The Return of the Shale Boom

The shale boom is back.

After a decrease in shale oil production in 2016 we’re seeing an upswing in 2017:

The Energy Information Administration on Monday said it expects an increase in domestic shale-oil production to nearly 5 million barrels a day for April, which would be the highest monthly level in roughly a year.

The EIA offered forecasts for a climb from seven major U.S. shale producers by 109,000 barrels a day to 4.962 million barrels a day in April from March, according to the agencies monthly Drilling Productivity Report.

EIA: Monthly oil production by basin.
Source: Energy Information Administration.

Improved Efficiency

During the two-year span of falling oil prices, companies retooled. By employing new technology and rethinking the fracking process, they became more efficient and lowered their “brake-even price,” the lowest oil can be for a producer to recoup its costs.

When oil prices rebounded, companies took advantage and ramped up production.

Big Oil Finds in Texas and Alaska

In addition, as technology and techniques to find and get shale oil continue to advance, more areas become commercially available for production.

For instance, late last year, a massive oil and natural gas field was found in Texas:

Geologists say a new survey shows an oilfield in west Texas dwarfs others found so far in the United States, according to the US Geological Survey.

The Midland Basin of the Wolfcamp Shale area in the Permian Basin is now estimated to have 20 billion barrels of oil and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas, according to a new assessment by the USGS.

That makes it three times larger than the assessment of the oil in the mammoth Bakken formation in North Dakota.

The estimate would make the oilfield, which encompasses the cities of Lubbock and Midland — 118 miles apart — the largest “continuous oil” discovery in the United States, according to the USGS.

And Alaska could be the next fracking frontier:

A pioneer of the U.S. shale revolution wants to take fracking to America’s final frontier. Success could help revive Alaska’s flagging oil fortunes.

Paul Basinski, the geologist who helped discover the Eagle Ford basin in Texas, is part of a fledgling effort on Alaska’s North Slope to emulate the shale boom that reinvigorated production in the rest of the U.S. His venture, Project Icewine, has gained rights to 700,000 acres inside the Arctic Circle and says they could hold 3.6 billion barrels of oil, rivaling the legendary Eagle Ford.

[ … ]

The companies’ first well, Icewine 1, confirmed the presence of petroleum in the shale and found a geology that should be conducive to fracking, Basinski said. Their second well, due to be drilled in the first half of 2017, will fracture a small section of that range and see how readily the oil flows.

“We don’t know what we have yet,” said Michael McFarlane, Burgundy’s president. “We know that the shale has sourced a tremendous amount of oil, but is it commercial? That’s a question that we haven’t answered yet.”

If companies can figure out how to safely get and transport shale oil at a cost that makes business sense, we’ll see it come to market.

Great for U.S. Companies and Workers

Rising domestic energy production is great news for U.S. companies and workers.

Even with the fall in oil prices in the last few years, since President Barack Obama lifted the oil export ban in 2015, exports have surged. As production increases, there will be more opportunity for American workers to satisfy overseas energy appetites.

Abundant shale energy is also good for manufacturing. ExxonMobil recently announced $20 billion in manufacturing investments that will create 45,000 jobs.

After some dark times, it’s looking brighter for American shale energy.

UPDATE: Check out this fascinating 360-degree video from a drilling rig in Texas’ Permian Basin.

MORE ARTICLES ON: ENERGY

RELATED ARTICLES:

More Evidence that the Energy Revolution has Sparked a Manufacturing Renaissance in the U.S. by Karen Alderman Harbert

How to Think About NAFTA as the U.S.-Mexico Energy Landscape Changes by Sean Hackbarth

EDITORS NOTE: An oil rig worker in the Permian basin outside of Midland, Texas. Photo credit: Brittany Sowacke/Bloomberg

President Trump’s First 50 Days of Action: Achieving Results for the American People

JUMPSTARTING JOB CREATION: President Donald J. Trump is looking out for the American workers who Washington has left behind.

  • President Trump has worked with the private sector to deliver tens of thousands of new jobs for Americans.
  • President Trump ordered the United States to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and negotiations.
  • President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks to construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
  • President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum declaring that the Dakota Access Pipeline serves the national interest and initiating the process to complete its construction.
  • President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to help ensure that new pipeline construction and repair work use materials and equipment from the United States.

CUTTING GOVERNMENT RED TAPE: President Trump has quickly taken steps to get the Government out of the way of job creation.

  • President Trump directed each agency to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to identify costly and unnecessary regulations in need of modification or repeal.
  • President Trump has required that for every new Federal regulation, two existing regulations be eliminated.
  • President Trump directed the Department of Commerce to streamline Federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing and to reduce regulatory burdens on domestic manufacturers.
  • President Trump signed legislation, House Joint Resolution 38, to prevent the burdensome “Stream Protection Rule” from causing further harm to the coal industry.
  • President Trump ordered the review of the “Clean Water Rule: Definition of Waters of the United States,” known as the WOTUS rule, to evaluate whether it is stifling economic growth or job creation.

REFORMING WASHINGTON: President Trump has taken actions to reform the old Washington way of doing business and to ensure that his entire Administration are working for the American people.

