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Texans Are Not Ready to Accept Freezing Blackouts as Their “New Normal”

Hey, some of you probably thought I was dead. Well, sorry, Democrats, no such luck. Didn’t have another heart event, didn’t contract the ‘rona, the website isn’t down again. So yay on all of that.

What did happen, though, is we have no power at our home. Haven’t had any since 6:00 a.m. Monday, and it now looks like we won’t have any again until Friday at the earliest. In case you hadn’t heard, the entire state of Texas looks an awful lot like Alaska right now. Ok, well, West Texas looks more like South Dakota, but you get the picture. We’re covered up in snow and ice, the low temperature where I live near Fort Worth was -1 Fahrenheit this morning, we haven’t seen a temperature at my house above freezing since last Wednesday, and won’t see one until Friday. Again, that’s if we’re lucky.

Guess what? Texas does not do a good job of preparing for this kind of weather event. Which makes sense given that we don’t see this kind of stuff but about once a decade. However, we do see it. The last time we had a similar event was exactly a decade ago, in fact, on February 2-3, 2011.

So, while it is understandable, I suppose, that the folks at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) admit that they simply do not have contingency plans for this kind of severe winter event, I can’t help wondering why not? After all, the rolling blackouts they implemented 10 years ago during that ice event caused a public uproar that resulted in a series of hearings and rulemakings that were supposed to help ensure the grid’s resiliency was fortified to withstand exactly this sort of weather.

Yet, here we are again, and no one at ERCOT or the state’s main infrastructure provider – ONCOR – appears capable of providing a coherent answer why. Frankly, I’m beginning to wonder if we shouldn’t just force ERCOT to take the “R” – for Reliability – out of its name to make it more properly descriptive of what it is the agency actually does. Or rename it “ERSCOT”, with the S standing for “semi-“.

Texans have in recent years made a sport out of making fun of California for its having faded into near-3rd world status where its power grid is concerned. Trust me, that’s a ton of fun. Rolling blackouts and brownouts have become a way of life for Californians as the Democrat policymakers there force their grid to rely far too much on intermittent energy sources like wind and solar at the expense of reliable baseload generation, which must be provided by fossil fuels like natural gas and coal, or by nuclear plants.

Unfortunately, and with little public fanfare, the Republican-led Texas government has also allowed wind power to take a steadily-growing role in the state’s power generation mix over the past decade. Last year, in fact, wind surpassed coal in terms of the percentage of electricity provided to the ERCOT-managed grid, delivering 23% of the total mix, coming in second only to natural gas power plants.

That’s all great so long as you’re willing to pay the price, much of which becomes hidden from ratepayers by ERCOT and the state’s electricity providers, so everybody can pretend to be happy about “going green.” It’s also not so great when well over half the turbines in the state freeze up in near-zero temperatures and 3-12 inches of snowfall.

In the wake of the 2011 event, which was caused mainly by coal-fired plants tripping offline as they froze up and ERCOT’s rolling blackouts including several very large natural gas compressor stations, which caused several natural gas power plants to also go offline, reforms were mandated to prevent ERCOT from denying electricity to those compressor stations. We do not yet know if those reforms worked or not, but several of the state’s natural gas pipeline companies have been experiencing deliverability issues over the last couple of days, so ERCOT’s silence on the matter does make you wonder.

Texas policymakers simply must act in the wake of this event to ensure that the state’s power grid is resilient enough to withstand this kind of severe winter weather event. It is an incredibly dangerous situation when more than 3 million Texans are without power as temperatures remain below freezing for a full week. Texas might look like Alaska and South Dakota right now, but Texans are simply not prepared to deal with this kind of weather for even a couple of days, much less for a week or more.

Californians have been conditioned by their Democrat policymakers to accept this sort of rolling blackout situation as their “new normal” so they can all virtue signal about how “green” they all are. Texans, on the other hand, would rather be warm and safe in their homes than waste time virtue signaling about the environment. Again, trust me on this: Ain’t nobody in Texas ready to happily accept this crap as a “new normal” in their lives.

The state’s policymakers had better take advantage of this disastrous situation to act to really improve the resiliency of the state’s power grid, or there will be hell to pay in next year’s elections.

This situation is simply not acceptable, even if it only happens once a decade. Enough is enough.

I’ll post more when I can.

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than Whatfinger.com is the only real conservative alternative to Drudge, and deserves to become everyone’s go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

 

 

 

 

Open post

The Biden Attacks on the Oil Industry Have Only Just Begun

For the energy business, the Biden pain has only just begun. – China Joe Potato Head Biden, who has been wrong on every energy-related issue since the Carter Administration’s hilariously failed price control efforts of the 1970s, is taking a lot of heat from formerly powerful Democrat constituencies this week over his rash and illogical decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline project’s cross-border permit.

Biden’s action was of course taken as a means of payback to the powerful climate change lobby whose funding of Democrat political campaigns rivals that of George Soros these days. Sold as a “climate change” measure, the elimination of this pipeline will in fact do absolutely nothing to impact climate change in any way, shape or form. The permit cancellation will, in fact, eliminate $1.7 billion in new investments in renewable energy generation projects that Keystone’s operator, TC Energy, had planned to make in order to make this the nation’s first interstate pipeline to run completely on renewable energy. Overall, this unprecedented act of executive fiat will eliminate $8 billion in capital investments, 10,000 union jobs and more than $2.2 billion in salaries for union workers.

Gosh, hard to see why anyone’s upset, right? Here’s an excerpt from a story at DailyWire:

Josh Senk, general manager of Michels Corporation, slammed Biden during a press conference in Wisconsin, saying, “The recent actions of President Joe Biden, the Executive Order halting the construction of the Keystone pipeline has effected Michels, thousands of union trade members across the country, and hundreds of guys that specifically work in Wisconsin.”

Senk later said that “hundreds of guys” have already been laid off.

The Associated Press noted that local leaders in New Mexico were worried about the impact that Biden’s decision would have on their state and leaders in Utah have asked Biden to reconsider his decision.

“During his inauguration, President Biden spoke about bringing our nation together. Eliminating drilling on public lands will cost thousands of New Mexicans their jobs and destroy what’s left of our state’s economy,” Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway told the AP. “How does that bring us together? Environmental efforts should be fair and well-researched, not knee-jerk mandates that just hurt an already impoverished state.”

Native American tribes have also reportedly been angered by Biden’s decision to cancel the pipeline.

Multiple unions that endorsed Biden during his presidential campaign—including he Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters—have since slammed Biden for canceling the pipeline.

LIUNA said that the decision would “kill thousands of good-paying UNION jobs!”

“In revoking this permit, the Biden Administration has chosen to listen to the voices of fringe activists instead of union members and the American consumer on Day 1,” Mark McManus, General President of the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters. “Let me be very clear: When built with union labor by the men and women of the United Association, pipelines like Keystone XL remain the safest and most efficient modes of energy transportation in the world. Sadly, the Biden Administration has now put thousands of union workers out of work. For the average American family, it means energy costs will go up and communities will no longer see the local investments that come with pipeline construction.”

Local media organizations across the country have also reported on the negative impacts that the cancelation of the Keystone pipeline have had on their states.

[End]

As I reported over the weekend, China Joe is also taking a huge amount of heat from Democrat officials and interests in oil producing states in the Mountain West region for invoking his 60-day hold on all permitting actions for oil and gas projects on federal lands. That order also applies to Indian reservations and federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, angering various Tribes, along with the tens of thousands of Texans and Louisianans and Alabamans and Mississippians and even Floridians whose jobs are tied to the offshore oil and gas industry, which had been booming before China Joe took office.

Here’s the thing about this, folks: China Joe and his elder-abusing handlers are just getting started. A friend sent me the roster of political appointees Biden’s handlers are making to occupy the senior positions at the Department of Interior the other day, and the backgrounds of those appointees reads like a who’s who of the climate change lobby. These people aren’t being appointed to come in and help manage the nation’s energy resources: They are being appointed to come in and eliminate it.

