Yesterday I participated in a blogger conference call with the American Petroleum Institute. The topic was Industry Earnings and Recent Oil Prices, and the audio and transcript may be found here.
My question was a political question regarding the seemingly permanent hostile relationship between oil companies and Democrats. My question, and comments that followed:
24:15 MR. RAPIER: Okay. One more question from me, a political question: If you look at political contributions, the contributions from oil companies to Republicans are – tend to outweigh those of Democrats and, subsequently, Democrats have a pretty hostile view toward oil companies. And I’m wondering how we improve that relationship. This is one thing that’s always frustrated me, was that there just seems to be this incredible distaste from Democrats and I never understood why we don’t open up a better relationship here with them, the Democratic leadership.
I think we’re about to have a Democrat in the White House who’s threatening windfall profits and all kinds of things and I can’t understand why we don‟t sit down and open up a better dialogue with the Democratic leadership.
25:01 MR. PUGLIARESI: You know, I have a little story to tell you about that. I happen to have been in a little meeting with Bennett Johnston, the former, as you know, the former senator from Louisiana. And he‟s a Democrat. And he said, you know, he was talking about – I sort of asked him a similar question. You know, why is the Democratic Party at war with the oil industry? I mean, in 2006, it was a cash cow. It generated like $130 billion of revenue to the government. I mean, compare that to the problems they’re having with GM. You know, they should be doing award dinners for these guys. And he said, you know, when we had Democrats from oil-producing states, we didn’t have these problems, because then, the party was afraid – (chuckles) – to overdo it. So you may be – we may be ending up in that direction in the next year if the polls turn out the way they seem to be.
26:53 CINDY KILKENNY: This is Cindy Kilkenny from Fairly Conservative. And I trained as a political scientist and I have to say it’s definitely a wedge issue and it’s very insightful. And I grew up in Oklahoma. My family – my brother is still in the oil patch and he’s been, so I see both sides of this and I know how it’s being used and it‟s just about what it redeems for whoever wants it at that point.
I don’t expect this relationship to get any better with a new administration, but I would certainly like to see it improve. As I have said before, I am probably a little left of center (although I have little in common with the far left or far right), but I think the Democratic party has the more naive view of energy policy. I get the impression that the leadership thinks that if they could just drive the oil companies out of business, we would all live happily ever after on clean, renewable energy.
75 thoughts on “Democrats and Big Oil”
Good question, Robert.
Cindy, I think nailed it. Yes, wedge issues for manipulation of the populace.
The only thing I can think of to combat this, is community based on common ground. Coupled with tolerance for differences, such a structure would seem to be quite resilient.
I think things have become so partisan, people just adopt positions based on what their party wants. In the New Yorker magazine this week is an interview with Chuck Hagel, the conservative R-Party Senator, former Marine, who opposes the Iraq war. He said none of the Republican Senators would have supported the war, if it had been Clinton’s war.
In other words, soldiers die, we spent trillions, but it not what it right for the country, but what your party wants.
The Dems have got themselves into a terrible position, being “against” the oil companies. Productive people are always the good guys, never the bad guys.
Oddly enough, McCain and Palin have been bashing “Big Oil” to lusty cheers, and McCain has promised no oil drilling off of Florida or in ANWR.
Even more oddly, in her screwball campaign, Palin has said Alaskans own the resources of Alaska, and that is why every Alaskan, man, woman or child, is getting a check for $3,000+ from the State of Alaska this year.
By the way, she calls Obama a socialist. She is also the one who used tax money and debt to build a public hockey rink, that most necessary of public services.
I sure hope the Dems get off of their schtick that Big Auto or Big Oil are the bad guys, and remember how much we need productive people in this country. The Dems make themselves a lot of political adversaries by their snottitudes.
I also wish the R-Party would realize we are not going to drill ourselves of out this mess we are in. We have to conserve, and that can only happen with much higher gasoline taxes.
On energy issues, it is hard to like either party right now. Bush’s idea of smart, progressive energy is corn ethanol.
Yeah, not a lot to choose from.
If I look at energy policy from the last 8 years, I believe we an incredibly naive policy that believes in unlimited fossil fuel consumption and production. Almost divinely inspired consumption.
I see the democratic policy to be an incredibly naive policy that looks at big-oil as the boogie man, and believes that conservation and alternative energy is the only route to salvation.
From this perspective, I believe both parties are equal.
What is different between them; or more specifically, between Barack Obama and John McCain (or President Bush), is that I believe the climate in the republican is such that thoughts dissident from the party orthodoxy is so difficult for their leadership to comprehend.
I think Barack Obama in the context of the democratic party can support a variety of policies not be considered anti-party. He can support Coal, or oppose it, he can support nuclear, or oppose it.
This gives him the opportunity to craft a multi-faceted policy, rather than one based on near-religious orthodoxy (like the republican party).
