WSJ Misses the Mark on Oil Markets and the SPR
An article by Sarah Kent in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, “Traders Eye Oil Tanker Play”, (full text requires subscription*) purports to explain current action in the oil market, as 30 million barrels of crude oil are due to be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) before August 31. … While they fall short of the lefty paranoia of ThinkProgress.org and its crack “investigative journalist”, | Read More »
The Silver Zipper Rides Again!
Ewe, a photo from NOLA.com, posted by S Maley on Flickr. On Friday, former Louisiana Governor and ex-con Edwin W. Edwards (D) escorted his new wife Trina through New Orleans’ French Quarter after their Friday wedding at the Hotel Monteleone, on their way to a post-wedding feast at historic Galatoire’s. At a $250-a-plate roast on Saturday night, a gang of former and current politicians and | Read More »
Solar Energy Flim-Flam
A local radio ad touts the benefits of residential solar systems: 30% Federal tax credit (unlimited, through 2016) 50% Louisiana state tax credit (residential only) You can sell electricity back to the grid Five to six year payout of homeowner’s cost. A local vendor’s website goes into more detail: Compared to investing in the stock market, or leaving money in the bank, investing in solar | Read More »
BOEMRE Slowdown Costs 230,000 Jobs, $44 Billion in GDP
A new study from IHS-CERA, one of the leading energy think tanks, projects the cost of the Department of the Interior’s ongoing regulatory slowdown and its impact on the energy industry, employment in the coastal states, and the U.S. economy in general. The study, released on Thursday, was commissioned by the Gulf Economic Survival Team (GEST). We’re beginning to see the true cost of an | Read More »
It’s Not Easy Going Green, Part III
Tiny start up Green Vehicles of Salinas, CA has gone belly-up. The city of Salinas had infused $540,000 since 2009, but it was not enough. The company had a hard time finding outside investors, and when an expected $2.7 million from the State of California failed to materialize, President and Co-Founder Mike Ryan called it quits. Electric Car Maker Folds, Salinas Loses $500,000 (from KSBW.com, | Read More »
It’s Not Easy Going Green, Part II
This week, American Electric Power scuppered plans for a $668 million carbon sequestration project at the utility’s Mountaineer Power Plant in West Virgina. The Mountaineer project had been heralded as the flagship of “clean coal” technology: the process involves using an ammonia chilling process to extract CO2 from the combustion exhaust. The CO2 would then be injected in its liquid state into underground rock layers | Read More »
Dr. Steven Chu and ‘Common Sense’
Energy Secretary and Nobel Laureate Dr. Steven Chu defends the banning of conventional incandescent light bulbs as a ‘common-sense’ measure that is certainly a ‘win-win’ for consumers. (Caution: Clicking HuffPo links may cause a loss of IQ points.) Overall, consumers will save $6 billion a year from these standards. Here’s another example of how common-sense standards like these have been working for American families for | Read More »
Germany’s Plan to Nix Nukes: Macht Nichts!
Well, that didn’t take long. In late May, and in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Germany announced that it would phase out nuclear power generation by 2022. Nine active nuclear sites currently supply 22% of German electricity. Another eight are offline. But there’s a hitch in this well-thought-out plan: it gets cold in northern Europe in the winter, and people need lots of | Read More »
Who’s the Highest-Paid State Employee in California?
That would be Dr. Jerry Rohlfing, a prison doctor who “has a history of mental illness” and whose treatment has been judged “substandard”. He’s currently working in the medical records office at the High Desert State Prison in Susanville, because supervisors don’t trust him to see patients. In 2010, the good Dr. Rohlfing received payments from the state totaling over $777,000, which includes his base | Read More »
Lee Fang on Oil Speculation: In Over His Head
Summertime 2011, and “investigative journalist” Lee Fang of ThinkProgress has replaced the BP Spill in my blogging life. Fang’s amateurish attempts to find scandal in oil commodities trading have become my new blog fodder. Fang puts forward the half-baked theory that the evil Koch Brothers and other traders control world oil prices via speculation. His latest piece, “JP Morgan, Koch, Other Oil Traders May Buy | Read More »
It’s Not Easy Going Green
It sounded like such a good idea. Back in 2009, NRG Energy Inc. hatched a plan to “go green” using switchgrass and sorghum as boiler fuel supplement. It was hoped that it might replace up to 10% of the coal which fires its Big Cajun II power plant in New Roads, LA. All the elements were in place: land near the plant (up to 30,000 | Read More »
Republican Freshmen Say ‘No’ to Obama’s Recess Appointments
Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA) has led a group of 77 Freshmen Republicans in an effort to block President Obama’s use of the recess appointment for the remainder of 2011. The coalition letter to the House Republican leadership (pdf link) contains this pledge: Rep. Landry’s statement, in part:
Strategic Petroleum Reserve to be Renamed “The Hope and Change Re-Election PAC”
You heard it here first. The International Energy Agency, a body whose membership parallels the G-20 and which is dominated by members of the EU, announced that it may consider releasing more oil from “its stockpile” (1.6 billion barrels, nearly half of that in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve) at the end of the current 30-day, 2 million barrels per day period. Repeat of IEA | Read More »
The New York Times Says Shale Gas is a Giant Ponzi Scheme. Erm, No.
The New York Times really hates natural gas. Just in the last year, the Times has run scaremongering articles on the dangers of hydrofracking and Gasland-inspired tales of groundwater contamination in the “shale plays”, the unconventional sources of natural gas that have redefined domestic gas supply withing the last decade. On Sunday, the paper drifted into unfamiliar and inhospitable territory: petroleum economics. The Times published | Read More »
Why Did Obama Open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?
On Thursday, the Department of Energy announced a release of thirty million barrels of crude oil over the next 60 days from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the nation’s stockpile supposedly set aside for emergency supply disruptions. Washington, DC – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that the U.S. and its partners in the International Energy Agency have decided to release a total of 60 | Read More »