Reminder: Oil & gas have been a saving a grace of the Obama “recovery”

posted at 5:11 pm on June 18, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

As unfortunate as it is that President Obama and his Department of Energy have plans for doubling down on so many of the failed and fizzling policies of not merely their last four years but of too-lavish governments around the world over the past decade or so, his pick to replace Steven Chu as Energy Secretary at least doesn’t look like it’s going to be a complete bust. Even if they only see it as a ‘temporary bridge fuel,’ and are only slowly and cautiously moving forward with giving some American companies permission for further development, and will probably still regulation the heck out of it at the expense of a more robust economy (I’m going for optimism here, can you tell?), the Energy Department under Moniz seems ready to acknowledge that natural gas has been the biggest and most successful boon to bringing down carbon emissions (the stated goal of environmentalists everywhere) so far and act semi-accordingly. Last week, Moniz signalled that he’d be moving forward on some of the more than twenty pending liquified natural gas export applications just waiting in bureaucratic limbo, a move that definitely won him a few bipartisan points in Congress:

The hearing arrives roughly a week after Moniz drew strong praise from a top Republican after his appearance before a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel. At last Thursday’s hearing the new secretary had a largely friendly banter with the GOP despite some collisions. …

Since being sworn in last month, Moniz has said the Obama administration intends to forge ahead on energy efficiency, alternative fuels, solar and wind power efforts.

And at the House hearing last week, Moniz pledged to move “expeditiously” to review applications for exporting natural gas, which Republicans generally support.

Let’s hope they get this show on the road soon, and the Democrats holding things up (purely for the sake of special interests and operating under the cover of discerning whether free-trade and exports are actually in the “public interest” — yes, this is real life) would do well to get on board, too. The economy hasn’t been undergoing a robust recovery by any stretch of the imagination, but plenty of the movement that we are seeing is coming from the shale oil and gas boom happening largely on state and private land throughout the country. More, please:

Yes, technologically unlocked oil and gas has created an energy revolution and industrial bright spot in the otherwise dim Obama era. By 2020, according to Yergin, shale gas alone is expected to support 4 million jobs (versus 1.7 million today). And the United States is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil exporter, according to the International Energy Agency. Natural gas, meanwhile, is on course to overtake coal as the second largest source of energy worldwide by 2025. …

That’s why the surging supply of natural gas, the least carbon-intensive of traditional energy sources, is welcomed by all except a deep-ecology fringe. Natural gas produces half as much carbon as coal and a third the quantity of nitrogen oxides. The more prevalent the use of natural gas, the cleaner the air across America.

Expanded oil and gas production benefits state and local government as well. North Dakota, which welcomed the industry’s new technologies, saw its taxable sales and purchases jump nearly one-third in 2012 compared to the year before. Oil and gas tax receipts for the current biennium came in at $3.8 billion, leaving the Roughrider State with a budget surplus of $1.6 billion.

The energy boom is also putting money in the pockets of North Dakota residents. On average, weekly wages have increased 40 percent since 2009. With a 3.3 percent unemployment rate statewide, North Dakota is attracting new residents in droves, and the state’s construction, financial, insurance and real estate sectors all grew significantly in the last year.


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and so Keystone waits….and waits….and waits….and waits….and waits…and waits….

hillsoftx on June 18, 2013 at 5:19 PM

The hot gas boom

faraway on June 18, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Not to mention the tremendous benefit extracting wealth from the ground has had in supporting the value of our inflated supplies of currency! Regular economic activity has stayed flat or shrunk, so for growth in national wealth we’ve really only had energy.

Obama is an economic idiot, by the way. If he weren’t he would have long since gone all-out in support for energy production, instead of doing all he can to smother it. Lefties are amazing in their dogged pursuit of poverty for the masses.

MTF on June 18, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Saving a grace or saving grace which is correct?

meci on June 18, 2013 at 5:29 PM

The energy boom is also putting money in the pockets of North Dakota residents. On average, weekly wages have increased 40 percent since 2009. With a 3.3 percent unemployment rate statewide, North Dakota is attracting new residents in droves, and the state’s construction, financial, insurance and real estate sectors all grew significantly in the last year.

But how can that be? LFOD keeps telling me that evil corporations have reduced wages since forever. /

nobar on June 18, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Irony

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Saving a grace or saving grace which is correct?
meci on June 18, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Maybe she meant SAVING THE GREASE?

