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Showing posts with label Energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Energy. Show all posts

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Down 12%

After increasing in 2013 and in 2014, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell in 2015. In 2015, U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were 12% below the 2005 levels, mostly because of changes in the electric power sector.

Sweet!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Just who is Anti-Keystone?

The Wall Street Journal has a piece up about the opposition to the Keystone pipeline and how it really isn't as left-right as you would think. Politico echoed this as well.

Ranchers and native tribes that oppose the pipeline formed the Cowboys and Indians Alliance, putting a non-traditional face on the anti-Keystone movement that has spanned the president’s time in office. Their goal — like that of their environmentalist counterparts — is to persuade Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to determine that the pipeline from Canada would go against the national interest.

The ranchers — or “cowboys” — are concerned not just about protecting sensitive aquifers near the pipeline, but also about their land rights, several said at the protest. “I’m here to support the neighbors to the north that don’t want the pipeline across their land,” said Julia Trigg Crawford, a Texas rancher who rode in on horseback. She didn’t have so much luck with her own land. 

Part of the Oklahoma-to-Texas southern leg of Keystone XL, which has already been built, runs through Crawford’s ranch land on the Red River. “Basically they came in and said a foreign corporation building a for-profit pipeline had more of a right to my land than I did,” Crawford said. The land can be used for grazing, but she can’t build a house or drive across it, she said. Crawford received a check for $10,395 two years ago but has never cashed it, she said.

For some conservatives, it's about property rights and federal government intrusion which I find interesting because they do have an argument. I wonder why so many conservatives who champion private property and rights love the Pipeline as much as they do.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Is Fracking Safe Or Not?


Saturday, November 09, 2013

Energy News A Go Go

There is quite a bit to talk about in energy news so let's get to it!

 First up is a call for nuclear power that I have been waiting for a long time. Check out the source!

Four scientists who have played a key role in alerting the public to the dangers of climate change sent letters Sunday to leading environmental groups and politicians around the world. The letter, an advance copy of which was given to The Associated Press, urges a crucial discussion on the role of nuclear power in fighting climate change. 

Environmentalists have the same problem with emotions and instransigence as the Right does in terms of their views on...well...just about everything:) Nuclear power is clean and much safer than the worry warts will have you believe. The letter signers are James Hansen, a former top NASA scientist; Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institution; Kerry Emanuel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Tom Wigley, of the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Speaking of climate change, a report on the effect of climate change on world food supplies has been leaked and the news is not good.

The warning on the food supply is the sharpest in tone the panel has issued. Its previous report, in 2007, was more hopeful. While it did warn of risks and potential losses in output, particularly in the tropics, that report found that gains in production at higher latitudes would most likely offset the losses and ensure an adequate global supply. 

The new tone reflects a large body of research in recent years that has shown how sensitive crops appear to be to heat waves. The recent work also challenges previous assumptions about how much food production could increase in coming decades because of higher carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. The gas, though it is the main reason for global warming, also acts as a kind of fertilizer for plants.

For a closer look at this problem and all the data, click here. 

Will this be enough to convince people? I think when you start messing around with the food that Americans eat, they tend to react!

Finally, for the "Drill, Baby, Drill" crowd, it looks like we have a way around the northern section of Keystone.

Since July, plans have been announced for three large loading terminals in western Canada with the combined capacity of 350,000 barrels a day — equivalent to roughly 40 percent of the capacity of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that is designed to bring oil from western Alberta to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Over all, Canada is poised to quadruple its rail-loading capacity over the next few years to as much as 900,000 barrels a day, up from 180,000 today. 

Rail..uh oh! Republicans hate choo choos! Speaking of oil, why is the price of it so low right now? Because the dollar is stronger. How can that be? I thought we were heading for apocalypse! Also...

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it expects demand for its crude oil to fall to 29.2 million barrels a day in 2018 from 30.3 million barrels a year this year. OPEC said rising supplies from other sources, such as Canadian oil sands, crude from Latin America and the increased use of biofuels would contribute to the fall in demand for its own output. 

Demand has fallen? Wait...I thought demand had nothing to do with price. And increased biofuels? What pinko nonsense!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy!

Get used to a new word for 2013: reshoring.

Conventional wisdom says that American jobs are flying like crazy over to China. But a recent piece in the Christian Science Monitor says otherwise.

There's no official tally of the number of jobs returning, but Harry Moser, director of the Reshoring Initiative, which aims to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States, estimates that 50,000 jobs have returned in the past three years. He bases his estimate on a close read of the media and on reports his organization receives. If that number is accurate, reshoring would account for 12 percent of the manufacturing jobs the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports returned to the American economy since 2010. 

The Boston Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm, in a September report projected that returned manufacturing could bring 5 million new jobs by 2020 and add $90 billion in US exports to the economy.

Wow.

Why is this happening?

