compiled by Dee Finney

[Editor's Note:  I have heard many interviews of experts touting their books on the topic of Peak Oil.  I was in complete disagreement with this concept because I believe that the Earth always re-creates oil.  At the rate of usage, however, especially with the growth of countries like China, the Earth will not be able to keep up with the re-creation process fast enough.  Unconventional methods of retrieving oil from the earth such as tar beds, oil shale and oil sands are not counted as 'oil reserves' because of the cost to retrieve oil from the resource.

Recently, on another interview - of Alex - a channeled spirit being, he stated that within the lifetime of those listening to his words, the Earth would run out of oil and our lives would change completely.  He did not give any details of how this would happen, and indeed there are many mitigating circumstances as you will see below, however, he stated that removing the oil from the Earth where it belongs, it creates frequency sickness through pollution of the atmosphere, it creates holes inside the Earth that must ultimately fill up with something - and that creates major earthquakes and other catastrophes. 

In other words, taking the oil out of the Earth will eventually be a huge detriment to our society and wellbeing. 

I am presenting information below - both pro and con - and leave it up the reader to decide what to believe, but whether we believe it or not, the Earth itself will make the deciding factor we will have to live with.

Other information from Alex:


Where Fossil Fuels Come From

There are three major forms of fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas. All three were formed many hundreds of millions of years ago before the time of the dinosaurs - hence the name fossil fuels. The age they were formed is called the Carboniferous Period. It was part of the Paleozoic Era. "Carboniferous" gets its name from carbon, the basic element in coal and other fossil fuels.

Some deposits of coal can be found during the time of the dinosaurs. For example, thin carbon layers can be found during the late Cretaceous Period (65 million years ago) - the time of Tyrannosaurus Rex. But the main deposits of fossil fuels are from the Carboniferous Period. For more about the various geologic eras, go to

Oil has been used for more than 5,000-6,000 years. The ancient Sumerians, Assyrians and Babylonians used crude oil and asphalt ("pitch") collected from large seeps at Tuttul (modern-day Hit) on the Euphrates River. A seep is a place on the ground where the oil leaks up from below ground. The ancient Egyptians, used liquid oil as a medicine for wounds, and oil has been used in lamps to provide light.

The Dead Sea, near the modern Country of Israel, used to be called Lake Asphaltites. The word asphalt was derived is from that term because of the lumps of gooey petroleum that were washed up on the lake shores from underwater seeps.

In North America, Native Americans used blankets to skim oil off the surface of streams and lakes. They used oil as medicine and to make canoes water-proof. During the Revolutionary War, Native Americans taught George Washington's troops how to treat frostbite with oil.

As our country grew, the demand for oil continued to increase as a fuel for lamps. Petroleum oil began to replace whale oil in lamps because the price for whale oil was very high. During this time, most petroleum oil came from distilling coal into a liquid or by skimming it off of lakes - just as the Native Americans did.

On August 27, 1859, Edwin L. Drake drilled the first oil well from below the ground in America near Titusville, PA.  The oil was stored in wooden barrels. This method is still used all over the world in some places.

In the United States  oil is found in 18 of the 58 counties in California.  Kern County, the County where Bakersfield is found, is one of the largest producing places in the country.  But we only get one-half of our oil from California wells. The rest comes from Alaska, and an increasing amount comes from other countries. In the entire U.S. more than 50 percent of all the oil we use comes from outside the country, most of it from the Middle East.

Perhaps this is a coincidence, but California also has the most earthquakes in the U.S.

Natural Gas

Sometime between 6,000 to 2,000 years BCE (Before the Common Era), the first discoveries of natural gas seeps were made in Iran. Many early writers described the natural petroleum seeps in the Middle East, especially in the Baku region of what is now Azerbaijan. The gas seeps, probably first ignited by lightning, provided the fuel for the "eternal fires" of the fire-worshiping religion of the ancient Persians.

Natural gas is lighter than air. Natural gas is mostly made up of a gas called methane. Methane is a simple chemical compound that is made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. It's chemical formula is CH4 - one atom of carbon along with four atoms hydrogen. This gas is highly flammable.

Natural gas is usually found near petroleum underground. It is pumped from below ground and travels in pipelines to storage areas

Note that Methane is found in great quantities on the bottom of oceans as well under the surface.  Natural methane explosions have occurred recently as ocean water is warming up with the current global climate change events.

Fossil fuels take millions of years to form and once they are gone - they are gone.


Coal is a hard, black colored rock-like substance. It is made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and varying amounts of sulphur. There are three main types of coal - anthracite, bituminous and lignite. Anthracite coal is the hardest and has more carbon, which gives it a higher energy content. Lignite is the softest and is low in carbon but high in hydrogen and oxygen content.Ê Bituminous is in between. Today, the precursor to coal - peat - is still found in many countries and is also used as an energy source.

The earliest known use of coal was in China. Coal from the Fu-shun mine in northeastern China may have been used to smelt copper as early as 3,000 years ago. The Chinese thought coal was a stone that could burn. 

Coal is found in many of the lower 48 states of U.S. and throughout the rest of the world. Coal is mined out of the ground using various methods. Some coal mines are dug by sinking vertical or horizontal shafts deep under ground, and coal miners travel by elevators or trains deep under ground to dig the coal. Other coal is mined in strip mines where huge steam shovels strip away the top layers above the coal. The layers are then restored after the coal is taken away.

Picture of coal deposits in U.S.






Fossil fuel information from:

Table of contents of other energy sources:


Peak oil

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Further information: Oil depletion
Peak oil
Mitigation of peak oil
Predicting the timing of peak oil
Hubbert peak theory
Related articles
A bell-shaped production curve, as originally suggested by M. King Hubbert in 1956.

Peak oil depletion scenarios graph which depicts cumulative published depletion studies by ASPO and other depletion analysts.

Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum production is reached, after which the rate of production enters its terminal decline. If global consumption is not mitigated before the peak, an energy crisis may develop because the availability of conventional oil will drop and prices will rise, perhaps dramatically. M. King Hubbert first used the theory in 1956 to accurately predict that United States oil production would peak between 1965 and 1970. His logistic model, now called Hubbert peak theory, has since been used to predict the peak petroleum production of many other countries, and has also proved useful in other limited-resource production-domains. According to the Hubbert model, the production rate of a limited resource will follow a roughly symmetrical bell-shaped curve based on the limits of exploitability and market pressures.

Some observers, such as petroleum industry experts Kenneth S. Deffeyes and Matthew Simmons, believe the high dependence of most modern industrial transport, agricultural and industrial systems on the relative low cost and high availability of oil will cause the post-peak production decline and possible severe increases in the price of oil to have negative implications for the global economy. Although predictions as to what exactly these negative effects will be vary greatly, "a growing number of oil-industry chieftains are endorsing an idea long deemed fringe: The world is approaching a practical limit to the number of barrels of crude oil that can be pumped every day."

If political and economic change only occur in reaction to high prices and shortages rather than in reaction to the threat of a peak, then the degree of economic damage to importing countries will largely depend on how rapidly oil imports decline post-peak. The Export Land Model shows that the amount of oil available internationally drops much more quickly than production in exporting countries because the exporting countries maintain an internal growth in demand. Shortfalls in production (and therefore supply) would cause extreme price inflation, unless demand is mitigated with planned conservation measures and use of alternatives, which would need to be implemented 20 years before the peak.

Optimistic estimations of peak production forecast a peak will happen in the 2020s or 2030s and assume major investments in alternatives will occur before a crisis. These models show the price of oil at first escalating and then retreating as other types of fuel and energy sources are used.

Pessimistic predictions of future oil production operate on the thesis that the peak has already occurred or will occur shortly and, as proactive mitigation may no longer be an option, predict a global depression, perhaps even initiating a chain reaction of the various feedback mechanisms in the global market which might stimulate a collapse of global industrial civilization. In early 2008 there are signs that a possible recession will be made worse by rising oil prices.

Demand for oil

Further information: Oil consumption rates, Industrialization, and Developing countries
Petroleum: top consuming nations, 1960-2005
United States oil production peaked in 1970. By 2005 imports were twice the production.

The demand side of Peak oil is concerned with the consumption over time, and the growth of this demand. World crude oil demand grew an average of 1.76% per year from 1994 to 2006, with a high of 3.4% in 2003-2004. Demand growth is highest in the developing world. World demand for oil is projected to increase 37% over 2006 levels by 2030, according to the US-based Energy Information Administration's (EIA) annual report. Demand will hit 118 million barrels per day (18.8×106 m3/d) from 2006's 86 million barrels (13.7×106 m3), driven in large part by the transportation sector.

As countries develop, industry, rapid urbanization and higher living standards drive up energy use, most often of oil. Thriving economies such as China and India are quickly becoming large oil consumers. China has seen oil consumption grow by 8% yearly since 2002, doubling from 1996-2006, indicating a doubling rate of less than 10 years. China imported roughly half its oil in 2005, and swift continued growth is predicted. India's oil imports are expected to more than triple from 2005 levels by 2020, rising to 5 million barrels per day (790×103 m3/d).

Energy demand is distributed amongst four broad sectors: transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial.[14][15]

The sector that generally sees the highest annual growth in petroleum demand is transportation, in the form of new demand for personal-use vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. Cars and trucks will cause almost 75% of the increase in oil consumption by India and China between 2001 and 2025. As more countries develop, the demand for oil will increase further. This sector also has the highest consumption rates, accounting for approximately 68.9% of the oil used in the United States in 2006, and 55% of oil use worldwide as documented in the Hirsch report. Transportation is therefore of particular interest to those seeking to mitigate the effects of Peak oil.


World population

6.5 Billion People

Today at 7:16 p.m. 10-20-06 Eastern Standard Time, the population of Earth is projected to reach 6.5 billion people. According to a March 2004 U.S. Census Bureau report, the world population hit 6 billion in June 1999.  "This figure is over 3.5 times the size of the Earth's population at the beginning of the 20th century and roughly double its size in 1960," the report noted. Perhaps more amazing was the short time required to  increase the planet's population from 5 to 6 billion -- just 12 years.


Another large factor on petroleum demand has been human population growth. Oil production per capita peaked in the 1970s. The world’s population in 2030 is expected to be double that of 1980. Some analysts project that people will be much more oil-dependent than they are now.

Author Matt Savinar predicts that oil production in 2030 will have declined back to 1980 levels as worldwide demand for oil significantly out-paces production.  Physicist Albert Bartlett claims that the rate of oil production per capita is falling, and that the decline has gone undiscussed because a politically incorrect form of population control may be implied by mitigation.

Oil production per capita has declined from 5.26 barrels (0.836 m³) per year in 1980 to 4.44 barrels (0.706 m³) per year in 1993, but then increased to 4.79 barrels (0.762 m³) per year in 2005. In 2006, the world oil production took a downturn from 84.631 million barrels per day (13.4553×106 m3/d) to 84.597 million barrels per day (13.4498×106 m3/d) although population has continued to increase. This has caused the oil production per capita to drop again to 4.73 barrels (0.752 m³) per year.

One factor that has so far helped ameliorate the effect of population growth on demand is the decline of population growth rate since the 1970s. In 1970, the population grew at 2.1%. By 2007,the growth rate had declined to 1.167%.However, oil production is still outpacing population growth to meet demand. World population grew from 6.07 Billion in 2000 to 6.45 Billion in 2005, or by 6.2%, whereas according to BP, global oil production during that same period increased from 74.9 million barrels (11.91×106 m3) to 81.1 million barrels (12.89×106 m3), or by 8.2%. or according to EIA, from 77.762 million barrels (12.3632×106 m3) to 84.631 million barrels (13.4553×106 m3), or by 8.8%.

Agriculture and population limits

Further information:

Agricultural effects of peak oil, Food vs fuel and 2007–2008 world food price crisis

Because supplies of oil and gas are essential to modern agriculture techniques, a fall in global oil supplies could cause spiking food prices and unprecedented famine in the coming decades. Geologist Dale Allen Pfeiffer contends that current population levels are unsustainable, and that to achieve a sustainable economy and avert disaster the United States population would have to be reduced by at least one-third, and world population by two-thirds. The largest consumer of fossil fuels in modern agriculture is fertilizer production via the Haber process. If a sustainable non-petroleum source of electricity is developed, this process can be accomplished without fossil fuels using methods such as electrolysis.

 Petroleum Supply


Main articles: Oil reserves and Peak oil/Table of largest oil fields

2004 U.S. government predictions for oil production other than in OPEC and the former Soviet Union

                   "All the easy oil and gas in the world has pretty much been found. Now comes
                     the harder work in finding and producing oil from more challenging environments
                     and work areas."
                              — William J. Cummings, major oil-company spokesman, December 2005 ,

As Peak oil is concerned with the amount of oil produced over time, the amount of recoverable reserves is important as this determines the amount of oil that can potentially be extracted in the future.

Conventional crude oil reserves include all crude oil that is technically possible to produce from reservoirs through a well bore, using primary, secondary, improved, enhanced, or tertiary methods. This does not include liquids extracted from mined solids or gasses (tar sands, oil shales, gas-to-liquid processes, or coal-to-liquid processes).

Oil reserves are classified as proven, probable and possible. Proven reserves are generally intended to have at least 90% or 95% certainty of containing the amount specified. Probable Reserves have an intended probability of 50%, and the Possible Reserves an intended probability of 5% or 10%. Current technology is capable of extracting about 40% of the oil from most wells. Some speculate that future technology will make further extraction possible, but to some, this future technology is already considered in Proven and Probable reserve numbers.

In many major producing countries, the majority of reserves claims have not been subject to outside audit or examination. Most of the easy-to-extract oil has been found. Recent price increases have led to oil exploration in areas where extraction is much more expensive, such as in extremely deep wells, extreme downhole temperatures, and environmentally sensitive areas or where high-technology will be required to extract the oil. A lower rate of discoveries per explorations has led to a shortage of drilling rigs, increases in steel prices, and overall increases in costs due to complexity.

The peak of world oilfield discoveries occurred in 1965. Because world population grew faster than oil production, production per capita peaked in 1979 (preceded by a plateau during the period of 1973-1979).

The amount of oil discovered each year also peaked during the 1960s at around 55 Gb/year, and has been falling steadily since (in 2004/2005 it was about 12 Gb/year). Reserves in effect peaked in 1980, when production first surpassed new discoveries, though creative methods of recalculating reserves has made this difficult to establish exactly.

Concerns over stated reserves

                   " World reserves are confused and in fact inflated.  Many of the so called reserves
                      are in fact resources.  They're not delineated, they're not accessible, they're not
                      available for production."
Sadad Al-Husseini, former VP of Aramco, October 2007.

By Al-Husseini's estimate, 300 billion of the world’s 1,200 billion barrels (190×109 m3) of proved reserves should be recategorized as speculative resources.

One difficulty in forecasting the date of peak oil is the opacity surrounding the oil reserves classified as 'proven'. Many worrying signs concerning the depletion of 'proven reserves' have emerged in recent years. This was best exemplified by the 2004 scandal surrounding the 'evaporation' of 20% of Shell's reserves.

For the most part, 'proven reserves' are stated by the oil companies, the producer states and the consumer states. All three have reasons to overstate their proven reserves:

  • Oil companies may look to increase their potential worth.

  • Producer countries are bestowed a stronger international stature

  • Governments of consumer countries may seek a means to foster sentiments of security and stability within their economies and among consumers.

The Energy Watch Group (EWG) 2007 report shows total world Proved (P95) plus Probable (P50) reserves to be between 854 and 1,255 Gb (30 to 40 years of supply if demand growth were to stop immediately). Major discrepancies arise from accuracy issues with OPEC's self-reported numbers. Besides the possibility that these nations have overstated their reserves for political reasons (during periods of no substantial discoveries), over 70 nations also follow a practice of not reducing their reserves to account for yearly production. 1,255 Gb is therefore a best-case scenario. Analysts have suggested that OPEC member nations have economic incentives to exaggerate their reserves, as the OPEC quota system allows greater output for countries with greater reserves.

The following table shows suspicious jumps in stated reserves without associated discoveries, as well as the lack of depletion despite yearly production:

Declared reserves with suspicious increases in bold purple (in billions of barrels) from Colin Campbell, SunWorld, 80'-95
Year Abu Dhabi Dubai Iran Iraq Kuwait Saudi Arabia Venezuela
1980 28.00 1.40 58.00 31.00 65.40 163.35 17.87
1981 29.00 1.40 57.50 30.00 65.90 165.00 17.95
1982 30.60 1.27 57.00 29.70 64.48 164.60 20.30
1983 30.51 1.44 55.31 41.00 64.23 162.40 21.50
1984 30.40 1.44 51.00 43.00 63.90 166.00 24.85
1985 30.50 1.44 48.50 44.50 90.00 169.00 25.85
1986 31.00 1.40 47.88 44.11 89.77 168.80 25.59
1987 31.00 1.35 48.80 47.10 91.92 166.57 25.00
1988 92.21 4.00 92.85 100.00 91.92 166.98 56.30
1989 92.20 4.00 92.85 100.00 91.92 169.97 58.08
1990 92.20 4.00 93.00 100.00 95.00 258.00 59.00
1991 92.20 4.00 93.00 100.00 94.00 258.00 59.00
1992 92.20 4.00 93.00 100.00 94.00 258.00 62.70
2004 92.20 4.00 132.00 115.00 99.00 259.00 78.00

Kuwait, for example, was reported by a January 2006 issue of Petroleum Intelligence Weekly to have only 48 Gb in reserve, of which only 24 were "fully proven." This report was based on "leaks of confidential documents" from Kuwait, and has not been formally denied by the Kuwaiti authorities. Additionally, the reported 1.5 Gb of oil burned off by Iraqi soldiers in the first Gulf Wa are conspicuously missing from Kuwait's figures.

On the other hand investigative journalist Greg Palast has argued that oil companies have an interest in making oil look more rare than it is in order to justify higher prices. Other analysts in 2003 argued that oil producing countries understated the extent of their reserves in order to drive up the price of oil.

 Unconventional sources

Unconventional sources, such as heavy crude oil, tar sands, and oil shale are not counted as part of oil reserves. However, oil companies can book them as proven reserves after opening a strip mine or thermal facility for extraction. Oil industry sources such as Rigzone have stated that these unconventional sources are not as efficient to produce, however, requiring extra energy to refine, resulting in higher production costs and up to three times more greenhouse gas emissions per barrel (or barrel equivalent). While the energy used, resources needed, and environmental effects of extracting unconventional sources has traditionally been prohibitively high, the three major unconventional oil sources being considered for large scale production are the extra heavy oil in the Orinoco river of Venezuela, the tar sands in the Western Canada Basin, and the oil shale in the Green River Formation in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming in the United States. Chuck Masters of the USGS estimates that, "Taken together, these resource occurrences, in the Western Hemisphere, are approximately equal to the Identified Reserves of conventional crude oil accredited to the Middle East."

Despite the large quantities of oil available in non-conventional sources, Matthew Simmons argues that limitations on production prevent them from becoming an effective substitute for conventional crude oil. Simmons states that "these are high energy intensity projects that can never reach high volumes" to offset significant losses from other sources. Moreover, oil extracted from these sources typically contains contaminants such as sulfur, heavy metals and carbon that are energy-intensive to extract and leave highly toxic tailings. However, recent high oil prices make these sources more financially appealing. A study by Wood Mackenzie suggests that within 15 years all the world’s extra oil supply will likely come from unconventional sources.

