In the Pipeline: 10/3/11

The North Dakota Experiment — we can become the Saudi Arabia of the 21st century with the right energy policies Wall Street Journal (10/1/11) reports: Harold Hamm, the Oklahoma-based founder and CEO of Continental Resources, the 14th-largest oil company in America, is a man who thinks big. He came to Washington last month to spread a needed message of economic optimism: With the right set of national energy policies, the United States could be “completely energy independent by the end of the decade. We can be the Saudi Arabia of oil and natural gas in the 21st century.”…”President Obama is riding the wrong horse on energy,” he adds. We can’t come anywhere near the scale of energy production to achieve energy independence by pouring tax dollars into “green energy” sources like wind and solar, he argues. It has to come from oil and gas…You’d expect an oilman to make the “drill, baby, drill” pitch. But since 2005 America truly has been in the midst of a revolution in oil and natural gas, which is the nation’s fastest-growing manufacturing sector. No one is more responsible for that resurgence than Mr. Hamm. He was the original discoverer of the gigantic and prolific Bakken oil fields of Montana and North Dakota that have already helped move the U.S. into third place among world oil producers.

We knew the NYT hated poor people, but Canadians? Editorial Board tells Canada to go to hell New York Times (10/2/11) reports: Unless good sense intervenes, it looks increasingly likely that the State Department will approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry a coarse, acidic crude oil from northern Alberta in Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas. That would be a mistake…In August, the State Department, which has authority because the pipeline crosses an international boundary, released its final environmental impact statement on the project. It found that the Keystone XL would have “no significant impact” on land and water resources along its route. We, and many others, are skeptical.

Uh-Oh  New York Times (10/2/11) reports: In a remote desert spot in northern Nevada, there is a geothermal plant run by a politically connected clean energy start-up that has relied heavily on an Obama administration loan guarantee and is now facing financial turmoil…The company is Nevada Geothermal Power, which like Solyndra, the now-famous California solar company, is struggling with debt after encountering problems at its only operating plant…After a series of technical missteps that are draining Nevada Geothermal’s cash reserves, its own auditor concluded in a filing released last week that there was “significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

Having humiliated Mike Bromwich on the question of delayed permitting in the Gulf of Mexico, Dan Yergin decides now is a good time to tell some more truths The Inquirer (10/1/11) reports: With all the excitement over renewable energy, it might be reasonable to assume that fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas will go the way of the steam engine in the next 20 years…Not so fast, says Daniel Yergin, author and one of the most influential voices in the world of energy…”There is always the possibility that something big will happen very quickly, but probably not,” Yergin said in an interview this week before delivering a lecture at the Free Library of Philadelphia…”On a worldwide basis, about 80 percent of energy today is oil, gas, and coal. You say, What’s it going to be in 2030? Most studies say somewhere about 75 percent of the bigger pot.”

The usual Hollywood suspects want to shut down Pebble Mine. It’s too bad they don’t realize they need to copper to build their EV’s and wind turbines Huffington Post (9/30/11) reports: The battle over a copper and gold mine near one of the world’s premier salmon fisheries is headed to the ballot in a vote next week that has turned a normally sleepy local election into a national environmental debate…Voters in southwest Alaska’s Lake and Peninsula Borough are deciding whether to ban large-scale resource extraction activity, including mining, that would destroy or degrade salmon habitat. The measure is aimed squarely at Pebble Mine, the massive gold-and-copper prospect near the headwaters of Bristol Bay…The debate surrounding Pebble has attracted the attention of chefs, Robert Redford and big-name jewelers who have vowed not to sell any gold coming from the project.

We missed this on Friday.  But it is important.  Do you think the threats to the electrical grid are going to increase or decrease when we start installing smart meters everywhere?  That’s right; they are going to increase dramatically.  Maybe FERC will notice before something really bad happens Associated Press (9/30/11) reports: U.S. utilities and industries face a rising number of cyber break-ins by attackers using more sophisticated methods, a senior Homeland Security Department official said during the government’s first media tour of secretive defense labs intended to protect the nation’s power grid, water systems and other vulnerable infrastructure…Acting DHS Deputy Undersecretary Greg Schaffer told reporters Thursday that the world’s utilities and industries increasingly are becoming vulnerable as they wire their industrial machinery to the Internet…”We are connecting equipment that has never been connected before to these global networks,” Schaffer said. Disgruntled employees, hackers and perhaps foreign governments “are knocking on the doors of these systems, and there have been intrusions.”…According to the DHS, Control System Security Program cyber experts based at the Idaho National Laboratory responded to 116 requests for assistance in 2010, and 342 so far this year.



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