Marcola on June 18, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Saving a grace or saving grace which is correct?
meci on June 18, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Maybe she meant SAVING THE GREASE?
Marcola on June 18, 2013 at 5:47 PM

We know it sure wasn’t SAYING GRACE!

Marcola on June 18, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Saving a grace or saving grace which is correct?
meci on June 18, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Maybe she meant SAVING THE GREASE?
Marcola on June 18, 2013 at 5:47 PM

We know it sure wasn’t SAYING GRACE!
Marcola on June 18, 2013 at 5:49 PM

SAY GOODNIGHT GRACIE!

Marcola on June 18, 2013 at 5:50 PM

No worries. Barry and Company will screw it up.

GarandFan on June 18, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Lefties are amazing in their dogged pursuit of poverty for the masses.

MTF on June 18, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Indeed.

AesopFan on June 18, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Obama is an economic idiot, by the way. If he weren’t he would have long since gone all-out in support for energy production, instead of doing all he can to smother it. Lefties are amazing in their dogged pursuit of poverty for the masses.

MTF on June 18, 2013 at 5:29 PM

The first couple of years, I thought Ogabe was a financial moron, too. But he has been too consistantly wrong. as the saying goes: Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. If Ogabe was a true financial moron, he would have done a couple of things right by now out of sheer numbers of actions taken and not taken.

No, the only conclusion I can draw is that he is just another dirty Chicago machine thug. All of his decisions and the decsions of his minions feather the nests of big Dem donors and personal friends. I’m sure he and Mooch will emerge from the White House to settle into an extravagantly feathered nest of their own.

catsandbooks on June 18, 2013 at 6:43 PM

It’s amazing how all these jobs Barry’s creating happen to be in TX, ND, OK, etc.

juliesa on June 18, 2013 at 6:53 PM

And at the House hearing last week, Moniz pledged to move “expeditiously” to review applications for exporting natural gas, which Republicans generally support.

OOooooOOoooo……he’s going to “review” stuff. Soon!..”expeditiously”, even! He must be one of the good guys.
/

Mimzey on June 18, 2013 at 7:16 PM

It’s good to know our nation has this much energy underneath…but I’m extremely skeptical that this will lead to the “boom” that many anticipate for a variety of reasons.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 18, 2013 at 7:28 PM

bringing down carbon emissions Western civilization (the stated actual goal of environmentalists everywhere)

Edited for accuracy, and thereby explaining why said environmentalists now hate natural gas worse than they do coal, oil, or nuclear.

They’re behavior only makes sense if the lot of them have the attitude of the villains in Tom Clancy’s novel Rainbow Six, leavened with a heaping helping of that shown by the “ecologists” in Michael Crichton’s State of Fear.

Either one should be grounds for having them committed. I’m talking straitjackets and chlorpromazine, here. There’s crazy, and then there’s dangerously crazy.

clear ether

eon

eon on June 18, 2013 at 8:30 PM

That’s why the surging supply of natural gas, the least carbon-intensive of traditional energy sources, is welcomed by all except a deep-ecology fringe and the EPA. Natural gas produces half as much carbon as coal and a third the quantity of nitrogen oxides. The more prevalent the use of natural gas, the cleaner the air across America.

The message that natural gas produces less air pollution (both real and imagined) than coal hasn’t sunk in with Obama’s EPA. Under a “rule” (not passed by Congress) which EPA imposed in 2010, power plants emitting more than 75,000 tons/year of CO2 have an extremely difficult time getting operating permits. Without carbon capture technology, this corresponds to about 39 megawatts (MW) of heating value of natural gas.

Combine this with the fact that commercial gas turbines usually produce about 250 MW, and that most gas-fired power plants have several turbines in parallel (to adjust to demand), EPA’s “rule” has brought the construction of new power plants (including “cleaner” gas-fired plants) to a screeching halt.

If Obama was smart, we could reduce CO2 emissions by building gas-fired power plants and shutting down coal-fired plants, simply by changing the rule to limit CO2 emissions PER MEGAWATT to the amount produced by an uncontrolled gas-fired power plant.

But math is hard for Obama & Co., so instead we shut down ALL power plants when their permits expire (within 5 years of their previous permit) and produce lots of cheap gas we’re not allowed to burn, so we have to export gas while importing oil!

4-1/2 years of SmartPower has brought us no smarts and no power.

Steve Z on June 19, 2013 at 9:31 AM