A 2003 article in Discover magazine claimed that thermal depolymerization could be used to manufacture oil indefinitely, out of garbage, sewage, and agricultural waste. The article claimed that the cost of the process was $15 per barrel. A follow-up article in 2006 stated that the cost was actually $80 per barrel.


OPEC Crude Oil Production 2002-2006. Source: Middle East Economic Survey

The point in time when peak global oil production occurs is the measure which defines Peak oil. This is because production capacity is the main limitation of supply. Therefore, when production decreases, it becomes the main bottleneck to the petroleum supply/demand equation.

World wide oil discoveries have been less than annual production since 1980. According to several sources, world-wide production is past or near its maximum.

World oil production growth trends were flat from 2005 to 2008. According to a January 2007 International Energy Agency report, global supply (which includes biofuels, non-crude sources of petroleum, and use of strategic oil reserves, as well as production) averaged 85.24 million barrels per day (13.552×106 m3/d) in 2006, up 0.76 million barrels per day (121×103 m3/d) (0.9%), from 84.48 million barrels per day (13.431×106 m3/d) in 2005. Production in Q3 2007 was 85.08 million barrels per day (13.527×106 m3/d), down 0.62 million barrels per day (99×103 m3/d) (0.7%), from the same period a year earlier. Average yearly gains in world oil production from 1987 to 2005 were 1.2 million barrels per day (190×103 m3/d) (1.7%), with yearly changes since 1997 ranging from a decrease of 1.4 million barrels per day (220×103 m3/d), (-1.9%; 1998–1999) to an increase of 3.3 million barrels per day (520×103 m3/d) (4.1%; 2003–2004).

The IEA's March 2008 Oil Market report showed global supply to be 87.5 mb/d, compared to 84.3 mb/d in July 2007, a 3.8% increase on that interval. The great bulk of the increase came in the non-OPEC sector, which now makes up 65% of global production.

Of the largest 21 fields, at least 9 are in decline. In April, 2006, a Saudi Aramco spokesman admitted that its mature fields are now declining at a rate of 8% per year (with a national composite decline of about 2%). This information has been used to argue that Ghawar, which is the largest oil field in the world and responsible for approximately half of Saudi Arabia's oil production over the last 50 years, has peaked. The world's second largest oil field, the Burgan field in Kuwait, entered decline in November, 2005. According to a study of the largest 811 oilfields conducted in early 2008 by CERA, the average rate of field decline is 4.5% per year. There are also projects projected to begin production within the next decade which are hoped to offset these declines. The CERA report projects 2017 production level of over 100mbpd. However, CERA is often criticised for being overly optimistic

Mexico announced that its giant Cantarell Field entered depletion in March, 2006, due to past overproduction. In 2006, Cantarell was declining at a rate of 13% per year.

OPEC had vowed in 2000 to maintain a production level sufficient to keep oil prices between $22–28 per barrel, but did not prove possible. In its 2007 annual report, OPEC projected that it could maintain a production level which would stabilize the price of oil at around $50–60 per barrel until 2030. On November 18, 2007, with oil above $98 a barrel, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, a long-time advocate of stabilized oil prices, announced that his country would not increase production in order to lower prices. Saudi Arabia's inability, as the world's largest supplier, to stabilize prices through increased production during that period suggests that no nation or organization had the spare production capacity to lower oil prices. The implication is that those major suppliers who had not yet peaked were operating at or near full capacity.

Commentators have pointed to the Jack 2 deep water test well in the Gulf of Mexico, announced September 5, 2006,[68] as evidence that there is no imminent peak in global oil production. According to one estimate, the field could account for up to 11% of US production within seven years. However, even though oil discoveries are expected after the peak oil of production is reached, the new reserves of oil will be harder to find and extract. The Jack 2 field, for instance, is more than 20,000 feet (6,100 m) under the sea floor in 7,000 feet (2,100 m) of water, requiring 8.5 kilometers of pipe to reach. Additionally, even the maximum estimate of 15 billion barrels (2.4×109 m3) represents slightly less than 2 years of U.S. consumption at present levels.

The increasing investment in harder-to-reach oil is a sign of oil companies' belief in the end of easy oil. In addition, while it is widely believed that increased oil prices spur an increase in production, an increasing number of oil industry insiders are now coming to believe that even with higher prices, oil production is unlikely to increase significantly beyond its current level. Among the reasons cited are both geological factors as well as "above ground" factors that are likely to see oil production plateau near its current level.

 Nationalization of oil supplies‎

Another factor affecting global oil supply is the nationalization of oil reserves by producing nations. The nationalization of oil occurs as countries begin to deprivatize oil production and withhold exports. Kate Dourian, Platts' Middle East editor, points out that while estimates of oil reserves may vary, politics have now entered the equation of oil supply. "Some countries are becoming off limits. Major oil companies operating in Venezuela find themselves in a difficult position because of the growing nationalization of that resource. These countries are now reluctant to share their reserves."

According to consulting firm PFC Energy, only 7% of the world's estimated oil and gas reserves are in countries that allow companies like ExxonMobil free rein. Fully 65% are in the hands of state-owned companies such as Saudi Aramco, with the rest in countries such as Russia and Venezuela, where access by Western companies is difficult. The PFC study implies political factors are limiting capacity increases in Mexico, Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Russia. Saudi Arabia is also limiting capacity expansion, but because of a self-imposed cap, unlike the other countries. As a result of not having access to countries amenable to oil exploration, ExxonMobil is not making nearly the investment in finding new oil that it did in 1981.

Alternately, commodities trader Raymond Learsy, author of Over a Barrel: Breaking the Middle East Oil Cartel, contends that OPEC has trained consumers to believe that oil is a much more finite resource than it is. To back his argument, he points to past false alarms and apparent collaboration.[45] He also believes that Peak Oil analysts are conspiring with OPEC and the oil companies to create a "fabricated drama of peak oil" in order to drive up oil prices and profits. It is worth noting oil had risen to a little over $30/barrel at that time. A counter-argument was given in the Huffington Post after he and Steve Andrews, co-founder of ASPO, debated on CNBC in June 2007.

 Timing of peak oil

US oil production (crude oil only) and Hubbert high estimate.

M. King Hubbert initially predicted in 1974 that peak oil would occur in 1995 "if current trends continue." However, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, global oil consumption actually dropped (due to the shift to energy-efficient cars, the shift to electricity and natural gas for heating, and other factors), then rebounded to a lower level of growth in the mid 1980s. Thus oil production did not peak in 1995, and has climbed to more than double the rate initially projected. This underscores the fact that the only reliable way to identify the timing of peak oil will be in retrospect. However, predictions have been refined through the years as up-to-date information becomes more readily available, such as new reserve growth data. Predictions of the timing of peak oil include the possibilities that it has recently occurred, that it will occur shortly, or that a plateau of oil production will sustain supply for up to 100 years. All of these predictions indicate peak oil production will happen.

Pessimistic predictions of future oil production

Saudi Arabia's King Abdulla told his subjects in 1998, "The oil boom is over and will not return... All of us must get used to a different lifestyle." Since then he has implemented a series of corruption reforms and government programs intended to lower Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil revenues. The royal family was put on notice to end its history of excess and new industries were created to diversify the national economy.

The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) predicted in their January 2008 newsletter that the peak in all oil (including non-conventional sources), would occur in 2010. This is earlier than the July 2007 newsletter prediction of 2011.

Kenneth S. Deffeyes argues that world oil production peaked on December 16, 2005.

Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens stated in 2005 that worldwide conventional oil production was very close to peaking. Data from the US Energy Information Administration show that world production leveled out in 2004, and reached a peak in the third quarter of 2006, and an October 2007 retrospective report by the Energy Watch Group concluded that this was the peak of conventional oil production. If current estimates hold, that peak may have been exceeded in December 2007, though it is unclear how much of this amount is crude oil production and how much is natural gas and other sources.

Sadad Al Husseini, former head of Saudi Aramco's production and exploration, stated in an October 29, 2007 interview that oil production had likely already reached its peak in 2006, and that assumptions by the IEA and EIA of production increases by OPEC to over 45 MB/day are "quite unrealistic."

2004 U.S. government predictions for oil production other than in OPEC and the former Soviet Union

Global Oil Supply 1997-2007. Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency

The July 2007 IEA Medium-Term Oil Market Report projected a 2% non-OPEC liquids supply growth in 2007-2009, reaching 51.0 mb/d in 2008, receding thereafter as the slate of verifiable investment projects diminishes. They refer to this decline as a plateau. The report expects only a small amount of supply growth from OPEC producers, with 70% of the increase coming from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Angola as security and investment issues continue to impinge on oil exports from Iraq, Nigeria and Venezuela.

In October 2007, the Energy Watch Group, a German research group founded by MP Hans-Josef Fell, released a report claiming that oil production peaked in 2006 and will decline by several percent annually. The authors predict negative economic effects and social unrest as a result. They state that the IEA production plateau prediction uses purely economic models which rely on an ability to raise production and discovery rates at will.

Matthew Simmons, Chairman of Simmons & Company International, said on October 26, 2006 that global oil production may have peaked in December 2005, though he cautions that further monitoring of production is required to determine if a peak has actually occurred.

Optimistic predictions of future oil production

Non-'peakists' can be divided into several different categories based on their specific criticism of Peak Oil theory. Some believe that any peak will not come soon or have a dramatic effect on the world economies. Others believe we will not reach a peak for technological reasons, while still others believe our oil reserves are regenerated quickly over time.

 Plateau oil

CERA, which counts unconventional sources in reserves while discounting EROEI, believes that global production will eventually follow an “undulating plateau” for one or more decades before declining slowly. In 2005 the group had predicted that "petroleum supplies will be expanding faster than demand over the next five years."

Dr. R.C. Vierbuchen, Vice President, Caspian/Middle East Region, ExxonMobil Exploration Co. believes a peak, "from resource limitations, is unlikely in the next 25 years." He claims that future technologies will increase production, and that the peak will be the result of non-production factors.

Similarly, some analysts believe that the rising oil prices will instigate a move toward alternative sources of fuel, and that this will take effect long before oil reserves are depleted.

Energy Information Administration and USGS 2000 reports

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects world consumption of oil to increase to 98.3 million barrels per day (15.63×106 m3/d) in 2015 and 118 million barrels per day (18.8×106 m3/d) in 2030. This would require a more than 35% increase in world oil production by 2030. A 2004 paper by the Energy Information Administration based on data collected in 2000 disagrees with Hubbert peak theory on several points:

        Explicitly incorporates demand into model as well as supply

        Does not assume pre/post-peak symmetry of production levels

        Models pre- and post-peak production with different functions (exponential growth and constant
        reserves-to-production ratio, respectively

        Assumes reserve growth, including via technological advancement and exploitation of small reservoirs

The EIA estimates of future oil supply are countered by Sadad Al Husseini, retired VP Exploration of Aramco, who calls it a 'dangerous over-estimate'. Husseini also points out that population growth and the emergence of China and India means oil prices are now going to be structurally higher than they have been.

Colin Campbell argues that the 2000 USGS estimates is a methodologically flawed study that has done incalculable damage by misleading international agencies and governments. Campbell dismisses the notion that the world can seamlessly move to more difficult and expensive sources of oil and gas when the need arises. He argues that oil is in profitable abundance or not there at all, due ultimately to the fact that it is a liquid concentrated by nature in a few places having the right geology. Campbell believes OPEC countries raised their reserves to get higher oil quotas and to avoid internal critique. He also points out that the USGS failed to extrapolate past discovery trends in the world’s mature basins.

No Peak Oil

                "Yes, there are finite resources in the ground, but you never get to that point."

— Jeff Hatlen, an engineer with Chevron

Some commentators, such as economist Michael Lynch, believe that the Hubbert Peak theory is flawed and that there is no imminent peak in oil production; a view sometimes referred to as "cornucopian" by believers in Hubbert Peak Theory. Lynch argued in 2004 that production is determined by demand as well as geology, and that fluctuations in oil supply are due to political and economic effects as well as the physical processes of exploration, discovery and production. This idea is echoed by Jad Mouawad, who explains that as oil prices rise, new extraction technologies become viable, thus expanding the total recoverable oil reserves. This, according to Mouwad, is one explanation of the changes in peak production estimates.

Abdullah S. Jum'ah, President, Director and CEO of Aramco, states that the world has adequate reserves of conventional and nonconventional oil sources for more than a century, though Sadad Al-Husseini, a former Vice President of Aramco who formerly maintained that production would peak in 10-15 years, stated in October 2007 that oil production peaked in 2006.

OPEC has never acknowledged imminent Peak oil concerns. In OPEC's 2007 annual book, which discusses issues such as future supply position, forecasted demand, and ultimate recoverable reserves (URR), the authors state that the conventional oil resource base is sufficient to satisfy demand increases until 2030 at a price of $50-60 per barrel, increasing afterwards to account for inflation. It also states that, comparing the five percent confidence (P5) URR of 3300(sic) billion barrels from the 2000 USGS survey to what appears to be (there is no reference given) the 95% confidence (P95) URR of 1700(sic) billion barrels from the 1980 Rand corporation survey, production after 1980 has been only one third of reserve additions happening during the same period, which would contrast with Peak oil predictors. However, four other surveys from 1980 give estimates of 2600, 2400, 2280, and 2,015 billion barrels (320.4×109 m3). Comparing the average of the five 1980 estimates (2219 billion barrels when using the actual Rand estimate of 1800 billion barrels) to the P95 URR from the 2000 USGS survey (2272 billion barrels), production since 1980 has been more than 10 times new reserves.


The theory that petroleum is derived from biogenic processes is held by the overwhelming majority of petroleum geologists. Abiogenic theorists however, such as the late professor of astronomy Thomas Gold at Cornell University, assert that the source of oil may not be a limited supply of “fossil fuels”, but instead an abiotic process. They theorize that if abiogenic petroleum sources are found to be abundant, Earth would contain vast reserves of untapped petroleum. A February 2008 article on abiogenic low-carbon hydrocarbon production using data from experiments at Lost City (hydrothermal field) reported how the abiotic synthesis of C1 to C4 hydrocarbons (though not petroleum) may occur in the presence of ultramafic rocks, water, and moderate amounts of heat.

The most important counter arguments to the abiotic theory involve various biomarkers which have been found in all samples of all the oil and gas accumulations found to date. The prevailing view among geologists and petroleum engineers is that this evidence "provides irrefutable proof that 99.99999% of all the oil and gas accumulations found up to now in the planet earth have a biologic origin." In this process, oil is generated from kerogen by pyrolysis. While, Thomas Gold hypothesized that bacteria exist deep within the Earth's crust, and are the source of the biomarkers, these bacteria have not been found, the natural abiogenic formation of high-carbon hydrocarbons has not been demonstrated, and evidence for the biotic origin of petroleum is abundant.

Possible effects and consequences of Peak Oil

Further information: Malthusian catastropheOlduvai theory, and Backstop resources
For information on the timing of peak oil, see Predicting the timing of peak oil

The widespread use of fossil fuels has been one of the most important stimuli of economic growth and prosperity since the industrial revolution, allowing humans to participate in takedown, or the consumption of energy at a greater rate than it is being replaced. Some believe that when oil production decreases, human culture and modern technological society will be forced to change drastically. The impact of Peak oil will depend heavily on the rate of decline and the development and adoption of effective alternatives. If alternatives are not forthcoming, the products produced with oil (including fertilizers, detergents, solvents, adhesives, and most plastics) would become scarce and expensive. At the very least this could lower living standards in developed and developing countries alike, and in the worst case lead to worldwide economic collapse. With increased tension between countries over dwindling oil supplies, political situations may change dramatically and inequalities between countries and regions may become exacerbated.

 The Hirsch Report

Main article: Hirsch report

In 2005, the US Department of Energy published a report titled Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management. Known as the Hirsch report, it stated, "The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking."

 Conclusions from the Hirsch Report and three scenarios

      World oil peaking is going to happen, and will likely be abrupt.

      Oil peaking will adversely affect global economies, particularly those most dependent on oil.

      Oil peaking presents a unique challenge (“it will be abrupt and revolutionary”).

      The problem is liquid fuels (growth in demand mainly from the transportation sector).

       Mitigation efforts will require substantial time.
       20 years is required to transition without substantial impacts

       A 10 year rush transition with moderate impacts is possible with extraordinary efforts from
               governments, industry, and consumers

       Late initiation of mitigation may result in severe consequences.

       Both supply and demand will require attention.

       It is a matter of risk management (mitigating action must come before the peak).

       Government intervention will be required.

       Economic upheaval is not inevitable (“given enough lead-time, the problems can be solved
             with existing technologies.”)

       More information is needed to more precisely determine the peak time frame.

Possible Scenarios:

       Waiting until world oil production peaks before taking crash program action leaves the world with
              a significant liquid fuel deficit for more than two decades.

       Initiating a mitigation crash program 10 years before world oil peaking helps considerably but still
              leaves a liquid fuels shortfall roughly a decade after the time that oil would have peaked.

       Initiating a mitigation crash program 20 years before peaking appears to offer the possibility of
              avoiding a world liquid fuels shortfall for the forecast period.

 Other predictions

Some envisage a Malthusian catastrophe occurring as oil becomes increasingly inefficient to produce. Others claim that applying lessons learned from "mature oil fields" to operational procedures of other basins could preserve their operational tempo.[citation needed]

Agricultural effects

Further information: Agriculture and population limits, Agriculture and petroleum, Food security, and Food vs fuel

Since the 1940s, agriculture has dramatically increased its productivity, due largely to the use of petrochemical derived pesticides, fertilizers, and increased mechanization (the so-called Green Revolution). This has allowed world population to more than double over the last 50 years. Every energy unit delivered in food grown using modern techniques requires over ten energy units to produce and deliver. Modern agriculture relies heavily on petrochemicals and mechanization, and there are few or no quickly available non-petroleum based alternatives. Because of this, many agriculture, petroleum, sociology, and ecology experts have warned that the ever decreasing supply of oil will inflict major damage to the modern industrial agriculture system causing a collapse in food production ability and food shortages.

One example of the chain reactions which could possibly be caused by peak oil issues involves the problems caused by farmers raising crops such as corn for non-food use in an effort to help mitigate peak oil. This has already lowered food production. This food vs fuel issue will be exacerbated as demand for ethanol fuel rises. Rising food and fuel costs has already limited the abilities of some charitable donors to send food aid to starving populations.] In the UN, some warn that the recent 60% rise in wheat prices could cause "serious social unrest in developing countries." In 2007, higher incentives for farmers to grow non-food biofuel crops combined with other factors (such as over-development of former farm lands, rising transportation costs, climate change, growing consumer demand in China and India, and population growth) to cause food shortages in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Mexico, as well as rising food prices around the globe. As of December 2007, 37 countries faced food crises, and 20 had imposed some sort of food-price controls. Some of these shortages resulted in food riots and even deadly stampedes.

Another major petroleum issue in agriculture is the effect of petroleum supplies will have on fertilizer production. By far the biggest fossil fuel input to agriculture is the use of natural gas as a hydrogen source for the Haber-Bosch fertilizer-creation process. Natural gas is used because it is the cheapest currently available source of hydrogen. When oil production becomes so scarce that natural gas is used as a partial stopgap replacement, and hydrogen use in transportation increases, natural gas will become much more expensive. If other sources of hydrogen are not available to replace the Haber process, in amounts sufficient to supply transportation and agricultural needs, this major source of fertilizer would either become extremely expensive or unavailable. This would either cause food shortages or dramatic rises in food prices.

