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 wind for new energy is stiffening

      In Colorado, we're at the leading edge of a clean-energy revolution… We've created a model strategy for every state in the country to follow. We've built a template for a comprehensive national strategy that marries energy policy with climate policy…

      Anne B. Butterfield, October 26, 2009 (NewEnergyNews)

      On the beautiful and gusty Monday, October 19, Governor Ritter appeared in Boulder at the wind site of the National Renewable Energy Laboratories to celebrate the commissioning of the new Siemens 2.3 megawatt wind turbine, installed as a test facility in our nation’s largest government-industry cooperative venture for wind energy.

      At over 40 stories high and moving gently with the wind, the turbine seemed natural in its setting, a giant redwood of the plains or a leviathan of the air. Its grandeur was cited by most of the dignitaries as a sign of Colorado’s accomplishments in the renewable energy field.

      But Henry Kelly, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Energy, warned of the magnitude of our nation’s energy predicament in which we to seek to reduce our emissions by 80 percent by 2050, saying, “We will need to be incredibly bold and audacious. And even to reach 20 percent wind power by 2030, we will need to learn a lot.” Looking every bit the bureaucrat in his white shirt with dark tie and suit, Kelly used language you’d expect from a race car driver: “One would generally wish a fair wind at the back of a new venture such as this, but in these times this test turbine should face winds that rip at its foundation, torture its blades and baffle its controls.”

      On the next day at Colorado’s New Energy Economy Conference, the Governor did not mention that there was any test of character in store for people and commerce, but instead he kept to sunny superlatives: In Colorado, we're at the leading edge of a clean-energy revolution… We've created a model strategy for every state in the country to follow. We've built a template for a comprehensive national strategy that marries energy policy with climate policy…

      In spite of the Governor’s enthusiasm there was a slightly suppressed feeling to the conference, as if everyone was going through the motions. In none of the sessions did anyone mention the elephant in the middle of Colorado’s New Energy Economy: Comanche3, the 750 megawatt new coal plant coming online perhaps as soon as next month.

      Comanche3 will run on coal from Wyoming, sending our fuel dollars out of state for coal that will, according to a 2008 report from the United States Geological Survey, come at increasingly lower grades and higher costs in as little as two decades.

      To capture this travesty, one needs Henry Kelly’s way with metaphor: Comanche 3 is not just the elephant stomping on the Governor’s New Energy Economy, it’s also the proverbial white elephant, that gift from Hindu lore that’s part sacred cow and part trophy wife to make the perfect gift that keeps on taking.

      We don’t need it. Comanche 3’s energy in the first years of operation will be excess capacity through 2015, as much as 500 megawatts above the 16 percent margin, according to Xcel’s formal notice to the Public Utilities Commission in early 2009

      Still, we Xcel ratepayers of Colorado will have to feed that white elephant through elevated base and fuel charges (known as the ECA on your bill), even customers having 100 percent subscription to Windsource. This was explained last week at the Meadows Library by Steve Mudd, Manager for Windsource.

      Meanwhile, by Xcel’s own numbers the cost of newly installed renewable energy, particularly a “wind heavy” mix as analyzed in the 2009 “All Source Solicitation 120-Day Report”, is forecast to bring real savings to Xcel’s service as soon as 2013.

      Still, with the logic of shopaholics , Xcel and Governor Ritter continue to defend Comanche 3’s contribution as “low cost energy”.

      It just so happens the National Academy of Sciences doesn’t agree with this “low cost” notion in its book-length study just released: “Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use”. It sums up the unpaid costs of fossil fuels at about $120 billion per year.

      Shouldering an extra $120 billion every year can add up to real money – exactly the kind that has been breaking our nation’s health care system and state and federal budgets. The costs the NAS report finds are mostly health related.

      Henry Kelly got it. We are facing a wind that is ripping at our foundations and baffling our controls. The process is well underway.