In the Pipeline: 9/20/11

EPA, after Shell spends $4 billion and counting and may have 54,000 jobs waiting to be filled by Americans, grants a permit Washington Post (9/19/11) reports: Shell Oil Co. on Monday took a step closer to tapping vast petroleum reserves off Alaska’s Arctic coasts when the federal Environmental Protection Agency approved an air quality permit for one of the company’s drilling vessels…The EPA approved the air permit for the drilling vessel Noble Discover, which Shell hopes to use for exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast, and its support fleet of oil spill response and supply vessels.

With Solyndra gone, it’s a race against time for the DOE to clear out the books for politically well connected friends before the American people bring down the hammer Politico (9/20/11) reports: Even as it takes fire over its $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra, the Energy Department intends to keep pushing billions of dollars in additional guarantees in the next week and a half…For the department, it’s a matter of bad timing: Last month’s collapse of Solyndra has thrown a cloud of suspicion over the entire clean-energy loan guarantee program, just as DOE nears a Sept. 30 deadline to close on $9.3 billion in pending applications… Some Republicans have accused DOE of slapping together the remaining guarantees to beat the clock…”With $10 billion still on the shelf, the last thing we can afford from the Obama administration are more of the same sloppy, poor investments in the final rush to get the cash out the door,” Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), oversight chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement.

I thought Nobel winners were supposed to care about those with the least among us? Well, nine of them sign a letter urging Obama to reject the Keystone project and sentence our poor to high energy prices New York Times (9/19/11) reports: With his approval rating among American voters at an all-time low, President Obama could use a little support from his peers. But this month nine fellow recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and the Dalai Lama, sent the president a letter urging him to veto the construction of a huge pipeline that would bring bring crude oil to the United States from Canada…On Monday, the letter was published as an advertisement in The Washington Post. It reads in part: “The night you were nominated for president, you told the world that under your leadership — and working together — the rise of the oceans will begin to slow and the planet will begin to heal. You spoke of creating a clean energy economy. This is a critical moment to make good on that pledge.”

Here’s an idea for job growth, let’s mandate that every building needs an escalator that runs on renewable energy New York Times (9/19/11) reports: A business consortium that includes Lockheed Martin and Barclays bank plans to invest as much as $650 million over the next few years to slash the energy consumption of buildings in the Miami and Sacramento areas. It is the most ambitious effort yet to jump-start a national market for energy upgrades that many people believe could eventually be worth billions… Focusing mainly on commercial property at first, the group plans to exploit a new tax arrangement that allows property owners to upgrade their buildings at no upfront cost, typically cutting their energy use and their utility bills by a third. The building owners would pay for the upgrades over five to 20 years through surcharges on their property-tax bills, but that would be less than the savings.

This is why you don’t play nice in the sandbox — greenies throw renewable energy in the face of those conservatives who supported renewable energy New York Times (9/19/11) reports: lambasted the Obama administration over what he has described as its failed efforts to stimulate new jobs through clean-energy projects backed with billions of dollars in federal loans or other assistance.,, But Mr. McConnell, of Kentucky, is one of several prominent Republicans who have worked to steer federal money to clean-energy projects in their home states, Energy Department documents show…Mr. McConnell made two personal appeals in 2009, asking Energy Secretary Steven Chu to approve as much as $235 million in federal loans for a plant to build electric vehicles in Franklin, Ky.

OPEC counties have oil money and we have T-Bills to pay off our disaffected youth Fuel Fix (9/20/11) reports: Saudi Arabia will spend $43 billion on its poorer citizens and religious institutions. Kuwaitis are getting free food for a year. Civil servants in Algeria received a 34 percent pay rise. Desert cities in the United Arab Emirates may soon enjoy uninterrupted electricity…Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members are poised to earn an unprecedented $1 trillion this year, according to the U.S. Energy Department, as the group’s benchmark oil measure exceeded $100 a barrel for the longest period ever. They are promising to plow record amounts into public and social programs after pro-democracy movements overthrew rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and spread to Yemen and Syria.

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