Tag: gas

Happy New Year! Join Jim and Greg as they are pleasantly stunned to see the European Union embracing natural gas and nuclear power as their wind and solar energy efforts fall far short of producing the amount of energy needed. They also slam Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s latest effort to skirt the filibuster to pass Dem legislation on elections. And they hammer teachers unions for once again leading the charge to return to distance learning or just “pause” schools for two weeks to weather the Omicron cases of COVID.

Witch Hunt Targets the Oil Companies


President Biden has issued firm instructions to FTC Chair Lina Khan to investigate whether big oil should be held legally accountable for the recent runup in oil prices. The fact of some price increase seems beyond dispute. The average monthly Brent crude price dropped as low as $18.38 in April 2020, at the onset of the COVID crisis, but had risen to $83.54 in October 2020. But look just a little bit further and matters are not so simple, for by November 19, 2021, that price had dropped to $78.60. Indeed, this nineteen-month period witnessed wide fluctuations in price. Nonetheless, without referring to any price data, Biden broadly claimed that the “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies” should trigger an investigation into potential collusive behavior.

Given that “gasoline prices at the pump remain high, even though oil and gas companies’ costs are declining,” such alleged behavior, Biden assumes, has allowed big oil companies to double their profits since 2019, thereby allowing for stock buybacks and dividends in the coming year. “Hard-working Americans”—a tried and true appeal to populist instincts—should not be “paying more for gas because of anti-competitive or otherwise potentially illegal conduct,” he said, which is why he has urged the FTC to bring “tools to bear” to ferret out and punish any possible wrongdoing.

It should be apparent that it does not take much in Biden’s eyes to instigate a lengthy and hostile investigation. Rising profits are no antitrust violation when they generate dividends, many of which end up in the pension funds of those hard-working Americans. And buybacks and dividends free up capital for either consumption or further investment. Unfortunately, in Lina Khan’s new age of antitrust enforcement, it appears unnecessary to allege anything that would make the price-fixing claim credible, for just how are the oil companies able to conspire to keep prices artificially high? OPEC finds that task difficult even with its formal agreements and enforcement powers. But the number of potential participants for any effective covert oil and gas price-fixing scheme must be few in order to deter individual companies from deviating from the cartel price by offering hidden concessions to its preferred customers. That does not seem possible when the roster of the ten largest oil companies reads as follows:

Join Jim and Greg as they serve up three bad but important martinis today. First, they roll their eyes as the Biden administration suddenly blames energy companies for high gas prices and suggests the Congressional Budget Office cannot be trusted if it gives the reconciliation plan a bad score. And they shudder as a a former high-ranking Chinese tennis player disappears after accusing a top government official of raping her. And the latest evidence, supposedly suggesting she is alive and well, actually makes us think exactly the opposite.


Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit and Pulitzer Prize winning author of The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations, joins “Plugged In” hosts Josh Siegel and Neil Chatterjee to discuss the energy crisis occurring in Europe and Asia and how that should inform discussions at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow.


Join Jim and Greg as they dissect three lousy reports that highlight deeply flawed Biden administration policies, from huge numbers of people coming to the border, to a record number of available jobs that aren’t being filled, to very disturbing inflation numbers. And each of these of these problems was easily foreseeable.

Jim and Greg discuss Glenn Youngkin winning the GOP nomination for governor in Virginia and whether the GOP can still win there. They also react to gas stations along the east coast running out of fuel due to the Colonial Pipeline shutdown and the weak response from the White House. And they throw up their hands as the New York Times points out what many knew intuitively – that outdoor transmission of COVID is extremely unlikely. So was the CDC very wrong or hiding the truth?

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer Texas lawmakers or advancing legislation on several key conservative priorities. They also discuss the cyber attack that shut down a key fuel pipeline to the eastern U.S. They break down the latest scandal engulfing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. And they remember the wit and conservative wisdom of the late Pete du Pont.

Deep (Freeze) in the Heart of Texas


The recent dramatic events in Texas are an early warning sign of the disasters that are likely to occur if the Biden administration continues its relentless effort to demonize the use of fossil fuels in the effort to combat climate change.