Rising wages in China, unpredictable supply-chain problems, oil prices, and the risk of intellectual property theft are making manufacturers more wary of producing overseas, analysts say.

That's the beauty of the free market, in this case the labor market. Eventually, workers start to demand more money and everything evens out as the labor market adjusts in its growth. But this isn't even the best part.

It's not just that it's getting more expensive to produce overseas. It's also getting cheaper to produce back at home. "It's the shale gas revolution," says Kevin Swift, chief economist and managing director of the American Chemistry Council. "There are low-cost, abundant sources of energy [here] now." Mr. Swift says that's a game changer for his industry: "We were being written off as being noncompetitive. It's completely changed. There's significant investment on the books ... 50 [planned] projects valued at over $40 billion."

Yes, indeed. Things are looking up for our country and it makes me quite happy!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Great Economic News

The United States has exported 187 billion dollars worth of goods-an all time high and up 3.1 percent-for the month of September. This narrows the trade deficit to its lowest point in two years, at 41.5 billion.

Driving this uptick was the sale of the iPhone 5 as well as oil exports. A recent article in the New York Times (highlighting an IEA report) show the US is set to become the world's top oil producer in five years. In fact,

The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer by about 2017 and will become a net oil exporter by 2030, the International Energy Agency said Monday.

Wow. Imagine how different a world that is going to be. It's going to give me an enormous amount of satisfaction to have the power shift in the way it is going to do so. So how has this happened?

That increased oil production, combined with new American policies to improve energy efficiency, means that the United States will become “all but self-sufficient” in meeting its energy needs in about two decades.

Hmm...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

We Are Drilling, Baby, Drilling

From AP News yesterday...

US may soon become world's top oil producer.

Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951. 

Fourth straight year...wait a minute! I thought the president was blocking oil drilling. Well, there goes another lie. Speaking of BS...

The increase in production hasn't translated to cheaper gasoline at the pump, and prices are expected to stay high relatively high for the next few years because of growing demand for oil in developing nations and political instability in the Middle East and North Africa. Still, producing more oil domestically, and importing less, gives the economy a significant boost.

That's right. And how is it helping the economy again?

Businesses that serve the oil industry, such as steel companies that supply drilling pipe and railroads that transport oil, aren't the only ones benefiting. Homebuilders, auto dealers and retailers in energy-producing states are also getting a lift.

But I thought the president was destroying our economy. It's getting better?

Hmm....

Friday, April 06, 2012

Energy Question

I follow Gallup polls pretty closely as they are usually the best indicator of where people are at on various issues. This one on energy and the environment caught my eye for its apparent dichotomy.

Americans Split on Energy vs. Environment Trade-Off

So, while 47 percent say that energy production should be prioritized, 44 percent say that environmental protection should be prioritized. Basically, we want to have both. This is a closer margin than last year when it was 50-41 for energy production. Both of these numbers mark a shift from the early 2000s when it was flipped in favor of environmental protection.

The good news is that most Americans (by a margin of 59-35 percent) favor alternative energy to oil and coal. So why aren't our leaders taking us there?

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Friday, March 23, 2012

Somehow, In Their World...

A recent article in the New York Times offers an excellent summation of how truly exciting the future will be in regards to energy in this country.

Across the country, the oil and gas industry is vastly increasing production, reversing two decades of decline. Using new technology and spurred by rising oil prices since the mid-2000s, the industry is extracting millions of barrels more a week, from the deepest waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the prairies of North Dakota. 

That's right. And it's simple fact that has driven the right in this country to paranoid fits about the president and the Democrats. How dare they not act like a bunch of granola eating tree huggers?

Taken together, the increasing production and declining consumption have unexpectedly brought the United States markedly closer to a goal that has tantalized presidents since Richard Nixon: independence from foreign energy sources, a milestone that could reconfigure American foreign policy, the economy and more. In 2011, the country imported just 45 percent of the liquid fuels it used, down from a record high of 60 percent in 2005. 

But no, say it ain't so! Somehow they must be plotting and restricting access to energy reserves, right?

Wrong.

The domestic trends are unmistakable. Not only has the United States reduced oil imports from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries by more than 20 percent in the last three years, it has become a net exporter of refined petroleum products like gasoline for the first time since the Truman presidency. 

The natural gas industry, which less than a decade ago feared running out of domestic gas, is suddenly dealing with a glut so vast that import facilities are applying for licenses to export gas to Europe and Asia. 

National oil production, which declined steadily to 4.95 million barrels a day in 2008 from 9.6 million in 1970, has risen over the last four years to nearly 5.7 million barrels a day. The Energy Department projects that daily output could reach nearly seven million barrels by 2020. Some experts think it could eventually hit 10 million barrels — which would put the United States in the same league as Saudi Arabia. 

Alright, well, what does the energy sector think?

