Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – October 6, 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.

 Windmills Warm the Planet? No, No, No….

Yes, yes, yes; that’s what no less an authority than MIT says:

…a new study by a pair of Harvard researchers finds that a high amount of wind power could mean more climate warming, at least regionally and in the immediate decades ahead. The paper raises serious questions about just how much the United States or other nations should look to wind power to clean up electricity systems.

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Warming the planet?

The study, published in the journal Joule, found that if wind power supplied all US electricity demands, it would warm the surface of the continental United States by 0.24 ˚C. That could significantly exceed the reduction in US warming achieved by decarbonizing the nation’s electricity sector this century, which would be around 0.1 ˚C.

So, please explain again why all those ratepayer/taxpayer subsidies are a good idea…

Trump to Stop the Pipeline Games?

Let’s hope it’s true:

President Trump is likely to make a renewed push to permit and build oil and natural gas pipelines next year, his top economic adviser said Thursday.

Larry Kudlow said a new pipeline push would be both a continuation of Trump’s aggressive energy deregulation streak and his ongoing infrastructure agenda.

“We need infrastructure, including pipelines,” Kudlow said at an Economic Club of Washington event. “We need east to west, we need west to east.”

And, some important lawmakers are behind Trump:

In a Thursday letter lead by Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), the five Republicans asked EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to send new guidance regarding a statute in the Clean Water Act, which they fear has been used in the past to restrict the development of natural gas pipelines.

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Will projects such as this get a new lift from Washington?

“In the last few years, a troubling trend directed at fossil energy projects has arisen. A select number of states have hijacked Section 401 to delay or block the development of natural gas pipelines and a coal export terminal. While the focus of these abuses today is fossil energy, the approach could be used to target any type of project that is disfavored politically,”

This is so overdue. Maybe the Constitution Pipeline will get another chance and Upstate will get a lifeline.

So Your StateImpactPA Isn’t An Echo Chamber, Then?

Following my testimony last week before the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, StateImpactPA’s editor apparently wrote legislators expressing his offense at my calling his news site an echo chamber:

StateImpact Pennsylvania editor Scott Blanchard sent a letter to the Committee in reaction to Shepstone’s comments saying– “StateImpact Pennsylvania is an independent public media news collaboration that covers the state’s energy economy. It receives funding in part from the Heinz Endowments. Neither Heinz, nor any of StateImpact Pennsylvania’s other funders, nor any groups or organizations funded by the foundations Mr. Shepstone cites, have any say or influence over our news coverage.”

The man doth protest too much.

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A review of the articles on StateImpactPA indicates the Delaware Riverkeeper is cited as a source some 154 times. The Clean Air Council is cited 150 times and PennFuture 122 times. That’s a collective 426 citations for their fellow recipients of grants from the the Heinz and Haas families. Not an echo chamber? Really? We’re supposed to believe, Scott, that you don’t know what your funders expect for the money even if they don’t specifically instruct you? Despite what you may think of us, we didn’t fall off the turnip truck.

And, tell us, please what these two $330,000 William Penn Foundation grants were for, if not to influence news coverage:

2017 — “Reporting on water quality stressors and related community engagement in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware portions of the Delaware River watershed.”

2015 — “Reporting on threats to water quality in the Delaware River watershed for its StateImpact Pennsylvania program.”

Sure looks like you were hired to be an echo chamber to me, Scott. Maybe you ought to correct that record again?

UK Fractivists Blame Cuadrilla for Delays THEY Caused?

Obstructionists determined to destroy a world they hate gotta obstruct, of course, but why do they have to blame us for their hateful ways? Earlier this week, Cuadrilla made this wonderful announcement, brought to us by our friends at Lancashire For Shale:

“The start of hydraulic fracturing is the final milestone in the journey to assessing the flow rates of natural gas from our Lancashire shale exploration wells. On completion of hydraulic fracturing and commencement of gas flow, we expect to have, in the first quarter of next year, an initial assessment of how much natural gas is likely to be recoverable from these first Lancashire shale wells. This will allow us to make an assessment of the commercial viability and future of this exploration site. Lancashire has benefited to date from over £11 million of investment generated by our exploration operations. This investment will grow very significantly if we move from exploration into commercial production.

Then, late last evening, came this courtesy of our friend Steve Heins:

Hours after announcing fracking operations were to begin in Lancashire next week, drilling company Cuadrilla now faces further delays after a successful injunction was brought against the firm.

