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


      Picking up the PACE for Jobs

      Picking up the PACE for Jobs
      Anne B. Butterfield, September 4, 2011 (Daily Camera)

      Labor Day is upon us and we all hope for Congress to resume actual work in Washington when it reconvenes on Tuesday. And their chief work is to help Americans get back to work. So give up your grandstanding and get on it, Congress.

      Though President Obama is going to tout a highways and jobs bill, we who want a cleaner world anxiously await Congress' plans for clean energy funding, such as the loan guarantee program that has supported 70,000 new clean energy jobs in the past 2 years while costing the government under $3 billion. Meanwhile China is pounding its clean energy sector with cash and loans, with the intent to dominate the 21st century economically.

      Which puts Congress in a bind. On the one hand many members are devout about slashing spending, especially on Obama's favorite energy projects while religiously protecting subsidies for dirty fuels, and on the other hand, unemployment, energy insecurity, the climate, and China's power to price-compete American products, all produce a deafening drumbeat compelling us to invest or die.

      Fortunately, coming up to Labor Day, there's news of a likely rescue to a clean energy and jobs financing tool (and has a strong parentage from Boulder). The PACE lending program is back in play, through a rare bipartisan bill (the PACE Protection Act, HR 2599) introduced refreshingly by two Republicans to prevent federal regulators from interfering with the lending program passed into law in 30 states.

      PACE is an elegant mechanism for deploying private monies for efficiency upgrades and renewable energy installation at the local level. It allows municipalities to float bonds and issue loans for upgrades, allowing homeowners to pay back the low-interest loans through their property tax bills, with the balance staying with the property through a sale.

      If passed, the bill could prompt hundreds of thousands of construction jobs -- all paid by property owners on projects which simultaneously reduce energy bills.

      In July of last year, federal lending authorities, perhaps stung by their inept complicity in the mortgage crisis, aimed to trim sails by finding fault with the popular PACE program on the complaint that the liens are paid first in the event of a default. Even as the program reportedly reduces mortgage default rates.

      PACE bill is now being weighed by the House Financial Services committee, with Colorado's own Ed Perlmutter, plus colorful members such as Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Peter King, Emanuel Cleaver, Maxine Waters, and Barney Frank. The committee can be reviewed at The members deserve lots of phone calls to be reminded that their job is to create jobs.

      Happily there's even more support coming to PACE, from the courts. Just days ago a federal judge ruled that the Federal Housing Finance Agency probably broke rules when deciding against PACE financing, and posed an injunction ordering the agency to invite public comments on the decision. This bureaucratic blunder will get resolved and the construction sector can heave a small sigh of relief.

      On a different note, another gift of labor needs to be recognized in the recent personal sacrifice made by environmentalists who were arrested at the White House for protesting the State Department's aim to approve the completion of a pipeline for tar sands oil from Alberta Canada to refineries in the Gulf. Robert Samuelson of the Washington Post wrote with poignant naivete in support of this as a boon to American oil markets, as if the supply is assured to go to the States. Steve Kretzmann of OilChange however dug around in corporate disclosures to find that the oil will go to the international markets (as befitting the port destination). So there is no excuse not to heed climate expert James Hansen when he says that if the Alberta resource is used as intended, the emissions would be "game over" for the planet. So, a restful Labor Day is due to Coloradans Gina Hardin, Tom Weis and Leslie Weise who ventured to Washington and were arrested among many hundreds, keeping this story in the news throughout the climate-enhanced wreckage of Hurricane Irene.

      Hurricane Irene taught us that uber-storms are the new normal, and that means battening down the hatches for the indefinite future, which is just what PACE financing is all about. In his address to the joint session of Congress, the president needs to commend the PACE program as a benefit for this blue green planet that is swept with hurricanes, drought and energy insecurity, with more on the way.