Category Archives: Fossil fuels

Obama high gas price solution, Use less oil, Energy costs cripple business jobs homes economy, Obama lies and warnings, If they want to build coal plants they can but it will bankrupt them

Obama high gas price solution, Use less oil, Energy costs cripple business jobs homes economy, Obama lies and warnings, If they want to build coal plants they can but it will bankrupt them

“For the well-off in this country, high gas prices are mostly an annoyance, but to most Americans they’re a huge problem, bordering on a crisis.”…Barack Obama May 2008

“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,”…Barack Obama May 2008

“if they want to build [coal plants], they can, but it will bankrupt them”…Barack Obama

You were warned….

By Obama.

From WCSC February 20, 2013.

“”Gas prices continue to be an ongoing problem,” said Obama. “I’m proud of the fact that under my administration, oil production is higher than it has been in a decade or more. We have seen a doubling of fuel efficiency standards on cars over the next several years, so that is saving people money at the pump.”

The president said one of the things that must happen in order to lower gas prices is to make the “overall economy use less oil.”

“Unfortunately because of world-wide demand, oil prices are going to keep going up and down until we put in place some of the energy saving proposals I talked about in the State of the Union,” Obama said.”

http://www.live5news.com/story/21289844/president-obama-

2012 National Federation of Independent Business October Survey

“MOST IMPORTANT PROBLEM: 2012

1.  Rising Cost of Health Care Insurance
2.  Uncertainty over Economic Conditions
3.  Energy Costs
4.  Uncertainty over Government Actions
5.  Unreasonable Government Regulations
6.  Federal Taxes on Business Income
7.  Tax Complexity
8.  Frequent Changes in Federal Tax Laws and Rules
9.  Property Taxes
10. State Taxes on Business Income”

http://www.nfib.com/research-foundation/surveys/small-business-economic-trends

From Citizen Wells July 29, 2012.

Gas prices are going back up and currently average $ 3.49 in the US. One of the biggest reasons gasoline prices have not risen further is the downturn in the US and world economies.

From the NY Times June 13, 2012.

“Mark Juull, a construction contractor for public and residential housing, has something to be thankful for in this sluggish economy: With global commodity prices falling, he’s saving $200 a week on fuel for his three trucks and finding deals on aluminum, lumber and roof shingles, which are typically made from petroleum.”

“Over the last month, global oil prices have declined by about 12 percent, while corn, copper, lead, cocoa and coffee have all dropped by 5 percent or more. Prices of corn, cocoa, oats, cotton, rubber, coffee, aluminum, silver, zinc and nickel are all more than 20 percent lower than a year ago.

Gasoline prices are falling precipitously, too, down nearly 20 cents over the last month alone, to a national average of $3.54 a gallon on Wednesday. That is nearly 45 cents below the high for the year reached in early April. The average household consumes 1,200 gallons of gasoline a year, so every dime shaved off the price of gas translates into a $120 annual savings, according to the Oil Price Information Service.

“The world economy is in risk of a recession and on that possibility, commodity prices weaken,” said Allen L. Sinai, chief global economist for Decision Economics, a consulting firm. “Lower inflation comes with weakening economies.”

Oil is among the commodities that have fallen in price the fastest despite continuing tensions in the Middle East and the tightening sanctions on Iran. OPEC production has been soaring in recent months because of mushrooming crude exports from Iraq, an almost total resumption of exports from Libya since the fall of the Qaddafi dictatorship, and a concerted drive by Saudi Arabia to push up production. At a meeting in Vienna on Thursday, OPEC is expected to decide to keep production steady despite weakening prices.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/14/business/economy/weak-economys-mixed-blessing-falling-commodity-prices.html

In 2009 when Obama took office, gasoline averaged around $ 1.85 a gallon. Here is a chart of gasoline prices for the last 3 years.

A long time commenter here brought this to my attention.

From WND February 16, 2012.

“The Obama administration, despite the nation’s economic woes, effectively killed the job-producing Keystone Pipeline last month. The Arab Spring is turning the oil production of Libya and other Arab nations over to the Muslim Brotherhood. Iraq is distancing itself from the U.S. And everyone recognizes that Iran, whose crude supplies are critical to the European economy, will do anything it can to frustrate America’s strategic interests. In the face of all of this, Obama insists on cutting back U.S. oil potential with outrageous restrictions.”

“Part of Obama’s apparent war against U.S. energy independence includes a foreign-aid program that directly threatens my state’s sovereign territory. Obama’s State Department is giving away seven strategic, resource-laden Alaskan islands to the Russians. Yes, to the Putin regime in the Kremlin.

The seven endangered islands in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea include one the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. The Russians are also to get the tens of thousands of square miles of oil-rich seabeds surrounding the islands. The Department of Interior estimates billions of barrels of oil are at stake.

The State Department has undertaken the giveaway in the guise of a maritime boundary agreement between Alaska and Siberia. Astoundingly, our federal government itself drew the line to put these seven Alaskan islands on the Russian side. But as an executive agreement, it could be reversed with the stroke of a pen by President Obama or Secretary Clinton.

The agreement was negotiated in total secrecy. The state of Alaska was not allowed to participate in the negotiations, nor was the public given any opportunity for comment. This is despite the fact the Alaska Legislature has passed resolutions of opposition – but the State Department doesn’t seem to care.

The imperiled Arctic Ocean islands include Wrangel, Bennett, Jeannette and Henrietta. Wrangel became American in 1881 with the landing of the U.S. Revenue Marine ship Thomas Corwin. The landing party included the famed naturalist John Muir. It is 3,000 square miles in size.

Northwest of Wrangel are the DeLong Islands, named for George Washington DeLong, the captain of USS Jeannette. Also in 1881, he discovered and claimed these three islands for the United States. He named them for the voyage co-sponsor, New York City newspaper publisher James Gordon Bennett. The ship’s crew received a hero’s welcome back in Washington, and Congress awarded them gold medals.

In the Bering Sea at the far west end of the Aleutian chain are Copper Island, Sea Lion Rock and Sea Otter Rock. They were ceded to the U.S. in Seward’s 1867 treaty with Russia.

Now is the time for the Obama administration to stand up for U.S. and Alaskan rights and invaluable resources. The State Department’s maritime agreement is a loser – it gives us nothing in return for giving up Alaska’s sovereign territory and invaluable resources. We won the Cold War and should start acting like it.”

http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/obamas-giveaway-oil-rich-islands-to-russia/

And now we learn.

From Patriot Update July 28, 2012.

“After Obama Blocks Pipeline, China Readies $15.1B Canadian Oil Deal”

“When President Barack Obama blocked the Keystone Pipeline, Republicans said the move would encourage Canada to pursue oil deals with China instead of the United States and cede a massive chunk of North American oil assets to the communist nation.

Now, with China’s state-run oil company CNOOC poised to cut a $15.1 billion deal–the largest ever foreign acquisition for a Chinese company–with Canadian oil company Nexen, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are in full backpedal mode.