So while Barack’s position might be naive in some aspects, his party gives him the opportunity (should he choose to use it) to develop something based on critical thinking.
I don’t believe John McCain would be allowed to grow much beyond Drill Baby Drill.
The two-party dynamic seems to drive politics to not just extreme positions (universally acknowledged) but stupid ones.
I’ve long since given up on one party or the other being right, and just hope that the pendulum swing between the two will pass through the middle and the reasonable from time to time.
Broadly, I’d say the current administration was overly enamored of extraction (though oil and nat gas are less worrisome than coal, tar sands, or shale). They first cut and then restored a bit on renewables. Dems might reverse the emphasis.
It’s too bad that both parties cater to ethanol, but that seems the third rail in energy policy these days.
Ah well, vote Obama and then de-register to independent. Everybody should be independent. It’s the only path out of the 2 party catch 22.
(Apparently some states are getting high percentages of independents, as the younger generation refuses both parties.)
I believe we an incredibly naive policy that believes in unlimited fossil fuel consumption and production.
Point definitely taken, and I almost put that in the essay. Any Republican that believes we can drill our way to independence is just as naive as someone who thinks we can just use alternative energy and get off of oil.
I think it’s the “bite the hand that feeds them” aspect from the Democrats that I find so naive. Countries that are much more liberal than the U.S. don’t seem to suffer from this affliction.
Why do you find it necessary to plop a long screed on bush, palin, iraq, and the republicans on every comment thread, no matter what the topic?
You make some good point on the energy business but your bush obsession distracts from your good points.
TJIT speaking to Benny:
“Why do you find it necessary to plop a long screed on bush, palin, iraq, and the republicans on every comment thread, no matter what the topic?”
I’d admit to skimming past anything too screedish, but there’s no doubt that “bush, palin, iraq” dynamic puts us in a very particular spot, energy policy wise.
It’s actually so painful to see “drill, baby, drill” overlapping “god’s war” for an oil rich nation … that I try to put it out of my head.
I’ve been avoiding Benny’s posts since he showed up on The Oil Drum months ago !!!!!!!!!!!!!
There’s no doubt in my mind that his resultant ban at TOD was in part to the behavior you have identified.
RR’s site is one of the best IMVHO on energy issues. I continue to reevaluate visiting comments here though, due to the continual screeds.
As a result, it’s nice to see your remark. Takes the edge off the issue for me. Thanks.
Meanwhile I will continue to avoid his posts with a renewed vigor. /sarcasm
There is no evidence at this blog that anyone actually knows what US energy policy is. Has anyone besides me actually read the National Energy Policy, May 2001?
This policy is very comprehensive.
The cool thing about energy is that results can be measured.
So what is the record of the Bush Administration:
Anaerobic digestion of farm manure: exponential growth
– Wind generation: exponential growth
– Ethanol: exponential growth
– Biodiesel: exponential growth
– Geothermal: exponential growth
– Nuke plants being closed: zero
– Nuke plants being extended 20 years: 100%
– Nuke plants being licensed: 30+
– Nuke plants being sold to China: four
– Biomass electricity generation: growing instead of declining
– FERC regulations with teeth: passed
– Rolling blackouts due to lack of capacity/fuel: zero
– Operating drilling rigs: 1500 up from 500
– The price of natural gas for home heating: the same as 2000
Now tell me what the next president is going to do better?
I live in the only state in the US with public electricity. How about that for a goal of every state ? Don’t dance around this one – this is a federal republic, you know !
I have been an electronics tech in the past, and will be a HVAC tech in the very near future. Yup, it’s cool to be able measure results !
So why did you not provide (numerical) measurements in your record summation ???
Cause you’re a hack, maybe ? Hope I’m wrong, real wrong !!!!
In order to shift the mentality to conserve energy, and allow alternative energy sources to expand, does it make sense to follow the path of the UK, and tax the US consumer. The duty and VAT contribute above 70% of the cost of petrol in the UK, has it increased unemployment? What is the government doing with the extra revenue?
Having worked for public power in different states, I would have to point out that many states have public power. This a local decision and I would think that would be a goal of the federal government.
Public power varies from small rural COOPs to the very large like like Los Angles Department of Water and Power. It is a little know fact that LADWP was the largest profiteer in the 2000/2001 California energy crisis. S. David Freeman, LADWP stood on the California state house steps pointing at others but again the amount of electricity sold and the cost is something that can be measured.
I have a great deal of respect for public power but I would not propose it as a goal.
Hopefully that answers your first question. However, no summation was provided. That was a question. I will give an example of an answer. I would like the next president to get new oil rigs off the coast of California. The record of US oil industry at preventing spills is very good theses days. The major source of oil getting into the ocean is all the cars on California roads dripping oil. If California does not want to be part of the solution, then they should stop being part of the problems. Ration cards limiting each California family to 30 gallons of fuel.
Ration card #1 would go to the governor, #2 the AG, #3 to Jay Leno.
