Posted June 28, 2013
There is a classic xkcd cartoon where a one of the characters says they can’t come to bed because “Someone is wrong on the internet.” Though the options for who exactly that someone was are almost unlimited, statistically there is a good chance the character was referring to Bob Dinneen. Witness this tweet:
Posted June 27, 2013
Important testimony at a House hearing yesterday from U.S. Energy Information Administration chief Adam Sieminski on flaws in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), including its mandates for increasing ethanol use.
Sieminski, who heads the government agency charged with counting and quantifying energy of all sources, testified before the House Energy and Commerce’s subcommittee on energy and power, basically saying the current RFS is broken:
· “The RFS program is not projected to come close to achievement of the legislated target that calls for 36 billion gallons of renewable motor fuels use by 2022.
· Substantially increased use of biofuels can only occur if they can be used in forms other than the low-percentage blends of ethanol and biodiesel that account for nearly all of their current use.
· The implicit premise that cellulosic and other advanced biofuels would be available in significant quantities at reasonable costs within 5 to 10 years following adoption of the 2007 RFS targets has not been borne out.”
Posted June 25, 2013
An article of faith with the anti-oil sands crowd is that the crude from Canada is dangerous because it’s more corrosive to pipelines than other crudes and therefore more prone to cause pipeline failures, leaks, spills and … you know the rest. You can sample some of that rhetoric here and here. But then consider something so much more authoritative than rhetoric: science.
A new study finds that Alberta oil sands crude is, well, oil and just as safe to transport via pipeline as other types of crudes. From the report of an expert panel formed by the National Research Council (an arm of the National Academy of Sciences):
The committee does not find any causes of pipeline failure unique to the transportation of diluted bitumen. Furthermore, the committee does not find evidence of chemical or physical properties of diluted bitumen that are outside the range of other crude oils or any other aspect of its transportation by transmission pipeline that would make diluted bitumen more likely than other crude oils to cause releases.
Posted June 25, 2013
Wall Street Journal - Texas' Next Big Oil Rush
Refineries in Texas are seeing a much-needed boost as pipelines begin to carry landlocked crude oil from U.S. shale plays to the Gulf Coast. This increase in domestic crude oil is due to increased hydraulic fracturing and shale development across the country. (Subscription publication)
USA Today – Report: Oil Sands No More Corrosive Than Average Crude
A new report from the National Research Council found “no evidence … that Alberta’s pipeline contents are more corrosive than average crude oil.”
Posted June 24, 2013
More from last week’s energy conference hosted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration ...
The Big Takeaway: Analysts, statisticians, academics, producers – the U.S. Energy secretary – all acknowledge the unfolding of a significant, American revolution in oil and natural gas production, which is reflected in EIA’s chart showing decreasing U.S. dependence on imported liquids:
Posted June 21, 2013
Study: Tier 3 Sulfur Rule Would Do Little to Improve Air Quality - http://bit.ly/19YBiXp
Although the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Tier 3 gasoline sulfur rule could cost billions, a new study from ENVIRON International Corporation found that it would do very little to reduce fine particulates and improve air quality, API Director for Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman told reporters yesterday.
EPA Acknowledges Pavillion Study Deficiencies – http://bit.ly/14OceP1
After two years of study in Pavillion, Wyoming, the EPA has yet to demonstrate any evidence of hydraulic fracturing linked to groundwater contamination. This echoes former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s comments from 2011 that “there is no proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.”
Posted June 21, 2013
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, explaining in a Washington Post op-ed why a self-identified “pro-pipeline senator” opposes the Keystone XL pipeline:
As a former mayor of Richmond, a city with a gas utility, I think it makes no sense to be anti-pipeline. But I oppose the Keystone XL project. Although the president’s decision is technically over whether to allow a pipeline to deliver oil from Alberta to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the real issue isn’t the pipeline. It’s the wisdom of using tar sands oil. … By most accounts, oil from tar sands is 15 to 20 percent dirtier than conventional petroleum, and the process of extracting and refining it is more difficult and resource-intensive. With so many cleaner alternatives, there is no reason to embrace the use of a dirtier fuel source. Approving the pipeline would send a clear signal to the markets to expand the development of tar sands oil. Such an expansion would hurt our nation’s work to reduce carbon emissions. We have to make energy cleaner tomorrow than it is today. That’s why the president should block Keystone. … Tar sands oil is the opposite of an innovative, make-it-cleaner approach. It represents a major backslide.
Sen. Kaine is right on a number of energy issues – supporting more offshore drilling for oil and natural gas as well as more natural gas development from hydraulic fracturing – but on the Keystone XL he’s just wrong. Let’s take a closer look.
Posted June 20, 2013
One hundred forty-five of the president’s 2012 campaign staffers have written a letter to their former boss urging him to reject the Keystone XL pipeline:
“We trust you to make the right decision after you weigh all arguments, but one thing you taught us as organizers is that nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change. … You can help cement your legacy as a climate champion by rejecting this pipeline. You already know all the reasons we can’t afford this pipeline – that it will lock in gigatons of carbon pollution over the next four decades and that it could spill into our nation’s most valuable water sources – we’re just asking you to think of us as you make up your mind.”
Posted June 20, 2013
Motorcyclists and antique car enthusiasts rallied at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, pressing their call that there be independent testing of the effects of E15 fuel in motorcycles and all-terrain vehicle engines before E15 can be sold at retail gasoline stations.
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is concerned about the potential for inadvertent misfueling with E15 and engine damage that could result. Members of the Antique Automobile Club of America also participated, concerned about the effects of E15 on classic cars. The “E15: Food for Thought” rally included a ride around the Capitol and visits to the offices of individual members of Congress.
Posted June 18, 2013
Great question during the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s annual energy conference this week – paraphrasing: Given the technologies, the innovation and risk-taking that mark today’s oil and natural gas industry, what‘s the ceiling for oil and gas development over the next few decades? The U.S. Geological Survey’s Donald Gautier took a crack at it:
“Every time I look at world oil or gas resources, I start adding things up, and I end up with enormous numbers. It just seems like an unavoidable fact, and the issue is about human activities and the contraptions they’re using for getting this out. There is certainly no shortage of molecules out there.”