 Mitigation of agricultural effects

One effect oil shortages could have on agriculture is a full return to organic agriculture. In light of peak oil concerns, organic methods are much more sustainable than contemporary practices because they use no petroleum-based pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. Some farmers using modern organic-farming methods have reported yields as high as those available from conventional farming. Organic farming may however be more labor-intensive and would require a shift of work force from urban to rural areas.

It has been suggested that rural communities might obtain fuel from the biochar and synfuel process, which uses agricultural waste to provide charcoal fertilizer, some fuel and food, instead of the normal food vs fuel debate. As the synfuel would be used on site, the process would be more efficient and may just provide enough fuel for a new organic-agriculture fusion.

It has been suggested that some transgenic plants may some day be developed which would allow for maintaining or increasing yields while requiring fewer fossil fuel derived inputs than conventional crops. The possibility of success of these programs is questioned by ecologists and economists concerned with unsustainable GMO practices such as terminator seeds, and a January 2008 report shows that GMO practices have failed to address sustainability issues. While there has been some research on sustainability using GMO crops, at least one hyped and prominent multi-year attempt by Monsanto has been unsuccessful, though during the same period traditional breeding techniques yielded a more sustainable variety of the same crop. Additionally, a survey by the bio-tech industry of subsistence farmers in Africa to discover what GMO research would most benefit sustainable agriculture only identified non-transgenic issues as areas needing to be addressed.

Transportation and housing

A majority of Americans live in suburbs, a type of low-density settlement designed around universal personbrrrl automobile use. Electric vehicle, hydrogen power,[citation needed] or other technologies[citation needed] may extend the usefulness of these living arrangements, but commentators such as James Howard Kunstler argue that because over 90% of transportation in the United States relies on oil, the suburbs' reliance on the automobile is an unsustainable living arrangement. Peak oil would leave many Americans unable to afford petroleum based fuel for their cars, and force them to move to higher density areas, where walking and public transportation are more viable options. Suburbia may become the "slums of the future."[131][132] Methods which have been suggested for mitigating this include transit-oriented development, new trains, new pedestrianism, smart growth, shared space, and New Urbanism.


To avoid the serious social and economic implications a global decline in oil production could entail, the Hirsch report emphasized the need to find alternatives at least 10-20 years before the peak, and to phase out the use of petroleum over that time, similar to the plan Sweden announced in 2005. Such mitigation could include energy conservation, fuel substitution, and the use of non-conventional oil. Because mitigation can reduce the consumption of traditional petroleum sources, it can also affect the timing of peak oil and the shape of the Hubbert curve.

Positive aspects of peak oil

There are those who believe that peak oil should be viewed as a positive event. Many of these critics reason that if the price of oil rises high enough, the use of alternative clean fuels could help control the pollution of fossil fuel use as well as mitigate global warming. Others, in particular anarcho-primitivists, are hopeful that it will cause or contribute to the collapse of civilization.

Peak oil for individual nations

Further information: List of oil fields

Peak Oil as a concept applies globally, but it is based on the summation of individual nations experiencing peak oil. In State of the World 2005, Worldwatch Institute observes that oil production is in decline in 33 of the 48 largest oil-producing countries. Other countries have also passed their individual oil production peaks.

The following list shows significant oil-producing nations and their approximate peak oil production years, organized by year.

US oil production (crude oil only) and Hubbert high estimate.
Canadian conventional oil production peaked in 1973, but oil sands production is forecast to increase to at least 2020

     Japan: 1932 (assumed; source does not specify)
     Germany: 1966
     Libya: 1970
     Venezuela: 1970
     USA: 1970
     Iran: 1974
     Nigeria: 1979
     Tobago: 1981
     Egypt: 1987
     Russia: a peak occurred in 1987 shortly before the Collapse of the Soviet Union, but production
         subsequently recovered, making Russia the second largest oil exporter in the world. Figures from
         early 2008, statements by officials, and analysis suggest that production may have peaked in
     France: 1988
     Indonesia: 1991
     Syria: 1996 
     India: 1997
     New Zealand: 1997
     UK: 1999
     Norway: 2000
     Oman: 2000
     Mexico: 2003
     Australia (disputed): 2004; 2001

Peak oil production has not been reached in the following nations (these numbers are estimates and subject to revision):

     Iraq: 2018
     Kuwait: 2013
     Saudi Arabia: 2014

In addition, the most recent International Energy Agency and US Energy Information Administration production data show record and rising production in Canada and China.

Related peaks

The amount of oil discovered each year peaked in the mid 1960's at around 55 Gb/year, and has been falling steadily since then (in 2004/2005 it was about 12 Gb/year). Reserves in effect peaked in 1980, when production first surpassed new discoveries. Because of world population growth, oil production per capita peaked in 1979 (preceded by a plateau during the period of 1973-1979).

Hubbert's curve has also been used to describe the peak production of other non-renewable resources, such as natural gas, coal, uranium, metals, and even renewable resources like water and fish.

 Oil price

Main articles: Oil price increases since 2003 and Price of petroleum


Medium-Term Oil Prices, 1994-2008 (not  adjusted for inflation).

In terms of 2007 inflation adjusted dollars, the price of oil peaked in May 2008 at over $123 a barrel. Before this period, the maximum inflation adjusted price was the equivalent of $95-100, in 1980. Crude oil prices in the last several years have steadily risen from about $25 a barrel in August of 2003 to over $125 a barrel in May of 2008, with the most significant increases happening within the last year. These prices are well above those which caused the the 1973 and 1979 energy crises. This has contributed to fears of an economic recession similar to that of the early 1980s. One important indicator which supported the possibility that the price of oil had begun to have an effect on economies was that in the United States, gasoline consumption dropped by .5% in the first two months of 2008, compared to a drop of .4% total in 2007.

However the rise in other commodity prices such as gold, and a decline in the US dollar against other significant currencies might suggest that a significant part of these price rises is due to monetary inflation.

Helping to fuel these price increases were reports from the U.S. Department of Energy and others that showed a decline in petroleum reserves, and analysts reporting that petroleum production is at or near full capacity. In June 2005, OPEC admitted that they would 'struggle' to pump enough oil to meet pricing pressures for the fourth quarter of that year.

Demand pressures on oil have been strong. Global consumption of oil rose from 30 billion barrels (4.8×109 m3) in 2004 to 31 billion in 2005. These consumption rates are far above new discoveries for the period, which had fallen to only eight billion barrels of new oil reserves in new accumulations in 2004. In 2005, consumption was within 2 million barrels per day (320×103 m3/d) of production, and at any one time there are about 54 days of stock in the OECD system plus 37 days in emergency stockpiles.

Besides supply and demand pressures, at times security related factors may have contributed to increases in prices, including the "War on Terror," missile launches in North Korea, the Crisis between Israel and Lebanon, nuclear brinkmanship between the US and Iran, the incursion by Turkey into Northern Iraq, and hurricanes.

Another factor in oil price is the cost of extracting crude. As the extraction of oil has become more difficult, oil's historically high ratio of Energy Returned on Energy Invested has seen a significant decline. The increased price of oil makes non-conventional sources of oil retrieval more attractive. For example, the so-called "tar sands" are actually a reserve of bitumen, a heavier, lower value oil compared to conventional crude. It only became attractive to production companies when oil prices exceeded about $25/bbl, high enough to cover the costs of production and upgrading to synthetic crude. Recent months have seen billions of dollars invested in the tar sands.

Despite the rapid increase in the price of oil, neither the stock markets nor the growth of the global economy were noticeably affected, though inflation increased. In the United States, inflation averaged 3.3% in 2005-2006, as compared to an average of 2.5% in the preceding 10-year period. As a result, during this period the Federal Reserve consistently increased interest rates to curb inflation.

 Effects of rising oil prices

Main article: Effects of oil price
World consumption of primary energy by energy type in terawatts (TW), 1965-2005.

In the past, the price of oil has led to economic recessions, such as the 1973 and 1979 energy crises. The effect the price of oil has on an economy is known as a price shock. In many European countries, which have high taxes on fuels, such price shocks could potentially be mitigated somewhat by temporarily or permanently suspending the taxes as fuel costs rise. This method of softening price shocks is less in countries with much lower gas taxes, such as the United States.

Some economists predict that a substitution effect will spur demand for alternate energy sources, such as coal or liquefied natural gas. This substitution can only be temporary, as coal and natural gas are finite resources as well.

Prior to the run-up in fuel prices, many motorists opted for larger, less fuel-efficient sport utility vehicles and full-sized pickups in the United States, Canada and other countries. This trend has been reversing due to sustained high prices of fuel. The September 2005 sales data for all vehicle vendors indicated SUV sales dropped while small cars sales increased. Hybrid and diesel vehicles are also gaining in popularity.

Historical understanding of world oil supply limits

Although the earth's finite oil supply means that peak oil is inevitable, technological innovations in finding and drilling for oil have at times changed the understanding of the total oil supply on Earth. As scientific understanding of petroleum geology has increased, so has our understanding of the earth's total recoverable reserves. Since the 1965, major oil surveys have averaged a 95% confidence Estimated Ultimate Retrieval (P95 EUR) of a little under 2,000 billion barrels (320×109 m3), though some estimates have been as low as 1,500 billion barrels (240×109 m3), and as high as 2,400 billion barrels (380×109 m3).

The EUR The 2000 USGS survey (which reported 2,300 billion barrels (370×109 m3) EUR) has been criticized for assuming a discovery trend over the next 20 years which would completely and dramatically reverse the observed trend of the past 40 years. Their 95% confidence EUR of 2,300 billion barrels (370×109 m3) assumed that discovery levels would stay steady, despite the fact that discovery levels have been falling steadily since the 1960s. That trend of falling discoveries has continued in the 7 years since the USGS made their assumption.


Some do not agree with the "Peak Oil" theory, at least as it has been presented by Matthew Simmons. The president of Royal Dutch Shell's US operations John Hofmeister, while agreeing that conventional oil production will soon start to decline, has criticized Simmons's analysis for being "overly focused on a single country: Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter and OPEC swing producer." He also points to the large reserves at the "US Outer Continental Shelf, which holds an estimated 100 billion barrels (16×109 m3) of oil and natural gas. As things stand, however, only 15 percent of those reserves are currently exploitable, a good part of that off the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas. Simmons is also off the mark, Hofmeister contends, because he excludes unconventional sources of oil such as the oil sands of Canada, where Shell is already active. The Canadian oil sands — a natural combination of sand, water and oil found largely in Alberta — is believed to contain one trillion barrels of oil. Another trillion barrels are also said to be trapped in rocks in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, but are in the form of oil shale. These particular reserves present major environmental, social, and economic obstacles to recovery. Hofmeister also claims that if oil companies were allowed to drill more in the United States enough to produce another 2 million barrels per day (320×103 m3/d), oil and gas prices would not be as high as they are in the later part of the 2000 to 2010 decade. He thinks that high energy prices are causing social unrest similar to levels surrounding the Rodney King riots.

See also





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    Will oil drilling increase earthquake activity?

    When we extract oil from the earth, surely we leave big voids where there was once mass. Will these voids lead to instability, increase plate shift, and so lead to more earthquakes and possibly unexpected volcanic activity? IF this is the case, when do you think natural resources will run out?

    Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

    Firstly, we don't leave "big voids"; the oil is in spaces in porous rock, a bit like concrete breeze-blocks. Vast caverns can't collapse.

    However, oil drilling changes the pressure regime, initially dropping it when the oil is extracted, and often raising it again later when high pressure water is injected to improve yields. The rock itself is slightly elastic, and there is some settlement, sometimes a few metres, again changing the stress.

    There are large numbers of faults, and changing the stress pattern can result in yield along some of them, causing earthquakes.

    Mining, and even constructing large reservoirs can have a similar effect.

    Most of these quakes are of "nuisance value" at worse, though in the 60s an attempt to dispose of toxic liquids deep in the earth below Nevada was stopped, not because of environmental concerns but because they were getting too many damage claims due to minor earthquakes.

    Big quakes, and especially volcanism, are on a different scale however, originating in the deep crust and mantle, up to hundreds of kilometres down and far beyond the range of even the most ambitious drilling project. There is no indication that drilling could have a measurable effects on those.



    Oil seeps to surface after earthquake

    March 13, 2007
    By Adam Bennett
    Herald graphic

    Herald graphic

    A recent earthquake has brought traces of crude oil to the surface on Stewart Island, strengthening prospects of a significant oil discovery in the nearby Great South Basin offshore area.

    Several natural oil seepages have been detected behind the beach at Thule Bay, said Ministry of Economic Development chief petroleum geologist Richard Cook.

    The ministry had been monitoring the area, where seepages had been detected years earlier, for some time but found no fresh activity until after the magnitude 4.8 quake last month.

    "We are encouraged the latest information strengthens the case for exploration in the area."

    While the seepages did not indicate any particular size of oil deposits "the fact that natural oil has been generated out in the basin and seeped up there is encouraging".

    "It's just reinforcing the fact that there's oil potential and not just gas."

    Crown Minerals has said the enormous potential of the basin, southeast of Dunedin, is "commonly acknowledged" and may even support the large-scale infrastructure needed to produce liquefied natural gas.

    If significant reserves were found, it could take between 15 and 20 years before gas or oil started flowing in commercial quantities.

    However, Mr Cook said an exploration programme would give the area an economic lift.

    Black Gold

    * Government geologists say the discovery of oil traces is good news for an oil and gas exploration programme in the nearby Great South Basin.

    * Drilling is likely to begin within three to four years.

    * Any significant discovery is likely to take 15 to 20 years to develop.



    Drilling for tsunami and earthquake research

    Two Swiss scientists are taking part in the research drilling project in what is known as the Nankai Trough subduction zone off the east coast of Japan. In the coming weeks they will report directly from on board the research ship Chikyu about one of the most ambitious and spectacular research borehole drilling projects in the history of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).

    A cross-section through the Nankai Trough subduction zone shows the profile of the fault and the planned drilling sites. (Graphic: JAMSTEC/IODP)

    The Philippine plate of the Pacific slides under the Eurasian continental plate at the Nankai Trough subduction zone off Japan’s east coast. In this process the tectonic plates can become interlocked and build up stress. Earthquakes happen when such stress frees itself with a sudden jolt. On average an earthquake with a magnitude greater than eight occurs in the region every 90 to 150 years. Quakes of this intensity can trigger devastating tsunamis, the last of which took place in 1944. At that time the quake, which created a tsunami, cost more than one thousand human lives. The next strong quake is expected in the middle of the present century. In the context of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), an international marine research program, the Japanese research ship Chikyu is now drilling for the first time in what is known as the seismogenic zone of a subduction zone, the Nankai Trough. The seismogenic zone is the region in which earthquakes are generated.

    Swiss researchers on board the research ship

    Up to 25 international scientists from various disciplines have been on board the Chikyu continuously since September. They are replaced every eight weeks. Two Swiss researchers went on board in December; France Girault, a doctoral student in the Department of Earth Sciences at ETH Zurich, and Michael Strasser, a geologist who recently completed his doctor’s degree at ETH Zurich and now works as a post-doc at the Research Center Ocean Margins of the University of Bremen with a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation.

    The aim of the research borehole project is to gain a deeper insight into the processes responsible for the formation of earthquakes and tsunamis at subduction zones by recording physical and sedimentological parameters. This is very important because 90 percent of the energy released by earthquakes world-wide is generated at subduction zones.

    In addition the plan is that one day special instruments that will be installed in two of the total of six boreholes during the subsequent expeditions will enable the continuous measurement of for example the pressure and temperature in the region of the seismogenic zone. Thus the on-line monitoring could lead to improved forecasts of earthquakes that are to be expected.

    The Chikyu’s first research voyage

    The Chikyu put to sea on 21 September for the project which is called “The Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment” (NanTroSEIZE). It is the Chikyu’s first research expedition. The design of the ship, which was built in Japan, is similar to that of the oil industry’s drilling ships. Thus it is the first research ship with the ability, even in the deep ocean, to drill down several thousand metres into sediments that are under high gas or liquid pressure. The plan is to drill up to 6000 metres down into the ocean floor during the NanTroSEIZE Project.

    Several boreholes in which only physical properties such as the density of the rock and the propagation speed of seismic waves were measured were drilled at the start of the voyage. The next step will now involve drilling out sediment cores from which firstly information about sedimentological and tectonic events will be obtained, and secondly micro-fossils that allow the age of the sediments to be dated will be extracted from the sediments and identified. The latter will be France Girault’s task for the next two months. She was flown out to the Chikyu off the coast of Japan by helicopter on 19 December and now, working in shifts round the clock with another palaeontologist until 5 February, she will examine the micro-fossil content of all the sediment cores that are brought to the surface by the drilling tower during this period of time.

    A happy coincidence

    She says she has dreamt of taking part in this kind of research voyage ever since she heard a lecture by Michael Strasser about four years ago. Girault explains that he aroused her enthusiasm at that time with his descriptions of a voyage on the research ship “Joides Resolution” off the coast of Costa Rica. They now both see it as a lucky coincidence that they are travelling on the Chikyu together. The fact that only seven of the international scientists on board are Europeans and two of these are Swiss is a small sensation.

    Girault regards the voyage as a great opportunity to allow her to interact with an international, interdisciplinary research community. She says that a possibility of this kind occurs only rarely. She thinks the big responsibility would allow her to gain much experience and to learn to take decisions independently. She sees the biggest problem as the two-month stay on a ship, during which the life she is accustomed to will move into the background.

    Together with three other researchers, Michael Strasser will be responsible for describing the sediments. Above all he is keen to see what these will look like. This is because one of the boreholes is expected to bring to the surface sediments from the point where the sediment covering of the oceanic plate is pushed underneath the sediment package of the continental plate. “Although we have a pretty good idea of what these should look like, they have never yet been seen from this region before.”

    Researching the origin of tsunamis

    The plan is for the project to be completed by 2013 at the latest. Until then it will consume more than 100 million dollars a year. The researchers expect great things from the data that will be obtained in the meantime. For his personal research work on board, Strasser’s main hope is for new knowledge about the conditions at what is known as the “Megasplay Fracture Zone”, a kind of branching-off from the main disturbance zone. This branching, which will be drilled into directly, runs from the depth of the subduction zone to the surface of the ocean floor. Strasser explains that this means that energy, gases and liquids that are mobilised during an earthquake can travel along it to the surface of the sea bed. Therefore it has been suspected that conditions of this kind play a decisive part in the formation of tsunamis. A disturbance zone of this kind is also located off the coast of Sumatra, and caused the devastating seaquake and tsunami at Christmas 2004 that caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people. Therefore an exact knowledge of the processes that lead to catastrophic events of this kind could bring about significant progress in tsunami research and forecasting.

    However, some obstacles still remain to be surmounted before that point is reached, because not only is it very costly in terms of time and money to drill deep into the ocean floor in water that is up to 4000 metres deep in some places. For example special “lateral thrust propellers” are needed to prevent the ship being carried away by the current during a drilling operation. Strasser explains that these are controlled via the Global Positioning System. However, he says there are occasional breakdowns that only recently forced the ship to leave expensive equipment behind on the ocean floor.

    During their stay on the ship, Girault and Strasser will report in ETH Life in the coming weeks about events on the Chikyu.



    Earthquake Study Goes Nucleation

    Imagine a brick resting on a board.

    If you lift one end of the board, you put stress on the brick to move.

    Lift it high enough and the brick will begin sliding.

