Jason Barton

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Archive for the ‘U.S. Energy’ tag

The US and China Can Collaborate on Energy Innovation without Losing Competitive Edge, or National Sovereignty

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This article reminds me of conversations I’ve had with a friend who was an electrical engineer in Silicone Valley. He talked about meeting with colleagues, usually people who worked with other companies, even competing companies, over dinner or drinks. The conversation would often turn to a certain circuit or other piece of technology one had been working on, and they would draw models on cocktail napkins, brainstorming ways to meet their objectives.

Look at my buddy Matt Raible’s website (www.raibledesigns.net) and you will see how computer programers work together to solve their problems as they work to accomplish goals like bringing TV to our computers and the internet to our TVs.

These people are all competitors. They are also innovators, capitalists (regardless of their particular political stripe), and collaborators, and they work together to solve problems while also protecting their respective niches, and making a lot of money in the process.

It’s encouraging to see the US and China work together on clean energy innovation. Done wisely, this will work for the betterment of each country, and the rest of the world, without either one sending jobs overseas or compromising our respective national sovereignty.

Obama, Hu Jintao have clean energy opportunity

S. Julio Friedmann,Orville Schell

San Francisco Chronicle January 16, 2011 04:00 AM

Pool / Getty Images

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (left) and China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi meet at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing.

Among the many difficult issues Presidents Obama and Hu Jintao will confront when they meet this week stands one possible bright spot: collaboration on clean energy technology. It represents a critical, urgent need, an enormous market opportunity for both nations and an area of potential common interest – if we can just avoid being our own worst enemies.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

January 16th, 2011 at 8:28 pm

World,China Oil Demand To Slow;Plenty Of Capacity-IEA

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This is great news, unless it drives shortsightedness in investors and researchers who would otherwise drive innovation.

  • JULY 13, 2010, 4:54 A.M. ET

UPDATE:2011 World,China Oil Demand To Slow;Plenty Of Capacity-IEA

   By Spencer Swartz 

LONDON–The International Energy Agency said Tuesday it expects oil demand to slow next year in China and most other parts of the world, indicating that crude prices are likely to trade at subdued levels well into next year.

In its first assessment of 2011 global oil trends, the Paris-based agency forecast world oil demand to grow by 1.3 million barrels a day, or 1.6%. That increase rate is below the 2.1% rise in global crude consumption expected this year, although it is in line with 1.7% growth seen on average annually from 2000 to 2007.

Despite a higher rate of global economic growth projected next year, the IEA said the dual impact of improving energy efficiency in industrialized nations and a gradual phasing out of economic stimulus in emerging markets like China–the fastest-growing oil consumer globally–would slow the pace of oil consumption.


“Whisper it quietly, but we might, just might, be in for some market stability for a while longer,” the IEA said.


Consumers are still bent on maximizing energy efficiency in places like the U.S. and oil traders have lingering doubts about the health of Europe’s and America’s economic recovery and the knock-on effect in emerging markets.


There are some potential problems ahead. Non-OPEC oil supply is forecast to grow by just 400,000 barrels a day in 2011, half the growth rate expected this year and far below recent historical averages, due to aging oil fields.

Read the entire article here.

President Obama’s energy strategy

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Friday, April 2, 2010

President Obama’s plan to expand coastal drilling could upend a decades-old standoff on the topic – and even lead to a wholly new energy outlook. It’s a nervy strategy that’s unsettled nearly everyone with a seat at the bargaining table.

His hopscotch exploration map safeguards stretches of the nation’s coastline including California while allowing oil rigs into other blue-water spots. By itself, it’s a compromise that annoys all sides and pleases no one.

But Obama is looking ahead from this hot-button issue to a bigger one. He wants to trade more drilling rigs for votes from wavering senators on looming energy and climate change legislation. From Florida to Alaska, the drilling maps try to please the nearest senator.


Both critics and supporters of his drilling plan have underlined the central irony. In order to garner more support for green energy, reduced dependence on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas reductions, the president will allow more drilling. He’s playing a short-term game for a long-term goal.


The best-guess predictions are that the expanded areas won’t make a major difference in oil supply. This country uses 20 percent of the world’s supply but has only two percent of the resources. Over half the oil this country uses is imported. The U.S. can’t drill enough to get anywhere close to energy self-sufficiency, Obama said.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

April 3rd, 2010 at 10:06 am

Energy Secretary Opposes Suspending Stimulus Grants

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The article below is a follow up to an article posted here recently. Dr. Chu’s arguments pose a bit of a contradiction to my own and some U.S. senators’ arguments against certain aspects of the proposed stimulus bill.

MARCH 5, 2010, 8:56 P.M. ET


SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Friday that an effort by Democratic lawmakers to block federal stimulus grants for energy projects that use foreign-made hardware could cost U.S. jobs.

