July 29, 2010

Must See TV:Click this LINK at 10AM today to Watch LSU Prof. Joe Mason Discussthe Economic Impact of Obama Offshore Moratorium. "As the Senate weighs its options for offshoredrilling reform, how is the current moratorium on offshore drilling affectingoil companies and jobs numbers? During today’s OnPoint, Joseph Mason, aprofessor of banking at Louisiana State University, discusses a new study,commissioned by the American Energy Alliance, on the economic effects of thedrilling moratorium. He explains why he believes the government is dragging itsfeet in investigating the circumstances of the Gulf spill and gives his take onthe various policy options being discussed in Congress. Today’s OnPoint will air at 10 a.m. EDT."

You Know that60 Year Old Process (Hydraulic Fracturing) we use to Extract Oil and NaturalGas? She’s Center Stage in Senate Energy Debate. Wall StreetJournal (7/28)Reports, "A U.S. Senate energy bill drew opposition fromnatural-gas companies on Wednesday after the surprise addition of a measurethat would force companies to disclose the chemicals used at each well beingdrilled in huge gas fields located across the U.S. The opposition, from thegroups Energy In Depth and America’s Natural Gas Alliance, poses a new hurdlefor the energy bill just days before it is due for a vote on the Senate floor.It also suggests the difficulties facing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D,Nev.), who had also sought to benefit natural gas by including incentives fornatural-gas powered vehicles. The battle over drilling-fluid disclosure pitsenvironmentalists and some local activists against a production technique thathas allowed access to vast new natural gas supplies. Environmentalists fearthat the chemicals used in the drilling procedure, known as hydraulicfracturing, will contaminate drinking water. Companies say no evidence existsthat the practice is unsafe. Companies also say that while the chemicals aren’tpublicly disclosed because they are commercially sensitive, the information isshared with local regulators. "The entire universe of additives used inthe fracturing process is known to regulators and the public," Lee Fuller,the executive director of Energy In Depth, a group that represents oil and gasproducers, said in a prepared statement."

Does Josh FoxWork at Politico or Just Ghost Write for Their "Energy" Reporter? DispatchFiled on Senate HF Language About as Accurate as GasLand Itself. Politico (7/29) reports, "Thefight over the Senate offshore drilling "spill bill" shifted Wednesday from theGulf of Mexico to the mountains of western Pennsylvania, as Republicans slammedthe last-minute inclusion of language to regulate a controversial technique toextract onshore natural gas. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) addedthe language Tuesday requiring natural gas drillers to disclose the chemicalsthey pump into the ground as part of the hydraulic fracturing, orhydrofracking, process. Republicans are wary of the addition, which comes onPage 404 of the 409-page spill response bill that Reid wants the Senate to takeup before the recess. But now there is fear that the process could pollutelocal water supplies. That phenomenon came under the spotlight earlier thissummer with the documentary film "Gaslands," in which people living nearhydrofracking projects showed their tap water running dark and murky andsometimes even igniting on fire. Fracking is exempt from many of the federalregulations that govern other forms of energy extraction under the 1974 SafeDrinking Water Act, including a requirement that companies disclose whatchemicals they inject into the ground. (That’s thanks to a provision insertedin a 2005 energy law by then-Vice President Dick Cheney, known as the "Halliburtonloophole" – Halliburton is one of the nation’s leading providers ofhydrofracking services.)"

Cape Wind "Baitand Switch." Offshore Wind Power to Cost at Least 25% (!) More ThanConventional Generation. Good Luck New England. David G. Tuerck and Jonathan Haughton write(7/28) in the Boston Globe, "For years CapeWind Associates, which plans to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound,told us that it could supply renewable energy to the New England market andsave ratepayers $25 million a year. Considering the cost of installing andoperating the system (about $2 billion in present-value terms), it was alwaysunlikely that Cape Wind could deliver on this promise. Yet, it seemed possiblethat by adding significantly to power supplies, Cape Wind could bring about atleast a temporary decrease in the price of power. Now we learn, however, thatratepayers will pay more for their electricity if Cape Wind builds and goesonline. Recently, National Grid entered into an agreement to buy power fromCape Wind for almost 21 cents per kilowatt hour. It costs National Grid about 9cents per kWh to get the same power from conventional sources. Under the state’sRenewable Portfolio Standard program, the electric companies charge ratepayersan additional 6 cents per kWh for that portion of their service (currently 5percent) that the power companies are supposed to obtain from renewablesources. Hence, power that previously cost 15 cents will now cost 21 cents.National Grid’s biggest customers are protesting this price increase."