    The brick's passing from a state of rest to a state of motion is called the nucleation phase of the movement.

    Understand the nucleation that occurs before a major earthquake, and you could help save hundreds of thousands of lives.

    Bill Ellsworth, chief scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Hazards Team in Menlo Park, Calif., used the brick-on-board example to explain a key puzzle piece in understanding earthquakes, a mystery that can't be solved by measurements taken at the surface.

    "What we don't know is how that nucleation process takes place within the Earth," Ellsworth said.

    So the most important drilling project in the United States isn't targeting oil or gas production.

    It's sending a hole into the San Andreas Fault in California, in hopes of capturing vital information about the origins and processes of earthquakes.

    Ellsworth is co-principal investigator for the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) project, with Stephen Hickman, a USGS geophysicist, and AAPG member Mark Zoback, a professor of geophysics at Stanford University.

    "We've collected a treasure trove of information about how large earthquakes take place and what they do," Ellsworth said. "SAFOD is going to let us study how the nucleation takes place."

    And that's just one of the goals of SAFOD, a relatively small but intensely ambitious component of the National Science Foundation's $200 million EarthScope program.

    By the end of 2007, SAFOD will put an array of instruments next to the San Andreas Fault two miles below the surface, to monitor earthquake origins for 20 years.

    Scientists on the project talk about the wealth of deep-Earth data promised by SAFOD, but the big payoff would come from any step toward predicting earthquake occurrence.

    As the Asian tsunami of December 2004 showed, advance warning of a natural disaster could save a very large number of lives.

    "Are we trying to predict earthquakes in SAFOD? No," Zoback said. "Are we testing the predictability of earthquakes? Definitely."

    Repeat Performances

    The SAFOD drill site in central California, north of Paso Robles, sees a steadily repeating pattern of magnitude 2 earthquakes about every two years.

    These repeaters were first discovered 15 years ago, according to Zoback, originating from identifiable patches along the San Andreas.

    "If you were to look at the seismograms recorded at the surface coming from these patches and you laid down the seismograms on top of each other, they're indistinguishable, wiggle for wiggle," he said.

    When Zoback says "patch," he means a football field-size area along the fault.

    "It slips about a centimeter or a half-inch in each of these magnitude 2 earthquakes," he said. "That's the source, the seismogenic patch."

    Phase 1 of SAFOD drilled just over 10,000 feet down in 2004. Now in Phase 2 drilling, which began in early June, the hole will be directionally drilled at a 55 degree angle, aiming toward the fault.

    "One challenge we have is that there appears to be two active strands of the fault, separated by about 280 meters," Zoback said.

    "We can miss the patch we're drilling toward slightly and still be able to core into it. We're going to try to just graze it. That makes the later multilaterals easier," he added.

    The Phase 1 hole section was cased with 9-5/8 inch casing and cemented, then cleaned of drilling fluid.

    "Then we pulled a wet string, which depressed the water table down to about 3,500 feet," Zoback said. "Since that time, roughly since October 1, that pore fluid had been coming up."

    Phase 2 began with fluid tests, part of a long-term fluid study that's another essential part of the project.

    "There are a lot of hypotheses about the role of fluids in the fault zone, and how they affect the earthquake process," Zoback noted.

    "Some of the hypotheses argue that these fluids in the fault zone migrate from very great depth," he said, "or possibly even the Earth's upper mantle."

    Next came a mini-frac to measure least principal stress, "what in the oil industry would be called an extended leak-off test," Zoback said.

    "After that we intend to perforate casing in 10 different places," he added. "We'll sample the fluids, if possible, but we'll definitely do mini-fracs at each of those 10 points."

    Drilling the 14,000-foot (measured length) hole to a total depth of two miles will take another 36 days.

    The project team will core four areas and run a number of tests as drilling progresses, including a detailed study of gas from the hole.

    "In addition to a standard type of gas chromatograph, we're also putting it through a mass spectrometer and radon detector and so on, and even sampling for more sophisticated isotopic analysis," Zoback said.

    "All of this, Phase 2, will end with a seismometer and tilt meter operating at the bottom of the hole in early September," he added.

    SAFOD's drilling will penetrate and pass through the San Andreas. That part of the hole will eventually be lost to movement along the fault.

    "One of the questions we have is, 'What is the width of the deforming zone at depth?' It's part of the experiment plan to watch the hole deform over time," Zoback said.

    Phase 3 of the SAFOD project, the final phase, will acquire cores and emplace instruments up to the fault zone.

    Zoback said SAFOD scientists originally planned continuous coring for the hole, but that idea wasn't workable. A petroleum industry specialist suggested drilling the hole and then using multilateral drilling for coring.

    "This was 10 years ago, and I had not heard of multilaterals at the time. Frankly, I thought it sounded like a pretty dumb idea to drill our well twice," Zoback said.

    He quickly decided it was a pretty great idea, however, given the new technologies available.

    "You use a hollow-stem top drive and a higher rotation speed so you can do continuous wireline coring and actually retrieve core barrels through the top drive, much as is done in the mining industry," he said.

    Technology's Contributions

    Without advances in drilling and instrumentation from oil and gas exploration, SAFOD could never have happened, Zoback acknowledged.

    "What's making this experiment possible is our being able to modify and extend technologies that are routinely used in the petroleum industry," he said. "The monitoring instrumentation that's going into the observatory are extensions of what's being done in oil and gas."

    Ellsworth said project plans call for a series of renewed and improved instrumentation for the downhole observatory as time goes by.

    "We're deep. We're hot. So advances in sensor technology will be essential to the project," he explained.

    SAFOD's drilling location ensures a look at repeated earthquakes at a feasible depth, according to Ellsworth.

    Hunting bigger earthquakes would require much deeper drilling. Magnitude 6 earthquakes originate about six miles below the surface, he noted.

    But rapid advances in deep-hole exploration could put that depth within reach of ongoing scientific study in the near future.

    The EarthScope program also includes huge networks of seismic stations, GPS receivers, strainmeters and surface monitors. Zoback called it "the biggest thing that's ever happened in solid Earth science.

    "For people in the petroleum industry, they have to realize that there are three components of EarthScope, and SAFOD is the smallest," he said. "We're only about 10 percent of the budget."


    SAFOD will make its collected data available to the industry, primarily through the Web, and all cores will be kept at Texas A&M University's Ocean Drilling Core Repository.

    Another payoff for the industry will come from EarthScope's ability to attract and train young scientists, Zoback observed.

    "Some of those are Earth scientists who will find their way into the oil industry," he said. "It's been a real stimulus for bright young people to come back into Earth science."

    Will the program be a major step toward predicting earthquake occurrence?

    The truth is, no one can be sure, because so little is known about the origins of earthquakes.

    "One of the objectives of SAFOD is to determine whether or not earthquakes are predictable, no doubt about it," Zoback said.

    "We're going to put our instruments within tens or certainly hundreds of meters of the earthquake process, so we will see what the fault does leading up to an earthquake," he added.

    Ellsworth, who's studied earthquake nucleation extensively, won't make any predictions, either.

    If nucleation begins in an area the size of a coin before spreading violently, scientists have little hope of finding and identifying nascent earthquakes, he said.

    But if nucleation takes place over a larger area, slowly building and giving off definitive signals, earthquake prediction may become reality.

    "That slow process does not emit seismic waves -- it's what we'd call creep," Ellsworth said. "We'd like to understand how that occurs in the Earth.

    "We can learn a lot about earthquakes at the surface," he added. "What we don't see are the nonlinear parts of the process. What we don't see is the breaking."

    For the first time, SAFOD will give scientists a window to earthquakes at birth.



    The Next Big One—Earthquake Technology

    Japan suffered its worst earthquake in a decade in October 2004, when a magnitude 6.6 quake rattled Niigata Prefecture, killing dozens and displacing 100,000 people. Scientists often can say where such extreme shaking is likely to hit—but still can't tell when

    The Hayward Fault, a long and lethal crack in the Earth, slices along the base of the Berkeley Hills and directly through the University of California. It passes under a theater and a couple of dormitories—no problem, they're just freshman dorms—and kinks the concrete steps outside California Memorial Stadium. You can straddle the fault, one leg up the steps, one leg down.

    Then the fault runs underneath the stadium. One map shows it splitting the goal posts in the north end zone. It races downfield, barrels through the south end zone, and keeps going, careening down the street toward Oakland.

    Back in the 1920s, when architects drew up plans for a grand football stadium at California's flagship university, they refused to let a geologic imperfection stand in their way. Earthquake science was still young, but the architects apparently realized that the Hayward is a fault, where two pieces of crust move past each other. So the architects gamely built the stadium in two halves, shaped sort of like a coffee bean, with a line, the fault, essentially splitting the structure. Each half of the stadium could move independently, riding the shifting crust without breaking a sweat.

    Scientists now know that the Hayward creeps—it inches along steadily, although millimeters along would be more accurate. At the rim of the stadium, a Berkeley professor named Richard Allen shows me the result of 80 years of creep: a four-inch (102-centimeter) jog in the concrete, inelegantly bandaged with a rusty metal plate. We're both a little amused. What hubris to build a stadium on a fault!

    But Allen points out the central problem: Faults don't just creep. They also "break." They "rupture." The creep happens in plain sight, but the breaking, the rupturing, the lurching—the earthquaking—will hit you blindside.

    Allen teaches Berkeley's oldest course on earthquakes. He calls it Earthquakes in Your Backyard. The name couldn't be more appropriate, because the Hayward is a particularly dangerous fault. It hasn't spawned a major earthquake since 1868. Sometime soon, it could go.

    Much of the stadium is built on soft ground, the kind that amplifies seismic waves. "In an earthquake," says Allen, "the entire field may liquefy." The players wouldn't sink into a jiggling vat of goo. They'd just get knocked off their pins—tackled by a temblor.

    But of course no one on that field is worried about an earthquake. It's a hot summer day a few weeks before the start of the season. The players are worried about making the team. They're worried about beating Stanford.

    You see right there a fundamental problem with earthquakes: They refuse to operate on human standard time. They're on their own peculiar schedule. Earthquake faults have a nasty way of combining patience with impulsiveness. Wait, wait, wait—lurch.

    It's been a hundred years since the last big one in California, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which helped give birth to modern earthquake science. A century later, we have a highly successful theory, called plate tectonics, that explains why 1906-type earthquakes happen—along with why continents drift, mountains rise, and volcanoes line the Pacific Rim. Plate tectonics may be one of the signature triumphs of the human mind, geology's answer to biology's theory of evolution. And yet scientists still can't say when an earthquake will happen. They can't even come close.

    Some of the simplest questions about earthquakes remain hard to answer. Why do they start? What makes them stop? Does a fault tend to slip a little—telegraphing its malign intent—before it breaks catastrophically? Why do some small quakes grow into bigger quakes, while others stay small?

    And there's the broader question: Are there clear patterns, rules, and regularities in earthquakes, or are they inherently random and chaotic? Maybe, as Berkeley seismologist Robert Nadeau says, "A lot of the randomness is just lack of knowledge." But any look at a seismic map shows that faults don't follow neat and orderly lines across the landscape. There are places, such as southern California, where they look like a shattered windshield. All that cracked, unstable crust seethes with stress. When one fault lurches, it can dump stress on other faults. UCLA seismologist David Jackson, a leader of the chaos camp, says the field of earthquake science is "waking up to complexity."

    This regular versus chaotic debate isn't some esoteric academic squabble. Earthquakes kill people. They level cities. The tsunami of December 26, 2004, spawned by a giant earthquake, annihilated more than 220,000 lives. The magnitude 7.6 quake centered in Kashmir last October killed at least 73,000 people. Perhaps as many as a million would be dead or injured if a major quake felled the unreinforced high-rise structures of Tehran, Kabul, or Istanbul. One of the world's largest economies, Japan, rests nervously atop a seismically rambunctious intersection of tectonic plates. A major earthquake on one of the faults hidden underneath Los Angeles could kill ten thousand people. A tsunami could smash the Pacific Northwest. Even New York City could be rocked by a temblor.

    Yet at the moment, earthquake prediction remains a matter of myth, of fabulations in which birds and snakes and fish and bunny rabbits somehow sniff out the coming calamity. What scientists can do right now is make good maps of fault zones and figure out which ones are probably due for a rupture. And they can make forecasts. A forecast might say that, over a certain number of years, there's a certain likelihood of a certain magnitude earthquake in a given spot. And that you should bolt your house to its foundation and lash the water heater to the wall.

    Turning forecasts into predictions—"a magnitude 7 earthquake is expected here three days from now"—may be impossible, but scientists are doing everything they can to solve the mysteries of earthquakes. They break rocks in laboratories, studying how stone behaves under stress. They hike through ghost forests where dead trees tell of long-ago tsunamis. They make maps of precarious, balanced rocks to see where the ground has shaken in the past, and how hard. They dig trenches across faults, searching for the active trace. They have wired up fault zones with so many sensors it's as though the Earth is a patient in intensive care.

    Surely, we tell ourselves—trying hard to be persuasive—there must be some way to impose order and decorum on all that slippery ground.

    We’ve been trying ever since the Earth humbled San Francisco. In April 1906 the city was the commercial and financial powerhouse of the West, a crucible of great fortunes, a place utterly decadent by reputation, gorgeous by any definition, with some 400,000 citizens and perhaps nearly as many bars. The famed Enrico Caruso performed at the opera the night of April 17.

    All that changed at 5:12 the next morning, when the bars had finally emptied. Something happened deep under the seafloor just off the Golden Gate, out near the shipping channel. Along an ancient crack in the Earth, two slabs of rock began moving in opposite directions.

    An earthquake will unzipper a fault at two miles per second (3.2 kilometers per second). This one broke north and south. In some places the slip was just 6 or 7 feet (1.8 or 2.1 meters), but elsewhere the ground lurched fully 16 feet (4.9 meters) in a snap. The fault broke for 270 miles (434.5 kilometers), from Shelter Cove, way up in the redwood country of northern California, all the way south to the old mission town of San Juan Bautista.

    It wasn't the worst earthquake in history by a long shot, but it was sensational. Not only did it heave the ground and topple buildings, it ruptured the water mains, leaving San Franciscans helpless as their Victorian homes and bustling shopping districts and warehouses and opera burned to the ground. No one knows how many people died, but about 3,000 is the consensus.

    It inspired a kind of war on earthquakes, using the weapons of science. Until the San Francisco earthquake, geologists weren't sure how earthquakes and faults were connected. Many believed that faults were the by-products of earthquakes, not their source. The great Berkeley geologist Andrew Lawson had discovered the San Andreas Fault more than a decade earlier, naming it after the San Andreas Valley—and possibly himself (Andreas equals Andrew). But he thought it was just a little sniffle of an earth crack, a trivial thing not much more than a dozen miles (19.3 kilometers) in length, responsible for the narrow valley that holds San Andreas Lake and Crystal Springs Reservoir on the San Francisco Peninsula.

    But earthquakes are teachable moments. When the fires died down and San Francisco started to rebuild, Lawson and a team of colleagues set out to solve the mystery of the Great Earthquake. They literally walked the "mole tracks" where the fault rupture had churned across barnyards and meadows. Then they continued south for 600 miles (965.6 kilometers), reading the landscape, discovering the unbroken sections of the fault. This fault just kept going and going, all the way down past Los Angeles. In 1908 the team published the fabled Lawson report, which showed this rip in the Earth in vivid photographic detail.

    In the course of the investigation, a scientist named Harry Fielding Reid figured out why earthquakes happen. Reid studied all the reports of ground motion, of roads and fence lines offset by the fault, and came up with the key concept of "elastic rebound." The surface of the Earth isn't perfectly stiff. It bends. Land at some distance from a locked fault will slowly stretch in opposite directions, but the fault itself will remain locked, under increasing strain. Finally the fault breaks, and the land springs back violently, releasing accumulated strain. An earthquake, says Bill Ellsworth of the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, is "a relaxation process"—from the standpoint of the planet at least.

    Lawson, Reid, and their colleagues had no way of understanding the ultimate source of the forces behind earthquakes. But by the late 1960s, scientists had come to realize that the Earth is divided into about 15 plates of crust, constantly shifting as new rock forms at mid-ocean ridges and old crust dives into the Earth's interior at subduction zones in the deep sea. Suddenly the Himalaya were revealed as a crash site, with India slamming into Asia. And the San Andreas was not just a long strike-slip fault: It was a plate boundary, where the North American and Pacific plates grind slowly past each other at a rate—precisely measured by GPS—of two inches (five centimenters) a year.

    But except for a section called the "creeping zone" in central California, the San Andreas is locked. Around San Francisco, the fault hasn't budged since 1906. North of Los Angeles, a long stretch of the fault has been stuck since 1857. Near Palm Springs, there's been no action on the fault since about 1680.

    At some point the San Andreas will have another relaxation event. When that happens, despite all the forecasts, all the measurements, all the scientific conferences, nearly everyone will be caught by surprise.

    Although its probably the most famous fault on the planet, the San Andreas is often strangely hard to find. It slices an enigmatic path through wildly varied topography. Sometimes it's obvious—viewed from above on the Carrizo Plain in south-central California, for example, where it looks like a zipper, or at Thousand Palms in the Mojave Desert, where fan palms line up neatly to drink water percolating upward through the fault. But usually the San Andreas lurks in the landscape, a shadowy presence. When you search for the fault you spend a lot of time thinking: Is this it? Or is that it? Is this the boundary between two enormous tectonic plates, one stretching to Japan and the other to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Or am I standing in a random ditch?

    A century after Lawson et al. rambled across California, researchers are still pinpointing the fault's active trace. I tagged along with Carol Prentice, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, who has been stomping through the dense redwood forests of northern California. She is aided by a new technology called LIDAR, which uses aircraft-borne lasers to trace the contours of the land. Photos and maps in hand, she hikes through the woods, noting every feature that might reveal the exact location of the fault: sag; ponds, offset streams, displaced fences. She has even found what appears to be a redwood stump literally ripped apart by the great quake. Prentice takes you into brush so thick and tangled you have to crawl. What we couldn't see on foot, we saw on knee.

    I asked her what would happen if the fault broke right under us, out here in the boondocks. "That'd be so cool, if we were right here," she said. "Oh! I would love it. You wouldn't be able to stand up. It'd knock you on your butt. Presumably you'd see the 'rending and heaving of the sod.'" She was quoting from the Lawson report.

    Scientists like Prentice would love to know when, exactly, the San Andreas had a major quake prior to 1906. You sometimes read that the San Andreas breaks every 150 years or 200 years or 250 years, but that is not hard data. That's an informed guess.

    On the Point Reyes Peninsula, a knuckle of land north of San Francisco, Tina Niemi is digging for an answer. In the compacted sediment and peat of a trench dug across the fault trace, the University of Missouri geologist can discern a faint fracture, a line that slants across the trench wall from upper left to lower right. The line isn't perfectly straight; it jogs and splays. Along with other clues, these kinks suggest that something has jolted the soil here as many as 12 times over the past 3,000 years. Niemi doesn't see any simple pattern to the quakes—not in time, not in magnitude. "Our data support more of a model for irregular occurrence," she says.

    Nearby faults add another level of uncertainty. High in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Palo Alto you can stand on the San Andreas not far from the epicenter of the 1989 magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake. That quake was strong enough to destroy freeways and bridges and kill scores of people, but it never ruptured the surface. To this day, no one is sure how much of the quake to blame on the San Andreas and how much on other, unknown faults.

