Tag: Energy

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Our favorite Navy Fighter Pilot, @BrentB67 (let’s get him back on Rico!) joins this week’s Whiskey Politics podcast to discuss the current economy. Brent Berarducci of BlackLion Capital Management shares his unique and timely perspective as we talk about the trend towards populism, the U.S. debt, trade protectionism, and just what the heck is happening in Saudi […]

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​City Journal associate editor Matthew Hennessey and Manhattan Institute senior fellow Robert Bryce discuss the possibilities for the domestic energy industry under Trump, the state of American nuclear power, the Left’s push for all-renewable energy, and more.

City Journal is a magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Donald Trump’s selection of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to be secretary of energy. They wince as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell taps the brakes on the Trump tax plan and offers no ideas on how to reduce spending fight future deficits or replace Obamacare. And they discuss the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the FBI disputing the CIA’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 campaign explicitly to help Trump win.

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A few questions, only loosely related: Do we still rely on Middle Eastern nations to produce oil and natural gas? The US now has access to plenty without them. Also, the region has been in turmoil for years and yet I’m paying less than $2 per gallon, so even their impact on the world market doesn’t […]

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Energetic Advocates Needed

Anacortes, WA oil refinery, by Walter Siegmund (talk) – Own work, CC BY 2.5.

Some months back, I wrote about the Environmental Kuznets Curve, which posits that, as societies become richer, their citizens can afford the luxury of caring about the environment in ways they currently cannot. I suggested that some of this preference could be expressed through government regulation or taxes on dirtier forms of energy, though said I would oppose these in favor of market-driven means.

On Climate Change and Nuclear Power, Democrats May Not Be the Party of Science


Nuclear PlantEduardo Porter in the New York Times:

And yet even as progressive environmentalists wring their hands at the G.O.P.’s climate change denial, there are biases on the left that stray just as far from the scientific consensus. “The left is turning anti-science,” Marc Andreessen, the creator of Netscape who as a venture capitalist has become one of the most prominent thinkers of Silicon Valley, told me not long ago.

He was reflecting broadly about science and technology. His concerns ranged from liberals’ fear of genetically modified organisms to their mistrust of technology’s displacement of workers in some industries. “San Francisco is an interesting case,” he noted. “The left has become reactionary.”

Supreme Court Puts the Clean Power Plan on Hold


clean-power-planOn February 8, the United States Supreme Court issued a terse order that by a five-to-four vote enjoined the Environmental Protection Agency from taking any steps to implement its Clean Power Plan. That most ambitious plan sought to impose a comprehensive long-term set of limitations on the use of coal, and indeed all energy sources, inside the United States. The order itself was a black box, which in its entirety reads:

West Virginia, et al. v EPA, et al.

The application for a stay submitted to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is granted. The Environmental Protection Agency’s “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,” 80 Fed. Reg. 64,662 (October 23, 2015), is stayed pending disposition of the applicants’ petitions for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and disposition of the applicants’ petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is sought. If a writ of certiorari is sought and the Court denies the petition, this order shall terminate automatically. If the Court grants the petition for a writ of certiorari, this order shall terminate when the Court enters its judgment.

Regulate, Rinse, and Repeat


Via The Economist, most of sub-Saharan Africa has very little access to electricity, and what power is available is very expensive (if you omit South Africa, the number are even more depressing). The problem appears to be less a matter of energy production than one of distribution. Why you ask? In Tanzania, it’s because the state-owned and state-protected distribution monopoly can’t pay its bills:

Tanesco, which has a monopoly on distributing power in Tanzania, is severely cash-strapped. Its outgoings are inflated by the need to buy expensive emergency backup fuel to keep the lights on when the supply from dams falters. In practice, payments to independent power producers such as Symbion often come last on its list.

Notes on the Decline of US Crude Oil Production


shutterstock_227012731My first job after the Navy was running operations, compliance, and finance for a small exploration and production company based out Farmington, New Mexico. I remain involved in the industry through non-operated working interests in Kansas, drilling consultancy in the Permian Basin, upstream operations consulting moving drilling rigs, and am the principal of Blacklion Capital Management, a Commodity Trading Advisor.