  • President Trump put in place a hiring freeze for Federal civilian employees to stop the further expansion of an already bloated government.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order establishing new ethics commitments for all Executive branch appointees, putting in place a five-year lobbying ban and a permanent ban on lobbying for foreign governments, so that appointees serve the American people instead of their own interests.

PUTTING PATIENT HEALTHCARE FIRST: After years of false promises, rising costs, and shrinking accessibility, President Trump is championing reforms to put patients first.

  • President Trump has supported efforts by Republicans in Congress to repeal the worst parts of Obamacare and replace them with the American Health Care Act.
  • President Trump acted on his first day in office to instruct Federal agencies to minimize the burden of Obamacare on Americans.

PRIORITIZING AMERICAN NATIONAL SECURITY: President Trump has taken action to ensure the safety and security of the United States homeland, its borders, and its people.

  • Under President Trump’s leadership, the Department of the Treasury sanctioned 25 entities and individuals involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program.
  • President Trump implemented new protections against foreign terrorists entering our country.
  • President Trump has proposed increasing the military’s budget by $54 billion so that it can begin to rebuild.
  • As a result of a Presidential Memorandum President Trump signed on January 28, he has received a plan to defeat ISIS designed by the Secretary of Defense and other members of his Cabinet.
  • President Trump ordered a review of military readiness and made it the policy of the United States to rebuild the United States’ Armed Forces.
  • President Trump has negotiated to bring down the price of the F-35, saving millions of dollars.

DELIVERING ON IMMIGRATION REFORM: President Trump has made enforcing the Nation’s immigration laws a priority of his Administration.

  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to start work on a southern border wall.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to enhance the public safety of Americans through enforcement of immigration laws.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to halt funding to jurisdictions in the United States that do not comply with Federal immigration rules.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to begin the removal of illegal immigrants who have committed certain crimes.
  • Following through on President Trump’s direction, the Department of Homeland Security will hire 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and agents and 5,000 border patrol agents.

RESTORING PUBLIC SAFETY TO AMERICAN COMMUNITIES: President Trump is following through on his promise to restore public safety for all Americans.

  • President Trump signed an Executive Order directing the Attorney General to develop a strategy to more effectively prosecute people who engage in crimes against law enforcement officers.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to establish a task force, led by the Attorney General, to reduce crime and restore public safety in communities across America.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order re-focusing the Federal Government’s energy and resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations, such as drug cartels.

HELPING WOMEN AND MINORITIES SUCCEED: President Trump knows the country cannot reach its potential unless every American has a chance to prosper.

  • President Trump signed an Executive Order strengthening and repositioning the Historically Black Colleges and Universities initiatives within the White House to foster better opportunities in higher education.
  • President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched the United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders.
  • President Trump signed into law the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act to encourage the National Science Foundation’s entrepreneurial programs to recruit and support women to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world.
  • President Trump signed into law the Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act to encourage women to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), pursue careers in aerospace, and further advance the nation’s space science and exploration efforts.

KEEPING HIS PROMISE TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION: President Trump promised a U.S. Supreme Court justice in the mold of late Justice Antonin Scalia selected from his previously announced list of 20 judges

  • President Trump nominated Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court because of his consistent record defending the Constitution.

RELATED ARTICLE: How President Trump Is Performing on His Promises Halfway to First 100 Days

How Energy Companies Should Talk About Energy – Internally and Externally

I’m writing this from Midland Texas, part of the now-legendary Permian Basin, a once-denigrated oilfield that became the envy of the world once it was transformed by shale energy technology.

I’m about to speak at a forum with 100+ executives here in Midland, and then tomorrow I’ll stay in the area to hold a Stakeholder Strategy Session with a local company.

Earlier this week I was at CERAWeek, the world’s leading energy conference. One of the highlights of the conference is the incredible concentration of industry thought leaders, including top executives. I took the occasion to pick the brains of many of the nation’s top energy CEOs on how they think about the industry’s communications challenges—and opportunities. I also shared my own experiences and strategies.

As I was leaving the conference our newest team member, Evan Le, asked me to do a quick video on internal and external communications strategy. I hope you enjoy it. If you’re in the industry and would like to discuss how the strategies can empower your company, email Nikki Norris and she can set up a call.

How Energy Companies Should Talk About Energy – Internally and Externally:

P.S. If you want my “I Love Fossil Fuels” tie, click here.

President Trump opens ‘all available’ Gulf of Mexico waters to oil drilling

“Opening more federal lands and waters to oil and gas drilling is a pillar of President Trump’s plan to make the United States energy independent,” said Zinke.

And not only that: it will also cut off a great part of the funding for the global jihad, which goes from our gasoline money to oil-producing states, where all too much of it finds its way into the hands of the jihadists who have vowed to destroy the U.S. and the free world.

“Trump Opens ‘All Available’ Gulf Of Mexico Waters To Oil Drilling,” by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, March 7, 2017:

The Department of the Interior will include “all available” federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico that have not already been leased out for offshore oil drilling.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced Monday 73 million acres off the coast of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida would be offered at a lease sale in August as part of the Interior Department’s five-year leasing plan.

