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Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)

“The U.S. military is the world’s single-largest industrial consumer of oil… Every $10 increase in the price per barrel of oil costs the Pentagon $1.3 billion.”

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Failure and Heroism at the IEA

On June 23rd, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the US government announced the intention to tap strategic petroleum reserves (SPRs) of the US and other countries, with an eye to reducing oil prices. The US was to provide 30 million barrels (mb) and other countries a similar amount, for a total draw of 60 million barrels.

The market responded sharply, with oil prices falling nearly $6 / barrel within a day or two; the intervention appeared effective. But it was not too be. Within a week, oil prices had recovered the pre-announcement price. They are even higher now. The market simply absorbed and discounted the news.

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Dilithium crystals “most likely” to power next generation By Christine Patton

In the issues of energy, many Americans pin their hopes on far-away technology solutions that will enable the nation to continue its growth in energy consumption, while sparing the public the challenge of making common-sense changes in our lives for greater community development, energy efficiency, and resource conservation. This week, Christine Patton, Co-Chair of Transition Oklahoma City, takes a humorous look at this line of thinking by describing a fictional future event and an out-of-this-world solution to America’s energy challenges. – ASPO-USA

June 18, 2012 — CAMBRIDGE, MASS —

In a Gallup poll released today, Americans chose dilithium crystals as the “most likely” fuel to run future cars and power plants, with 84% of Americans choosing the crystals over other options including nuclear, hydrogen, corn ethanol, shale gas, and photovoltaic solar panels. Respondents indicated that dilithium crystals are popular for providing quiet, clean energy, with a proven track record of seven-hundred twenty-six episodes in four different Star Trek television series.

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A Bold Move, But Our Oil Problems Are Just Beginning – By Art Berman and Jan Mueller

The IEA decision to release 60 million barrels from strategic petroleum reserves (SPR) of member nations has been criticized as politically motivated, too small and too late to matter, or, at best, as a desperate attempt to fend off economic woes. The reality and impact of the decision are more complex than that. The move is a bold, price-suppressing “poke in OPEC’s eye” from nations that have been perpetual price takers in the world oil market. The short-term rationale for the decision, however, should not obscure our real oil problem – geopolitics is combining with economics and geology to put us in an oil crunch that is not likely to abate until our nation moves beyond oil.

The timing and volume of the decision make sense, and one need only to look at the vigorous complaints from Iran to gauge its significance. The Libyan conflict became a factor in February, and it took time to recognize that its 1.3 million barrels per day export volume was lost to the market on a relatively long-term basis, and to fully grasp the impact on the OECD economies. It took time to see that OPEC’s promise to cover the loss had little substance, as confirmed by the recent OPEC meeting.

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