Category: America

The Export Ban on U.S. Crude Oil Has Been Lifted: What’s Next?

The alternatives open to the country are basically exporting some of its increased production or to apply this new production to minimize and, eventually, to eliminate import requirements. It would seem that U.S. exports of crude oil, at this moment in time, will be more beneficial in almost all respects to the overall U.S. economy and national interest than trying to replace oil imports with the new domestic production. Continue reading

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The Tragic Tale of Montana Logging

The inability of Congress to act and provide proper funding, has advanced a strong movement in Montana, led by state Senator Jennifer Fielder (R-Thompson Falls) to push for the transfer of federal lands back to the state for proper management and supervision. Continue reading

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The Fog of EPA’s Regulatory War on America

One president and founder of a coal mining company, who started his business in 1979, employs over 1,000 workingmen and women. He sees the Clean Power Plan (CPP) as a direct threat to the millions of dollars in investments he and his customers (power plants and mills) have already made to comply with the Clean Air Act. If implemented, the additional regulations of the CPP, “would force power plants to reduce carbon emissions to a level that is technically unachievable and would force the closure of coal fired power plants across our country.” Continue reading

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The West’s Hindered Coal Exports and Delayed Terminal Expansion

At Powder River Basin in Montana, the coal is consistently high quality allowing export to America’s strategic partners such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, and helping to maintain steady supply chains. It is coal that developing nations would welcome. Yet, thanks to the environmentalist lobby, coal export terminal construction is a slow and often stop-and-go process. On the West Coast of the United States, there are currently three potential terminal sites pending approval that could otherwise export Montana and Wyoming coal to East Asia. Continue reading

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Coal in the West: Where Economics and Ideology Clash

Though Washington and Oregon are dominated by the Democrat Party, by taking an anti-coal stance, they hinder the creation of mainly union jobs. Railroaders, longshoreman, miners, construction workers, who are all unionized, suffer from lack of work as the Democrats cater to the environmentalist wing of the party. Continue reading

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SCOTUS EPA Decision a Setback for Obama Anti-Coal Agenda

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) lauded the decision stating in a press release the “Supreme Court ruling sends a strong signal to the EPA that it must stop ignoring the economic damage its regulations are causing to our energy sector and our economy,” adding, “This ruling is an important step to rein in this out-of-control agency.” Continue reading

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Keystone XL and Petroleum Development in Montana

Despite the massive economic growth of Montana oil in the first decade of the 21st Century, Big Sky Country still faces the issue of market access. The project creates a $140 million onramp in Baker, where capacity for 100,000 bpd Bakken crude could be sent from Montana to the proposed Keystone XL route.

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Montana’s Fight in the War on Coal

Looking into the coal industry in Montana gives us a strong insight into the present state of affairs of American coal. Montana generally ranks around fifth in terms of coal output in the United States, while having the largest amount of reserves, roughly 25 percent of U.S. reserves, or 120 billion tons.

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Making Good News Better: American Oil & the Outer Continental Shelf

October brought some very good news to American energy consumers. The numbers are wonderful, almost breathtaking. We’ve defeated the fashionably Malthusian theories of “peak oil” and the supposed “finiteness” of fossil fuels in a market economy. But there’s other news that we haven’t really heard – and federal policies that we’ve not pursued – that could make a more noticeable dent in heating bills and prices at the pump.

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OBAMA’S ENERGY POLICY: SLOWING GROWTH HERE AND ABROAD

As a professional staff member on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in 2011, I was able to visit several countries to check on how the U.S. Aid for International Development (USAID) agency was fulfilling its many missions. On the agency’s website is the statement, “Broad-based economic growth is essential to sustainable, long-term development. It creates the opportunities impoverished households need to raise their living standards, provides countries with the resources to expand access to basic services, and—most important of all—enables citizens to chart their own prosperous futures.” Absolutely true, and not just in “developing” parts of the Third World, but in all parts of the world as “development” is an ongoing process everywhere.

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EPA in Wonderland: Fantasy and Falseness in Newest Coal Ban

Green groups swooned over the National Press Club appearance by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, who unveiled her agency’s proposed 463-page second attempt to mandate carbon dioxide restrictions on “new” coal-fired power plants.

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Back to Yucca Mountain?

In a suit brought by the states of Washington and South Carolina against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), a panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals decided 2-1 to grant a writ of mandamus against the NRC for the agency’s failure to obey 1987 amendments to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (the Act). The Department of Energy had submitted its 8,600 page Yucca license application to the NRC in June 2008, but the incoming Obama Administration, in league with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), worked to zero-out money for the program. Then, a former Reid staffer, Gregory Jaczko, even became NRC chairman, and unilaterally froze the agency staff’s evaluation of DOE’s application.

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Coal liquefaction to produce clean fuels: Status and outlook

The energy used for transport is over 90 percent generated by oil, while the global amount of vehicles is increasing. The U.S. has 770 autos per 1000 people and China some 100 autos per 1000 people, a figure that might double by 2050. This means a rising demand for oil, forcing oil importing nations to search for alternative sources of energy.

