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Things I Hope Happen in 2017 in the Natural Gas World

PennFuture - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Few years, in my life, have been as unusual as 2016. Will 2017 be the same? It’s a good bet but there are some things we can hope will happen in natural gas.

I never make New Year’s resolutions and make a point of never reading predictions. Resolutions are for the naive and predictions are for the pretentious. I prefer to just hop and pray for certain things. Among these, of course, are numerous hopes related to the world of natural gas. Let me, at the risk of being both naive and pretentious, share a few of them.

No. 1 — We have a cold winter that raises prices and puts some sanity back in the heads of some looney legislators, and one deeply flawed Attorney General, in Massachusetts who suppose their state needs no more natural gas pipelines. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported this on December 21:

Heating demand started low in December, but quickly increased. During the first week of December, heating degree days (HDD) were 2% below normal in the Lower 48 states. However, arctic temperatures moved into large portions of the region during the week ending December 15 and raised HDD 11% above normal, increasing demand for natural gas. Low temperatures in key natural gas consuming areas including the New England, Middle Atlantic, and East and West North Central U.S. Census divisions, where HDD were more than 10% greater than normal”were the primary driver behind the increased heating demand.

I’m not really expecting the politicians to smarten up that much, but they are pols and if Bostonians are shivering you can expect they’ll feel the tremors and act accordingly, as they blame the natural gas industry for not bringing infrastructure fast enough and start investigations.

No. 2 — US shipments of LNG pick up speed and become a significant source of natural gas for other nations. We shipped 112,038 MMcf for just the first 10 months of 2016; some 60% above the previous high point in 2011. EIA reports natural gas pipeline flows to the Sabine Pass liquefaction terminal are averaging 1.5 Bcf/d and growing.

No. 3 — Other natural gas exports also continue to grow. Given chart below, I have especially high hopes in this case.

Natural Gas

Our exports to Mexico have, in fact, more tripled since 2010 and if Massachusetts and New York keep resisting pipelines we may find our exports to Canada grow so the natural gas can be reimported to Maine, Maine has natural gas and Massachusetts is short. Wouldn’t that be poetic justice?

No. 4 — Preet Brahara perp-walks Governor Corruptocrat off-stage and his Lt. Governor takes over. She’s from Buffalo and if we get that cold winter, it’s not hard too imagine some sanity returning to New York as well. Just being from some other part of the Empire State than the rotten Big Apple is bound to help, don’t you think? It would take a few months, at least, for the NRDC gang to corrupt her.

No. 5 — A new Administrator at the EPA reins in the agency and, at a minimum, ends the “Sue and Settle Strategy” that’s given the NRDC gang and other radical special interest groups control over Federal policy. Just talking about this problem and highlighting the egregious influence extended to these groups via their designation in legislation as parties of interest with the ability to sue the government will make a huge difference.

No. 6 — Environmental groups now coming around to nuclear power as one of the ways to make a meaningful difference in carbon emissions finally begin to recognize the very real contributions of natural gas to that goal. The US shale revolution, after all, is the very first substantial contribution made toward that goal by any industry or nation. Forget Germany; they’ve forced their electricity prices through roof to achieve next to nothing on this score (unless one counts using more brown coal as an achievement). The US shale revolution has changed everything, without government idiocy getting in the way.

natural gas lessons-from-the-shale-revolution

No. 7 — Our national media outlets continue to lose influence as they report one fake news story after another; the Dakota Access Pipeline protests being a prime example. Let a thousand more lights, in the form of independent news sources, be brought to bear on these matters so more people know the facts and act accordingly.

No. 8 — “Who was Josh Fox?” becomes a Jeopardy answer under the category “Liar, Liars.”

No. 9 — Our buddy Nick Grealy gets to do a live-action report on the first successful commercial gas well to be fracked in the UK. We’d rather sell the UK some more LNG, of course, but let’s be honest; the shale revolution should be for everyone. Wouldn’t it be neat to see the UK supplying Germany and France with natural gas as an terminative to the Ruskies?

No. 10 — The Federal Courts throw out Governor Corruptocrat’s ridiculous obstruction of the Constitution Pipeline, issuing a castigating opinion on such attempts to turn the law inside-out. It would nice to see a whole lot of other court action as well. How about some industry lawsuits against the NRDC/Rockefeller gang for their RICO-like activity? And, can’t we challenge some of the abuse of the tax-exemption system by these groups?

I could do 20 more but you get the idea; it’s time to be more pro-active. Perhaps I’ll do a year-end review of how I’ve done on December 31, but don’t count on it, unless, of course, I score 70% or better.

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5 thoughts on “Things I Hope Happen in 2017 in the Natural Gas World

  1. Very interesting list. One wonders when if ever the media wakes up and sees what it is that they are getting spectacularly wrong. Quite the problem with accurate reporting on natural gas and pipelines.

  2. No. 1 — Federal legislators, legislators of all 50 states, and courts must wake up and pass new legislation to force oil and gas companies to fairly compensate landowners and Native Americans for underground natural gas storage. Over the years, the federal and state governments, FERC, and the courts have conspired with oil and gas companies to take over private property by imminent domain and illegal perpetual leases for underground natural gas storage.

    FERC is illegally using the 1938 gas act to allow oil and gas companies to take over private property for underground natural gas storage. the 1938 Gas Act was written for pipelines ONLY NOT underground storage. This is a violation of the 5th amendment.

    Yes, if we have a cold winter this year, oil and gas companies will make $millions$ from underground storage by the illegal use of private property. They will do so without fair compensation to the landowners who are the rightful owners of the valuable underground caverns on their land.

    This is a national issue that affects thousands of landowners who own the 415 underground storage areas across 31 states in the USA. This national criminal violation of the rights of landowners needs national exposure by the media to raise the level of consciousness of our legislators to do the right thing to reverse this illegal government/industrial mafia criminal activity. Let 2017 be the year that all affected landowners and Native Americans rise up and act!!

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