A great example is the Bio of one appointee who is to be an “Advisor, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.” The BOEM is the bureau at Interior that is tasked with efficiently managing federal lease sales and enforcing federal regulations of them. This woman, one Marissa Knodel, presents the following description of her “qualifications” for this advisory role:

Marissa Knodel is a passionate advocate for climate and environmental justice through a just and equitable transition to a clean energy-based society, and resilient adaptation to a changing climate. As Legislative Counsel with Earthjustice, her area of expertise included federal onshore, offshore, and Arctic oil and gas leasing and regulations. Prior to joining Earthjustice, Marissa managed a campaign at Friends of the Earth to stop new fossil fuel development on federal lands and waters. Marissa holds a dual J.D. and Master of Environmental Management degree from Vermont Law School and the Yale School of the Environment.

For those who do not know, Earthjustice and Friends of the Earth are two of the very most radical and execrable leftist/Marxist anti-development groups on the planet. Note how this “advisor” to BOEM brags about having managed a campaign to kill the offshore mineral development she is supposedly now being tasked to manage.

The full roster of these political appointees can be seen below.

Suffice it to say that, in terms of assaults on this nation’s oil and gas industry from the Biden/Harris Harris/Biden Administration, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

That is all.

Full roster of Interior Appointees:

Interior Department Announces Members of Biden-Harris Leadership Team

Washington, D.C — The Department of the Interior today announced key members of agency leadership who will advance the Biden-Harris administration’s agenda to build back better and address the four intersecting challenges of our time: COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change.

“With today’s announcement, President Biden is delivering on his commitment to build teams that exude talent and experience, and look like America,” said Jennifer Van der Heide, incoming Chief of Staff. “We look forward to working with the dedicated civil servants at the Department to fulfill Interior’s missions, advance President Biden’s vision to honor our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes and uphold the trust and treaty responsibilities to them, address the climate and nature crises, and build a clean energy future that creates good-paying jobs and powers our nation. We are ready to get to work on behalf of the American people.”

Interior’s team reflects the Biden-Harris commitment to diversity, with more than 80% of First Day appointees identifying as people of color, women, or LGBTQ. Additional members of the Biden-Harris appointee team will be named in the days and weeks to come.

The incoming leadership team possesses a broad range of expertise and perspectives — representing decades of experience in federal, state, and tribal governments; academia; and non-profit and advocacy organizations. As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to the highest ethical standards, all appointees received an initial ethics training today following their swearing-in.

The leadership team is listed here in alphabetical order along with their new role:

  • Robert Anderson, Principal Deputy Solicitor
  • Travis Annatoyn, Deputy Solicitor for Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes, Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs
  • Tyler Cherry, Press Secretary
  • Laura Daniel Davis, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Land and Minerals Management
  • Shannon Estenoz, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Fish and Wildlife and Parks
  • Morgan Gray, Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs – Senate
  • Ruchi Jain, Deputy Solicitor for General Law
  • Kate Kelly, Deputy Chief of Staff – Policy
  • Marissa Knodel, Advisor, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • Shantha Ready-Alonso, Director for Intergovernmental and External Affairs
  • Paniz Rezaeerod, Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs – House
  • Melissa Schwartz, Communications Director
  • Janea Scott, Counselor to the Secretary
  • Rachael Taylor, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Policy, Management and Budget
  • Maggie Thompson, White House Liaison
  • Maria (Camille) Touton, Deputy Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation
  • Tanya Trujillo, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Water and Science
  • Jennifer Van der Heide, Chief of Staff
  • Andrew Wallace, Director of Congressional Affairs
  • Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director, Fish and Wildlife Service

Biographies of the new team are listed below:

Robert Anderson, Principal Deputy Solicitor
Bob Anderson is a law professor with extensive experience in American Indian law, public land, and water law. He is an enrolled member of the Bois Forte Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. He taught at the University of Washington School of Law and directed its Native American Law Center for the past twenty years. For over a decade he has been an annual visiting professor at Harvard Law School. He served as the Associate Solicitor for Indian Affairs and Counselor to the Secretary under Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt. He began his career as a staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund.

Travis Annatoyn, Deputy Solicitor for Energy and Mineral Resources
Travis Annatoyn joins the Department of the Interior from Democracy Forward Foundation, where he represented national and regional conservation organizations in novel challenges to the Trump administration’s environmental agenda. He began his litigation career as a trial attorney at the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, and holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Columbia University.

Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes, Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs
Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes most recently served as the Executive Vice President of Community Impact and Engagement at Ho-Chunk, Inc. She previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development for Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior and as Interim Director of the Bureau of Indian Education. She was also Executive Director of the Indian Legal Program (ILP) at ASU. She received a B.A. from Wayne State College and a J.D. from Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. She is an enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

Tyler Cherry, Press Secretary
Tyler Cherry most recently served as Director of Rapid Response for the Biden-Harris Arizona coordinated campaign. Before joining the campaign, Tyler was Director of Public Affairs at the political consulting firm SKDK, where he crafted and executed strategic communications plans for dozens of political, advocacy, corporate, and legal clients. He also previously worked at Media Matters for America as a campaigns associate and researcher. Tyler is a Los Angeles native and graduated from UCLA with a political science degree. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his partner and two exuberant cats.

Laura Daniel Davis, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Land and Mineral
Management
Laura Daniel Davis has more than two decades of experience in the public and non-profit sectors. She served as Chief of Staff to Interior Secretaries Sally Jewell and Ken Salazar in the Obama administration. She was most recently the Chief of Policy and Advocacy for the National Wildlife Federation.

Shannon Estenoz, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Fish and Wildlife and Parks
Shannon Estenoz most recently was the Chief Operating Officer of The Everglades Foundation. Previously, Shannon served as Interior’s Director of Everglades Restoration Initiatives and Executive Director of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. Shannon’s twenty four-year career in conservation includes roles with the World Wildlife Fund and the National Parks Conservation Association, and appointments by three Florida Governors including to the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District. Shannon is a fifth generation native of Key West, Florida, and holds degrees in International Affairs and Civil Engineering from Florida State University.

Morgan Gray, Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs – Senate
Morgan Gray has nearly two decades of experience in the Senate and House of Representatives working on climate, energy and environmental policy. Prior to joining the Department, he served as Legislative Director for Senator Edward J. Markey, where he oversaw the Senator’s policy agenda. Morgan previously served as Senator Markey’s Senior Policy Advisor, directing his climate and energy policy, and before that as a senior staffer on the House Natural Resources Committee and on the staff of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Morgan graduated from Pomona College and is originally from Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Ruchi Jain, Deputy Solicitor for General Law
Before joining Interior, Ruchi Jain was the Pro Bono Counsel for the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Previously, Ruchi served as Special Assistant to President Obama, where she worked with other senior White House officials on federal agency management, Executive Branch nominations, and personnel matters. She held several other roles in the Obama-Biden White House and the Department of Justice. She began her career in private law practice. Ruchi has a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from Rice University.

Kate Kelly, Deputy Chief of Staff – Policy
Kate Kelly most recently was the Public Lands Director at the Center for American Progress. During the Obama administration, Kate served as senior advisor to then-Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and also served as communications director on behalf of Secretary Jewell and former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Prior to joining the Interior Department, Kate worked in the U.S. Senate. Kate received her bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and hails from Colorado.

Marissa Knodel, Advisor, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Marissa Knodel is a passionate advocate for climate and environmental justice through a just and equitable transition to a clean energy-based society, and resilient adaptation to a changing climate. As Legislative Counsel with Earthjustice, her area of expertise included federal onshore, offshore, and Arctic oil and gas leasing and regulations. Prior to joining Earthjustice, Marissa managed a campaign at Friends of the Earth to stop new fossil fuel development on federal lands and waters. Marissa holds a dual J.D. and Master of Environmental Management degree from Vermont Law School and the Yale School of the Environment.

