Friday, December 30, 2011

The Atlantic's The Most Important Graphs of 2011 (Energy)

4. ENERGY, ENERGY, ENERGY

Oil Profits v. Oil Prices

big oil profits v prices for oil gas.jpg"Big oil companies make larger profits when oil and gasoline prices are high.  These revenues come from the pockets of everyday Americans.  The five biggest oil companies - BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell - have already made $100 billion in profits during the first three quarters of 2011 due to high oil prices. Yet they and other big oil companies have fought tooth and nail this year to retain tax breaks worth $4 billion annually." -- Daniel J. Weiss, senior fellow, Center for American Progress

The Most Disastrous Year Ever
Screen Shot 2011-12-19 at 6.25.17 PM.png"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that the United States set a record with 12 separate billion dollar weather/climate disasters in 2011.  Total damages were approximately $52 billion.  NOAA Chief Jane Lubchenco noted that "what we are seeing this year is not just an anomalous year, but a harbinger of things to come for at least a subset of those extreme events that we are tallying."  She noted that some of the increase is driven by climate change." -- Dr. Joe Romm, Senior Fellow and Editor of Climate Progress

A Century of Love for Oil and Gas
Screen Shot 2011-12-19 at 6.29.28 PM.png"Many conservatives have attacked the Obama administration's effort to invest in emerging clean energy technologies, including wind and solar electricity generation. Yet they defend longstanding tax breaks for the mature oil and gas (O&G), and nuclear industries. However, the federal government annually spends an average of thirteen times more money on the oil and gas industry compared to investments in renewable energy." -- Richard Caperton, Director of Clean Energy Investment, Center for American Progress

Our Competitors' Green Investments

"On the two-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we should look back with satisfaction that we have seen the American clean energy industry through a rough period in the global economy. However, the United States risks ceding its gains and falling dangerously behind its competitors without continuing investment.  Many conservatives oppose such investments.   Without it, the United States will see an exodus of firms and capital to countries that  are growing their clean tech industries, particularly China and Germany. U.S. private-sector firms lament a lack of clear and consistent policy on clean energy. This stymies investment and slows job creation." -- Bracken Hendricks, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Where the Green Jobs Are
highest rates of green job growth.jpg"The failure of several clean energy companies that received loan guarantees have many conservatives increasing their opposition to such investments.  However, clean energy has been a bright spot in the sluggish economy.  The clean economy sector focused on clean energy--especially wind, solar, fuel cell, smart grid, biofuel, and battery companies--grew far more quickly than the economy as a whole. A Brookings Institution report found major job growth in clean energy between 2003 and 2010: Solar thermal and wind grew by 18.4 percent and 14.9 percent, respectively." -- Kate Gordon, Vice President for Energy Policy, Center for American Progress

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