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Report adds to doubts about key oil rig safety equipment

Boaters make their way along the edge of the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.As offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere boomed, a 2003 report warned that the industry wasn't taking time to find and fix the problems that commonly plagued blowout preventers — the supposedly failsafe mechanisms designed to stop oil spills such as the one now threatening the gulf coast.

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BP warned of rig fault ten years ago

BPIn June 2000, the oil giant issued a "notice of default" to Transocean, the operator of the rig that blew up last month. The dispute was over problems with a blowout preventer, a set of iron slabs that should close out-of-control wells. It failed on the Gulf of Mexico rig, triggering the explosion and oil spill.

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US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015

Surplus oil production capacity could disappear by 2012The US military has warned that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact.

The energy crisis outlined in a Joint Operating Environment report from the US Joint Forces Command, comes as the price of petrol in Britain reaches record levels and the cost of crude is predicted to soon top $100 a barrel.

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End suppression of new energy inventions

It would be helpful for the U.S. Government to end its decades long, viciously thorough suppression of new energy inventions. For example, to protect oil and power companies, the U.S. Patent Office has unfairly classified secret 5000 energy patents.

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US Air Force biofuel flight test a success

The U.S. Air Force’s initial test of a 50 percent Camelina biofuel in an A-10 Thunderbolt II was successful, an aviation milestone as a military or civilian aircraft had not been flown until now using a biofuels blend in all engines, according to the agency.

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Challenging conventional wisdom on renewable energy's limits

Offshore_wind.jpgIn making the case for a rapid conversion away from heavily polluting energy sources like coal and nuclear power to cleaner generation, renewable energy advocates often confront the argument that their scheme is impossible due to the intermittent nature of sun and wind.

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Low-cost, more efficient solar cells mostly plastic

By growing arrays of silicon wires in a polymer substrate, researchers have demonstrated what they say are flexible solar cells that absorb up to 96 percent of incident light.

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers said the wires are made up of 98 percent plastic, potentially lowering the cost of photovoltaics by using just 1/50th the amount of semiconductor material used today. In tests, the experimental solar cells demonstrated over 90 percent quantum efficiency, compared with 25 percent for the best silicon solar cells.

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