In a draft letter to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), Sen. Schumer writes:

I respectfully urge you, in your capacity as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), to withhold approval of this transaction to ensure U.S. companies reciprocal treatment.

Similarly, Rep. Pelosi is now sounding alarms of concern. In a statement, Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hamill said:

This deal prompts great concern about the Chinese government’s continued attempts to use its state-owned enterprises to acquire global energy resources.

Saying “I told you so” offers little solace to concerned Republican lawmakers.”

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/july-29-2012-gas-prices-up-obama-energy-policy-rewards-friends-punishes-americans-alaska-island-giveaway-to-russians-keystone-pipeline-canada-china-oil-deal/

July 29, 2012, Gas prices up, Obama energy policy rewards friends punishes Americans, Alaska island giveaway to Russians, Keystone Pipeline, Canada China oil deal

July 29, 2012, Gas prices up, Obama energy policy rewards friends punishes Americans, Alaska island giveaway to Russians, Keystone Pipeline, Canada China oil deal

“For the well-off in this country, high gas prices are mostly an annoyance, but to most Americans they’re a huge problem, bordering on a crisis.”…Barack Obama May 2008

“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,”…Barack Obama May 2008

rising energy costs “one of the most dangerous and urgent threats this nation has ever faced” gas prices “are wiping out paychecks and straining businesses.”
Barack Obama August 2008

Gas prices are going back up and currently average $ 3.49 in the US. One of the biggest reasons gasoline prices have not risen further is the downturn in the US and world economies.

From the NY Times June 13, 2012.

“Mark Juull, a construction contractor for public and residential housing, has something to be thankful for in this sluggish economy: With global commodity prices falling, he’s saving $200 a week on fuel for his three trucks and finding deals on aluminum, lumber and roof shingles, which are typically made from petroleum.”

“Over the last month, global oil prices have declined by about 12 percent, while corn, copper, lead, cocoa and coffee have all dropped by 5 percent or more. Prices of corn, cocoa, oats, cotton, rubber, coffee, aluminum, silver, zinc and nickel are all more than 20 percent lower than a year ago.

Gasoline prices are falling precipitously, too, down nearly 20 cents over the last month alone, to a national average of $3.54 a gallon on Wednesday. That is nearly 45 cents below the high for the year reached in early April. The average household consumes 1,200 gallons of gasoline a year, so every dime shaved off the price of gas translates into a $120 annual savings, according to the Oil Price Information Service.

“The world economy is in risk of a recession and on that possibility, commodity prices weaken,” said Allen L. Sinai, chief global economist for Decision Economics, a consulting firm. “Lower inflation comes with weakening economies.”

Oil is among the commodities that have fallen in price the fastest despite continuing tensions in the Middle East and the tightening sanctions on Iran. OPEC production has been soaring in recent months because of mushrooming crude exports from Iraq, an almost total resumption of exports from Libya since the fall of the Qaddafi dictatorship, and a concerted drive by Saudi Arabia to push up production. At a meeting in Vienna on Thursday, OPEC is expected to decide to keep production steady despite weakening prices.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/14/business/economy/weak-economys-mixed-blessing-falling-commodity-prices.html

In 2009 when Obama took office, gasoline averaged around $ 1.85 a gallon. Here is a chart of gasoline prices for the last 3 years.

A long time commenter here brought this to my attention.

From WND February 16, 2012.

“The Obama administration, despite the nation’s economic woes, effectively killed the job-producing Keystone Pipeline last month. The Arab Spring is turning the oil production of Libya and other Arab nations over to the Muslim Brotherhood. Iraq is distancing itself from the U.S. And everyone recognizes that Iran, whose crude supplies are critical to the European economy, will do anything it can to frustrate America’s strategic interests. In the face of all of this, Obama insists on cutting back U.S. oil potential with outrageous restrictions.”

“Part of Obama’s apparent war against U.S. energy independence includes a foreign-aid program that directly threatens my state’s sovereign territory. Obama’s State Department is giving away seven strategic, resource-laden Alaskan islands to the Russians. Yes, to the Putin regime in the Kremlin.

The seven endangered islands in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea include one the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. The Russians are also to get the tens of thousands of square miles of oil-rich seabeds surrounding the islands. The Department of Interior estimates billions of barrels of oil are at stake.

The State Department has undertaken the giveaway in the guise of a maritime boundary agreement between Alaska and Siberia. Astoundingly, our federal government itself drew the line to put these seven Alaskan islands on the Russian side. But as an executive agreement, it could be reversed with the stroke of a pen by President Obama or Secretary Clinton.

The agreement was negotiated in total secrecy. The state of Alaska was not allowed to participate in the negotiations, nor was the public given any opportunity for comment. This is despite the fact the Alaska Legislature has passed resolutions of opposition – but the State Department doesn’t seem to care.

The imperiled Arctic Ocean islands include Wrangel, Bennett, Jeannette and Henrietta. Wrangel became American in 1881 with the landing of the U.S. Revenue Marine ship Thomas Corwin. The landing party included the famed naturalist John Muir. It is 3,000 square miles in size.

Northwest of Wrangel are the DeLong Islands, named for George Washington DeLong, the captain of USS Jeannette. Also in 1881, he discovered and claimed these three islands for the United States. He named them for the voyage co-sponsor, New York City newspaper publisher James Gordon Bennett. The ship’s crew received a hero’s welcome back in Washington, and Congress awarded them gold medals.

In the Bering Sea at the far west end of the Aleutian chain are Copper Island, Sea Lion Rock and Sea Otter Rock. They were ceded to the U.S. in Seward’s 1867 treaty with Russia.

Now is the time for the Obama administration to stand up for U.S. and Alaskan rights and invaluable resources. The State Department’s maritime agreement is a loser – it gives us nothing in return for giving up Alaska’s sovereign territory and invaluable resources. We won the Cold War and should start acting like it.”

http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/obamas-giveaway-oil-rich-islands-to-russia/

 

And now we learn.

From Patriot Update July 28, 2012.

“After Obama Blocks Pipeline, China Readies $15.1B Canadian Oil Deal”

“When President Barack Obama blocked the Keystone Pipeline, Republicans said the move would encourage Canada to pursue oil deals with China instead of the United States and cede a massive chunk of North American oil assets to the communist nation.

Now, with China’s state-run oil company CNOOC poised to cut a $15.1 billion deal–the largest ever foreign acquisition for a Chinese company–with Canadian oil company Nexen, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are in full backpedal mode.

In a draft letter to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), Sen. Schumer writes:

I respectfully urge you, in your capacity as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), to withhold approval of this transaction to ensure U.S. companies reciprocal treatment.

Similarly, Rep. Pelosi is now sounding alarms of concern. In a statement, Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hamill said:

This deal prompts great concern about the Chinese government’s continued attempts to use its state-owned enterprises to acquire global energy resources.