I would hardly say that Democrats have a hostile view of oil companies. Some opportunistic Congressmen demonize oil companies when they find it politically beneficial. But I would ask you to point out some legislation that the Democratic party has pushed that you find objectionable.
Point taken, but there is an election coming up, and this is an energy blog. My post concerned partisanship, Palin’s free money for Alaskans taken from oil companies (an energy issue), and McCain’s bashing of “Big Oil” (a regular in his stump speeches), and the Dems lack of a coherent policy other wanting to tax Big Oil and Bush’s love of corn ethanol.
I also mentioned ANWR and drilling of the coast of Florida. I would say most of my post on on-topic.
I still do not know why I was banned from TOD, but it happened when I asked what is the source of funding behind TOD, and its cloaked-identitity editors. I also asked anybody at TOD to identify a single promising alternative energy technology that was not having money thrown at it. (and many not so promising technoogies, as RR points out). That point is that we have plenty of capital to invest in new technologies, so we are not doomed. That post got me kicked off TOD the second time. I would say TOD is not a forum but some sort of tool.
A still a very vaild question, especially given the extremely speculative nature of the NYMEX, is who finances TOD? I would be a lot more concerned about who backs TOD (directly or indirectly), then if Benny posts some tired ideas.
I have sent queries to TOD editors and cc’ed the CFTC. We will see if anything turns up. Maybe TOD is clean as a whistle.
I was getting rapidly tired of the relentess doomsterism, and gonzo economics of the TOD anyway, and it is better to just post at R squared.
Here, (most) readers actually enjoy each other’s posts, and regard different points of views as challenging and interesting. I hope my views and occasional attempts at wry humor lighten somone’s day, in whatever small way. I know I attempt to say something nice to every poster who has a opposite point of view from mine.
And, sheesh, you can always skip my posts.
Edit: “I live in the only state in the US with public electricity..” to “I live in the only state in the US with 100% public electricity.”
Such an oversight. Shame on me !
That comment was about infrastructure. Not regulatory horror stories.
While ‘exponential growth’ is factually correct I think it can be quite misleading. Of course if you find it valuable to initiate a dialog via controversy that will get you responses. You got me 😉
I am, a voracious reader on this subject, and mostly lurk.
Regarding reading the National Energy Policy 2001 – I haven’t. So ? Is that the only way to skin a cat. Interesting you didn’t provide a link to it, since you lead with it.
BTW, you ever visit rigzone’s site to see the status of oil rigs ?
Do you expect the US to drill out of depletion ?
Rhetorical Q’s, no need to answer me. Those Q’s are sure to come up it you engage long enough.
kit – I read the entire National Energy Policy report on the day it came out.
I thought it was a very serious attempt to propose a balanced energy plan. It is too bad the Democrats chose to attack Dick Cheney and those who participated in the meetings rather than debate the merits of the report itself.
What do you think the response would have been if someone took the report word-for-word and submitted it as Obama’s energy policy? Obamabots and the mainstream press would fall all over themselves about Obama’s energy brilliance.
The Democrat Party was never serious about tackling energy issues other than as a wedge issue to hit Republicans with.
I haven’t heard any Republican saying we can/should drill our way to independence. What I have heard is that drilling needs to be part of the solution.
This stands in contrast to the Democrats who appear to want no/little expansion of domestic production, and who want to take as much money as possible out of the profits of oil companies as prices rise. Which, of course, they certainly will if we don’t make any effort to expand production during what is likely to be a decades-long transition period.
Redistributing money from oil companies is a zero-sum game within the borders of the USA – it won’t change the fact that whatever we don’t produce ourselves will have to be imported. Moreover, the specious argument about how future production won’t lower prices today misses a critical point: our failure to produce more oil means world production will be lower than it otherwise would be, which means in turn that the marginal price of a barrel of oil in the future will be higher than it otherwise would be. And of course, the price of this marginal barrel will set the price of every barrel, include (obviously) all barrels we’re still importing.
It seems certain that the Democrats will be running all three branches of the federal government come January. I guess we’ll find out if foregoing more domestic oil and a continuation of 3 decades of foot-dragging on nuclear power won’t matter as we put the pedal to the metal on solar, wind, and (especially) natural gas.
Anon, I have heard lots of conservatives here in the heartland suggest that we have plenty of oil, it’s just that the liberals won’t let us drill for it. That implies that these people think we could drill our way to independence.
“So what is the record of the Bush Administration”
Record oil prices and more dependence on foreign oil?
First thanks for the link to the report. I’ve got it bookmarked, but I honestly don’t relish the thought of reading a product of this administration’s.
Which brings me to:[quote=”It is too bad the Democrats chose to attack Dick Cheney and those who participated in the meetings rather than debate the merits of the report itself.”]It is too bad the Democrats chose to attack Dick Cheney and those who participated in the meetings rather than debate the merits of the report itself.[/quote]
Yes, the Dems went into wedge mode ! Surprise surprise !!??
