In The Pipeline

Good News! Texas Wind Power breaks new records for showing up to work fourteen to twenty-five percent of the time instead of the usual 8%! Bad news; every hour wind makes a megawatt, U.S. subsidies mean we Borrow $22 more dollars from the Chinese who make the confounded things Houston Chronicle (8/11/12) reports: The wind hasn’t provided much relief to Texans during the recent run of 100-degree-plus days, but it has helped keep air conditioners humming…Texas’ wind turbines, particularly those along the Gulf Coast, have come through for the state’s electrical grid more than expected during the hot afternoon hours when demand has been highest…Wind accounts for 11 percent of the state’s total power capacity, and last year only 8 percent of the power produced in Texas came from wind turbines…But during last week’s daily power crisis, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s main high-voltage power grid, repeatedly touted wind power’s contributions during peak demand…Typically ERCOT expects only about 800 megawatts of power to come from the 9,500 megawatts of wind turbines installed around the state…But wind’s contribution ranged from 1,300 megawatts to 2,400 megawatts during peak demand — including 2,000 megawatts last Wednesday, when the state set a demand record at 68,294 megawatts…It’s a big improvement from last summer, when only 650 megawatts of wind power was humming during the peak hours on Aug. 23, when Texas hit its 2010 record of 65,776 megawatts…”The wind gods have been very, very good to us this summer,” said Ted Hofbauer, director of asset management for Pattern Energy, which owns and operates the 283-megawatt Gulf Wind project south of Kingsville in Kenedy County.

“We must destroy the village in order to save it” : Fracking Panel Head Justifies Federal Government Stealing State Authority NPR (8/10/11) reports: A Department of Energy panel hopes new recommendations — if implemented — will restore the public’s trust in hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” for natural gas…In the last few years, fracking has brought new life to old gas fields around the country. Most of the increasing production comes from dense layers of shale deep underground. By pumping huge deep underground amounts of water, along with smaller amounts of chemicals and sand, drillers can force gas out of shale…Due in part to fracking, the Energy Information Administration estimates the U.S. now has enough domestic natural gas to supply the country’s needs for 100 years, based on 2010 consumption levels…President Obama has declared natural gas key to the country’s energy future. Burning natural gas produces fewer greenhouse gases emissions than coal and oil, and as a domestic source of energy its creating much needed new jobs. But as gas booms have popped up across the country reports of problems have also increased. Critics worry fracking may be polluting ground water…Homeowners who live near the wells claim methane, and possibly toxic chemicals, are leaking into water supplies. These growing concerns prompted President Obama to call for a panel to examine how to make fracking cleaner.

Does anyone have Senator Reid’s email? He needs to know this bit of information Bloomberg (8/11/11) reports: Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) spent a decade moving chemical production to the Middle East and Asia. Now it’s leading the biggest expansion ever seen back home in the U.S. as shale gas revives the industry’s economics.
Dow is among companies planning to build crackers, industrial plants typically costing $1.5 billion apiece that process hydrocarbons into ethylene and other synthetic materials. The new crackers will be the first to be built in the U.S. since 2001 and the largest wave of additional capacity, John Stekla, a director at Chemical Market Associates Inc., a Houston-based consultant, said in an interview.
Driving this renaissance is the plunge in the price of natural gas, used in crackers as a raw material, to a nine-year low. New drilling methods are opening up vast shale formations from Texas to West Virginia. U.S. chemical investments stemming from shale gas may top $16 billion, creating 17,000 jobs directly and another 400,000 indirectly, according to the American Chemistry Council, a Washington-based industry group…“The U.S. now has investment-grade economics, and because of shale we are going to lock those economics in,” Dow Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris said. “We can grow our Americas base off our U.S. Gulf Coast assets. That is a big change.”

How is this different from what BOEMRE does? The Global Mail (8/11/11) reports: A man has been charged with trying to bilk oil and natural-gas firms out of millions of dollars in bogus environmental fees…Investigators allege a company calling itself Alberta Environmental Registry sent out false invoices last month that requested payment of environmental compliance fees…The invoices ranged from $400,000 to $3.3-million and were based on the number of wells owned and operated by each company…“It looked pretty sophisticated and it is alleged he did have knowledge of the oil and gas industry so that these invoices [were] very believable,” said Constable Tanya Bertulli of the Calgary Police Service economic crimes unit…“A lot of these companies were very smart to pick it up. We believe had the amounts been smaller, that they would have just paid out.”…John Edward Wilson of Calgary is charged with three counts of fraud over $5,000. Police say further charges are possible…Alberta Environmental Registry was only incorporated last month…The invoices listed a downtown Calgary address and phone number and demanded payment for “2011 Environment Fees – Oil and Gas Sector.”

Do you think someone should let Senator Reid know that it is his own people who have been trying to destroy the energy industry in the country? E&E News (8/10/11) reports: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he will be looking for GOP cooperation to make energy policy a “signature issue” for the Senate this fall…Reid’s comments today that the Senate will focus on job-creation legislation — including energy bills — echo those he made earlier this month before the chamber broke for a four-week recess…”One of the things at the top of the list is energy jobs, and we’re going to try to see if we can get a little cooperation from the Republicans so we can make that one of our signature issues during the next couple of months,” Reid told reporters today during a conference call to promote the upcoming National Clean Energy Summit…”I’m disappointed that we haven’t done better,” Reid added…But he provided few details about what the energy jobs legislation would look like, and he stayed mum on whether any of it would come from the cache of legislation Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have pushed through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this year…”That’s one of the few committees in the Senate where there has been really outstanding cooperation between the chairman and ranking member,” Reid said when asked about the prospect of including the panel’s energy bills in the jobs agenda. “They have some legislation that has been reported out of the committee.”…Bingaman indicated last week that he will push Democratic leaders to include some of the 14 reported energy bills as part of the jobs package.

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