Irony can be so… Ironic – Trump’s solution to AGW: “Drill, Baby, Drill!”

Guest commentary by David Middleton

Daily Comment

In Bonn, Trump’s Answer to Global Warming? Drill, Baby, Drill!

By Elizabeth Kolbert

November 15, 2017

Every year around this time, negotiators from across the globe meet in one city or another—Montreal, Marrakech, Copenhagen, Paris—to resolve that the world really ought come up with a plan to do something about climate change. This year’s Conference of the Parties, the twenty-third such gathering, is taking place in Bonn, and in addition to the usual impediments to progress—mistrust, inequality, bad faith—there’s now the Trump Administration to contend with. On Monday, the U.S. delegation used its sole official appearance at COP23 to tout fossil fuels.


Then, on Tuesday, the International Energy Agency, which is based in Paris, released its annual “World Energy Outlook.” One of the agency’s key findings is that global energy demand will continue to rise through 2040. Another is that, owing to technological advances like fracking, the United States is poised to become a major exporter of fossil fuels. “By the mid-2020s, the United States [will] become the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter and a few years later a net exporter of oil,” the agency predicts. It’s hard to say which of these announcements was the most depressing, but, on some level, it doesn’t really matter, since they’re all connected.


However incompetent the Administration may be in other realms, it has proven itself remarkably adept in this one.


Here at home, the Administration has promoted fossil fuels so aggressively that, at times, its efforts have bordered on self-parody. A comprehensive list of its fossil-fuel-boosting activities would fill several Web posts…


What’s key about all these moves is that they will lead to more investment in fossil-fuel infrastructure. Once a new offshore oil platform or natural-gas well is completed, it’s likely to live out its useful life. (Call it establishing facts in the ground.) At events like COP23, this is known as “lock in”; the more fossil-fuel infrastructure that gets built, the more carbon emissions get “locked in.” Whatever happens (or doesn’t) this week in Bonn, the Trump Administration and its cronies in the fossil-fuel industry—the two groups are, admittedly, often interchangeable—are making it that much harder to curtail emissions. The future that’s being “locked in” looks increasingly grim.

The New Yorker

Where to start?  In two previous posts, I addressed the idiocy of not realizing that coal will remain one of the top three energy sources well-into the mid-21st century and that natural gas to nuclear is the only pathway to low-carbon energy (if such a pathway was necessary).  So, I won’t dwell on that here.

So… It is ironic that the media and green mafia are bashing President Trump for his promotion of fossil fuels, carbon sequestration and nuclear power, when they should know that this is the only rational approach to AGW… if there actually was a need to have a rational approach to AGW.

Left-wing pseudo-intellectuals are a never-ending source of entertainment.  The New Yorker literally brags about Ms. Kolbert’s scientific illiteracy by citing her “2015 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History”… not to mention the scientific illiteracy of those who awarded her a Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction for a work of enviro-fantasy… Anyone who describes the current extinction rate as a “sixth” mass extinction is mind bogglingly ignorant of basic science.  And then, Ms. Kolbert outdoes herself here…


No, Ms. Kolbert, offshore oil platforms and other oil & gas infrastructure do not “live out” their useful lives.  Nor do they even *out live* their useful lives.  We are often forced to remove offshore oil platforms and other infrastructure long before they have out lived their *useful* lives.

In 2010, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE, pronounced “Bessie”) issued NTL 10-5, ostensibly to require the swift removal of oil & gas infrastructure no longer needed for oil & gas exploration in Federal waters.   However, the letter of the regulation says:

Capable of production in paying quantities for a well means it can produce enough oil, gas, or sulphur to yield a positive stream of income after subtracting normal expenses. These expenses include actual royalty payments based on the well’s production and the direct lease operating costs allocated to the well.

Basically, BSEE can force an operator to plug and abandon a well, dismantle and remove a platform, pipeline or other infrastructure, if they determine that it is not economic for the oil company to continue operating such infrastructure.  BSEE does not take the cost of abandonment under consideration – A platform can operate for years with a negative income stream and still have a greater net present value than the cost of abandonment.  Nor does BSEE take the potential future value of the infrastructure for offsetting exploration and production under consideration, often critical for deepwater projects.

If anything, offshore platforms and other oil & gas infrastructure under live their useful their useful lifetimes.

The irony of a left-wing pseudo-intellectual ignorantly whining about President Trump’s “drill baby, drill” approach, while demonstrating total ignorance of oil & gas infrastructure and the English language is so… ironic.


Featured image from CNN.


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Mike Schlamby
November 19, 2017 1:59 pm

Typical prog. I glanced at the newspaper, if you want to call it that (the New York Lampoon, uhh Times) on the subway. Some clown actually wrote something like: “Serious thinkers know that the company tax doesn’t produce as much tax revenue as it should”.

Where to start with that — I guess if you’re ignorant of logic and economics, you’re a “serious thinker”.