“There are unintended consequences by just coming out and saying, Buy American,” Dr. Chu said. “I do not want a moratorium. We have 9-10% unemployment. You do not want to stop these projects if 2/3 [of the hardware] is American and 1/3 is foreign.” In remarks on the sidelines of the conference, Dr. Chu said he will “work with people in Congress to explain the subtleties” of the global wind-energy market.


“China is moving $9-10 billion a month…they want to be a leader in this new technology. It’s ours to lose, but we could blow it,” Dr. Chu said. He said U.S. businesses can adapt to higher energy prices by becoming more efficient and adopting new technology.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

March 6th, 2010 at 10:44 am

Obama Outlines Energy-Efficiency Program

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MARCH 2, 2010, 3:15 P.M. ET


SAVANNAH, Ga.—President Barack Obama promoted his “green jobs” agenda Tuesday in a speech designed to show he’s committed to work on the economy, despite roadblocks in Congress.

The president made only a single glancing reference to health care in his 16-minute speech at the Savannah Technical College. Instead, he talked up the administration’s energy-related jobs proposals, particularly its “Homestar” plan to provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy-saving home upgrades.

Read the entire article here.

EPA Again Names CEMEX USA 2010 ENERGY STAR(R) Partner of the Year

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March 2, 2010, 8:15 a.m. EST

HOUSTON, Mar 02, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named CEMEX USA a 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for outstanding energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. CEMEX’s accomplishments will be recognized at an awards ceremony later this month in Washington, D.C. on March 18, 2010.

CEMEX USA, an ENERGY STAR partner since 2004, will be honored for strategic energy management and a commitment to save energy across its entire operation that resulted in significant energy and financial savings. This is the second year in a row that CEMEX USA has been named Partner of the Year. In 2009, CEMEX reduced its overall energy intensity by 2.2 percent as a result of its Energy Management Program using ENERGY STAR guidelines. Over 1.1 million MMBTUs were saved through such measures as commissioning two new cement lines using state-of-the-art vertical roller mills for finish grinding, replacing and repairing compressed air systems, and upgrading plant lighting. This energy savings resulted in cutting 107,500 metric tons of CO2 emissions and is equal to providing electricity to 14,900 American homes for one year, or avoiding emissions from about 19,700 passenger vehicles.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

March 2nd, 2010 at 7:40 am

Trash power? U.S. communities use landfills to produce energy

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Feb 25, 2010
07:20 AM

A tractor sorts garbage at the Altamont Landfill in Livermore, Calif. Waste Management, a Houston-based company that runs the landfill, is using 100 wells with black tubes to vacuum up methane from the trash and convert it to liquid natural gas to power its garbage-collecting trucks.
By Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP

More communities in the United States are turning trash into power.

Nationwide, the number of landfill gas projects, which convert methane gas from rotting garbage into power, jumped from 399 in 2005 to 519 last year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. To see a list of them, click here.

W.R. Grace aims to reduce energy use by 20 percent

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Not only are they pledging to make the effort, they’re going to report their progress. It’s up to us as concerned citizens to monitor and encourage the process.

February 9, 2010

As part of its sustainability strategy, W.R. Grace is aiming to reduce the energy consumption of its operations by 20 percent per pound of production over the next seven years and make annual reports about its progress in reaching that goal. A leading supplier of catalysts to petroleum refiners and other products, Grace will use 2007 as the base year against which it will measure progress. In that year, it produced nearly 2 million tons of products and had carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of 1.1 million tons.

Read the original article here.

Written by Jason

February 10th, 2010 at 6:27 am

Stop and Go Energy Policies

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Growing the Green Evolution

February 05, 2010

Ken Silverstein, EnergyBiz Insider

American energy policy is a bit stop and go. While it’s now centered on going green, the signals coming from Washington are always yellow and continually making participants hesitant to commit to long-term projects.

Relatively inexpensive hydrocarbons have fueled this country for decades. But spiraling prices along with concerns over air quality and dependence on foreign governments have forced policymakers to rethink this situation. That is what has propelled the renewable energy movement forward — a condition that has led to the development of better and cheaper technologies, permitting those sustainable fuels a foothold in markets.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

February 9th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

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Energy stocks resume their slide after jobs report

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Feb. 5, 2010, 4:26 p.m. EST

By Steve Gelsi, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Energy stocks ended with modest losses Friday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average erased a triple-digit deficit and ended 10 points higher in volatile action.

A mixed U.S. jobs report provided no lift to energy stocks.

While the U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 9.7%, the economy still shed 20,000 jobs in January.

Shares of oil and gas companies initially rose, moved deeply into the red by the afternoon, only to pare their losses by the close.

Crude prices dipped below $70 a barrel, but then abruptly rose later in the day.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

February 7th, 2010 at 7:43 am