API’s view of America’s Energy Future

On January 7, 2014 — one of the coldest days in the past 20 years in Washington DC — Jack N. Gerard, President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), provided his organization’s view of the State of American Energy 2014. He stressed the importance of American energy production to our national prosperity and security.

His speech also lays out the API’s plan to influence the mid term elections in 2014 to ensure that the voter choices made during those elections result in elected officials that will support policies considered vital to the oil and gas industry’s continued dominance of our energy supply options. As Mr. Gerard stated, the combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technology — often abbreviated as ‘fracking’ — is at the core of the recent growth in US oil and natural gas output, which Gerard referred to as “America’s Energy Renaissance.”

He described the importance of approving the Keystone XL pipeline, passing laws that remove restrictions on crude oil and natural gas exports, and preventing the passage of laws that will ensure that fracking is undertaken with the proper amount of care for its effects on the environment and local habitats — including the rural human habitat that is such an important asset to some communities.

Gerard’s speech lasted until the 30 minute point on the video. In his prepared remarks, I only heard Jack mention the word “nuclear” one time. It appeared in his list of “all of the above” energy options and fell after oil, gas, coal, wind, and solar, but before geothermal and biomass.

PS – Gerard mentioned several times that jobs in the oil and natural gas industry pay 7 times the minimum wage. I found it difficult to believe that average oil and gas employees make $105,560 per year. ($7.25/hr x 7 x 2080 hours per year for a full time worker).

As is often said, Google is my friend. According to an April 2014 Wall Street Journal article titled The U.S. Energy Boom Lifts Low-Income Workers Too, Gerard actually understated average oil and gas annual wage. It averages $107,000 per year.

Shell’s future scenarios ignore nuclear energy

One of the reasons I am so certain that hydrocarbon producers dislike the idea of competing with nuclear energy is the fact that their ads, stockholder communications, and predictions of future energy supply scenarios virtually ignore nuclear energy. They apparently hope that it will go away long enough for them to accumulate an even larger […]

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Natural gas pipeline infrastructure needs

Platts Energy Week TV carried an important segment on July 13, 2014 discussing the need to make major investments in the US natural gas pipeline infrastructure in order to deliver new sources of gas to growing markets. Chris Newkumet from Platts talked with Don Santa of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America and Ben […]

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Shell Oil and Gas Company’s Perspective on Energy Future

There was a time when the Royal Dutch Shell corporation demonstrated strong interest in nuclear energy. In 1973, it was approached by Gulf Oil Company, the owner of Gulf General Atomics, as a capital partner for an aggressive expansion program. GA had spent the better part of two decades developing an innovative high temperature gas-cooled […]

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Atomic Show #216 – Just the Fracks, Ma’am

Greg Kozera is the President of the Virginia Oil and Gas Association and the author of a recently-released book titled Just the Fracks, Ma’am: The Truth About Hydrofracking and the Next Great American Boom. I heard about the book from his publicist, News & Experts. Here is an excerpt from the communication I received. Hi […]

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SMRs – Why Not Now? Then When?

I have shamelessly borrowed the title of one of the talks given during the first day of the Nuclear Energy Insider 4th Annual Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Conference as being representative of both the rest of the agenda and the conversations that I had in the hallways during the breaks. For the past five years, […]

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Can Natural Gas be Bridge? Shell Ad Says Yes

National Geographic Poll: Can natural gas be a bridge to clean energy?

There is an interesting article at National Geographic titled Can Natural Gas Be a Bridge to Clean Energy?. That eminent magazine is promoting the article and wants people to help answer the question it poses; here is a copy of the Tweet that provided me the initial link. Tell us what you think: Can natural […]

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ExxonMobil, XTO, and climate change strategy

On January 24, 2014, the The Society of Environmental Journalists and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program presented a panel discussion titled The Year Ahead in Environment and Energy. I found out about it via this tweet from Andy Revkin: Video: Enviro journalists on Keystone, gas boom, western drought, much more at […]

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Natural gas price spikes: More than “pipeline capacity”

After posting copies of the energy price charts for January 22, 2014 and highlighting the three delivery points in the eastern US where daily spot market natural gas prices have skyrocketed to more than $70.00/MMBTU (1840 euros/1000 cubic meters), I received the following comment: Doesn’t this have more to do with there not being enough […]

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Natural gas is only cheap if you don’t need it very much

How many times in the past five years have you heard the one about the way that new fracking and horizontal drilling technology have created long term abundance of cheap natural gas in North America? I just took this snapshot of daily energy prices as of January 22, 2014. (The daily energy price page will […]

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Russia using oil wealth to finance nuclear exports

Russia has announced plans to lend Hungary $14 billion at below market rates to finance the construction of additional nuclear energy production units at the existing Paks nuclear power station. The announcement is one more piece of evidence showing that Russia continues to diversify its income by exporting nuclear power stations to as large a […]

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Are natural gas suppliers purposely overproducing?

On December 27, 2013, Matt Wald published a piece in the New York Times titled New Energy Struggles on Its Way to Markets that points to the predictable consequences of having too many energy options chasing too few customers. When there is excess supply compared to demand, prices tend to fall rather dramatically. Falling prices […]

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