Actions Have Consequences

Most Americans strive to preserve the environment, despite how the more radical environmentalists portray them. The problem occurs when there is a small risk to the environment but a benefit to people.  Anything civilization does will probably incur a small risk to the environment, but benefits and risks need to be weighed carefully. New York State is paying a price for the actions of some of its more radical environmentalists.

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about some consequences of recent environmental activist victories.

The article reports:

If you know anything about New York in the modern era (both the state and the Big Apple), you’re likely aware that it’s not exactly a friendly landscape for the oil and gas industry. The “Keep it in the ground” crowd has a lot of influence with the Democrats who control the government. That why, back in 2013, when the new Constitution Pipeline was proposed to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania’s rich shale oil fields to New York, activists were able to block the construction despite it already having been approved by federal regulators. Similarly, when National Grid (the local energy consortium) requested an extension to the Williams Co. Transco pipeline, they were also tied up because of the outcry from environmental activists.

Here comes the surprise that nobody could have possibly seen coming. The city and its surrounding downstate region are still expanding with new construction projects, but their energy suppliers have told them that they will not be able to supply natural gas to any new customers because they’re already at capacity.

The article concludes with some interesting irony:

The additional ironic twist to all of this is they don’t even need those long pipelines to begin with. Or at least they wouldn’t need them if they were thinking clearly. The southern section of upstate New York is sitting on some of the richest natural gas deposits in the country in the form of the Marcellus Shale deposits. It’s the same formation delivering all of that natural gas over the border in Pennsylvania. But Andrew Cuomo and his Democratic buddies pushed through a moratorium on any and all natural gas drilling and it’s still in place today.

The state could be producing its own natural gas and supplying New York City more cheaply, but they’re refusing to do it out of spite. And now they’ve outstripped their fuel supply. This entire situation would be hilarious if it weren’t creating such a massive SNAFU for the energy grid.

I guess if you live in New York, you’d better make sure you have a working fireplace that you can cook on. The environmentalists put questionable science over the practical needs of people.

This Would Be Beneficial On A Number Of Levels

CBN News posted an article today about an innovative energy source that would be beneficial for both energy production and for the environment. The article hits close to home because it involves an issue North Carolina has been discussing for a number of years.

First of all, I need to say that I know very little about hog farming and hog waste. However, it does make sense that some of the by-products of hog farming might create an environmental problem. However, there seems to be an answer that will be profitable for everyone.

The article reports:

In fact, to Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy, converting hog manure to natural gas for powering homes and businesses has a sweet smell of success.

“We think it’s a lot simpler, and we think it will change the face of how manure is handled and turned into energy going forward,” Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables, told CBN News.

…So how does it work – turning this waste into energy? Often called biomethane, renewable natural gas is pipeline-quality gas that comes from organic matter like hog waste.

CBN News went to North Carolina to tour Circle K II Farms, a Smithfield pilot project.

“Manure actually is a positive thing,” said Westerbeek. “It creates value, and it helps fertilize crops; it helps produce energy. It’s not a bad thing. We view manure as an opportunity.”

Kraig Westerbeek explains how the process moves from the hog buildings to a huge covered lagoon called a “digester.”

“The product, natural gas, is actually a product of digestion of the solids by bacteria, so for that reason, it’s called digestion,” he said.

…The manure is funneled under the large plastic cover of the lagoon, and it’s mixed over and over. Bacteria break it down, producing what’s called biogas, which causes the cover to bubble up. That gas is 65 percent natural gas.

The biogas produced at farms then moves through gathering pipes to a gas-upgrading unit. That’s when Dominion Energy steps in.

“Where we come in – you see this plant back here – we’re gonna lend our engineering expertise to create a process that’s as efficient as possible in creating clean, renewable natural gas that customers can use,” Childress said.

At the gas upgrading system, the natural gas from the farm is refined. When it leaves there, it is 99.1 percent natural gas. It then enters a pipeline and is funneled to homes and businesses.

The article concludes:

This project involves partnering with local farmers like Dean Hilton, who’s been raising hogs for nearly 15 years. He calls it the “wave of the future.”

“After meeting with Kraig on the trial site, we realized that there’s a lot of opportunity in the fact that we can actually reduce our manure in our current lagoons, as well as turning the solids, the new solids into renewable energy,” Hilton said.

Westerbeek admits turning manure into renewable natural gas is “fairly expensive”.

“You have an investment in a digester like you see in the background, and then the gathering pipelines to gather the gas from different farms and bring it to a central location,” he explained.

