Natural Gas Now Best Picks of the Week – August 24, 2019

natural gas nowTom 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.

Not Enough Wind or Money!

But, I was told it was all free, with an endless supply!

A wind farm operator has encountered a problem: not enough wind.

John Laing Group JLG, -1.73%  , the U.K. infrastructure investor, has put on ice its investments in renewable energy projects in Europe and Australia because it isn’t windy enough.

natural gas now

Olivier Brousse, John Laing’s chief executive officer, said: “We experienced operational performance issues on our wind assets, mainly driven by low levels of wind.”

Brousse said that meant that its windfarms aren’t generating as much power as expected. Shares in the company were down 5.57% at 359.6p in late afternoon trading in London on Thursday.

The comments were made as John Laing reported an 80% plunge in first-half earnings.

Industrial wind facilities seem to losing wind, both figuratively and literally it seems. What will Europe do? They’ll have to frack or buy our LNG, of course. Natural gas now, as we say!

Wait A Minute! Didn’t You Say Pennsylvania Has No Severance Tax?

A regular reader wrote yesterday to mention this story from June:

State Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) today announced that his Senatorial District, consisting of Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Union counties, will receive over $48 million in 2019 for natural gas impact fees paid during the 2018 calendar year.

According to figures released today by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), Senator Yaw’s District will receive $48,092,294.87 in unconventional gas well fee revenues generated during 2018.  These distributions account for roughly 19 percent of the total $251,830,900 received by the PUC, who is responsible for imposing, collecting and distributing impact fees.  This year’s distribution is approximately $7.9 million higher than last year.

“Over the past eight years, Bradford, Lycoming and Susquehanna counties again ranked among the highest recipients of Act 13 revenues,’ Sen. Yaw said.  “The impact tax is working.  In fact, our state tax brings in more money than the severance taxes in Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio & West Virginia combined.  The benefit to my rural Senate district, and rural Pennsylvania as a whole, is immeasurable.”

Proceeds from the impact fees are distributed to counties and local governments, as well as state agencies, to provide for infrastructure upgrades, tax reductions, emergency services, environmental initiatives, housing, delivery of social services, judicial services and more.

This made me decide, just for fun, to check West Virginia’s severance tax collections and I found this:

natural gas nowYes, Pennsylvania’s impact fee generates more than double West Virginia’s severance tax and just one Senate District (five counties) in Pennsylvania collected revenue in 2018 equal to 44% of West Virginia’s entire severance tax haul in 2017. talk about natural gas now! But, we have no severance tax, Governor Wolf claims. Somebody is lying and it’s not Senator Yaw, the PUC or the good folks of West Virginia. You figure it out.

So, You’re Saying Wind Turbines Aren’t So Green;
There Are Accidents and Environmental Impacts?

Another reader and friend from long ago, who I’ve not seen in a long time, writes to share this:

A southern Washington wildfire caused by melting sections of a wind turbine that fell to the ground after the turbine’s generator caught fire has been 80% contained, officials say.

Level three “go” evacuations were also downgraded Monday, and crews began demobilizing that night. Remaining crews will be released by Tuesday evening. No one has been seriously hurt by the 253-acre blaze, which is dubbed the Juniper fire.

The fire response unfolded after smoke was reported to be coming from the generator of a wind turbine south of Bickleton in Klickitat County on Saturday afternoon, according to a new release from Klickitat County Emergency Management.

Fire engulfed the turbine 300 feet above the ground, causing melted pieces to fall to the ground, igniting grass and brush, according to the release.

Fire crews on Monday finished lining the fire perimeter and kept mopping up the interior, officials said. The fire didn’t grow Monday.

A sustainable energy company named AVANGRID owns the turbine that burned.

Sorry, but it’s not “sustainable energy” when the damned things catch on fire hundreds of feet in the air and start blazes on the ground. It’s just an accident some will say, but that isn’t what they say when it’s natural gas. And, what makes something that requires massive public subsidies and still makes no economic sense sustainable anyway? I have no problem with wind energy per se and have worked on wind projects but can’t we at least be honest about it; that it’s just another form of energy with it’s own set of risks and impacts? Stop with the “sustainable” crap. Natural gas now instead, please.

