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Quick jump to below stories:
The Writing is on the Wall
National Security Experts Call for Renewables Deployment
$57.27: Oil, gas prices hit record

The Writing is on the Wall

[Goldman Sachs has reported that oil is likely to hit $105 per barrel and would not come down unless consumption was meaningfully reduced. They called the forecast "conservative."

In both markets and politics timing is everything.

In December of 2004 the military and intelligence community came out in unprecedented support of renewable energy. While the mainstream press remained silent, Goldman Sachs was certainly not surprised.

Three months later Goldman acquired Zilkha, a sizeable wind energy developer. They already had interests in wind farms in Wyoming, Oregon and California. Goldman showed interest in renewable energy quite early; it began dedicated coverage of the alternative energy market in late 1998, setting up a power technology team covering the entire range of alternative energy stocks.

Now, over six years later, they show the world they have concluded wind energy is a financial winner, and they are correct. Wind is one of the few renewable energy technologies that can pump out hundreds of megawatts of energy (though nowhere near what hydrocarbons provide).

Shortly after 9/11 the Energy Future Coalition was formed. Members of their advisory board and steering committee include R. James Woolsey, former CIA director, and Chansoo Joung, managing director of Goldman Sachs. This coalition has the same goal as the Apollo Alliance - energy independence for the United States.

The problem is these programs have begun too late. Apollo is calling for a one-third reduction in US oil consumption within the next 25 years. Had such a plan been supported and implemented in 1980, perhaps we would be in a somewhat stable position.

Now we are anything but stable.

This is human nature. Rarely do we see individuals stop eating fast foods, stop smoking, stop drinking, and instead start eating well, start exercising, and start drinking water regularly until they get cancer, diabetes, heart problems, or some other debilitating disease. It isn't until crisis is burning down the door that we look for an alternative way out.

The truth is most people continue their deadly practices till the end.

Dick Cheney was dead serious when he said, "The American way of life is not negotiable," but the American way of life is mass suicide - from McDonalds to Wal-Mart to Hummers. The Bush administration's energy bill has just thrown out a $2,000 tax credit for owning a hybrid car that conserves gas use at upwards of 50 miles per gallon, but kept a $25,000 tax write-off for purchasing a gas-guzzling Hummer!

The prediction of $105 oil drove the oil market to a record high of $57.25 per barrel. That's sure to help Goldman's growing investments in renewable energy. They've seen this coming since at least 1998, at which time they were already monitoring both the technology and the markets for the best moment to start moving: first, to hedge against hydrocarbon depletion by investing in renewables, and then, to help provoke an inevitable spike in oil prices.

Their timing may have been perfect. What better moment to be invested in both renewable energy projects and oil? Goldman Sachs has the best of both worlds.

As Mike Ruppert stated on September 9, 2004, at the first 9/11 Citizens Commission in NYC:
"Whether or not Peak Oil is happening, the world is behaving as if it is."

The signs are clear. The military hawks are saying it, the big banks are saying it. Peak Oil is now the barometer by which the pressure within the economic atmosphere will be forecast. The actions and statements of Goldman Sachs are pushing the inevitable ever closer.

Meanwhile the International Energy Agency (IEA) has called for police-enforced driving bans to curb oil consumption and is urging oil-importing nations to adopt emergency oil-saving policies in case world supply dips significantly. One way or another, conservation is a must. It would be nice if we (the people) had some say in that process.

Nevertheless, the suicide pact between the Bush administration and the American people has been signed in blood - the blood of American troops and civilian casualties wherever the last drops of Mother Earth's blood can be found.- MK]

Goldman sees oil spiking to $105

Says lower prices will only return when consumption is meaningfully reduced.

March 31, 2005: 4:15 PM EST

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices could touch $105 a barrel in the next few years, the influential investment bank Goldman Sachs said Thursday.

The bank's analysts said in a research report that the world energy market is in the early stages of a "super-spike" period that could see 1970s-style price surges. The bank called its forecast "conservative."

The report sent crude oil soaring Thursday, with U.S. light crude for May delivery adding $1.41 to close at $55.40 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. U.S. oil futures on NYMEX have averaged $50.03 a barrel so far in 2005 after hitting record highs in recent weeks.

But adjusted for inflation, oil would have to hit about $80 a barrel to top the levels seen during the oil crisis of the late 1970s.

Goldman's Global Investment Research note also raised the bank's 2005 and 2006 New York Mercantile Exchange crude price forecasts to $50 and $55 respectively, from $41 and $40.