Reply to  Mike Schlamby
November 19, 2017 2:12 pm

Obviously he/she/it/whatever meant a “Sirius” thinker, someone from another star system.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
November 19, 2017 4:29 pm

jorgekafkazar…Ha ha or a cirrus thinker with their heads far away in the clouds entertaining nebulous theories of a thin and wispy nature. I love the way the average mindless dimwit these days accuses anyone of a contrary opinion of not being serious thinkers…?! WTFH is that? In my experience they just repeat the latest socialist slogans they hear on tele, not much serious thought there surely? They are only preaching to the re-educated, everyone else thinks they are fuckwitts. I guess it makes them feel good to denigrate others whilst they try to cure a persistent case of collective sniffles in their pathetic safe spaces.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
November 19, 2017 11:42 pm

Q: What did Orion say to Betelgeuse?
A: You cannot be Sirius!

Walter Sobchak
November 19, 2017 2:00 pm

Extensive drilling of natural gas wells in the US has caused US CO2 emissions to go down. It has also increased our national security and made us less vulnerable to madmen and tyrants like Putin, Maduro, and the various and sundry knaves of the Middle East.

BTW all of this has happened despite the efforts of the Democrat Party, who I am sure are in the pay of Russians and the Arabs (or else are cosmically stupid), to halt drilling in the US. I think it was 20 years ago that they blocked drilling in Alaska because the petroleum would not be available for ten years. Facepalm.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 19, 2017 2:22 pm

“…the Democrat Party, who I am sure are in the pay of Russians and the Arabs (or else are cosmically stupid)…”

Drop the “else.” Both is an option fully worthy of consideration. [English needs an unambiguous word for the non-exclusive OR.]

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
November 19, 2017 3:05 pm



Reply to  jorgekafkazar
November 19, 2017 9:09 pm

Any of {list}

Is functionally an inclusive or.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
November 20, 2017 4:13 am

Or you could replace “or else” with “and therefore”. Same result!

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
November 20, 2017 5:37 am

“or” is non exclusive as in (“Griff must be leftist or young to be so gullible”) , whan you want it exclusive you add “else”

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
November 20, 2017 8:48 am

There is always the handy, if clumsy, construction “and/or”.

I do not believe you are correct. Adding “else” is reserved for conditional outcomes. “You will do X or else Y will happen.”

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
November 20, 2017 8:58 am

OR is perhaps one of the most misused words in English. logically it is non exclusive but you would be hard pressed to confirm this from everyday (mis)usage.

Mary Catherine Sears
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
November 20, 2017 9:41 am


D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
November 20, 2017 2:16 pm

It’s use as a Boolean operator is long predated by its use as an exclusive operator in the English language.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 19, 2017 2:31 pm

But now we desperately need to shut down the Navy program that produces bio-fuel at a cost of $400/gallon. That stupidity should result in some admiral being demoted to lieutenant.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  kaliforniakook
November 19, 2017 6:38 pm

We just need more naval aviators willing to show some balls. Like over Washington State last week.

Reply to  kaliforniakook
November 19, 2017 6:48 pm

The admirals do whatever their political masters tell them to do. They never resign in protest anymore. Too much pension money and jobs waiting for them to do the honorable thing. All three and four stars are politicians.

The naval aviators responsible for the aerial artwork over Okanagon County will probably soon be flying an airliner near you.

Reply to  kaliforniakook
November 19, 2017 8:50 pm

Correction: Okanogan in the US; Okanagan in Canada.

Home to the World Famous Omak Stampede Suicide Race.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 19, 2017 7:41 pm

I do think that a person who is getting paid can be cosmically stupid. But if they are not getting paid, the only possible explanation is cosmic stupidity.

Tom O
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 20, 2017 7:54 am

WS – I can agree with the first sentence. The rest is, at best, “dim bulb expression.”

F. Leghorn
November 19, 2017 2:03 pm

Since when is anything a leftard says (no matter how devoid of any common sense) “ironic”?

Reply to  F. Leghorn
November 20, 2017 5:42 am

it can be, and often is, unintendedly ironic

November 19, 2017 2:03 pm

“At events like cop23, this is known as “lock-in””—yes, like putting up those expensive useless wind turbines and solar panels. Locked in. An accurate term for that.

Tom Halla
November 19, 2017 2:05 pm

I do wonder if the writer for the New Yorker was making her own argument, ignorant as it was, or just plagiarizing an unnamed environmental group.

Reply to  Tom Halla
November 19, 2017 6:20 pm

It isn’t plagiarism if the far-left environmental group wrote it for the purpose of having some “journalist” put their own by-line over it. It’s a common practice in the industry these days.

Reply to  Tom Halla
November 19, 2017 7:55 pm

Na she gets her news and info from SNL and Kimmel.

