[permaculture] Oil Independent Berkeley passed by city council

Keith Johnson keithdj at mindspring.com
Sat Dec 22 05:56:38 EST 2007

I have the PDF which includes all the attachments which could not be 
included in this mail. Write me if you want a copy.

December 18, 2007
To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Councilmembers Dona Spring and Kriss Worthington
Subject: Support of “Oil Independent Berkeley”
Adopt a Resolution in appreciation of “Oil Independent Berkeley", a 
citizen group, which is making efforts to organize Berkeley and network 
with other
nearby regional groups to prepare for the "Peak Oil" crisis.
BACKGROUND: “Oil Independent Berkeley” is concerned about the welfare of
their families, neighbors and community members during what is referred 
to as
the "Peak Oil" crisis.
The Peak Oil crisis refers to the situation when 50% of the world's oil
has been consumed and production capacity can not be increased to meet
further increases demand. This has already happened in the US over
thirty years ago. However, a crisis was adverted by importing sufficient
oil from international sources to meet the shortage between US demand
for oil and its oil production.
Now we face the same problem on a worldwide scale. Oil production has
peaked worldwide. Demand continues to rise as China & India
industrialize and the industrial countries have not reduced their oil
usage causing an oil crisis. New oil discoveries are replacing only a
modest faction of the oil shortfall even though oil has been searched
for on every continent and in the deepest oceans. Futhermore, we can not
import our way out of this crisis, since the shortfall is worldwide.
With increasing demand and lower production capacity, due to depleted
oil fields, a permanent oil shortage has begun to occur which causes oil
prices to skyrocket way above historic levels. This is why the current
price is approaching $100/barrel. Because there is potential for oil
prices to increase even further as the oil shortage worsens, it is
important that citizens know what to expect and what they can do to
prepare themselves and their community for this Peak Oil crisis.
Please see resolution and attachments.
CONTACT PERSON: Councilmember Dona Spring 981-7140
1. Resolution
2. Peak Oil & Gas Fact Sheet (2007)
3. Other cities resolutions and news articles
Resolution acknowledging the challenge of Peak Oil and the need for Berkeley
to prepare a plan of response and preparation.
WHEREAS, world oil and gas production are nearing the point of maximum
production (“Peak Oil”) and will enter a prolonged period of 
irreversible decline
leading to ever-increasing prices;1 and
WHEREAS, the United States consumes 20 million barrels of oil per day,
although its domestic production has peaked and is now in decline2; and
WHEREAS, 42% of California’s electricity supply is generated from natural
gas3; and
WHEREAS, the State of California uses 88 billion gallons of diesel a year to
pump water4; and
WHEREAS, conventional food growers use 400 gallons of petroleum to feed
one American for one year5; and
WHEREAS, global demand for oil and natural gas continues to increase and
these trends in energy consumption are not sustainable; and
WHEREAS, alternative sources of transport fuels from tar sands, coal, or oil
shale require high energy inputs and increase total carbon dioxide 
WHEREAS, due to competition with food crops and the need to maintain
biological diversity, the potential for biomass fuels to replace 
petroleum is
1 Hirsch, RL, R Bezdek, and R Wedling, 2005. Peaking of World Oil 
Impacts, Mitigation and Risk Management,
2American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, “Reducing Oil Use 
through Energy
Efficiency, 2006, 
3 http://www.energy.ca.gov/html/energysources.html
4 Tom Chorneau, “Governor’s water supply plans all wet,” San Francisco 
5 Christopher Cook, Diet for a Dead Planet, New Press, 2004.
limited6; and
WHEREAS, price signals of petroleum scarcity are likely to come too late to
trigger effective mitigation efforts in the private sector, and governmental
intervention at all levels of government will be required to avert 
social and
economic chaos; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Energy’s risk management consultants
stated in 2005 that, “The problems associated with world oil production 
will not be temporary, and past ‘energy crisis’ experience will provide 
little guidance. The challenge of oil peaking deserves immediate, serious
attention, if risks are to be fully understood and mitigation begun on a 
basis”7; and
WHEREAS, a study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy
demonstrated that a ten to twenty year lead time is required to effectively
transition from economic dependence on petroleum, while current measures
supported by the federal government will replace only 3-weeks worth of
gasoline consumption by 2012;8 and
WHEREAS, there continues to be a profound lack of leadership at the 
state and
federal levels of government on energy policies for industries, 
municipalities and
citizens to move away from oil dependence; and
WHEREAS, Berkeley residents and businesses will be negatively affected by
rising oil and energy costs, which will disproportionately affect low income
residents; and
WHEREAS, the City of Berkeley and its citizens and businesses depend on oil
