent, and by far the most troubling, was an article in The
American Conservative by intelligence analyst Philip Giraldi. His
article, "In Case of Emergency, Nuke Iran," suggested the
resurrection of active U.S. military planning against Iran - but with
the shocking disclosure that in the event of another 9/11-type
terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Vice President Dick Cheney's office
wants the Pentagon to be prepared to launch a potential tactical
nuclear attack on Iran - even if the Iranian government was not
involved with any such terrorist attack against the U.S.:

The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick
Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command
(STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in
response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States.
The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both
conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more
than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected
nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are
hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by
conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of
Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved
in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several
senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly
appalled at the implications of what they are doing - that Iran is
being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack - but no one is
prepared to damage his career by posing any objections. [11]

Why would the Vice President instruct the U.S. military to prepare
plans for what could likely be an unprovoked nuclear attack against
Iran? Setting aside the grave moral implications for a moment, it is
remarkable to note that during the same week this "nuke Iran" article
appeared, the Washington Post reported that the most recent National
Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of Iran's nuclear program revealed that,
"Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient
for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five
years."[12] This article carefully noted this assessment was a
"consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies, [and in] contrast with
forceful public statements by the White House." The question remains,
Why would the Vice President advocate a possible tactical nuclear
attack against Iran in the event of another major terrorist attack
against the U.S. - even if Tehran was innocent of involvement?

Perhaps one of the answers relates to the same obfuscated reasons why
the U.S. launched an unprovoked invasion to topple the Iraq
government - macroeconomics and the desperate desire to maintain U.S.
economic supremacy. In essence, petrodollar hegemony is eroding,
which will ultimately force the U.S. to significantly change its
current tax, debt, trade, and energy policies, all of which are
severely unbalanced. World oil production is reportedly "flat out,"
and yet the neoconservatives are apparently willing to undertake huge
strategic and tactical risks in the Persian Gulf. Why? Quite simply -
their stated goal is U.S. global domination - at any cost.

To date, one of the more difficult technical obstacles concerning a
euro-based oil transaction trading system is the lack of a
euro-denominated oil pricing standard, or oil 'marker' as it is
referred to in the industry. The three current oil markers are U.S.
dollar denominated, which include the West Texas Intermediate crude
(WTI), Norway Brent crude, and the UAE Dubai crude. However, since
the summer of 2003 Iran has required payments in the euro currency
for its European and Asian/ACU exports - although the oil pricing
these trades was still denominated in the dollar.[13]

Therefore a potentially significant news story was reported in June
2004 announcing Iran's intentions to create of an Iranian oil bourse.
This announcement portended competition would arise between the
Iranian oil bourse and London's International Petroleum Exchange
(IPE), as well as the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). [Both the
IPE and NYMEX are owned by U.S. consortium, and operated by an
Atlanta-based corporation, IntercontinentalExchange, Inc.]

The macroeconomic implications of a successful Iranian bourse are
noteworthy. Considering that in mid-2003 Iran switched its oil
payments from E.U. and ACU customers to the euro, and thus it is
logical to assume the proposed Iranian bourse will usher in a fourth
crude oil marker - denominated in the euro currency. This event would
remove the main technical obstacle for a broad-based petroeuro system
for international oil trades. From a purely economic and monetary
perspective, a petroeuro system is a logical development given that
the European Union imports more oil from OPEC producers than does the
U.S., and the E.U. accounted for 45% of exports sold to the Middle
East. (Following the May 2004 enlargement, this percentage likely
increased).

Despite the complete absence of coverage from the five U.S. corporate
media conglomerates, these foreign news stories suggest one of the
Federal Reserve's nightmares may begin to unfold in the spring of
2006, when it appears that international buyers will have a choice of
buying a barrel of oil for $60 dollars on the NYMEX and IPE - or
purchase a barrel of oil for ?45 - ?50 euros via the Iranian Bourse.
This assumes the euro maintains its current 20-25% appreciated value
relative to the dollar - and assumes that some sort of US
"intervention" is not launched against Iran. The upcoming bourse will
introduce petrodollar versus petroeuro currency hedging, and
fundamentally new dynamics to the biggest market in the world -
global oil and gas trades. In essence, the U.S. will no longer be
able to effortlessly expand credit via U.S. Treasury bills, and the
dollar's demand/liquidity value will fall.

It is unclear at the time of writing if this project will be
successful, or could it prompt overt or covert U.S. interventions -
thereby signaling the second phase of petrodollar warfare in the
Middle East. Regardless of the potential U.S. response to an Iranian
petroeuro system, the emergence of an oil exchange market in the
Middle East is not entirely surprising given the domestic peaking and
decline of oil exports in the U.S. and U.K, in comparison to the
remaining oil reserves in Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. What we are
witnessing is a battle for oil currency supremacy. If Iran's oil
bourse becomes a successful alternative for international oil trades,
it would challenge the hegemony currently enjoyed by the financial
centers in both London (IPE) and New York (NYMEX), a factor not
overlooked in the following (UK) Guardian article:

Iran is to launch an oil trading market for Middle East and Opec
producers that could threaten the supremacy of London's International
Petroleum Exchange.

?Some industry experts have warned the Iranians and other OPEC
producers that western exchanges are controlled by big financial and
oil corporations, which have a vested interest in market volatility.
[emphasis added]

The IPE, bought in 2001 by a consortium that includes BP, Goldman
Sachs and Morgan Stanley, was unwilling to discuss the Iranian move
yesterday. "We would not have any comment to make on it at this
stage," said an IPE spokeswoman. [14]

During an important speech in April 2002, Mr. Javad Yarjani, an OPEC
executive, described three pivotal events that would facilitate an
OPEC transition to euros.[15] He stated this would be based on (1) if
and when Norway's Brent crude is re-dominated in euros, (2) if and
when the U.K. adopts the euro, and (3) whether or not the euro gains
parity valuation relative to the dollar, and the EU's proposed
expansion plans were successful. Notably, both of the later two
criteria have transpired: the euro's valuation has been above the
dollar since late 2002, and the euro-based E.U. enlarged in May 2004
from 12 to 22 countries. Despite recent "no" votes by French and
Dutch voters regarding a common E.U. Constitution, from a
macroeconomic perspective, these domestic disagreements do no reduce
the euro currency's trajectory in the global financial markets - and
from Russia and OPEC's perspective - do not adversely impact momentum
towards a petroeuro. In the meantime, the U.K. remains uncomfortably
juxtaposed between the financial interests of the U.S. banking nexus
(New York/Washington) and the E.U. financial centers
(Paris/Frankfurt).

The most recent news reports indicate the oil bourse will start
trading on March 20, 2006, coinciding with the Iranian New Year.[16]
The implementation of the proposed Iranian oil Bourse - if successful
in utilizing the euro as its oil transaction currency standard -
essentially negates the previous two criteria as described by Mr.
Yarjani regarding the solidification of a petroeuro system for
international oil trades. It should also be noted that throughout
2003-2004 both Russia and China significantly increased their central
bank holdings of the euro, which appears to be a coordinated move to
facilitate the anticipated ascendance of the euro as a second World
Reserve Currency. [17] [18] China's announcement in July 2005 that is
was re-valuing the yuan/RNB was not nearly as important as its
decision to divorce itself form a U.S. dollar peg by moving towards a
"basket of currencies" - likely to include the yen, euro, and
dollar.[19] Additionally, the Chinese re-valuation immediately
lowered their monthly imported "oil bill" by 2%, given that oil
trades are still priced in dollars, but it is unclear how much longer
this monopoly arrangement will last.

Furthermore, the geopolitical stakes for the Bush administration were
raised dramatically on October 28, 2004, when Iran and China signed a
huge oil and gas trade agreement (valued between $70 - $100 billion
dollars.) [20] It should also be noted that China currently receives
13% of its oil imports from Iran. In the aftermath of the Iraq
invasion, the U.S.-administered Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)
nullified previous oil lease contracts from 1997-2002 that France,
Russia, China and other nations had established under the Saddam
regime. The nullification of these contracts worth a reported $1.1
trillion created political tensions between the U.S and the European
Union, Russia and China. The Chinese government may fear the same
fate awaits their oil investments in Iran if the U.S. were able to
attack and topple the Tehran government. Despite U.S. desires to
enforce petrodollar hegemony, the geopolitical risks of an attack on
Iran's nuclear facilities would surely create a serious crisis
between Washington and Beijing.

