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


      Lies, damned lies and politicians

      Lies, damned lies and politicians

      Anne B. Butterfield, October 7, 2012 (Boulder Daily Camera)

      From the sparring at the first presidential debate, it's pretty sure that energy has become a divisive as well as a competitive issue. Both President Obama and Governor Romney want to be the triumphal producer of energy.

      However Romney likes to smear climate change concerns and clean energy investments, as if all of them go like Solyndra, where a half a billion in loan guarantees went down with the company, as he crowed that 50 percent of clean energy investments supported by the stimulus bill had gone belly up. This was dubbed the "lie of the night" by Michael Grunwald, author of a book about the stimulus bill, citing that maybe one percent of government backed clean energy ventures failed.

      Try getting that rate of safety in your investing. According to a new poll by Hart for the solar industry, voters seem to know that loan guarantees are a steadfast service of government and highly safe, as the Solyndra debacle was deemed unimportant by respondents. Ninety-two percent of registered voters found it important that solar be more widespread, with 70 percent believing that the federal government should be doing more to promote it with incentives (with 71 percent of swing voters feeling this way).

      And, sigh, with tens of thousands of wind power jobs on the chopping block already, Mitt Romney opposes the renewal of the Production Tax Credit. This, even as red states need it renewed, putting him in the dog house with GOP politicians such as Senator Chuck Grassely of Iowa whose state produces 20 percent of its power from wind, and Governor Brownback of Kansas who has made vigorous pleas for the extension of the credit, due to expire this at the end of this year.

      Didn't Romney get the memo? Republican governors are making hay with clean energy such as Haley Barbour and Chris Christie. To Mississippi, Barbour brought four solar sector firms to Mississippi along with two in biofuels plus a clean tech car venture with China. Christie made New Jersey a leading solar market in the nation, this year contending with California for first place.

      But Romney and other high priests of the GOP act as though the only real energy is the type that can be burned, and somehow, Obama has nibbled at this hemlock by constantly touting his success with fracking and his openness to the XL pipeline.

      A truly strange specter is that pipeline; it lets our heartland be used as a byway for tar sands products (which sink rather than float when spilled), so they can go straight to international markets. We get the downsides and none of the upsides -- even as the pipeline could increase gasoline prices in the Midwest, which would lose its existing access to tar sands products.

      One plausible upside of the pipeline being routed through the United States (where it might be built quickly, as would not happen in the alternative route through western Canada) is that it could strengthen the hand of President Obama in his suite of sanctions against Iran, including a worldwide boycott of Iranian oil. Our recent frack-mania allows our nation to resume oil production levels not seen for 15 years and thus strengthens our hand. Three weeks ago Iran admitted having problems selling oil due to U.S. and European sanctions; now the nation's currency is in free fall.

      One certainly hopes that tar sands will thrive mightily as a "psy-ops" against Iran and not as a chemical weapon against our climate, as Dr. James Hansen has sternly warned.

      Never bounded by his prior convictions about the climate, Romney crows that he would authorize the pipeline on day one and build it himself if need be (as if he in his wingtips could "John Wayne" his way around an oil field). It's all such a sham he-man rodeo.

      And no one mentioned the climate -- in spite of hundreds of thousands of petition signatures demanding the topic. Neither candidate pushed clean energy as the vote winner that poll after poll have shown it to be. Authors for DBL Investors in their study of green energy exclaim, "We all need to understand that green jobs are not the idle dreaming of a small group of partisan activists and insiders, but a source of livelihood for millions, literally in all parts of the country." The light shines in the darkness but the darkness of our politics has not understood it.