“And then one of the more expensive parts of this is actually cleaning the gas from its form as biogas from this digester into pipeline-quality natural gas,” Westerbeek continued.

Both he and Childress along with their bosses believe it’s a worthy investment leading to clean energy, plus economic benefits for their companies, rural America and the general public.

This seems like a win-win situation. Now if we can just do the same thing with cows…

The Power Of Energy Independence

America is now energy independent. We now export oil and natural gas. This gives us some degree of leverage against what used to be the monopoly held by OPEC (The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). Yesterday Townhall posted an article that illustrates the influence America now wields because of its energy independence.

The article reports:

In the midst of the oil price spike scare, President Donald Trump warned the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Monday to “take it easy” on raising the price of oil.

This is the tweet:

So what were the consequences of this tweet?

The article reports:

Since this morning, the price of crude oil dropped by more than a dollar per barrel in just an hour. Bloomberg reported today that New York saw a 2.7 percent decrease in oil prices, which is the lowest drop in two weeks.

“Analysts attributed the price rise to improving trade talks between the U.S. and China, unrest in Nigeria and Venezuela, Libya’s refusal to restart production in the El Sharara oil field and continued efforts to curtail supplies by OPEC and Russia,” according to The Daily Caller.

When you don’t have to depend on OPEC for oil to keep your economy going, you have much more power to negotiate oil prices.

The Problems With The Climate-Change Report

The Daily Signal posted an article today about the new Climate Report presented to President Trump.

These are the four areas of the report that are questionable at best:

1. It wildly exaggerates economic costs.

2. It assumes the most extreme (and least likely)climate scenario.

3. It cherry-picks science on extreme weather and misrepresents timelines and causality.

4. Energy taxes are a costly non-solution.

The article notes that the study was partially funded in part by climate warrior Tom Steyer’s organization. How is this supposed to be an objective study?

The article further notes how the study came up with the economic costs:

The study…calculates these costs on the assumption that the world will be 15 degrees Fahrenheit warmer. That temperature projection is even higher than the worst-case scenario predicted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In other words, it is completely unrealistic.

The article notes that the climate trajectory used in the study is not realistic. The article states:

Despite what the National Climate Assessment says, Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 is not a likely scenario. It estimates nearly impossible levels of coal consumption, fails to take into account the massive increase in natural gas production from the shale revolution, and ignores technological innovations that continue to occur in nuclear and renewable technologies.

When taking a more realistic view of the future of conventional fuel use and increased greenhouse gas emissions, the doomsday scenarios vanish. Climatologist Judith Curry recently wrote, “Many ‘catastrophic’ impacts of climate change don’t really kick at the lower CO2 concentrations, and [Representative Concentration Pathway] then becomes useful as a ‘scare’ tactic.”

The article explains how some of the data in the study is being manipulated:

Another sleight of hand in the National Climate Assessment is where certain graph timelines begin and end. For example, the framing of heat wave data from the 1960s to today makes it appear that there have been more heat waves in recent years. Framing wildfire data from 1985 until today makes it appear as though wildfires have been increasing in number.

But going back further tells a different story on both counts, as Pielke Jr. has explained in testimony.

Moreover, correlation is not causality. Western wildfires have been particularly bad over the past decade, but it’s hard to say to what extent these are directly owing to hotter and drier temperatures. It’s even more difficult to pin down how much man-made warming is to blame.

Yet the narrative of the National Climate Assessment is that climate change is directly responsible for the increase in economic and environmental destruction of western wildfires. Dismissing the complexity of factors that contribute to a changing climate and how they affect certain areas of the country is irresponsible.

The article explains why carbon taxes are not the answer:

Just last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change proposed a carbon tax of between $135 and $5,500 by the year 2030. An energy tax of that magnitude would bankrupt families and businesses, and undoubtedly catapult the world into economic despair.

These policies would simply divert resources away from more valuable use, such as investing in more robust infrastructure to protect against natural disasters or investing in new technologies that make Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 even more of an afterthought than it already should be.

Climate change has been with us as long as the earth has existed–they found plant fossils under the ice in Greenland. The question is, “How much impact does man have on climate, and do we have the ability to impact climate in a positive way?” Considering some of the mistakes we have made in the past when tampering with nature, I truly believe we need to attempt to keep our air and water as clean as possible and leave the rest to nature.

Unexpected Benefits Coming From The Trump Tax Cuts

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about a recent policy change from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The article reports:

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a proposed rulemaking that would require all publicly-owned utility companies that own transmission lines “to revise” their rates to account for the benefits they received under the tax reform package.

