Tag: Energy in the United States

Benefits of brown energy are yet to come

So says IHS’s report on the economic impact shale which has tallied up the benefits coming from shale oil & gas exploration & extraction.

In their latest report on the economic benefits of the shale revolution, the global research firm IHS makes a number of encouraging findings. IHS estimates that the unconventional oil and gas value chain already supports over two million jobs, is responsible for $1,200 in average additional net income per household and is contributing nearly $300 billion to GDP. The most promising finding for manufacturers is that the best is yet to come. Looking at just one manufacturing sector, the chemical manufacturing sector, capital investments in new plants and expansion at existing plants is expected to more than triple in just four years.

These estimates are not theoretical; they are largely based on real projects that are already under development, some of which are identified in the report. Similar growth is expected in several manufacturing sectors, which collectively will drive more production, create more jobs and further fuel the economy.

Of course, the Gaia worshippers want nothing to do with this real economic boon, and keep pretending that the heavily subsidized and failure prone green energy sector is where all the good stuff is. Dreams are just that: dreams. As I told some leftard that kept telling me he wished the green energy sector would show how great it was already earlier today: shit in one hand and keep making that idiotic wish in the other, and see which one fills up first.

Coming Home To Roost

On the old blog, I said that one of the big stories in the next few years would be the corruption connected with stimulus spending, especially the Green Bubble. There is simply no way to throw that much money at that many projects and not have it devolve into an influence-peddling clusterfuck.

But, you know, sometimes I hate being right all the time.

The Energy Department’s inspector general has launched more than 100 criminal investigations related to 2009 economic stimulus spending.

In written testimony prepared for delivery to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today, Inspector General Gregory Friedman said the investigations have involved “various schemes, including the submission of false information, claims for unallowable or unauthorized expenses, and other improper uses of Recovery Act funds.”

So far, the investigations have led to five criminal prosecutions and brought in “over $2.3 million in monetary recoveries,” Friedman said.

The problem is pretty simple. DOE got $35 billion to spend on “shovel-ready” projects. This was more than the agency’s entire previous budget. This was more money than they had projects for. Naturally, it was a huge mess. A slow ramp-up, with proper peer review and supervision, might have worked. But the desperate desire of the Democrats to spend as much as fast as possible meant the DOE was overwhelmed.

Want an example, beside Solyndra? Here ya go:

Move over, SunPower. Blow out your candles, Solar Energy Project. SoloPower your sun has set; Fisker Automotive, your race is run.

There can be only one Solyndra II, and it is Beacon Power, a Massachusetts energy storage company that went bankrupt Sunday, unsaved by a $43 million taxpayer-guaranteed loan from Steven Chu’s Department of Energy.

Beacon is not as bad as Solyndra. It’s still operating at lower payroll and may have some assets to reclaim. So far, there is evidence only of a bad business plan. But with over a hundred of these out there, we’re going to find more corruption and waste than you can shake a stick at.

The worst thing? If the budget talks are anything to go by, DOE will not be reigned in. Budget cuts will hit other agencies that did not get stimulus spending and are being reasonably prudent with their funds.

But … those agencies weren’t giving money to campaign bundlers. Hah. What were they thinking?

What is the energy policy of this administration?

I have been wasting my time trying to have an argument with CM about the Obama administration’s energy policy on the “If you still think they are not hostile to modernity” post I made a few days ago. CM is avidly telling me that not only am I an evil liar for saying that the primary focus of the Obama Administration energy policy was the control of CO2 emissions – Cap and Trade/Tax wasn’t about getting more energy, but by controlling access to it through taxation and higher prices, and the only reason this disaster of a policy didn’t get passed was that the donkeys sunk all their energy into something much worse, Obamacare, and then didn’t have any juice left to push this disaster of a bill – which indubitably means higher energy prices, but that Obama and his people are engaged in “very sensible” energy policies. Well, I guess this is what “sensible policies” look like:

Utility giant American Electric Power said Thursday that it will shut down five coal-fired power plants and spend billions of dollars to comply with a series of pending Environmental Protection Agency regulations. The company’s dramatic plan to comply with the regulations could give Republicans and moderate Democrats ammunition in their ongoing fight against EPA’s efforts to impose new regulations aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants including mercury and arsenic.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) immediately pounced on AEP’s announcement. “This is a perfect example of the EPA implementing rules and regulations without considering the devastating impact they may have on local economies and jobs,” Capito said. Capito said she will write a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson asking whether the agency took into account the economic impact of its regulations. “Let me be clear, it’s decisions like the one made by AEP today that demonstrate the urgent need to rein in government agencies like the EPA, preventing them from overstepping their bounds and imposing regulations that not only cost us good American jobs, but hurt our economy,” said Manchin, an outspoken critic of the EPA.

But EPA defended its regulations Thursday, noting that the agency has worked closely with industry to ensure that its regulations are “reasonable, common-sense and achievable.”

Sounds like the EPA and CM are reading from the same script here. Of course, CM will accuse me of being emotional while dismissing the fact that the Obama Administration is hostile to energy production simply as my opinion. Examples like this, or even Obama’s own words, be damned. Anyway, why is the EPA claiming it’s doing this in what amounts to the worst economy since the great depression? Well:

The agency also stressed that the regulations are essential for protecting public health. “These reasonable steps taken under the Clean Air Act will reduce harmful air pollution, including mercury, arsenic and other toxic pollution, and as a result protect our families, particularly children,” EPA said in a statement.

Cool, they are looking after our health! And the fact that electricity they are now going to take offline is critical for a modern society where we have all these other things that can help our health? I am certain they have some plan to close that gap without costing us all some serious moolah?

In a statement outlining its plan to comply with EPA’s regulations, AEP said it would need to retire 6,000 megawatts of coal-fired power generation in the coming years. The company, one of the country’s largest electric utilities, estimated that it will cost between $6 billion and $8 billion in capital investments over the next decade to comply with the regulations in their current form. The costs of complying with the regulations will result in an increase in electricity prices of 10 to 35 percent and cost 600 jobs, AEP said.

Hmmm. Less energy gets produced, to keep Gaia clean, and the energy that does get created is going to cost more? Wait a second. Isn’t that exactly what I said the Obama Administration’s policy is? Whether it is the intended one or not, the fact remains that the agenda of these people is costing us more, and is going to cost us all a lot more, while making the available energy pool smaller and harder to get at. Not my words, but Obama’s own:

Get that?

In total, AEP estimated it will have to close five coal-fired power plants by the end of 2014. Six additional plants would see major changes, including retiring some generating units, retrofitting equipment and switching to natural gas.

“We support regulations that achieve long-term environmental benefits while protecting customers, the economy and the reliability of the electric grid, but the cumulative impacts of the EPA’s current regulatory path have been vastly underestimated, particularly in Midwest states dependent on coal to fuel their economies,” AEP CEO Michael Morris said in a statement.

And this agencey, the EPA, is doing this without congressiona approval, since congress refused to pass these things the Obama Administartion asked for as low. Sensible policy indeed!

UPDATE: Obama’s old hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, now pointing out that government’s current energy agenda will drastically raise electricity prices

Consumers could see their electricity bills jump an estimated 40 to 60 percent in the next few years. The reason: Pending environmental regulations will make coal-fired generating plants, which produce about half the nation’s electricity, more expensive to operate. Many are expected to be shuttered.

The increases are expected to begin to appear in 2014, and policymakers already are scrambling to find cheap and reliable alternative power sources. If they are unsuccessful, consumers can expect further increases as more expensive forms of generation take on a greater share of the electricity load.

“Each generator will have to decide for itself whether the investment required to meet environmental requirements can be justified based on its projection of market prices and the cost of its capital. In any case, those costs will be passed through to consumers,” said Mark Pruitt, director of the Illinois Power Agency, which procures electricity for Illinois.

This administration’s policies are hostile to energy generation. We are going to pay more for it and have less of it too. That’s the end game.