"We believe oil markets may have entered the early stages of what we have referred to as a 'super spike' period -- a multi-year trading band of oil prices high enough to meaningfully reduce energy consumption and recreate a spare capacity cushion only after which will lower energy prices return," Goldman's analysts wrote.

Goldman is the biggest trader of energy derivatives, and its Goldman Sachs Commodities Index is a widely-watched barometer of energy and commodities prices.

Goldman said its predictions were supported by thin spare capacity in the energy supply chain and long response times for bringing on additional supply. The report also pointed to robust demand in the United States and in developing heavyweights China and India, despite the recent rapid increase in energy costs.

Back to the '70s
Goldman said the current oil market environment was much like that seen in the 1970s -- when oil prices spiked dramatically following the Arab oil embargoes on supply to the West and Iran's revolution.

High energy prices threw the world into recession, and triggered several years of declining oil demand.

During 1980-1981, gasoline spending in the United States corresponded to an average 4.5 percent of GDP, 7.2 percent of consumer expenditures, and 6.2 percent of personal disposable income, Goldman said.

"Our new $50-$105 per (barrel) super spike range perhaps conservatively corresponds to gasoline spending in the United States that reaches 3.6 percent of forecasted GDP, 5.3 percent of consumer expenditures, and 5.0 percent of personal disposable income.

Goldman said that assuming gasoline spending needs to reach 1970s levels to destroy demand, its upside super-spike estimate would be $135 per barrel for New York crude.

"Perhaps the ultimate answer to how high oil prices need to go before demand destruction occurs is derived from knowing when American consumers will stop buying gas guzzling sport/utility vehicles and instead seek fuel efficient alternatives," the analysts wrote.

"Based on our analysis of gasoline spending and the economy noted above, we estimate that U.S. gasoline prices may need to exceed $4 per gallon," they said.

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[There's a strange new alliance between war hawks and renewable energy. James Woolsey is all over it. Instead of the environmental-rhetoric of the left, the war hawks consistently emphasize "national security." Note that this renewable-war-hawk letter addressed to the President was from the Energy Future Coalition, whose advisory board includes former CIA Director James Woolsey and Chansoo Joung, managing director of Goldman Sachs.

While they are not advocating $25,000 tax write-offs for Hummers, FTW can guarantee that these individuals do not have the interests of John-&-Jane-Q-Public in mind. - MK]

National Security Experts Call for Renewables Deployment

Letter to President and Congress Urges Action to Decrease Oil Imports

by Jesse Broehl, Editor,
April 1, 2005;jsessionid

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Peterborough, New Hampshire [] For decades, renewable energy has had its grassroots, leftist-leaning, environmentally conscious supporters. A recent letter delivered to the President and Congress by major figures in the policy and national security realm, however, perhaps best exemplifies a recent shift to mainstream support for renewable energy from even the most cautious, conservative ranks of society.

The letter -- signed by figures including James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence, Frank Gaffney and Bud McFarlane, former national security advisors to President Reagan, and Adm. William T. Crowe, Jr. USN (Ret.); former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, among others -- makes two points abundantly clear:

The United States' dependence on imported petroleum poses a risk to the country's homeland security and economic well-being. A major new initiative to curtail U.S. consumption through improved energy efficiency, and the rapid development and deployment of renewable energy and other available petroleum fuel alternatives is imperative to prevent a future catastrophe, according to the letter.

Addressed under the banner of the Energy Future Coalition, the letter further goes on to explain that increasing petroleum consumption by developing economies like China and India will exacerbate this risk, and that some foreign interests have used oil revenues in ways that harm U.S. national security.

The letter stressed that with only two percent of the world's oil reserves but 25 percent of current world consumption, the United States cannot eliminate its need for imports through increased domestic production alone, and therefore an equivalent emphasis on demand-side measures - development and deployment of clean, domestic petroleum substitutes and increased efficiency in our transport system - is essential.

In the letter, the coalition used a previous statement by President Bush to deliver reinforce their message. On February 25, 2002, the president delivered a speech on the South Lawn of the White House saying that foreign oil "is a challenge to our economic security, because dependence can lead to price shocks and fuel shortages. And this dependence on foreign oil is a matter of national security. To put it bluntly, sometimes we rely upon energy sources from countries that don't particularly like us."