Saying “I told you so” offers little solace to concerned Republican lawmakers.”

http://patriotupdate.com/26926/after-obama-blocks-pipeline-china-readies-15-1b-canadian-oil-deal

Obama economy equals higher gas prices fewer jobs and more debt, Obama lies continue, Obama blocked Canada Keystone XL pipeline, Offshore leases

Obama economy equals higher gas prices fewer jobs and more debt, Obama lies continue, Obama blocked Canada Keystone XL pipeline, Offshore leases

“Obama energy policy: Pander to the left, lie to the poor and working class and enrich his friends.”…Citizen Wells

From the Washington Times February 24, 2012.

“Sessions: Obama ‘defeatist’ on rising gas prices”

“President Obama’s indignant defense this week of his administration’s energy policies has done nothing to deter GOP critics, as gas prices continue to rise amid worries that their continued climb could throw the economic recovery off course.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said in a letter to Mr. Obama Friday that the president was taking a “defeatist view” when it comes to trying to reduce gas prices.

“I reject the defeatist view that says the nation that won two world wars, pioneered space travel, and overcame the Soviet empire is now helpless in the face of high prices at the pump,” Mr. Sessions wrote. “We are not at the mercy of dictators, cartels and events beyond our control.”

In a speech in Miami Thursday, the president blamed the current spike prices on Wall Street speculators reacting to instability in the Middle East, most notably in Iran — not the amount of oil drilled in the U.S.

“There are no quick fixes to this problem,” Mr. Obama said. “You know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices.”

In his letter, Mr. Sessions echoed the views of other Republican critics in arguing that lifting Obama administration barriers to drilling would go a long way in helping drive down the price at the pump.

“Powerful action to harness America’s untapped oil and gas resources would place downward pressure on prices and speculation in the short run, and, by surging global supply, would serve to keep prices low in the future,” Mr. Sessions continued. “Crucially, it would also provide millions of Americans with good-paying, private-sector jobs; produce substantial royalties for local, state and federal governments; reduce our enormous trade imbalance; and put an end to our huge wealth transfer from American to competitors overseas.”

Mr. Sessions offered a list of proposals, including restoring the bipartisan 2010-2015 offshore lease plan to ensure that the 31 pending lease sales are completed expeditiously, abandoning Mr. Obama’s proposal to increase taxes and fees for oil and gas companies, and approving the massive Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline and expediting its completion.

“Your administration only directed one lease sale in 2011 and has announced just one lease sale for 2012, far short of the number of sales that would have occurred over this period under the original 2010-2015 plan that your administration discarded,” he wrote.

Mr. Sessions also urged Mr. Obama to “take all necessary steps” to accelerate the leasing and permitting process for domestic shale oil production and maximize oil production from federal lands, which are now producing just 714 million barrels a year — a 16 percent decline from what was projected five years ago.

In addition, the Alabama Republican called on the president to direct the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and other federal bodies to grant all necessary waivers and approvals to oil and gas refineries to facilitate maximum production at minimum cost.

“Refinery expenses comprise 11 percent of the price for gasoline that Americans pay at the pump, but your administration has imposed numerous regulations that have driven refining costs up, not down,” he contended.

A White House spokesman said the president is particularly sensitive to the impact rising gas prices are having on family budgets across the country, but said there’s no silver bullet to solve the problem.

“If your answer to this challenge of rising gas prices is just drilling for oil, you’re not going to find a very good answer because an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach is required,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Friday. “So that also is why the president is pursuing a range of other things: investments in biofuels, in renewable energy, wind and solar.”

The Obama administration is also backing the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the U.S. in 30 years, Mr. Earnest added.”

Read more:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/24/sessions-obama-defeatist-rising-gas-prices/

Obama lies continue, Energy policy Political Platitudes, Gas prices, Truth team moment, No concern from Obama for poor and working families

Obama lies continue, Energy policy Political Platitudes, Gas prices, Truth team moment, No concern from Obama for poor and working families

“the Times of the nineteenth of December had published the official forecasts of the output of various classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today’s issue contained a statement of the actual output, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong. Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones.”…George Orwell, “1984”

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed
–if all records told the same tale–then the lie passed into
history and became truth. “Who controls the past,” ran the
Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present
controls the past.”…George Orwell, “1984″

“Propaganda must not serve the truth, especially not insofar
as it might bring out something favorable for the opponent.”
Adolf Hitler

PP effluent from Obama and left.

Political Platitudes.

These are designed to appeal to Obama’s core support, the left, the elitists, the experts at spending other people’s money, like colleges and universities.

Obama PP in recent speeches.

In regard to the Republicans plan:

“three-point plan for $2 gas”

“Step one is to drill, step two is to drill, and step three is to keep on drilling.”

“not a strategy to solve our energy challenge.”

“It’s the easiest thing in the world to make phony election-year promises about lower gas prices,”

“What’s harder is to make a serious, sustained commitment to tackle a problem that may not be solved in one year or one term or even one decade.”

And straight from “1984” by George Orwell.

“In 2011, the United States relied less on foreign oil than in any of the last 16 years. Because of the investments we’ve made, the use of clean, renewable energy in this country has nearly doubled, and thousands of Americans have jobs because of it.”

Obama is speaking to his elitist, know it all support, such as the UNC University System, which recently raised tuition in a down economy.

This is a Truth Team moment.

While I agree that we need a comprehensive, common sense based energy program, we also need cheaper oil products in the short term. If Obama and his cronies really cared about poor and working class families, they would be concerned about rising gas prices which in turn raise the price of almost everything else, especially food prices. Obama appeases lower income folks with his lying rhetoric and the left with PP, Political Platitudes.

Obama states “not a strategy to solve our energy challenge.” in response to Republicans wanting lower gas prices. Obama’s startegy to help the economy and jobs has failed.

Obama, what is your stategy to help the poor and working families afford food.

More food stamps!

“phony election-year promises”

Obama is the king of phony election year promises.

Obama plan:

Tax

Spend

Promise

Blame

And in case you haven’t noticed, here is a chart presented here last year of the gas prices since Obama took office. I am certain you are aware of food price increases.

Glenn Beck pay attention, Get better researchers, Radio show needs improving, Glenn call me

Glenn Beck pay attention, Get better researchers, Radio show needs improving

Glenn Beck is likeable. I try to like Glenn Beck. I agree with many of his positions and he does a pretty good job on his Fox show. I do not listen to his radio show that often because he and his sidekicks need to grow up. He also needs some quality researchers, not the jacklegs currently working for him. Beck, et al, really screwed up on insulting concerned Americans questioning Obama’s eligibility.

I was traveling down the highway a few minutes ago and Beck and his sidekick were discussing the Chevy Volt and making stupid, ill informed remarks again. Glenn Beck actually went on to make some intelligent well informed remarks later about energy.