and natural gas for their economic welfare and their most critical 
including transportation, food supply, water delivery, health care and 
WHEREAS, a large majority of money spent on fossil fuels leaves California,
while many of the solutions to lessening dependence on fossil fuels may 
6 UN-Energy, 2007. Sustainable Bioenergy: A Framework for Decision Makers,
7 Hirsch et al.
8Hirsch et al; http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/brochure/renew05/renewable.html
in local jobs and substantial economic benefits; and
WHEREAS, Berkeley residents and businesses are not currently aware of the
full implications of an impending decline and will benefit from greater 
to this topic; and
WHEREAS, in the November 7, 2006 elections, the citizens of Berkeley
overwhelmingly passed Measure G calling for the City of Berkeley to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, the success of which
depends upon reducing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil 
fuels; and
WHEREAS, the City of Berkeley has a history of adopting innovative
environmental policies and measures, such as the precautionary 
principle, and
can play a leadership role in what may become one of the greatest political
economic and societal issues of the next half century.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the City Council of the City of
Berkeley acknowledges the enormous challenges of confronting Peak Oil; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Manager shall come up with a
proposal for the City staff to consider the impact of sharply rising 
energy prices
and oil depletion in future transportation and land use plans, in any 
updates to
the General Plan, future budget processes, policies and practices, and 
the City
of Berkeley’s dependence on products that require substantial amounts of 
oil to
produce and ship; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Berkeley shall coordinate its
efforts to reduce its use of fossil fuels and build a sustainable, 
economy with other Bay Area municipalities, counties and transit 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council of Berkeley expresses its
appreciation for the efforts of Oil Independent Berkeley to educate the 
City of
Berkeley and its residents about Peak Oil and supports Oil Independent
Berkeley’s efforts over the next year to assess the City’s 
vulnerabilities to Peak
Oil and to make recommendations to the City regarding how to minimize and
mitigate Peak Oil impacts; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Berkeley’s Climate Action Plan
shall take account of the Peak Oil problem, and that the City Manager shall
facilitate Oil Independent Berkeley's participation and contribution to 
the Plan so
that Berkeley can substantially reduce its reliance on fossil fuels; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Berkeley encourages immediate
action at the state and federal level to begin planning for Peak Oil with a
concerted effort to reduce energy consumption and research sustainable
Peak Oil & Gas Fact Sheet (2007)
►California uses 88 billion gallons of diesel a year and massive 
quantities of
natural gas in order to pump water.
►Natural gas provides 42% of California’s power.
►Geologists predict that global oil production will peak in the next few 
after which supply will drop off steeply. Some industry insiders believe 
it has
already peaked.
►Energy experts predict natural gas will peak sometime between 2018 and
►It takes about 350 gallons of oil a year to feed the average American. 
includes oil used in pesticides, farm machinery and to transport food to
processing plants and supermarkets). Conventional farmers also use tons of
pounds of nitrogen fertilizer which is manufactured with natural gas.
►When Cuba lost access to Soviet oil in the 1990s, the average Cuban lost 20
pounds due to severe food shortages. (Strict food rationing prevented 
►Oil is used in the production of many pharmaceuticals and medical/dental
supplies, asphalt, all petrochemicals and plastics, and most clothing and
footwear, computers, toys, bottles, and other common household goods and
office supplies.
►7.7 million American homes are heated with oil. More than half are heated
with natural gas.
►There exist no liquid fuel alternatives that can meet more than a 
fraction of
our current needs. (If all US cropland were put into ethanol production, 
it would
provide only half of our liquid fuel needs).
►U.S. Department of Energy consultants warned the federal government in
2005 to start a “crash” mobilization to retool our economy for oil 
The government has done nothing in response.
►Around the world, citizens are prompting their local governments to prepare
for peak oil by taking steps to “relocalize” their economies and ensure 
ability to function with limited supplies of oil and gas.
oilindependence at yahoo.com

Keith Johnson
"Be fruitful and mulch apply."
Permaculture Activist Magazine
PO Box 5516, Bloomington, IN 47407
(812) 335-0383
Switch to Solar Power the Easy Way
Blog: http://kjpermaculture.blogspot.com/
also Patterns for Abundance Design & Consulting
also Association for Regenerative Culture
also APPLE-Bloomington (Alliance for a Post-Petroleum Local Economy) It's a small world after oil.
also Bloomington Permaculture Guild 

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