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7 thoughts on “Natural Gas Now Best Picks of the Week – August 24, 2019

  1. With all the millions in impact fees paid out,
    my Fracked County still has high poverty rate at about 40%..

    And more than ever food banks and ever increasing, illegal drug use.

    And gas industry is also subsidized and responsible for explosions and fires and equipment meltdowns..

    We need better, sustainable energy sources and not such invasive ones like gas with their over 500 gas pads in my county next to our homes and schools…

    I heard they now have solar panels that don’t use precious metals..

    • Vera,
      It is the left leaning social relocation programs from the NYC and NJ Metro area that relocate poor drug users into metro areas like Binghamton. Just take a look down Route 17 and you will see an ongoing problem that has been made worse over the past few decades. Like the trash NYC constantly sends to landfills in CNY and WNY, it sends its bottom feeders who then collaborate with the native bottom feeders and form a larger alliance in perpetrating the drug trade throughout the two tiers. NY State has pumped millions my of tax dollars into reviving downtown Binghamton. A noble effort but one that is not sustainable. Anyone who works in the State and County buildings who deals with subsidizing these people can tell you what is going on. NYC boasts how “green” it is but it’s not. It merely shifts the problems elsewhere.
      Most of all, it has nothing to do with the gas industry. Solar panels won’t fix it either. It’s a people problem.. especially with the dimwitted politicians that people like you support and cozy up to. Actually in essence, it’s your fault, Vera.

    • Ms. Scroggins,

      It isn’t precious metals I’m worried about, but toxic heavy metal and cyanides in solar cells. Nor do you have a plan for recycling tons of contaminated carbon in photovoltaics or 15-20 tons of fiberglass blades per wind turbine.

      You also seem to have a hard time dealing with whatever we use to power the country in the future will be an industrial solution. The Jacobson plan wants 1200 sq. mi. of NY and 2000+ sq. mi. of PA for solar and wind power. Of course all that is based on a magical 37% reduction in power use, so increase all those areas by 50% to cover a steady amount of power use.

  2. Can you imagine a bunch of these going up in flames on the South shore of Long Island and harming the Marine Life and beaches?? Especially when all the Elites are at the Hamptons?? Interesting times ahead!!

  3. Thanks…Spuds,
    you are always “well-informed”
    and will always support the gas industry no matter what harms we show.

    Ask to visit Debra Maye in Dimock
    and see her evidence of harms from the gas industry if you would like a more rounded picture.

    • Vera,
      Actually I am just as critical of the gas industry as I am of other energy producers. The people who I am more critical of than anyone is people like yourself who rarely if any have any other options to bring to the table.
      You, Ruffalo and others seem to believe in some kind of “magical” solution, that comes at a cost to others and not yourself.
      There is nothing green about your position. If that were the case, you would be spouting off about how inefficient the nation’s electrical grid is and all the wind and solar facilities couldn’t help unless the delivery system is fixed.
      You and your ilk would be spending your precious supporting true renewable energy production like syngas from wastewater facilities and landfills.
      If you can’t help with providing a solution, then you are part of the problem.

  4. I followed the link for the John Laing Group and Market Watch told me:

    “John Laing Group Plc engages in the ownership, investment, and management of infrastructure assets. Its focuses on transport, social, and environmental infrastructure projects awarded under governmental public-private partnership programmes and renewable energy projects.”

    Yet somehow Mr. Brousse wants us to believe that because one part of his business had a downturn “driven by low levels of wind”, that would be enough to cause and 80% drop in earnings.

    Renewable energy is variable by the nature of Nature. Its real problem is a lack of storage so that what has been produced can be used when needed. But if you turn off critical reasoning so that this ridiculous corporate ass covering seems to make sense, then, like Mr. Brousse, you may not want to understand the problem.

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