The tax reform bill passed last December cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent beginning in 2018. A number of states’ energy commissions have already directed the utilities they regulate at the retail level to account for the changes and grant credits to ratepayers.

…FERC also issued a policy statement on Thursday that provided ratemaking guidance for all companies under FERC’s jurisdiction to account for the tax benefits they received. Those companies include public utilities, owners and operators of natural gas and oil pipelines.

FERC also acted on 46 show-cause investigations, directing certain public utilities whose transmission tariffs used a tax rate of 35 percent to reduce their tax rates to 21 percent, or show why they did not need to do so.

As much as I generally don’t like federal regulations, if that is what it takes to pass the tax savings of publicly-owned utility companies on to their customers, then I support the regulations.

 

The Cost Of ‘Free’ Energy

Green energy is a wonderful thing–the wind and the sun are free and they create electricity without pollution. If you believe that, I have a bridge in New York I would like to sell you. Some of the components in the batteries in wind and solar energy have a bigger environmental footprint than natural gas. Anyway, so far green energy has not lived up to its expectations.

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article today about the use of wind power in Minnesota. Obviously solar power in Minnesota would not work, but wind power sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately for the consumer and the environment, it wasn’t.

The article reports:

…can green energy fulfill the extravagant promises made by its backers?

The answer is a resounding No, according to a blockbuster paper by our own Steve Hayward and Center of the American Experiment’s Peter Nelson. The paper, titled “Energy Policy in Minnesota: the High Cost of Failure,” can be read or downloaded at the Center’s web site.

Minnesota is a poor place for solar power, so its renewable policies have focused on wind. Minnesota has gone whole hog for wind energy, to the tune of–the Hayward/Nelson paper reveals, for the first time–approximately $15 billion. It is noteworthy that demand for electricity in Minnesota has been flat for quite a few years, so that $15 billion wasn’t spent to meet demand. Rather, it replaced electricity that already was being produced by coal, nuclear and natural gas plants.

Wind energy is intermittent and unreliable; it can only be produced when the wind is blowing within certain parameters, and cannot be stored at scale. It is expensive and inefficient, and therefore patently inferior to nuclear, coal and natural gas-powered electricity, except in one respect–its “greenness.” That greenness consists of not emitting carbon dioxide. So, for $15 billion, Minnesota must have bought a dramatic reduction in the state’s CO2 emissions, right?

The article explains that Minnesota’s use of wind energy has reduced CO2 emissions slightly, but because the backup to wind energy is coal-fired electric plants, the reduction has not been significant. The state would have gotten better (and cheaper) results by replacing the coal plants with natural gas. The article also points out that the state’s investment in green energy has resulted in significantly higher energy costs for the residents. Considering what residents of Minnesota spend to keep their homes warm in winter, this is not good news.

The article concludes:

The sad story of Minnesota’s green energy failure is one that no doubt is being replicated around the country. And one of the ironies of green energy is that it is terrible for the environment. Both wind and solar energy require enormous amounts of land compared with conventional, reliable energy sources. Minnesota has scarred its landscape with endless acres of giant windmills and, to a lesser degree, solar panels. When those windmills begin to rust and fall still, the environmental damage will be even greater. And the green cronies who are now making millions through their political connections will be long gone.

When the government interferes in the free market, bad things happen for the consumer and the taxpayer.

When Dominoes Fall

YouTube is always posting pictures of creative patterns people create with dominoes. Here is one:

But sometimes things in real life have a domino effect. We are seeing that effect in some recent seemingly unrelated moves by the Trump Administration.

One of the immediate changes that took place when President Trump took office was the lifting of many regulations regarding energy production and energy exporting in the United States. That was the first domino. What seemed to be a national issue is now going to have major international implications.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg News posted an article predicting an agreement between the Trump Administration and Poland that would allow Poland to begin importing natural gas from America. That is the second domino.

The article reports:

Polish leaders are betting Donald Trump’s visit to Warsaw starting on Wednesday, two days before the U.S. president meets his Russian counterpart, will bolster their efforts to reduce the nation’s dependence on natural gas from its eastern neighbor.

Less than a month after Poland’s Baltic Sea terminal received its first shipment of U.S. liquefied natural gas, a spot cargo from Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, authorities in Warsaw are mooting ambitious plans. The ideas range from a long-term gas deal with U.S. producers to infrastructure projects linking east European nations reliant on supplies from Moscow-based Gazprom PJSC.

