Energychallenge’s Weblog

Israeli Shai Agassi May Have the Right Approach for Electric Cars

T. Boone Pickens Should Take a Close Look at This Solution for Powering Cars

Israeli company Better Place has an innovative solution for electric cars that holds great promise for countries around the world. Israel has plans to be totally off of gasoline powered cars by 2020. Don’t be surprised if they achieve this goal before then. Better Place’s goal is to put in place zero emissions electric cars. In countries like Israel, where there is an abundance of sun, solar power will generate the electricity. In other countries, where the sun is less available, the electricity can be generated by other energy sources including some solar power, wind power, nuclear power, natural gas, clean coal, geothermal power, hydro-electric power and other possible sources.

If Shai Agassi’s plan works, it will truly take the world to a “Better Place”. Here are some of the details of his plan (from Better Place’s web site):

Founded in October 2007 on $200 million of venture capital, Better Place, in its first six months, announced cooperative agreements with Israel and Denmark to transform their transportation infrastructure from oil-based to renewable energy and significantly reduce harmful emissions.

Better Place’s model means consumers subscribe to transportation as a service, much like they do today with mobile phones. Auto companies make the electric cars that plug in to the Better Place electric recharge network of charging stations and battery swap stations. Energy companies provide the network’s power through growing renewable energy projects. And Better Place provides the batteries to make owning an electric car affordable and convenient.


T. Boone Pickens’ Energy Plan

Is the Pickens Energy Plan “Energy Nirvana”, or is it Another “Here We Go Again” Plan?

If you have been watching television lately, you have probably seen an advertisement by T. Boone Pickens about his energy plan. T. Boone Pickens is a Texas multi-millionaire. He made his fortune in the oil and gas (natural gas) business. His web site has a summary of his advertisement: “America is in a hole and it’s getting deeper every day. We import 70 percent of our oil at a cost of $700 billion a year – four times the annual cost of the Iraq war. I’ve been an oil man all my life, but this is one emergency we can’t drill our way out of. But if we create a new renewable energy network, we can break our addiction to foreign oil. On January 20, 2009, a new President gets sworn in. If we’re organized, we can convince Congress to make major changes toward cleaner, cheaper and domestic energy resources. To get this done, I need your help. Check out the plan. If you think it’s worth fighting for, please join our effort, and encourage everyone you know to do the same.”

Pickens presents his energy plan in more detail on his web site and at The Pickens Plan. His message is simple, powerful and generally makes sense. The U.S. needs to quickly move toward energy independence, we need leadership and a plan to make it happen, and the energy plan must include a balanced energy portfolio that includes hydrocarbon, nuclear and renewable energy sources. The energy plan must also move us quickly toward significantly reducing carbon emissions. Pickens is helping to raise awareness and support for the need for a national energy plan and he should be thanked for doing so.

“Joe, American” Challenges the Presidential Candidates on Their Oil Policies.

This guy is saying what many Americans are feeling and thinking about high oil prices

“Joe, American” Challenges the Presidential Candidates – on their oil policies. This is a must see video with energy solutions. “Joe, American” is an American citizen that is disgusted with the leadership in Washington and the energy solutions thus far proposed by the Presidential candidates. Whether you agree with him or not, you will probably understand his level of frustration and desire for leadership and action in Washington.

12 Airline CEOs Say Oil Speculators Have Driven Up the Price of Oil

Posted in Energy Policy,Energy Price Impact,Energy Prices by Howard Deutsch on July 15, 2008

Fed Chairman Bernanke Says the Airline CEOs are Wrong

Last week 12 airline CEOs sent a letter to their customers explaining that they believe oil speculators are a significant contributor to high oil prices. The text of their letter is presented below. Their letter includes a link to the Stop Oil Speculation website, which includes an e-mail/letter you can send to your U.S. Senators and Representative, asking them to take action now to curb oil speculation. You can enter your zip code and the e-mail text will appear, along with your Congressional representatives (the site actually sends the letter for you). The suggested letter includes the actions Congress can take to curb oil speculation and start reducing the price of oil. A copy of this letter is also included below.

In testimony to the Senate this morning, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said he does not believe speculation is a significant cause of high fuel prices, including high jet fuel prices. He believes oil supply and demand are the primary reasons for high oil prices. Who do you believe, the airline CEOs or Bernanke? I believe Bernanke is wrong on this issue. Read the letters from the airline CEOs and the Stop Oil Speculation website and then decide for yourself.

Are High Oil Prices Caused by Oil Supply Shortages or Oil Speculators???

The answer is YES!!!

For the last several months, as the prices of oil and gasoline have escalated to hit all-time highs, a debate has been raging in the media among pundits, spin doctors, politicians, oil company executives, OPEC representatives, journalists, correspondents and the public at large. The issue:  Are High Oil Prices Caused by Oil Supply Shortages or Oil Speculators??? Congress has now gotten into the act, holding hearings to see if oil speculators are driving up the price of oil and gasoline.  

Who is right on this question? Does it matter? Is there anything that can be done in the short and long-term to bring down the price of oil and gasoline? The debaters use selective information and misinformation to make their case. What most people agree to is that high oil prices are having a severe impact on countless people around the world, and on local, national and the world economy. The high price of oil is a high-stakes game, with clear winners and losers. The winners – any country that is a net producer of oil, oil companies in the US and worldwide, oil support companies such as drillers and manufacturers of drilling equipment, and individuals, investment banks, hedge funds, pension funds and sovereign-wealth funds investing and speculating in oil futures and oil company stocks. The losers – everyone else….everyone that uses petroleum products for personal use including transportation and home heating, every person who buys products and services that depend on petroleum-based products, and every company that uses petroleum products.

Washington – We Have a Problem!

Posted in Energy Policy,Energy Price Impact,Energy Prices,Energy Solutions by Howard Deutsch on June 18, 2008

A problem that needs major action within days, weeks and months…not years!

This past Monday John McCain announced his support for off-shore drilling for oil. He is still against drilling at the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR). Today President Bush also announced that he is now for off-shore drilling. He was against it until now. It turns out there has been a moratorium against off-shore drilling since his father put it in place. Congress also passed a law against off-shore drilling years ago. Barack Obama and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed are against off-shore drilling.

The Impact of High Energy Prices

Posted in Energy Price Impact by Howard Deutsch on June 17, 2008

High Energy Costs are Hurting our Economy and Causing Pain for Many People

Due to the downturn in the economy after 9-11, United, Delta and Northwest Airlines went bankrupt. During the past two years these three airlines exited bankruptcy due to an improved economy, $60/barrel oil, reduced debt as a result of bankruptcy, operational improvements they made and salary concessions from employees/labor unions. $140/barrel oil is now threatening these and other airlines including American, Continental and others.