    "With faults, you don't have the luxury of tinkering under the hood to see what's what," writes USGS seismologist Susan Hough in her book Earthshaking Science. But some scientists want to sneak a look. Their idea: Drill the San Andreas. Find the biggest oil drilling rig in California and ram huge steel pipes into the depths of the fault and send a bunch of gadgets down there to sample the rock and record its twitching. The project is under way near Parkfield, a village in a dusty central California valley.

    Parkfield's claim to fame is earthquakes. At the Parkfield Cafe there's a sign that says, "If you feel a shake or a quake get under your table and eat your steak." The quakes aren't actually very strong here. They tend to be magnitude 6. There has been a string of them. After the M6 in 1966, scientists realized that these quakes had occurred fairly regularly, roughly every 22 years, and so in the early 1980s the notion arose that there ought to be another Park field quake around 1988.

    Scientists wired the fault every which way, hoping to detect signs of building strain, moving water, or some other quake precursor. Rut year after year, the quake refused to show. It became something of an embarrassment for everyone who argued that earthquakes follow patterns. Finally, on September 28, 2004, an M6 struck near Parkfield, although its epicenter was miles farther south than expected. A camera had been set up to catch the fault rupturing from north to south, but it broke from south to north.

    "We missed Parkfield by over ten years—and that was an earthquake in a barrel," said UCLA's David Jackson, he of the chaos camp.

    Most disappointing to scientists was the lack of any precursors. They pored over the data and could find no evidence of anything unusual on the fault prior to the September 28 rupture. Maybe there was a very tiny change in crustal strain a day before the quake—but even that wasn't certain. The unsettling notion arose that the jig was up, that these things are just flat-out unpredictable, random, weird.

    But science marches on—and digs deeper. At Parkfield there are still seismometers and GPS stations everywhere, and now there's even that 185-foot (56.4-meter) oil-drilling rig, a monument to what you might call testosterone science. By late summer 2005 it had punctured the fault and reached its terminal depth of two miles (3.2 kilometers).

    "In a sense we're testing the predictability of earthquakes," says Mark Zoback of Stanford University, part of the drilling team. Of the chaotic versus linear debate, he says, "we're the guys who are trying to find out which side is right. Not to be sanctimonious, but I think a lot of those positions are held more on belief than on data." His rig is the next best thing to sending a person down into the fault directly, although even the rig can't get instruments down to the six-mile (9.7-kilometer) depths where many large earthquakes start.

    In Japan, government scientists say they have settled the question. Earthquakes are not random. They follow a pattern. They have detectable precursors. The government knows where Japan's big one will most likely strike. This is a country where the trains run on time, and earthquakes are supposed to do the same. "We believe that earthquake prediction is possible," says Koshun Yamaoka, a scientist at the Earthquake Research Institute of the University of Tokyo.

    In fact, Japan has already named its next great earthquake: the Tokai earthquake. The government has identified and delineated by law the precise affected area—a region along the Pacific coast about a hundred miles (160 kilometers) southwest of Tokyo. After a series of small quakes in the Tokai area in the 1970s, scientists predicted that a major quake might be imminent there. The Japanese government passed a law in 1978 mandating that preparations begin for the Tokai earthquake.

    Scientists have estimated a death toll of between 7,900 and 9,200 for a quake striking without warning in the wee hours. Estimated property damage: up to 310 billion dollars. At the Tokai earthquake preparedness center in Shizuoka, a map pinpoints 6,449 landslide locations. Another map shows where 58,402 houses could burn in quake-related fires. It's all remarkably enumerated. The only thing left is for the earthquake to happen.

    There is, indeed, a plate boundary, called the Nankai Trough, that runs off the coast of the island of Honshu, where the Philippine plate is subducting beneath Japan. The boundary has generated massive earthquakes every 100 to 150 years. Two sections of it, side by side, broke in 1944 and 1946. But the section along Tokai hasn't generated a major quake since 1854, right about the time Commodore Perry sailed his warships into Tokyo Bay. The theory is that it's time for this part of the subduction zone to relieve its accumulated stress.

    At the Earthquake Research Institute, Keiji Doi, who is in charge of public outreach, lays out the entire scenario. The land near Shizuoka is sinking toward the underwater trough at about five millimeters (0.2 meters) a year, indicating that strain is building up. "The earthquake occurrence is imminent, we believe," Doi says.

    Up to this point, the Tokai tale is more a forecast than a prediction. But a precise prediction of time and place would be far more valuable for emergency planners. Thus has arisen the idea of "pre-slip," a notion that skeptics say is part science and part wishful thinking.

    Naoyuki Kato, another scientist at the Earthquake Research Institute, says his laboratory experiments show that before a rock fracture gives way, it inevitably slips a little. He believes that what happens in a lab at small scale will also happen on a fault hundreds of miles long and running deep into the crust, just before the next big one.

    The government has an action plan built around pre-slip. Strain meters are embedded in the ground all over the Tokai area. If one or two meters show anomalies, scientists will confer and schoolkids will go home. Three anomalies will put the country on high alert. Police, soldiers, and firefighters will race to the border of the vulnerable area. The prime minister will make a speech and say that an earthquake is imminent. Posters outlining this plan show a cartoon prime minister sitting at a desk with hands folded, looking very worried, but very much in charge.

    Yet none of the experts on the Tokai earthquake describe this scenario with much conviction. Press them, and they will admit their uncertainty. Yamaoka and Kato, for example, are both bullish on pre-slip, yet they also say it may be too small to be detected.

    Robert Geller, an American geophysicist who works half a mile (0.8 kilometers) away at the University of Tokyo's school of science, is less circumspect. Geller has been in Japan for decades and has made "bashing earthquake prediction," as he puts it, a passionate hobby. He calls the prediction program "faith-based science." Pre-slip, he adds, "has never been verified to exist for actual earthquakes."

    Geller's skepticism is not just a case of American outspokenness. Hideki Shimamura, an earthquake scientist at Musashino Gakuin University near Tokyo, is almost as blunt. "There may be pre-slip, but I rather doubt it," he says, adding that few researchers are willing to question the focus on Tokai lest they lose funding. The situation has potentially lethal consequences, he says: Prior to the Kobe earthquake in 1995, which killed 6,400 people, few people or public officials in Kobe had any inkling that they were vulnerable. Earthquakes were mainly someone else's problem—far to the east, in Tokai. "They didn't prepare," Shimamura says.

    Since the Kobe quake, Japan has vowed to improve its readiness for a big jolt. Many of the bullet trains now brake at the first seismic tremor. Construction plans are supposed to get closer scrutiny, particularly in Tokyo, which sits on or near several dangerous faults. But the country has been shaken in recent months by a scandal: As officials looked the other way, crooked builders put up scores of structures that were far too fragile to withstand earthquakes. Their occupants were lucky that the scandal broke before the inevitable next earthquake.

    Near Tokyo's sumo stadium is the Tokyo Restoration Memorial Hall, commemorating disasters that have struck the city. A dlapper gentleman named Nobuo Yanai, 82 years old, visits every year to honor nine family members lost in the great Kanto earthquake of 1923. They died not in the quake itself but in a fire that raced through a field that had become a temporary home for 40,000 people—a huge throng suddenly immolated.

    "They went up. Rose up in the sky. You may see the paintings over there"—and there, indeed, were paintings that showed the firestorm lifting people to the heavens. "My great-grandmother went up in the sky and disappeared."

    People still die in stunning numbers when the ground beneath their feet begins to shake. Almost always it's not the earthquake that kills them, but rather their collapsing homes, offices, stores, and schools. An earthquake that might kill dozens or hundreds in California or Japan can kill tens of thousands in Latin America and Central and South Asia, where many buildings are little more than unreinforced masonry piles. There's a seismic gap between rich and poor.

    Last October a magnitude 7.6 earthquake rocked northern Pakistan and Kashmir, the mountainous region claimed by both Pakistan and India. Within minutes, tens of thousands of people were dead, and countless others died later of injuries and exposure. Many were crushed when apartment buildings that had little or no steel in the concrete pillars simply pancaked. Had the quake been centered in nearby Rawalpindi, a city of 1.8 million, the casualties could have been in the hundreds of thousands.

    Geophysicist Brian Tucker, head of a nonprofit organisation called GeoHazards International, has been traveling the planet to lobby local officials to build sturdier housing projects, schools, and highways. He's seen cities where impoverished citizens expand their dwellings vertically, piling one brick floor on top of another, waiting for gravity to pull it all down.

    In Kathmandu, a city crammed with brickpile high-rises, an official once told Tucker, "We don't have earthquakes anymore." Surrounding the city are the Himalaya, pushed toward the stratosphere by tectonic forces. Tucker told the official, "Look out the window. That's Mount Everest. As long as you can see that, you're going to have earthquakes."

    Mexico City is another catastrophe in waiting. Much of the city is built on soft mud, the remnants of a lake drained by the Spanish. In 1985 more than 9,500 people died when a subduction zone off the western coast of Mexico ruptured, sending seismic waves rolling hundreds of miles into the capital. Building codes have improved since then but only apply to new construction. And the population has boomed. Nearly 20 million people now live in a metropolis ringed by active volcanoes, testimony like the Himalaya to the tectonic forces that can level cities.

    Calamity has been part of the city's cultural fabric for centuries. Underneath a church in the center of town, Cinna Lomnitz, an earthquake specialist from the University of Mexico, led me down a hidden stairwell to the remains of an Aztec pyramid, sagging on the soft lake bed. An ancient relief carved into the stone shows four suns surrounding a central sun. According to Aztec legend, each sun represents a period of earthly existence, and each is eventually destroyed.

    "The fifth sun is the last one," Lomnitz said. "And it will end in earthquake."

    Kerry Sieh believes science can help break the cycle of calamity. Sieh, a Caltech earthquake geologist, is convinced there's a way to read the messages in the rocks, to heed the warnings encoded in their trembling. He knows firsthand how much could be gained if we could pinpoint the most dangerous faults and know when they are due to rupture.

    At 6:16 p.m. on Christmas 2004, Sieh was at his computer at home when he received an emailed bulletin about a seismic event at 3.3 degrees north latitude and 95.8 degrees east longitude, near Sumatra. For Sieh, earthquake bulletins are routine—quakes happen every day, all over the world. But a number jumped out at him: 8.5. That was the initial estimated magnitude of the quake, which had happened just over an hour earlier. An 8.5 is enormous.

    Soon came the aftershocks, scores of them in the next few hours. Gradually the data began to harden around the obvious fact: This was a great quake, upwards of magnitude 9. News reports said a tsunami had killed perhaps several thousand people in Sri Linka. And then those numbers began to climb too.

    The Sumatran earthquake was not a total geologic surprise. Two weeks earlier Sieh had given a talk about his research on the great undersea fault paralleling the coast of Sumatra, where one plate is subducting beneath another. He had warned that the section of the fault he was studying, well south of the part that actually ruptured, could break at any time and trigger tsunamis.

    It had happened before, in the late 1300s, around 1600, and in 1797 and 1833—dates Sieh had determined by studying old coral heads along the islands off the west coast of Sumatra. When the Earth shifted in major quakes, the coral heads were lifted out of the water, leaving a gap in their growth layers. But the last really large earthquake had happened long before anyone now alive in Sumatra had been born.

    Sieh and his team had distributed posters in some villages of southern Sumatra, warning of catastrophic tsunamis. But Sieh's colleague Catharine Stebbins found that the novelty of the posters and the American scientific expedition seemed to outshine the posters' message. "It was like a circus came to town." And no one thought the northern part of the fault would go first.

    Late Christmas Day, as the news about the disastrous tsunami came over the wire, Sieh feared for his friends in Sumatra, and he had an ominous thought: There would be another huge quake. By releasing stress on one segment of the fault, this earthquake had increased stress on the next segment to the south.

    Three months later, on March 28, 2005, that segment broke in a magnitude 8.7 quake—smaller than the first but still one of the ten biggest on record. Another tsunami followed, but this time collapsing buildings and falling debris were the big killers, taking more than 1,000 lives.

    In his Caltech office, Sieh showed me a map of the Sumatran plate boundary, detailing the GPS stations he had placed along the fault before the March quake. They had all moved, yanked to and fro and up and down. One directly over the March rupture had jumped 10 feet (3 meters) up and 14 feet (4.3 meters) to the southwest. The pattern of movements indicates that strain is still building. "If another great earthquake happens in the next year," he said, "my guess is that there'll be another couple hundred thousand dead."

    He has heard the refrain that earthquakes are chaotic and unpredictable. That's not what he sees on the map of the plate boundary. He sees a fault breaking incrementally from north to south. "Obviously this is not chaos. This is linear."

    Sieh pointed to the area that he thinks is next in line. That's where he and his colleagues will spend the coming years, listening to the fault, tracking the Earth's movements, taking the measure of shaky ground.

    "I would like to predict this earthquake," he said.

    THIS ARTICLE IS FROM National Geographic Magazine

    Extras: See photos, field notes, and more from this National Geographic article.

    Robots Taking Over The Job On Offshore Oil Drilling Platforms

    ScienceDaily (Jan. 1, 2008)

    In the future, offshore platforms could be run by robots alone, with human beings staying on land.

    “Well, now you have seen the individual sensors and special tools. Shall I put the robots into action?”

    SINTEF scientist Pål Liljebäck is standing in the new NOK 80 million laboratory financed by Norsk Hydro. The lab covers only 30 square metres and lies deep in the basement of one of the Electro buildings on the SINTEF/NTNU campus on Gløshaugen in Trondheim. An orange robot arm hangs from a steel beam that spans the room at ceiling height, framed by large, sky-blue support beams.

    At the control panel, Liljebäck has pre-programmed a huge range of rapid movements of the colossus inside the room. The robot arm glides silently back and forward on its beam, suddenly moves out in a wide arc to the left, and then straight towards the scientist, before turning downwards to the floor. Liljebäck says that the framework, traversing crane and robot arm weigh a total of seven and a half tonnes. It would not be a good idea to get too close.

    Hydro wants to automate

    Nor will the petroleum operators find themselves in close contact with the new robots when, if all goes according to plan, they are ready for installation in 2015. The operators will remain on land and control them from there, reducing both risks and costs.

    Hydro (now StatoilHydro) has long been focusing on futuristic new technological solutions for extracting oil and gas; among them are robot-operated platforms.

    “If we can automate our platforms, we will have an alternative to subsea platforms,” says Anders Røyrøy in StatoilHydro. “Both technologies are aimed at small and medium-sized field which are not exploited today because it is not profitable to use normal manned platforms. An automated platform doesn't need personnel, and therefore neither does it need fire systems, sound insulation, catering or a whole range of other installations. Automated platforms also have another advantage: whereas subsea systems statistically only manage to recover about 45 percent of the oil or gas in a reservoir, a topside platform can take out almost 55 percent. And then, maintenance at the surface is much simpler."

    The whole platform will be adapted for the robots. In collaboration with both Hydro and Statoil, therefore, Aker Kværner started to draw up a rough layout of such a platform. With an internal layout in the form of shelves, these platforms might look like hi-tech warehouses, with the robots moving up and down the rows of shelves like fork-lift trucks.

    The SINTEF test laboratory represents the next step, in which the scientists will find out how robots can be used to remotely monitor and control platform processes. The scientists are looking at the sensors and tools with which the robots will have to be equipped, and how the operators can safely and simply control the robots on the platform without them colliding with the process equipment.


    The research results that are emerging from SINTEF will demonstrate to Hydro that it would pay to automate. Within the company, there are still many people who are sceptical to the idea of robots. The new technology will have to be sold within the company, via convincing demonstrations.

    And the results are starting to come in. Pål Liljebäck is proud to show off the various applications of the system. For example, the robots will be able to inspect the equipment on board the platform. Mounted on traversing beams, they move around, listen, take photographs and make measurements.

    “Here you can see the “toolbox”, says Liljebäck, pointing to a stand in which four or five large drill-like heads are parked.

    “Shall we connect up one of the tools?”

    He seats himself at the control desk and operates the robot via a mouse. Soon he has got the robot arm to move down to the toolbox, where it picks up and connects a measurement device.

    Liljebäck claims that the applications performed by the robot here are unusual. “We are creating a robotised inspection system. This is something quite different from industrial robots that stand by a production line and perform a well-defined task over and over again. This system will make it simpler for the operator on shore to carry out operations that may not have been planned in advance."


    The robot has connected a special instrument for measuring vibration and temperature to the end of its arm, and just a few seconds later the arm is pointing over the high protective fence and through the glass screen. On the right of the control desk are two highly coloured beings have appeared on a screen: the human occupants of the control room!

    However, Liljebäck demonstrates how the robot measures vibration just a few minutes later, when he points the appropriate special instrument at a pipe in the laboratory that has just been made to vibrate. The measurement curve drawn on the computer screen will enable the shore-based operator to check that all is well.

    “The challenges lie in ensuring that the robots are capable of performing predefined and programmed tasks – and are also able to function properly under unanticipated conditions. If the operator suddenly finds that he needs to inspect something or other under a pipework system, the robot must be able to do this,” says Liljebäck.

    Avoiding collisions

    Obviously, a lot of things have to be thought out carefully when human actions are replaced by robot movements. Sensors are one aspect of this. Another is the matter of operations that involve contact, such as when a robot has to pick up something from the floor. Contact operations are a particular challenge, because the robot is very strong and it can easily destroy the equipment with which it comes into contact, unless we keep its strength fully under control. The scientists have therefore fitted the robot with a force sensor that enables them to measure the forces exerted by its grippers, for example.

    The robot is similar to a computer, in that it does exactly what it is told. Unlike a human being, it will not stop moving by itself or move aside if it collides with something else. On a platform where a number of robots are in operation, there could be collisions between them and other equipment. One of the systems on which the researchers are working has the straightforward aim of ensuring that the robot will never collide with anything.

    “This is where our mathematicians come in,” explains Pål Liljebäck. “When we have 3D models of the robots and we know their positions, we can input these data into a 3D model that calculates the distance between the robot and other equipment. As long as the distance between them is greater than zero, there can be no collision.”

    “We are pleased with the results and the progress of the project,” says Anders Røyrøy in StatoilHydro. “The next step after the technology has been handed over will be full-scale testing of certain parts of the system in order to see whether everything functions properly in its real environment.”

    Competence/Gemini Centre

    So far, some 15 to 20 scientists from four different SINTEF divisions have been involved in work at the robot lab. The Department of Technical Cybernetics at NTNU is also heavily involved. All of these research groups also form part of a newly established Gemini Centre for Advanced Robotics. Like the 12 other Gemini centres, the Advanced Robotics Centre aims to bring together all of SINTEF and NTNU's expertise within a particular field, in order to give them extra power. The scientific group at the Gemini Centre for Advance Roboticsconsists of 11 research scientists and six professors, and it offers advanced expertise for industry that ranges from subsea robotics to robots for inspection and maintenance.


    Dennis Kucinich on Energy & Oil

    Democratic Representative (OH-10);
    Democratic Candidate for President 2008

    Raise CAFE standard from 27.5 mpg to 45, and 40 for SUVs

    Q: Would you increase the required automobile fleet average of 27.5 mpg; and SUVs and pickups averaging 20.7 mpg?

    A: The technology already exists to make light trucks that achieve 40 mpg and cars 45 mpg, and I will establish those standards as one early step in a major shift away from the use of fossil fuels.

    Source: Associated Press policy Q&A, "Fuel Efficiency" Jan 25, 2004
    Journey to planet Earth: renewable energy by 2010
    Q: What is the most important environmental issue facing the nation?