It is increasingly clear that a confrontation and possible war with
Iran may transpire during the second Bush term. Clearly, there are
numerous tactical risks regarding neoconservative strategy towards
Iran. First, unlike Iraq, Iran has a robust military capability.
Secondly, a repeat of any "Shock and Awe" tactics is not advisable
given that Iran has installed sophisticated anti-ship missiles on the
Island of Abu Musa, and therefore controls the critical Strait of
Hormuz - where all of the Persian Gulf bound oil tankers must
pass.[22] The immediate question for Americans? Will the
neoconservatives attempt to intervene covertly and/or overtly in Iran
during 2005 or 2006 in a desperate effort to prevent the initiation
of euro-denominated international crude oil sales? Commentators in
India are quite correct in their assessment that a U.S. intervention
in Iran is likely to prove disastrous for the United States, making
matters much worse regarding international terrorism, not to the
mention potential effects on the U.S. economy.

?If it [ U.S.] intervenes again, it is absolutely certain it will not
be able to improve the situation?There is a better way, as the
constructive engagement of Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has
shown...Iran is obviously a more complex case than Libya, because
power resides in the clergy, and Iran has not been entirely
transparent about its nuclear programme, but the sensible way is to
take it gently, and nudge it to moderation. Regime change will only
worsen global Islamist terror, and in any case, Saudi Arabia is a
fitter case for democratic intervention, if at all. [21]

A successful Iranian bourse will solidify the petroeuro as an
alternative oil transaction currency, and thereby end the
petrodollar's hegemonic status as the monopoly oil currency.
Therefore, a graduated approach is needed to avoid precipitous U.S.
economic dislocations. Multilateral compromise with the EU and OPEC
regarding oil currency is certainly preferable to an 'Operation
Iranian Freedom,' or perhaps another CIA-backed coup such as
operation "Ajax" from 1953. Despite the impressive power of the U.S.
military, and the ability of our intelligence agencies to facilitate
'interventions,' it would be perilous and possibly ruinous for the
U.S. to intervene in Iran given the dire situation in Iraq. The
Monterey Institute of International Studies warned of the possible
consequences of a preemptive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities:

An attack on Iranian nuclear facilities?could have various adverse
effects on U.S. interests in the Middle East and the world. Most
important, in the absence of evidence of an Iranian illegal nuclear
program, an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities by the U.S. or Israel
would be likely to strengthen Iran's international stature and reduce
the threat of international sanctions against Iran. [23]

Synopsis:

It is not yet clear if a U.S. military expedition will occur in a
desperate attempt to maintain petrodollar supremacy. Regardless of
the recent National Intelligence Estimate that down-played Iran's
potential nuclear weapons program, it appears increasingly likely the
Bush administration may use the specter of nuclear weapon
proliferation as a pretext for an intervention, similar to the fears
invoked in the previous WMD campaign regarding Iraq. If recent
stories are correct regarding Cheney's plan to possibly use a another
9/11 terrorist attack as the pretext or casus belli for a U.S. aerial
attack against Iran, this would confirm the Bush administration is
prepared to undertake a desperate military strategy to thwart Iran's
nuclear ambitions, while simultaneously attempting to prevent the
Iranian oil Bourse from initiating a euro-based system for oil trades.

However, as members of the U.N. Security Council; China, Russia and
E.U. nations such as France and Germany would likely veto any
U.S.-sponsored U.N. Security Resolution calling the use of force
without solid proof of Iranian culpability in a major terrorist
attack. A unilateral U.S. military strike on Iran would isolate the
U.S. government in the eyes of the world community, and it is
conceivable that such an overt action could provoke other
industrialized nations to strategically abandon the dollar en masse.
Indeed, such an event would create pressure for OPEC or Russia to
move towards a petroeuro system in an effort to cripple the U.S.
economy and its global military presence. I refer to this in my book
as the "rogue nation hypothesis."

While central bankers throughout the world community would be
extremely reluctant to 'dump the dollar,' the reasons for any such
drastic reaction are likely straightforward from their perspective -
the global community is dependent on the oil and gas energy supplies
found in the Persian Gulf. Hence, industrialized nations would likely
move in tandem on the currency exchange markets in an effort to
thwart the neoconservatives from pursuing their desperate strategy of
dominating the world's largest hydrocarbon energy supply. Any such
efforts that resulted in a dollar currency crisis would be undertaken
- not to cripple the U.S. dollar and economy as punishment towards
the American people per se - but rather to thwart further unilateral
warfare and its potentially destructive effects on the critical oil
production and shipping infrastructure in the Persian Gulf. Barring a
U.S. attack, it appears imminent that Iran's euro-denominated oil
bourse will open in March 2006. Logically, the most appropriate U.S.
strategy is compromise with the E.U. and OPEC towards a dual-currency
system for international oil trades.

