Nature Noted

Notes on a changing Nature

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Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

I never would have predicted this one

Thursday, March 17, 2005

It's (almost) Oil Over

Fellow Kelley Comet and renowned Muckraker Robert Bryce has an article in Salon this week outlining the predictions of an Petroleum research firm predicting when the world's largest oil companies will hit their peaks in production. If the analysts at John S. Herold, Inc. are correct, the beginning of the end is near. Robert writes...."Executive vice president Richard Gordon, who heads Herold's global strategies team, says the firm's goal in doing peak-production estimates for individual oil companies is simple: "If the dinosaurs are going extinct, we are trying to figure out which ones are going to go extinct the soonest."Herold's projections have enormous ramifications both for stockholders in the major oil companies and for every energy consumer on the globe. If Herold is correct, and the world's biggest oil companies cannot increase their production in the coming years, then several things appear certain:
Oil prices -- which are already at record levels -- will continue rising as demand outstrips supply. In a few years, gasoline prices of $2 per gallon could seem like a bargain.
State-owned oil companies like Mexico's Pemex, Venezuela's PDVSA (Petrolos de Venezuela) and Saudi Arabia's Saudi Aramco may be unable to increase their production enough to meet burgeoning global demand.
The producers who belong to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and Saudi Arabia in particular, may have even more leverage over the global oil market in the coming years.
The United States will be ever more reliant on oil imported from countries filled with people who don't like George W. Bush or his policies.

Better fill up the tank now.
Congratulations to Jon Christensen who has written a spirited defense of the conservation easement deduction in a letter to the editor of the Washington Post. The letter is co-signed by Terry Anderson of the Hoover Institution, bringing serious conservative credentials to the conservation debate. Nicely done.
And a 30 year effort to preserve the area originally known as the Gillette Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains of California has finally yielded a positive result for a coalition of trusts and governmental agencies. The coalition is spending $35 million to preserve the 585 acre tract that is currently the home of a Japanese college.
And so far we have one vote for a hybrid of land trust and conservancy ... "land conservancy" is Japhet's suggestion. It's also been pointed out on the land trust listserv that "conservation trust" is being used by one Florida group. Other thoughts?

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