Shantha Ready-Alonso, Director for Intergovernmental and External Affairs
Shantha Ready-Alonso served as Executive Director of Creation Justice Ministries, Community Mobilization Manager for NETWORK Catholic Social Justice Lobby, and Director of the National Council of Churches Poverty Initiative. Shantha is listed among the 2018 “Grist 50 Fixers” and is the recipient of the 2020 National Council of Churches USA J. Irwin Miller Excellence in Ecumenical Leadership award. Shantha holds a Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Pastoral Studies from Eden Theological Seminary. She did her undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Paniz Rezaeerod, Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs – House
Paniz Rezaeerod previously served on the staff of Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01), where she was responsible for legislation to ban offshore drilling, protect irreplaceable natural resources, and secure full and permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund through the Great American Outdoors Act. Prior to Rep. Cunningham’s office, Paniz worked for the House Financial Services Committee and for CoBank. A first-generation American born in Iran and raised in South Carolina, Paniz is a graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South.

Melissa Schwartz, Communications Director
Melissa Schwartz is a strategic communicator and adjunct professor with two decades of experience in government, the private sector, and at nonprofit organizations. She most recently served as Senior Advisor to Dr. Jill Biden. As Chief Operating Officer at The Bromwich Group for nine years, projects included coordinating communications strategy to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, raise awareness of the rape kit backlog and gender-based violence, defend national monuments and the ocean, and facilitate a just transition for coal communities. Melissa is a former senior spokesperson for the U.S. Departments of Justice and Interior, and Senator Barbara Mikulski.

Janea Scott, Counselor to the Secretary
Janea A. Scott was most recently a Commissioner and Vice Chair of the California Energy Commission. Janea also served as the Vice Chair of the Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body and is a member of the Western Interstate Energy Board and the Department of Energy’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee. Janea previously worked at Interior as the Deputy Counselor for Renewable Energy and at Environmental Defense Fund as a senior attorney. She earned her J.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder Law School and her master’s of science and bachelor’s of science in earth systems from Stanford University.

Rachael Taylor, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Policy, Management, and Budget
Rachael Taylor most recently served on the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations for nearly 16 years. In her role as Democratic clerk of the Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, she negotiated a $38 billion annual appropriations bill and oversaw the budgets of Federal environmental, Tribal and cultural agencies. Rachael has also served in several other legislative and executive branch roles during her career, including in the Office of Vice President Al Gore. A West Virginia native, she received a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master in Public Administration from American University.

Maggie Thompson, White House Liaison
Maggie Thompson was most recently the North Carolina State Advisor and Chief of Staff for the Biden campaign and currently serves on the campaign’s Education Unity Task Force. Maggie was also the State Director for Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. She is the former Executive Director of Generation Progress, the youth engagement arm of the Center for American Progress. Maggie also worked in the Obama administration at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and in the office of the Director at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. She graduated with a degree in economics and classical archaeology from Macalester College.

Maria (Camille) Touton, Deputy Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation
Camille Calimlim Touton returns to Interior after serving as Professional Staff for the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. She was the staff lead on the resiliency provisions enacted as part of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020. Camille’s congressional experience also includes serving as Professional Staff for Interior’s authorization committees: the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee. Camille also served as Interior’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science under the Obama administration. Camille holds a BS in Engineering (Civil), BA in Communication Studies, and a Master of Public Policy.

Tanya Trujillo, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Water and Science
Tanya Trujillo is a water lawyer with more than 20 years of experience working on complex natural resources management issues and interstate and transboundary water agreements. She most recently worked as a project director with the Colorado River Sustainability Campaign. Before then, she served as the Executive Director of the Colorado River Board of California. She has served as Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and as Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at Interior. A native New Mexican, Tanya attended Stanford University and the University of Iowa College of Law.

Jennifer Van der Heide, Chief of Staff
Jennifer Van der Heide has over 25 years of federal, state and local experience in legislative, legal and electoral sectors. She most recently served as Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Deb Haaland, and had been Chief of Staff and Political Director for Rep. Mike Honda. Jennifer previously served as the Washington Director and on-reservation Tribal Attorney for the Hoopa Valley Tribe; Tribal Attorney for California Indian Legal Services; and in private litigation practice in CA. She has a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University, and a J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, with a focus on public interest law.

Andrew (Drew) Wallace, Director of Congressional Affairs
A native of Houston, Texas, Drew Wallace has worked in senior policy roles in both houses of Congress. Over the last twelve years, he has served in the office of former Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), finishing as Chief of Staff. Drew has a record of significant contributions to bipartisan legislative successes across a range of issues, in particular energy, the environment, and conservation. He received a B.A. in Political Science from Kenyon College in Ohio and a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law in Virginia. Drew lives in Arlington, Va. with his wife and two sons.

Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director, Fish and Wildlife Service
Martha has spent her career fostering a love of the outdoors. Growing up on a farm, she gained an appreciation for place and all that comprises it. This passion led her to the wild places of the West where she focused on public lands and wildlife – first as attorney for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks, then as Deputy Solicitor Parks and Wildlife at the Department of the Interior, as a professor at the Blewett School of Law at the University of Montana, and most recently returning to the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks as its Director.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever before. Whatfinger.com is the only real conservative alternative to Drudge. It’s the tool I use to help keep up with all the day’s events, and it should be your tool, too.

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Fracking Ban is Just One of Many Ways for Biden/Harris to Attack Oil and Gas

Assuming that the various challenges being filed by President Donald Trump this week to election results in several states fail and Democrat Joe Biden does become the next President of the United States, the potential impacts to the oil and gas industry in the U.S. would be numerous and severe. While only one significant oil and gas-related issue was raised to high prominence during the general election campaign – Biden’s promises to ban hydraulic fracturing at various times and levels – it is a mistake to assume that that would be the only way in which a Biden/Harris Administration would impact the industry.

The first tranche of impacts will come in the form of executive orders. Like the Obama/Biden presidency before him, a great deal of President Trump’s energy-related policy has been enacted via executive orders. The obvious vulnerability of any executive order is that it usually can be easily reversed by a successor in office. Thus, the most immediate impacts of a Biden presidency will come in the form of efforts to increase regulation on the energy industry via the reversal of various Trump executive actions. Biden and Harris repeatedly promised to take these actions throughout their campaign, so we should expect a quick follow through on what amounts to low-hanging fruit.

Those likely executive order reversals include:

·        Re-entry of the United States into the Paris Climate Accords

·        Re-entry of the United States into the Obama-era Iran deal, which would free up Iran to dramatically increase its exports and potentially impact crude prices;

·        Trump’s order to end the Council on Environmental Quality’s guidance that all federal permitting decisions and NEPA reviews must consider climate change impacts;

·        Trump’s order to disband the Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases;

·        Trump’s various orders designed to eliminate delays in federal permitting processes.

We can also expect a Biden presidency to follow through on his promises to ban hydraulic fracturing on federal lands and waters, which represent a very sizable percentage of overall U.S. oil and gas production. This can be accomplished by an order from either a President Biden or from his future Secretary of the Interior, although we should also expect Interior to follow up and attempt to frame it in the form of regulations in order to make it more of a permanent change.

It is also important to remember that Sen. Kamala Harris promised to eliminate hydraulic fracturing entirely in the U.S. repeatedly during her own presidential effort in 2019, and never really backed off of that promise during the general election campaign as Biden’s running mate. On the few occasions when she was asked about it, she was always very careful to say that “Joe Biden will not ban fracking,” and no more than that.

