Feds Downgrade Monterey Shale Oil Reserves by 95.6%

LA Times op-ed highlights increase in trains transporting oil into California

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is reducing its previous estimate for technically recoverable oil in California’s Monterey Shale from 13.7 billion barrels of oil to just 600 million barrels of oil—a dramatic 95.6 percent reduction. Has the oil industry been chasing rainbows in search of illusive “black gold” Monterey oil? For years, the oil …


As Oil by Rail Gains Momentum, Is California On Track to Protect Human Health and the Environment?

A closer look at the data and key legal issues

California will soon see a surge in the number of trains carrying crude oil into the state, as oil production in North Dakota’s Bakken region and Canada continues to increase, sending more crude to California refineries. Last week, the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the safety of …


Still More About the Keystone XL Pipeline

I am opposed to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Nonetheless, I find myself somewhat in disagreement with my blogging neighbor Jonathan Zasloff on this one, and somewhat in agreement with Joe Nocera. Yes, as Nocera argues, as long as there is demand for oil, energy producers will keep looking for new supplies to …


Loosening Our Belts to Consume More Oil

There is a favorite saying among transportation planners that building more freeway lanes to fight congestion is like loosening your belt to fight obesity. This idea comes to mind when considering the most recent Mitt Romney plan to achieve energy independence in the United States. Romney proposes drilling our way out of foreign oil dependence despite …


Great Sources on the BP Oil Spill

The National Commission has added some valuable additional material to its cite: A multi-media resource, especially useful for students and journalists. For those who want to dive deeper, the Chief Counsel’s report is a great resource. It presents a good deal of evidence unfavorable to BP, but also significant criticism of Transocean and Halliburton. Of …


New million-dollar donation from out-of-state oil company helps the attack on California’s climate change law

According to a story in today’s Los Angeles Times, a new $1 million cash infusion from Kansas-based oil company Koch Industries –the second-largest private company in the U.S. — is buoying the campaign in favor of Proposition 23, which would block implementation of California’s landmark law to limit greenhouse gas emissions.  The company is owned by …


California Ocean Science Trust Releases Study Evaluating Alternatives for Decommissioning California’s Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms

Last week, the California Ocean Science Trust released a long-awaited study that synthesizes scientific and legal information to inform policymakers and stakeholders on alternative paths for the decommissioning of California’s offshore oil and gas platforms. 27 of these platforms operate off the coast of California, and eventually all of them will stop producing fossil fuel …


Future Oil Prices

The Energy Information Agency at DOE has some really interesting projections of future oil use and prices.  According to the EIA, in their baseline scenario, “the price of light sweet crude oil in the United States (in real 2007 dollars) rises from $61 per barrel in 2009 to $110 per barrel in 2015 and $130 …


Our Carbon-Based Trade Deficit

A lot of people are worried about the trade deficit.  As it turns out, more than half of the deficit is due to petroleum imports, as Matthew Yglesias points out.  This graph tells the story:


Environmental Hypocrisy

Recently, CBS’s 60 Minutes ran a story on the current environmental damages litigation 30,000 Ecuadorians are bringing in that country’s courts against Chevron.  The case arises out the toxic oil wastes a Chevron subsidiary left behind in the Ecuadorian rain forest following decades of oil production deep in the headwaters of the Amazon. The plaintiffs, …