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Posted in America, Energy Security

Congressional Greens Taking Climate Package Home for August

Congress is beginning its August recess after a July whirlwind that subjected Washington to a multi-prong spin and promotion campaign for the White House’s announced plans to have EPA regulate carbon emission from existing coal-fired power plants.

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Obama’s Climate Change Speech

President Obama’s climate change speech at Georgetown University on June 25 was heralded as something new and groundbreaking by the news media and by many in the anti-carbon “pollution” movement. Framed by White House spokespeople as part of a legacy issue, the President ordered EPA to fast track the regulation of carbon emissions from both new and existing coal-fired power plants…

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Exporting Ideology: Anti-Coal Activists Open Second Front

It’s well known that that coal’s share of America’s electricity generation base has been under tremendous pressure from a squeeze play of forces. One is purely political, and based on an EPA climate change agenda that requires relentless contortions of the Clean Air Act never contemplated by Congress.

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EPA’s CO2 Future is Now

Most media analysts and even some industry executives seem to believe that EPA restrictions on carbon and other alleged greenhouse gases (GHGs) are geared mainly to future coal plants – plants that will probably never be built because, as it’s said almost everyday, today’s low natural gas prices will persist…

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Calling it a Day on Climate Change: Will the Supreme Court End the War on Coal?

Experts say that the spring of 2013 is cold. In fact, the month of May began as the second-coolest spring on record since 1975. That was a year after Time magazine wondered about “Another Ice Age?” in a famous June 1974 story.

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Today’s Nuclear Power Moratorium

Gone was the finding that a mined geologic repository “will be available by the years 2007-2009 . . .” It was replaced by the NRC’s “reasonable assurance that at least one mined geologic repository will be available within the first quarter of the twenty-first century . . .” This was reasonable in 1990 because the official Yucca designation was relatively new, and focus had been lost between the 1982 and 1987 versions of the NWPA…

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World outlook of shale gas: Slow but inevitable growth – Part IV

The spectacular growth of shale gas in the U.S. has opened the path for similar developments in other countries. The speed at which these other countries can progress could be much higher since the technology perfected in the U.S. can now be applied elsewhere.

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TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline: Under Cover of Darkness

We still don’t know the answer to that question, but a critical segment of the Keystone XL Pipeline is mighty close to conclusion. The map segment referred to as the “Gulf Coast Project” is nearly complete, as a finite pipeline capable of carrying Canadian oil sands from Hardisty, Alberta to Nederland, Texas.

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The impact of shale gas on the future of American energy – Part III

The shale gas boom we have described in previous articles is deeply influencing the way America’s energy picture will change in the medium term. Shale gas development has given fossil fuels a new impulse, delaying, possibly by decades, the time of their replacement by other sources of energy.

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Keystone XL Pipeline: Oil for Export or American Prosperity?

TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline is back in the news with a vengeance and arrived NEAR the end game.

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U.S. shale gas: The new kid on the block -Part II

Thanks to the improvement in drilling and production techniques developed jointly by the public and the private sectors during the last 20 years, shale gas is no longer an unreachable resource but a main contributor to the production of energy in the U.S.

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The Birth of the U.S. Shale Gas Boom-Part I

According to the Continue reading

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Keystone Pipeline Oil to Cost Consumers More and Go to China?

Advocates for the Keystone XL pipeline boast that building itwill secure energy resources, diminish dependence on foreign oil and help reduce the soaring price of gasoline.

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Posted in America, China, Energy Security

Politicizing Energy Independence

The problem was always one of goals. For environmentalists, alternative energy was never really about independence, it was about austerity and rationing for the good of the earth.

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Posted in America, Energy Security

Alaska to Drill or Not to Drill

The discovery well in Prudhoe Bay was drilled in 1968. At the time, the field was estimated to hold about 10 billion barrels of recoverable reserves.

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Posted in America, Energy Security

U.S. OCS Drilling: EPA vs Alaska

In 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued Shell Offshore, Inc, an affiliate of Shell Oil Company, an air permit for exploration drilling in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea.

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Posted in America, Energy Security, News and Analysis

The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve: When and How to Use It

During the last five years the issue of U.S. energy security has fluctuated from being a top priority (2006-2008) to being less important (2009-2010) and, again, to becoming a top priority (2011).

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U.S. Energy Policy Should Not be Based on Rare Events

In 1979, the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania suffered a cooling malfunction in its second reactor (TMI-2) which caused part of the core to melt.

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Posted in America, Energy Security

Obama’s Offshore Overture

President Obama’s overture to energy-independence-minded Democrats and Republicans in Congress during his January 28 State of the Union Address was meant as an unabashed attempt at vote-getting in exchange for passage of his climate change and so-called clean energy agenda, specifically to pass “cap and trade.”

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Posted in America, Energy Security

The Fiction Of Cap And Trade: Green Threat To American Prosperity And Security

The Congressional battle over health care has driven most other pending legislation off the front pages, but that doesn’t mean critical issues are not still out there.

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Posted in America, Energy Security