    KUCINICH: I would lead this country on a new energy initiative. In the same way that President Kennedy decided to bring the academic and spiritual resources of this country to reach the moon, I intend to have a journey to planet Earth about sustainable and renewable energy. By the year 2010, I'll call upon Americans to assist in creating a program, not only of conservation, but of moving to renewable energy, away from oil, nuclear and coal, and towards wind and solar and geothermal, green hydrogen and biomass.

    We're talking about saving our planet here. We have to understand even here in New Hampshire how trees are affected and [even products like] maple syrup are affected. We have to recognize that the economy of this region has been hurt by environmental policies which dirty the air and the water. I'm going to change that.

    Source: Democratic 2004 Primary Debate at St. Anselm College Jan 22, 2004
    Nuclear waste poses grave danger to US
    Nuclear waste poses a serious threat to this nation. The transportation of this waste will require over 96,000 truck shipments over 4 decades. More radioactive waste will be shipped in the first full year of repository operations than has been transported in the entire five-decade history of spent fuel shipments in the United States. Poorly tested transportation casks may be vulnerable to highway accidents and security breaches. Because of a lack of rail facilities to several reactors the Department of Energy will use barge shipments to move this waste to a port capable of transferring 120 ton casks to a train. Some of these shipments will occur on the Great Lakes. The world's largest source of fresh water, over 35 million people living in the Great Lakes basin use it for drinking water. [Kucinich] introduced the Nuclear Waste Transportation Protection Amendments Act of 2002 to "radically improve the safety and security" of these shipments.
    Source: Campaign website,, "On The Issues" Aug 1, 2003
    Auto-dependent sprawl causes runoff pollution
    Subsidies for auto-dependent sprawl and transportation further contribute to runoff pollution.
    Source: Campaign website,, "On The Issues" Aug 1, 2003
    Will sign Kyoto climate change treaty
    As a citizen of Planet Earth, I want this project for the same reason I will sign the Kyoto climate change treaty -- because we need it for our children and our grandchildren.
    Source: Campaign website,, "On The Issues" Aug 1, 2003

    Double our energy from renewable sources by 2010

    Q: What is your view on our dependence on fossil fuels?

    A: There are many political obstacles - but the oil, auto and electric utility corporations won't be directing energy policy in a Kucinich White House. I will spur research and investment in "alternative" energy sources - hydrogen, solar, wind and ocean - and make them mainstream. Clean energy technologies will produce new jobs. We can easily double our energy from renewable sources by 2010. I will sign the Kyoto climate change treaty.

    Source: interview Jun 17, 2003
    Global Green Deal for renewable energy
    Q: How will you support progressive environmental policies?

    A: I will lead the way in protecting our oceans, rivers and rural environments. I will also lead in fighting for clean, affordable and accessible drinking water. I will initiate a "Global Green Deal" for renewable energy, to provide jobs at home, increase our independence from foreign oil, and aid developing nations with cheap, dependable, renewable energy technologies like wind and solar.

    Source: interview Jun 17, 2003
    $50B solar venture fund for developing nations
    I will soon announce legislation to create a $50 billion solar venture fund, in cooperation with the UN, to introduce solar technologies to developing nations. Parallel legislation will provide incentives for the production and application of solar technologies in the US.
    Source: Speech at UN World Summit, in Prayer for America, p. 40 Aug 29, 2002

    Voted NO on passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy.

    Vote to pass a bill that would put into practice a comprehensive national policy for energy conservation, research and development. The bill would authorize o $25.7 billion tax break over a 10-year period. The tax breaks would include $11.9 billion to promote oil and gas production, $2.5 billion for "clean coal" programs, $2.2 billion in incentives for alternative motor vehicles, and $1.8 billion for the electric power industry and other businesses. A natural gas pipeline from Alaska would be authorized an $18 billion loan guarantee. It would add to the requirement that gasoline sold in the United States contain a specified volume of ethanol. Makers of the gasoline additive MTBE would be protected from liability. They would be required though to cease production of the additive by 2015. Reliability standards would be imposed for electricity transmissions networks, through this bill. The bill would also ease the restrictions on utility ownership and mergers.
    Reference: Energy Policy Act of 2004; Bill HR 4503 ; vote number 2004-241 on Jun 15, 2004

    Voted NO on implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy.
    Energy Omnibus bill: Vote to adopt the conference report on the bill that would put into practice a comprehensive national policy for energy conservation, research and development. The bill would authorize a $25.7 billion tax break over a 10-year period. The tax breaks would include $11.9 billion to promote oil and gas production, $2.5 billion for "clean coal" programs, $2.2 billion in incentives for alternative motor vehicles, and $1.8 billion for the electric power industry and other businesses. A natural gas pipeline from Alaska would be authorized an $18 billion loan guarantee. The bill would call for producers of Ethanol to double their output. Makers of the gasoline additive MTBE would be protected from liability. They would be required though to cease production of the additive by 2015. Reliability standards would be imposed for electricity transmissions networks, through this bill. The bill would also ease the restrictions on utility ownership and mergers.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Tauzin, R-LA; Bill HR.6 ; vote number 2003-630 on Nov 18, 2003

    Voted YES on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels.

    Require a combined corporate average fuel efficiency [CAFE] standard for passenger automobiles and light trucks, including sport utility vehicles, of 26 mpg in 2005 and of 27.5 mpg in 2007. It also would offer incentives for alternative fuel vehicles.
    Bill HR 4 ; vote number 2001-311 on Aug 1, 2001
    Voted YES on prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR.

    Amendment to maintain the current prohibition on oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by striking language opening the reserve up to development.
    Bill HR 4 ; vote number 2001-317 on Aug 1, 2001
    Voted YES on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol.
    Vote on an amendment that would allow the implementation of the portions of the Kyoto climate change treaty that are already allowed under law. The Kyoto protocol of 1997, which aims to reduce emissions of certain greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, has not been ratified by the United States. The amendment would allow federal agencies, particularly the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] to implement procedures already allowed under law that are also part of the Kyoto accord before the treaty is ratified by Congress.
    Reference: Amendment sponsored by Olver, D-MA; Bill HR 4690 ; vote number 2000-323 on Jun 26, 2000

    Regulate wholesale electricity & gas prices.
    Kucinich adopted the Progressive Caucus Position Paper:

    The Problem

    Escalating energy costs have almost no correlation with supply and demand. Adequate capacity to supply our current energy needs is and has always been plentiful within the energy markets. Newly formed deregulated energy companies are creating an artificial shortage and reaping tremendous profits while doing so.

    The Progressive Caucus Solution: Wholesale Cost-based Pricing with Refunds

    In the 1930s, wholesale electricity prices and wholesale natural gas prices were regulated, and the regulations provided for refunds if unjust or unreasonable rates were found. Since the late 1970s, these laws have been methodically dismantled leaving little federal price regulations to protect consumers. However, energy prices are easily manipulated as production and delivery systems are complex. Cost-based rates for wholesale electricity, natural gas, heating oil should be established to protect consumers from unjust and unfair prices. Cost based rates allow utilities to recover the cost of their investment and operations while also allowing a reasonable profit. This is not a price cap— FERC sets prices based on a specific, professional rationale. Establishing cost-based rates ensure adequate supply is available and removes the profit incentive from shorting the market. The rates should be set retroactively to the beginning of 2000. Refunds will be issued to families and businesses who have racked up incredible debt in 2000 and 2001, paying the unreasonable and unjust charges that the energy producers, generators and wholesalers inflicted.

      The Progressive Caucus advocates:

    • Implement wholesale cost-based pricing of electricity & natural gas to ensure consumers are not gouged. Require refunds when necessary.
    • Grant FERC new powers to regulate heating oil prices at the wholesale level. Cost-based pricing of heating oil will ensure consumers are protected from heating oil price spikes.
    Source: Progressive Caucus' Consumer Energy Rate Relief Act 01-CPC1 on Mar 16, 2001

    Preserve Alaska's ANWR instead of drilling it.

    Kucinich sponsored the Morris K. Udall Arctic Wilderness Act:

    Title: To preserve the Arctic coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, as wilderness in recognition of its extraordinary natural ecosystems and for the permanent good of present and future generations of Americans.

    Summary: Designates specified lands within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness and components of the National Wilderness Preservation System [which would preclude oil exploration and drilling].

    Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR770 on Feb 28, 2001
    Other candidates on Energy & Oil: Dennis Kucinich on other issues:
    George W. Bush
    Dick Cheney
    John Edwards
    John Kerry

    Third Party Candidates:
    Michael Baradnik
    Peter Camejo
    David Cobb
    Ralph Nader
    Michael Peroutka

    Democratic Primaries:
    Carol Moseley Braun
    Wesley Clark
    Howard Dean
    Dick Gephardt
    Bob Graham
    Dennis Kucinich
    Joe Lieberman
    Al Sharpton
    Civil Rights
    Foreign Policy
    Free Trade
    Govt. Reform
    Gun Control
    Health Care
    Homeland Security
    Social Security
    Tax Reform


    Senate rejects GOP oil drilling plan

    13 May 2008
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has rejected a Republican energy plan that calls for opening an Alaska wildlife refuge and some offshore waters to oil development. Supporters of the measure couldn't get the needed 60 votes to overcome a Democratic-led filibuster threat.
    Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said more domestic oil production is needed to keep prices in check and to reduce U.S. dependence on oil imports.

    Opponents said areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and coastal waters that have been off limits to drilling for 25 years ought to remain that out of bounds to oil companies. The GOP measure, defeated Tuesday by a vote of 56-42, would have allowed coastal states to get a waiver to the offshore drilling ban.














    Aboriginal Day with the Elders Interviews with our Spiritual Leaders

    Prime Minister’s “action plan” on specific claims calms summer of protests

    Arnold Schwarzenegger Honoured by B.C. First Nations

    Aboriginal Day with the Elders Interviews with our Spiritual Leaders
    By Danny Beaton

    Everywhere in the Haida Culture is the honour to the Spiritual world we live with in harmony and respect.

    The Haida Nation are one of the most artistic people on the planet, their creativity thoughout their traditional culture have brought museums alive throughout Canada and USA. The Canadian Museum of Civilization hosts giant 50 foot Totem Poles carved by the late Bill Reid and his student Guujaaw. Everywhere in Haida Culture is the honour to the Spiritual world they live with in harmony and respect, evolved over countless generations and with it is the various clans of the Haida. The Elders of the great Haida Nation passed the teachings, songs, dances, language and way of life onto their children and their children became Elders and passed the way of life onto their children and so forth. The Haida Sacred way of life is still thriving on the shores and inland of Haida Gwaii surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, mountains and between the great cedar forest of old growth. The student of the late Bill Reid is Guujaaw, he is the leader of the Haida Nation. He is the political and spiritual leader who has been chosen to lead his people in this history of the Earth, Guujaaw is a keeper of traditional knowledge and songs. He shares the Spirit, Force and Peace when he is asked to lead a song or dance in community social gatherings. He has insights into the problems society faces pertaining to justice, peace and environmental protection and spirit of creation, animals, fish, birds, and insects.

    Clan Mother, Audrey Shenandoah, explains that we are told from the beginning of our time here on Mother Earth that we must treat this Mother Earth respectfully and not to abuse her but to use the gifts in the right way and be thankful, I have to repeat because it is so very simple that people can not understand it for people are used to living a very sophisticated unreal kind of lifestyle.

    Our messages from our people are the messages from our Creator have been very explicated in explaining what could become of this Earth if it is not used the right way. That the abuse of the waters, water is life and if we do not take care and clean up the waters there can be no life here on this Earth. We are told in the messages to our people that in order for this to go on, all of these things that we depend on so much everyday that we might live, that we as humans here on this Earth must be sure to tell this to our Grand Children. For it is for our grand children that we are protecting Mother Earth. Working to save Mother Earth and to save all the gifts that our Creator gives us so that they might have a good life also. Within every one of the messages that is brought to our people. At the very end, it always states that all of this will last for as long as the people will keep it. That all of this will be bountiful and will give us life, will give our grand children life for as long as we will take care of it and it is up to us, the people, how long it will be. And so then in so many words our same message the Earth is Sacred. Every spot on Earth is Sacred, not just certain places that is regarded as Sacred sites because something happened there. Something happened all over this earth, people, our grand fathers and our great grand fathers have worked hard to preserve this. Because this kind of life, this kind of belief, this kind of living has been under persecution for all time. People who believed in Mother Earth, who believed that all the goodness that comes from the Earth is our livelihood, is our life, have been persecuted.

    We have not been worshipping the Earth, we have not been worshipping the Sun, we have not been worshipping the Elements. We have been giving thanks for Mother Earth, we have been giving thanks for the Sun, we have been giving thanks to the Moon and thanks to our grand fathers who bring the rains and the winds. That is much different than from worshipping them, we do not worship in that way the elements of the Creation. We are ever mindful that it is from all of the Creation that we can maintain our lives, that our children can maintain their lives and their children. So we have a duty to look after the Earth and what we have here and not think of ourselves and what we can do with the Earth here and now.

    It is now evident to all that we are not progressing in the right way. Changes must be made in the way we look after the Earth. The way we look at all the life giving elements of the Earth. We have to make sure that we are doing this in the right way. We cannot force people to do this, but we must give the message over and over again so that people will begin to understand and very simple and fact full, truthful way that we are guardians of this Earth all our lives for the generations of people who are coming for the faces yet unborn.

    That is our prophecy. It is in every message that we have received from the Creator. That it is up to us how long we will have this, and how long all of this will last. So by telling one another by spreading this message and hoping people will hear it and understand it. We know that it must be heard over and over again. Just as all of our messages would tell us how to live and how to move about on this Earth. We have heard time and time again, I have heard all of my life since I was a child, I heard the same messages, and then finally if you hear it enough times, hopefully it will begin to take meaning and we will be doing a duty that is given to us when we were given life.

    Chief Oren Lyons says “today we have children killing children, we have a dysfunctional nation, we have a dysfunctional global world. What can we expect when we have as the major economic force in the world the sale of arms and the second major force the sale of drugs. Between the two of them you’re going to get a dysfunctional society.

    So, what do we talk about then, what do we say to our young people. What do we say to our nations, to our people, to the mothers and fathers? What do we say to those people who are responsible for communities and responsible for families? What do the leaders say? Who are the leaders? These are all questions that need to be answered. I think that people have a common sense, a sense of understanding, a sense to be able to do things that’s not being dictated to us by large corporate forces of money exchanging hands every day. Common sense has to prevail. I think that our common sense will prevail or the result will be that this natural world is going to take care of things itself, in its own way and if that happens and when that happens, then we’ll be suffering out loud. Because there is a law, and the law is consistent and its constant and you cannot challenge it, the natural law of life. If you try to challenge it, your simply going to fail and you are going to suffer in the mean time.

    The question of whether we as a species, a human species on this Earth is going to survive is pretty much up to us at this time. So I think the message that should be coming from all of us is that we have to have responsible leadership who have vision, who have compassion for the future, who have compassion for those seven generations that are waiting under this earth. Each generation looking is waiting its turn. We have to have a balance, we have to bring balance back to everything. We have to bring balance between families, between male and female, man and woman, wife and husband, father and mother. We need this balance and we need this common sense and we need leaders with vision who are selfless, who have compassion and who have courage and conviction.

    Its really up to us. If we put people up there who are negative and who don’t do right, that’s our own problem and not only will we suffer the consequences but our children will and even further, our grand children will and their children along with all the other life.

    I see the equation as relatively simple… Common sense, what advice would you give to everybody . If I had a general advice, I’d say to share, share what you have, share your knowledge, share your abilities. Do what you were suppose to do in the beginning. It’s a simple thing. Divest all you major corporations, all you people with all the money, divest and so something positive. Its not complicated, difficult probably for some, but nevertheless, there it is.

    So with that, I think this particular part of the discussion is, as far as I’m concerned, is coming to a close and I just wish us all well and lets look for those leaders. Lets have the courage to put them there and keep them there. Thank you for listening.”

    The Hopi prophecies warn of the problems to come if humans do not seek spiritural and environmental lifestyles in which to blend into Mother Eartth and celebrate life in a way that creates peace, respect, fertility and harmony everywhere. For nearly a century the elders of Hotevilla, a tiny village on a remote Hopi reservation in Arizona have been guarding the secrets and prophecies of a thousand year old covenant that was created to ensure the well being of the earth and its creatures. Manuel Hoyungowas’ voice is one with his spirit and the spirits of his ancestors. He is a Hopi man willing to share his ancestors instructions and warning as to how us humans can survive the crisis that is now upon us physically, mentally and spiritually.
    I was born in Fort Yukon, Alaska because that is where the hospital was. I grew up part of the time in fort Yukon and Salmon River, but most of the time in Arctic Village, Alaska where I now live.

    About the only good thing that came out of the tragedy of the Exxon Valdez was that Congress decided against drilling in the Arctic Refuge. It was terrible. The Gwitch’in way of life continues yet the people of Prince William Sound their way of life has been devastated.

    Gwitch’in elder Sarah James spent two decades fighting proposed oil drilling in her Alaskan homeland. Sarah James, 61, of Arctic Village, has been trying to inform the public of her native land since 1988 when proposed refuge drilling first threatened the Porcupine Caribou herd and the Gwitch’in way of life. The Gwitch’in, or Caribou People’s of Alaska depend on hunting, particularly of the 130,000 strong Porcupine (river) caribou herd, for approximately 75 percent of their protein and calories as well as clothes, tools and other life sustaining materials. For at least 10,000 years, the Gwitch’in have lived by hunting and conserving on a coastal plain bordering the Arctic Ocean, home to polar bears, rare birds and musk ox, where caribou give birth to their young

    Judy Swamp is a respected elder of the Mohawk nation, her husband is Jake Swamp a leader in the Mohawk Longhouse of Akwesasne, New York territory. Together they have worked towards goals of creating peace throughout the world, planting the Sacred Pine, the Tree of Peace wherever they are invited to do so.

    Mohawk people have been known to be organizers for a long time now, holders of the Eastern door and one of the Six Nations of the Haudenausanee Iroquois Confederacy. Mohawk people originated from New York area by the great St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes area. In the old days the Mohawk joined the British in their struggle to defeat the United States Military during the war of 1812. It is common knowledge iron workers, known as sky walkers built the tall skyscrapers in New York and have been hired to travel all over the world to build skyscrapers. Before the arrival of the first non natives to North America, the Iroquois were one of the oldest native governments in existence created for unity, peace, righteousness , equality and harmony. Clan Mothers, Faithkeepers and Chiefs govern the communities throughout Iroquois territories and solved problems by consensus.



    The Gathering of the Tribes to Save the Valley of the Chiefs  

    Valley of the Chiefs - Weatherman Draw Montana

    By Howard Boggess, Crow Historian

    Editors Note: The Sierra Club has been working to protect the Valley of the Chiefs from oil drilling.

    As we walk up the canyon to the Valley of the Chiefs, I think about the hundreds of people who came to use this sacred valley for more than a thousand years and walked the path that I am walking. The Valley is so quiet that you can hear the birds chirp from a long distance and eagles soar from high above. You can hear the whisper on the winds of ancient ones saying their prayers and singing songs as they prepared to paint their stories on the Ancient rocks that tower so tall. The Indian religion has never been written and yet has been practiced for hundreds of years and has been passed down through the generations by oral stories. In the Indian belief, one has to go to the sky to be with their maker, they pray to their father the sky, their mother the earth, their grandfather the sun and to their grandmother the moon. The Indian people are family oriented and their religion is based on family and the ones who brought them to this earth and cared for them. One day they will become the people that they pray to, a Father, Mother, Grandparent, Aunt, Uncle, Brother or Sister.

