In the Pipeline: 12/5/11

Once again, America leads in the next energy revolution, but will our government get out of the way? Wall Street Journal (12/5/11) reports: Big Oil is redrawing the energy map…For decades, its main stomping grounds were in the developing world—exotic locales like the Persian Gulf and the desert sands of North Africa, the Niger Delta and the Caspian Sea. But in recent years, that geographical focus has undergone a radical change. Western energy giants are increasingly hunting for supplies in rich, developed countries—a shift that could have profound implications for the industry, global politics and consumers.Driving the change is the boom in unconventionals—the tough kinds of hydrocarbons like shale gas and oil sands that were once considered too difficult and expensive to extract and are now being exploited on an unprecedented scale from Australia to Canada.

I wish we had been saying this.  Oh wait, we have been.  Well, then I wish that some of our friends (Members of Congress?  Campaigns?) would start to talk about it Market Watch (12/4/11) reports: After all, shale is an abundant source of natural gas and it’s one that’s expected to last long term. Stir in its low price and relatively low emissions with calls to reduce the nation’s dependence on pricey foreign oil and the energy market’s got plenty of reasons to like natural gas…It’s “hard to argue against natural gas as a clean, abundant, and domestic energy supply,” said Dan Pratt, director of equity research at IHS Herold. “It should be a growing component of our energy supply going forward…“However, the speed of development will depend on many things, including economic, political, and environmental issues,” he said.

No need to add to this headline–Newt in ’07 “I strong support carbon caps.” Washington Times (12/5/11) reports: Two years before policital unpopularity forced Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to abandon cap-and-trade legislation regulate carbon emissions, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., praised the idea of “mandatory carbon caps” combined with tax incentives, and said that then-President Bush should have led the charge to implement such a policy…”I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there’s a package there that’s very, very good,” Gingrich said during a PBS interview on February 15, 2007. “And frankly, it’s something I would strongly support.”…Gingrich also said that Bush should have kept his campaign promise to implement carbon caps. “If [Bush] had instituted a regime that combined three things I just said — mandatory caps, a trading system inside the caps, as we have with clean air, and a tax incentive to be able to invest in the new technology and to be able to produce the new technology — I think we would be much better off than we are in the current situation,” Gingrich suggested.

We completely agree.  The President should make a decision on Keystone before the 2012 election Huffington Post (12/4/11) reports: Everyone who helped slow down TransCanada’s “Keystone XL” tar sands juggernaut — rural farmers and ranchers, Native Nations, organized labor, elders, faith leaders, youth, environmentalists and others who protested at the White House this summer and fall — should be proud of what we have accomplished. By bravely standing together and uniting our voices against Big Oil, we forced President Obama to react to our demands. His decision to delay a decision on the pipeline until after the 2012 election is a testament to the power of the people…But let’s not kid ourselves: opponents of Keystone XL have “won” nothing, save more time to organize. Now is not the time for victory celebrations, but for redoubling our efforts to beat back this lethal energy scheme. When you have your opponent staggered and against the ropes, you don’t back off and let them recover their strength. You keep on coming until you’ve landed the knock out punch.

Mark Ruffalo embraces his position in the 1% so he can push for additional regulation to keep the 99% down… New York Times (12/4/11) reports: STROLLING by restaurants and antiques stores on a quiet Main Street the day after Thanksgiving, Mark Ruffalo waved hello to a girl in the back of a passing S.U.V. and greeted friends on the sidewalk who were eager to introduce visiting relatives…Mr. Ruffalo, the actor known for indie hits like “The Kids Are All Right” and “You Can Count on Me,” has lived in this sleepy Catskills burg on the Delaware River for three years now, settled into a routine focused on raising three children with his wife, the actress Sunrise Coigney, on a former dairy farm with a 2,500-square-foot house, a barn and a pond.

The Chicago Three Step: You take three steps forward and two steps back, which makes you look reasonable, but still gets you closer to what you want Wall Street Journal (12/5/11) reports: The Obama administration revised one of its most hotly contested environmental rules and proposed a more-lenient measure to reduce toxic emissions from certain industrial facilities…The new proposal won cautious praise from several industry groups, though one said it was still too burdensome…It was the latest example of the fine line President Barack Obama has walked on environmental policy, where he is often attacked by Republicans on the campaign trail. The administration has become sensitive to costly rules that could damp economic growth…Earlier this year, Mr. Obama ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to drop a separate proposal that would have curbed smog-forming emissions. That angered environmentalists, but they were pleased last month when the administration delayed approval of a pipeline that would carry Canadian oil through environmentally sensitive parts of Nebraska.


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