March 12, 2012
America’s Energy Disaster – Robert Zubrin – National Review Online.
President Obama says his energy policy is a great success. In support, Democratic-party stalwart John Podesta trumpets the claim that the United States is now producing more oil than it imports. A recent article in the Bloomberg News goes even further, saying that the U.S. is now a net oil exporter. New York Times columnist Tom Friedman instructs us to rejoice: High oil prices are now good for the United States.
Unfortunately, none of this is true. For the record, according to the Department of Energy/Energy Information Agency February 2012 Monthly Energy Review, the United States currently consumes (November 2011 figures, p.52) 12.93 million barrels of oil per day (mpd) in its transportation sector, 4.55 mpd in its industrial sector, 1.159 mpd in its residential and commercial sectors, and 0.096 mpd in electrical-power generation, for a total consumption of 18.735 mpd. In contrast, (page 37) in 2011, the United States averaged a production rate of 5.671 mpd of crude oil, or 30 percent of its total consumption, for a net deficit of 13.064 mpd, or 4.77 billion barrels per year. At today’s oil price of $105 per barrel, the bill for these imports runs to $500 billion per year, a tax on our economy equal to 20 percent of what Americans pay the IRS, and a reduction in the nation’s GDP sufficient to account for a loss of 5 million jobs at an average salary of $100,000 per year each.
March 12, 2012
Robert McFarlane: A Flex-Fuel Mandate Is Pro-Market – WSJ.com.
The current election cycle and the rising price of gasoline have rekindled interest in energy security and how best to achieve it. We’ve had these spasms of interest and hand-wringing before—many times. And each time we believed we had identified a way to overcome our vulnerability to the disruption or unaffordable pricing of oil, the price would decline, we would become complacent again, and effective, long-term solutions were forgotten.
This time, however, the stakes go well beyond the price of a fill-up at the pump. They involve a predictable renewed recession and prolonged, severe economic hardship for all Americans. As we tackle this energy challenge again, if the outcome is to be any different it may help to start with a few facts:
• Petroleum products drive 97% of all air, sea and land transportation in our country. Oil is truly the lifeblood of every industrial economy. If goods don’t move, revenues stop, jobs are lost and economies collapse. Oil is a strategic commodity, an essential good which if disrupted or priced extravagantly can cause our economy to collapse.
• Unlike other essential commodities such as clothing and food, where we have choices, in transportation fuel we’re stuck with petroleum alone. It enjoys a monopoly.
• The price of oil is set by a foreign cartel. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) owns almost 80% of global oil reserves yet produces only 36% of daily global supply. This dominant position enables OPEC to raise or lower their production to maintain the global supply-demand relationship that suits their interest. If U.S. oil companies produce more, OPEC will produce less.
January 17, 2012
How to Reduce Oil Prices – Robert Zubrin – National Review Online.
The United States is by far the world’s leading oil importer. Thus, when the price of oil goes up, our economy is severely taxed. At the beginning of 2011, many economists were talking about an emerging U.S. economic recovery. Yet by spring, as oil prices climbed above $100 per barrel, it became apparent to all who were paying attention that no escape from recession was in sight.
The economic impact of oil prices on the American economy is shown on the graph below, which compares oil prices (adjusted for inflation to 2010 dollars) to the unemployment rate from 1970 to the present. Every oil-price hike for the past four decades, including those in 1973, 1979, 1991, 2001, and 2008, was followed shortly afterwards by a sharp rise in American unemployment.
November 14, 2011
Lisa Murkowski: Obama’s Oil Abdication – WSJ.com.
Last week the Obama administration proposed a modest expansion of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico in its first concessions on offshore production since last year’s Deepwater Horizon spill. The five-year plan would, however, keep Atlantic and Pacific sites off-limits in order to avoid a controversial decision before the 2012 election.
As we continue our endless debate on whether we should have more Outer Continental Shelf development and where, all our neighbors have chosen to proceed. Cuba, Mexico, the Bahamas, Canada and Russia are all moving ahead on offshore development adjacent to our borders.
October 20, 2011
Ethanol Producer Magazine | EthanolProducer.com.
Calling their industries’ relationship a “productive and cordial” one, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen and Mitch Bainwol, CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, issued a joint statement from the RFA’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., asserting the two groups’ commitments to implementing renewable fuel technologies throughout the U.S. But while some progress has been made in getting the two industries to agree on certain items, the groups remain divided on many important issues.
“Both the automotive and ethanol industries are defined by their constant innovation and evolution,” the pair stated. “We firmly believe that America can secure its energy future and create jobs by investing in new vehicle and fuel technologies that harness the innovative power of American workers to redefine how we power our cars. Despite current differences over how to best increase the amount of ethanol included in America’s fuel supply, automotive and ethanol interests all agree that renewable fuels are a path down which American must head.”
October 20, 2011
Ethanol Producer Magazine | EthanolProducer.com.
A coalition of biofuel producers, technology providers, cleantech investors and supporting companies have formed a new lobby campaign focused on convincing lawmakers to open the U.S. fuel market to alternative fuels. The campaign, called FuelChoiceNow, supports the deployment of technologies that will enable all types of alternative fuels the opportunity to compete in the consumer fuel space, including methanol, natural gas, electricity and biofuels.
“The only way to free the American consumer from the vicious cycle of world oil price spikes is to give them a choice at the pump,” Matt Horton, CEO of alternative fuel pump retailer Propel Fuels, says. “There are alternatives, but we need to unleash them.”
September 15, 2011
Either we break the cartel, or the cartel breaks us. The Open Fuel Standard bill needs to be passed.
via Achieving $2 Gas – Robert Zubrin – National Review Online.
Republican presidential contender Michele Bachman has said that if she is elected, gas prices will fall to $2 per gallon. Such promises have understandably been greeted with considerable skepticism. But $2 gas is exactly what America needs. The question is, how can we get it?
We can’t do it just by expanded domestic drilling. In order for gasoline prices to fall to $2 per gallon, oil prices must be cut to $50 per barrel. And oil prices are set globally, with the dominating influence being the OPEC oil cartel. Since 1973, this cartel, which controls 80 percent of the earth’s commercially viable oil reserves, has refused to expand production, thus keeping petroleum prices artificially high. While, with a more pro-business government, the United States might conceivably be able to expand its production by a million or two barrels per day, OPEC could easily counter by cutting its production to match, or more likely, by simply continuing its non-expansion policy and letting increased Chinese demand take care of the slack.
September 14, 2011
Wyoming moves forward on state energy policy.
“In the absence of a national energy policy, there are opportunities for a silent agenda to be implemented through federal agencies,” including the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency, he told the state Legislature’s Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Interim Committee in Casper.
September 13, 2011
Report: Increased Energy Production Would Boost Jobs, Federal Revenue.
Energy research firm Wood Mackenzie released a report on Wednesday that lends weight to arguments for greater energy exploration and production in the United States. The economic effects of such a policy, the report asserts, would be uniformly positive.
The report summarizes its findings thusly:
Wood Mackenzie’s analysis found that U.S. policies which encourage the development of new and existing resources could, by 2030, increase domestic oil and natural gas production by over 10 million boed [barrels of oil equivalent per day], support an additional 1.4 million jobs, and raise over $800 billion of cumulative additional government revenue. Whereas increasing regulatory burdens on the oil and gas upstream sector will result in higher development, costs which can potentially hinder the growth of production tax revenues and job creation.
September 9, 2011
Rep. Doc Hastings Offers 10 Ideas for Creating Energy Jobs.
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings is urging President Barack Obama to consider 10 ways to create new jobs in the nation’s energy sector.