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


      Mr. Secretary, we're watching you

      NewEnergyNews will end 2008 with a new feature. In addition to permanently posting columnist Anne Butterfield's contributions down the left column, her fine bi-weekly think-pieces will be posted in the main column to kick them off from now on.

      Mr. Secretary, we're watching you
      By Anne Butterfield
      Sunday, December 28, 2008

      As our new Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar will take a job that will test his fiber. He loves the Rockies and has protected Colorado's Roan Plateau from drilling. As a top water law expert, he has protected our state's water rights. Many champion his ability to protect our nation's resources which have been battered and insulted by the Bush Administration's campaign on behalf of industry.

      However, Salazar does not have a spotless record. Along with voting against higher fuel efficiency for vehicles, he was also one of a handful of Democrats to vote against a bill that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider global warming when planning water projects -- two very weird votes in light of important threats.

      He also went out of his way to support the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as U.S. Attorney General and Gale Norton for Interior Secretary who both later stepped down during scandals.

      The most likely explanation of these choices is that Salazar moonlights as a weather vane.

      If he becomes Secretary, Salazar will have to stiffen his resolve and face an agency scalded by scandal for having dealt in sex, drugs and back door arrangements with the industries it is created to regulate. One such arrangement was the very recent rule change favoring industry on dumping mining debris in streambeds.

      This month Robert F. Kennedy Jr. testified to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming to decry the Interior Department's recent rule change to make coal mining's worst practices fully legal. He flew over Appalachia to see the big picture.

      "If people could see what I saw on that trip there would be a revolution. We are literally cutting down the Appalachian Mountains."

      From RepMarkey via YouTube.

      What Kennedy saw were the chalky-white remains of mountains blown away from their coal seams, 400,000 acres in all. To do this, the industry uses explosive power each week that equals a Hiroshima bomb, and draglines that stand 22 stories high and minimize the need for labor.

      West Virginia's coal mining used to employ 140,000 union workers; now there are 11,000 workers left, very few in unions. With so few jobs there is little revenue to build up the local economies.

      "Ninety-five percent of the coal in West Virginia is owned by out of state interests which are liquidating the state for cash, literally," according to Kennedy.

      The economic truth does not stop mining supporters from killing the pets or sabotaging the vehicles of those who protest the mining, on the ruse of protecting "jobs." This truth did not stop Interior from ignoring the vast majority of 43,000 comments opposing the rule change proposed by industry to legalize the customary dumping of mining debris into streams.

      Back in 2002, a group for Kentucky sued the coal companies before a conservative federal court judge named Charles Hayden, who asked, according to Kennedy, "You know this is illegal. It says so in the Clean Water Act. How did you write these permits to allow the companies to engage in this criminal activity?" The Colonel testifying for the Army Corps of Engineers answered, "I don't know your honor, we just kind of oozed into it."

      Judge Hayden declared it all illegal and enjoined all mountaintop mining.

      Two days later, according to Kennedy, lobbyists for Peabody coal and Massey coal met in the back door of the Interior Department with Gale Norton's first deputy chief Steven J. Griles, himself a former coal lobbyist, and they re-wrote one word of the Clean Water Act, "fill," to make it legal in every state to dump rock, debris, rubble, garbage, any solid material into any waterway without a Clean Water Act permit.

      "All you need today is a rubber stamp from the Corps of Engineers, which in some districts you can get through the mail or over the telephone," said Kennedy.

      Remember, this is the Corps of Engineers that Salazar voted to protect from having to consider climate change in their construction plans.

      The fact remains that with his say-so, Salazar as Interior Secretary will determine the well-being of mountains and their streambeds all over the nation.

      Coloradans, who clearly love mountains, should watch him like a hawk, because it is to us he will return should he wish to win an election again.