Fake News for the Masses
Source: Brandweek, December 31, 2007
The migration of sponsored video news releases (VNRs) and B-roll footage from television stations to websites is increasing. Major companies are “bypassing the press and going directly to the masses,” in part because of increased scrutiny of fake news, according to Brandweek. An Allstate representative said posting the videos to their website “started as an experiment,” but is now the norm. General Motors’s director of broadcast communications explained, “We’re just trying to get impressions out.” Bev Yehuda of the PR firm MultiVu agreed: “Our customers are no longer reliant on broadcasters to tell their stories.” In related news, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) marked the holiday season with “a series of initiatives to offer consumers tips for avoiding pirated music,” including an alarmist VNR. As Consumerist.com noted, the RIAA video was “leaked (promoted?) heavily by the [public relations] company that produced it,” so “keep your bullshit ‘stealth marketing’ sensors up.”
US Oil Cos 4Q Seen Lifted By High Oil Prices
Jan 18 2008
Over the next two weeks, major oil companies will report banner-headline profits for the fourth quarter of 2007, led by a sharp rise in oil prices. Earnings for the group are expected to be 15% above the same period last year and up 10% sequentially, according to Oppenheimer & Co. research. During the quarter, oil prices jumped from $80.24 on Oct. 1 to $95.98 on Dec. 31.
From: CLG News
Oil Profits Could Spark Some Backlash
Jan 17 2008
Already, Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, has predicted it will earn a bigger profit in the fourth quarter than it did in the third, when it earned $3.72 billion, because of higher energy prices. Last February, Chevron reported its third consecutive year of record profits: $17.1 billion for 2006. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial predict Exxon Mobil [expected Feb. 1] to top its year-ago result and post quarterly revenue of $112.7 billion, a 25 percent jump from the fourth quarter of 2006. Exxon Mobil’s $39.5 billion profit for all of 2006 was the largest annual profit by a U.S. company.
From: CLG News
Iraq Oil Report – ‘U.S. audit can’t determine how much Iraq ministries spent on capital
*Oil Ministry cracks down more on oil firms signing deals with Kurds
*Kirkuk pipeline cutting short planned oil sales
*Oil refineries, power plants have a bad week
*Much, much more
Iraq’s Oil Ministry spent $558 million on capital projects in 2007 to improve its struggling oil sector. Or $500 million. Or only $270,000.
A new report by the U.S. [...]
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World Not Running Out of Oil
January 18, 2008
Doom-laden forecasts that world oil supplies are poised to fall off the edge of a cliff are wide of the mark, according to leading oil industry experts who gave warning that human factors, not geology, will drive the oil market.
A landmark study of more than 800 oilfields by Cambridge Energy Research Associates (Cera) has concluded that rates of decline are only 4.5 per cent a year, almost half the rate previously believed, leading the consultancy to conclude that oil output will continue to rise over the next decade.
Peter Jackson, the report’s author, said: “We will be able to grow supply to well over 100 million barrels per day by 2017.” Current world oil output is in the region of 85million barrels a day.
The optimistic view of the world’s oil resource was also given support by BP’s chief economist, Peter Davies, who dismissed theories of “Peak Oil” as fallacious. Instead, he gave warning that world oil production would peak as demand weakened, because of political constraints, including taxation and government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Speaking to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, Mr Davies said that peaks in world production had been wrongly predicted throughout history but he agreed that oil might peak within a generation “as a result of a peaking of demand rather than supply”.
Complete article at:
Burning Biofuels May Be Worse Than Coal and Oil
Alok Jha, The Guardian UK: “Using biofuels made from corn, sugar cane and soy could have a greater environmental impact than burning fossil fuels, according to experts. Although the fuels themselves emit fewer greenhouse gases, they all have higher costs in terms of biodiversity loss and destruction of farmland.”
Ethanol Dominoes continue to fall
January 04, 2008
More dire predicitions as a result of bad energy policies. From the Financial Post:
A new crisis is emerging, a global food catastrophe that will reach further and be more crippling than anything the world has ever seen. The credit crunch and the reverberations of soaring oil prices around the world will pale in comparison to what is about to transpire, Donald Coxe, global portfolio strategist at BMO Financial Group said at the Empire Club’s 14th annual investment outlook in Toronto on Thursday.
“You’re going to have real problems in countries that are food short, because we’re already getting embargoes on food exports from countries, who were trying desperately to sell their stuff before, but now they’re embargoing exports,” he said, citing Russia and India as examples.
“Those who have food are going to have a big edge.”
With 54% of the world’s corn supply grown in America’s mid-west, the U.S. is one of those countries with an edge.
But Mr. Coxe warned U.S. corn exports were in danger of seizing up in about three years if the country continues to subsidize ethanol production. Biofuels are expected to eat up about a third of America’s grain harvest in 2007.
By Alan Sullivan
It is sheer madness to burn food as fuel. If it were not subsidized, this industry would not exist. Because it takes a great deal of fuel to raise grain, ethanol does nothing for anyone’s “carbon footprint.”