I can safely say that I probably know more about energy in general and in many cases specifically than Beck. Before I continue, I am not addressing government takeover of GM or other decisions made at GM. Glenn and his buddy were making immature, ignorant remarks about the Chevy Volt. They were making light of the 40 mile range on the electric power of the vehicle. They compared it to the 100 mile range of the Nissan Leaf. Indeed, that was my first reaction before I did more research and thought about it. Here is the truth about the Chevy Volt vs the Nissan Leaf.

  • Most Americans, most days, drive under 40 miles.
  • Whenever a longer trip is needed, the gasoline generator kicks in.
  • The Volt can serve as a single car for a person or family.
  • The Nissan Leaf has a range of 100 miles period before charging. Charging takes time. Lot’s of time.
  • For most people, the Leaf must serve as a second vehicle.
  • The Volt is the best solution for phase one fossil fuel independence.
  • The Volt, covering a high percentage of days driving, will work best for most people to reduce gasoline usage.

Glenn Beck, call me. I am still waiting.

Now to give Beck credit. He spoke of the virtues of hydrogen fuel and made an intelligent comment. Off peak nuclear generation could be directed to producing hydrogen. I did not hear him say it, but wind and solar can also be used to produce hydrogen.

And Glenn Beck, the real question is why has Obama employed so many private and government attorneys to avoid presenting a legitimate birth certificate and college records?

Glenn Beck, call me. I am still waiting.

Gulf Oil Crisis, Was the oil leak intentional?, Too many coincidences?, Video, Citizen Wells open thread, June 22, 2010

Gulf Oil Crisis, Was the oil leak intentional?, Too many coincidences?

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

William Shakespeare

I am not a rocket scientist and I am not dull witted.

I am paying attention.

I, as most of you who are paying attention, have been discussing the sequence of events leading up to the Gulf Oil Crisis. In the ongoing series of articles at Citizen News, it is clear that Obama, Ken Salazar, the Interior Department, Minerals Management Services and a host of other government entities own a large part of the blame for the giant oil spill. When Alex Jones came out with this video, none of us were surprised.

Gulf Oil Crisis Part 2, Minerals Management Service, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Warnings ignored, April 1, 2010 announcement, Federal oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico, Water depths more than 10975 feet

Gulf Oil Crisis Part 2, Minerals Management Service, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Warnings ignored

From Citizen News, June 19, 2010.
The Washington Post has presented a scathing article of what went wrong at Minerals Management Service.

“U.S. oil drilling regulator ignored experts’ red flags on environmental risks”

“The federal agency responsible for regulating U.S. offshore oil drilling repeatedly ignored warnings from government scientists about environmental risks in its push to approve energy exploration activities quickly, according to numerous documents and interviews.
Minerals Management Service officials, who can receive cash bonuses in the thousands of dollars based in large part on meeting federal deadlines for leasing offshore oil and gas exploration, frequently changed documents and bypassed legal requirements aimed at protecting the marine environment, the documents show.

This has dramatically weakened the scientific checks on offshore drilling that were established under landmark laws such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, say those who have worked with the MMS, which is part of the Interior Department.”

“MMS said in a May 2000 draft environmental analysis of deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico that “the oil industry’s experience base in deep-water well
control is limited” and that a massive spill “could easily turn out to be a potential showstopper for the [Outer Continental Shelf] program if the industry
and MMS do not come together as a whole to prevent such an incident.”

But when the MMS finalized the document that month, it jettisoned those two statements and concluded that there was no need to prepare an environmental
impact analysis for deep-water drilling: “Most deep-water operations and activities are substantially the same as those associated with conventional
operations and activities on the continental shelf.””

On April 1, 2010 we learned the following from Ken Salazar and the US Interior Department.

“NEW ORLEANS, LA – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the next federal oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico will occur in New Orleans on August 18, 2010. The Secretary made the Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 215 announcement during a tour of Superior Energy Services.”

“The available blocks in Sale 215 are located from 9 to about 250 miles offshore in water depths of 16 to more than 10,975 feet (5 to 3,346 meters). The Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) estimates the proposed lease sale could result in the production of 242 to 423 million barrels of oil and 1.64 to 2.64 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.”

Did you notice this statement?

“The available blocks in Sale 215 are located from 9 to about 250 miles offshore in water depths of 16 to more than 10,975 feet”

10, 975 feet is twice the depth of the current drilling disaster.

Read more:

https://citizenwells.com/2010/06/19/gulf-oil-disaster-fact-vs-fiction-part-2-hypocrisy-at-highest-levels-obama-us-interior-department-minerals-management-service-created-problem-federal-oil-and-gas-lease-sale-gulf-of-mexico-august/

Gulf oil disaster, Fact vs Fiction series, Obama, Ken Salazar, Hypocrisy at highest levels, Elizabeth Birnbaum resigned, When will Obama resign? Interior Department policies

Gulf oil disaster, Fact vs Fiction series, Obama, Ken Salazar, Hypocrisy at highest levels

“Propaganda must not serve the truth, especially not insofar
as it might bring out something favorable for the opponent.”…. Adolf Hitler

 

Gulf Oil Disaster

Fact vs Fiction

Part 1

Hypocrisy at the highest levels

 

Here are some exerpts from Part 1 of a multi part series designed to present the truth and background surrounding the Gulf Oil Crisis that is being mostly blamed on BP. BP must, of course, assume part of the responsibility for this catastrophe, but there is plenty of blame to spread. We have a government in place to protect the safety and interests of the American public. As always, problems can always be traced to the top and not just the top of BP. Obama, as occupant of the White House, has control over a cabinet. One Obama controls  is the US Department of the Interior, headed by Ken Salazar.

From Citizen News.

From the Office of the White House Press Secretary March 31, 2010.

“Obama Administration Announces Comprehensive Strategy for Energy Security”

“As part of the Administration’s comprehensive energy strategy President Barack Obama and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced more details of the Obama Administration’s efforts to strengthen our energy security.  President Obama and Secretary Salazar announced that the Administration will expand oil and gas development and exploration on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to enhance our nation’s energy independence while protecting fisheries, tourism, and places off U.S. coasts that are not appropriate for development.”

“Over the last year, under the leadership of Secretary Salazar, the Administration has worked to reevaluate previous decisions in an effort to set oil and gas drilling policies on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) that will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs, and take environmental risks and responsibilities into account.”

“More Domestic Production – Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing:  The Administration’s strategy calls for developing oil and gas resources in new areas, such as the Eastern Gulf of Mexico; increasing oil and gas exploration in frontier areas, such as parts of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans”

“From the U.S. Department of the Interior News Release March 31, 2010.