“Opening more federal lands and waters to oil and gas drilling is a pillar of President Trump’s plan to make the United States energy independent,” Zinke said in a statement.

Interior finalized its current five-year offshore leasing program in January, just before Trump took office. The current plan includes 11 potential lease sales — 10 in the Gulf of Mexico and one in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.

The Obama administration, however, did not include any lease sales in most of the Arctic Ocean and all of the Atlantic Ocean. The administration initially considered offshore drilling in those areas, but decided not to on the urging of environment groups.For now, it seems like the Trump administration will stick with current policies. that could possibly change one Secretary Zinke gets all his appointees in place. The Senate confirmed Zinke last week, and it’s unclear when they will hold confirmation hearings for other high-level Interior positions.

“The Gulf is a vital part of that strategy to spur economic opportunities for industry, states, and local communities, to create jobs and home-grown energy and to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Zinke said….

Shortly before leaving office, former President Barack Obama locked up even more offshore areas from drilling, issuing an executive order in December making 31 canyons in the Atlantic off limits to drilling. The order took 3.8 million acres of the Atlantic ocean out of play for drillers.

In that same order, Obama designated “the vast majority of U.S. waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas as indefinitely off limits to offshore oil and gas leasing.”

Environmentalists supported keeping Arctic and Atlantic waters off limits to drilling. Activists say it’s necessary to protect marine life and slow global warming.

Trump, on the other hand, promised to boost U.S. energy production through opening more federal lands and waters for exploration and eliminating regulations. That includes rolling back Obama-era policies blocking offshore drilling.

“This is exactly the kind of investment, economic development and job creation that will help put Americans back to work,” Trump said of Exxon’s investments announced Monday….

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A Solid Case for the Full Adoption of LED Street Lighting

led street lights comparisonLEDs are fast replacing regular filament bulbs in many spaces. This is largely due to the ability of LEDs to save energy and provide a better quality of light. LEDs can be controlled to vary their intensity depending on traffic density and other factors. A typical HPS lamp uses 75% more electricity than an LED lamp. The quality of the LED light is higher, despite the lower power consumption.

There has been an argument that LED lights are 5 times more expensive to buy and install but a study showed that the street lights can pay for themselves within 6 years through the reduced electricity and recurrent maintenance costs.

Where LED street lighting has been tested, the problem that kept coming up was glare. The good news is that there are researchers in Germany who have made low-glare LEDs to be used for streetlighting. Here is our argument for the adoption of low-glare LEDs for street lights.

Environmental Conservation

One of the biggest drawbacks associated with the HPS lamps that are used for streetlights in many areas, is that they contribute to the mercury dumped on land.  HPS lights carry an estimated 6mg/100W of mercury while LEDs carry zero. The use of LEDs is also likely to reduce the emission of CO2 gases by 125 tons per year.

Dimming

It is possible to dim an HPS lamp. However, it is not easy to do so. The reason for that is special ballast is required to dim HPS lamps and the dimming limit is 50%. LEDs on the other hand can be dimmed easily. All that is needed is a small program to run the dimming. LEDs and the Internet of Things are easily compatible, making it possible to control LED lights remotely. A LED streetlight has a low dimming limit of 10%, which means it can be dimmed by more than 90%.

Longevity

The HPS lamp is likely to last between 10,000 and 24,000 hours before it burns up and needs replacing. While that is a decent mileage, LED lights can last well over 50,000 hours. The financial implication is that money spent on acquiring 2 HPS lamps can go towards the acquisition of an LED lamp.

Low-Glare

The most exciting development in LEDs for streetlighting is the discovery of a way through which to reduce glare. This has been a problem because it increases the risk of accidents happening. With this new development, there simply is no logical reason why streetlights should not be LED-lit.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by by Sergey Zolkin.

Will Bill Nye debate me?

On Tuesday I posted this on Twitter.

image

Why Bill Nye “The Science Guy”?

Because he is the most prominent opponent of fossil fuels that has shown any inclination to debate.

My top 2 dream debates are Al Gore (whom I have offered $100,000) and Elon Musk (who blocked me from Twitter for asking a few tough questions).

Bill Nye, on the other hand, is occasionally willing to debate opponents on TV, at least for a few minutes. And I believe I could do a lot of good by making an example out of him.

For the last several years, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” has been one of the top 10 public attackers of fossil fuels.

Next month on Netflix he will release a show “Bill Nye Saves the World”…and you can guess he will be “saving” it from fossil fuels. He has millions of social media followers, many of whom have associated him with scientific thinking since they were in grade school. And I get lots of social media requests to address the things he says.

If Nye’s followers and their networks are made aware of a live event or recording in which Nye’s position is shown to be unscientific (and immoral) and are exposed to a pro-human, big picture way of thinking about fossil fuels, it could create a measurable shift in how the youth view fossil fuels.

That’s the plan. Let’s see if we can get him to accept. If you want to help out, message him on Twitter or Facebook or through his website, challenging him to debate me.

U.S. Oil production trumps OPEC Cuts

Who says I don’t cover good news?