Assessing whether the climate is really changing requires looking at two numbers. The first is mean global temperatures across time. While that figure is increasing overall, it shows a complex up-down pattern that cannot be explained solely by the steady increase in carbon dioxide emissions. The higher the mean temperatures, the worse the supposed problem.

The second measure, though often neglected, is every bit as important: the variance in temperatures, whether measured in days, seasons, or years. A lower variance over a relevant time period means less stress on the power grid and other systems, even when the mean temperature increases. The general trend is that the variance in the temperature has gone down over time. Even today, for example, a large fraction of the record high temperatures in the United States took place in the 1930s—when carbon dioxide levels were far lower than they are today—with only three record highs after 2000.

Biden Goes Deep Green


It is amazing the difference that four years can make in environmental policy. On January 24, 2017, at the outset of his presidency, Donald Trump issued an executive order that salvaged the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from the Obama administration’s planned obstructionism. Obama had sought to upset the string of administrative approvals that the project obtained at both the federal and state levels. DAPL runs about 1,100 miles from the Bakken and Three Forks oil fields in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, where it is able to carry, far below ground, about 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Trump’s action allowed Congress to vote on whether to grant the last federal easement needed for the pipeline to proceed.

DAPL is now in service, even as litigation to shut it down continues. Environmental groups continue to allege attenuated theories of adverse effects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Their efforts are consistent with the common practice among environmentalists of paying inordinate attention to highly remote contingencies while completely ignoring the large and immediate safety and efficiency advantages of getting crude oil to both domestic and foreign markets via DAPL. More concretely, the chances that any crude oil shipped by DAPL will escape in sufficient quantities to damage the fishing or water rights of the Standing Rock Sioux have always been infinitesimal, which is why the pipeline operations have caused no such harm for the past three years. The overall soundness of the pipeline grid will become truly dire if DAPL is shut down while Keystone is left incomplete.

For the moment, however, the immediate threat is to the Keystone pipeline. On January 20, President Biden issued an executive order aimed at “Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.” One component of his major order was to revoke the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline started some twelve years ago, but since that time it has been beset with legal challenges, including one in May 2020 in which a Montana judge yanked the pipeline’s permit on the grounds that the Army Corps of Engineers had not consulted sufficiently with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the alleged risks that the pipeline posed to endangered species and their habitat. Such orders overlook the benefits from that pipeline, which include its ability to ship up to 830,000 barrels per day of crude oil from the Alberta sands to American refineries along the Gulf Coast.

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U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell on Iran Sanctions Snapback, America’s Energy Competition with Russia in the EU, Chancellor Merkel U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell occupies one of the most critical positions in American diplomacy, not only because Germany represents the EU’s largest economy and has disproportionate influence on the continent, but because of […]

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Cheap gas. That, along with great pizza and bagels, was always one of the benefits of living in New Jersey. Even though there is no self-service gas in NJ, the price per gallon was still less than what I would see in any other state I drove through. Until the end of 2016, that is. […]

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I’d like to bring up the topic of infrastructure. President Trump, of course, beat me to it last year. He talked about the sad state of American infrastructure, how our roads, bridges and related facilities are in a sorry state, and how it’ll take over a tril to fix ’em. There have been a few […]

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Why the US Will Become the “Undisputed Global Oil and Gas leader for Decades”


This new analysis and forecast from the Energy Information Agency, reflected in the above chart, is amazing:

A remarkable ability to unlock new resources cost-effectively pushes combined United States oil and gas output to a level 50% higher than any other country has ever managed; already a net exporter of gas, the US becomes a net exporter of oil in the late 2020s. In our projections, the 8 mb/d rise in US tight oil output from 2010 to 2025 would match the highest sustained period of oil output growth by a single country in the history of oil markets. A 630 bcm increase in US shale gas production over the 15 years from 2008 would comfortably exceed the previous record for gas.