“We’ve tested our ability to receive U.S. gas,” Krzysztof Szczerski, who heads Polish President Andrzej Duda’s office, said on July 1. “So what’s left is a simple business conversation — when, how much and for how much.”

America’s vast energy resources have the potential to change world politics–from OPEC to Russia’s blackmail of Europe by threatening to cut off the gas supply.

I suspect we are going to see a log more dominoes fall in the future.

How To Lie With Statistics

Yesterday Forbes posted an article analyzing the claim that green energy creates more jobs than the fossil fuel energy.

The article cites an article entitled, “Jobs? Investing in renewables beats fossil fuels,” by Allan Hoffman, a former bureaucrat in the U.S. Department of Energy.

The article in Forbes reports:

Hoffman summarizes his article by writing, “If a primary national goal is to create jobs in the energy sector, investing in renewable energy is considerably more effective than investing in fossil fuels.” Supporting his argument, Hoffman writes, “Solar Foundation data indicated that in 2016 the U.S. solar industry (8,600 companies) employed 260,000 workers.”

Comparing solar industry jobs to conventional energy jobs, Hoffman writes, “How do these numbers compare with numbers in the fossil fuel industries? In 2015 workers employed directly in oil and natural gas extraction numbered about 187,000.”

Well, not so fast. When you look at how these numbers were calculated, you see a very different picture.

Forbes reports:

For solar jobs, Hoffman references data reported by the solar power industry. I looked up and found the Solar Foundation paper Hoffman references. What Hoffman defines as “workers” who are “employed” by the U.S. solar industry are actually defined by the Solar Foundation as jobs which the solar industry “supports.” The Solar Foundation liberally defines jobs “supported” by the solar power industry as to include every component on the solar industry chain, plus additional jobs like lawyers, lobbyists, public relations professionals, government employees overseeing the solar power industry, permitting officers, plumbers, electricians, salesmen, land acquisition specialists, and financiers.

For natural gas jobs, by comparison, Hoffman limits his definition to “workers employed directly in oil and natural gas extraction.” Hoffman does not include lawyers, lobbyists, public relations professionals, government oversight employees, permitting officers, plumbers, electricians, salesmen, land acquisition specialists, and financiers, as he does for the solar power industry. Even more importantly, he does not include construction workers who build natural gas power plants, workers who operate natural gas power plants, workers who survey and find natural gas deposits, workers who build equipment for natural gas power plants, etc.

Further proof that you can make statistics prove anything you want them to as long as you carefully choose the numbers you use.

The article at Forbes concludes:

Public policy officials, do not be duped. The next time somebody claims wind and solar power create more jobs than natural gas and other conventional energy sources, ask them for specific definitions and parameters of the job numbers cited. If they falsely claim the definitions and parameters are similar, call them on it. If they truthfully answer that the definitions and parameters do not match up, ask them why they are presenting deliberately misleading data.

This is another reason consumers of news need to be very skeptical of anything they read–any data can to skewed to reach the desired conclusion.

Facts Are Such Inconvenient Things

Hot Air posted an article today about the draft report on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) done by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report has been five years in the making. There is, however, a problem with the report (according to the EPA). The research did not give them the answer they wanted.

This is part of the EPA’s statement regarding the report:

Science advisers to the Environmental Protection Agency Thursday challenged an already controversial government report on whether thousands of oil and gas wells that rely on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” systemically pollute drinking water across the nation.

That EPA draft report, many years in the making and still not finalized, had concluded, “We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States,” adding that while there had been isolated problems, those were “small compared to the number of hydraulically fractured wells.”…

But in a statement sure to prolong the already multiyear scientific debate on fracking and its influence on water, the 30-member advisory panel on Thursday concluded the agency’s report was “comprehensive but lacking in several critical areas.”

It recommended that the report be revised to include “quantitative analysis that supports its conclusion” — if, indeed, this central conclusion can be defended.

I suspect what will happen next is that the EPA will spend billions of dollars of tax payer money until they can somehow come up with a report that gives them the answer they want.

The article notes:

This board isn’t even arguing that they have evidence to the contrary. (Which would have been a neat trick since such “evidence” doesn’t appear to exist.) They simply don’t like the positive nature of the wording and would like to see even more test results than have already been submitted. They’re not saying that they have proof that fracking is dangerous… they’re just saying that the industry hasn’t proven that it isn’t.

It’s always fun to try to prove a negative.