 

Read the Rest Here

 

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is the only real conservative alternative to Drudge, and deserves to become everyone’s go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

Open post

Gavin Newsom’s Unbridled Energy Hubris

Three big oil and gas-related stories this week were all interrelated with one another, though few really understand that to be the case. Those stories were:

 

 

For Governor Newsom, banning hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” as it has come to be called – in his state is a relatively simple matter in what has become, for all intents and purposes, a one-party state. All he has to do is convince his overwhelming majorities in both houses of California’s state assembly to pass a bill mandating that all fracking operations cease within the state’s borders by a date certain.

Such a move would of course eliminate thousands of oil and gas-related jobs in the state, but most of those are concentrated in Republican Kern County and the surrounding parts of the Central Valley, over which the assembly’s Democrats would have little concern. Besides, they can all just respond to Republican and industry complaints with the Obama-era pretense that all those lost jobs and more will be made up by the heavily-subsidized wind and solar industries. It will be akin to former President Obama telling West Virginia coal miners and Ohio steel workers that their jobs are never coming back and they should all go learn to code.

Replacing the state’s millions of gas and diesel autos with electric vehicles will be far more complicated. Newsom’s order gets that ball rolling by requiring the California Air Resources Board to implement the phaseout of new gas-powered cars and light trucks in the coming years, and also require medium and heavy-duty trucks to be zero-emission by 2045 where possible. Sounds simple, right?

But here’s the thing about all of that: The generation and provision of energy is basically a zero-sum game. When you ban one energy source, you must figure out a way to generate the same amount of energy by another source. You either do that or you accept the reality that energy will become scarce, and thus far more expensive so that consumers demand less of it, and write off the negative economic consequences that will inevitably result.

Read the Rest Here

 

 

 

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is the only real conservative alternative to Drudge, and deserves to become everyone’s go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Did BP Really Say That Global Oil Demand Has Peaked? No, Not Really.

During a panel discussion in which I participated recently with three energy experts, the moderator asked us if we agreed with the recent projection by British oil giant BP that oil demand may have already peaked during 2019. Everyone on the panel answered with a firm “no.”

From my own perspective, I gave that answer in large part because all of the dozens of previous “peak oil” predictions – whether from the supply side or the more recent demand side reasoning – have turned out to be entirely wrong, often in hilarious fashion. From an historical perspective, it just seems like the safer position to take.

That’s not to downplay the position assumed by BP, whose internal expertise is undeniable. But it’s key to note that much of the media coverage the company’s findings have received portrays BP’s position as being far more absolute than it really is. The company’s position on “peak oil” is in fact highly-qualified.

As a part of its recently-released Global Energy Outlook study, the company ran three scenarios based on differing assumptions regarding how rapidly governments around the world would attempt to move to adopt emissions-reducing policies and subsidize renewables. The cases were labeled “Rapid” (the most aggressive assumptions), “Net-Zero” (assuming most governments would adopt ‘net-zero by 2050’ policies) and “Business as Usual”, in which progression would continue on the slower path seen to date.

In a COVID-19 hampered world in which governments across the globe are teetering on the brink of insolvency, the “Business as Usual” scenario certainly appears to be most likely to persist for the time being, given the multi-trillion dollar costs involved in the other two cases. Under that scenario, BP in fact projects that global demand will not only recover to pre-COVID levels seen late last year, but continue to grow through the year 2030.

Read the Rest Here

 

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is the only real conservative alternative to Drudge, and deserves to become everyone’s go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Trump: The Greatest Energy President in U.S. History

President Trump was in Midland, Texas on Wednesday, where he spoke about energy and its importance to our national security and our lives. Midland was the right place to deliver this speech, since it lies in the heart of the Permian Basin, the most prolific oil and gas play area on the face of the earth for the past five years.

At the event, the President also announced his administration would allow export authorizations for liquefied natural gas to be extended until the year 2050 and signed four permits, including two allowing exports of Texas crude oil to Mexico via truck and pipeline, the first of their kind.

Energy is a huge issue in this election for the simple fact that policy related to energy and the environment is one of the areas that are central to the Communist/Democrats’ efforts to turn our nation into a socialist country along the Venezuela model.

No president in our nation’s history has had a laser focus on promoting America’s energy resources similar to what President Trump has done.  His policies have played a major role in transforming America from a client state reliant on foreign imports from hostile nations to one of the major energy powerhouses on earth. His achievements in this area are truly historic and will have lasting impacts for years to come.

He is without doubt the greatest energy President in our nation’s history.

This was an excellent speech on the subject, and it is well worth the time to watch the video and maybe even read and absorb the transcript, both of which are provided below.

Here’s the Clip:

 

Transcript:

I really am thrilled to be here in Midland, Texas with the extraordinary men and women of Double Eagle Energy, and what a nice welcome. Thank you very much…big beautiful rigs behind me.

Thanks to the hard working citizens like you in United States Of America this is now the number one energy superpower anywhere in the world, so congratulations. It’s not that easy, but no one said it’s easy. We’re here today to celebrate your incredible achievements, we are also here to send a clear message to the Zealots radicals and extremists trying to shut down your and to make America subservient to foreign producers. That won’t happen to this nation again. Long time to be independent and.

A long time to be independent, and as long as I’m your president, we will never let anyone put American energy out of business, which is what they’d like to do. We will never again be relying on hostile foreign suppliers. We will defend your jobs and we will defend the Lone Star State, I love this state. We will defend Americans who found energy independence. Before going any further I want to provide you with a brief update on our battle against the China virus. Our hears are with the people of Texas. We love our people. We love our country. Statewide presenting patients testing positive has stabilized, and the number of new cases has begun to substantially decline. But Texans must remain vigilant.

To protect our seniors my administration has deployed personal protective equipment and rapid point of care testing systems to every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in your state. No matter where you go they have it.

This week, access hospitals are receiving 500 cases of antiviral treatment Remdesivir. It’s been very, very successful. Enough to treat 3200 patients.

Under my administration’s Operation Warp Speed, we’re developing vaccines in record time. Earlier this week, a promising vaccine entered the final stage of clinical trials long ahead of schedule, with more following very quickly behind. We have some of the greatest companies, labs in the world doing this. This is the fastest a vaccine has ever been developed. Together we will end the plague from China. We will defeat the virus.

I want to thank everyone at Double Eagle Energy for hosting us today, including co-founders, two great, young, smart people, Cody Campbell and John Sellers. Thank you, Cody. Thank you, John. Thank you fellas. Good job.

Thanks also to anterior secretary David Bernhardt. David, thank you. Energy secretary Dan Brouillette, Texas says keep him, we really kept him very busy. Where’s Dan? You’ve been kept very busy, very busy. A great Senator and a great friend of mine, Senator Ted Cruz. Ted, thank you. He’s out there fighting for you. I want to tell you. Thank you Ted.

Representatives, and these are friends of mine and they’re warriors, Jodey Arrington and Mike Conaway, thank you fellas. Thank you. Thank you. Great job. A very, very special man and a very special talent, Governor Greg Abbott. Thank you. Thank you, Greg. Great job you’re doing. He’s working hard and you’re doing a fantastic job. Our people are working together and you’re getting everything you need. So good. Thank you for doing such a good job and thank also Dan Patrick, your Lieutenant governor, my friend. Thank you very much, Dan. Great help, great team. No better team in the country. Thank you. Midland County judge, terry Johnson. Thank you Terry. Thank you. Your former governor, a great man, a friend of mine, secretary of energy, Rick Perry. Nobody did a better job than my Rick. Thank you Rick.

We have so many other distinguished guests and local leaders and we just want to thank you all for being here. Thank you all very much. Great honor. Thank you very much for being here.

Under the last administration, America’s energy industry was under relentless and unceasing attack, you know that. But the day I took the oath of office, we ended the war on American energy and we stopped the far left assault on American energy workers. Now the assault, you’ve seen what’s going on. It could come again. But I have a very strong feeling you’re not going to have to worry about it. If you do you’re in big, big trouble.