C’mon look beyond your partisanship – are you implying that you prefer politics carried on behind closed doors as has been the practice throughout our history ?
RBM – you don’t need to read the entire report. Just skip to the recommendations in the appendix. See if you disagree with anything there. The report called for increasing tax credits for alternatives and renewables, more conservation, opening areas for drilling, more nuclear, greater access for international oil companies to foreign energy investment, a lot of the very things we discuss here.
So who did you want Cheney to meet with to discuss energy? Movie executives? The purpose of the meetings was to produce the report, which was supposed to START the policy debate. But no, Henry Waxman immediately went on a witch hunt over who met with who. Any laws or policy initiatives would have been debated. But it never got that far.
Ok, here is an interesting piece on energy policy Prairie Fire . Go to page 30 for “The Real and Phony Energy Crisis”.
We could have some fun with it. I can see a game similar to the is it Al Gore or the Unabomber. We could pull quotes from each group and you would have to guess was it the Democrats, Oil Watchdog, or the Weather Underground.
It is true that world demand for oil has increased and China has stopped exporting oil while Bush was president. It is also true that Bush failed to implement parts of the energy policy that would have increased domestic production. Are you saying that Barbra Boxer recommended increasing production in the Santa Barbra channel only to have it blocked by a Bush veto?
Which state is 100% public power?
Hmmm Kit, your bullet point list of Bush plans seems at odds with my memory of NREL defunding and then refunding.
Didn’t a variety of alt-energy programs get cut in the first half of the Bush administration, only to be hastily restarted?
Fits and starts seem endemic to our energy “transitions.”
“I haven’t heard any Republican saying we can/should drill our way to independence. What I have heard is that drilling needs to be part of the solution.”
That’s because they were careful in their phasing.
Q: What’s the answer to high gas prices?
A: We must open up US drilling
There. They didn’t say it, and that might even have been part of a balance multi-source energy plan, but the didn’t make that clear.
That allowed the busy Republican listener, without time or inclination to study this to take away the idea that if we’d drill we’d have no problem.
That answer and simplified idea played incredibly well with the base.
Assuming that come January Obama will be in the White House, and the senate and congress will be Democrat, how do you expect that they will open up to drilling in areas that they have opposed in the past? Will funding for new energy alternatives come from increased taxes on oil companies? In the end, we need to consume less gasoline, and this will not be done while gas prices are at current levels.
How many Americans know Bush is an ecogeek,or that Al Gore is an energy glutton? Not many. The almighty propaganda machine has conditioned us to believe exactly the opposite. Bush’s house has a geothermal heat pump and an underground cistern for collecting rain and wastewater. He uses about 25% of the energy an average family does. Gore’s mansion uses 20X more energy than the average family. It’s not something we’ll see in the popular media though. They have certain myths to nurture.
Even if that was a complete history Maury, I wonder how much it would matter.
If a President lived like a saint in a cave, but tried to sneak more mountain-top removal into the closing days of his administration would you love him?
White House Changing Rules to Favor Mountaintop Removal
I read the article Odograph. Did you catch this part? “This rule has been routinely ignored by mining companies, because it would be impossible to practice mountaintop removal otherwise.” Yeah,let’s not change that rule. The country with the world’s largest coal reserves should just import what it needs,right? Let someone else move THEIR pesky mountains.
Of course I get that. There are certain coal reserves that can only be accessed by destroying rivers and towns.
In the meantime, 90% of our electrical energy could be supply by solar thermal power plants.
But hey! If Bush has solar panels at his ranch that makes the selenium etc. poisoning ok!
Can anyone tell me why lower prices at the pump is beneficial to developing alternative modes of energy? By increasing gasoline prices we would naturally solve the following problems :
3. More efficient driving
4. More efficient Engines.
5. Encourages Alternatives
“There are certain coal reserves that can only be accessed by destroying rivers and towns.”
All of the coal is under mountains or between them Odograph. If you can’t mine between them,and can’t remove mountaintop,how in the hell do you get to the coal? If the rule were adhered to,we would have to import coal. Maybe Saudi Arabia should import its oil. Better than risking damage to their environment,right?
Bush doesn’t get get the credit he deserves for the wind boom underway in the US. But,it was his policies as Governor of Texas that enabled Texas to pass California as the biggest wind producer. I think if someone is going to traipse around the world,preaching to everyone about lowering their energy use,he should walk the talk. Gore hasn’t done that. He’s a bit like the preacher that chases every skirt in town imo.
Odograph is the master of trivia.
Bush has cut funding of many things. Funding was cut bt $250M for promoting new nuclear reactors by 2010. Some in the nuclear cried foul however, with the NRC informed of 30+ COL reactors applications being prepared is it okay to cut funding when the goal has been achieved?
Get real Odograph, funding has not been cut for renewable energy R&D. If your goal is to actually produce renewable energy, funding for small projects is way up.