The article concludes:

The fix was in on this pretty much from the beginning but they’ll have a hard time arguing the science. The few accidents which have happened at fracking sites speak to individual failures to follow best practices or simple human error. That’s never going to be entirely eliminated from mankind’s industrial activities, but fracking has proven itself safe and a net benefit to both the environment and the energy industry. It’s a bit late for the EPA to walk this one back now.

America needs to be energy independent, both for economic and security reasons. The EPA is not helping American achieve that goal. None of us want dirty water or dirty air, but all of us do want to be free and safe.

 

Green Energy Isn’t Really Cutting Carbon Emissions

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted a story about the impact of green energy policies on carbon emissions in various states.

The article reports:

There’s no link between the pro-green energy policies of states and falling carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but there is a statistically significant link between falling CO2 and natural gas electricity, according to statistical analysis conducted by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Statistical analysis and regressions run by TheDCNF found no statistically significant link existed between the amount a state’s CO2 emissions fell since 2005 and the number of policies supporting green energy implemented by the state. The analysis showed there is an 81 percent chance there’s no link between CO2 emissions and the number of pro-green energy policies, meaning a link between the two likely doesn’t exist. The very small correlation between CO2 emissions and policies was going in the opposite direction from environmentalist claims.

Think about this a minute. According to data from British Petroleum, America ranks fifth in the world for the largest natural gas reserves. We now have a link between lower CO2 emissions and the use of natural gas. We can easily convert our electric plants to natural gas. This would be a big step toward making America energy independent and providing jobs for Americans instead of sending money overseas.

Please follow the link to the article in The Daily Caller to look at the charts which illustrate that the states with fewer green energy policies were the ones that were more successful in cutting CO2 emissions.

The article notes:

The DCNF’s (Daily Caller News Foundation) analysis found states like New Hampshire, Maryland, Maine, Georgia, Nevada and Alaska cut higher percentages of CO2 since 2005 than any others. These states had a combined average of 39 pro-green energy policies. The national average of all states was 51 pro-green energy policies. This suggests the more pro-green energy policies a state has, the less likely it was to reduce CO2 emissions.

This is another example of how excessive government involvement and interference in the free market makes a problem worse instead of solving it. There is a quote, generally attributed to Milton Friedman, that applies to this situation–“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.” I truly believe that.

A Short Story With A Big Impact

Yesterday CNN posted a very short article that may have a big impact on the politics of the Middle East.

The article reports:

In what could be the largest natural gas discovery in history, Italian energy company Eni says it has unearthed a “supergiant” gas field in the Mediterranean Sea covering about 40 square miles.

The gas field could hold a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Eni says that’s the energy equivalent of about 5.5 billion barrels of oil. The company won’t know the field’s true size until it begins to develop it.

Eni already has a presence in Egypt and expects to be able to develop the field quickly. It is possible that the field could satisfy the natural gas needs of Egypt for decades to come.

So why is this important? As the wealth from this discovery flows into Egypt, we can expect the Muslim Brotherhood to become more active in the country. Egypt has been one of the few countries in the Middle East to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood successfully. This is somewhat ironic since the Muslim Brotherhood began in Egypt. Egypt has been dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood since 1928. The Brotherhood was responsible for the assassination of Anwar Sadat and played a role in the ousting of Hosni Mubarak. At various times in its history, Egypt has jailed and executed members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Since the Muslim Brotherhood government that was set up after Hosni Mubarak was ousted, Egypt has been moving toward peace with Israel and alliances with western countries. This discovery should mean that Egypt will continue to move in that direction.

The Law Of Unintended Consequences At Work

On Tuesday, the Daily Caller posted a story about Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The farmers the ban was supposed to protect are complaining about the ban.

The article reports:

“I’m devastated,” apple farmer David Johnson told The Guardian after Wednesday’s announcement that New York was banning fracking. “I have concerns about how to continue this farm that’s been in the family for 150 years.”

“If we had been able to get some gas drilling going it would have made our lives a little easier and taken a few of the stresses away,” echoed Judi Whittaker, who owns a dairy farm and hoped for gas royalties to help pay her high property taxes. “We’ll just have to rethink what we’re doing and move ahead. Agriculture has ups and downs all the time. You just have to go along for the ride.”

There is so far no scientific evidence that fracking harms the environment.

The article further explains:

Just across the border from Johnson’s farm, the economy is booming in rural Pennsylvania where the state allows oil companies to extract natural gas using fracking. Oil and gas activities support 300,000 jobs in the state and contributed $34 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy.

