In The Pipeline 8/3/11

Everybody’s Out To Get Me!  IHS/CERA’s Wrong!  Everybody’s Wrong!  All the people in the Gulf are wrong!  I’m a lawyer!  Oil and gas engineers don’t know anything!  Those jobless people are just faking it! Fuel Fix (8/2/11) reports: The United States’ top offshore drilling regulator is calling out one of the nation’s top energy research firms, accusing IHS CERA of issuing a biased and “fundamentally flawed” report that suggested Gulf drilling projects were caught in a government permitting logjam…The industry-funded analysis, released July 21, concluded that there was a backlog of offshore drilling permits awaiting government approval, with the delays costing coastal states jobs and tax revenues…But Michael Bromwich, the head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, says the IHS CERA report presents “misleading conclusions about the current state of offshore oil and gas drilling.”..In a letter to IHS CERA Chairman Daniel Yergin, Bromwich today said the report overlooks the sweeping changes in drilling safety and environmental reviews that the government implemented after last year’s spill. That includes a mandate that oil and gas companies be prepared to contain crude from a blown-out underwater well — a requirement that industry was unable to satisfy until early this year…Bromwich said:“Even though all of these developments are absolutely central to understanding the pace of plan and permit approval in the period covered by your report, they are barely mentioned. The six-month period covered by your report cannot be properly understood without context, and yet your report is altogether incomplete and superficial in describing the context.”

Seriously, what could go wrong? SMH (8/2/11) reports: FARMERS fear a new rush of environmental plantings for biodiversity and carbon offsets will accelerate the loss of land for food production…In an emerging trend, carbon traders are starting to buy farms to generate carbon credits for sale under voluntary schemes or – assuming legislation clears the Senate – the federal government’s Carbon Farming Initiative…Storing carbon dioxide through reforestation and other techniques such as soil carbon opens up a potentially vast new market opportunity for rural Australia. The president of the NSW Farmers Federation, Fiona Simson, said while farmers supported the CFI, ”carbon farming with a focus on forestry plantations is just another land-use conflict that’s going to take land away from food production”…The first acquisition linked to the CFI occurred last week. The federal government and R.M. Williams Agricultural Holdings combined to pay $13 million for Henbury Station in the Northern Territory outback, to be transformed into the world’s largest carbon farm…In NSW the value of land bought by carbon traders for carbon offsets in 2010-11 was tiny: the Herald has confirmed one sale last year, of a 1700-hectare sheep and grain farm, Lorraine at Tullamore, in the state’s far west, to the stock exchange-listed CO2 Group and utility ACTEW Corporation…The chief executive of CO2 Group, Andrew Grant, said the property was marginal farming land and had been planted with blue leaf mallee eucalypt, a species endemic to the region. Reforestation was a priority for combating dry land salinity and restoring catchment health.

Next time someone blathers on about how federal bureaucrats really want to help people, send them this link WUSA (8/2/11) reports: Eleven-year-old aspiring veterinarian, Skylar Capo, sprang into action the second she learned that a baby woodpecker in her Dad’s backyard was about to be eaten by the family cat…”I’ve just always loved animals,” said Skylar Capo. “I couldn’t stand to watch it be eaten.”…Skylar couldn’t find the woodpecker’s mother, so she brought it to her own mother, Alison Capo, who agreed to take it home…”She was just going to take care of it for a day or two, make sure it was safe and uninjured, and then she was going to let it go,” said Capo…But on the drive home, the Capo family stopped at a Lowes in Fredericksburg and they brought the bird inside because of the heat. That’s when they were confronted by a fellow shopper who said she worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service…”She was really nervous. She was shaking. Then she pulled out a badge,” said Capo…The problem was that the woodpecker is a protected species under the Federal Migratory Bird Act.  Therefore, it is illegal to take or transport a baby woodpecker.  The Capo family says they had no idea.

Employment Prevention Agency is about to miss the gravy train thanks to the House Wall Street Journal (8/3/11) reports: The White House lookback on “excessive” regulation has concluded and—breaking news—there’s more work left to do. So let’s commend those in Congress trying to force the Administration to conduct a credible cost-benefit test…Last month the House Energy Committee passed a bill that reforms the Environmental Protection Agency’s process for creating new rules and mandates, which it has been doing with a special fervor under administrator Lisa Jackson. Known by the acronym the Train Act, the bill would help expose some of the true costs that the agency is trying to hide…One major improvement is that the Train Act broadens the definition of costs. Under the status quo, the EPA can define almost anything as a benefit, and does. But the EPA rarely considers more tangible economic consequences, like its effects on employment, the price and reliability of energy, or the competitiveness of U.S. companies…The Train Act would also require the EPA at least to gesture at the costs of its larger agenda. The agency is now tightening nearly every eco-regulation in existence, abusing in particular traditional air pollutant laws to shut down coal-fired power plants. This cluster of overlapping rules will cause far more cumulative damage than merely one or another rule would by itself…A utility, for instance, might be able to comply with a single new rule, but under the EPA firehose it might be forced to retire some of its operations. Beyond the direct costs to the utility, plant closures would lead to job losses and higher prices for consumers and business, with their own knock-on effects…This cost-benefit bias may explain why Ms. Jackson could claim at a “green jobs” conference in February that under the Clean Air Act, “For every $1 we have spent, we have gotten $40 of benefits in return. So you can say what you want about EPA’s business sense. We know how to get a return on our investment.”

Now with some extra money to spend with the debt limit increase, lawmakers are turning to renewable energy projects New York Times (8/3/11) reports? Congress’ debt deal leaves climate advocates grappling with a decade of potentially declining environmental budgets and narrowing hopes of attaching a tax on greenhouse gas emissions to pay down the deficit…The deadline measure, passed with bipartisan support in the House last night, promises $917 billion in discretionary cuts over the next 10 years, with decreases of up to $1.5 trillion more ushered in later this year. Huge chunks of funding would be eliminated from the Pentagon and government agencies, prompting concerns that programs related to renewable energy, climate science and technology research could come under the knife for years to come…It’s unclear where the deepest craters will occur, but clean energy supporters urged lawmakers to avoid painful reductions at the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which searches for breakthrough technologies to radically alter the nation’s energy use. Other vulnerable programs include energy grants, loan guarantees, and tax credits for wind, solar and other clean energies…Specific cuts aren’t known, but Joshua Freed, vice president of clean energy at Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank, described a vivid choice that the Republican-led House will soon be faced with: Cut agency budgets with modern medical precision or hack away with practices used on Civil War battlefields.

Drill, Wyoming, Drill Fuel Fix (8/3/11) reports: Three companies expect within weeks to submit a plan to vastly increase the number of gas wells in central Wyoming…The targeted area now has about 500 producing gas wells…Encana Oil and Gas, Noble Energy and ConocoPhillips are talking about adding some 4,200 deep gas wells in the remote sagebrush country about 30 miles east of Riverton…Encana spokesman Randy Teeuwen says his company is taking the lead on the project and will turn in a plan of development to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management within a few weeks…The project would cover 400 square miles of mostly BLM land. The companies would tap deep, tight sand formations over 15 years of drilling…The gas field would be among Wyoming’s largest if fully developed.

Speak Your Mind


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