    We have seen something that has not happened for hundreds of years, a gathering of non-Indians, Indians and spiritual and tribal leaders from many different tribes of Indians. We started off as quiet strangers who had never laid eyes on one another before. The Comanche, the Crow, Blackfeet, and the non-Indian all traveled together to the Valley of the Chiefs the traditional name for Weatherman Draw, (AKA) the Valley of the Shields. As I walk I wonder how long it has been since a Blackfeet, a Crow and a Comanche had walked this valley together and prayed together and had food.

    For one to enter the valley they must cleanse their mind and body and have no bad thoughts or hate, fear or jealousy in their hearts. You enter the valley after you cleanse yourself in the traditional way with prayer or smoke from the sweet grass, sage, and tobacco. After cleansing or prayer, you can begin a safe journey into the Valley of Peace for there are no enemies here.

    As we walked up the narrow canyon to the valley we discussed how any work that would be done by an oil company would destroy the canyon, as it is only wide enough for four people to walk abreast. The earth is so fragile that we left marks that would take a long time to heal from our footsteps. The first site we visited was of the great black bear, ancient looking with large claws and very powerful. There are shields and other spiritual artwork at this site that has been used as campsite in recent years as there are the remains of campfire. A few feet away is an old painting of a single hand of a bear and recent work done in charcoal. At a nearby site two separate groups of round dots form a panel that displays a count that appears to have been made by two different groups, as the paint is of two different shades of red and yellow oaker. There are also sites of the tobacco society as they are wearing the flat hats on their heads with a cross and others with marks on the hats. These types of hats are in early 1900 hundred period photos and worn by Crow Indian women in tobacco society photos.

    In the history of the Indian there were no serious wars among the Indians tribes until the traders and trappers came in the mid-1700s. When Indians wars were fought they counted coo on one another, as it was far braver to touch your enemy and take his weapon and leave him alive then it was to take his life. Indian people practiced their religion in the Valley of the Chiefs. This valley is so sacred that your worst enemy was a friend when you were in the valley; you ate together and prayed together. There was only peace in this sacred valley.

    3 Shields Pictograph Photo

    Three rare polychromatic figures with shields in the Valley of the Chiefs

    They painted countless pieces of rock art to show what their life was about in this small valley. There has been more than ninety pieces of rock art found today and cataloged by the Bureau of Land Management archeologists. The many shields painted on the walls of the valley of the shield-bearing warrior tell us the age of the earliest work, as the shield-bearing warrior was a time before the horse. Small shields were adopted after the coming of the horse, as the large shield was far too cumbersome for the swiftness of a horse. Through modern technology, one of the sites was carbon dated. There are three shields side by side in a hidden part of the Valley of the Chiefs. One of the shields had dirt in the front of it, which covered part of the shield. An excavation of the shield was done to see if the painting had survived under the earth. As this work was being done, a fire pit was discovered and three ablators stones were found in the fire pit, all with the paint of the shields on them. After the fire pit was carbon dated it was determined that the shields were 900 to 1000 years old.

    As we walk to the art sites we discuss what we felt there, as it is an overpowering feeling in this holy place. We compare this valley with other places that are non-Indian sacred sites, Mount Rushmore, Gettysburg Cemetery, St Patrick Cathedral, The walls of Jerusalem. These are sites that mean so much to the Indian and are scattered over a large area. All of these same sites are in the valley of the Chiefs, our burial sites, our vision quest sites, our prayer sites, and the campsites that the families used so long ago. Much of the vegetation like the yellow sage and ghost plant there was used in the ceremonies and as medicines for the sick.

    Spiritual art was done by the first Americans telling the stories of their lives, religion, and power of their medicine bundle. Each drawing was done by an individual and tells about what this person used for his spirit being. Indians use different animals, birds and other icons of their choice for their powers and protection.

    3 Shields Pictograph Photo Two pictographs of shields
    at Weatherman Draw

    After you enter the Valley you can go to your prayer site or vision quest site. For a vision quest site you go high enough on the ridges for you to see the four cardinal directions, North, South, East and west. You will stay at a vision quest the length of time it takes for the quest to work for you. Normally, it is three days and nights to make your vision quest work for you to guide you in your future. After you return from your vision quest you go before the elders and tell them everything you have seen or heard, what came around and the dreams you had while resting. The elders would then tell you how your vision quest would guide you in your future life, what you would use for the powers in your medicine bundle, or the drawing you would use on your medicine shield. This is the drawing that you would paint on the sandstone walls in the valley to leave power in the valley, where you received the powers that will protect and guide you through life. When people stand before the paintings they will receive a blessing from the one that painted this story for people to see for many generations in the future.

    At about the age of eleven years of age an American Indian does his first Vision Quest. The reason it is done at this age is that one has to do his vision quest before the time of puberty, as after the time of puberty a boy becomes known as a man. Girls also do vision quests before they become women. Vision quests last for three days and nights. During this time they are not allowed to eat, drink or to have other comforts such as clothing or blankets or have any connection with other people during that time. One pays attention to what they see or hear when doing a vision quest or what they may dream about while they sleep. After they leave the vision quest site they set with their elders and tell them of everything that came around them or they heard, seen or dreamed about. The elders then would tell of the things that would happen in their lives, like if they would become great warriors and leaders of their people or other significant things in their lives.

    For a prayer site you go where you can see the rising sun in the morning and the setting of the sun in the evening. As you need to set there for a life of one day, you start your prayer with the beginning of daylight and your prayer will last through out the day and end with the sunset. Your prayers are said four times in each of the four directions. Your prayer songs are sung in the same way. You have to complete a series of prayers and songs before a prayer is ended. For you to set by one’s self for the day is a way to mend a way of life or to make a decision. The old way is for you to be by yourself and think all your problems out for yourself and make all decisions yourself. For guidance you go to your uncles or aunts who give you your guidance, but you have to make the final decision yourself.

    The valley is very well protected from the harsh weather we have here in the winter. This is a small valley of about 4000 acres. If this were the last place on earth that may or may not have a pool of oil under it the American Indian would probably consent for the good of mankind to drill for this oil. It is not the last pool of oil on earth and we do not consent to having a steel spear being driven through the heart of our mother the earth to look for oil that may or may not be there. To build the road, the bulldozers would destroy the earth and the vegetation and this would be lost forever, as this earth is so fragile any little disturbance takes years for any recovery. The old road into this valley is unusable now, as it has eroded away.

    The area is closed to motorized vehicles and firearms, but it is not enforced by the BLM. The valley has a natural protection now that will be destroyed if a new road is allowed to be gouged and ripped into this sacred valley.

    At our hearing at the BLM office in Billings, MT on May 7th, testimony was heard by deaf ears, even though good honest testimony to the importance of the valley was given by the people that traveled many miles to be there. Testimony was made by Indian and non-Indian that was very moving to all whom were there. People were not aware of the importance of this valley to the American Indian. We believe the BLM has made a big mistake in allowing an oil lease for a well to be drilled for in this small pristine valley.

    We have a President and Vice President of our country whose campaigns for office were financed by oil companies to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now they have to pay off their debt and will push to allow for cultural religious sites and pristine areas to be destroyed for the sake of an energy crisis that was not there until they entered office. The Bush administration’s energy plan would destroy any cultural or religious site, just for a gallon of oil. The oil well to be drilled is only exploratory; they don’t even know for sure if there is oil down there. If there is, it is only a small pool of ten million barrels of oil, which would take twenty to thirty years to pump and would only supply enough oil for the United States for less than one half of a day.

    As I’ve walked through the valley, I have seen the paintings on the sand rock cliffs of the shield bearing warrior with the wolves, two-headed water animal, the bear, two-meter man, horses and men, tobacco society drawings, and antelope in colors of yellow, gold, red, green, and black. I have hiked the valley ten times this summer with religious leaders from the Crow, Blackfeet, Comanche, Kiowa, Sioux, Arapahoe, Shoshone, and Cheyenne. Each time is a new experience. I believe this is because before you enter the valley you said your prayers and dismissed all bad thoughts for everyone and think of what may have been going through the minds of the ones who created the spiritual art.  When I am in the Valley of the Chiefs, I feel the peace and calmness of this sacred place. On May 18th 2001, I was informed that the BLM had made their decision to go ahead and sign the plan to proceed drilling for oil in the Valley of the Chiefs without doing an Environment Impact Statement (EIS). There are ninety-four sacred cultural sites that have been mapped and studied by BLM and other archeology groups at this date. There is study history back to the 1950’s--why did the BLM let this lease? It is said that there is only about 10 million barrels of oil under this valley, if there is any at all.

    Why are we searching for potholes of oil? If energy is this low, why are we not looking for alternative sources of energy that will not destroy the earth and environment? Do we have to milk the earth dry before we look in other places for energy?

    AAH _ HOO
    Thank you

    Howard Boggess is an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe and an oral historian. He has worked in coalition with Sierra Club to prevent oil drilling in Weatherman Draw.    




    MAY 4, 2007
    Earth Rights Intl/Amazon Watch 
    Riptide Communications, 212-260-5000
    Simeon Tegel, Amazon Watch, 510-962-0195

    Amazon Leaders Give Oxy Ultimatum: Clean Up Your Toxic Waste from our Rainforest
    or Face Legal Action in the U.S.

    Indigenous Children Suffer Lead and Cadmium Poisoning from Oxy’s Toxic Dumping, New Report Finds
    Photo Op. and Press Briefing at Oxy Shareholder Meeting with Indigenous Delegation and Actors Benjamin Bratt, Daryl Hannah and Q’Orianka Kilcher LOS ANGELES - May 4 – Indigenous communities from the Peruvian Amazon told Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) to clean up its toxic waste from their tropical rainforest or face a major lawsuit. The ultimatum, on the eve of the Westwood-based oil giant’s annual general meeting for shareholders, came as a new report revealed that 30 years of Oxy’s polluting had left indigenous Achuar children with illegal concentrations of lead and cadmium in their blood, at levels known to cause permanent developmental problems.

    Compiled by EarthRights International (ERI), Amazon Watch, and Peruvian legal non-profit Racimos de Ungurahui, the report also provides a legal analysis showing how Oxy’s cost-cutting and deliberate use of sub-standard technology exposes it to civil demands from the Achuar, both in Peru and the United States.

    It is likely to be a hot subject during the shareholder meeting today, which will be attended by two Achuar leaders, who hold proxy shareholder rights, spiritual elder Tomas Maynas Carijano and Andrés Sandi Mucushua, President of the Federation of Native Communities of the Corrientes River (FECONACO), the principal Peruvian federation that represents the Achuar.

    Mr. Sandi said: “My people are sick and dying because of Oxy. The water in our streams is not fit to drink and we can no longer eat the fish in our rivers or the animals in our forests.”

    Mr. Maynas Carijano one of the potential plaintiffs, added: “We have told Oxy this week that they must talk with us in good faith about how they are going to clean up the toxic waste they left in our rainforest. We have waited too long already. If Oxy doesn’t respond satisfactorily and soon, I along with other Achuar are prepared to sue them for the damages they have caused us.”

    Marco Simons, Legal Director of EarthRights International, added: “There is no question that Oxy is legally responsible for the contamination of Achuar territory. If Oxy will not agree to fulfill its legal and moral duties, we are fully prepared to assist the Achuar in holding Oxy accountable in court.”

    In total, Oxy dumped nine billion barrels of untreated “formation waters,” a by-product of the oil drilling process containing a variety of toxins and carcinogens, directly into the Achuar’s pristine tropical rainforest territories.

    Based on information gathered by a team of experts in May 2006 – including a doctor, nurse, lawyers, soil scientist, agronomist, environmental engineer, and chemist - the report found:

    Oxy dumped an average of 850,000 barrels per day of toxic oil by-products directly into rivers and streams used by the Achuar for drinking, bathing, washing, and fishing.

    Oxy used earthen pits, prohibited by U.S. standards, to store drilling fluids, crude oil, and crude by-products. These pits, dug directly into the ground, were open, unlined, and routinely overflowed onto the ground and into surface waters, leaching into the surrounding soil and groundwater

    Oxy violated several international rights norms – including several in the American Convention on Human Rights and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights – in its actions on Achuar territory, including the right to life, the right to health, the right to a healthy environment, and indigenous people’s rights.

    Oxy violated Peru’s General Water Law and General Health Law, as well as environmental statutes meant to be applied in the hydrocarbon sector.

    As a U.S. corporation, Oxy’s disregard for the law and for the wellbeing of the Achuar could subject it to legal liability in the U.S. as well as in Peru.

    ERI previously brought a lawsuit against Unocal, another LA-based oil company, for abuses in Burma, concluding in a landmark settlement in 2005. Ka Hsaw Wa, ERI's Executive Director, noted, “Oil companies think only about profits – they are blind to human rights and the environment. As an indigenous person from Burma whose people have suffered greatly at the hands of Unocal, I am compelled to act against similar abuses being experienced by my Achuar brothers and sisters.”

    Atossa Soltani, Amazon Watch Executive Director, added: “Oxy’s history of disregard for the law and for the most basic human rights of the Achuar is appalling. Oxy needs to move decisively and rectify its past mistakes by cleaning up its toxic mess and helping the Achuar deal with their health problems. Otherwise this scandal could haunt Oxy for years to come with negative publicity and potential legal actions.”

    ERI, FECONACO, and AW will also be holding a sidewalk rally, press briefing and photo op with celebrities and indigenous delegation on Friday May 4, 2007. Participants will be available for interviews.

    WHO: Andres Sandi, a leader of the Achuar nation of the Northern Peruvian Amazon

    Tomas Mayna Carijano, Achuar spiritual leader

    Lily La Torre-Lopez, leading human rights lawyer, Racimos de Ungurahui, Peru

    Atossa Soltani, Executive Director of Amazon Watch

    Darryl Hannah, actress, star of Kill Bill

    Benjamin Bratt, actor, star of Law & Order

    Q’orianka Kilcher, actress, starred as Pocahontas in Terence Malick’s The New World

    WHERE: Fairmount Miramar Hotel, 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, California.

    WHEN: Friday May, 4, 2007
    9:45 – 10:15am PST: Rally and photo op.
    12:00pm PST: Press briefing to report back after Oxy Annual General Meeting
     (The AGM takes place in the hotel from 10:30am to 12:00pm)

    A copy of the report can be viewed online at EarthRights International and Amazon Watch’s websites:

    Colombia rejects 'cultural genocide' claim,
    OKs oil drilling near Indian land


    September 22, 1999
    In this story:

    Indigenous peoples

    Threat of mass suicide

    Balancing need for energy

    Spiritual beliefs, fear of violence

    BOGOTA, Colombia -- The Colombian government has granted a U.S. petroleum giant a license to explore for oil next to Indian lands, rejecting a remote tribe's assertion that the result would be "cultural and environmental genocide."

    Environment Minister Juan Mayr announced the decision to allow Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. to conduct exploratory drilling just outside a 543,000-acre reserve inhabited by the tiny U'wa Indian nation.

    Calling the cultural threat and the environmental impact minimal, the government said Tuesday it granted the license to promote economic development and prevent Colombia from becoming an oil importer.

    A tribal spokesman said Tuesday the U'wa were considering a drastic response to the government's action.

    Threat of mass suicide

    "We are looking at the information to see what action the community will take. Mass suicide is one option we are considering," Evaristo Tegria said in Cubara, the main town on the of 8,000-member tribe's reservation.

    "This spells cultural and environmental genocide."

    The decision is the latest twist in a seven-year battle by the semi-nomadic U'wa to prevent drilling on their ancestral lands. The U'wa, who fish and farm in the hilly forested territory near Colombia's border with Venezuela, first received international notice in 1997 when they threatened to commit mass suicide if the government allowed exploitation of the land. Their cause gained support from environmental groups ranging from the Sierra Club to Greenpeace to the Rainforest Action Network.

    Balancing need for energy

    The permit that Occidental received Tuesday would allow it to sink the first test well in the northeast Samore block, just outside the U'wa reservation. If sizable petroleum deposits are found in the area, the company will have to reapply for a license to take the oil out of the ground.

    The 500,000 acre exploration block is tipped to harbor up to 2.5 billion barrels of crude, which would help ensure Colombia's energy needs well into the next millennium.

    Oil is Colombia's top export, bringing in some $2.5 billion per year in foreign reserves. But output is currently stagnated at about 850,000 barrels per day and the country faces the prospect of having to import oil again by 2004 if no major new finds are made.

    But the U'wa insist the entire Samore block, including parts outside the government- approved reservation, was the territory of its semi-nomadic ancestors.

    Spiritual beliefs, fear of violence

    According to the U'wa's long-established spiritual beliefs, drilling for oil on its tribal lands that span the cloud forests and plains of northeast Colombia, is tantamount to sucking the lifeblood out of Mother Earth.

    A major oil project so close to U'wa lands also would attract the same kind of violence and environmental destruction that plagues oil-producing regions throughout Colombia, Tegria said.

    Rebels hiding in the jungle have kidnapped oil executives and have carried out 55 dynamite attacks on pipelines this year, sending oil gushing into the jungles. Thousands of soldiers have been detailed to guard the installations.

    An Occidental executive said Tuesday his industry was being unfairly blamed for strife endemic to a country where guerrillas have a nationwide presence.

    "To say that oil is a magnet for violence is to ignore the reality of Colombia, where in many areas you have violence and no oil development, " said the company official, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

    Mayr said the government could ensure the U'wa are shielded from any violence associated with the oil industry's coming.

    That's almost impossible to guarantee, said David Rothschild, director of the Amazon Coalition, a Washington D.C.-based environmental group that has backed the U'wa cause. "The Colombian government has shown no ability to keep violence out of these areas. So the promises are hollow."

    Three American activists working with the U'wa were kidnapped near the reserve and killed in March by a unit of the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

    The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


    Victory for the U'wa

    “We are seeking an explanation for this ‘progress’ that goes against life. We are demanding that this kind of progress stop, that oil exploitation in the heart of the Earth is halted, that the deliberate bleeding of the Earth stop... We ask that our brothers and sisters from other races and cultures unite in the struggle that we are undertaking... We believe that this struggle has to become a global crusade to defend life.” —Statement of the U’wa people, August, 1998

    When the story of Colombia’s indigenous U’wa people first hit the world stage, it was an all too familiar tragic tale: A ruthless multinational oil company invades the homeland of a traditional culture, threatening their way of life and the fragile ecosystem. It was a new twist on the same 500-year-old story of conquistadors, invasion and genocide that has shaped the Americas—only this time, the gold which the invaders were willing to kill for was black.

    To the U’wa (a name which means “the thinking people”), oil is Ruiría meaning “the blood of Mother Earth,” and to extract it violates their most sacred beliefs. To the Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum (OXY), oil is the lucrative drug of choice for industrial society and the fast track to record profits. With both the Colombian and US governments backing the project, it seemed inevitable despite the uncompromising resistance of the U’wa, that eventually OXY would develop oil operations on U’wa land.