Since I live in coal country, I would rather see a mountains lowered a little, then see windmills installed. Strip mining operations are required to restore after the coal mining done. A hill with trees is still a hill with trees.
Twenty years ago, I was very anti-coal. Safety and environment issues were my concern. I think the coal industry has come a long way. I would rather see miners operating above ground that 1000 feet below.
If Democrats do not like big oil, they hate coal and nuclear too. To be fair, I do not think Democrats are a friend of renewable energy either. Democrats embrace the concept but do think you can build a real renewable energy project near where they live unless you have lots of good lawyers.
Thanks for the suggestion to go to the recommendations – I had an intent to look for something equivalent.
King,King,King a got that about the Dems. I agree that’s what happened.
I want more transparency in the operations of government. So, would your preference been meeting with open or closed doors ?
Robert, I am curious of your opinion on this:
which state is 100% public power?
Nebraska is the only state in the nation that uses 100 percent public power.
I’m a fiscal conservative and after living here 3 decades there’s no doubt in my mind it’s the social conservative mindset that drives this, AKA CHEAP !
Sorry, link clipped.
I think those are pretty weird and diffuse responses. I hear arguments that feel good to you, rather than ones that have any strong basis in fact.
For Maury, all coal is under something, so mountain top removal is justified.
For Kip, if it feels like Bush increased alternative energy funding from the start then it must be true, even if it isn’t. (Graphic from this article, which shows, as I said, an increase after our recent energy crisis.)
All in all, Truthiness is alive and well on the American right. That is, facts don’t matter, your gut does.
BTW, I expected a little more engagement on the 90% of our power from solar thing.
I don’t know that the claim is true, but IF coal now requires that streams and fishing (you guys fish?) be ruined, should we really just endorse that coal in a knee-jerk way?
Or should we find out if we could use solar and still go fishing?
Extra Credit: What is Trout Unlimited’s position on mountaintop removal?
[quote=”Odograph”]All in all, Truthiness is alive and well on the American right. That is, facts don’t matter, your gut does[/quote]
I appreciate an empirical approach and a major reason for reading RR.
Extremists, both left and right, seem to make selective use of empirics.
I’ve seen many examples at TOD that indicate what a can of worms an dialog/argument can become, when someone with an ideology for an agenda tries to use empirics.
That’s some weapons-grade crazy you got goin’ there.
About this extinction thing – how about getting the ball rolling for us? I’ll be right behind you. Promise.
C’mon. It’s for Mother.
Dave isn’t allowed to post here, so just ignore him and I will delete his posts as they show up. Dave has documented mental issues, and I don’t allow him to act out here.
I actually allowed him to post here for a while, but since this “Christian” thinks lying for Jesus is acceptable I warned him several times, and then told him he would never be allowed to post here again (after multiple infractions of him posting false information).
So Dave has no voice here. As people here know, I don’t censor opposing views. But I do censor blatant falsehoods and personal attacks, both of which Dave has knowingly engaged in multiple times.
I’m guessing there’s no automated solution available to help lighten your load ?
The better link is here .
Obama: You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.
So there you have it, a sound bite on energy that everyone can understand. A vote for Obama is a vote for skyrocketing energy prices.
I could make it more difficult for him, but it would inconvenience everyone else at the same time. I won’t let some nut job impact the ability of people here to debate serious issues.
I get an e-mail every time he posts something, so it’s pretty easy to just delete his tripe.
Nebraska, it is always good to learn something new. Electric companies are conservative by nature. If there is a difference it more apparent with size. Big utilities in big cities have a different often lose touch with customers. When the head office is on main street, it much easier to drop in on the GM with a complaint.
Oh gosh, a graph from a blog referencing Mother Jones magazine. That is exactly where I would go to find the truth.
RBM prefers openness in government. We have it. Every major energy project requires an EIS with public participation. Regulations are become law only after a lengthly comment period. KingofKaty is the first person who has responded by having read the National Energy Policy.
Most energy and environmental issues are complex. I arrived at what I thought was good policy in specific area long before Bush was president. Only some of the thing on the list I presented earlier were on my narrow list. For example, building nuke plants in China. Coal plants in China are mush less efficient than those at the utility that supplies my electricity. Helping China replace coal plants is a very good way to reduce ghg.
King, what’s the greenhouse gas toll on a solar-thermal powerplant?
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have cheap coal energy, and trout streams, and an effective cap and trade system.
Kit, go ahead, show me your graph.
… but I’ll agree cleaning Chinese coal plants, and slowing their growth, is a higher priority our own. Ours are already on a slowing curve.
I seem to recall Joe Biden got some grief for making that same observation though.
Odograph – I think we should actually thank Obama for being honest about cap and trade. There is no free lunch, reducing CO2 emissions will be very expensive and lead inevitably to higher energy prices.