I withdrew from the one-sided, energy destroying Paris Climate Accord. It was a disaster. It cost us billions of dollars and it would have made us a noncompetitive nation.

We canceled the Obama administration’s job crushing clean power plan. You know all about that. I improved the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipeline immediately upon assuming office. We opened up ANWR in Alaska to energy exploration, ended the moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands and reopened public lands and offshore areas to oil and gas exploration. That’s where David Bernhardt’s done such a great job. Thanks David. We unlocked the full energy potential of Texas and New Mexico, and New Mexico, we’re proud that we’ve been here. We’re proud to help. You have been fantastic. A lot of jobs.

Since my election oil and gas production in the Permian Basin has more than doubled. Under the Trump Administration the United States has increased oil production by 3.1 million barrels per day. That’s some number, never been anything like that number. For the first time in nearly 70 years, we have become a net energy exporter, and the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas on the face of the earth.

To ensure we maintain this dominant position long into the future, we will never lose this position, my administration is announcing today that export authorizations for American liquified natural gas can now be extended through the year 2050. Mr. Governor is that long enough? Okay, 2050, that seems like a long time. He said let’s make it longer.

At the same time, we’re strongly protecting our environment. Air pollution is down significantly since I took office. While other countries are polluting the world’s air and oceans, we will never cease to be a leader in protecting our natural environment and that’s what’s happening. People don’t know that about us. We love our environment. Under my administration the United States will continue to have among the cleanest air and cleanest water anywhere on earth and that’s what we have.

Thanks to our pro- American energy policies, we’re also taking jobs in factories away from countries with poor environmental standards, such as China, and bringing jobs back to America, where they belong. Before the invisible enemy struck our shores, we created 800,000 new energy jobs, a third of them in Texas. That was just the new jobs. Add onto that millions of other jobs.

After the China virus struck we implemented historic economic relief. When oil crashed, I got Saudi Arabia, Russia and others to cut nearly ten million barrels a day and got OPEC plus and Mexico to agree to the deal and hence we’re okay. Now we’re back. We’re back. I will tell you, and I can tell you that I spoke with Dan and Greg and I spoke with Senator Ted Cruz, I spoke with a lot of people and we were very close to losing a very powerful, great industry, and we did a job. We did a great job all together, working together, a job like I think nobody could have done, and now we’re back and now we’re just going to keep expanding.

You will see. It’s happening, but we really did. We did a great job and I want to thank, frankly, Saudi Arabia. I want to thank Russia. I want to thank Mexico, and I want to thank OPEC as they call it, Plus. It’s called OPEC Plus. That’s OPEC, Plus a lot of other countries. But they all came to together and they did a job for the industry and we appreciate everybody’s help.

This action stabilized world oil prices that had been in a free fall and saved millions of energy jobs, and frankly it saved your industry. Four months ago people were very, very concerned about that industry, and now it’s just going to be a question of how fast will you put people on.

Through the Paycheck Protection Program we provided over one billion dollars in emergency aid to keep Texas energy workers on the payroll. We kept them all in the payroll. We opened up 30 million barrels of space in Strategic Petroleum Reserve, allowing American companies to store surplus oil to be sold at a later time, and we filled up our 75 million barrels in the Strategic Reserve. And Dan, you’ve done a fantastic-

In the strategic reserve and Dan you’ve done a fantastic job on that. Thank you very much.

I only wish he bought it when the oil was selling for zero and they paid you $37.00 in addition. You get a barrel plus $37.00, I said, “Dan, why didn’t you make that deal?” I would have loved that, but you did well. Thank you very much.

Today I’m taking another bold action to support energy jobs in Texas. In a few moments, I will sign four critical permits granting approval to vital pipeline and railway infrastructure on our nation’s border. That’s a big deal, this will include two permits allowing the export of Texas crude to Mexico, a giant victory for the workers of this state that you’ve been after for many years, right? You’ve been after that one for many years. I said, “What do I know about it? If you want to do it, it’s okay with me,” and we’re doing it, so that’s been a long time in the making.

We’re joined today by some of the incredible patriots of the Texas oil and gas industry who are benefiting from America’s energy boom. Josh was born and raised right here in Odessa and Midland, where’s Josh? Thank you Josh. After spending a few years away at school, Josh came back home to West Texas. Josh’s dad worked on the oil rigs. Josh worked on the oil rigs and he hopes his three children will work one day doing the same kind of incredible work and looking for the wonderful opportunities in American energy. Josh, thank you very much. Congratulate your family. You’re going to have a great future. Thank you. Appreciate it.

Brian Welch spent five years in the army, supporting our victory in the Gulf War. Then he became … Hello, Brian. Thank you Brian. Then he became an energy worker. Did you make the right move, Brian? I think so, right? Better believe it. With over 25 years of experience, Brian, a senior pumper with Double Eagle Energy, do they treat you well? They better, they better, I’m going to come back and see those two guys. Just like thousands of other veterans who work in this industry, Brian has made America safer with his service and now he’s helping keep us secure by maintaining American energy independence which we have. Thank you very much Brian. Great job. To Brian and every veteran who works in the American energy sector, we salute your noble service and we thank you very much, we thank you very much, everybody, thank you.

While my administration is fighting for workers like you, the radical left, have you ever heard of the radical left, Brian? You don’t want to hear about them. You don’t want to know about them, is fighting to abolish American energy, destroy the oil and gas industries and wipe out your jobs. Washington Democrats have embraced Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s nearly $100 trillion Green New Deal disaster. I have added the fourth word, it’s a disaster, which would ban oil and gas leasing on all federal lands and by the way there would be no fracking, so let me ask you Mr. Governor, how do you think that works in Texas? No fracking, no drilling, no oil, is that okay? Good.

I don’t think Biden’s going to do too well in Texas. He’s already written it off, it’s gone. No fracking, that’s part of his platform. If these far left politicians ever get into power, they will demolish not only your industry but the entire U.S. economy. Their stated agenda includes rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, spending billions and billions of dollars in order to make us non-competitive, and seeking an even higher level of restrictions mandating net zero carbon emissions which frankly is impossible, for all new homes, offices and buildings by 2030, not possible to do, and if you ever did it, it would cost so much that your home would be valueless.

This would cause the cost of construction to skyrocket and effectively end the use of natural gas in homes because it would be an impossible situation. They’re asking for things, just so you understand, that are impossible. I don’t know, I haven’t checked recently, what have they done with cows? Remember there were going to be no more cows and no more cattle. I think they might have left that one off the manifesto but it will be back.

Their platform calls for mandating zero carbon emissions from power plants by 2035. In other words, no drilling, no fracking, no coal, no shale, no gas, no oil. Otherwise they’ve been very good to the industry I think. You got to be careful. People don’t take it seriously. If they got in, you will have no more energy coming out of the great state of Texas, out of New Mexico, out of anywhere. Oklahoma, North Dakota, name them. Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania does a lot. People don’t realize that, a lot. It would throw Pennsylvania, Ohio, so many other places, you don’t realize how big it is, they want to have no fracking, no nothing.

The policies required to implement this extreme agenda would mean the death of American prosperity and the end of the American middle class. It would mean I think even worse than that. It would destroy our country. I used to say we would become another Venezuela, same ideology, you would become another Venezuela. Venezuela used to be one of the richest in the world per capita and period one of the richest in the world, among the largest oil reserves. Now they don’t have water, they don’t have medicine, they don’t have food, you got a lot of oil, it doesn’t matter. Doesn’t seem to matter.

They don’t have anything, and that can happen to us. All you have to do is look at Portland, look at the agitators, look at the anarchists in Portland and our people have done a great job in protecting our courthouse and I told my people a little while ago, if they don’t solve that problem locally very soon, we’re going to send in the National Guard and get it solved very quickly just like we did in Minneapolis and just like we will do in other places. They want to solve their problem, they’ve got a very short time to do it, but they’ll either solve their problem or we send in the National Guard.