"Mr. President, we agree," the letter says. "We are writing today to urge that the United States respond - as it has so ably to other national security challenges - with a focused, determined effort that accepts nothing less than success ... we ask that you launch a major new initiative to curtail U.S. consumption through improved efficiency and the rapid development and deployment of advanced biomass, alcohol and other available petroleum fuel alternatives."

To make any such effort a success, the coalition called for a funding level proportionate with other priorities of national defense, somewhere at least one billion dollars over the next five years.

In addition to research and development, such investments should include tax credits and other incentives to encourage: rapid production and consumer purchase of advanced vehicles like hybrids, plug-in hybrids and flexible fuel vehicles; production of more efficient vehicles across all models; construction of domestic facilities to produce alternative fuels from domestic resources; and wide deployment of alternative liquid fuel options at existing fueling stations.

The current effort from the Bush Administration has focused mostly on hydrogen fuel cell technologies which, at best, are decades away from being commonplace and commercially available throughout the U.S. Making no mention or suggestion of hydrogen fuel cell powered cars, the coalition said the federal Government should consider mandating substantial incorporation of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and flexible fuel vehicles into federal, state, municipal and other government fleets.

While there's no official response from the White House, the renewable energy and scientific community has itself reacted to this effort, with the Union of Concerned Scientists' chief energy analyst saying that the letter "demonstrates that the urgent need to capture the benefits of renewable energy for national security is taken very seriously by many key players in the chain of command," and adding that "maybe the commander-in-chief will finally get the message."

Someone calling out the President even more directly on his administration's generally lackluster support for renewable energy is Joel Stronberg, the Washington representative for the American Solar Energy Society. He was quick to point out the significance of those who signed onto the letter.

"Hardly a bunch of old hippies and tree huggers, the fact of their letter confirms what the sustainable energy advocates have been saying all along -- that the Bush Administration's disregard for developing clean domestic energy alternatives places the nation squarely in harm's way," Stronberg said.

The national Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) struck a more conciliatory tone, with Rhone Resch, the trade group's representative saying they are heartened to see the leadership of military, government, and industry leaders in calling for more domestically produced renewable energy."

"We in the U.S. solar industry share the goal of strengthening America's security through greater use of domestic renewable energy," Resch said. "The United States has the best solar resources in the industrialized world - our mission is to lead the world in developing those resources. Doing so will strengthen not only our economy, but our national security as well."

The full letter, along with a list signatories, can be downloaded at the link below

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$57.27: Oil, gas prices hit record

By Roma Luciw
Friday, April 1, 2005
Globe and Mail Update

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Crude and gasoline futures soared to record levels Friday, one day after a U.S. investment bank suggested oil prices could rise as high as $105 (U.S.) a barrel and a major Venezuelan oil refinery was temporarily shuttered.

Light sweet crude futures for May delivery closed up $1.87 at $57.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the session, it touched a record $57.70 a barrel, topping a previous intraday high of $57.60 that was touched on March 17 and a record high close of $56.72 touched March 18.

Oil prices are now 67 per cent higher than a year ago, but still well below the inflation-adjusted high above $90 a barrel set in 1980.

Analysts said the latest runup in oil prices suggests there is new money coming into the market from hedge funds and other speculators, as well as from commercial players, such as airlines and fuel distributors, that are trying to lock in prices now out of fear that the upward trend may continue.

Gasoline for May delivery also reached new levels, climbing 6.79 cents to $1.731 a gallon in New York, the highest since trading began in 1984. Earlier in the session, prices touched $1.736 a gallon, an intraday record.

Tom Kloza, director of Oil Price Information Service, told AP the recent surge in gasoline futures means average U.S. pump prices are likely to rise above $2.25 a gallon within a few weeks.

Several analysts were critical of an extremely bullish report that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. released Thursday, saying it created unreasonable fear in the market.

The report said oil markets may have entered what it calls a "super spike" period, which could send crude as high as $105 a barrel. The New York brokerage boosted its estimate for a so-called "super spike" range to between $50 and $105 amid unexpected strength in oil demand and economic growth, especially in the United States and China. Previously, the range had been $50 to $80.

News that a major Venezuelan oil refinery has been temporarily closed was also pushing prices higher Friday.

Petroleos de Venezuela SA, South America's largest oil company, said its Amuay refinery has been shut down for as long as a week because of an electrical failure.

Amuay is part of the Paraguana refining complex, has an output capacity of 940,000 barrels of crude oil per day, but it normally produces around 700,000 barrels per day. Venezuela is the world's fifth largest oil exporter and a major fuel supplier to the United States.

With files from Associated Press

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