The injunction request was made to the courts by Lancashire resident Bob Dennett, and is the latest victory for campaigners who have repeatedly thwarted efforts to extract shale gas in England.

It means Cuadrilla must await the findings of a judicial review, also by Mr Dennett, which asserts Lancashire County Council’s emergency response planning is inadequate…

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Kate Blagojevic, head of energy at Greenpeace UK, said: “Seven years after the last UK well was fracked, the industry has produced no energy and no money.”

Seriously? Greenpeace, financed by the old money of “haves” has spent seven years obstructing fracking and now wants to blame the fact nothing has happened on the industry? This modern day leftism in one of its various guises. It’s just old-fashioned Stalinism, though, to those familiar with history.

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3 thoughts on “Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – October 6, 2018

  1. Here are a few reasons why the wind turbine subsidies might be a good idea or, as least, not a bad idea:

    The study says: “We find that generating today’s US electricity demand (0.5 TWe) with wind power would warm Continental US surface temperatures by 0.24°C.” NOBODY envisions generating all the US electrical power with wind! If you were optimistic enough to think wind could do 40%, then the temperature increase would be .084 degrees and under their .1 degree. Putting all your eggs in one basket has more problems that just this.

    The study says: “The warming effect is: small compared with projections of 21st century warming, approximately equivalent to the reduced warming achieved by decarbonizing global electricity generation…”. According to a diagram in the report, the full warming effect won’t take full effect until 2080, but that’s using today’s figures and technology trends. Do you really think anyone “knows” what the tech will be like in 2080? If you think you do, you are either a champion BS artist or a very promising sci-fi writer.

    Would raising turbines from approx. 200 feet to 300 or 400 feet above the ground have less of an effect on ground level mixing? I remember coal burning plants in Ohio with 600 foot smoke stacks, that didn’t affect Ohio, but caused acid rain in the Adirondack Mountains in eastern NY. If only there was somebody that could fund a study of my idea that fewer, taller and higher capacity turbines would cause less warming.

    Subsidies, grants, investments and pilot projects are what government and private investment firms does to check out promising ideas. Both do much the same; weed out the less likely, fund the better ones and still expect that most will fail. They learn from the failures’ post mortems and use the successes to fund even more investment. Interstate highways, the internet, GPS and weather satellites are examples of what government can do, that business couldn’t, or, more importantly, wouldn’t do.

  2. While I enthusiastically support the Constitution Pipeline, I do not share you hope that this Senate initiative will help. Here is why:

    4 of the 5 senators are from coal states, where Article 401 has been used to hinder strip mining and mountain topping. Borasso and Enzi are from Wyoming and Daines is from Montana; both states have large coal reserves and use strip mining. Capito is from West Virginia, infamous for flattening the geology with mountain top mining. Inhofe is from Oklahoma, which has little coal, but seems to be trying to rescue an un-economic coal burning electric plant. I see a pattern here.

    The EPA administrator the letter was sent to, Andrew Wheeler, who recently replaced the blatantly pro-coal Scott Pruitt. Wheeler’s previous employment was as a lobbyist for Murray Energy. Murray Energy is a coal company run by Robert Murray, who gave $300, 000 to the Trump Inaugural. The company gave $1,000,000 to a Trump super PAC.

    Joseph Craft III, of Alliance Resource Partners, and his wife gave $2,000,000 to Trump for the campaign and inauguration. He, like Murray, gets to give the EPA lists of regulations they want killed, like the mercury regulation soon to be weakened. Trump appointed Craft’s wife to be Ambassador to Canada. Is the pattern getting any clearer?

    Trump’s Office of Management and Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, also named to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, explained to group of lobbyists that, as a Representative from South Carolina, he refused to meet with lobbyists unless they had contributed to his congressional campaigns. I guess Williams, Cabot, Chesapeake, Range, et. al, thought the swamp was really going to be drained.

    In another Trump “gift” to the gas and oil industry and his “free market plan”, the administration plans to extend the availability of the E-15 ethanol blend to year round, in spite of the extra pollution from it in the summer time. Please put out of your mind that this was a payoff to Senator Grassley of Iowa, also know as “King Corn”, for recently rendered political services.

    So where is natural gas’ place at the table? If we were seated on the basis of a environmentally clean, efficient, abundant and domestic fuel, we should have been first.

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