Let them drink their oil and choke on it. We must starve the jihad beast.

Of course, the left-wing haters despise when America succeeds. The moochers and the looters (Democrat) party obstructs all that is good and productive, i.e. the Dakota pipeline, Keystone, fracking, shale, etc. so this will make them scream like banshees. Schumer will weep again.

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA- NOVEMBER 17: A Saudi offers tea to delegations of the Third OPEC Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 17, 2007. (Photo by Salah Malkawi/ Getty Images)

U.S. OIL PRODUCTION OVERSHADOWS OPEC CUTS

By Matthew Rocco, FOX Business, February 13, 2017 (thanks to Robert N.):

A pick-up in American oil activity kept oil prices in check Monday, despite reports that OPEC producers are mostly sticking to their pledged cuts.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which formed a pact to slow down its production of crude beginning in January, released its own data to show 93% compliance with production cuts. The Paris-based International Energy Agency also found high compliance among OPEC nations. According to the IEA’s report, OPEC’s January production achieved 90% of the planned cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day.

The numbers were better than analysts anticipated, and U.S. oil futures responded in kind Friday with a strong rally. However, another bump in the U.S. rig count reminded investors that OPEC’s cuts, while designed to reduce global supplies and lift prices, are encouraging American producers to get back to drilling.

“Weekly data suggest that U.S. production is rebounding more strongly than anticipated,” J.P. Morgan (JPM) wrote in a research note to clients Friday.

Analysts at the bank also believe domestic production is running at 9.2 million barrels per day, faster than the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly figure of 8.9 million.

The cuts by OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, are a driving force behind the U.S. oil industry’s reawakening. The number of rigs operating in the U.S. totaled 741 last week, according to Baker Hughes (BHI). That’s an increase of 12 versus the prior week and 200 year-over-year. Canada’s rig count is also on the rise, climbing by 130 rigs since the same week in 2016.

J.P. Morgan said U.S. oil inventories, as well as Canadian output, will keep downward pressure on prices for the time being. Construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been fast-tracked for approval under the Trump administration, would further improve the economics of oil drilling in Canada.

The EIA believes U.S. oil prices will average $54 per barrel in 2017, according to the agency’s latest short-term energy outlook. Recent trading suggests that the market expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices to trade between $45 and $65 in April.

WTI crude slipped 1.9% to $52.86 a barrel Monday. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was down 2.1% at $55.52 a barrel.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report. All images provided by The Geller Report.

Army Corps Ready to Grant Easement to Finish Dakota Access Pipeline

The drama over the Dakota Access Pipeline could soon come to an end, Bloomberg reports:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a court filing it will grant Energy Transfer Partners LP the easement it needs to finish the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline.

The company needs the easement to complete work under Lake Oahe, following President Donald Trump’s memorandum that advised expediting review of the project. Trump took office promising to favor oil and natural gas developments as well as support new infrastructure, which has included reviving TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline.

[ … ]

In January, the Department of the Army, withholding the final easement necessary for construction beneath the lake, initiated an Environmental Impact Statement, which Energy Transfer failed to block in court. Energy Transfer has argued it went through the full permitting process and has the necessary approvals.

The project was originally scheduled to be operational by the end of 2016. Now it’s expected to start operating June 1, assuming no new obstacles prevent it, a person familiar with the matter said Feb. 3. Lisa Dillinger, a spokeswoman for Energy Transfer, confirmed that the project would be in service in the second quarter.

The pipeline would provide a new path for transporting North Dakota crude oil to Midwest refineries.

This is a win for jobs, improved energy infrastructure, and the rule of law.

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, was pleased with the news:

Today’s news indicates a positive step forward for the Dakota Access Pipeline. It’s encouraging to see how seriously the Trump administration is taking the need to build energy infrastructure, which will create jobs, improve our security, and keep energy affordable for families and businesses around the country.

While the permitting situation is finally falling into place, clean-up crews are hard at work picking up the hundreds of truckloads of garbage from extreme, anti-energy, “keep it in the ground,” pipeline opponents left at their protest site:

Making a dent in the immense amount of trash being hauled out of the Oceti Sakowin protest camp is being hindered by the weather. All the garbage that was left behind is now frozen into massive chunks of junk.

In a month, all this trash could become toxic.

“Standing Rock Environmental Protection Agency and Dakota Sanitation are working together to try and advert an environmental tragedy,” says Tom Doering, Morton County Emergency Manager.

It’s estimated it will take 250 trucks filled with litter to clear the camp.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Dakota Access Pipeline Easement Marks a New Day for U.S. Energy

Congress Rolls Back Energy and Federal Contractor Regulations

President Trump Revives Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of  construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Iowa. Photo credit: Carl Wycoff. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions ramps up team to ‘continue momentum’

WASHINGTON, D.C. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) announces three new staff hires, Heather Reams, Andrew Bird, and Kelsey Callahan, to increase its collaboration and work with agencies within the Trump administration, Members and staff of the 115th Congress, and state policymakers throughout America.

