Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, National Security | Tags: American Ingenuity, Natural Gas, Technology, The Marcellus Shale
I posted this map of shale formations in the U.S. about ten days ago. Note the Marcellus Shale, the biggest of the red areas. The subsurface area comprises about 50 million acres, and the economic outline encompasses an area of about 18 million acres. That’s big.
The United States consumes 22 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas per year — estimates for recoverable reserves are that it will produce something in the neighborhood of 489 trillion cubic feet. Recent reported recoveries suggest that this may be very conservative. The Marcellus will provide more than 20 years of consumption for the entire country, as well as more than 100,000 new high paying jobs which are being created in an economically depressed rural area of Pennsylvania.
American natural gas was in long term decline prior to the advent of significant production from the new Shale programs. The rise of production from the Shale Fields beginning in 2006 changed everything, and we are now seeing increasing production, a halt to imports and decreasing natural gas prices. What’s not to like about that?
U.S. Monthly Gas Production
A few encouraging facts from Gregory R. Wrightstone. You might want to keep them in mind when you hear the pronouncements from the EPA, Interior, DoE, and all the varied bureaus and offices of the Obama Administration.
The Obama administration recently told Congress that accelerated permitting and financial incentives have helped to fuel a booming interest in developing wind, solar and geothermal power on public lands, but continuing and future development will depend on a strong commitment and dependable incentives from Congress.
Read that again. Because the government is giving away permits and grants and startup money people are interested in developing inefficient power, but if Congress doesn’t keep supplying the commitment in the form of loan guarantees, the grant program, and permitting that is deliberate, careful and on time — whoa.
Wasn’t there something about permitting in the Gulf of Mexico that is so far overdue that a federal judge is having to issue demands to Salazar to act within 30 days or face the consequences?
Filed under: Capitalism, Energy, Law | Tags: Ken Salazar, Natural Gas, Wind Energy
Everyone got, temporarily, a little excited about the president’s offshore drilling announcement, but then they metaphorically read the fine print. It does little to increase access to domestic supplies, and actually puts 13 billion barrels of oil and 49 trillion cubic feet of natural gas off-limits. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has been more supportive of offshore wind energy, which is the form of energy that his boss prefers.
A new Institute for Energy Research video compares a natural gas platform to an offshore wind platform, and explains some of the facts. A government not captive to green ideology should allow industry to pursue these opportunities. Whatever the energy source, the reoccurring problems are over-regulation and special-interest politicking. The NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) crowd is always ready to fight.
The Cape Wind project is still in progress, but it has faced strong opposition from the Kennedy family, and the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. The Alliance has reportedly poured more than $15 million into fighting Cape Wind ever since the project began in 2001. The Alliance says “shipping lanes, tourism, public safety, Cape Cod economy.” Two Indian tribes working with the Alliance seek to designate the entire Nantucket Sound as an Indian historic property. And so the battles go on and on and on.
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Law, Science/Technology | Tags: Liberal lies, Natural Gas, Renewable Power, Solar Arrays
“The Newest Hybrid Model” is the title of a story on the front page of today’s business section of the New York Times. The article is headed by a dramatic photo of 500 acres of solar panels sitting next to an unimpressive natural gas plant in Indiantown, Fla., owned by Florida Power & Light.
The natural gas plant — which occupies no more than 15 acres — produces 3,800 megawatts of reliable electricity. The mammoth 500-acre solar array next to it (about 3/4 of a square mile) will produce 75 megawatts of electricity at its maximum — that is, on a hot summer afternoon. (Fortunately this is the time of peak demand from air-conditioning).
According to the Times:
The solar array…is an experiment in whether conventional power generation can be married with renewable power in a way that lowers costs and spares the environment.
This isn’t quite right. Solar power depends on— the sun. At night, or when the sky is cloudy, solar power requires backup from a conventional power source. This plant will dispense with the fiction that solar can stand on its own. So you have a 500 acre solar array that will add an additional 2 percent generating capacity onto a stand-alone gas plant. This, the Times claims is a big advance.
The Times enthuses:
The latter is critical if the nation is to succeed in reducing its emissions of carbon dioxide. Power plants account for over a third of domestic greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for global warming.
Why are they doing this when it economically seems to make no sense? Some state legislatures have decided, prodded by the greens, that “renewable energy” is the future. And probably more because they know some other state that is doing it, and they want to seem as “forward thinking” as their neighbors. There is no such thing as “renewable” energy anyway.
This is not science or technology, but politics and hype. With the collapse of the entire “global warming” agenda, and the exposure of the fraud that backed it, it is time for legislatures to catch up and recognize that wasting this kind of money when state finances are in such troubled territory is beyond foolish. Most legislatures, however, would rather raise taxes.