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Archive for February, 2012

Today’s New York Times reports that during the height of the Fukushima nuclear plant crisis, Japan’s Prime Minister and other officials feared what might happen if the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) evacuated its workers from the Fukushima Daiichi plant. This would have allowed that plant to spiral out of control, releasing even larger amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere that would in turn force the evacuation of other nearby nuclear plants, causing further meltdowns. Officials feared that such a “demonic chain reaction” of plant meltdowns could result in the evacuation of Tokyo, 150 miles to the south. Read the full article here.

Yet even as officials considered the possibility of evacuating Tokyo, they tried to play down the risks in public.

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There’s still time to register for the Association for Corporate Growth/Chicago Chapter’s 5th Annual Midwest Energy Connection Conference this coming Wednesday, February 29th.

Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, President and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), will deliver the Opening Keynote Address for the conference.

Last year the State of Illinois awarded more than $31 million in grants to Illinois companies for green industry business development. Join us to find out who got the money, how it has been spent, and what the opportunities are for Illinois manufacturers and capital providers to benefit from the State’s plan to make Illinois a center of green industry manufacturing. I will be moderating a panel on Demand Drivers and Critical Variables for Green Growth.

To register, please visit the following link:

http://www.acgchicago.com/2012energyconnection.aspx

Look forward to seeing you there!

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration has raised its 2020 estimate of domestic oil production by 550,000 barrels per day, to just over 6 million barrels daily. Domestic oil production peaked at 11.3 million barrels a day in 1970, and it was downhill from that point forward, until oil drillers stole two pages from the playbook of the natural gas drillers: horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

This increase reflects production from developing oil fields such as the Bakken shale in North Dakota. Don’t expect prices at the pump to drop by 2020, or for the United States to have achieved “energy independence” (a term used by every president since Nixon, but never defined): In 2020, the U.S. will still be burning through 19 million barrels a day.

Some estimate that the Bakken could hold as much as 4.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil, and the Bakken is chief reason that, over the past three years, oil production has grown faster in the United States than in any other country. The prices we pay at the pump are most heavily influenced by global supply and demand forces, and as big as the Bakken is, it’s not big enough to offset increasing demand from China and India. With this in mind, Gingrich’s claim that he’ll drill-baby-drill and take the country back to $2/gallon gasoline are about as realistic as his plans for a moon station.

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