“CRES had tremendous success supporting congressional GOP candidates in the November elections and is ramping up the team to continue our momentum in 2017,” said CRES Chairman James Dozier. “The expertise of this talented team of Republican operatives will help solidify our leadership to advance conservative clean energy solutions in Washington and in state capitals across the country. Our team looks forward to working with Republican leaders to deliver opportunities for the American people that are in line with our conservative values. This includes free market clean energy solutions that will advance President Trump’s priorities of creating high paying manufacturing jobs and achieving American energy independence, while also helping to preserve our clean air, water, and climate.”

In 2016, CRES formally endorsed 29 House and Senate Clean Energy Champions – all Republicans – and spent more than $1.7 million in support of candidates with a record of advancing renewable energy solutions both in their campaigns and on Capitol Hill. Nearly 90 percent of CRES’ champions were successful as 25 of them won election or reelection. Since 2014, CRES has invested over $3 million electorally in support of clean energy champions in the House and Senate.

“CRES looks forward to working with Congress and the Trump administration to advance clean energy solutions that embrace commonsense, free market principles to help create jobs, strengthen our economy, and protect our nation’s security and environment,” said Heather Reams, CRES Managing Director.

“In November, voters handed Republicans the opportunity to improve the lives of every American household, allow our economy to flourish, and preserve our nation’s beauty,” said Andrew Bird, CRES Director of Federal Affairs. “CRES is excited to help seize this opportunity and deliver long-term solutions utilizing clean energy that is affordable, reliable, and supplied by diverse natural resources.”

ABOUT CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS (CRES)

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization founded in 2013 to engage Republican policymakers and the public about commonsense, conservative solutions to address our nation’s need for abundant, reliable energy while preserving our environment.

To learn more about the CRES team please visit: http://www.citizensfor.com.

The Human Flourishing Project — The ‘F’ Word

On the latest episode of Power Hour, I announce what I call The Human Flourishing Project — the first step of which is the new Human Flourishing Podcast. One of my advisors on the project and my co-host on the podcast is strategy guru Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach. He joins me on Power Hour to discuss how the project came to be and what we hope to accomplish with it.

Bottom line: I expect this project to both accelerate our impact on the energy debate and impact many other crucial debates, as well.

In October, 2016 I gave a speech to the Genius Network annual event in Arizona. It was about freedom and human flourishing. The event was $10K a person to attend and until now the full recording was only available to Genius Network members who pay $25K a year. But now it’s available on YouTube. It’s 12 minutes, maybe the best talk I’ve ever given. Please share it.

My favorite speech finally available — and it’s just 12 minutes:

EDITORS NOTE: Readers may enter in their email at HumanFlourishingMovement.com to get updates about the new project. Alex will be launching the new podcast by the beginning of February.

PODCAST: On Trump, Energy Policy and the Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

Last week I was interviewed on the Reason.com podcast by leading libertarian thinker Nick Gillespie. The subject was the new administration’s energy policy–and, more broadly, what the right energy policy is.

What [Trump] has said about energy…is the best of any president since Reagan.

The interview was supposed to last 20 minutes but it ended up lasting an hour. Nick asked great questions and we covered some ground I haven’t covered in other interviews.

Heartland Institute Experts React to Trump Appointing Scott Pruitt to Head EPA

“One small appointment for Trump, one giant leap for environmental sanity.” – H. Sterling Burnett

President-elect Donald Trump today named Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be his administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is among some two-dozen state attorney generals suing EPA to stop President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan and the agency’s rule regulating methane emissions.


“With the choice of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency – a man who has fought to uphold federalism, the limits placed upon the federal government in the Constitution, and sound policy on energy and environmental issues – it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

“Pruitt has sued the Environmental Protection Agency over its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule, its Waters of the United States rule, and the Clean Power Plan. So it seems there is hope the next administration will finally rein in the runaway EPA – by withdrawing or rewriting those and other rules in a way that respects freedom and economic progress, or by deciding not to defend the rules in court. One small appointment for Trump, one giant leap for environmental sanity.”

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News
hburnett@heartland.org
312-377-4000


“There would be many people on my list for great EPA administrators but none would be any higher on it than Scott Pruitt. We have not had a knowledgeable individual at the helm of EPA for more years than I am willing to say. For well over a decade, we have had a combination of incompetence and anti-capitalists at the helm who knew nothing of environmental science and more importantly they did not care. As long as they could place road blocks in the way of progress with no validity whatsoever as to improved environmental protection, they felt they were doing their job.

“This is a great day for the environment, the American people, and the economy – which will soon no longer be crippled by totally insane regulations, including the idea that humans exhale a pollutant with their every breath.”

Jay Lehr
Science Director
The Heartland Institute
jlehr@heartland.org
312-377-4000


“The selection of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is an obvious commitment to a pro-environment, pro-energy, pro-jobs agenda. Pruitt has been a vocal critic of federal overreach and understands that state agencies are well-positioned to take on a larger role in protecting the environment while also allowing for responsible and necessary commerce and energy production. This pick will go a long way towards correcting the Obama administration’s regulatory overreach, which has cost us jobs, hurt farmers, and has had an insignificant effect on the environment.”

