The Ergosphere
Monday, February 21, 2011
 

EIA purges history, hoses the public

I just went to the EIA website to look up some historical data.

Surprise!  According to the EIA's new data, the world began in 2005!  At least, that's the limit of the info I can get on natural gas.  The rest of the site is equally horrid, in a MySpace kind of way; it looks glitzy, but it is now geared at the level of a 9th-grade school report rather than providing detailed data for the public's in-depth analysis.

This is a huge disappointment.  There's no good reason for existing sections to be suddenly removed, breaking all the references painstakingly created over the rest of the web.  And why remove 56 years of data from public view?  Did it suddenly become invalid?  Maybe somebody is trying to sell it?  We, the public, paid for that data; for it to suddenly become someone's proprietary product isn't just a sin, it's a crime.

I'm still trying to find out what the EIA did with the historical data, and the detailed breakdowns such as the heating value compared to raw physical quantities.  Maybe if other people ask similar questions, they'll fix things faster.  Pester the webmaster or ask the information people where the information all went; enough mail, and they'll have to start questioning the wisdom of this move.

Update:  The data still exist at www.eia.gov (link to historical data page), but a lot of queries get re-directed to the dumbed-down pages at www.eia.doe.gov and there's no obvious way to find your way back.  Ask the webmaster about this.  Pointedly.

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Comments:
Is the wayback machine any help?

e.g.,
http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20100701124925/http://www.eia.doe.gov/overview_hd.html
 
Even if the Wayback machine works, if the data pages are not updated they will gradually become useless.

The "New, Improved!" pages contain so little data I question whether anything there will be useful either.
 
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