“We’re having a revolution,” said G. Steven Farris, chief executive of Apache Corporation, one of the basin’s most active producers. “And we’re just scratching the surface.”

Today, more than 475 rigs — roughly a quarter of all rigs operating in the United States — are smashing through tight rocks across the Permian in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Those areas are already producing nearly a million barrels a day, or 17 percent more than two years ago. By decade’s end, that daily total could easily double, oil executives say, roughly equaling the total output of Nigeria. 

So, why is the right continuing to insist that the president is trying to block energy output? Especially in light of this information?

Mr. Obama’s current policy has alarmed many environmental advocates who say he has failed to adequately address the environmental threats of expanded drilling and the use of fossil fuels.

Well, Paul Krugman has the answer. 

This claim isn’t just nuts; it’s a sort of craziness triple play — a lie wrapped in an absurdity swaddled in paranoia. It’s the sort of thing you used to hear only from people who also believed that fluoridated water was a Communist plot. 

Sadly, I have experienced this in comments with some folks who can't seem to understand this basic fact.

Simple economics suggests that if the nation is producing more energy, prices should be falling. But crude oil — and gasoline and diesel made from it — are global commodities whose prices are affected by factors around the world. Supply disruptions in Africa, the political standoff with Iran and rising demand from a recovering world economy all are contributing to the current spike in global oil prices, offsetting the impact of the increased domestic supply. 

Why it is so difficult to understand the concept of a world market perplexes me.

It must (as is usually the case) the fact that the paranoia about Barack X has taken over. Somehow, in their world, this...

The newfound wealth is spreading beyond the fields. In nearby towns, petroleum companies are buying so many pickup trucks that dealers are leasing parking lots the size of city blocks to stock their inventory. 

Housing is in such short supply that drillers are importing contractors from Houston and hotels are leased out before they are even built. Two new office buildings are going up in Midland, a city of just over 110,000 people, the first in 30 years, while the total value of downtown real estate has jumped 50 percent since 2008. With virtually no unemployment, restaurants cannot find enough servers. Local truck drivers are making six-figure salaries. 

“Anybody who comes in with a driver’s license and a Social Security card, I’ll give him a chance,” said Rusty Allred, owner of Rusty’s Oilfield Service Company. 

is not happening.

Wow.

As Jon Stewart says, "The Republican Party...rooting for America to fail since 2008."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Still More Facts

In many ways, I'm very happy the energy issue is out front and center right now in public debate because we are starting to see more articles like this.

More US drilling didn't drop gas price

A statistical analysis of 36 years of monthly, inflation-adjusted gasoline prices and U.S. domestic oil production by The Associated Press shows no statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump. Political rhetoric about the blame over gas prices and the power to change them — whether Republican claims now or Democrats' charges four years ago — is not supported by cold, hard figures.

Oh really? 36 years you say?

Seasonally adjusted U.S. oil production dropped steadily from February 1986 until three years ago. But starting in March 1986, inflation-adjusted gas prices fell below the $2-a-gallon mark and stayed there for most of the rest of the 1980s and 1990s. Production between 1986 and 1999 dropped by nearly one-third. If the drill-now theory were correct, prices should have soared. Instead they went down by nearly a dollar.

Uh...oops.

Further...

Sometimes prices increase as American drilling ramps up. That's what has happened in the past three years. Since February 2009, U.S. oil production has increased 15 percent when seasonally adjusted. Prices in those three years went from $2.07 per gallon to $3.58. It was a case of drilling more and paying much more. U.S. oil production is back to the same level it was in March 2003, when gas cost $2.10 per gallon when adjusted for inflation. But that's not what prices are now.

.But what about Keystone?

Supporters of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline say it would bring 25 million barrels of oil to the United States a month. That's the same increase in U.S. production that occurred between February and November last year. Monthly gas prices went up a dime a gallon in that time. 

Facts, folks. These are facts. Read the entire piece as it contains many more hard statistics.

And what is it again that affects prices?

That's because oil is a global commodity and U.S. production has only a tiny influence on supply. Factors far beyond the control of a nation or a president dictate the price of gasoline.

Why is that so difficult for people to understand? Oh yes, that's right...Barack X and his army of killer robots that are destroying free enterprise in this country.

Of course, the ultimate irony here is that I'm beginning to think that supporters of increased domestic drilling are under the impression that the United States government would own the oil. They wouldn't, of course, because that would be socialism, right? So, the companies that would own the oil would be able to sell it on the free market.

Where do you think they would go and sell it?

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Problem With Math (and fundamental principles of markets)

A recent discussion in comments has once again illustrated the problems with facts and math that tend to come up when the right are talking about their fictional character, Barack X.

Their latest line of fantasy is how the president is responsible for high gas prices and if he would just unshackle the energy industry, we could decrease our dependence on foreign oil.

One small problem with this narrative is (as always) reality.