John Nothdurft
Director of Government Relations
The Heartland Institute
jnothdurft@heartland.org
312/377-4000


“There is going to be a new sheriff in town at EPA, and that is welcome news for North Dakota’s agriculture and energy issues. Attorney General Scott Pruitt is a principled federalist who has taken the lead in fighting federal overreach. Our states have been forced into costly litigation with EPA and other regulators simply to protect their sovereignty, and Pruitt has been on the front line. This is a fantastic appointment for those of us in fly-over country, and I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth at EPA from my house.

“This is a strong first step by the Trump administration to roll back the federal overreach and burdensome regulations from the Obama administration. Attorney General Pruitt stood up for consumers facing escalating energy costs, our farmers and ranchers, and our energy industry, and will bring a breath of fresh air to EPA. Well done President-elect Trump!”

Bette Grande
Research Fellow, Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
governmentrelations@heartland.org
312/377-4000

Ms. Grande represented the 41st District in the North Dakota Legislature from 1996 to 2014.


“‘Personnel is policy,’ as the saying goes. This nomination strongly suggests that Trump plans to keep his campaign promises to unleash the nation’s energy production and roll back excessive regulations imposed by the Obama administration. That’s good news for energy consumers and the millions of Americans whose jobs depend on fossil fuels, from factory workers to truck drivers.

“The next step after deregulation would be for Trump and Pruitt to close down the EPA and return its powers to the states, who have been doing the real work of environmental enforcement during the 40-plus years of the agency’s existence. That would give the nation’s energy sector and overall economy a huge boost.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Research
The Heartland Institute
skarnick@heartland.org
312/377-4000


“Humanity has been in sore need of protection from would-be protectors. Maybe it is coming at long last.”

Christopher Essex
Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics
University of Western Ontario
essex@uwo.ca
312-377-4000


“The appointment of Scott Pruitt should usher in an era of less regulation of the nation’s energy supply. Deregulation would mean a boost to the nation’s energy supply, lower prices and a much needed stimulus to business activity.”

Jack A. Chambless
Economics Professor Valencia College
jchambless@valenciacollege.edu
312/377-4000


“The appointment of Scott Pruitt is a good first step at draining the swamp at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Under President Obama, EPA has become the fourth branch of government, seeking to gain control of nearly every aspect of American lives. This news is good for the nation’s farmers and ranchers, manufacturers, and energy producers.

“The appointment signals a sharp contrast between the Trump and Obama administrations and will be good news for anyone who gets their hands dirty at work, as President Trump will encourage companies to build things in America, whereas President Obama regulated companies out of business.

Isaac Orr
Research Fellow, Energy and Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute
iorr@heartland.org
312/377-4000


“President-Elect Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt is a breath of fresh air. No longer do we have to suffer under President Obama’s ridiculous EPA “climate” regulations. It is also refreshing that a Republican president is not throwing EPA over to the green activists and the media by appointing a weak administrator. Christine Todd Whitman he is not!

“Trump’s pick of Pruitt means that a Republican president is finally standing up the green establishment! Historically, EPA chiefs have been the most liberal cabinet members appointed by past Republican presidents from Nixon through Ford, Reagan and both Bushes. Trump has broken the cycle!

“No longer do we have to endure GOP presidents avoiding battle over the green agenda by picking EPA chiefs that who were timid at best. We know how bad GOP EPA picks have been in the past because the former GOP EPA heads all endorsed President Obama’s EPA climate regulations!

“If anyone was worried about Trump’s meeting with former vice president Al Gore earlier this week, the pick of Pruitt is reassuring. Basically Trump listened to what Gore had to say and then he exercised his good judgement and did the exact opposite.

“Kudos to Trump for standing up to the well-funded climate establishment by picking Pruitt!”

Marc Morano
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
Morano@ClimateDepot.com
312/377-4000

Problem Solvers Caucus: Create 250,000 jobs, balance the budget, secure American energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — No Labels on Monday hosted its much-anticipated 1787 bipartisan leaders meeting focused on constructing the peace after a historically divisive election. Featuring panel discussions and private meetings, the event notably included a closed door gathering of almost 50 members of Congress along with over 100 No Labels supporters discussing the shape and focus of an emerging Problem Solver Caucus on Capitol Hill.

With extreme elements in both the Democratic and Republican parties reluctant to cooperate with each other, members said the Problem Solvers Caucus aims to be a vehicle for bipartisan cooperation—particularly on the issues of tax reform and infrastructure investment—in early 2017.

“After such a divisive election, it has never been more important for leaders to actually lead; to resist the pull of partisanship and start focusing on what is best for the country,” said No Labels co-chair Joe Lieberman. “That’s exactly what the Problem Solvers Caucus did today, when they visited No Labels and discussed their plans to create a new stabilizing center of influence in our Congress.”

Many members of the Problem Solvers Caucus had previously signed a resolution (H.R. 207) calling for both parties to come together to make progress on the four goals in No Labels’ National Strategic Agenda:

  • Create 25 million jobs over the next 10 years
  • Secure Social Security and Medicare for the next 75 years
  • Balance the Budget by 2030
  • Make America energy secure by 2024.