    But on May 3, at the Occidental shareholder’s meeting, the story of U’wa resistance turned a triumphant page. OXY made the historic announcement that it is returning its oil concessions on U’wa land to the Colombian government and abandoning its plans to drill in the region. OXY has suddenly decided there is no oil under U’wa land despite eight years of assuring investors of a major oil strike and only pursuing one drill site in the vast area. In other words, when you strip away the corporate face-saving, the resistance of the U’wa and the pressure of the international solidarity campaign helped to force OXY to abandon its efforts to drill on U’wa land! The slogans that so many of us have written on banners and chanted in the streets—OXY Off of U’wa Land!—are coming true.

    The significance of this victory cannot be overstated. It is a victory not only for the U’wa and their thousands of allies, but for all impacted communities fighting the devastation of resource extraction around the world. Although it is not the final victory for the U’wa, it is a major milestone in their decade-long struggle to defend their way of life and to teach the world the simple message that, “If we kill the Earth, then no one will live.”

    The announcement comes nearly a year after OXY retreated from the Gibraltar 1 drill-site, which thousands of U’wa, local campesinos, trade unionists and students had occupied to prevent oil drilling. After using the Colombian military to brutally evict the protesters and militarize the region, OXY was unable to find oil at the site. This came as no surprise to the U’wa whose Werjayas (“wise elders”) had spent months doing spiritual work to “move” the oil away from OXY’s drills.

    But as with all victories, this one has come with its share of losses. As we celebrate this victory, remember the spirits of those who have given their lives as part of the struggle to defend the U’wa land and culture. Remember Terence Freitas, Ingrid Washinawatok and Lahe’ena’e Gay, three indigenous rights activists who were kidnapped from U’wa territory and murdered by Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia guerrillas in March, 1999. Remember the three indigenous children who were killed in February, 2000, when the military attacked U’wa blockades. Remember the 20 non-combatants who are murdered in Colombia’s war every day as well as the numerous cultures, species and ecosystems that have already been lost across the region.

    Celebration also gives us pause for introspection as we analyze our victories and draw some lessons from this amazing campaign. The U’wa struggle for survival has become a symbol of resistance to oil exploration, corporate-led globalization and American militarism. During the last five years, the U’wa resistance inspired a massive international solidarity movement that captured headlines around the world with hundreds of peaceful demonstrations and actions. U’wa supporters confronted OXY’s most important shareholders—former Vice President Al Gore and mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments—and forced them to dump more than 60 percent of their holdings. Activists raised tens of thousands of dollars to support U’wa organizing on the ground and made links with numerous local campaigns.

    The U’wa struggle is the embodiment of the clash of worldviews that defines the globalization era. Across the planet, traditional cultures with ancient spiritual traditions of living in balance with the Earth are under attack by multinational corporations capable of seeing the Earth only as a commodity to exploit and extract. It is up to all of us to show the public that they must choose sides—either with those who fight to defend the Earth or those who would destroy it for personal profit.

    The U’wa campaign has shown that times are changing. Increasingly, activists from the global North are aligning themselves with the voices of frontline resistance and weaving our struggles for peace, justice and ecology into a broader vision of people’s globalization. As we work to globalize solidarity, dignity and ecological sanity, we must look to indigenous resistance to help us relearn and articulate Earth-centered values. Let us learn from the examples of people like the U’wa and place being in solidarity with all the planet’s besieged indigenous cultures at the center of our strategies for transformative change.

    The U’wa will continue to need our support. Despite this major victory, the U’wa and all the people of Colombia are in danger of becoming the next target in George Bush’s global military offensive against “terrorism.” The Bush administration is proposing to spend $98 million to defend OXY’s Caño Limon pipeline. This money will inevitably deepen the cycle of violence in Colombia’s brutal civil war. It is up to us to continue our organizing to stop Bush’s latest oil war in Colombia. Likewise, the Colombian government or another oil company could invade U’wa land and continue where OXY left off. Ultimately, no culture or ecosystem will be truly safe until we drive the oil barons from power, kick our global fossil fuel addiction and begin to restabilize carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

    Celebrate the U’wa victory and let it fuel your passion to defend the Earth. Our work is far from done—but with each milestone, each victory, each action and each celebration, we are getting closer. Another world is possible!

    Patrick Reinsborough is a long-term U’wa supporter and freelance global justice organizer.


    The Struggle of the Indigenous U’wa People
    against Oil Exploitation and for Life

    Green Action in Colombia

    by Larry Mosqueda, Ph.D., Evergreen State College

    The Struggle of the Indigenous U’wa People against Oil Exploitation and for Life Green Action in Colombia by Giuseppe De Marzo, Italian Greens

    The U’wa are a community of 7000 indigenous people living in the forests of the Colombian Andes. Their culture is based on the belief that the earth that has nurtured them for centuries is sacred and is the Mother and that they exist to protect Her. Now the U’wa and their sacred land have to face the menace of an American oil multinational, Occidental, which began drilling in November 2000.

    The U’wa are so determined in their opposition to the exploitative plans that they have threatened to commit mass suicide if the project is not stopped. They are convinced that it’s better to die than to assist the destruction of their Mother Earth. They have a strong spiritual opposition to the drilling, as they believe that oil is the blood of Mother Earth. Part of the U’wa community committed mass suicide 500 years ago as an extreme action of love towards life.

    The Colombian government and the Occidental Petroleum company of Los Angeles are carrying on the exploitation in the traditional territory of the U’wa. They seem to be careless of the suffering of the U’wa, killing children, women and destroying everything they find in their path.

    As Italian ecologists we decided to join the struggle of our U’wa brothers after the death of the three American companions who were supporting the U’wa in their fight. We have visited Colombia 5 times so far, with 5 commissions. From this privileged point of view we were able to verify the effects produced by neoliberal economic policies on those countries which have been deprived of democracy, human rights and their own dignity for more than 50 years. Impunity, violence, overwhelming blind power, the arrogance of the system: this is what happens in every country of the “third world” starved by the hyenas of the fat, rich “first world.”

    Colombia is the country, which more than any other symbolizes how life on this planet is becoming more and more inhuman. The list is endless: 100 Colombians die every day; 350,000 “desplazados” (people literally thrown off their lands) per year; indigenous people eliminated by the activities of multinationals. More than that, there is a total lack of democracy; interference in their internal affairs by a third country (USA); civil war; destruction of the beauty of nature and of biodiversity; unemployment and more. To cap it all, there is the military project of astonishing destruction and exploitation known as “Plan Colombia,” the last way to claim the ownership of what cannot be possessed.

    “We will in no way sell our Mother Earth.”

    But while the picture may be bleak, at the same time Colombia is the country with 10% of the world’s biodiversity. It is a country rich in colors, perfumes and sounds with strong traditions and passions. From the forsaken suburbs of the “center” of the world the U’wa are fighting a battle for the future of everybody’s children against huge and powerful forces. The U’wa are prepared to die if they cannot defend the role assigned to them four thousand years ago by Sira (God) to be guardians of the “Heart of the World” (as their territory is known).

    “We will in no way sell our Mother Earth. To do so would be to give up our work of collaborating with the spirits to protect the heart of the world, which sustains and gives life to the rest of the universe. It would be to go against our own origins, and those of all existence.”

    Declaration of the U’wa, 10 August 1998:

    The U’wa are convinced that oil, Ruiria, is the blood that flows through the veins of Mother Earth. Extracting oil means to them draining life out of the Earth. To the U’wa, “Oil is the blood of Mother take the oil is, for us, worse than killing your own mother. If you kill the Earth, then no one will live.”

    How much should we learn from this people and their culture? How much should we learn from their teachings and their purity? We don’t go to Colombia to help the U’wa but to help ourselves, because if the U’wa people disappear, a wonderful part of us will fade away with them. This “human core” of the project is more important than every political, biological or any other reason.

    We will be creating an Indigenous Tribunal of Judgment in a forest in Colombia with indigenous people and campesinos and will walk together in the whole process. For the first time it will be for the indigenous to judge the government of the United States and the multinational Occidental.

    We will be creating an Indigenous Tribunal of Judgment in a forest in Colombia…

    This Tribunal will give the chance to native peoples all over the world to use it. Being able to open a trial on the use and exploitation of the earth and its resources would mean striking to the core of the system that needs the control of all of the resources in order to extinguish them all. The institution of the Tribunal must become for us the moment in which the concept of Crime Against Humanity extends to a new one: the Crime Against the Life of the Planet (including all its living beings). This would mean accepting the truth of all indigenous beliefs and theories which since the dawn of time have stated the same things: that the planet and its living beings are a unique living organism and that in the very moment that we attack our Mother, we precipitate our own extinction.

    The march will start in a forest and will end with the delivery of the sentence of the Tribunal right at Occidental’s drilling platform, situated inside the “Territorio Sagrado” of the U’wa. This “multicultural promenade” as it was defined by the U’wa could have a lot of new elements; first of all the presence of the campesinos and social sectors that after calling for a national strike for that date will march side by side with the indigenous people (this fact is everything but usual in the history of Latin America). Another element will be the presence of international observers from several countries. The day of the promenade should turn out to be a “Levantamiento Spiritual”—a Spiritual Uprising.


    Giuseppe De Marzo is Speaker of the Promoting Committee, Italian Greens, Ya-Basta! Social Centres, Associations and Ecologist Movements

    The text is from the August, 2001 UPDATE, Newsletter of the European Federation of Green Parties.



    From: The Orion Project Team <>
    Subject: Dr. Steven Greer Alert!  Immediate Action Needed!
    Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 10:02:15 +0000
     The Orion Project
    Renewable Energy - Free for Everyone!

     alternative energy
     Imminent scientific breakthroughs will eliminate your monthly energy bills (and the world's) FOR LIFE!
    (Keep reading to learn how YOU can be a part of this exciting opportunity!)
     Dear Friends:
    IMAGINE a device that could produce every watt of energy your home will ever need.

    IMAGINE this device being CLEANER than solar power, but as free as the air you breathe!

    IMAGINE no more dependence on oil reserves run by cartels in foreign lands.

    IMAGINE no more nuclear waste or stripping of the countryside for coal.
    And finally...
     IMAGINE this device being available EVERYWHERE on the planet:  from the apartments of NYC, to the desert communities in Africa, and even to your favorite camping destination...
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." - Albert Einstein
    But do not confuse these exciting possibilities with mere wishful thinking.  These are very REAL technologies that exist RIGHT NOW!  What needs to be done is to quickly develop these technologies into actual products you can buy at a local store,  allowing
     you to unplug from high monthly bills and unsustainable, polluting utilities. Many of you know I have been working together with scientists, inventors and leaders in society to advance a new, clean technology energy system for 17 years.  My  vision for The Orion Project is to provide free renewable energy for everyone.  We're getting so close to a solution, and I need your help today.

    So how can YOU be a part of this?
    join us on this incredible endeavor!
     SPREAD THE WORD by forwarding this note to 10 others!
     Your donation of $30 or more will make a huge difference.
     Referring 10 friends will help us reach our goal of $3 Million in a very short time. We currently have 6 different technologies under development.  Any of them is potentially "the one" that will be the breakthrough we need.  Once we have rigorously  verified
    the results, it's a straight sprint to optimization and production.  But, this is currently being done on a shoestring budget!  To make this occur in 12-18 months  versus 12-18 years, we need to be able to bring these scientists together.  And, we need to give them the necessary tools and assistance to develop multiple technologies that will provide free energy perpetually for all people.
    Imagine $10/gallon in less than 5 years.
    Imagine having to forego heating in the winter or A/C in the summer.
    Imagine familities having to decide between eating and being able to drive miles  away to work.
    Imagine having more and more pollution in the water, in the air, in your food, everywhere...
    It's not a pretty future... that is why we need you now to generously donate as much as you can to develop these new technologies as quickly as humanly possible!

    Cleaner than solar energy, but as free as the air you breath!
    Do not delay!  Share this message with ten others, and Donate today and as generously as you can afford!  $30 or more makes a huge difference in our future.  We soon shall stand at the finish line with our device in hand.
    Toward a more sustainable and equitable future for all.

    PS.  Your donation is tax-deductible!
    "Energy Cleaner Than Solar, And As Free As The Air"
    Our campaign needs you and your help.  In order to bring an alternative energy device into your home or place of business, The Orion Project needs funding to build a prototype, test it and manufacture it.  When you donate a small amount (even $30
     makes a huge difference), we promise that 100% of your contribution goes directly to the development of an alternative energy device.

    In addition to making a tax-deductible contribution, The Orion Project Team asks  that you introduce us, and Dr. Greer's vision of a renewable energy device, to 10 friends and family members who are passionate about a cleaner, less expensive  energy source.

    We appreciate your support and interest and thank you for spreading the word of  our efforts to others.  We will share our progress on this, and other projects under development, in future newsletters.  Do you know of a scientist or inventor whose focus is on alternative energy solutions? Please let us know.

     The Orion Project Team
    Inventor Shares Energy Prototype with The Orion Project (TOP)
    Mr. Bill Costantino and Dr. Ted Loder of TOP just recently had the opportunity  to meet with an inventor who presented a wide range of possible technologies and prototype samples that may be capable of producing clean and sustainable electric power - without using polluting fossil fuels. If such a breakthrough is indeed possible,
    TOP expects to have actual data from preliminary tests within 2-3 months!  (To read the full article, please click on Cutting Edge Inventor 
    We Hope You Can Imagine a Future Where Everyone - Rich or Poor - Can Have Clean,  Free Energy
    The technology is just around the corner.  Let your imagination reach higher limits.
    We can move from imagination to reality.
    Refer 10 friends to The Orion Project.  Your contact information will never be sold or exchanged:
    Sign up for our newsletter and breaking news about the Orion Project on our website:


    Upcoming Lectures & Conferences
    Dr. Greer will be speaking at the IIIHS Conference
     scheduled for July 11-20, 2008.  Please check the conference website for more  information.
    The Orion Project | PO Box 4347 | Charlottesville | VA | 22905

    Subject:    Dr. Steven Greer Alert!  Immediate Action Needed!
    Date:    Wed, 21 May 2008 10:02:15 +0000

    The Orion Project
    Renewable Energy - Free for Everyone!

    Imminent scientific breakthroughs will eliminate your monthly energy bills (and the world's) FOR LIFE! 

    (Keep reading to learn how YOU can be a part of this exciting opportunity!)
    Dear Friends:
    IMAGINE a device that could produce every watt of energy your home will ever need.  
    IMAGINE this device being CLEANER than solar power, but as free as the air you breath!
    IMAGINE no more dependence on oil reserves run by cartels in foreign lands.
    IMAGINE no more nuclear waste or stripping of the countryside for coal.
    And finally...
    IMAGINE this device being available EVERYWHERE on the planet:  from the apartments of NYC, to the desert communities in Africa, and even to your favorite camping destination...
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." - Albert Einstein
    But do not confuse these exciting possibilities with mere wishful thinking.  These are very REAL technologies that exist RIGHT NOW!  What needs to be done is to quickly develop these technologies into actual products you can buy at a local store, allowing you to unplug from high monthly bills and unsustainable, polluting utilities.  
    Many of you know I have been working together with scientists, inventors and leaders in society to advance a new, clean technology energy system for 17 years.  My vision for The Orion Project is to provide free renewable energy for everyone.  We're getting so close to a solution, and I need your help today.
    So how can YOU be a part of this? 
    DONATE NOW to join us on this incredible endeavor!

     SPREAD THE WORD by forwarding this note to 10 others!
    Your donation of $30 or more will make a huge difference.
    Referring 10 friends will help us reach our goal of $3 Million in a very short time.
    We currently have 6 different technologies under development.  Any of them is potentially "the one" that will be the breakthrough we need.  Once we have rigorously verified the results, it's a straight sprint to optimization and production.  But, this is currently being done on a shoestring budget!  To make this occur in 12-18 months versus 12-18 years, we need to be able to bring these scientists together.  And, we need to give them the necessary tools and assistance to develop multiple technologies that will provide free energy perpetually for all people.
    Imagine $10/gallon in less than 5 years.
    Imagine having to forego heating in the winter or A/C in the summer.
    Imagine familities having to decide between eating and being able to drive miles away to work.
    Imagine having more and more pollution in the water, in the air, in your food, everywhere...
    It's not a pretty future... that is why we need you now to generously donate as much as you can to develop these new technologies as quickly as humanly possible!
    Cleaner than solar energy, but as free as the air you breath!

    Do not delay!  Share this message with ten others, and Donate today and as generously as you can afford!  $30 or more makes a huge difference in our future.  We soon shall stand at the finish line with our device in hand. 

    Toward a more sustainable and equitable future for all. 
      PS.  Your donation is tax-deductible!

    "Energy Cleaner Than Solar, And As Free As The Air"

    Our campaign needs you and your help.  In order to bring an alternative energy device into your home or place of business, The Orion Project needs funding to build a prototype, test it and manufacture it.  When you donate a small amount (even $30 makes a huge difference), we promise that 100% of your contribution goes directly to the development of an alternative energy device.  
    In addition to making a tax-deductible contribution, The Orion Project Team asks that you introduce us, and Dr. Greer's vision of a renewable energy device, to 10 friends and family members who are passionate about a cleaner, less expensive energy source.  
    We appreciate your support and interest and thank you for spreading the word of our efforts to others.  We will share our progress on this, and other projects under development, in future newsletters.  Do you know of a scientist or inventor whose focus is on alternative energy solutions?  Please let us know.  The Orion Project Team
    Inventor Shares Energy Prototype with The Orion Project (TOP)
    Mr. Bill Costantino and Dr. Ted Loder of TOP just recently Dr. Ted Loder examines inventors Pulsed Motor Generatorhad the opportunity to meet with an inventor who presented a wide range of possible technologies and prototype samples that may be capable of producing clean and sustainable electric power - without using polluting fossil fuels. If such a breakthrough is indeed possible, TOP expects to have actual data from preliminary tests within 2-3 months!  (To read the full article, please click on Cutting Edge Inventor ).              


      We Hope You Can Imagine a Future Where Everyone - Rich or Poor - Can Have Clean, Free Energy
    PMGThe technology is just around the corner.  Let your imagination reach higher limits.  We can move from imagination to reality. 
    Reality is just 1-2-3 steps away:
    Refer 10 friends to The Orion Project.  Your contact information will never be sold or exchanged:

     Donate what you can, but $30 or more makes a HUGE difference:

    Sign up for our newsletter and breaking news about the Orion Project on our website:


    Upcoming Lectures & Conferences

    Dr. Greer will be speaking at the IIIHS Conference scheduled for July 11-20, 2008.  Please check the conference website for more information.



    "jump over" to the Earth, be sure they will. And with that will come great change. I hope this helps clarify some of your questions. Sincerely yours,. Alex ...


    by Dee Finney, Michelle Lavigne-Wedel and Alex. and others as named. ... I hope this helps clarify some of your questions. Sincerely yours,. Alex. ...


    Alex tells us that our mission on earth is to raise the 'frequency' of earth so that it becomes ... Alex states: "Frequency sickness is a global affliction. ...


    THE TRUTH ABOUT NIBIRU - by Alex. Over time, Nibiru has returned in its journey around our sun. ... It is so far from the Sun that its orbital period is . ...



    THIRD EYE -. DEES DREAMS AND VISIONS -MARCH, 1999 THIRD EYE - I pulled the white light down through the crown to the 3rd eye ...




    by Dee Finney, Michelle Lavigne-Wedel and Alex. and others as named. SOME SHIFTING HAS ALREADY OCCURRED ... Through a series of small towers strategically ...


    Alex tells us the definition of 'The Tuning': The Tuning is a stage in the bringing ... Remember this: Alex said that when the balance between positive and negative ...