We’re in the middle of the downstroke of an oil cycle that starts with over-production and/or a decline in demand (this time, both of those, combined with a rising dollar) that causes prices to fall, exploration to dry-up, and production to slow. However, given how many steps there are between a rig and your gas tank, it takes a while for this information to process through the industry before the upstroke can happen. Rising oil prices are in our future, though exactly when is not certain.

North American Crude Oil Market

Oil Field Anecdote: Trump Edition


shutterstock_790899I am back in the Eagle Ford Shale south of San Antonio moving Patterson 224 to its next 2 well pad. There are some unwritten rules in the oil field about things not discussed: anyone’s wife, religion, and politics.

The religion aspect is always fun/interesting to break the ice. If I am on a new rig and we are going to eat together I catch everyone looking around wondering if we are going to pray or eat and I will break the silence, me or someone else offers the Blessing, and dinner is over in about four minutes. After that it is assumed we will pray together, next thing you know the cussing has stopped, etc. It is fun to witness.

Outside of an occasional Obama joke, politics is strictly off limits and that works for me. The oil field is a break from the real world and chance to deal with real people not afraid of hard work.

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When I wandered back in from the cold yesterday the first post I read and commented on was Tom Meyer’s oil post here. When I am not in the field I publish two energy reports each week in partnership with Updata. I will not post them here weekly, this post is just to make folks […]

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The EPA’s Flawed Clean Coal Plan


shutterstock_296570639“On August 3, President Obama and the EPA announced the Clean Power Plan – a historic and important step in reducing carbon pollution from power plants that takes real action on climate change.” So begins the Environmental Protection Agency’s homage to the President and itself. The harder question is whether it is true. On this point, there is a sharp division of opinion between the traditional supporters and traditional detractors of these sorts of measures, with few (if anyone) occupying a middle ground that finds some merit but expresses real concern over the structure and function of the plan. Nonetheless, it is better to back off for the moment from extravagant claims that the end is near if we don’t (or do) embrace this particular plan.

Let’s put aside the EPA’s shaky legal authority and concentrate on the plan itself. A sensible approach divides the regulatory inquiry into two halves. The first asks about the best institutional framework to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs), most notably carbon dioxide. The second asks how to assess, on empirical grounds, the severity of the carbon dioxide problem that the EPA purports to tackle. The EPA falls short on both counts. I shall take them up in order.

The first point to note about the EPA’s clean coal initiative is that, given its inability to secure any congressional action on the subject, the agency is working solely within the existing statutory framework. That is a big mistake from the get-go. The pollution control scheme put into place under the Clean Air Act of 1970 (CAA), as modified by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, is the wrong way to deal with any form of pollution.

The Libertarian Podcast, with Richard Epstein: Coal, Energy, and the Environment


This week, President Obama unveiled his new EPA regulations to combat global warming, a plan that includes mandatory reductions in carbon emissions by the states as well as quotas for the use of renewable energy sources. On this episode of The Libertarian, Professor Epstein looks at both the legal and policy implications of this plan, explains how a classical liberal should approach energy and environmental policy, and warns about the dangers that stem from the growing power of the administrative state.

Want to listen on the go? Subscribe to The Libertarian via iTunes or your favorite podcasting app. Or listen here by using the SoundCloud player after the jump:

Ron Bailey: The Anti-Malthusian


As conservatives, we’re dispositionally inclined to worry about the things we might lose — or have already lost — and it sure feels like we’ve been on the losing side of things of late. And, heck, even if all goes well in 2016, it’s going to be devilishly difficult to undo the damage that’s been done. In short, there’s no shortage of legitimate reasons to feel down about some very important issues.

On the other hand, there’s also plenty of reason for optimism and hope, and Ron Bailey’s new book The End of Doom showcases some of the most promising trends of the next century. Specifically regarding population growth, access to commodities such as food and energy, medical advances, and the likelihood that we’ll be able to adapt to innovate our way out of the challenges of Climate Change.