“I mean, I would say to New Yorkers, ‘Come to Pennsylvania and take advantage of these jobs that are available with this well-paying industry,’” Stephanie Catarino Wissman, head of the Pennsylvania branch of the American Petroleum Institute, told NPR.

We are crippling state economies for the sake of unproven science.

 

Are You Enjoying The Current Price Of Gasoline?

On Sunday, Stephen Moore posted an article at The Daily Signal about the recent decline in gasoline prices. The article reminds us that in June, oil reached a peak price of $103 a barrel. Since then, the price has dropped 25 percent. American motorists are seeing the results of that drop in gasoline prices at the pump that have dropped below $3.00 per gallon. At their present levels, gasoline prices are saving American consumers and businesses $200 billion a year.

The article reports:

Oil prices are falling because of changes in world supply and world demand. Demand has slowed because Europe is an economic wreck. But since 2008 the U.S. has increased our domestic supply by a gigantic 50 percent. This is a result of the astounding shale oil and gas revolution made possible by made-in-America technologies like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.  Already thanks to these inventions, the U.S. has become the number one producer of natural gas. But oil production in states like Oklahoma, Texas and North Dakota has doubled in just six years.

Without this energy blitz, the U.S. economy would barely have recovered from the recession of 2008-09. From the beginning of 2008 through the end of 2013 the oil and gas extraction industry created more than 100,000 jobs while the overall job market shrank by 970,000.

President Obama, you didn’t build this recovery (such as it is)–it happened in spite of you! The energy blitz in America is breaking the back of OPEC. They can no longer blackmail western countries with threats of cutting off their oil supply.

The article further reports:

Yet the political class still doesn’t get it. As recently as 2012 President Obama declared that “the problem is we use more than 20 percent of the world’s oil and we only have 2 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves.”  Then he continued with his Malthusian nonsense,  “Even if we drilled every square inch of this country right now, we’d still have to rely disproportionately on other countries for their oil.” Apparently, neither he nor his fact checkers have ever been to Texas or North Dakota.  And we don’t have 2 percent of the world’s oil. Including estimates of onshore and offshore resources not yet officially “discovered”, we have ten times more than the stat quoted by the president–resources sufficient to supply hundreds of years of oil and gas.

If the President and his Democrat allies would get out of the way, the American economy would recover. Please remember that when you vote next week.

 

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about the level of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. It seems that carbon dioxide emissions fell once again in 2012, bringing the United States’ emissions levels down to a two-decade low.

This is the chart:

Graph of annual light bulb sales, as explained in the article text

So what is responsible for the drop in carbon dioxide emissions– the increased use of natural gas obtained by hydraulic fracturing. This has got to drive the environmentalists nuts.

The article at Hot Air reports:

The largest drop in emissions in 2012 came from coal, which is used almost exclusively for electricity generation (see figure below). During 2012, particularly in the spring and early summer, low natural gas prices led to competition between natural gas- and coal-fired electric power generators. Lower natural gas prices resulted in reduced levels of coal generation, and increased natural gas generation—a less carbon-intensive fuel for power generation, which shifted power generation from the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel (coal) to the least carbon-intensive fossil fuel (natural gas).

The article concludes:

It’s yet another piece of evidence that environmental quality and economic prosperity are not mutually exclusive, even on a large scale; the innovations, efficiencies, and technological developments that come with an advanced economy can be good for both humanity and the planet.

The comment above represents the kind of balance we need more of in the environmental movement.

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The Politics Of American Energy Independence

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS re...

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS report showing extent of Marcellus Formation shale (in gray shading). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday’s Washington Times posted a story about a Marcellus Shale gas-drilling study released earlier this month by the State University of New York at Buffalo’s Shale Resources and Society Institute. 

The article reports:

Released earlier this month, the report concludes that Pennsylvania regulators have done an effective job cutting down on environmental incidents within the state’s burgeoning natural-gas industry, a sector driven almost entirelyby hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial practice of using water, sand and chemicals to crack deep underground rock and release huge quantities of natural gas.

Its authors, including SUNY-Buffalo employee and institute Director John P. Martin, have come under increasing fire from critics who say they’ve spun figures from Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection in order to cast a favorable light on fracking and the companies that employ it.

Fracking is the technique that will give America access to its vast natural gas resources, which could easily lead to energy independence for America. It is opposed by radical environmentalists who want to turn to renewable sources of energy rather than carbon based sources. Unfortunately, our current economy is based on carbon sources and barring some miracle fuel invented in the private sector (where free market forces can allow the competition to determine the best product), an abrupt transition to green energy would be very cumbersome and painful for all Americans.

