Morning Energy News – May 11, 2011
Obama’s campaign slogan for 2012: “Resistance is Futile” Fuel Fix (5/10/11) reports: A federal judge has given the Obama administration 30 days to act on six permits for deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico…U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman on Tuesday ruled on a lawsuit filed by Ensco Offshore Co. and others. He rejected Interior Department arguments that the issue was moot because it already has resumed issuing permits following the moratorium that was imposed last year after the massive BP oil spill….Three permit applications in the original lawsuit have been granted…But Feldman said the government’s issuing of what he called “a scant few applications” does not provide the certainty Ensco needs to conduct its business in the Gulf. He said the law required the six remaining Ensco-related applications to be acted on within a reasonable period.
How do you kill the golden goose? Choke him slowly while convincing people Slug Pate is better for them Wall Street Journal (5/10/11) reports: When the famed Trans Alaska Pipeline carried two million barrels of oil a day, the naturally warm crude surged 800 miles to the Port of Valdez in three days and arrived at a temperature of about 100 degrees…Now, dwindling oil production along Alaska’s northern edge means the pipeline carries less than one-third the volume it once did—and the crude takes five times as long to get to its destination…That leisurely flow means the oil is above ground longer and more exposed to Alaska’s frigid weather; the crude sometimes arrives chilled to 40 degrees. As the flow and temperature continue to drop, experts say the risks of a clog or corrosion increase, as do the odds of ruptures and spills.
IER’s Tom Pyle explains how an anti-energy plan comes together Washington Examiner (5/11/11) reports: In response to high gas prices, President Obama is seeking a solution to a problem of his own making. After filling his administration with anti-energy activists, energy prices are skyrocketing and Americans are being squeezed at the pump…Meanwhile, Capitol Hill Democrats including Sens. Max Baucus of Montana and Robert Menendez of New Jersey are pushing for legislation to end tax deductions for the five largest oil companies, a purely political move that will do little to increase the energy supply or deliver gas price relief…None of this should be surprising. Obama’s secretary of energy, Stephen Chu, once said Washington needs to “figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” where prices are above $8 per gallon….And while a Democratic senator from Colorado, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar promised in 2008 to vote against drilling for oil in the Outer Continental Shelf — even if gasoline prices reached $10 per gallon…In addition to its rhetoric, the administration’s anti-energy agenda is well-documented. Since taking control of the White House, Obama has kept 97 percent of federal offshore areas and 94 percent of federal onshore areas, all of it owned by taxpayers, off-limits to energy production.
Liar, liar pants on fire! We all know that revenue increases have historically fed government programs and have not paid down existing outlays The Hill (5/10/11) reports: Leading Senate Democrats have coalesced around a political strategy in their uphill battle to repeal billions of dollars in oil industry tax breaks: Make it all about the deficit…Caucus leaders and several politically vulnerable members unveiled legislation Tuesday that would repeal $21 billion worth of tax breaks over a decade for the largest oil companies… All the savings would be steered toward deficit reduction, which Democrats made their top talking point as they baited GOP foes on nixing the incentives…“If you are serious about deficit reduction and you say Big Oil’s tax breaks are off limits, how serious can you be?” said Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), a key strategist for Senate Democrats.
Given gas prices, we hope that Obama is over at GM finishing his design for the mini hybrid in time for America’s past time, the summer road trip Wall Street Journal (5/10/11) reports: Gasoline this summer will cost less than previously expected after last week’s selloff in oil futures, but Americans will still pay far more at the pump this year than last, according to the U.S. Department of Energy…A gallon of regular gasoline at the pump will average about $3.81 nationwide during this year’s summer driving season, which runs from April 1 through the end of September and coincides with Americans taking vacations…That is five cents less than the agency’s previous outlook for summer prices, but well above last summer’s average of $2.76 a gallon, the department’s Energy Information Administration said in its latest forecast…The EIA also said there is a 41% chance that retail gasoline prices will average more than $4 a gallon during July…While the U.S. average price is still approaching $4 a gallon, that psychologically significant threshold has already been breached in many parts of the country. Last week, a gallon of regular gasoline on average cost $3.97 a gallon in the U.S.
How was burning wood for energy ever a good idea? Boston Globe (5/10/11) reports: Burning wood for electricity was once a hot idea in Massachusetts.Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration committed $1 million to spur wood power plant development, which a 2007 state-funded report predicted would bring hundreds of jobs and an economic boost worth tens of millions of dollars…The best part? It was seen as green, a way to meet the state’s clean energy demands with a renewable energy source as old as the campfire…Today, wood has been reduced to a bit role in the Patrick Administration’s renewable energy plans…Regulations proposed this month virtually eliminate any chance large, wood-fired electricity plants can be built in Massachusetts, according to advocates for power from wood, also called biomass…Massachusetts officials note that none of the designs for wood power plants now planned in the state meet the proposed new efficiency standards. They say they hope to “redirect” the industry to build smaller, combined heat and power units, used at sites such as industrial parks.