The Great Ethanol Corndoggle
OpEdNews – Newtown,PA,USA
Before even touching a nozzle they have paid at least $3.60 per gallon for corn ethanol through subsidies and tax breaks–the bulk of that to ADM (the Archer …
The Case Against Ethanol
PoliGazette – Netherlands
I’ve long been an opponent of ethanol as a viable source of alternative energy for America. At best it’sa short sighted and inefficient attempt at energy …
USGAO – Energy Markets: Increasing Globalization of Petroleum Products Markets, Tightening Refining Demand and Supply Balance, and Other Trends Have Implications for U.S. Energy Supply, Prices, and Price Volatility.
GAO-08-14, December 20.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d0814high.pdf
Top 25 Censored news stories of 2007 – #21 Gold Mining Threatens Ancient Andean Glaciers
CorpWatch.com, June 20, 2005
Title: “Barrick Gold Strikes Opposition in South”
Author: Glenn Walker
InterPress Service, February 15, 2006
Title: “Chile: Yes, to Gold Mine But Don’t Touch the Glaciers”
Author: Daniela Estrda
Faculty Evaluator: Andy Roth
Student Researcher: Michelle Salvail
Barrick Gold, a powerful multinational gold mining company, planned to melt three Andean glaciers in order to access gold deposits through open pit mining. The water from the glaciers would have been held for refreezing in the following winters. Opposition to the mine because of destruction to water sources for Andean farmers was widespread in Chile and the rest of the world. Barrick Gold’s Pascua Lama project represents one of the largest foreign investments in Chile in recent years, totaling $1.5 billion. However, some 70,000 downstream farmers backed by international environmental organizations and activists around the world waged a campaign against the proposed mine.
In the fall of 2005, environmental activists dumped crushed ice outside the local headquarter of Barrick Gold in Santiago. Thousands had marched earlier in the year shouting slogans such as, “We are not a North American colony,” and handing out nuggets of fool’s gold emblazoned with the words oro sucio—”dirty gold.”
In February 2006, Chile’s Regional Environment Commission (COREMA) gave permission for Barrick Gold to begin the project, but did not approve the relocation of the three glaciers.
“The mine will cause severe damage to the local ecosystem because it will pollute the Huasco River as well as underground water sources,” said Antonia Fortt, an environmental engineer with the Oceana Ecological Organization.
The Pascua Lama deposits are considered one of the world’s largest untapped sources of gold ore, with a potential yield of 17.5 billion ounces of gold. Barrick’s removal of the gold will employ cyanide leaching for on-site processing of the ore. Cyanide is a chemical compound that is extremely toxic to humans and other life forms. Environmentalists are worried that the cyanide will leach into the water systems and contaminate entire ecosystems downstream. Construction of the mine will begin in 2006 and begin full operations in 2009.
Complete article at:
National Security Archive Update, January 8, 2008 – White House Must Answer Questions About Missing White House E-mails, Magistrate Judge Rules
Washington DC, January 8, 2008 – In an Order issued today, Magistrate Judge Facciola of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the White House to answer questions about over 5 million missing e-mails generated between 2003-2005. Noting that the need for information the missing e-mails is “time-sensitive” because of the risk that stored copied of the e-mails “are increasingly likely to be deleted or overridden with the passage of time,” the Court demanded answers in a sworn declaration by January 13, 2008 about the location of the missing e-mails.
“To date, the White House has evaded answering questions about whether it permanently destroyed over 5 million e-mails about issues such as Hurricane Katrina, the firing of United States Attorneys, and the exposure of Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA agent,” commented Meredith Fuchs, the Archive’s General Counsel. “This Order will force the Executive Office of the President to tell the public whether it really erased key records of the nation’s history or whether it has made any effort to preserve the information.”
The order issued today come in National Security Archive v. Executive Office of the President (EOP), et al. Previously, Judge Kennedy ordered the preservation of EOP backup tapes and the consolidation of this case (filed September 5, 2007) with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) v. Executive Office of the President, et al. (filed September 25, 2007).
To date, the White House has had the following to say about the missing e-mails:
“I wouldn’t rule out that there were a potential 5 million emails lost” – Press Gaggle by Dana Perino (April 13, 2007)
“[W]e are aware that there could have been some emails that were not automatically archived because of a technical issue.” – Press Briefing by Dana Perino (April 16, 2007)
“CREW has yet to provide any basis for their assertions — be it their original assertion, or their new claim. We are aware that some e-mails may not have been automatically archived in the past, but they may be available on backup tapes. Unlike what the liberal group CREW has asserted, we’ve never been without a backup system. The Office of Administration at the White House has been maintaining and preserving backup tapes for the official email system.” – Scott Stanzel, White House Spokesman
Visit the Web site of the National Security Archive for more information about today’s posting.
three thousand words
Rob Rogers: energy bar?
Tom Toles: … anything interesting happen while I was gone?
Jack Ohman: they’re the front-runners … of sorts