Gas Can Follies


I have a little can for gasoline. I use it to fuel my lawnmower. Recently the spout broke. I fixed it with duct tape, of course. And, of course, the duct tape only held up for a few months. The can itself is over 30 years old, and I have the idea that, since plastic deteriorates over time, it probably will need replacing within the next decade or two. I also thought that a cheap plastic gas can with a nice pouring spout would not cost very much more than a purchase of a replacement spout. So while I was out on Saturday morning I stopped by Autozone to pick up a new gas can. And, modern American life being what it is, I now have a story to post at Ricochet.

First, while my old can holds 2.5 gallons, the cans on the shelf all came only in two or five gallon size, so if I keep a little can it will mean more trips to refill the can. I don’t want to fool with the larger can, so I picked up one of the two-gallon cans and carried it to the counter. While waiting for the cashier to fire up his cash register (he had been in the back and so had to log in), I took a look at the new can. I unscrewed the cap and pulled out the pour spout, and started to install it for immediate use. The pour spout looked funny, and the cashier saw me giving it a close inspection. He said “You haven’t seen one of those before.”

“Nope.” Said I. “It looks like a new and improved safety pour.”

We forgot to mention, but certainly should have, that there are hundreds of actors in this two and a half minute video and only about three of them are so brazen and uncool as to be white. Not least of which is the star, Kendall Jenner. Which certainly is a slap in the face to the expectations of the Democratic voters who star in the thing and for whom it was made. After all, haven’t they been promised a world in which white people have been eliminated?

Check out the new Harvard Lunch Club Hidden Gem playlist on Spotify!

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There’s an old adage that states: “buyer beware”. It was used commonly in times past. Borrowing from the legal dectionary: When a sale is subject to this warning the purchaser assumes the risk that the product might be either defective or unsuitable to his or her needs.This rule is not designed to shield sellers who […]

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I live in New Jersey. Here in Jersey we have crowded roads, corrupt politicians, expensive real estate, ridiculously high property taxes, and a very left leaning legislature. On the plus side, we have great pizza, great bagels, Taylor Ham (which government regulators renamed Pork Roll), and cheap gas. While you still won’t have any trouble […]

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Oil, Oil, Everywhere But Not A Drop To Burn?


imageIn the last few decades — indeed, in just the last few years — a combination of demand and technology has greatly expanded the amount of oil and gas reserves that can be economically extracted. Unfortunately, cars and industry can’t run off crude oil anymore than freshly-fracked methane, so those raw hydrocarbons are essentially useless until they’ve undergone a myriad of available processes to refine them into useable fuels. The whole reason for the Keystone XL pipeline, after all, is to bring heavy Canadian crude down to the Gulf Coast for refining.

A little over a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that American refineries — already the largest in the world — were pushing to increase their capacity at their existing plants, while others energy firms were trying to get into the business, often at a small scale. The results sounded impressive:

American refiners are set to add at least 400,000 barrels of oil-refining capacity a day [current world-wide refining capacity is about 17 million barrel per day] to existing plants between now and 2018, according to information compiled by The Wall Street Journal and the consulting firm IHS. That is the fuel-making equivalent of constructing a new, large-scale refinery.

Geopolitical Shocks from Fracking


Hydro-Fracking-FieldTechnology is great — we all know that. It has given us longer and far more comfortable lives, and enormous increases in wealth of all kinds. Nevertheless, we often make arguments about geopolitics as if we were in a technological stasis field. This is a mistake, because, of course, technological changes lead to unintended consequences that can change everything.

I am speaking specifically not about incremental technological changes (like better cars or air conditioning), but about disruptive changes — the kinds of things that lead to changes that the inventors never imagined.

One of my recent hobby horses is fracking. People think that it is about cheap energy, which it is. And they think it is an environmental nightmare, which is not so. Fracking in the U.S. has brought down (and will hold down) energy prices. But the geopolitical implications are staggering — and broadly unrecognized.

Thankful for: Shale Oil


It’s nice when good things happen to your friends, but isn’t it nicer when bad things happen to your enemies? From The Guardian:

On Thanksgiving Day, the most powerful oil cartel in the world, the Organization of Petroleum Export Countries, will be facing a dilemma: too much of a good thing.