“The Obama Administration’s strategy calls for expanded development and production throughout the Gulf of Mexico, including resource-rich areas of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico that are currently under Congressional moratorium and closed to development.
“The plan we are proposing calls for 4 more lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico by 2012 and, in the years beyond, would open up two-thirds of the oil and gas resources in the Eastern Gulf while protecting Florida’s coast and critical military training areas,” said Salazar. “Our efforts to strategically open new areas in the Eastern Gulf would represent the largest expansion of our nation’s available offshore oil and gas supplies in three decades.””

Read more, watch and listen to Obama and Salazar

Cap and trade, Global warming, Energy Myths and Realities, drive up the cost of fossil energy, Lies exposed, loss of jobs, CO2 emissions, UVU Symposium on Environmental Ethics, Utah Valley University, Keith O. Rattie, Questar Corporation

First of all, I would like to thank the Watts up with that blog for bringing this to my attention. Visit there regularly for the truth and facts regarding Global warming, climate change and other Earth science data.

http://wattsupwiththat.com

The following speech was given by Keith O. Rattie, Chairman, President and CEO of Questar Corporation, on April 2, 2009, at the 22nd Annual UVU Symposium on Environmental Ethics, held at Utah Valley University. The PDF text of the speech can be found here:

http://www.questar.com/news/2009_news/UVUSpeech.pdf

 

“Energy Myths and Realities
Keith O. Rattie
Chairman, President and CEO
Questar Corporation
Utah Valley University
April 2, 2009

Good morning, everyone. I‟m honored to join you today.

I see a lot of faculty in the audience, but I‟m going to address my remarks today primarily to you students of this fine school.

Thirty-three years ago I was where you are today, about to graduate (with a degree in electrical engineering), trying to decide what to do with my career. I chose to go to work for an energy company – Chevron – on what turned out to be a false premise: I believed that by the time I reached the age I am today that America and the world would no longer be running on fossil fuels. Chevron was pouring money into alternatives – and they had lots of money and the incentive to find alternatives – and I wanted to be part of the transition.

Fast forward 33 years. Today, you students are being told that before you reach my age America and the world must stop using fossil fuels.
I‟m going to try to do something that seems impossible these days – and that‟s have an honest conversation about energy policy, global warming and what proposed „cap and trade‟ regulation means for you, the generation that will have to live with the consequences of the policy choices we make. My goal is to inform you with easily verifiable facts – not hype and propaganda – and to appeal to your common sense. But first a few words about Questar.

Questar Corp. is the largest public company headquartered in Utah, one of only two Utah-based companies in the S&P 500. Most of you know Questar Corp. as the parent of Questar Gas, the utility that sends you your natural gas bill every month. But outside of Utah and to investors we‟re known as one of America‟s fastest-growing natural gas producers. We also own a natural gas pipeline company. We have terrific people running each of our five major business units, and I‟m proud of what they‟ve done to transform this 85-year old company. We‟re the only Utah-based company ever to make the Business Week magazine annual ranking of the 50 top-performing companies in the S&P 500 – we were #5 in both 2007 and 2008, and we‟re #18 in the top 50 in Business Week’s 2009 ranking, just out this week.

At Questar our mission is simple: we find, produce and deliver clean energy that makes modern life possible. We focus on natural gas, and that puts us in the “sweet spot” of America‟s energy future and the global-warming debate. Natural gas currently provides about one-fourth of America‟s energy needs. But when you do the math, the inescapable conclusion is that greater use of natural gas will be a consequence of any policy aimed at cutting human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). You cut CO2 emissions by up to 50% when you use natural gas instead of coal to generate electricity. You cut CO2 emissions by 30% and NOx emissions by 90% when you use natural gas instead of gasoline in a car or truck – and here in Utah you save a lot of money. You can run a car on compressed natural gas at a cost of about 80 cents per gallon equivalent. You also cut CO2 emissions by 30-50% when you use natural gas instead of fuel oil or electricity to heat your home.

But you didn‟t come here for a commercial about Questar and I didn‟t come here to give you one. Let‟s talk about energy.

There may be no greater challenge facing mankind today – and your generation in particular – than figuring out how we‟re going to meet the energy needs of a planet that may have 9 billion people living on it by the middle of this century. The magnitude of that challenge becomes even more daunting when you consider that of the 6.5 billion people on the planet today, nearly two billion people don‟t even have electricity – never flipped a light switch.

Now, the “consensus” back in the mid-1970s was that America and the world were running out of oil. Ironically, some in the media were also claiming a scientific consensus that the planet was cooling, fossil fuels could be to blame, and we were all going to freeze to death unless we kicked our fossil-fuel habit. We were told we needed to find alternatives to oil – fast. That task, we were told, was too important to leave to markets, so government needed to intervene with massive taxpayer subsidies for otherwise uneconomic forms of energy. That thinking led to the now infamous 1977 National Energy Plan, an experiment with central planning that failed miserably. Fast-forward to today, and: déjà vu. This time the fear is not so much that we‟re running out of oil, but that we‟re running out of time – the earth is getting hotter, humans are to blame, and we‟re all doomed if we don‟t stop using fossil fuels – fast. Once again we‟re being told that the job is too important to be left to markets.

Well, the doomsters of the 1970s turned out to be remarkably wrong. My bet is that today‟s doomsters will be proven wrong. Over the past 39 years mankind has consumed nearly twice the world‟s known oil reserves in 1970 – and today proven oil reserves are nearly double what they were before we started. The story with natural gas is even better – here and around the world enormous amounts of natural gas have been found. More will be found. And guess what? The 30-year cooling trend that led to the global cooling scare in the mid-70s abruptly ended in the late 70s, replaced by a 20-year warming trend that peaked in 1998.
The lesson that we should‟ve learned from the 1970s is that when it comes to deciding how much energy gets used, what types of energy get used, and where, how and by whom energy gets used –that job is too important not to be left to markets.

Now, I‟d love to stand here and debate the science of global warming. The media of course long ago declared that debate over – global warming is a planetary emergency, we‟ve got to change the way we live now. I‟ve followed this debate closely for over 15 years. I read everything I get my hands on. I‟m an engineer, so I tend to be skeptical when journalists hyperventilate about science – “World coming to an end – details at 11”. My research convinces me that claims of a scientific consensus about global warming mislead the public and policy makers – and may reflect another agenda.

Yes, planet earth does appear to be warming – but by a not so unusual and not so alarming one degree over the past 100 years. Indeed, global average temperatures have increased by about one degree per century since the end of the so-called Little Ice Age 250 years ago. And, yes CO2 levels in the upper atmosphere have increased over the past 250 years from about 280 parts per million to about 380 parts per million today – that‟s .00038. What that number tells you is that CO2 – the gas we all exhale, the gas in a Diet Coke, the gas that plants need to grow – is a trace gas, comprising just four out of every 10,000 molecules in the atmosphere. But it‟s an important trace gas – without CO2 in the atmosphere, there would be no life on earth. And yes, most scientists believe that humans have caused much of that increase.