These goals set a vision for where the country needs to go. With a new president and Congress about to take office, members of the Problem Solvers Caucus will aim to play a pivotal role in enacting policies that advance these four goals.

“The message from the 2016 election was clear: People have had it with business-as-usual politics. They want real solutions reflective of Americans whose voices are too often lost in the noise of special interest partisanship,” said No Labels co-chair Jon Huntsman. “Today, the members of the Pro blem Solvers Caucus made a bold statement and a welcome commitment to do the people’s business and to work with both parties to deliver the durable, lasting solutions America so badly needs. They are to be commended as this is what leadership looks like.”

The No Labels 1787 meeting came on the heels of a significant pledge from supporters of No Labels to fund a $50 million Super PAC in the 2018 election cycle with the explicit purpose of supporting problem solvers and defeating obstructionists in congressional primaries. This will be far and away the most ambitious campaign effort ever to protect the political center.

1787 also featured:

  • Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, interviewed by the Financial Times’ Gillian Tett, on the rise of populist movements around the world and the global imperative to reclaim the center.
  • Trump Economic Transition Team Leader Anthony Scaramucci on what to expect from a Trump administration in the first 100 days, including perspectives on tax and trade issues.
  • Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Oklahoma City Mayor and Head of U.S. Conference of Mayors Mick Cornett and former New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitmanon local and federal cooperation.
  • Senators Roy Blunt, Steve Daines and Joe Manchin along with Representatives Kurt Schrader, Ami Bera and Peter Welch and former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson on where President-elect Trump will need to work most closely with Congress.
  • No Labels co-chairs Gov. Jon Huntsman and Sen. Joe Lieberman on the shape of the New Center in American politics

ABOUT NO LABELS

No Labels exists to bring America’s political leaders together to solve our nation’s toughest problems. We are a citizens’ movement forging a New Center in American politics that fights for an inclusive political process and supports policies that advance No Labels’ four core values of Opportunity, Security, Ingenuity and Accountability. No Labels has inspired the creation of an emerging Congressional Problem Solvers Caucus—featuring House Democrats and Republicans—committed to working constructively across the aisle to get things done.

Obama Isn’t Just Attacking the Dakota Access Pipeline, He’s Attacking the Rule of Law

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

A month ago, I wrote:

President Barack Obama just took the rule of law, crumpled it up, and tossed along a riverbank in North Dakota.

He continues to treat the rule of law like wastepaper by putting up another (likely temporary) blockade in front of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

On Sunday, the Army Corps of Engineers refused to issue an easement to allow pipeline construction under the Missouri River, declaring it will “explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”

In June, the Corps approved the easement but didn’t finalize it.

What changed was the pipeline became a symbolic issue for anti-energy, “Keep it in the ground” protesters, like Bill McKibben. Since this summer, thousands have encamped on federal land in North Dakota and have been ordered to leave by December 5. According to local law enforcement, these protesters are “armed, hostile” and not peaceful, and they inspired attacks on other pipelines in four states.

In September, a federal judge saw that proper procedures were followed in allowing approving the project and refused to stop it. But the Obama administration immediately pressed the pause button. Two months later, President Barack Obama telegraphed what the Corps just did by saying the pipeline should be re-routed—even though a federal judge noted that the pipeline’s path was modified 140 times and would run adjacent to a natural gas pipeline that’s been in the ground for over 30 years.

What’s interesting is the Corps never admits that it shouldn’t have approved the pipeline in the first place. It states:

[T]his decsision does not alter the Army’s position that the Corps’ prior reviews and action have comported with legal requirements.

In other words, the review process was followed correctly–just like a federal judge confirmed months ago. Nevertheless, the Corps (i.e. the White House) arbitrarily changed its mind.

Business and Labor Unhappy

Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the DAPL, called the move, “a purely political action,” adding:

This is nothing new from this Administration, since over the last four months the Administration has demonstrated by its action and inaction that it intended to delay a decision in this matter until President Obama is out of office.

Both business groups and labor blasted the decision.

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st  Century Energy, said:

The Obama administration sent a clear message: if your special interest-funded protest is loud enough and has enough celebrities tweeting their support, then the rule of law and the facts no longer matter.

Terry O’Sullivan, General President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, called the decision, “short-sighted, gutless, and irresponsible.”

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Administration Attacks the Rule of Law

This action certainly was a thumb in the eye to the rule of law. To borrow from Professor Richard Epstein, the rule of law is a set of “known, consistent, and certain rules” that are applied in a neutral manner by the government. It’s one way our society functions.

There’s an implicit agreement: Government establishes a process for getting permission to build a major infrastructure project like a pipeline. If businesses follow those rules it should be assured of a definitive, rational decision. Both business and government function as partners.

Energy Transfer Partners spent years talking to local residents and Native American tribes. They worked with governments at all levels to demonstrate that the pipeline would be safe. They negotiated with private land owners to build the pipeline on their land. They made changes to the pipeline to protect the environment and culturally-sensitive lands.

The company followed the rules, only to have the Obama administration pull the rug out from under them to placate anti-energy activists like McKibben who thinks a modern, 21st Century economy can function without access to abundant energy.

