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


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      Anne B. Butterfield
      November 2, 2008 (Daily Camera)

      This week the Republican National Committee opened a $5 million line of credit to support its senatorial candidates -- a real eyebrow raiser when seen against its choice on Labor Day to underwrite the $150,000 wardrobe for Gov. Sarah Palin, spent in high-end stores like Neiman-Marcus, which is widely known as Needless Markup.

      If you like Sarah Palin's campaign wardrobe, you'll really like John McCain's energy plans. In it he always prioritizes nuclear energy, "clean coal" and offshore drilling. Each of these presents a most costly energy resource as well as a high risk of not delivering as hoped (kind of like his running mate).

      The core flaw in McCain's energy scheme is his acceptance of industry's self-serving premise that our demand for energy shall grow by 30 percent in the next 20 years. No independent researcher writing about our nation's transition to clean energy omits efficiency and conservation as crucial to solving our predicament. To accept growth of demand is to consign us to a needlessly tough challenge while insulting the example of frugality set by our parents and grandparents during the wars of the 20th century. Do some of our leaders think we cannot do better?

      McCain wants to build 45 new nuclear plants, which Bloomberg has conservatively estimated to cost $315 billion (or up to $540 billion). We the taxpayer will be on the hook for the loan guarantees for those, as banks will not invest in nuclear plants without guarantees, and they are estimated by the Government Accounting Office to have a failure rate of 50 percent. So for McCain's initial push of 45 plants, we might bail out $126 billion on the low end. The plants could not under the best of circumstances deliver power before 10 to 15 years' effort from permitting to final inspection.

      "Clean coal" is another siren song. On account of high costs, developers keep canceling the high-tech precursor coal plants (known as IGCC) that are "carbon capture-ready." Nine such plants were canceled in 2007 including the flagship "Future Gen." The technical and siting challenges of "clean coal" promise roll-out delays that will make new nuclear seem easy.

      McCain's proudest energy directive, "Drill, baby, drill!" would put our nation's coasts at risk for the sake of new oil that will go onto the open market where the highest foreign bidder can push the price out of reach.

      When it comes to oil, we Americans can only play a sucker's game, because we have no leverage over supply. Plugging in electric vehicles, on the other hand, gives us access to myriad energy resources through electricity, which is the most efficient delivery system in every way, at about 75 cents per gallon equivalent. Such choices can include roof top solar which is true independence.

      Barack Obama's energy plan favors aggressive expansion of wind, solar, plug-in electric hybrids, efficiency and conservation in every sector, plus new drilling if coupled with higher CAF standards, and new nuclear and "clean coal" as lesser solutions. That's a cost-effective list.

      This week in Denver, Boulder's own Claudine Schneider (former congresswoman of Rhode Island and author of our nation's first efficiency policies) led a conference full of energy executives to chant the mantra "least cost energy" as the best way to address our energy crunch. She dismisses nuclear energy as our most expensive option, adding, "Given our financial constraints, it's imperative that policy makers guide policy with principles such as 'Least Cost' and 'Life Cycle Cost' -- rather than which industry will line some pockets. Energy efficiency and site-appropriate renewables are guaranteed to deliver more power for the buck."

      Getting energy costs down soon will be hard and take new thinking -- but that's exactly what Americans have shown at their times of greatest challenge. This is no time to choose the leader who is lured, time and again, by pretty women and expensive, old-fashioned plans.