But that‟s where the alleged consensus ends. Contrary to the righteous certitude we get from some, no one knows how much warming will occur in the future, nor how much of any warming that does occur will be due to man, and how much to nature. No one knows how warming will affect the planet, or how easily people, plants and animals will adapt to any warming that does occur. When someone tells you they do know, I suggest Mark Twain‟s advice: respect those who seek the truth, be wary of those who claim to have found it.

My perspective on global warming changed when I began to understand the limitations of the computer models that scientists have built to predict future warming. If the only variable driving the earth‟s climate were manmade CO2 then there‟d be no debate – global average temperatures would increase by a harmless one degree over the next 100 years. But the earth‟s climate is what engineers call a “non-linear, dynamic system”. The models have dozens of inputs. Many are little more than the opinion of the scientist – in some cases, just a guess. The sun, for example, is by far the biggest driver of the earth‟s climate. But the intensity of solar radiation from the sun varies over time in ways that can‟t be accurately modeled.

Another example, water vapor is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. [The media now calls CO2 a “pollutant”. If CO2 is a “pollutant” then water vapor is also a “pollutant” – that‟s absurd, but I digress]. Some scientists believe clouds amplify human CO2 forcing, others believe precipitation acts as the earth‟s thermostat. But scientists do not agree on how to model clouds, precipitation, and evaporation, thus there‟s no consensus on this fundamental issue.

But the reality for American consumers is that whether you buy that the science is settled or not, the political science is settled. With the media cheering them on, Congress has promised to “do something”. CO2 regulation is coming, whether it will do any good or not. Indeed, President Obama‟s hope of shrinking the now the massive federal budget deficit depends on vast new revenues from a tax on carbon energy – so called “cap and trade”. Harry Reid has promised cap and trade legislation by August.

Under cap-and-trade, the government would try to create a market for CO2 by selling credits to companies that emit CO2. They would set a cap for the maximum amount of CO2 emissions. Over time, the cap would ratchet down. In theory, this will force companies to invest in lower-carbon technologies, thus reducing emissions to avoid the cost of buying credits from other companies that have already met their emissions goals. The costs of the credits would be passed on to consumers. Because virtually everything we do and consume in modern life has a carbon footprint the cost of just about everything will go up. This in theory will cause each of us to choose products that have a lower carbon footprint. Any way you slice it, cap and trade is a tax on the way we live our lives – one designed to produce a windfall for government.

The long term goal with cap and trade is „80 by 50‟– an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. Let‟s do the easy math on what „80 by 50‟ means to you, using Utah as an example. Utah‟s carbon footprint today is about 66 MM tons of CO2 per year. Utah‟s population today is 2.6 MM. You divide those two numbers, and the average Utahan today has a carbon footprint of about 25 tons of CO2 per year. An 80% reduction in Utah‟s carbon footprint by 2050 implies a reduction from 66 MM tons today to about 13 MM tons per year by 2050. But Utah‟s population is growing at over 2% per year, so by 2050 there will be about 6 MM people living in this state. 13 MM tons divided by 6 MM people = 2.2 tons per person per year. Under „80 by 50‟ by the time you folks reach my age you‟ll have to live your lives with an annual carbon allowance of no more than 2.2 tons of CO2 per year.

Question: when was the last time Utah‟s carbon footprint was as low as 2.2 tons per person per year? Answer: probably not since Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers first entered the Salt Lake Valley (1847).

You reach a similar conclusion when you do the math on „80 by 50‟ for the entire U.S. „80 by 50‟ would require a reduction in America‟s CO2 emissions from about 20 tons per person per year today, to about 2 tons per person per year in 2050. When was the last time America‟s carbon footprint was as low as 2 tons per person per year? Probably not since the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620.

In short, ‘80 by 50’ means that by the time you folks reach my age, you won’t be allowed to use anything made with – or made possible by – fossil fuels.

So I want to focus you on this critical question: “How on God‟s green earth – pun intended – are you going to do what my generation said we‟d do but didn‟t – and that‟s wean yourselves from fossil fuels in just four decades?” That‟s a question that each of you, and indeed, all Americans need to ask now – because when it comes to “how” there clearly is no consensus. Simply put, with today‟s energy technologies, we can‟t get there from here.

The hallmark of this dilemma is our inability to reconcile our prosperity and our way of life with our environmental ideals. We like our cars. We like our freedom to “move about the country” – drive to work, fly to conferences, visit distant friends and family. We aspire to own the biggest house we can afford. We like to keep our homes and offices warm in the winter, cool in the summer. We like devices that use electricity – computers, flat screen TVs, cell phones, the Internet, and many other conveniences of modern life that come with a power cord. We like food that‟s low cost, high quality, and free of bugs – which means farmers must use fertilizers and pesticides made from fossil fuels. We like things made of plastic and clothes made with synthetic fibers – and all of these things depend on abundant, affordable, growing supplies of energy.

And guess what? We share this planet with 6.2 billion other people who all want the same things.

America‟s energy use has been growing at 1-2% per year, driven by population growth and prosperity. But while our way of life depends on ever-increasing amounts of energy, we‟re downright schizophrenic when it comes to the things that energy companies must do to deliver the energy that makes modern life possible.

We want energy security – we don‟t like being dependent on foreign oil. But we also don‟t like drilling in the U.S. Millions of acres of prospective onshore public lands here in the Rockies plus the entire east and west coast of the U.S. are off-limits to drilling for a variety of reasons. We hate paying $2 per gallon for gasoline – but not as much as we hate the refineries that turn unusable crude oil into gasoline. We haven‟t allowed anyone to build a new refinery in the U.S. in over 30 years. We expect the lights to come on when we flip the switch, but we don‟t like coal, the source of 40% of our electricity – it‟s dirty and mining scars the earth. We also don‟t like nuclear power, the source of nearly 20% of our electricity – it‟s clean, France likes it, but we‟re afraid of it. Hydropower is clean and renewable. But it too has been blacklisted – dams hurt fish.

We don‟t want pollution of any kind, in any amount, but we also don‟t want to be asked: “how much are we willing to pay for environmental perfection?” When it comes to global warming, Time magazine tells us to “be worried, be very worried” – and we say we are – but we don‟t act that way.

Let me suggest that our conversation about how to reduce CO2 emissions must begin with a few “inconvenient” realities.

Reality 1: Worldwide demand for energy will grow by 30-50% over the next two decades – and more than double by the time you‟re my age. Simply put, America and the rest of the world will need all the energy that markets can deliver.

Reality 2: There are no near-term alternatives to oil, natural gas, and coal. Like it or not, the world runs on fossil fuels, and it will for decades to come. The U.S. government‟s own forecast shows that fossil fuels will supply about 85% of world energy demand in 2030 – roughly the same as today. Yes, someday the world may run on alternatives. But that day is still a long way off. It‟s not about will. It‟s not about who‟s in the White House. It‟s about thermodynamics and economics.
Now, I was told back in the 1970s what you‟re being told today: that wind and solar power are „alternatives‟ to fossil fuels. A more honest description would be „supplements‟. Taken together, wind and solar power today account for just one-sixth of 1% of America‟s annual energy usage. Let me repeat that statistic – one-sixth of 1%.

