American Energy Alliance Newsletter

Dorgan Convinces Reporter that “Most Areas of the OCS” Were Open to Exploration “A Year Ago” – Notwithstanding the De Facto Ban that Remains Thanks to Mustang Sally. NY Times/E&E News (1/22) reports, “Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) still wants his committee’s bill to be paired with a cap-and-trade system. But Dorgan has pushed for that legislation to be passed on its own, without the cap-and-trade plans being written in other committees. “It will move us in the direction of a lower-carbon future, ” Dorgan said. He added that most areas of the outer continental shelf were opened to drilling a year ago. His bill would open one of the last places that is still off limits. “Offshore drilling is a carrot, ” Dorgan said. “It’s a carrot that’s already been consumed.” But Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is likely to filibuster any effort to expand drilling off the shores of his home state. Without an emissions cap, liberal Democrats are even less likely to try to help override his objections. “Enviros would revolt and could easily peel off enough liberal senators to keep them from getting 60 votes,” said a House Democratic leadership aide, “at least in the short term.”

Speaking of King Bolo: Denver Post Looks Back over “Controversial” Year of Service for Salazar; Sally Remains Defiant, Though: “I Have No Apologies.” Denver Post (1/24) reports, “Salazar’s fight with oil and gas drillers has been both open and angry. A recent editorial in the Oil and Gas Journal charged Salazar “I only half-heartedly joke with those in industry that, during the prior administration, their names were chiseled above the chairs outside the office of the Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals,” wrote Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, a Democrat, to Salazar this month, criticizing recent changes to oil and gas leasing policy. “I fear that we are merely swapping the names above those same chairs to environmental interests, giving them a stranglehold on an already cumbersome process,” Freudenthal wrote. In his spacious Washington, D.C., office, a bust of Teddy Roosevelt on a table, Salazar said “I have no apologies to anybody.

Coalition of Multinational Companies, Who Do Their Work in the Third-World, and Thus Stand to Benefit Handsomely From U.S. Cap-and-Raid, Dump Millions Into New TV Ads. E&E News (1/22, subs. req’d) reports, “A coalition of about 150 companies today announced the second phase of a $1 million ad campaign to push for congressional passage of a climate and energy bill. The 30-second television spot will start running this weekend in Washington and will continue through President Obama’s State of the Union address Wednesday. We Can Lead, the group behind the ad, includes companies such as Exelon Corp., Entergy Corp., Constellation Energy Group Inc. and eBay Inc. “We need to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year,” states the ad before showing business officials calling for the creation of clean energy jobs in their states. The ad closes with, “We need to make America more energy independent and put America back in control. The U.S. House has acted. Now, it ‘s the Senate’s turn. The Senate needs to act. To create 1.7 million new jobs. It just makes sense.”

Like Peas and Carrots: Kerfuffle Between Coal Guys and Gas Guys Obscures A Couple Simple Facts: Gas Can Be Produced from Coalbeds, and Coal Can Be Used to Make Gas. Reuters (1/22) reports, “With the advent of shale plays in gas, a lot of property these coal companies own could all of a sudden be potential sites for gas wells,” said Matt Preston, coal analyst for Wood Mackenzie. The hot new Marcellus shale play in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York spans the heart of historic coal country and is one target of coal company interest. “We have had conversations with three significantly sized companies,” said Bobby Tudor, CEO of energy investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Other coal companies view gas as a future asset, but not gas produced from wells. Peabody Energy, the biggest U.S. coal company, has invested in two high technology projects aimed at converting coal into gas. “Coal to gas remains a long-term strategic focus,” Peabody spokesman Vic Svec said.

California Might Not Get Much of Its Oil from Canada, But Analysts Starting to Wake Up to the Fact that California’s LCFS Is a Howitzer Pointed Directly At Alberta. Calgary Herald (1/23) reports, “Arnold and governors in 11 other states are bent on bringing in a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) for vehicles — a solution more simplistic than the script for Commando. Low-carbon fuel legislation will do nothing to prevent global warming and will only jeopardize America’s fuel security, according to Shantel Beach, a researcher with the Washington, D.C.,-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA). In a North American media conference call this week, the former University of Calgary undergraduate explained that if Alberta can’t sell its oil to the U.S., it has a willing market in China, which has a 60 per cent stake in Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.’s MacKay and Dover oilsands deposits. Regulatory approval for the Northern Gateway Pipeline to the West Coast would be a spigot the Chinese would welcome. “If we are talking about policies that are going to take (18 per cent of U.S.) imports off the table, you’re talking about major, major ramifications in terms of U.S. fuels policy,” said Michael Whatley of Consumer Energy Alliance.

