Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Guardian gets more facts wrong

I grow weary of fact-checking for the Guardian, but in an otherwise fascinating article about oil spills in Nigeria, we find the following inaccuracy:

... the Niger delta supplies 40% of all the crude the United States imports and is the world capital of oil pollution.

That's blatantly wrong, as you can see from the official statistics from the US government here. Nigeria as a whole provides closer to 7-8 percent of all the crude the United States imports. The Niger Delta is entirely within Nigeria, so there is no other country that contributes to the figure for crude from the Niger Delta.

Overall, Nigeria is far behind Canada (in first place) and Mexico (generally in second place) as a crude supplier to the US. Nigeria generally vies for third place with Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

The unfortunate thing is that when you see such an obvious inaccuracy, you doubt the rest of the article.


  1. Hi Craig

    Can you offer an update on the never ending FiT saga? You've mentioned before that the Bundesrat has no real authority but the latest news has the Bundesrat in mediation with the Bundestag.

    Is the Bundesrat simply grandstanding? Is it a hail mary pass? Any thoughts?

    By all indications, Germany has been off to the races with PV installations this year. You'd think there's even more pressure to go ahead with the FiT reductions now than when they were first negotiated.

    Also... As a FiT expert, why do you think the Germans (or anyone else for that matter) haven't incorporated a ratcheting mechanism into the FiT design? By ratcheting mechanism I mean the FiT would be designed to go down in smaller increments after every GW is installed. There could also be a time element designed into the ratcheting mechanism such that a GW installed quickly would result in a slightly larger FiT reduction step than a GW installed slowly. This scheme is more complicated than an annual FiT policy but the complexity is not overly burdensome and you'd potentially put an end to these yearly boom bust cycles. Have you heard of any ratcheting mechanisms like this?

  2. Hey, your comments have absolutely nothing to do with that particular post, but no matter -- Germany has the kind of a ratcheting mechanism you describe: