Will Syria bring an oil shock?

Syria war

Is the Middle East about to deliver another oil shock to the global economy? The U.S. military has targets picked out in Syria and President Obama is trying to convince Congress that America needs to intervene. If the U.S. does go ahead with tactical strikes against the Assad regime, oil markets will be caught in the middle. The size of the repercussions, though, is an open question. History, … [Read more...]

Maddow gives air time to Koch brothers fracking advocate


Editors note: This piece ran last year on Eric Francis's Planet Waves website and it remains an important touchstone concerning how the main stream media continues to act as the lapdog to Big Oil and Big Energy in general. After reading this piece, ask yourself, how much has changed in the major media relative to critical reporting on the facts concerning fossil fuels extraction processes, the … [Read more...]

Could fracking finally kill off rural America?

US fracking map

Gasland 2, the sequel to Josh Fox's documentary about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, introduces a frightening image. It's not another money shot of tap water on fire, though the water well hose lit up by the owner of a multimillion dollar home in Parker County, Texas is a wonder. Nor is the most frightening image an internal gas industry memo labeling residents of small … [Read more...]

The price for energy independence

bumper sticker

Move over OPEC, North America is about to become a net exporter of oil. At least that’s the supposed good news from the International Energy Agency’s latest outlook. According to the IEA, the drilling boom for shale oil is putting US production on track to pass Saudi Arabia. North of the border, output from Alberta’s oil sands is expected to notch a similarly grand expansion. Notions of energy … [Read more...]

Why it’s imperative that we conserve energy now

peak oil graffitto

As everyone is aware by now, the US is headed towards energy independence 2030, thanks to unconventional sources of oil and gas. If you believe the mainstream media, that is. However, if you know anything about energy, the happy talk that energy from tar sands, fracking and deepwater oil will replace all of America's imports today and in the future is clearly too good to be true. But we … [Read more...]

Do we have enough water to frack our way to energy independence?

dried mud in drought

In chemistry you quickly discover that oil and water don’t mix. The same is true in the energy industry. It’s unfortunate, because the new fuel sources that the International Energy Agency claims will allow North America to reach energy independence require tremendous amounts of water. Whether it’s from shale plays or the oil sands, millions of gallons of water are needed to pull that energy … [Read more...]

Fracking movie “Promised Land” is a gusher

Promised Land still

After I saw Matt Damon and John Krasinski's new fracking drama Promised Land, I couldn't help but compare it to the slew of trite pieces trotted out during the previews. There was the typical wedding family hijinks RomCom; the take-no-prisoners gangster-fest; the scorched-earth-meets-futuristic-savior piece; and some picture about a lovable psychotic redeemed by a chick. Guilty pleasures, … [Read more...]

The 2013 in and out list

bacon tee

The end of 2012 brought with it a rash of the same-old same-old "In and Out" lists issued by the lamestream media and their corporate overlords. To wit, the annual Washington Post "List," this time tarted up by putting two newbies at the helm to give it some so-called edge. Bwa-ha ha! It still stunk of too much product placement, too many contract obligations, and a crap load of deference to … [Read more...]

Stop the frack attack

frack attack

A rush to drill is sweeping the United States.  Across the country, the oil and gas industry is surging into new areas as quickly and cheaply as possible. And they have been using techniques like hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) long before we fully understand the extent of the negative impacts on the health of the local people, communities, water, air, climate, and other critical … [Read more...]

Peak oil denial: How does this help?

boy with dunce cap

Whether or not peak oil is true cannot possibly be in doubt. Within anything other than a geological frame of time, oil is a finite substance. When it is burned, it is gone. Without stretching our brains very far, it is easy to conclude that anything that is finite and consumed will someday be gone. Peak Oil, then, is really an observation, not a theory. If only! What most four-year olds … [Read more...]