The U.S. energy industry would grind to a halt and every single energy producing state would be plunged into a depression. Two million jobs would vanish overnight in just the state of Texas alone, and I think the number’s probably Greg a lot higher than two million. Millions more would disappear in New Mexico and Ohio and Colorado and Pennsylvania.

By imposing these punishing restrictions and beyond restrictions, the Washington radical left crazy Democrats would also send countless American jobs, factories, industries to China and to other foreign polluting states. They want us to take care of our air but China doesn’t take care of its air. In all fairness, India doesn’t take care of its air. Russia doesn’t take care of its air, but we do. Not on my watch it’s not going to happen I can tell you that. Because as long as I’m president, we will always put America first. It’s very simple, very simple. For years and years we put other countries first. We now put America first.

As we have seen in cities and towns across our nation, it’s not just Texas oil that the radical Democrats want to destroy, they want to destroy our country. These people are sick. They are sick and you better get used to hearing it because they have some real problems. They don’t love our country. In any way, shape or form, they don’t love our country. There’s no respect for the American way of life. There is no way of life ever in history that’s been like the great American way of life. There’s no respect but there is by you and there is by 95% of our people. Our people love our country and our people love our anthem and they love our flag. Remember that.

The radical left wants to tear down everything in its way and in its place they want power for themselves, they want power. Hard to believe, power. They want to uproot and demolish every American value. They want to wipe away every trace of religion from national life. They want to indoctrinate our children, defund our police, abolish the suburbs, incite riots, and leave every city at the mercy of the radical left. That’s not going to happen. That’s not going to happen. By the way, I just ended the rule on suburbs. You know the suburbs, people fight all of their lives to get into the suburbs and have a beautiful home. There will be no more low income housing forced in to the suburbs. I abandoned and took away and just rescinded the rule. It’s been going on for years, I’ve seen conflict for years. It’s been hell for suburbia.

It’s been hell for suburbia. We rescinded the rule three days ago, so enjoy your life, ladies and gentlemen. Enjoy your life. The proud people of Texas will never bow, kneel or surrender to the left-wing mob. You will always stand tall and strong for America.

Everyone here today carries the legacy of some of the toughest, fiercest, and most determined people ever to walk the face of the earth, your ancestors. You know that. You know that generations of Texas oil workers before you gave every last bit of sweat and heart and grit that they had to build up this country. They loved our country. They loved our country so much they couldn’t breathe. Their pride and devotion help raise up America cities, power our factories, propel our industries, sustain our families, supply our military and fuel America’s rise into the strongest, wealthiest and greatest nation the world has ever known.

We are now at the strongest point militarily, we’ve ever been due to… I’ll tell you, Ted? Where is Ted? He was a big leader in this. Stand up again, Ted. Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, and our Senate and our House approved $2.5 trillion to rebuild entirely the United States military. It’s now at a point that it’s the strongest it’s ever been. A lot of the equipment is still coming in, brand new planes and missiles and everything you can think of. And I want to thank you, Ted. You were one of the real leaders, and John too. The two of you, I appreciate it very much. You are well-represented. We have the greatest equipment on earth. We have equipment that I can’t even tell you about. You don’t want to know about it, frankly, and hopefully we’d never have to use it.

Now it’s your turn to help lead our nation to even greater heights. Today we give thanks for each and every one of you. And we are telling the Washington politicians trying to abolish American energy, don’t mess with Texas. And I just want to finish by saying that I’ve had a great relationship with your leaders, with your politicians. With all the people in Texas, we’ve had great success. We had a great victory. They said, “Oh, I don’t know if he’ll win.” And we won. Not only did we win, we won quickly and easily. And now we’re leading what we had even four years ago.

I will never let you down. I will never let Texas down. And your governor and lieutenant governor and your senators, they know that very well. Thank you. And thank you very much, Greg. Dan, thank you very much. Ted, thank you. Great job. God bless you, and the great state of Texas, God bless you. God bless you.

On behalf of every American energy worker, I will now sign these very important permits that your governor and your senators have been after me for a long time to sign. And they’ve been after a lot of other presidents to sign them, but they never were able to get it done. But we got it done. And we got it done for a great state called Texas. Thank you very much everybody.

[End]

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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OPEC+, G20 Produce A Very Dim Light At The End Of A Long, Dark Oil Price Tunnel

After the OPEC+ countries produced an oil supply reduction agreement on Thursday that amounted to a half-measure at best, industry observers had pinned some hope on a firm commitment to further cuts coming from G20 call that took place on Friday. Those hopes were not fulfilled, as the G20 communique included only vague language indicating those nations would work towards “market stability.”

The language in the comminique reads as follows: “We commit to ensure that the energy sector continues to make a full, effective contribution to overcoming COVID-19 and powering the subsequent global recovery. We commit to work together in the spirit of solidarity on immediate, concrete actions to address these issues in a time of unprecedented international emergency. We commit to take all the necessary and immediate measures to ensure energy market stability.”

In this political season in the U.S., that reads like issue-specific talking points from a candidate trying to say something to placate the public and media without really taking either side of the issue.

Leaving matters even more up in the air, Mexico refused to commit to its full share of the OPEC+ cuts, saying it could only reduce its own production by 100,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). U.S. President Donald Trump intervened to commit to his country to supporting Mexico’s part of the deal by supplying 250,000 bopd in cuts of its own, but left the process of how he would achieve that level of firm supply reduction unclear. This is a key question since the national U.S. government has very limited power to force firm reductions in production by the private companies that operate all wells in the country.

Canada, which has not been a participant in any previous efforts to control supply, also remained non-committal in terms of committing to any firm reductions of its own.

Read the Rest at Forbes.com

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Why Does Joe Biden Ignore Fracking Science ?

Today’s Campaign Update, Part II (Because the Campaign Never Ends)

Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats are fond of pointing fingers at others and accusing them of ignoring science. They resort to this canard whenever they are trying to avoid having to form a rational, fact-based argument around “climate change,” but they like to use it as a crutch against logic on other topics as well.

But in Sunday night’s debate, when Biden once again demonized hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” – and promised his administration would invoke a “no new fracking” policy should he actually stumble into the White House next January, it was Biden and no one else who was ignoring real, actual science.

Ironically, in ignoring the actual science around the very safe, well-regulated industrial process of fracking, Biden was ignoring the advice of the senior officials who held regulatory sway over oil and gas-related activities while he served as Vice President. These officials include, but are far from limited to:

Steven Chu, Stanford PhD. Nobel Prize Winner (Physics) DOE Secretary

U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, (Juris Doctor from University of Michigan) DOI Secretary

Sally Jewell (Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington) DOI Secretary

Gina McCarthy (Master of Science in Environmental Health Engineering and Planning and Policy, Tufts University) EPA Administrator

Lisa Jackson (Master of Science in chemical engineering from Princeton University) EPA Administrator

Each and every one of these cabinet-level appointees by President Barack Obama testified and commented on the record on multiple occasions throughout the Obama/Biden administration that hydraulic fracturing was a safe and well-regulated process that offers no threat to groundwater and produces very little air emissions. These senior Obama-era officials were literally forced to make these admissions after spending years in the conduct of a vain search for examples of fracking polluting groundwater or releasing major, harmful air emissions.

The effort at the EPA rose to such hyperbolic levels that one EPA Region 6 administrator, former SMU professor, Dr. Al Armendariz, was removed after his allegations of groundwater contamination by Range Resources were proven to be false. However, that proof did not prevent the State of New York from using Armendariz’s findings in its own doctored report that was used to justify banning fracking within its state borders.

