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Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – December 16, 2017

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.

Here’s more material sent along by Natural Gas NOW readers; great stuff highlighting the power of natural gas and the absurdity of fractivism. Check out the links and other short bits below:

Forests Threatened by A Thousand Cuts? Gas to the Rescue?

…those who try to divine the future of Pennsylvania’s privately held woodlands are focused on one especially worrisome word: parcelization — the divvying up of properties into smaller and smaller bits.

Penn State’s Center for Private Forests puts the current number of “woodland owners” at a startlingly high 740,000 — more than eight times as many as in New Jersey. Their average age is high, too: 57. Researchers would like to have a conversation about death and stewardship with every one of them…

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Here’s just one way that parcelization can complicate conservation: If a 60-acre property is divided into 10-acre parcels, five like-minded owners could fight, united, against pests and invasive flora. But if the sixth owner planted fast-growing bamboo for decoration or cut down trees that blocked creek views, problems would creep across all 60 acres and the sediment would run downstream.

“This is not pie-in-the-sky theory. It’s not hype. It’s clean water, clean air, and wildlife habitat,” Finley said. “It’s absolutely vital that what we have stays as a functioning forest.”

…We know that when land changes hands, quite often that’s when things happened to it,” Muth said. “Land can be subdivided and sold individually. There’s a lot of transition that can happen.”

The properties come with a bundle of rights — layers of ownership that can be sold off to make money but also, increasingly, to conserve the forest without losing access to it. For instance, an owner could sell the rights to the natural gas beneath him to a company in Oklahoma, and sell development rights to a land trust that would bar future owners from building on it or breaking it up.

“We can’t preserve it,” Finley said, “but we can conserve it.”

How about that? Someone actually stated the obvious; if you want to save large chunks of forest, farmland and open space, you need to make it productive and natural gas is one of the ways to do that. Now, if we could just get a few others to drop their blinders…

Inside Every Fractivist There’s A Totalitarian Wanting to Get Out

From our friends at Energy In Depth:

“Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey believes that since ExxonMobil had studied the connection between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, it should have included a warning in every advertisement it produced stating that the use of its products contributes to climate change. Here is exactly what Healey’s counsel said:

“If they’re doing sales and marketing in Massachusetts, and they know things that they should be telling people – either consumers or investors – that would be relevant to the consumers or investors’ decisions, then they’ve gotta make that part of their advertising. They can’t simply go around and say, ‘We’re selling you this terrific product,’ and keep to themselves what they know about the possible impacts of those products on global warming.” (emphasis added)

Even the panel of judges were incredulous:

“The franchisee has to put on its gas station, ‘You’re creating global warming by buying my gas?’”

Under a later line of questioning, Healey’s counsel admitted that the attorney general did indeed expect ExxonMobil to issue a warning to consumers every time they filled up their tanks, because doing so might convince people to take the bus or something:

“So Exxon has an obligation – and all of this is assuming that what we think may have happened did happen, and there was an understanding about the impact on climate change – that Exxon would have a responsibility both at the national level and at the local level to implement information to the consumers so that they could understand when they purchase a tank of gas that this is gonna have an impact on global warming and maybe they should be thinking about buying a more fuel-efficient car, maybe they should be thinking about public transportation…” (emphasis added)

There’s not a hair on our heads these sorts of Northeast leftists don’t want to regulate and not a thought of ours they don’t want to control. Fractivism is but a subset of this totalitarian thinking.

Trump Officials Examining States’ Authority in Pipeline Delays

In late October, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission startled many state officials when it granted a construction permit for a natural gas pipeline in New York, despite state regulators turning down the developer over concerns the project would increase greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. The Trump administration, meanwhile, has for months discussed the possibility of using federal authority to speed infrastructure development, a potential political third rail for Republicans who have long proclaimed the sanctity of states’ rights…

“We have to break that logjam, to stop one state from having virtual veto power,” Dena Wiggins, president of the Natural Gas Supply Association, told Energy Department officials at an industry event last month. “If other states start to have a more expansive view of their (environmental authority) it could be a problem.”

The article was a very biased one that painted states such as New York as just doing their job when, in fact, they have been blatantly politicizing what is supposed a routine science-based non-political procedure for ensuring water quality is addressed in pipeline construction. Nonetheless, these paragraphs bring hope and there is only one to say—Godspeed!

German Energiewende Turned Into Dead End

Germany has invested hundreds of billions to promote renewable energy sources. Yet emissions have been dropping slower than thought, because Germany is shutting down nuclear and is therefore depending more on its coal power

Germany has built renewable energy like there is no tomorrow, but their emissions have barely budged. The main reason for this is in one of the key pillars of the Energiewende: the accelerated shut down of nuclear power.

Between 2000 and 2016, the combined energy production of wind and solar rose by over 110 terawatt hours (TWh) per year. Bioenergy increased by almost 50 TWh. But the shutdown of roughly half of the German nuclear fleet (one of the most well-operated in the world, as befitting the high quality German engineering) meant that around 85 terawatt hours of annual clean energy production has disappeared. This is equal to the annual electricity demand of Finland, or over twice that of Denmark. During the next five years, 2018 to 2022, a further 85 TWhs of nuclear production will be shut down…

Meanwhile, each year Germans pay around 25 billion, around 300 euros for each man, woman and child, to pay just for the tariffs of the currently installed renewable capacity. If this is divided among solar, wind and bioenergy production (around 150 TWhs combined), the tariffs alone come to roughly 170 euros per megawatt hour. And these billions are paid just for the currently installed capacity, meaning it is not used to add any new, much needed renewable capacity.

And, of course, on it goes until it can go no longer, at which point Germany will go back to nuclear energy, use our LNG and/or yield to the shale revolution.

About Those Bentonite “Spills”

There’s been a lot of wailing about supposed Mariner 2 East Bentonite “spills” in conjunction with construction of that pipeline as horizontal drilling has been used to go under roads, streams, wetlands and the like. The theme, of course, has on the fact Bentonite is a chemical compound, with the emphasis on chemical as if that meant “danger, danger” but the reality is far different as this PA Pipeline Review FAQ makes nicely clear:

What is Bentonite?
Bentonite is a clay generated frequently from the alteration of volcanic ash, most commonly found in the United States and China.

Bentonite Is Safe?
Bentonite has a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) rating from the FDA, which stated that:

“There is no evidence in the available information on bentonite that demonstrates or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public when it is used in the manner now practiced or that might reasonably be expected in the future.”

According to the CDC, Bentonite does not pose physical or chemical dangers to those exposed…

What is Bentonite Used For?
Bentonite has an array of uses, from removing impurities in beer, wine, and mineral water, to making paper.

It’s also an ingredient in a number of skincare and personal hygiene products – including sunscreen, moisturizer, and toothpaste. Check out the full list of products here.

A 2014 study available on the National Institute of Health website concludes that infusing gauze with bentonite has a significant advantage over the control group in coagulating wounds.

Bentonite’s Use in Farming?
It’s used as an animal feed supplement, often in the process of making animal feed pellets. It’s also used as an ion exchanger to improve soil conditions, acting as a kind of fertilizer for crops…

How is Bentonite Used for Energy Infrastructure Development?
Bentonite is also used as a mud constituent for oil and water well drilling. It’s primarily used to seal borehole walls, and to lubricate the cutting head.

Yes, but…

 

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