Senate Hearing Slated for Thursday Sold as an Event “To Highlight Solar Energy and Clean Energy Jobs” – Get There Early; Hearing Should Last About 11 Seconds. E&E News (1/25, subs. req’d) reports, “A Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee this week will highlight solar energy and clean energy job opportunities as President Obama and Democrats continue to work on economic recovery and job creation. Obama appeared at Lorain County Community College in Ohio on Friday to urge Congress to pass legislation that includes incentives for training in clean energy such as making solar panels and windmill blades. Obama watched formerly laid-off workers weld and shape components for wind turbines as they work toward a certificate or associate’s degree. “I’m calling on Congress to pass a jobs bill to put more Americans to work building off our Recovery Act; put more Americans back to work rebuilding roads and railways; provide tax breaks to small businesses for hiring people; offer families incentives to make their homes more energy-efficient, saving them money while creating jobs,” Obama said.

You Know It’s Bad When: “Definitive” Climate Report from IPCC – the One Used by EPA to Legally Justify Endangerment – Is Rendered a Laughingstock Even Among Those Who Helped Write It. Wall Street Journal (1/23) editorializes, “It turns out that this widely publicized prediction was taken from a 2005 report from the World Wildlife Fund, which based it on a comment by Indian glacier expert Syed Hasnain from 1999. “This number is not just a little bit wrong, but far out of any order of magnitude,” Mr. Kaser told the Agence France-Presse. “It is so wrong that it is not even worth discussing.” On Wednesday, the IPCC got around to acknowledging that the claim was “poorly substantiated,” though Mr. Pachauri also suggested it amounted to little more than a scientific typo. Yet the error is of a piece with other glib, and now debunked, global warming alarms. Among them: that 1998 was the warmest year on record in the United States (it was 1934); that sea levels could soon rise by up to 20 feet and put Florida underwater (an 18-inch rise by the year 2100 is the more authoritative estimate); that polar bears are critically endangered by global warming (most polar bear populations appear to be stable or increasing)

Meanwhile, Reeling from a Bad Three Months (ClimateGate, Copenhagen Burlesque, Cap-and-Raid Requiem), National Enviro Groups Not Entirely Sure What to Do Next. Houston Chronicle (1/24) reports, “The climate surrounding climate change has changed, and not for the better for those seeking to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. First there’s public perception. Hurricane activity in every ocean last year was below normal. Global temperatures remain no warmer now than a decade ago. The Arctic Sea ice, at least temporarily, has modestly recovered. And the United States is having one of its coldest winters in a long time. Then, in November, a slew of e-mails from a British climate center were released that appear to show, at the very best, unseemly behavior by top climate scientists. Branded Climategate, it only resulted in accusations that researchers are willing to cook the books and further eroded public trust in climate science. “Climategate showed us what was behind the curtain,” said Robert Bradley, founder of the Institute for Energy Research in Houston. “There’s a whole lot of alarmism and a whole lot of scientific intolerance toward other views.”

Got to Tip Your Cap to RFK Jr. for Having the Stones to Come Out to W.Va. to Defame Miners to Their Face – But That Doesn’t Mean He Did All the Well In His Debate. Beckley (W.Va.) Register-Herald (1/23) editorializes, “So, the Great Debate on Coal is history. What did we learn? Not much. We expected Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship and environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to stick to their guns, their long-held views on coal, and they did. Will the debate lead to changes or compromise? Not in the short term. The divide between the pro-coal and anti-coal forces is still wide, and the polarization will not ease any time soon. We can appreciate the passion of the environmentalists in their quest to end mountaintop mining, to halt the burning of coal, and to switch to other forms of energy. But passion can’t change the fact that: Without coal, West Virginia’s economy would be crippled because thousands would be thrown out of work and tax revenues would plummet; the cost of electricity would soar beyond many people’s means to pay the bills; and America would have to place a greater reliance on foreign sources of energy.

Taxing Our Way to Prosperity: In Just a Couple Weeks, Obama Will Unveil 2011 Budget Blueprint; If It’s Anything Like 2010’s, US Dependence on Foreign Oil Is About to Unravel Entirely. Amarillo Globe-News (1/23) editorializes, “President Obama would do well to listen carefully to the experts on energy exploration and development – many of whom live right here in Texas. He is proposing a new national energy policy that gives short shrift to the fuel that has driven the American industrial machine for more than a century. Oil and natural gas need to remain part of the energy strategy, even as the president’s team pursues alternative energy sources. Obama has proposed a 13-percent excise tax on offshore drilling. His cap-and-trade costs, along with consumption taxes could reduce U.S. refining capacity by 2 million barrels daily, according to Bud Weinstein, associated director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Punitive tax policies don’t provide energy independence for a nation that still relies too heavily on foreign sources of fossil fuel.


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