Mr. Biden loves to talk about his years of serving as Vice President to President Obama. Yet, when it comes to fracking and the science his own administration developed and communicated during those 8 years in office, the former VEEP seems to have developed a mental block.

But no worries – we will continue to remind him – and you – of the real, extremely well-developed body of science that surrounds this safe and well regulated industrial process. Because facts are stubborn and important things, especially during troubling times such as these.

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Democrats Present a Stark Reality for the Oil Industry in 2020 Elections

The time has come for people in the oil and gas business — especially its senior executives and those who do government affairs work within the larger companies — to wake up to the reality of the Democratic Party as it exists today, as exemplified by its current crop of presidential contenders and caucuses in both houses of Congress.

Simply put, this is not your father’s Democratic Party.

Gone are the days when there existed a subset of fairly moderate Democratic members of Congress in both the House and Senate who could be classified as strong supporters of the oil and gas industry. There are no more Mary Landrieus in today’s United States Senate, nor even a Heidi Heitkamp to be found. In the House, you still have one identifiable Democrat — Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, who can be said to be a real supporter of the oil and gas industry, but that’s pretty much it. And even Rep. Cuellar was so cowed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he cast a “yes” vote to impeach the most pro-oil and gas president in U.S. history on the flimsiest grounds imaginable in December.

Gone are the days when a startup industry trade association, America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), could be effective by hiring a former Clinton operative to be its president and hiring a raft of pro-Democrat contractors to shape its messaging. ANGA, created at the outset of the Obama Administration in early 2009, was able to quickly become a force for promoting the benefits of natural gas using that model a decade ago. A decade later, pretty much none of the Democrat senators and congressmen with whom ANGA formed effective working relationships remain in Congress. All have been replaced by Republicans, or by more radical left-wing, anti-oil and gas members.

While ANGA and other industry trade associations were able to form working relationships with many Democrats of the time — even in those years, those Democrats could not be counted on for industry support on the truly big votes. ANGA and the rest of the industry, for example, were unable to secure a single Democratic vote during the battle over the national carbon cap-and-trade bill that barely failed in 2010.

I know all of this to be true because I was intimately involved in ANGA’s work during those years when I was Director of Government Affairs at El Paso Corporation. Working to form those relationships with Democrats in Congress made sense at the time since a number of them really were pro-oil and gas, at least to some extent, and because there was a Democratic administration in place that was decidedly hostile to the industry’s interests.

Read the Rest Here

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Biden Goes Full-on Fascist in Targeting Fossil Fuel Executives for Prison

Today’s Campaign Update, Part II
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Remember, Quid Pro Joe is the “moderate” among the leading Democrat presidential contenders. – Earlier this week, Joe Biden promised to imprison fossil fuel executives for the alleged impacts their companies have had on the climate in a clear effort to pander to the Democrat Party’s radical base. In making the pledge, Biden – the so-called “moderate” in the Democrat field of candidates – joins leftist radicals like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth warren in promising not to just further regulate coal, oil and natural gas in the U.S. but to imprison executives from those key U.S. industries.

As reported by Joshua Caplan at Breitbart, Biden made the remarks during a campaign event attended by dozens in Peterborough, New Hampshire:

“If we don’t stop using fossil fuels–” an attendee began a question to the candidate.

“We’re all dead,” Biden interrupted.

Earlier in the event, Biden vowed as president to hold energy giants liable for global warming and made a pledge to even jail executives.

“We have to set sort of guide rails down now, so between the years 2021 and 2030, it’s irreversible – the path we set ourselves on. And one of which is doing away with any substance for fossil fuels – number one,” Biden said.

“Number two, holding them liable for what they have done,” he said of fossil fuel executives, “particularly in those cases where your underserved neighborhoods and – you know the deal, okay. And by the way, when they don’t want to deliver, put them in jail. I’m not joking about this.”

Here’s a video clip:

Ok, so, he’s “not joking” about putting people who run companies in fully-regulated industries in jail for doing things their companies all had local, state and federal government permits to do. Let’s be clear about this: Both the coal and oil and gas industries are regulated by all of those levels of government. Literally every action any company in either industry makes requires a permit by some government agency to make.

Local governments regulate their traffic, truck sizes on specific roadways, their dust and noise creation; state governments regulate their surface mining, pit mining, drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations. Oil and gas pipelines that do not cross state lines are fully regulated by state agencies; those that do cross state lines are regulated by both state and federal agencies. Refineries and import/export facilities are regulated by agencies/commissions/councils at all levels of government.

This has been the case since these industries were conceived and instituted, and yet now every leading candidate for the Democrat Party’s presidential nomination proposes to toss company executives into prison for undertaking the production of the fuel sources that drive the U.S. and global economy, all of which was permitted and licensed in advance by a vast array of government entities. This is what Quid Pro Joe and the other leading Democrats propose now to retroactively turn into crimes.

This is full-on fascism, folks. It is brutish, unthinking, moronic thuggery. And of course, it’s exactly where the global religion of Climate Change wants to take our society: Into the pits of socialist fascism.

You could never make this stuff up. Not in a million years.

 

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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The Oil and Gas Situation: Reviewing 6 Predictions

Today’s Energy Update
(Because Energy Fuels Our Lives)

As Q1 2019 comes to a close, it is time to review the status of some predictions I made here the day after Christmas for what we would see during the first half of 2019. Accurately gauging where the industry will be several months into the future is always a crap shoot, and as usual, I find myself feeling glad I didn’t go out and bet the farm on any of these.

First, let’s look at what I had to say about the domestic rig count as calculated by the folks at DrillingInfo:

…my first prediction is that we will see a gradual fall in the domestic U.S. rig count throughout the first half of 2019. Indeed, the DrillingInfo Daily Rig Count already fell by about 3% during December, from 1160 to 1120 on December 25. I’m betting that, by June 30, that measure will be below 1050…

This particular count finished the quarter at 1049, after falling slowly but steadily throughout the first three months of the year. This represents a 9% drop since Christmas day, and there is no real reason to expect this trend to change during the second quarter, with so many upstream companies prioritizing stock buybacks and other programs designed to return capital to investors and lenders over the mad rush to increase production we saw throughout 2017 and the first 8 months of 2018.

A reasonable updated guess would be that we will see the DrillingInfo count fall to right around 1000 by the time June 30 rolls around.

What about crude prices? Here’s what I predicted they would do in Q1:

…my second prediction is that the price for WTI will rise again, but will not exceed $60 during the first half of 2019.

As things turned out, I had the general direction of crude prices right, but underestimated how rapidly they would rise, as WTI closed at $60.14 in Friday’s trading. The basic market dynamics that advocated in December for what has been a 20% recovery in the WTI benchmark remain in place today. Global demand continues to rise more rapidly than all the experts thought it would at the first of the year, and the OPEC-plus nations still maintain pretty strong compliance with their export quotas.

 

Read the Rest Here

 

 

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Trump Tweets, OPEC Blinks

The Evening Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Tired of all this Winning yet? – If you’ve been irritated by how much it’s cost you lately to fill your car with gasoline, well, cheer up.  President Trump is on the case.

In fact, if you believe the folks at Bloomberg, he’s already caused the Saudis to blink and start working to get up to another 800,000 barrels of oil per day onto the global market in an effort to stabilize the price for crude oil at current or slightly lower levels.  Given that crude is the raw material from which gasoline is refined, a halt to the rapid rise in that commodity’s prices that has taken place in the last year will also stop the rise of the price at the pump.  Crude prices dropped more than $3.00/barrel (roughly 5%) on Friday in response to the Saudi/OPEC announcement of their intention.

So, how did President Trump accomplish all of this?  Optically at least, he did it with a single tweet.  On April 20, the POTUS took to his famous Twitter feed to slam OPEC for the rapidly rising price of gasoline as Americans headed into the summer driving season:

As Bloomberg reports, the Trump tweet produced an immediate reaction among the various OPEC ministers:

OPEC officials were in a meeting at the opulent Ritz-Carlton hotel in Jeddah on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast when Trump tweeted his views and they immediately saw it as a significant intervention.

