Posted April 8, 2016
Great discussion this week at a program focused on the role of natural gas in America’s future economy, hosted by the Hudson Institute. The discussion couldn’t have been timelier, given surging U.S. natural gas production and the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s recent projection that for the first time ever, natural gas will be the United States’ No. 1 fuel source for electricity generation this year.
Yet, the natural gas discussion quickly, necessarily, turns into a conversation about building new gas infrastructure – needed to serve areas that for lack of infrastructure are either isolated from the resource or the supply is significantly constrained, impacting utilities, consumers and businesses.
Posted March 31, 2016
Spring is upon us, and for many people with children in school and spring breaks looming, that means family vacation time – for millions of Americans, the Family Road Trip.
I have a number of great memories of family road trips from when I was a kid – some in conjunction with the moves that dotted my dad’s military career: Miles and miles on ribbons of highways – seemingly endless because dad (like just about everyone else’s dad) wouldn’t stop unless the station wagon was practically out of gas; skirmishing with my brother over the backseat; end-of-the-travel-day plunges in the cement ponds at motels in highway way-stops like Gallup, N.M., and Kingman, Ariz.
The destinations varied. We were nomads, cycling every few years from post to post (note: the Army has “posts,” the junior services have “bases”). But we also took vacation trips, visiting grandparents in California and Oklahoma and seeing neat stuff: Yosemite National Park, Grand Canyon, the Pacific Ocean, Gettysburg – even the concrete dinosaur park overlooking Rapid City, S.D.!
Posted March 24, 2016
Yeah, the NCAA’s annual men’s basketball tournament’s sure got some juice. But it also takes some juice – energy. Whether you’re a perennial powerhouse or a No. 15 seed springing the upset, it takes a lot of energy to pull off “March Madness.” Without energy, there’s no Big Dance. Without energy, Cinderella never shows up.
From the lights and hot water to the uniforms and television broadcasts, energy is what makes “March Madness,” well – a slam dunk. And all of it falls into what I will describe as the oil and natural gas “Final Four” bracket: arenas, transportation, materials and broadcasting.
Posted March 17, 2016
Posted March 11, 2016
Ethylene is in the polyvinyl chloride tubing of the stethoscope. The plastic in the sharps box, the IV bag and the otoscope caps more than likely is made of petroleum-based chemicals. Same for the bottle that holds the Betadine – itself containing N-vinylpyrrolidone, made from acetylene, derived from oil. The filtering layer in the face masks may include polypropylene, another oil byproduct.
That’s just a quick spin around one exam room. Medical tools and technologies – from computer software to X-ray machines to ventilators to defibrillators and more – plus the power to run them and the high-tech facilities that house them, depend on energy.
Posted March 3, 2016
Posted February 24, 2016
According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the U.S. freight rail network stretches 140,000 rail miles. It’s the arterial system of a $60 billion industry that deployed 25,000 locomotives and 374,000 freight cars in 2013 (last data year available), according to the U.S. Energy Department. This system accounted for more than 1.7 billion tons-originated of freight. It’s big. It has to be.
Posted February 19, 2016
When Thomas Edison started building electric power plants in the 1880s, he declared he wanted to “light up the world.” That goal seemed breathtakingly ambitious – some even worried electricity was only a passing fad. In retrospect, however, Edison’s vision barely scratched the surface of electricity’s potential. In a 21st century world, our society, our economy – our fundamental way of life – is powered by electricity.
Posted February 11, 2016
We should not overlook the energy that makes Valentine’s Day events and tokens of affection possible. Valentine’s Day energy use crosses a number of sectors – including residential, commercial and industrial. From greeting cards to that romantic night out, here’s how energy plays its role…
Posted February 3, 2016
Imagine a mother reading a story to her child. They’re snuggled up in a chair, the soft lamplight illuminating their storybook as a cold winter wind blows outside the window.
It’s a scene we often take for granted – a book, the light to read it by and a warm, comfortable home – yet all exist because of energy.