Natural Gas Economics: A Look Under the Hood
Christmas comes in June for energy geeks and graph junkies. Every year, the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy releases its Annual Energy Outlook (AEO), a compendium of 30-tear forecasts and analyses of energy sources and uses. The 212 page .pdf file contains tables, bar charts and area graphs galore, enough to provide blog fodder at least until Christmas (the December one). This | Read More »
The Most Ludicrous Graph of the Month
Obama’s energy policies are a key vulnerability in the November elections, which has his staff scrambling to make it look like he’s actually done something to support domestic energy production. Since neither he nor anyone in his Administration knows the first thing about oil and gas, that can lead to some pretty ridiculous claims. Like, for example, the following graph, found at Obama For America‘s | Read More »
Six House Dems Would Confiscate ‘Excessive’ Oil Profits
Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D’OH), have filed a bill aimed at controlling gasoline prices. Styled the “Gas Price Spike Act”, H.R. 3784 would establish a “Reasonable Profits Board” which would have the power to confiscate 100% of oil company profits above a level that they deem to be “reasonable”. I know: “You had me at ‘Kucinich’.” Kucinich is either a naive | Read More »
1. Despite a natural gas drilling moratorium in New York, that state’s Chemung and Broome Counties are feeling the economic lift from drilling next door in Pennsylvania. But to the New York Times, the ex-pat workers, largely from Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, have awfully low-brow tastes, don’t you know. (NYT link below the fold.) 2a & 2b. The Daily Beast seems to have turned over | Read More »
Gas Reaches Record High as Gas Hits Record Low
On an annual basis, retail gasoline prices hit an all-time high in 2011. The average price for all grades was $3.576 per gallon, vs $3.299 in 2008. Meanwhile, the shale gas revolution has set the stage for declining prices per mmbtu of natural gas.
North America’s Energy Bounty, By the Numbers
On Tuesday, the Institute for Energy Research issued its North American Energy Inventory (.pdf link), a report which documents the government’s own estimates of oil, natural gas and coal resources for the U.S., Canada and Mexico. (The IER is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 organization that is dedicated to advancing America’s supply using free market principles.) In a nutshell, North America contains a vast bounty of | Read More »
In Defense of a Democrat
In its never-ending quest to stop the peril this country faces from natural gas, the New York Times takes on Rep. Dan Boren, the sole Democrat in Oklahoma’s congressional delegation. He co-chairs the House Natural Gas Caucus and serves as a member of the House Natural Resources Committee. As a representative of the #3 gas-producing state, it’s not surprising that his voting record is decidedly | Read More »
NY Times on Natural Gas: Ponzi Scheme, Pandora’s Box, or Rubik’s Cube?
The New York Times descends even deeper into self-parody with its ongoing crusade against natural gas development. Thursday’s installment: Rush to Drill for Natural Gas Creates Conflicts With Mortgages It seems that some mortgage lenders are beginning to balk at lending money secured by real estate if said real estate is under development for natural gas. A credit union in upstate New York has started | 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Obama’s Clueless Energy Policy
From the President’s State of the Union Address: We need to get behind this [green] innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s. Now, clean energy | Read More »
‘Haynesville’, the Film
Turesday night, CNBC featured the broadcast premiere of Haynesville, a documentary film by Gregory Kallenberg. The film tells of the impact of the Haynesville Shale natural gas field on the residents of DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. I’d recommend Haynesville to everyone. According to its boosters, the Haynesville Shale contains some 230 trillion cubic feet of gas. To put that in perspective, that quantity is roughly equal | Read More »
Exploring Natural Gas Onshore
Just a few years ago, you could’ve bought all the land you wanted in DeSoto Parish, LA for $1,000 or so an acre. While oil and gas production was not unknown in the rural northwestern parish, most thought DeSoto’s glory days were gone forever. The Haynesville Shale natural gas play has changed all that. “People went to bed one night poor and woke up the | Read More »
Obama Finds ‘Strange New Respect’ For Natural Gas
The President’s post-election remarks contained something of an “olive branch” to Congressional Republicans. It came in the form of a broad hint that the Administration might backpedal on its opposition to natural gas development. Obama’s Enthusiasm for Gas Drilling Raises Eyebrows “We’ve got, I think, broad agreement that we’ve got terrific natural gas resources in this country,” Obama said when he was pressed for issues | Read More »
, de facto moratorium
, Dept of Interior
, Hydraulic Fracturing
, Ken Salazar
, Natural Gas
A Tale of Two Subsidies
In the 1980s, Congress, searching for domestic energy supplies, created incentives in the form of production tax credits for ethanol and for unconventional natural gas. The history of those two programs, and the current state of affairs in the energy world, speaks volumes about the relative merits of these two fuels. Tax-paying capitalists find tax credits highly motivating. Whereas deductions reduce your taxable income, | Read More »
Natural Gas: A Tale of Two States
The states of New York and Pennsylvania have clearly divergent approaches to energy policy. New York is a long-time producing state which shares with its neighbor Pennsylvania the Marcellus Shale as an exciting resource with seemingly unlimited potential. Drilling has encountered roadblocks in New York, while next door, Pennsylvania is enjoying a boom of investment, good paying jobs, and mineral income for its citizens. On | Read More »
Energy 101: Hydraulic Fracturing
This week, several news stories converged on an odd topic: hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, has been used since the 1950s to stimulate oil and gas wells. The process involves pumping a sand-laden slurry into a well and subjecting it to enough pressure that the rocks in the productive formation fracture, or break. The purpose of the sand is to prop open the fracture, | Read More »
Energy Policy: Is the Obama Administration Changing Its Tune On Natural Gas?
Natural gas currently satisfies nearly a quarter of the country’s total energy needs. Gas is clean-burning and has less environmental impact than either oil or coal. We have a secure and abundant supply in North America, the technology to drill and produce it efficiently, and a robust distribution network to deliver it to market. Natural gas drilling could generate new, good-paying jobs by the thousands, | Read More »