“We were in the meeting in Jeddah, when we read the tweet,” OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said on Friday. “I think I was prodded by his excellency Khalid Al-Falih that probably there was a need for us to respond,” he said. “We in OPEC always pride ourselves as friends of the United States.”

Given that, unlike his immediate four predecessors in office, President Trump does not hesitate to lever negotiations over seemingly unrelated matters into one another, using all of the influence of the United States to obtain positive results, these OPEC countries also have developed a new-found sense of respect – likely bordering on fear – for expressions of concern coming from the U.S., even when they come from a Presidential tweet.  Perhaps even especially when they come from a Presidential tweet, come to think of it.

Now, probably there was more to this new attitude suddenly being expressed by OPEC countries.  The Bloomberg story cites a recent congressional hearing covering proposed legislation that would attempt to make OPEC and other commodity cartels subject to the U.S. Sherman Anti-Trust Act, and there have likely been negotiations between U.S. and officials from Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations taking place behind the scenes since April 20.   But there is no doubt at all the President’s tweet got this ball rolling.

So, when you next go to fill up your car and notice that the price of unleaded has dropped a dime a gallon in response to Friday’s 5% drop in the price for crude oil, you know who to thank.

Isn’t it nice to have a President who’s looking out for our interests instead of the interests of some nebulous “international community?”

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

Open post

On This Earth Day, Thank Mother Earth for the Gift of Fossil Fuels

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Today is Earth Day, and it is the perfect time to celebrate the natural resources like oil, natural gas and coal, which are gifts to humanity from Mother Earth herself.  These indispensable drivers of modern society will no doubt be demonized today amid all the frightful doom and gloom predictions that will be launched by environmental activists and repeated by various media outlets.

All the vitriol directed at these fossil fuels by the environmental community notwithstanding, it is a simple fact that our prosperous, modern, energy-hungry society was made possible by the existence of these fuels.  Without the discovery of and ability to produce fossil fuels, it is likely that mankind would still be mired in a primitive form of existence, reliant on burning wood for heat, horses for transportation, and still living largely in the dark after nightfall.

Without the miracle of the petroleum-fueled internal combustion engine, there would be no automobiles – or primitive ones at best – dirigibles would probably still be our main mode of air transportation, there would have been no space program to drive all the technological advancement of the second half of the 20th century.  Without those things, there would be no high tech industry to speak of, no Internet, and thus no ability to read what I’m writing here.

But what about wind, solar and nuclear?  The production of modern wind turbines, solar panels and nuclear power plants is extremely energy-intensive enterprises, and is by and large powered by the burning of fossil fuels.  In other words, without the massive energy levels generated by the fossil fuel chicken, the “green” energy eggs would not have been possible.  Few of those gigantic wind turbines you see dotting landscapes across America will, in their entire useful lifetime, generate as much power as was required to fabricate them, transport them to their locations, and erect them.

And on this particular day we should all be doubly thankful for the recent discovery of the means – hydraulic fracturing, combined with horizontal drilling – of producing oil and natural gas from shale rock formations.  Because while Europe continues to struggle with failing “cap and trade” carbon trading schemes that haven’t reduced that continent’s greenhouse gas emissions, those same emissions have been reduced in the US to pre-1994 levels through increased use of natural gas in the power generation sector.  Thus, while radicals in the “green” community have done everything they can to turn “fracking” into their cause du jour for limiting or banning, the product of their boogeyman has done more to clean the air through the free market than any of the myriad command and control regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

So on this 49th celebration of Earth Day, let’s all try to remember that one of the greatest gifts Mother Earth has ever given us is the fossil fuels that make such worldwide celebrations possible.

Meanwhile, as you will no doubt be assaulted all day today with all manner of frightful scenarios about our future environmental challenges, you might find it edifying to review similar pronouncements made by the environmental luminaries of the day at the inaugural Earth Day celebration:

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, PakistanChina and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” – Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”  – Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich

“Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich

And my very favorite of them all:

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” – Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

Have a great Earth Day today.

Just another day in fossil-fueled America.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

Open post

The Best Energy Policy Is To Let Markets Work Freely

America’s ongoing oil and natural gas revolution is delivering big benefits to our economy, our environment and to our nation’s security. As the world’s top energy producer, America is leveraging this position of strength to grow good-paying jobs and economic opportunity here at home while firming up important trading partnership with key allies abroad. The increasing use of natural gas in power generation is also improving our environment at the same time.

This positive shift is a win for the America people and a blow to nations that previously used their energy resources against the U.S. as a political weapon.

Thankfully in Washington, American energy dominance is a central focus of the Trump administration’s policy priorities. With smart, jobs- and consumer-focused policies at the federal level as well as in energy-producing states, our economy and global political muscle will only grow stronger.

Anyone who follows energy trends hears a lot of debate around new pipelines, and how anti-fossil fuel activists want to stop infrastructure development that’s critical to creating jobs and boosting America’s manufacturing sector. We see much less discussion in the energy-related news media about how refineries and existing pipelines are responding to energy revolution’s shifting market dynamics and the benefits these actions bring to consumers.

In the Midwest, refineries have made massive new investments – literally billions of dollars in capital – to expand operations to process more North American crude in recent years. According to Morningstar, these refiners can now process 300+ more mbopd today compared to 2010. And it’s a trend that will likely continue forward.

Read The Rest Here

Open post

STEER: A Business Model That Works

It was great to be able to write this issue’s cover feature on the South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable (STEER) and its outstanding staff, including President and CEO Omar Garcia. Watching the organization have so much success has been very rewarding, since I played a minor role in its creation back in 2012; and writing the piece provided a chance to reflect on the STEER business model and why the oil and gas industry should try to replicate it in other parts of the country.

By late 2011, it had become obvious to everyone that the Eagle Ford Shale was a world-class resource that represented an unprecedented opportunity for economic development in South Texas. Shortly after a lunch during which I and a group of colleagues talked about how best to go about protecting this opportunity, I got on a conference call with the Haynesville Shale Operators’ Committee (HSOC). This coincidence of timing was what spurred my involvement in the germination of STEER.

HSOC was the brainchild of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association (LOGA) and its President, Don Briggs. Created during the height of the development of the Haynesville Shale natural gas development, the organization served as an extremely effective voice for the industry in what was at the time the busiest shale development region of the country. The challenge the Haynesville Shale presented to LOGA was its concentration in the northwest corner of the state, hundreds of miles from the state capital of Baton Rouge, where LOGA’s offices were located.

Rather than have its staff constantly travel back and forth between Baton Rouge and Shreveport to help its members address community and regulatory issues, LOGA came up with the model of establishing a committee within its organizational structure that essentially functioned as a separate trade association. To become members of HSOC, companies paid separate dues, and the committee itself had its own separate staff.

To further distinguish HSOC as a separate entity, the HSOC staff seldom became engaged in the single most crucial role of any state trade association — lobbying the state’s legislature. Instead, HSOC focused on helping members with community and media relations, functions that have not traditionally been strong points for the industry’s legacy associations.

The model worked. HSOC was a tremendous asset for producers, the media and communities in the region, all of whom needed an honest-broker intermediary to help understand and communicate with one another.

Seeing no reason why this model wouldn’t work just as well in South Texas — where the sudden, massive growth in oil and gas activity was very predictably creating lots of friction and challenges in the local communities — I took the idea to Rob Looney, then-President of the Texas Oil & Gas Association (TXOGA), one of the industry’s largest trade associations, headquartered in Austin. My involvement ended there, since I had a conflicting role with one of the industry’s national trade associations at that time.

Read The Rest Here

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