Heating Oil Weekly Roundup: Derivatives Trading, Peer Pressure Failure, and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
While financial reform proceeds in the Senate that would regulate the over-the-counter derivatives market—which, before it toppled the global economy, was worth about $600 billion—Michael Greenberger takes a look back and offers a history of the derivatives market at The American Prospect.
Many schemes have been tried to get people to cut back on their energy use, but a utility company California seemed to hit upon a winner when they put peer pressure to work for them and started informing people whether they were using more energy, or less, than their neighbors. After people found out how they stacked up against similar households, they cut energy consumption by an average of 2 percent. There’s only one problem, says Roy Fisman at Slate: it didn’t work on Republicans, who increased their consumption by 1 percent.
As the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico approached shore, and the Coast Guard worked to set it on fire, Andrew Revkin at the New York Times’ Dot Earth blog explained how burning an oil spill is an effective response. For video of the burning oil, check out Tom Fowler’s NewsWatch: Energy blog for the Houston Chronicle.
By Tuesday, BP had already recovered 35,000 gallons of oil from the spill. What happens to all of that? Joshua Keating at Foreign Policy has the answer. Some can be recovered and reused, some gets tossed in a landfill, and some gets the Coast Guard treatment—it gets incinerated.