Louisiana Congressman’s Fight to Keep Jobs in his District, UnitedStates Being Ignored by Speaker Pelosi and Anti-Energy Members of Congress.The Hill (7/28) reports, "Rep.Bill Cassidy (R-La.) signaled Wednesday that he will seek a House vote tooverturn the Obama administration’s six-month ban on deepwater oil-and-gasdrilling that began in late May. Democrats are unlikely to allow a vote on hisamendment when their Gulf of Mexico oil spill response bill comes to the floorFriday. But Cassidy’s effort nonetheless shows that opponents of the drillingfreeze will use the House debate as a forum to attack what they call aneconomically harmful and unnecessary ban. In addition to scuttling the existingban, Cassidy’s amendment "would also guard against any future moratoria bystating that ‘No Federal official may establish any general moratorium on orsuspension of offshore oil and gas operations that is substantially similar tothe moratorium, the decision memorandum, or any suspension referred to insubsection,’ " his office said. The ban is under attack from many Republicansand Gulf Coast lawmakers from both parties. But administration officials saythe pause is needed while new offshore safety requirements are implemented andinvestigations into the BP spill continue."

Expensive, Unreliable and Intermittent Energy Advocates Not Happy AboutRES being Left on Cutting Room Floor; We Call This a Win for the Consumer. E&E News(7/29, subs. req’d) reports, "Senate MajorityLeader Harry Reid yesterday rebuffed fellow Democrats and renewable industrygroups who insist there are 60 votes to pass a renewable electricity standardas part of the energy and oil spill package coming to the floor next week."I support it, I’ve always voted for it, but right now, we can’t count to60," the Nevada Democrat said yesterday in response to their claims. Reiddid not include language in his scaled-back energy legislation introduced thisweek to require utilities to generate a minimum percentage of their electricityfrom sources like wind, solar and geothermal, saying it did not have enoughsupport to clear the Senate. But many Democrats and renewable energy groupshave blasted the move, saying there are enough votes for a modest renewableelectricity standard. Among them is Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who says thereare about 62 senators who would support a 15 percent standard.The renewableenergy industry is also disputing Reid’s arithmetic. "We have 60 votes foran RES amendment and will continue to push for its consideration in thisbill," said American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode in astatement before the bill’s formal introduction."

Coal Country Targets Anti-Affordable Energy Members of Congress,Chairman of the House Anti-Natural Resource Production Committee in Mid-Terms.E&E News(7/28,subs. req’d) reports, "Several major coal companies plan to spend big to defeatcandidates they consider "anti-coal," now that corporate campaign spendingrules were relaxed by the Supreme Court last year. Companies and labor unionscan now set up politically active nonprofit organizations that do not havespending limits nor have to publicly report their financial activities. Thismeans nonprofits can launch well-funded advertising campaigns to support orattack candidates, as long as they do not coordinate with the politiciansdirectly. "With the recent Supreme Court ruling, we are in a position tobe able to take corporate positions that were not previously available inallowing our voices to be heard," wrote Roger Nicholson, senior vicepresident and general counsel at International Coal Group of West Virginia, inan undated letter he sent to other coal companies. "We’re requesting your considerationas to whether your company would be willing to meet to discuss a significantcommitment to such an effort." Nicholson listed three Democrats whom theindustry would like to see defeated by pro-coal Republicans this November: U.S.Senate Democratic nominee Jack Conway, who is running against Republican RandPaul for Kentucky’s open Senate seat; U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler (D-Ky.), who isrunning against Republican Garland "Andy" Barr; and U.S. Rep. NickRahall (D-W.Va.), who is running against Republican Elliott "Spike"Maynard."

Speak Your Mind


Anonymous says:
Your email has been received. Thank you for signing up.