The article further reports:

Only 25 of the 845 environmental events in Pennsylvania from 2008 through August 2011 were considered “major” incidents. They included land spills, site-restoration failures and well blowouts.

Critics contend that the study glosses over the fact that the number of major events shot up from one in 2008 to 10 in 2011. As a percentage of wells drilled, that equates to 0.6 events per 1,000 wells in 2008, and 0.8 events per 1,000 wells drilled in 2011.

All forms of energy have risks and downsides–I reported on April 30 that a recent study showed that windmills cause global warming (rightwinggranny.com). We know that windmills are a danger to certain birds. Man has been looking for the perpetual motion machine for a long time. It doesn’t exist–either in machine form or in energy form. Energy independence is a national security issue as well as an environmental issue. It’s time to grow up, face the facts, and get on with making America energy independent.

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This Might Explain The President’s Energy Policy

President Obama has been in office for more than three years now. One of the things that will be a problem for him in the coming election is the high price of gas at the pump. The President is threatening to take away the tax deductions from oil companies that all other businesses have–singling them out for higher taxes. That will further increase the price of gas at the pump. A video has surfaced recently that might explain some of these actions.

Yesterday CNS News reported that in 2010 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz stating that the “general philosophy” of the EPA is to  “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies. And we wonder why we haven’t made serious progress in the area of energy independence.

The article reports:

Soon after Armendariz touted the EPA’s “philosophy,” the EPA began smear campaigns against natural gas producers, Inhofe’s office noted in advance of today’s Senate speech:

“Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

“In all three of these cases, EPA initially made headline-grabbing statements either insinuating or proclaiming outright that the use of hydraulic fracturing by American energy producers was the cause of water contamination, but in each case their comments were premature at best – and despite their most valiant efforts, they have been unable to find any sound scientific evidence to make this link.”

This is the link to the YouTube clip of Administrator Armendariz’ statement. Here is the video clip: 

If we want to be energy independence, we need new leadership.

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The Arab Spring Strikes Again

Today’s Jerusalem Post is reporting that Egypt has terminated its supply of natural gas to Israel. The article reports that a senior Egyptian military official has stated that the deal is not cancelled, but halted because of a business disagreement over the transfer of payments.

A BBC story on the shutoff reported that Egypt supplies around 40 percent of Israel’s natural gas. Israel uses natural gas to generate electricity.

The article at the Jerusalem Posts reports:

“We have no information that the contract has been nullified,” one Foreign Ministry official said.

The official added that if the report was indeed true it would be a “grave development” with ramifications on the normalization of ties between the two countries under the 1979 peace treaty. But, the official added, this was not an agreement between governments, but rather between private companies and the Egyptian government.

Steinitz said he viewed with “deep concern the unilateral Egyptian announcement over terminating the gas deal with Israel, both because of its diplomatic and economic aspects. This is a dangerous precedent that diminishes the peace treaty” between the neighboring countries.

On March 23 the Los Angeles Times reported:

The Obama administration announced Friday that it intends to deliver all $1.3 billion in promised aid to Egypt’s military this year, despite calls from lawmakers and rights advocates to hold back money because of limits on political rights in the North African nation.

It seems to me that if Egypt cuts off the supply of natural gas to Israel, America should immediately cut off all aid to Egypt.

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Crippling The American Energy Sector

One of the problems in the economy today is the price of gasoline at the pump. Two years ago it cost me $25 to fill up my car, now it costs $50+. I am sure my story is not unique, and the cost of gasoline has a negative impact on everyone’s budget. There are very obvious ways to bring down the cost of gasoline at the pump–build refineries, drill everywhere, and generally develop a sane energy policy for America. One example of the impact of developing energy resources in America is the fact that North Dakota has an unemployment rate of about 3%. Why? The Bakken Formation, a geological phenomenon covering parts of North Dakota, Montana, and Saskatchewan, has an estimated 3 billion to 4 billion barrels of recoverable oil, only a tiny percentage of which has been tapped. As the state continues to recover the oil, employment grows and prosperity continues. However, even this prosperity is endangered by the Obama Administration. 

Erika Johnsen at Townhall.com reported that on Friday President Obama signed an executive order creating a a high-level task force to coordinate federal oversight of domestic natural gas development. What that means is that “the government is planning to regulate any energy industry we have not yet destroyed out of existence.”

