NewEnergyNews-Butterfield Archive

WALL STREET JOURNAL'S Environmental Capital quotes NewEnergyNews:

  • 06/05/2007
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    WALL STREET JOURNAL selects NewEnergyNews as one of the "Blogs We Are Reading" --

  • 05/14/2007
  • 04/16/2007
  • 03/28/2007
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      Anne B. Butterfield of DAILY CAMERA, a biweekly contributor to NewEnergyNews


    • My Novels: OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The American Decades & OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The Story of Our Addiction
    • Review of OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The American Decades by Mark S. Friedman
    • OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The American Decades, the second volume of Herman K. Trabish’s retelling of oil’s history in fiction, picks up where the first book in the series, OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The Story of Our Addiction, left off. The new book is an engrossing, informative and entertaining tale of the Roaring 20s, World War II and the Cold War. You don’t have to know anything about the first historical fiction’s adventures set between the Civil War, when oil became a major commodity, and World War I, when it became a vital commodity, to enjoy this new chronicle of the U.S. emergence as a world superpower and a world oil power.
    • As the new book opens, Lefash, a minor character in the first book, witnesses the role Big Oil played in designing the post-Great War world at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Unjustly implicated in a murder perpetrated by Big Oil agents, LeFash takes the name Livingstone and flees to the U.S. to clear himself. Livingstone’s quest leads him through Babe Ruth’s New York City and Al Capone’s Chicago into oil boom Oklahoma. Stymied by oil and circumstance, Livingstone marries, has a son and eventually, surprisingly, resolves his grievances with the murderer and with oil.
    • In the new novel’s second episode the oil-and-auto-industry dynasty from the first book re-emerges in the charismatic person of Victoria Wade Bridger, “the woman everybody loved.” Victoria meets Saudi dynasty founder Ibn Saud, spies for the State Department in the Vichy embassy in Washington, D.C., and – for profound and moving personal reasons – accepts a mission into the heart of Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. Underlying all Victoria’s travels is the struggle between the allies and axis for control of the crucial oil resources that drove World War II.
    • As the Cold War begins, the novel’s third episode recounts the historic 1951 moment when Britain’s MI-6 handed off its operations in Iran to the CIA, marking the end to Britain’s dark manipulations and the beginning of the same work by the CIA. But in Trabish’s telling, the covert overthrow of Mossadeq in favor of the ill-fated Shah becomes a compelling romance and a melodramatic homage to the iconic “Casablanca” of Bogart and Bergman.
    • Monty Livingstone, veteran of an oil field youth, European WWII combat and a star-crossed post-war Berlin affair with a Russian female soldier, comes to 1951 Iran working for a U.S. oil company. He re-encounters his lost Russian love, now a Soviet agent helping prop up Mossadeq and extend Mother Russia’s Iranian oil ambitions. The reunited lovers are caught in a web of political, religious and Cold War forces until oil and power merge to restore the Shah to his future fate. The romance ends satisfyingly, America and the Soviet Union are the only forces left on the world stage and ambiguity is resolved with the answer so many of Trabish’s characters ultimately turn to: Oil.
    • Commenting on a recent National Petroleum Council report calling for government subsidies of the fossil fuels industries, a distinguished scholar said, “It appears that the whole report buys these dubious arguments that the consumer of energy is somehow stupid about energy…” Trabish’s great and important accomplishment is that you cannot read his emotionally engaging and informative tall tales and remain that stupid energy consumer. With our world rushing headlong toward Peak Oil and epic climate change, the OIL IN THEIR BLOOD series is a timely service as well as a consummate literary performance.
    • Oil history journal articles by Dr. Trabish: Oil Stories and Histories
    • Review of OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The Story of Our Addiction by Mark S. Friedman
    • "...ours is a culture of energy illiterates." (Paul Roberts, THE END OF OIL)
    • OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, a superb new historical fiction by Herman K. Trabish, addresses our energy illiteracy by putting the development of our addiction into a story about real people, giving readers a chance to think about how our addiction happened. Trabish's style is fine, straightforward storytelling and he tells his stories through his characters.
    • The book is the answer an oil family's matriarch gives to an interviewer who asks her to pass judgment on the industry. Like history itself, it is easier to tell stories about the oil industry than to judge it. She and Trabish let readers come to their own conclusions.
    • She begins by telling the story of her parents in post-Civil War western Pennsylvania, when oil became big business. This part of the story is like a John Ford western and its characters are classic American melodramatic heroes, heroines and villains.
    • In Part II, the matriarch tells the tragic story of the second generation and reveals how she came to be part of the tales. We see oil become an international commodity, traded on Wall Street and sought from London to Baku to Mesopotamia to Borneo. A baseball subplot compares the growth of the oil business to the growth of baseball, a fascinating reflection of our current president's personal career.
    • There is an unforgettable image near the center of the story: International oil entrepreneurs talk on a Baku street. This is Trabish at his best, portraying good men doing bad and bad men doing good, all laying plans for wealth and power in the muddy, oily alley of a tiny ancient town in the middle of everywhere. Because Part I was about triumphant American heroes, the tragedy here is entirely unexpected, despite Trabish's repeated allusions to other stories (Casey At The Bat, Hamlet) that do not end well.
    • In the final section, World War I looms. Baseball takes a back seat to early auto racing and oil-fueled modernity explodes. Love struggles with lust. A cavalry troop collides with an army truck. Here, Trabish has more than tragedy in mind. His lonely, confused young protagonist moves through the horrible destruction of the Romanian oilfields only to suffer worse and worse horrors, until--unexpectedly--he finds something, something a reviewer cannot reveal. Finally, the question of oil must be settled, so the oil industry comes back into the story in a way that is beyond good and bad, beyond melodrama and tragedy.
    • Along the way, Trabish gives readers a greater awareness of oil and how we became addicted to it. Awareness, Paul Roberts said in THE END OF OIL, "...may be the first tentative step toward building a more sustainable energy economy. Or it may simply mean that when our energy system does begin to fail, and we begin to lose everything that energy once supplied, we won't be so surprised."
    • Oil history journal articles by Dr. Trabish: Oil Stories and Histories
    • My Photo
      Location: Agua Dulce, CA