I hear that the Bush administration is going to legalize stealing candy from babies and wants to bring back lead paint.;)
Like most things, the Stream Buffer Zone Rule has two sides to it. I’m not a big fan of mountaintop mine removal, but it is legal under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. The SMCRA specifically allows valley fills in streams. Environmentalists wanted to use the stream rule to ban ALL mountaintop mining. Valley fills were constructed from the 1960s. The rules were not the subject of controversy or confusion until 1998 when the interpretation of the rules became an issue in a lawsuit brought by environmental groups.
If environmentalists don’t like mountaintop removal, then work to repeal SMCRA. Earlier someone expressed a preference for not legislating behind closed doors. I think it is equally bad to legislate through the courts. Environmentalists use lawsuits to gain what they couldn’t achieve through the elective process.
How high is skyrocket? I’d feel better if he’d have said much higher. Or twice as much. Even triple. Skyrocket is spooky as hell though. And candles are smelly.
I’m glad to hear no one prefers coal plants to trout fishing.
Maury, I wonder how low the pure-coal states are starting. New coal plants are increasingly expensive, but old ones have largely amortized costs.
Ah, States Ranked by Electricity Price
As far as I’m concerned, those bottom, low cost, coal based, states are free riding on the rest of us.
Someone posted this yesterday at TOD, regarding the Obama audio tape. I don’t really know too much about the issue, but Obama is generally very careful about what he says. So I would have a hard time believing he came out and said he was willing to bankrupt the coal industry:
the shoddy Newsbusters blog has been caught in the past simply fabricating news regarding the Chronicle’s coverage. Our paper has demanded corrections for their fiction, but to no avail.
We contacted Bill Riggs, regional press secretary of the Republican National Committee tonight on his emailing of this erroneous report suggesting a ”hidden” Chronicle audiotape to political reporters. His response: he didn’t confirm it, or write the headline. He just sent it out.
He got taken. And so did the rest.
It’s not practical to bankrupt coal anytime soon. Sure, there are some coal plants in the American soutwest that might be ridiculous, if solar thermal works in exactly the same place. But I’m not sure the solar efficiency in KY or WV … or who has both the funding or approval to load them up with more nukes.
Here’s a technical question Robert: to what degree can these below-mountain coal reserves be used for long term natural gas (coal gas) production?
Are there in-situ techniques?
Skimming, I see in-situ combustion, and bio-conversion. I think I’d prefer bio-conversion.
to what degree can these below-mountain coal reserves be used for long term natural gas (coal gas) production?
The idea has been around for a while. One of my managers at COP talked about it with me about 5 years ago. I am not sure of the present status regarding feasibility. Obviously if you are making carbon monoxide under ground, you need to be very careful that the gas is coming out where you want it to come out.
RR – click on the link to the audio I provided a few posts ago. It is Obama unplugged, with the “uhs” and “ahs” he uses when speaking without the teleprompter.
The explanation isn’t that Newsbusters or others are taking Obama out of context, the problem is that Obama says one thing when he thinks he is among friends, and something else entirely when he is trolling for votes. The old line media like the SF Chron are so in the tank for Obama they get upset when they are caught protecting him.
When Obama talks about “bankrupting coal” or “skyrocketing electric prices”, or tells Joe the Plumber he wants to “spread the wealth around”, that is the REAL Obama. The LA Times has a tape of the REAL Obama toasting a Palestinian terrorist. The REAL Obama (and Joe Biden), give nothing to charity but expect to raise YOUR taxes to take care of their relatives. That is the REAL Obama/Biden. Remember a few months back when there was a flap about Cindy McCain not paying property taxes on a condo in La Jolla – she was letting her aunt live there rent free. Obama’s aunt – lives in a public housing project in Boston.
You and others bashed Sarah Palin for being inexperienced and not giving access to reporters. Obama hasn’t given a press conference or responded to press inquiries for over a month. Biden seems to have gone into hiding. Why? Because their handlers know that either candidate might go off script and tell voters what they REALLY think.
You and others bashed Sarah Palin for being inexperienced and not giving access to reporters.
My problems with Palin go far beyond that. For instance, what is this socialism business she is slinging at Obama? Were her policies toward the oil companies not socialist in nature? Is redistributing the oil wealth not socialist? When she slings mud over former Obama associations, what are we to make of her ties to the Alaska Independence Party? They are certainly at least as strong as Obama’s ties to Ayres.
Obama hasn’t given a press conference or responded to press inquiries for over a month.
I have seen him interviewed twice in the past week. But if I was in his shoes, I would play defense right now. Palin needed to play offense from the beginning, because nobody knew who she was or why she was a qualified pick.
Odograph – it isn’t a choice between trout fishing and coal. It is possible to have both. I must also point out that mountaintop mining and valley fills are on PRIVATE property. The mining company owns the surface and the minerals underneath.
On in-situ gasification, it would not be appropriate for the mountaintop reserves. These reserves are too close to the surface and not surrounded by cap rock, it would be difficult if not impossible to control the reaction and to keep the syngas contained. Rather you would look for deep unmineable reserves.
