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What’s the Matter with New York?

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

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New York State has long passed the tipping point where rational public policy is possible. The reason? The state is hopelessly urban with no grasp of land.

I’m often asked by Upstate New Yorkers and residents of other states why New York does such inexplicable things. My answer, though hardly reassuring, is that the Empire State is now so urban that all connection with the land is lost for most voters. Take the five boroughs of New York City, throw in Long Island and Rockland and Westchester Counties, and you have 63% of all New York State crowded onto 4% of the land at a density of almost 6,000 persons per square mile.

Most voters living in such conditions haven’t the slightest clue how food is grown or energy is made or what it mans to own and be responsible for land. Land, in fact, is a foreign concept to someone who has lived in an apartment, however plush, and simply pays for food, energy and transportation without giving a thought to how they’re delivered. Property taxes, deer management and all-weather tires are terms for which there is utterly no use. Give any of these people 100 acres of land Upstate, tell them to make a living off it and they’d starve, just as I would if suddenly plopped down in Manhattan. They’re two different planets, culturally speaking, yet the population imbalance ensures the Upstate New Yorker is at the mercy of the city dweller with no grasp of land.

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How the Funders of the Delaware Riverkeeper Live

SolarCity - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The Delaware Riverkeeper, a shameless opponent of any economic development of the Upper Delaware region, is funded by rich elitists who want it for playtime.

No group has done more to fight against the interests of those trying to make a living in the Upper Delaware region than the Delaware Riverkeeper. It is primarily enabled by the William Penn Foundation, a private foundation created and tightly controlled by the Haas family, heirs of a fortune made in chemicals, who spend enormous sums on fractivist initiatives.

We’ve written about them numerous times, of course, and pointed out how the Delaware Riverkeeper, the Foundation and the Delaware River Basin Commission, along with other shill organizations, have effectively colluded to deny the Upper Delaware region any hope for real economic progress related to gas drilling, even as neighboring areas enjoy the benefits. The Foundation, though, is where the money comes from and we’ve spent too little time laying out exactly who the Haas family is and how they live while financing the demise of our economy.

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OMG! Ommegang Wants Power Now!

SolarCity - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Hard as it is to believe, Ommegang, the Otsego County beer folks who trendily opposed fracking, now, after losing power and beer, want power. NIMBY justice.

I’ve refused to drink Ommegang beer since 2012 when it became perfectly obvious what a  bunch of trendy hypocrites the gang really was. I wrote about it over at Energy In Depth. I used the story to illustrate their hypocrisy as a key opponent of fracking in Otsego County on the theory it would threaten their clean water supply. They were, at the time, seeking a permit to discharge 35,000 gallons of beer-making effluent into the Susquehanna River, which certainly didn’t do much for downstream Binghamton’s water supply. Moreover, the project involved horizontal drilling under a wetland and big-time consumptive use of water that was shipped out of the watershed as beer. The contrast between what they said and what they were doing was stunning. Now, shall we say, the worm at the bottom of the Ommegang bottle has turned.

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Renewables Face Reality: The Subsidies Aren’t Enough

SolarCity - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Renewables are facing a hard reality; the business models, even with big subsidies, just don’t make economic sense for consumers, government or investors.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal, often a fan of corporatist cronyism, had an interesting story about a SEC investigation into Elon Musk’s empire. That empire is built on the heady dreams of trendy trust-funders and other sycophants who Musk, the modern Wizard of Con, knows better than anyone how to court. He’s their “hero.”

Federal regulators are investigating whether solar-energy companies are masking how many customers they are losing, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is examining whether San Francisco-based Sunrun Inc. and Elon Musk’s San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity Corp. have adequately disclosed how many customers have canceled contracts after signing up for a home solar-energy system…

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Final Justice: Junkyard Plaintiff Loren Kiskadden Case Is Over

SolarCity - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Finally, at long last, the Loren Kiskadden case is over. The junkyard plaintiff used by fractivist special interests to make headlines for years lost bigly.

