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Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – August 4, 2018

natural gas now - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Natural Gas NOW readers pass along a lot of stuff every week about natural gas, fractivist antics, emissions, renewables, and other news relating to energy. As usual, emphasis is added.

Governor Corruptocrat Takes New York State Further Over the Cliff

There are no limits to how far Andrew Cuomo will go to earn his street cred with environmental extremists. He has zero understanding of energy economics and couldn’t care less. He views his job as pandering to the fringe, as he did here on the day he banned fracking in New York:

Andrew Cuomo is not only committing Empire State ratepayers and taxpayers to hugely subsidizing uneconomic solar energy via net metering that bears no relation to value. He is also thinking about how he might sweeten the bad deal even further, no doubt in expectation of campaign donations. His Public Service Commission (total under his thumb at this pointy) is studying the following:

  • A consideration of enhanced and additional opportunities for electric customers to receive market transition credits in areas of New York where CDG market development has not been strong.
  • Alternative incentive mechanisms may be developed for community solar in areas where CDG development has been successful, including Central Hudson Gas & Electric and Orange and Rockland service territories.
  • Regulators want to make improvements in calculating and compensating the distribution value of distributed resources.
  • Another idea is to consider the extension of net energy metering to systems up to 750 kW, in cases where onsite energy generation is primarily used to satisfy a customer’s demand.

Corruptocrat, in other words, wants to throw away even more of other people’s money subsidizing foolish solar projects that are uneconomical, require dispatchable energy backups and raise electric prices for everyone. Welcome to New York, where economics is  a simple matter of denying reality.

DRBC Losing 150 Million Gallons of Water Per Day But Worried About Fracking?

Here’s what the DRBC offers as a reason for banning fracking:

According to SRBC, when the industry began lengthening its lateral well bores in 2013, the average amount of water used per fracturing event increased to approximately 5.1 to 6.5 million gallons per fracturing event.

Withdrawals from surface and ground water in the amounts required for HVHF may adversely affect aquatic ecosystems and river channel and riparian resources downstream, including wetlands, and may diminish the quantity of water stored in an aquifer or a stream’scapacity to assimilate pollutants. Because HVHF operations may significantly increase the volume of water withdrawn in a localized area, they may ultimately upset the balance between the demand on water resources and the availability of those resources for uses protected by theCommission’s comprehensive plan, particularly during periods of low precipitation or drought.

Really? Well, no, that’s just the spin. The DRBC just said this in an appeal for participation in a water loss management training worship it’s planning this Fall:

Nationwide, an estimated six billion gallons per day of water is taken from water resources and never reaches the customer; this is enough water to supply the drinking water needs of the ten largest cities in the United States. In the Delaware River Basin, this number is estimated at 150 million gallons per day.

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Many community drinking water systems in PA deliver water to customers through aging distribution systems; withdrawing, treating, and supplying water for which they may not be fully receiving revenue. To help water utilities in eastern PA address this growing issue, DRBC and PADEP are partnering to present a three-part instructional training series on water loss management for water operators, water managers, water authority personnel, engineers, and water system board members.

Simple math tells us the DRBC is losing enough water every day to hydraulically fracture 23 gas wells every single day of the year and the number is growing. Yet, they claim fracking is such a great threat they need to ban it? That’s pure BS, especially when you realize the gas, when combusted, adds more water to the hydrologic cycle than fracking removes. So much for science.

German Is More Black (or Brown) Than Green

The Germans are determined to show us just how green they are and plenty of fractivist-leaning Americans are happy to go play along with the lie. Germany has refused to frack and has also written off nuclear for the future so its choices are limited to coal and renewables. Investments in solar energy, in particular, have been an unmitigated disaster. Indeed, according to the Hans Boeckler Foundation site: “No other industry grew so rapidly in the last decades as the production of solar cells has – and none has collapsed as fast.”

Meanwhile, “the exorbitantly high green energy feed-in tariffs rapidly caused electricity rates from consumers to skyrocket.” In fact, because “the government was forced to act quickly to cut the feed-in rates” this is what made solar systems less attractive” and collapsed the market, according to No Tricks Zone. So, Germany is doing coal; dirty lignite or brown coal, as this WIRED story tells us:

Lignite is 50 percent water and yields much less energy than the shiny black anthracite. But lignite is easy to bulldoze from massive strip mines that dot Germany’s northwest and eastern border with Poland. Among Europe’s power plants, Germany’s brown coal stations constitute six out of 10 of the worst polluters.

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Click photo for high-resolution version of photo by Carel Mohn and full story at WIRED.

Merkel is trying to manage this “energiewende” or energy-transition, without using nuclear power, which she decided to abandon after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. But the numbers aren’t adding up, and critics say Germany could lose all the progress it has already made. So if super-green Germany—with its massive wind and solar farms, advanced technology and industrious mindset—can’t quit its love affair with coal, can anyone else on the planet? Right now, the answer is a bit muddled…

Germany’s appetite for cheap brown lignite coal is nowhere more apparent that the village of Keyenberg, about an hour north of Cologne. It’s one of seven villages being gobbled up by the massive Rheinisch mine that is Europe’s largest. More than 20,000 people have been relocated to new settlements as the huge pit approaches, but some residents remain—like 73-year old Kathi Winzen, who is holding out along with 27 family members in a brick farmhouse and compound that dates back to the 18th century…

Keyenberg has been in the crosshairs of the mining operation for the past 30 years, enduring a of slow-motion squeeze. It’s the same with Germany, squeezed by its desire to operate its muscular economy on green energy, but unable to quit its cheap supply of fossil fuels.

It’s about time the Germans, who have chosen dirty brown coal and Russian gas over clean shale gas and nuclear energy stop lording it over the rest of us. They’re not green; they’re black and brown. Enough already!

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