‘When Obama talks about “bankrupting coal” or “skyrocketing electric prices”, or tells Joe the Plumber he wants to “spread the wealth around”, that is the REAL Obama.’
Well first, look at those coal state electric rates again. Those folks have been exporting their pollution with 600 ft stacks for decades. They dragged their feet on SOx and NOx and particulates, and mercury, and greenhouse gases.
Will it bankrupt them to adopt my California pollution footprint? Will raising their rates to something near my California rates look like a “skyrocket?”
If the defense is that they should be able to pollute at low rates … because they are backwards or something … that’s just sad.
On “spread the wealth” … compared to what, a $1T bailout? That is spreading the wealth pretty thick my friend.
What do you want instead? The McCain plan going in the other direction? Privatized Social Security and 50 million retirees standing there with their pants down after a market crash?
Man! You are so lucky that push did not pass.
– odograph, soon to be ex-Republican and independent
I happen to be a big fan of coal strip mining because it it much safer and more economical. When considering all the environmental impacts, I would rate coal generated electricity above solar thermal in the Mojave and PV anyplace. My conclusions are based on reading many LCA for generating electricity.
The basic problem with wind and solar is it does not work. It is not sustainable. While the sources of energy is renewable but the equipment is not.
I do support a conservative RPS (5%) and PTC for renewable energy. The way you make renewable energy work is by doing. Hopefully, the current renewable energy boom will result in producing electricity to years from now rather than another failed experiment.
Biomass to electricity and ethanol has always worked it is just more expensive. All the biomass to electricity plants built in the 80s could not compete with natural gas, but now they have at least a $10/MWh advantage.
I need to heat my house, I do not need to go trout fishing. However, I know that the plants I used to work at when I was younger released cleaner water than the river water that came in. I knew because we processed the water and measured the water before releasing it. It was a matter of public record. There was a popular trout steam at the power plant (between power plant and the feedlot before the city street runoff).
On the other had, no doubt that Odograph, can find new reports that talk about all the tainted water release. Here the deal Odograph, it I lie on release permit I could go to jail. It would also be unethical. As far as I tell tell, journalists job is to sell papers. Politicians job is to get elected.
Here is the problem for us voters. I do not like McCain’s record on energy. However, the other guy is clueless and is unlikely to have the guts to stand up to the Chicago machine. The good news is that course has been set by Bush.
There is also free speech and people who know how to be heard. When the Capital mall becomes a parking lot for heavy equipment and a campground for unemployed coal miners, there are some limo riding slugs who wished the industry only had lobbyist.
Robert – Palin CAN sling the socialist label at Obama. The citizens of Alaska own the mineral wealth on state lands. Energy companies are granted a right to explore and produce on these lands. It isn’t socialism to negotiate a better deal. If you rent an apartment from me it isn’t socialism if I choose to raise your rent.
When Obama talks about “spreading the wealth around” to Joe the Plumber he is advocating using the power of government to take something it doesn’t own and give it to someone else. Huge difference.
Palin’s ties to the AIP are passing at best. IF there was hard evidence she were an AIP member or strongly supported them you would have heard about it by now.
Obama was a member of Wright’s church for 20 years and his associations with Ayers are numerous and deep. He isn’t just some guy in the neighborhood. Obama’s friends and his pastor preach a marxist/socialist world view, a view that Obama himself seems to share at least in part when you look at his interviews and writings.
“Odograph – it isn’t a choice between trout fishing and coal. It is possible to have both. I must also point out that mountaintop mining and valley fills are on PRIVATE property. The mining company owns the surface and the minerals underneath. “
You’ve heard the “two earths” claims? That is, we use our natural resources at a rate which would be sustainable if we had twice as many earths as we do.
The number of trout streams in the US declines every year. In theory we could keep “enough” but the anti-enviros don’t offer that math. They like better the idea that every environmental claim is nuttery and any single stream reduced is inconsequential.
That’s what adds up to … well what I live in … a city that used to have steelhead runs and grizzly bears. No longer.
I’ve lived long enough to see that expanding and expanding, haven’t you?
“I need to heat my house, I do not need to go trout fishing. However, I know that the plants I used to work at when I was younger released cleaner water than the river water that came in. I knew because we processed the water and measured the water before releasing it. It was a matter of public record. There was a popular trout steam at the power plant (between power plant and the feedlot before the city street runoff). “
Strawman argument, because we aren’t making anywhere near efficient use of our energies.
People heat barely insulated houses with $0.05/kwh electricity and then complain that they need more coal to keep the costs down.
Get everyone in a Passiv House first, and then I might believe you.
It isn’t socialism to negotiate a better deal.
Is that what she did? I thought she just raised the tax rates. How is what she did different than what Chavez did?