Changing the rules in the middle of the game is fundamentally unfair, the AFL-CIO explained in November:

Once these processes have been completed, it is fundamentally unfair to hold union members’ livelihoods and their families’ financial security hostage to endless delay.

Uncertainty Has Consequences

Such decisions have ripple effects–mostly unseen. Other companies are watching.

They know that what’s happening with the Dakota Access Pipeline can just as easily be done to a natural gas pipeline or an electric power line –even if it links to a wind or solar farm. Any type of energy infrastructure investment is at risk from ad-hoc agency decisions that reject the rule of law.

Such uncertainty has consequences. Fewer needed energy projects will be attempted because the regulatory and permitting risk is too high.

As a result, it will be harder to move energy from where it’s produced to where it’s consumed. That means higher costs for families and factories. It also means higher transportation costs for energy producers, less investment in production, and fewer jobs created in the sector.

Hopefully this could be a fragile, temporary win for the anti-energy crowd. A Trump spokesman said the incoming administration supports the Dakota Access Pipeline and will review the Corps’ decision once it takes office next January.

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Nevertheless, it’s a bold reminder that how we permit infrastructure projects needs serious reform. The first place to start is having a White House that stops playing politics with our infrastructure needs while respecting the rule of law and the fairness and certainty it provides.

MORE ARTICLES ON: ENERGY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near in New Salem, North Dakota. Photo credit: Tony Webster. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

Muslim Brotherhood linked CAIR and ICNA oppose Dakota Access Pipeline

Two Muslim Brotherhood linked organizations, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) are vigorously opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Why would organizations that claim to defend Muslim civil rights oppose a pipeline that will help America’s economy and energy independence?

The Dakota Access Pipeline will deliver up to 570,000 barrels of oil per day from American oil fields to American refineries.  The pipeline will increase America’s energy independence and decrease the cost of fuel products.  See full report on Dakota Access Pipeline.

Energy Transfer Partners, the company handling the 1,172-mile and $3.78 billion project, had received all state and federal approvals except for a short section under the Missouri River in North Dakota.  However, mounting opposition alleging that the pipeline will ruin American Native sites and water quality influenced President Barack Obama to order the Army Corps of Engineers to halt construction on the pipeline to look for another route for the final part of the pipeline which goes under the Missouri River.   Eight other pipelines already cross the Missouri River.

The Council on American Islamic Relations opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline:

  • CAIR Oklahoma joined in the protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline in October 2016.    CAIR Oklahoma press release states “Representatives from Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma and Black Lives Matter were in attendance, expressing their support for indigenous communities and the struggles they face.”
  • CAIR Minnesota joined in the opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline in November 2016.
  • The Council on American Islamic Relations issued a press release on December 5, 2016 titled CAIR welcomes denial of easement for Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Islamic Circle of North America sent out the following email blast on December 1, 2016:

Take Action Today
Call President Obama & Governor of North Dakota!
Thursday, December 1, 2016

The case of water protectors in North Dakota is getting worse and worse by the day. The pipeline, which would carry oil from western North Dakota to Illinois, would cross the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The tribe — and the “water protectors” protesting alongside — say the pipeline would trammel on sacred lands and could contaminate the local drinking water supply if it leaks or ruptures. Stopping DAPL is a matter of climate justice and decolonization for indigenous peoples.

Police used a range of potentially lethal weapons against peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock: tear gas, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, mace, and water cannons. With temperatures well below freezing, the use of water cannons has afflicted many with hypothermia—not to mention the physical pain from being blasted with high-pressure water.
Let’s call President Obama and demand that he give an executive order to permanently stop the pipeline.

Let us also call the Governor of North Dakota, Jack Dalrymple, to not allow any blockage on food and supplies coming into the camp. On Tuesday, after the governor ordered the camp evacuated and a winter storm swept in, officials said they would begin blocking supplies.

The protesters vowed to stay put. In addition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers notified the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Friday that the public will not be allowed in areas being used to protest after December 5th and that anyone found on the property will be considered trespassing and subject to prosecution.

President Obama is acting on leftist politics to delay completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline.  The pipeline was supposed to be completed in December 2016.   Thankfully, President Elect Donald Trump supports that Dakota Access Pipeline.  However, liberal progressives are already asserting that Trump cannot take a position on the pipeline because he owns stock in Energy Transfer Partners who is developing the pipeline.

On November 28, 2016 North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple ordered the pipeline protesters to leave.  Two days later the Islamic Circle of North America sent out their call to action email targeting Governor Jack Dalrymple.

Florida Family Association has prepared an email to thank North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple for his efforts to put an end to this disruptive protest that is hindering America’s economy and energy independence.

To send your email, please click the below link, enter your name and email address then click the “Send Your Message” button. You may also edit the subject or message text if you wish.

Click here to send your email to thank North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple for his efforts to put an end to this disruptive protest that is hindering America’s economy and energy independence.

Contact information:

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple
governor@nd.gov

EDITORS NOTE: To learn more click here: Dakota Access Pipeline