Here‟s a pie chart showing total U.S. primary energy demand today. I “asked” PowerPoint to show a wedge for the portion of the U.S. energy pie that comes from wind and solar. But PowerPoint won‟t make a wedge for wind and solar – just a thin line.

Over the past 30 years our government has pumped roughly $20 billion in subsidies into wind and solar power, and all we‟ve got to show for it is this thin line!

Undaunted by this, President Obama proposes to double wind and solar power consumption in this country by the end of his first term. Great – that means the line on this pie chart would become a slightly thicker line in four years. I would point out that wind and solar power doubled in just the last three years of the Bush administration. Granted, W. started from a smaller baseline, so doubling again over the next four years will be a taller order. But if President Obama‟s goal is achieved, wind and solar together will grow from one-sixth of 1% to one-third of 1% of total primary energy use – and that assumes U.S. energy consumption remains flat, which of course it will not.

The problems with wind and solar power become apparent when you look at their footprint. To generate electricity comparable to a 1,000 MW gas-fired power plant you‟d have to build a wind farm with at least 500 very tall windmills occupying more than 30,000 acres of land. Then there‟s solar power. I‟m holding a Denver Post article that tells the story of an 8.2 MW solar-power plant built on 82 acres in Colorado. The Post proudly hails it “America‟s most productive utility-scale solar electricity plant”. But when you account for the fact that the sun doesn‟t always shine, you‟d need over 250 of these plants, on over 20,000 acres to replace just one 1,000 MW gas-fired power plant that can be built on less than 40 acres.

The Salt Lake Tribune recently celebrated the startup of a 14 MW geothermal plant near Beaver, Utah. That‟s wonderful! But the Tribune failed to put 14 MW into perspective. Utah has over 7,000 MW of installed generating capacity, primarily coal. America has about 1,000,000 MW of installed capacity. Because U.S. demand for electricity has been growing at 1-2 % per year, on average we‟ve been adding 10-20,000 MW of new capacity every year to keep pace with growth. Around the world coal demand is booming – 200,000 MW of new coal capacity is under construction, over 30,000 MW in China alone. In fact, there are 30 coal plants under construction in the U.S. today that when complete will burn about 70 million tons of coal per year.

Why has my generation failed to develop wind and solar? Because our energy choices are ruthlessly ruled, not by political judgments, but by the immutable laws of thermodynamics. In engineer-speak, turning diffused sources of energy such as photons in sunlight or the kinetic energy in wind requires massive investment to concentrate that energy into a form that‟s usable on any meaningful scale.
What‟s more, the wind doesn‟t always blow and the sun doesn‟t always shine. Unless or until there‟s a major breakthrough in high-density electricity storage – a problem that has confounded scientists for more than 100 years – wind and solar can never be relied upon to provide base load power.

But it‟s not just thermodynamics. It‟s economics. Over the past 150 years America has invested trillions of dollars in our existing energy systems – power plants, the grid, steam and gas turbines, railroads, pipelines, distribution, refineries, service stations, home heating, boilers, cars, trucks and planes, etc. Changing that infrastructure to a system based on renewable energy will take decades and massive new investment.

To be clear, we need all the wind and solar power the markets can deliver at prices we can afford. But please, let‟s get real – wind and solar are not “alternatives” to fossil fuels.


Reality 3:
You can argue about whether global warming is a serious problem or not, but there‟s no argument about the consequences of cap and trade regulation – it‟s going to drive the cost of energy painfully higher. That‟s the whole point of cap and trade – to drive up the cost of fossil energy so that otherwise uneconomic “alternatives” can compete. Some put the total cost of cap and trade to U.S. consumers at $2 trillion over the next decade and $6 trillion between now and 2050 – not to mention the net loss of jobs in energy-intensive industries that must compete in global markets.

Given this staggering cost, I hope you‟ll ask: will cap and trade work? If Europe‟s experience with cap and trade is an indication, the answer is “no”.
With much fanfare, the European Union (EU) adopted a cap and trade scheme in an effort to meet their Kyoto commitments to cut CO2 emissions to below 1990 levels by 2012. How are they doing? So far, all but one EU country is getting an “F”. Since 2000 Europe‟s CO2 emissions per unit of GDP have grown faster than the U.S.! The U.S. of course did not implement Kyoto – nor did over 150 other countries. There‟s a good reason why most of the world rejected Kyoto: with today‟s energy technologies there‟s no way to sever the link between CO2 emissions and modern life. Europe‟s cap and trade scheme was designed to fail – and it‟s working as designed.

Let‟s do the math to explain why Kyoto would have failed in the U.S. and why Obama‟s cap and trade scheme is also likely to fail. Americans were responsible for about 5 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions in 1990. By 2005 that amount had risen to over 5.8 billion tons. If the U.S. Senate had ratified the Kyoto treaty back in the 1990s America would‟ve promised to cut manmade CO2 emissions in this country to 7% below that 1990 level – to about 4.6 billion tons, a 1.2 billion ton per year cut by 2012.

What would it take to cut U.S. CO2 emissions by 1.2 billion tons per year by 2012? A lot more sacrifice than riding a Schwinn to work or school, or changing light bulbs.

We could‟ve banned gasoline. In 2005 gasoline use in America caused about 1.1B tons of CO2. That would almost get us there. Or, we could shut down over half of the coal-fired power plants in this country. Coal plants generated about 2 B tons of CO2 in 2005. Of course, before we did that we‟d have to get over 60 million Americans and a bunch of American businesses to volunteer to go without electricity.

This simple math is not friendly to those who demand that government mandate sharp cuts in manmade CO2 emissions – now.

Reality 4: Even if America does cut CO2 emissions, those same computer models that predict man-made warming over the next century also predict that Kyoto-type CO2 cuts would have no discernible impact on global temperatures for decades, if ever. When was the last time you read that in the paper? We‟ve been told that Kyoto was “just a first step.” Your generation may want to ask: “what‟s the second step?”

That begs another question: “how much are Americans willing to pay for „a first step‟ that has no discernible effect on global climate?” The answer here in Utah is: not much, according to a poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates published in the Deseret News. 63% of those surveyed said they worry about global warming. But when asked how much they‟d be willing to see their electricity bills go up to help cut CO2 emissions, only half were willing to pay more for electricity. Only 18% were willing to see their power bill go up by 10% or more. Only 3% were willing to see their power bill go up by 20%.

Here‟s the rub: many Europeans today pay up to 20% more for electricity as a result of their failed efforts to sever the link between modern life and CO2 emissions.

