Climate change our most serious security threat

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Ask Adm. Samuel Locklear III, commander of the U.S. military’s sprawling Pacific Command, what his most serious threat is, and you might be surprised. There’s a long list of possibilities, after all: North Korean nukes, rising Chinese military power and aggressive cyberespionage, multiple territorial disputes between major powers and persistent insurgencies from the Philippines to Thailand, not to mention protecting some of the world’s most vulnerable shipping choke points. Add all of that up, though, and there’s something even more dangerous to keep even the most seasoned military officer up at night: the looming disaster of climate change.

Transparency in fuel pricing long overdue

By Robert McCullough

5 dollar gas

Gas prices spiked to $5.39 a gallon in Los Angeles this summer.

It’s no secret Californians pay some of the highest gas prices in the nation.  And even though consumers and the economy have just gotten over last year’s historic gas prices, another spike seems to be knocking on our door. For more than 20 years I have focused on creating efficient energy markets – ranging from helping the prosecution of Enron executives to working on market manipulation issues across the U.S. and Canada. Over the past 18 months California gasoline prices have spiked repeatedly – with little relationship to world oil prices, or supply and demand.

Major oil companies are quick to point the finger at things that are out of their control. Unrest in far-off governments or unexpected refinery shutdowns are common scapegoats. Environmental regulations that keep them from polluting the air and water, for example, are also common themes. The truth of it though, these are just convenient excuses that hide other, potentially sinister, reasons.

 

United Airlines: Stop helping Chevron block clean energy in California

By Kevin Grandia
August 7, 2013

Flying Clean Alliance members, Stop Fooling California, have launched a new petition and a major ad campaign calling on United Airlines to stop helping oil-giant Chevron block clean energy in California.

Here’s the ad Stop Fooling California are running on major news sites in the Golden State:

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Tell United Airlines to stop helping Chevron turn the clock back toward a dirty energy past. Tell them to withdraw from the oil giant’s front group, and instead help California keep moving forward to a clean energy future.

Fuel standards bill’s implementation is vital to California

By Dr. James K. Brown

Oakland Tribune My Word © 2013 Bay Area News Group

August 6, 2013

One year ago Tuesday, a fire at Chevron’s Richmond oil refinery sent black smoke wafting across the East Bay.

Contra Costa Health Services asked residents to stay in their homes, close the windows, and wait it out. About 11,000 people sought medical treatment. Many suffered from eye, nasal and throat irritations that were short-lived. For those with pre-existing asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, their cough and shortness of breath increased dramatically, sometimes for extended periods.

This refinery fire was a dramatic demonstration that air pollution is bad for our health. A more compelling concern is the evidence that chronic, low-level exposure to air pollution has serious long-lasting adverse effects, including stunting of lung growth and increasing asthma among children, premature death in those with chronic lung diseases, and heart attacks.

The Price of Oil Is Rigged

Raymond J. Learsy

Huffington Post – The Blog

August 5, 2013

The U.S. oil market is well supplied, with U.S. commercial crude oil inventories near all time highs, with production of U.S. oil increasing by some million barrels/day from a year ago, with weekly inventory of gasoline jumping by 800,00bbls equivalent last week alone, while Chinese demand is flat to down and the risks to Suez canal transit have abated. Yet the price of oil has jumped by some 9.5 percent over the last thirty days. This while virtually all basic commodities have gone down in price significantly.

How do I know the price of oil is rigged? I don’t, and that is the problem. There is no transparency whatsoever in the trading of oil on the commodity exchanges. We don’t know who is taking positions and for whose account. Are the oil companies themselves directly or indirectly, or the sovereign wealth funds of oil-producing nations with their billions upon billions of invest-able capital pushing up prices by buying oil derivatives ? Trading on the Exchanges, including such as the New York Mercantile Exchange or the Atlanta ‘ICE’ in oil futures/derivatives has exploded exponentially whereby paper barrel contracts dwarf actual oil production by a factor of thirty to one, I repeat, 30 to 1. (“Policy Brief #25 United Nations Conference On Trade and Development” 09.12)