keystone

How President Obama has increased our energy costs

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) has just released a report documenting “actions President Obama has taken to increase energy prices and to increase the costs of cars, trucks, appliances, ice makers, and a multitude of other items that use electricity.” The list covers the period from February, 2009, to September, 2014. The full list (available here) extends for 13 pages and provides links to individual actions. Here is a sampling from the list:

February 4, 2009

Cancelled 77 oil and gas leases in Utah that could cost American taxpayers millions in lost lease bids, production royalties, new jobs and the energy needed to offset rising imports of oil and gas.

March 30, 2009

Signed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act into law. This $10 billion, 1200-page bill prohibited energy production on over 3 million acres of federal land, costing American jobs.

January 8, 2010

Energy Department issues final rule for conservation standards for some consumer and commercial products including dishwashers, dehumidifiers, microwave ovens and clothes washers utilizing controversial Social Cost of Carbon calculations to justify cost.

February 17, 2010

Department of Energy notified Congress that it would reprogram $115 million Congress appropriated to continue the Yucca Mountain licensing process, and instead use it to terminate the only national repository for spent nuclear fuel under current law.

December 23, 2010

Interior Department announced a new “Wild Lands” Secretarial Order that could place hundreds of millions of acres of public lands off-limits to American energy production.

August 26, 2011

The Department of State concludes its 36–month environmental assessment of Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport as much as 830,000 barrels of oil from Canada per day to be refined and used in the US. The review found that no significant adverse impacts to the environment would result from the pipeline. Yet no action was taken to approve the pipeline.

January 9, 2012

Obama’s Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s announces a 20-year ban on uranium mining on one million acres of federal land in Arizona.

February 3, 2012

Obama Administration announces plans to close off 75 percent of Western oil shale—of which 70 percent is on federal lands—to development.

January 18, 2013

Announced EPA regulations that would mandate costly upgrades to Arizona’s coal-fired Navajo Generating Station. Such changes would increase power and could impact water prices in Arizona as well. The local Navajo reservation could also see increased unemployment due to regulatory impacts.

November 15, 2013

Proposed Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) levels outlining the levels of renewable fuels to be blended into gasoline and diesel fuel in 2014. The proposal calls for 17 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels in 2014. As of August 2014 producers have only been able to generate 72,000 gallons due to cost and complexity of the process.

April 18, 2014

Delayed final judgment again on Keystone XL pipeline that would deliver millions of barrels of oil from Canada and states like North Dakota to refineries on the Gulf Coast. The project has been blocked by the Obama Administration since 2008.

Remember, the whole list covers 13 pages. What I’ve listed above is about one page.

The Obama administration, especially the EPA, has been in collusion with radical environmental groups to stifle energy production. Anthony Watts has a report on his blog showing that “FOIA’d Emails show outside ‘green’ lobby groups staffed up, collude with Obama EPA, calling rules’ legality into question.” See his full post here. It begins:

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal)

released a report today [Sep. 15] revealing and piecing together dozens of emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which lay out in detail EPA’s collusion with senior activists within environmentalist pressure groups, and proving the real thinking about the intent behind and impact of EPA’s “climate” regulations.

Far from the required recusing to avoid the appearance of a conflict, EPA filled its senior political ranks with green pressure group activists, continuing their life’s work and coordinating with former colleagues from their new positions in government. These emails show the groups sharing jokes about EPA assurances that it isn’t waging a war on coal, and gloating about the courts serially siding with EPA as it rewrites federal environmental law. More important, they show the special role and undue influence these relationships provided, the very sort of influence the Obama Administration once disavowed.

Obama claims that he is for “all of the above” on types of energy production, but in practice, it seems that “all of the above” does not include things that actually work.

See also:

Obama Clueless on Energy – Part 1

Obama Clueless on Energy – Part 2

Obama administration still clueless on energy

Obama, the Keystone Cop-out

Obama’s April Fools Joke

Obama’s Climate Action Plan is Clueless and Dangerous

Impact of burning Alberta’s oil sands

According to a new paper in Nature Climate Change, the impact to global temperature of burning all 170 billion barrels of proven reserves from Alberta’s oil sands between 2012 and 2062 would be a rise in global temperatures by just 0.02 C to 0.05 C.

A co-author of the paper is Dr. Andrew Weaver, Canada Research Chair in Climate Modeling and Analysis at the University of Victoria, and a lead author with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Read the story in the Edmonton Journal here.

See also:

Keystone XL pipeline and the Ogallala aquifer

Gasoline prices oil subsidies and politics

Gasoline Prices and the Obama Energy Policy

Keystone XL pipeline and the Ogallala aquifer

The Keystone pipeline, which became operational in 2010, brings about 435,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Albert, Canada, to refineries in Texas.  Proposed additions to the pipeline would up that delivery to about 700,000 to 900,000 barrels per day.  One of the controversies is that part of the additions to the pipeline would pass over the northeast edge of the Ogallala aquifer in the Sand Hills of Nebraska. See map below. The concern is that possible oil spills from the pipeline could contaminate the aquifer.

Keystone-and-OgallalaWhile the concern over spills is something to consider, history shows that the pipeline is very safe.  According to TransCanada, the pipeline owner, there have been 14 spills since 2010, most of these occurred at pumping stations rather from a ruptured pipeline.  The typical spill was 5 gallons and the largest was 21,000 gallons but only 210 gallons escaped the plant.

But what if there is a major rupture where the pipeline passes over the aquifer?

Here is where geology comes in.  The geological situation is explained in detail by hydrogeologist Jim Goeke in an article in the (Nebraska) JournalStar. Dr. Geoke has had 40-years of experience with the aquifer.

The first thing you should realize is that the aquifer slopes from west to east, so only the downslope part of the aquifer would potentially be affected by a spill.

Secondly, the geologic nature of the aquifer, which at its shallowest is 300 feet below the surface, would tend to confine any spill to a very small area.

See also:

Fossil fuel resources of the United States

Shale oil and environmental concerns

A good reason to eliminate the Energy Department and its budget

Clean Coal: Boon or Boondoggle?