So, if Americans aren‟t willing to pay a lot more for their energy, how do we reduce CO2 emissions? Well, here are several things we should do.
First, we should improve energy efficiency. Second, we should stop wasting energy. Third, we should conserve energy. Fourth, we should rethink our overblown fear of nuclear power. Fifth, if we let markets work, markets on their own will continue to substitute low-carbon natural gas for coal and oil.
Indeed, 2008 will be remembered in the energy industry as the year U.S. natural gas producers changed the game for domestic energy policy. Smart people in my industry have „cracked the code‟ – they‟ve figured out how to produce stunning amounts of natural gas from shale formations right here in the U.S. As a result, we now know that America and the world are “swimming” in natural gas.

U.S. onshore natural gas production has grown rapidly over the past three years – a feat that most energy experts thought impossible a few years ago. America‟s known natural gas resource base now exceeds 100 years of supply at current U.S. consumption – and that number is growing. Abundant supply means that natural gas prices over the next decade and beyond will likely be much lower than over the past five years. While prices may spike from time to time in response to sudden, unexpected changes in supply or demand – for example, hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico or extreme cold or hot weather – these spikes will be temporary.

Indeed, the price of natural gas today is less than $24 per barrel equivalent – a bargain, even without taking into account lower CO2 emissions.
Greater use of natural gas produced in America – by American companies who hire American workers and pay American taxes – will help reduce oil imports. Unlike oil, 98% of America‟s natural gas supply comes from North America.
And get this: we don‟t need massive investment in new power plants to use more natural gas for electric generation. I mentioned earlier that America has about one million MW of installed electric generation capacity. Forty percent of that capacity runs on natural gas – about 400,000 MW, compared to just 312,000 MW of coal capacity.

But unlike those coal plants, which run at an average load factor of about 75%, America‟s existing natural gas-fired power plants operate with an average load factor of less than 25%. Turns out that the market has found a way to cut CO2 emissions without driving the price of electricity through the roof – natural gas‟s share of the electricity market is growing, and it will continue to grow – with or without cap and trade.
Sixth, your generation needs to focus on new technology and not just assume it, as many in my generation did back in the 70s – and as many in Congress continue to do today. Just one example: there‟s no such thing as “clean” coal, though I should quickly add that given America and the world‟s dependence on coal for electric generation, we do need to fund R&D aimed at capturing and storing CO2 from coal plants.

To be sure, CO2 capture and sequestration (underground storage) will be hugely expensive and it‟ll take decades to implement on any meaningful scale. The high costs will be passed through in electricity rates to consumers. To transport massive amounts of CO2 captured at coal plants we‟ll have to build a massive pipeline grid that some estimate could be comparable to our existing natural gas pipeline grid. Then we‟ll have to drill thousands of wells to store CO2 in the ground. The facilities required to inject CO2 into the earth will use huge amounts of energy – which ironically will come from fossil fuels, negating some of the carbon-reduction benefits. And where are we going to put all this CO2? Questar owns and operates underground natural gas storage facilities. Gas storage is in high demand – we‟re always looking for suitable underground formations. But I can tell you that there aren‟t many.

Seventh (for anyone who‟s still counting!) it‟s time to have an honest conversation about alternative responses to global warming than what will likely be a futile attempt to eliminate the use of fossil fuels. What about adapting to warming? In truth, while many scientists believe man‟s use of fossil fuels is at least partly responsible for global warming, many also believe the amount of warming will be modest and the planet will easily adapt. Just about everyone agrees that a modest amount of warming won‟t harm the planet. In fact, highly respected scientists such as Harvard astrophysicist Willie Soon believe that added CO2 in the atmosphere may actually benefit mankind because more CO2 helps plants grow. When was the last time you read that in the paper?

You‟ve no doubt heard the argument that even if global warming turns out not to be as bad as some are saying, we should still cut CO2 emissions – as an insurance policy – the so-called precautionary principle. While appealing in its simplicity, there are three major problems with the precautionary principle.
First, none of us live our lives according to the precautionary principle. Let me give you an example. Around the world about 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents – about 3,200 deaths a day. At that pace, 120 million people will die this century in a car wreck somewhere in the world. We could save 120 million lives by imposing a 5 MPH speed limit worldwide. Show of hands: how many would be willing to live with a 5 MPH speed limit to save 120 million lives? Most of us won‟t – we accept trade-offs. We implicitly do a cost-benefit analysis and conclude that we‟re not going to do without our cars, even if doing so would save 120 million lives. So before we start down this expensive and likely futile cap and trade path, don‟t you think we should insist on an honest analysis of alternative responses to global warming?

Second, the media dwells on the potential harm from global warming, but ignores the fact that the costs borne to address it will also do harm. We have a finite amount of wealth in the world. We have a long list of problems – hunger, poverty, malaria, nuclear proliferation, HIV, just to name a few. Your generation should ask: how can we do the most good with our limited wealth? The opportunity cost of diverting a large part of current wealth to solve a potential problem 50-100 years from now means we do “less good” dealing with our current problems.
Third, economists will tell you that the consequence of a cap and trade tax on energy will be slower economic growth. Slower growth, compounded over decades, means that we leave future generations with less wealth to deal with the consequences of global warming, whatever they may be.

In truth, humans are remarkably adaptive. People live north of the Arctic Circle where temperatures are below zero most of the year. Roughly one-third of mankind today lives in tropical climates where temperatures routinely exceed 100 degrees. In fact, you can take every one of the theoretical problems caused by global warming and identify lower-cost ways to deal with that problem than rationing energy use. For example, if arctic ice melts and causes the sea level to rise, a wealthier world will adapt over time by moving away from the beach or building retaining walls to protect beachfront property. Fine, you say. But how do we save the polar bear? I‟d first point out that polar bears have survived sometimes dramatic climate changes over thousands of years, most recently the so called “medieval warm period” (1000-1300 A.D.) in which large parts of the arctic glaciers disappeared and Greenland was truly “green”. Contrary to that heart-wrenching image on the cover of Time of an apparently doomed polar bear floating on a chunk of ice, polar bears can swim for miles. In addition, more polar bears die each year from gunshot wounds than from drowning. So instead of rationing carbon energy, maybe the first thing we should do to protect polar bears is to stop shooting them!

Let me close by returning to the lessons my generation learned from the 1970s energy crisis. We learned that energy choices favored by politicians but not confirmed by markets are destined to fail. If history has taught us anything it‟s that we should resist the temptation to ask politicians to substitute their judgments for that of the market, and let markets determine how much energy gets used, what types of energy get used, where, how and by whom energy gets used. In truth, no source of energy is perfect, thus only markets can weigh the pros and cons of each source. Government‟s role is to set reasonable standards for environmental performance, and make sure markets work.

I‟ve covered a lot of ground this morning. I hope I‟ve challenged your thinking about your energy future. Mostly, I hope you continue to enjoy freedom, prosperity – and abundant supplies of energy at prices you can afford! Thank you for your attention, and now I‟ll be glad to take rebuttal!”