(Source: Energy Information Administration) 

The other reality item to consider is the world market.

(Source: Energy Information Administration) 

We could drill everywhere the right wants us to drill and it wouldn't matter. We will still be shackled to the world market.

So, the next time that mouth foaming uncle who gets his facts from right wing blogs says that we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, politely inform them that President Obama has been doing that.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Bookend

A nice bookend to my post below is this recent article.

The report by six federal agencies was released Monday on the first anniversary of a speech by President Obama in which he pledged to reduce U.S. dependence on oil imports by one-third in about a decade. According to the study, the United States reduced net imports of crude oil last year by 10 percent, or 1 million barrels a day. The United States now imports 45 percent of its petroleum, down from 57 percent in 2008, and is on track to meet Obama's long-term goal, the administration maintains.

How have we accomplished this?

Imports have fallen, in part, because domestic oil and gas production has increased in recent years. U.S. crude oil production increased by an estimated 120,000 barrels a day last year from 2010, the report says. Current production, about 5.6 million barrels a day, is the highest since 2003.

So, most of the caterwauling about "Drill Baby Drill" is (as always) patently false. We already are.

And prices have gone up...gee, what a shock...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Another Energy Milestone

For the first time in more than 60 years, The United States has become a net fuel exporter."It looks like a trend that could stay in place for the rest of the decade," Dave Ernsberger, global director of oil at Platts, told The Wall Street Journal. "The conventional wisdom is that U.S. is this giant black hole sucking in energy from around the world. This changes that dynamic." All of this is happening because of new sources of oil in North Dakota and Texas as well as new opportunities in Canada.

But......anyone notice a drop in gas prices?

Nope.

That's because, as I have stated many times, world demand has been rapidly rising in emerging markets. Brazil used to export fuel to the United States but now they import over 100,000 barrels a day. Singapore has quadrupled its imports from the US.

So, while this is a wonderful opportunity for oil companies, we won't see any difference at the pump, as the Wall Street Journal notes.

But U.S. drivers aren't seeing much benefit in the form of lower prices because refineries on the Gulf Coast are shipping much of their output to places where demand is strong, keeping prices high.

So, we can "drill, baby, drill" all we want but with demand falling off here in the US and rising abroad, it won't matter one bit how much fuel we export.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Serious Commitment

Lost in all the political news over the last few weeks was this announcement.

NRC approves first new nuclear plant in a generation.

It's actually two nuclear reactors that will be located in Georgia. Thomas Fanning, Southern Co.'s chief executive Officer, called the license a "monumental accomplishment" and said the new Vogtle plants would provide cheap, reliable power to Southeast residents for years to come.

The Obama administration has offered Southern and its partners $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees as an incentive. Fanning said he expects the U.S. Energy Department to finalize the loan in the second quarter of 2012. For those of you keeping track, that's 16 times the amount that was loaned to Solyndra and ultimately lost.

I'd say that represents a more serious commitment to nuclear power and energy overall considering that this plant will be the first since 1979.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Do Nothing

Many people are jumping on the president these days for his energy policies (or lack thereof). Politico has an interesting piece on all of this that I found to be an excellent summation.

Under pressure from Republicans, he embraced offshore drilling — just weeks before the BP oil spill. He offered support for nuclear power, only to watch a disaster unfold in Japan. Gas price hikes in the spring disrupted his economic message. Feeling the heat from Republicans again, he infuriated his green base by bailing out on a long-promised ozone standard.

Essentially, every time he heads down the path of towards sort of energy policy, he gets cracked in the jaw. Nearly all of this is beyond his control anyway (Libya, Tsunami, China's solar drive vs. Solyndra). At this point, I'd say he's pretty gun shy anyway so why not simply give up.

I'm serious. There's not much that he really needs to do. The world's energy market is heading towards green technology whether people (see: the right)like it or not. With the supply of oil and coal limited, the next fifty years are going to see a shift to new forms of technology. As the cost of processing these new forms of energy drops due to more investment from multinational corporations, the free market will do what it always does.

If he feels the urge to do anything, he should simply funnel it all through the Department of Defense. The strides in innovation they are taking are amazing and can easily be supported by defense dollars-something that the GOP would never dare cut.

So, the president should simply like his wounds, learn from his mistakes, and focus on jobs and the economy. Tackling energy has always been a disaster for him and his goals are going to be realized even if he does nothing.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

No Shit

In response to this article from the Washington Post, my friend Vincent had this to say.

Score another victory for corporate deregulation. Financial deregulation gave us the economic crisis, and energy deregulation helped give us this fine mess.

No shit, Vincenzo.

Certainly, I was mistaken when I predicted that the election of President Obama would make the Cult irrelevant. All I really needed to do was sit back and let their fucked up way of running things clearly demonstrate how ridiculously wrong they are in their borderline psychotic views on government.
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