When Obama talks about “spreading the wealth around”
Of course there is video of McCain saying essentially the same thing. That’s my point: Palin and McCain are throwing stones from a glass house.
IF there was hard evidence she were an AIP member or strongly supported them you would have heard about it by now.
She is married to a former member, and addressed their convention not too long ago in positive terms. That’s stronger ties than Obama has to Ayers based on what I have seen.
I think you are using different standards here for the different candidates.
Those folks have been exporting their pollution with 600 ft stacks for decades. They dragged their feet on SOx and NOx and particulates, and mercury, and greenhouse gases.
Not true, the plants comply with the Clean Air Act. Many coal fired power plants switched to lower sulfur coal to avoid installing post combustion treating.
Greenhouse gases are NOT pollutants under the law, despite what you might think. So there is no foot dragging. Now you are just being emotional and silly.
As for bailing out the financial community, government helped to create the problem, partly through Fannie and Freddie and packaging up mortgaged back securities. I would prefer that the Gov’t be out of the banking system altogether. I’d prefer the Gov’t to stay out of the financial system. I’ve never liked GSEs.
“Not true, the plants comply with the Clean Air Act. Many coal fired power plants switched to lower sulfur coal to avoid installing post combustion treating. “
I went those stacks, and calibrated Clean Air Act monitoring equipment.
I know the history, I know why some states were sued to make them lower their stacks.
“As for bailing out the financial community, government helped to create the problem, partly through Fannie and Freddie and packaging up mortgaged back securities. I would prefer that the Gov’t be out of the banking system altogether. I’d prefer the Gov’t to stay out of the financial system. I’ve never liked GSEs.
I see the word “helped” in there. It makes your statement technically correct, but nonetheless a dodge.
No one in the Clinton nor the Bush administrations, both of whom were boosters for zero-down sub-prime loans, required banks to make bad loans.
The “securitizers” did that because a) they were paid for initiation, b) had no skin in the long-term game.
To imply that less regulation would have cured that is preposterous on its face.
This explains it all about Odograph, “Will it bankrupt them to adopt my California pollution footprint?”
I have lived in California and I certainly do not think they are a thrifty lot taken as whole. The reason California has high electric rates is they relies too much on natural gas and expected it would say cheap no matter how much they sucked out pipelines from other places regardless of the impact on fishing streams where the gas is produced. Places like France that do not have coal build nuke plants.
It will not Odograph at all to make my rates go up. Why does Odograph thinks he needs to protect people who already have clean air? If they were building a coal plant where Odograph lives, maybe I could understand.
So mark-to-market rules and other provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley didn’t also have its impact?
There is plenty of blame to go around for this mess. You can’t point to a single thing that caused it. The closest you could come is NOT assigning the correct amount of risk premiums to credit default swaps , and applying CDSs to mortgage backed securities .
It is ironic that most of the money made on CDS instruments went to zip codes in the bluest of blue Obama states (think upper West Side, Connecticut). Yet somehow this is the Republicans’ fault.
No King, compared to the “agency” problem in securitization not much of that matters.
The people who made the loans were not the ones who would collect the long-term money. In “agency” situations the risk is that a person doing a thing doesn’t use the same care and concern as those for whom he acts.
If the loan officer had to hang around and be reviewed based on the performance of his portfolio, would he have accepted no doc loans? Would he so happily accept stated income?
Odograph – how do you feel about building more efficient, cleaner, coal fired power plants and then knocking down dirtier plants?
A case in point, e.on is proposing a new supercritical steam plant in Kent . Supercritical plants can achieve 42-43% thermal efficiency as opposed to 35% for conventional plants. That is a big improvement.
Yet the idiots with Greenpeace and other environmental groups are protesting the new plant. e.on plans to demolish the less efficient plant, but will continue to run it until the new one is built. This is madness. Envirnomental groups are even protesting gas fired power generation!
Odo – I don’t disagree that the loan originators were a big part of the problem. And who was one of the worst? Countrywide – who were protected by the
“friends of Angelo” . Did you notice anything in common about the FOAs? Political party maybe? Oh, but I forgot, it is all Bush’s fault. Angelo is just some great guy who gives out low interest loans to his buddies just out of the goodness of his heart, expecting nada in return – nothing to see here – move along.
For a completely different take on the coal industry that Obama wants to destroy: Coal not in a slump
I don’t think you are quite accepting the significance of this:
“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,” Mr. Greenspan said.
Referring to his free-market ideology, Mr. Greenspan added: “I have found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact.”
Mr. Waxman pressed the former Fed chair to clarify his words. “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working,” Mr. Waxman said.
“Absolutely, precisely,” Mr. Greenspan replied. “You know, that’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”
Greenepeace and the Sierra Club are sometimes idiots, but they probably sense that they can gain more with a hard line in the coal states than through incremental movement.
Given their goals, that may not be dumb.
Are any of their opponents ready to commit to high percentages of renewables? Is any coal-powered state actually committing to a low-carbon future?
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