      *Doctor with my hands *Author of the "OIL IN THEIR BLOOD" series with my head *Student of New Energy with my heart






      Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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    • NewEnergyNews


      The flap about 58

      The flap about 58
      October 19, 2008
      By Anne B. Butterfield

      The televised arguments about Amendment 58 are have been noisy about semantics: It's a new tax, No it removes a subsidy! It is all a poor effort to clear up the tangled severance and tax credit arrangement bequeathed to us by legislators of 1977. Governor Dick Lamm tried to get a severance tax through the legislature, which is standard to charge to an industry which permanently removes a mineralogical resource from a state. The Republican dominated Senate favored the oil and gas industry and killed it, but in 1977 lawmakers sat down with industry and crafted a compromise in which what they took with one hand (the severance tax) they gave back with a credit on the local property tax (to the tune of 87.5 percent).

      Sausage anyone?

      Amendment 58 is a sound effort to restore state tax policy back to equal rates of taxation, allowing communities to set their local taxes according to their values and needs and it will help bring Colorado's severance tax revenues up from the bottom of the list of big oil and gas producing states.

      Nonetheless big oil and gas companies and their front groups have advertised scare tactics such as an alleged direct pass-through of this severance tax onto to our utility bill enabled supposedly by the Energy Commodity Adjustment you see on your Xcel bill. That's lying with facts taken out of context. The ECA doesn't kick in until after Xcel feels the price change, and prices are set regionally and nationally. Two thirds of the natural gas drawn out of the crust of Colorado goes to a market stretching from Ohio to California, and what stays home also is set on a regional index. There is no direct path between the restored severance tax and what we pay in our consumer expenses.

      The ads have also shown people complain about their gasoline expenses being raised by the small tax increase of Amendment 58. Our oil products in to Colorado come mostly from the surrounding region, and prices paid at the pimp are set at on a national level which consider factors like refining capacity and more. To suggest there's a direct link between 58's severance tax and our price at the pump is like suggesting you can raise the water level in the local river by tossing in a few stones.

      Amendment 58 is a way to tax an industry so that no one else pays the tax but the industry itself. That's why ExxonMobil, Chevron, EnCana, Anadarko and others have amassed $10 million to try to defeat this measure which may cost them $300 million per year and scarcely feel it. Remember, these big companies are bound by legal tradition to maximize profits even if the people at the helms of these companies see real value for Colorado in Amendment 58.

      The opponents also complain that producers will be shopping around. They won't. In oil and gas markets impacted by unprecedented demand for product coupled with declining reserves world wide, big producers don't move equipment that's installed over productive wells. The producers will stay where the fossil fuel is coming out of the ground. And Colorado is sure to enjoy a boom particularly in natural gas production for years to come.

      So we have an opportunity; let's make hay while the sun is shining and pass Amendment 58 to leverage money for our kids' educations. The natural gas and oil that we use today is fossil fuel that our children will not be able to use at all. This is the most important fact we need to face. As that resource leaves the ground we should leverage that economic activity by transferring value to resources which are renewable -- our kids' minds, wildlife viability and renewable energy that will replace fossil fuels when they are gone.
      And that day is coming.

      A fine source of analysis is at the Web site of the Bell Policy Center.