Loren Kiskadden, the junkyard plaintiff from Southwestern Pennsylvania, the serial litigator used by some trial lawyers and the fractivist special interests as a poster child for their cause has finally lost for good. The tortured history of the case can be found here and here. There is seems to be little doubt the case was encouraged by the Heinz Endowments, as a fractivist initiative. The Environmental Hearing Board, the Commonwealth Court, and now the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, all looked at the evidence and concluded Loren Kiskadden had no case. It’s over. Range Resources won and fractivism lost “bigly” as some New Yorkers say.

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Flying Solo: The Uncivil Story of How Fracking Opposition Arises

dimock verdict - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Fracking opposition is largely financed by the gentry class and other special interests. No better example exists than the Civil Society Institute. The following is an updated version of a story we did here three years ago on this phony outfit.

It sometimes has the appearance of a grass roots rebellion. An empathetic media is only too happy to report it as such, but fracking opposition is cultivated, funded and promoted by the America’s gentry class.

The names pop up regularly in the news as if there repeated sudden outbursts of public opposition to fracking, a pipeline project or a LNG port. Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Clean Air Council, Dakota Resource Council,  Delaware Riverkeeper, Environmental Advocates of New York, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Otsego 2000, Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy, Responsible Drilling Alliance — these are the names of supposedly grass-roots anti-fracking organizations from across the country. They are, in reality, satellite operations of gentry class special interest groups.

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The Fading Career of Josh Fox Speaks Volumes

dimock verdict - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

A sure sign his 15 minutes of fame is exhausted is the declining revenue of Josh Fox, whose Sweet Jane Productions has dropped into insignificance.

Every once in a while, I still check on Josh Fox to see what he’s up to these days. The fact I have to check is a sure sign his star has faded, of course. Otherwise, I’d know without checking. He’s now a parody of his former life, of course, desperately trying to grab the spotlight with comments about defeating ISIS with love; comments he knows will capture attention, only to be pranked by the irrepressible Phelim McAleer who started a fund-raising campaign to “Send Josh Fox to Hug ISIS.”

Fox’s comments were obviously designed to get someone, anyone out there, to grab a little free publicity for his ridiculous “How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change” tour or film or whatever it is he’s trying. Meanwhile, the revenue of Sweet Jane Productions, Inc., the non-profit he uses to scrounge money from taxpayers, special interest foundations and the like is plummeting.

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Will LNG Make Pennsylvania Natural Gas King of the Hill?

dimock verdict - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Two seemingly unrelated stories from this week suggest Pennsylvania natural gas could make the Commonwealth king of the hill with a little help from LNG.

Two fascinating stories this week tell me what a glorious future Pennsylvania has with respect to natural gas development. One is from Australia and the other is an article from the always useful Today In Energy site. Put them together and the picture becomes clear; LNG ports such as Cove Point, combined with a few pipeline projects to get the Pennsylvania natural gas to the ports are going to open up the world and maybe even New England as markets, making the Keystone State king of the hill for natural gas production.

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Where Have All the Solar Jobs Gone?

dimock verdict - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

A recent article in the New York Times extolled the growth in renewables jobs, suggesting solar jobs were booming but the data is very misleading at best.

A great friend from New York with no axe to grind on energy issues recently pointed me to an article in the New York Times suggesting solar job creation was absolutely booming. He knew I would be interested and wondered what I thought. I told him it was likely to be phony data but that I would check it out. I did. I was correct.

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Pipeline Routing Negotiation Illustrates A Better Way

dimock verdict - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Landowners truly concerned with the impacts of pipeline development have a great example of how to negotiate to get what they want with the Atlantic Sunrise.

Something very interesting happened with respect to the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline happened last week. It demonstrates how landowners and others with meaningful issues having to do with pipeline routing can influence things in a positive way. The Atlantic Sunrise has filed with FERC for a route change to protect a property with outstanding biological diversity. It happened because the landowner approached the matter with something other than the typical NIMBY or hysterical ideological campaigns so typical of project opponents these days. They tried something different; they used hard data and made their case based on facts without attacking the project itself or declaring war on the gas industry.

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