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be
dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.
War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and
taxes...known instruments for bringing the many under the domination
of the few?No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of
continual warfare.
-- James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

Footnotes:

[1]. Ron Suskind, The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White
House, and the Education of Paul O' Neill, Simon & Schuster
publishers (2004)

[2]. Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on
Terror, Free Press (2004)

[3]. William Clark, "Revisited - The Real Reasons for the Upcoming
War with Iraq: A Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the
Unspoken Truth," January 2003 (updated January 2004)
http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/RRiraqWar.html

[4]. Peter Philips, Censored 2004, The Top 25 Censored News Stories,
Seven Stories Press, (2003) General website for Project Censored:
http://www.projectcensored.org/
Story #19: U.S. Dollar vs. the Euro: Another Reason for the Invasion of Iraq
http://www.projectcensored.org/publications/2004/19.html

[5]. Carol Hoyos and Kevin Morrison, "Iraq returns to the
international oil market," Financial Times, June 5, 2003

[6]. Faisal Islam, "Iraq nets handsome profit by dumping dollar for
euro," [UK] Guardian, February 16, 2003
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,896344,00.html

[7]. "Oil bourse closer to reality," IranMania.com, December 28,
2004. Also see: "Iran oil bourse wins authorization," Tehran Times,
July 26, 2005

[8]. "War-Gaming the Mullahs: The U.S. weighs the price of a
pre-emptive strike," Newsweek, September 27 issue, 2004.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6039135/site/newsweek/

[9]. James Fallows, 'Will Iran be Next?,' Atlantic Monthly, December
2004, pgs. 97 - 110

[10]. Seymour Hersh, "The Coming Wars," The New Yorker, January 24th
- 31st issue, 2005, pgs. 40-47 Posted online January 17, 2005.
Online: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?050124fa_fact

[11]. Philip Giraldi, "In Case of Emergency, Nuke Iran," American
Conservative, August 1, 2005

[12]. Dafina Linzer, "Iran Is Judged 10 Years From Nuclear Bomb U.S.
Intelligence Review Contrasts With Administration Statements,"
Washington Post, August 2, 2005; Page A01

[13]. C. Shivkumar, "Iran offers oil to Asian union on easier terms,"
The Hindu Business Line (June 16, ` 2003).
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/bline/2003/06/17/stories/
2003061702380500.htm

[14]. Terry Macalister, "Iran takes on west's control of oil
trading," The [UK] Guardian, June 16, 2004
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,3604,1239644,00.html

[15]. "The Choice of Currency for the Denomination of the Oil Bill,"
Speech given by Javad Yarjani, Head of OPEC's Petroleum Market
Analysis Dept, on The International Role of the Euro (Invited by the
Spanish Minister of Economic Affairs during Spain's Presidency of the
EU) (April 14, 2002, Oviedo, Spain)
http://www.opec.org/NewsInfo/Speeches/sp2002/spAraqueSpainApr14.htm

[16]. "Iran's oil bourse expects to start by early 2006," Reuters,
October 5, 2004 http://www.iranoilgas.com

[17]. "Russia shifts to euro as foreign currency reserves soar," AFP,
June 9, 2003
http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson/7214-3.cfm

[18]. "China to diversify foreign exchange reserves," China Business
Weekly, May 8, 2004
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-05/08/content_328744.htm

[19]. Richard S. Appel, "The Repercussions from the Yuan's
Revaluation," kitco.com, July 27, 2005
http://www.kitco.com/ind/appel/jul272005.html

[20]. China, Iran sign biggest oil & gas deal,' China Daily, October
31, 2004. Online: Online:
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-10/31/content_387140.htm

[21]. "Terror & regime change: Any US invasion of Iran will have
terrible consequences," News Insight: Public Affairs Magazine, June
11, 2004
http://www.indiareacts.com/archivedebates/nat2.asp?recno=908&ctg=World

[22]. Analysis of Abu Musa Island, www.globalsecurity.org
http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iran/abu-musa.htm

[23]. Sammy Salama and Karen Ruster, "A Preemptive Attack on Iran's
Nuclear Facilities: Possible Consequences," Monterry Institute of
International Studies, August 12, 2004 (updated September 9, 2004)
http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/week/040812.htm

by courtesy & ? 2005 William R. Clark
 
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