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What The Oil Drum Meant

The Oild Drum, 28 August 2013

The popular peak oil blog The Oil Drum (TOD) began in early 2005. I joined as a contributor in mid 2005, later becoming an editor, and I left the site in early 2008. TOD continued in the meantime, at least up until now when the current editors have decided to transition to an archival format. They don't feel the quality and quantity of post submissions justify continuing. They asked a number of us old-timers to comment on the significance of TOD, and these are my reflections.

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U.S. consults oil experts as it weighs action against Syria

Reuters, 29 August 2013

Obama administration officials have contacted energy experts in recent days to discuss oil market conditions as the president weighs a military strike against Syria, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. There are no signs the government is preparing to tap emergency oil reserves soon in a bid to tame rising prices, according to the sources who spoke with Reuters this week, though the administration is closely monitoring the situation.

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High-speed rail commitment receives widespread praise

T&L News, 27 August 2013

The Labor Government’s announcement, to preserve the 1,748 kilometre corridor along which the track will be laid and establish a new authority to oversee the delivery of the project, has received widespread praise.

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Powering the future, Germany opens its ҬargestҠwind farm

Euronews, 27 August 2013

Bringing the winds of change to the energy mix, Germany has opened its newest offshore wind farm. Located 100km off the island of Borkum in the North Sea, the 80 turbines are said to constitute the country’s largest wind farm.

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Mexican crude oil output sinks to lowest level since 1995

Bloomberg, 23 August 2013

Mexico produced 2.482 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in July, the
lowest monthly output in nearly 18 years, state-run oil monopoly Pemex said on
President Enrique Pena Nieto is seeking
to push a bill through Congress to increase private investment in the oil
industry in the world's 10th-biggest crude oil producer.

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Train operators ‘must warn passengers about overcrowded services’

The Independent, 26 August 2013

[UK] Train operators must warn passengers about chronically overcrowded services,
the Government says.
The Transport Minister, Norman Baker, is demanding a “traffic-light” system
to help travellers plan to avoid the most crowded departures.

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Please use smaller planes: Nepal warns airlines over state of runway

Sydney Morning Herald, 27 August 2013

Nepal has urged airlines flying into the country's only international airport to use smaller planes after holes and cracks were discovered on the runway, a top aviation official said last week. Airport officials have written to all 26 international airlines asking them not to use wide-bodied planes for their flights to Kathmandu amid safety concerns over the runway, the head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) said.

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A second Sydney airport? Not anytime soon

The Conversation, 26 August 2013

Western Sydney has been firmly in the spotlight throughout this federal election campaign. From the candidates who can’t remember their party’s plan to “stop the boats” to those who are “feisty and have sex appeal”, it seems western Sydney’s voters and candidates have once again captured the hearts and minds of political junkies across the nation. Traditionally a Labor stronghold, western Sydney is an incredibly culturally diverse region of over two million people. Their votes are critically important to determining who will be able to form government after the election. No-one wants to upset the voters here, and this political sensitivity is perfectly illustrated by the delay in deciding where to build a second airport in Sydney.

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How Houston maintains affordable housing

Macrobusiness, 26 August 2013

I have written previously how Houston’s deregulated and innovative urban planning system has succeeded in providing Houstonians with housing that is among the most affordable in the Western world.

As explained here, the secret rests in the way that Houston:

  1. Enables a plentiful supply of affordable land for housing and operates speedy housing approval processes; and
  2. Ensures housing-related infrastucture is adequately financed and provided in order to support the provision of affordable housing.

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The way I saw things

Resilience, 25 August 2013

I often find myself wondering where my life would be today had I not stumbled across The Oil Drum in 2005. I don’t know that I would still be writing today were it not for my early experiences with TOD readers. As TOD winds down, I thought I’d share my story, which I have not told before.

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