Is Irene a Harbinger, or an Expected Event?
Is Hurricane Irene a “harbinger of human-induced Climate Change” as a New York Times headline suggests, or just a seasonal tropical cyclone? We are, after all, smack-dab in the middle of hurricane season. Seeing Irene as Harbinger of a Change in Climate By JUSTIN GILLIS, The New York Times August 27, 2011 The scale of Hurricane Irene, which could cause more extensive damage along the | Read More »
Edwin Edwards for Governor?
Fans of former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards have created a Facebook page called “Ask Obama to Pardon Edwin Edwards”. As an convicted felon, the Silver Zipper is precluded from running for a fifth term as governor. Barack Obama could change all that. According to Edwin, you see, Bobby Jindal has things so messed up in Louisiana that the Democrats are having trouble finding anyone to | Read More »
Drilling in New Jersey? No Fracking Way!
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie issued a conditional veto on a measure that would have imposed a permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing — a/k/a “fracking” — in the Garden State. Instead, Christie has suggested a year-long moratorium on the practice. The debate over fracking in New Jersey is mostly symbolic. New Jersey has exactly zero oil and gas wells. It is, however, the nation’s #7 | Read More »
Exxon’s Offshore Lawsuit: The Rest of the Story
Last week, ExxonMobil filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior in the Western District of Louisiana. The lawsuit alleges that DOI, through the Minerals Management Service (MMS), acted improperly in cancelling three leases owned by ExxonMobil and Statoil, its 50% partner. The leases are in a field designated “Julia”, which lies in 7,000 feet of water, some 200 miles off the Louisiana coast. | Read More »
If Global Warming Doesn’t Kill Us, ET Will
Jon Huntsman tweeted yesterday: To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy. Um. These scientists you trust, some of them at least, are accused of data manipulation and standing the peer-review process on its head. Call me crazy, but I don’t trust them. In related news, The Guardian brings us: Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other | Read More »
Drilling Rigs in Pennsylvania! Hide the Womenfolk!
Democratic State Rep. Michael Sturla is apparently not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Speaking of the impact of the Marcellus Shale drilling boom on Pennsylvania, Sturla said: “Also, aside from building roads so their trucks can get to drill sites and doing a little stream work to mitigate damage from their road building, exactly what are all those things the drillers are doing for | Read More »
Keystone XL Pipeline: Bureaucratic Hacky-Sack
The Obama Administration continues to play bureaucratic hacky-sack with what could be a key element of our nation’s secure energy future: the Keystone XL pipeline project. The new line would increase the export capacity of the Keystone Pipeline (placed in service 2008) by 700,000 barrels of Canadian oil-sands oil per day. The expansion would also facilitate the domestic movement of crude from the key storage | Read More »
It’s Not Easy Going Green, Part IV
Remember jatropha? In 2007, Goldman Sachs called it one of the best candidates for future biofuels. Time Magazine touted its promise in an article from January, 2009: Renewable energy, it turns out, does grow on trees. The fruit pods plucked from jatropha trees have seeds that produce clean-burning diesel fuel. But unlike corn and other biofuel sources, the jatropha doesn’t have to compete with food | Read More »
“Sustainability” is something of a corporate fad. Shell Oil has a sustainability policy. So does ExxonMobil. Dow Chemical. Walmart. Mattel. Even Ben and Jerry’s has a sustainability policy. Even though “sustainability” may be interpreted differently in different companies, sustainability is something that corporate boards have come to expect of their managements. Is it too much to expect our government and the people who run it | Read More »
Congressional Democrats Aim to Kill Energy’s Golden Goose
If “it’s all about the jobs”, why are Democrats trying to kill one of the only successful job creation engines in our economy? From Texas and Louisiana to North Dakota and Pennsylvania, energy development is creating good jobs, well-paying jobs, by the tens and even hundreds of thousands. Billions of dollars are flowing into the economies of the host states. The common thread of the | Read More »
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 »