The article reports:

The task force is charged with ensuring that rapidly growing efforts to tap vast natural gas supplies in the country’s shale formations, which require advanced drilling techniques including “fracking,” are “safe and responsible.”

The order seeks to find a balance between encouraging expanded domestic natural gas development, a position Obama has touted in a series of speeches in recent months, and ensuring that the administration protects the public. 

“[I]t is vital that we take full advantage of our natural gas resources, while giving American families and communities confidence that natural and cultural resources, air and water quality, and public health and safety will not be compromised,” the order says.

The Obama administration is taking new steps to increase federal oversight of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a drilling method that has helped usher in a natural gas boom but brought with it environmental concerns. 

The Environmental Protection Agency is slated to unveil final oil-and-gas air pollution regulations next week that would cut smog-forming and toxic emissions from wells developed with fracking. Separately, the Interior Department will soon float rules for fracking on public lands.

Unless we change the general regulation overload this administration has created, America will become a third-world country. If that appeals to you, vote for Democrats in November. If you love America and want your children to prosper, vote Republican. The future of our nation is truly at stake in 2012.

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Fact Checking Some Of The President’s Recent Statements On Energy

CNS News posted an article posted a story yesterday about the President’s recent statements about his administration’s energy policy:

The article reports:

In his March 10, 2012, Weekly Address, President Obama said that “[u]nder my Administration, oil production in America is at an eight-year high. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs, and opened up millions of acres for drilling.”

He continued: “But you and I both know that with only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices – not when we consume 20 percent of the world’s oil. We need an all-of-the-above strategy that relies less on foreign oil and more on American-made energy – solar, wind, natural gas, biofuels, and more.”

Well, he seems to have conviently overlooked a few things.

Some inconvenient facts reported in the article:

As CNSNews.com has reported, oil production on federal lands declined in fiscal year 2011 from fiscal year 2010 by 11 percent, and natural gas production on federal lands dropped by 6 percent during the same timeframe.

In contrast, oil production on private and state lands accounted for the entire increase, reported the IER, as production was up 14 percent from 2010 to 2011. Natural gas also was up 12 percent from 2010 to 2011.

The article also reported that the reason America is producing more oil has to do with permits issued in the two year period before President Obama took office. It takes about three to five years to bring on production in oil fields.

Please follow the link to CNS News to read the entire article. There is an awful lot of smoke and mirrors in what the President is saying about his energy policies, and the article explains what the facts actually are and how the President is skewing the information.

 

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Following The Money In Environmentalism

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about the war the Environmental Protection Agency is waging on coal-fired electric plants. The article includes the following quote from the Science and Environmental Policy Project’s The Week That Was:

On Thursday, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune admitted that between 2007 and 2010 the organization took $26 Million from Chesapeake Energy Corporation for the Sierra Club’s campaign against coal-fired electrical power plants. Chesapeake is one the nation’s largest producers of natural gas and extensively uses deep underground hydraulic fracturing “fracking” and sees its future in natural gas-fired power plants.

In making the announcement on the Sierra Club’s web site, Brune implied that it will be joining in the campaign against “fracking” for natural gas. No doubt, the leadership of Chesapeake Energy is elated to hear that the animal they fed so generously to use against their competitors may soon turn on them, probably using the same tactics it used against Chesapeake’s competitors in fuels to power electrical generation.

Follow the money. It is unfortunate that money is flowing and people and organizations are being used in ways that do not do anything to solve the energy problems of our country. The environmentalists are not any more righteous than the rest of us.

As I quoted in a previous article:

As the Forest Service used to say, the person who built his mountain cabin last year is an environmentalist. The person who wants to build one this year is a developer.

We all need to be aware of where our news on policy issues is coming from and who is paying for it!

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Facts Are Such Inconvenient Things

One of the highlights of the President’s State of the Union speech was his stating a plan to open 38 million acres for oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and a contest for natural gas technology.

Erik Milito, upstream director for the American Petroleum Institute (API), was not particularly impressed by the plan.

An article posted today at UPI.com:

Milito noted the lease sale outlined by the Obama administration was originally included in a program that became effective in 2007. Obama’s critics said the White House was in essence trying to generate political capital based on decisions made by the previous administration.

The API said Obama’s lease announcements left more than 85 percent of offshore areas off limits to energy explorers.

This is another reason voters have to pay close attention to anything said by any politician running for office this year. There will be a lot of misinformation floating out over the airwaves and in print in your local and national newspapers. It’s up to us to be our own fact-checkers!

 

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