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


      NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session

      Out with the old and in with a new. Gone are the five feet of snow from April and May - and in with this sudden summer heat. The feeder and fountain in view from this keyboard are graced with migratory birds such as Evening Grosbeak, Spotted Towhee and one Ruby-Throated hummingbird that loved on that sugar water when all fragrant things were cloaked by heavy snow.

      And in Denver, flown from the coop are all our state legislators from their tightly compressed legislative session. What have they gotten done?

      “This has been an extraordinary legislature,” said a seasoned Democratic fundraiser in Denver, Sallyanne Ofner by Facebook message. The range of work was wide:

      For civil unions came a meaningful redress of the wrong-headed vote of 2006 to limit marriage to one man and one woman. Now LGBT couples can commit for life and legally reap respect and due benefits.

      Firearm safety has been enhanced with popular universal background checks on purchases plus size limits on high capacity magazines.

      On behalf of rape victims, parental rights of attackers over the children they spawn have been severed, and sexual assault victims have access to a payment program for their medical needs.

      One gripping disappointment was the failure to repeal the costly and conspicuously racist death penalty in Colorado.

      Also disheartening: the failure to pass seven out of nine bills to regulate hydraulic fracturing. A notable failure was minimum fines for serious spills -- needed apparently because spills now don’t invoke the maximum fines allowed. The 30-hour spill that erupted in mid-February near Fort Collins still has not been fined, according to the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. The Governor has ordered a formal review of how fines are imposed.

      Also targeted was a ban on energy industry employees from serving on the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to regulate their own companies - failed. Lawmakers also failed to require more frequent inspections at Colorado’s tens of thousands of wells, though they did secure budgeting for 11 more inspectors and a lower spill amount threshold at which companies must report. More health and water testing around fracking areas? Also failed.

      Visiting The Camera this week, representatives from the Colorado Oil and Gas Association lamented the session as being polarized, and that legislators with no knowledge of industry surprised them with a slew of bills that COGA hadn’t seen much less collaborated on. This came off poorly as they and their 23 lobbyists certainly know that the session is compressed and filled with the slew of matters just mentioned.

      Coming this fall is still more action on fracking, in a rule making session by the Air Quality Control Commission. Judging by the Governor’s oft-stated goal to see “zero” fugitive emissions from natural gas infrastructure, let’s hope the AQCC can screw some new regulations to the sticking point.

      On the bright side for clean energy, Boulder’s own Will Toor is uniquely proud of a suite of successful bills for electric vehicles that led his agency, South West Energy Efficient Project, to launch Colorado to a leading grade of A- among six western states for EV’s. New bills included extended rebates for private purchases of EV’s and conversions of hybrids. For state and local governments to purchase EV’s, life cycle costs may now be considered as well as contracting through energy service companies to have EV’s paid for through fuel savings. PACE financing for commercial buildings and parking lots was expanded to cover charging stations. Also, apartment buildings and HOA’s will have to allow charging stations. And to address an old sore spot, a decal program will have EV owners pay a $50 tax per year for road maintenance and the construction of more public charging stations.

      We will see more charging stations – this comes with nice timing as Consumer Reports just named the Tesla Model S the best car. And as Colorado’s electric power sector cleans its emissions, the use of EV’s will leverage reductions in emissions from transportation.

      But that electric sector still has serious business leftover. Colorado has until June 7th to persuade the Governor to act on the gloriously debated SB 252 that would require rural electric providers to get 20 percent of their power from renewables. Since coal costs have about doubled over 10 years and Tri-States’ coal-rich power expenses have risen four times faster than sales, SB252 needs to pass for pocketbooks and to deal with that horrific new 400 ppm of CO2 in our atmosphere.