Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #336

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

By Ken Haapala, President

Quote of the Week: “I have observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage.” ― John Stuart Mill [H/t Matt Ridley]

Number of the Week: $1,096/MWh – An increase of 22 times

USGCRP Prophecies: On November 23, the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released the second volume of its two-part series on human caused global warming. The first volume. the “Climate Science Special Report (CSSR)” supposedly discussed the physical science but was largely confined to projections from poorly tested global climate models and physical events unrelated to increasing carbon dioxide. The current release came in time for the upcoming 24th Conference of Parties (COP-24) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Katowice Poland. According to official announcements, this conference will additionally include “the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) and the third part of the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1-3)” – international bureaucratic science at its best.

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As Oil Plunges, Energy Junk Bonds Turn Dangerous — Again

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Back in 2014 oil was falling and hundreds of billions of dollars of energy junk bonds and leveraged loans looked to be at risk. Wolf Street had this to say at the time:

Oil and Gas Bloodbath Spreads to Junk Bonds, Leveraged Loans. Defaults Next

The price of oil has plunged nearly 40% since June to $65.63, and junk bonds in the US energy sector are getting hammered, after a phenomenal boom that peaked this year. Energy companies sold $50 billion in junk bonds through October, 14% of all junk bonds issued! But junk-rated energy companies trying to raise new money to service old debt or to fund costly fracking or off-shore drilling operations are suddenly hitting resistance.

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Resurgent US Oil Industry

By Rick Mills – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Crude oil prices dropped from $110 a barrel in the summer of 2014 to about $30 in January 2016. The effect on oil producers and oil-producing countries was dramatic. The Russian ruble plunged, and the Canadian dollar slipped to below 70 cents US for the first time since 2003, kicking the country into recession and snuffing out the oil boom in Alberta. Many foreign companies operating in the high-cost Canadian oil sands pulled up stakes.

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PetroDollar System In Trouble As Saudi Arabia Continues To Liquidate Foreign Exchange Reserves

By SRSrocco – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

The U.S. PetroDollar system is in serious trouble as the Middle East’s largest oil producer continues to suffer as the low oil price devastates its financial bottom line.  Saudi Arabia, the key player in the PetroDollar system, continues to liquidate its foreign exchange reserves as the current price of oil is not covering the cost to produce oil as well as finance its national budget.

The PetroDollar system was started in the early 1970’s, after Nixon dropped the Gold-Dollar peg, by exchanging Saudi Oil for U.S. Dollars.  The agreement was for the Saudi’s only to take U.S. Dollars for their oil and reinvest the surpluses in U.S. Treasuries.  Thus, this allowed the U.S. Empire to continue for another 46 years, as it ran up its ENERGY CREDIT CARD. 

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China makes ‘flammable ice’ breakthrough in South China Sea

By Alec Macfarlane – Re-Blogged From CNN/Money

China is talking up its achievement of mining flammable ice for the first time from underneath the South China Sea.

The fuel-hungry country has been pursuing the energy source, located at the bottom of oceans and in polar regions, for nearly two decades. China’s minister of land and resources, Jiang Daming, said Thursday that the successful collection of the frozen fuel was “a major breakthrough that may lead to a global energy revolution,” according to state media.

This is what flammable ice looks like

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Venezuela Chaos: The Biggest Threat to Cheap Oil

Venezuela’s deepening chaos could soon create tremors in the global oil markets.

Already in an economic and humanitarian crisis, Venezuela’s oil production — the country’s sole lifeline for revenue — has hit a 13-year low.

As the situation worsens, Venezuela’s oil output could plunge even lower. A new report by Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy calls Venezuela a “growing supply risk for oil markets in 2017.”

Oil prices are currently around $45 a barrel, a dramatic drop from about $110 two years ago. The main reason for the low prices is that there’s too much supply globally. However, the line between oversupply and a shortage in the oil market is thin, and Venezuela could tip the scale in the opposite direction.

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Slippery Oil Prices Plunge Over Cliff Into Bear Market

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Great Recession Blog

Oil today plunged quickly below $40 per barrel, taking oil prices down more than 20% from their high a little over a month ago. That officially defines a bear market in oil. As of today, oil has also moved below its 50-day, 100-day and 200-day moving averages. July has again turned out to be a huge disappointment for oil producers who mistakenly thought price recovery had come to stay.

In addition to the dark clouds I presented last week, here is a list of newly developing reasons and ways that oil prices are continuing to slide toward $30 per barrel … as I’ve predicted all along:

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