M Seward
November 19, 2017 2:06 pm

Given its rapid action on developing gas reserves it seems to me that the US is doing the most significant work in reducing emissions of ony country on the planet. There may be other piss ant economies doing more in % reduction terms by committing energy seppuku but that is hardly a recommendation, well except to the CAGW lemming brigades.

Meanwhile the Indians, the Chinesse and the rest of the developing world are sending their emissions through the roof.

So yeah, drill baby drill!

Reply to  M Seward
November 19, 2017 3:28 pm

From this side of the Pond – absolutely.
Drill baby drill!

And – we have a Budget on Wednesday. Spreadsheet Phil is in charge, if you didn’t register.
And my advice would be [allowing our geology (and area) may differ (!)] – drill baby drill!
Simplify – and trim – taxes. Simplify.
Simplify and trim [marginally] benefits.
Increase Old Age Pension Entitlement Age [Interest – I am due mine in 17 months. Make me wait three months more [or more]; but everyone else, too, who is more than a year from pensions.
With immediate effect.
Use the Grocer Heath trick – ‘I appreciate it makes work for the Civil Service but I have every confidence they will cope . . . . .’
Do not cut the tax-free elements of pension contributions any further. They already catch any reasonably careful, kinda-successful person.
Do not cut dividend interest-free allowance any further – who is investing in the economy anyway??!

Help To Buy is a sad sham.

Stamp duty – for non-second residences – must be cut. Maybe some help for first-time buyers this way
[As noted – Help To Buy is a sad sham. It inflates builders’ profits. ONLY.]

Make builders build more quickly.
You have Treasuries full of brilliant Civil Servants. You tell us how you will do this!!
And look at building housing on (say) 1% of the Green Belt about London – at least.
And bring back the Car Tax Disc.
Whilst extending upwards – for seriously expensive cars; Schoenigeggs {ISH}, Bugattis, and the rest – the initial and annual taxes. But simplify. Four levels – up to ‘Supercars. Something like a Veyron should be taxed at 40-60 times a Citroen Berlingo, say.

And make clear how HMG will handle electric cars for the next four years.
Beyond that is science fiction, at best.

And, yes, of course – a penny on a pint of beer.
[In London, it’s £3-20 to £4-95 (more in clubs)[OK, cheaper than Norway].
Nobody here will notice.
In Hull [£1-99 to £3-06 ] frankly, very few will give a perverted monkeys.


Expecting to be totally ignored

Reply to  Auto
November 20, 2017 4:23 am

Only one criticism, Auto.

Do away with VED altogether and put the revenue onto petrol duty instead but increase the rebate for commercial vehicles.

BUT … follow the French and make it mandatory to display a current insurance certificate on the windscreen, Whether a vehicle is licensed or not is of no interest to me as a driver. Whether the “other idiot” is insured interests me very much!!

Gunga Din
November 19, 2017 2:13 pm

A question that may be a bit off topic.
Puerto Rico’s recovery.
Has any exploratory drilling for gas or oil been done in the area?
Really, a question.

John W. Garrett
Reply to  Gunga Din
November 19, 2017 4:01 pm

Unlike many of the Lesser Antilles islands, Puerto Rico is not quite on the edge of the Caribbean tectonic plate. I am not a professional geologist but my sense is that Puerto Rico’s geology lacks the sedimentary source rock and impervious trap rock necessary for substantial hydrocarbon accumulation.

Because much of the Antilles chain is located at the edge of the Caribbean tectonic plate, many of the islands have active or dormant volcanoes. I am aware that an unsuccessful attempt was made in the past on at least one of the islands (St. Lucia) to exploit its geothermal potential. I was informed (I do not know whether reliably or not) that the attempt failed because of the metallurgical inability of the piping to withstand the high acidic content (due to sulfur) of the heat source.

The Great Walrus
Reply to  John W. Garrett
November 19, 2017 8:47 pm

I’m currently involved in a geochemical study of the geothermal area in St Lucia that you mentioned (Sulphur Springs). Most such geothermal systems involve acidic fluids in their upper portions that formed by the subsurface introduction of volcanic H2S into meteoric groundwaters (as you allude to). The few holes that were drilled a couple of decades ago reached fluid temperatures of over 250C at depths of about 1 km, but the geothermal reservoir did not appear to be very large based on the data available at that time. More drilling would be required in order to determine how large and productive the reservoir truly is. However, this probably won’t happen as the area is now a major tourist site. Sites of geothermal discharge are also known from other nearby islands, such as Dominica and St Vincent.

Reply to  Gunga Din
November 20, 2017 1:06 am

I don’t know… I do know a lot of solar power, batteries and groundwork for microgrids is helping get power back, much more quickly than by conventional means…

Reply to  Griff
November 20, 2017 5:51 am

See? unintendedly ironic.
If you knew anything, you would know that the quickest way to get power back, is exactly the way they powered COP23, the way any emergency relief effort use: diesel generators. The generator and its fuel pack in a ready to use shipping container.
You are SO conventional, in your endorsement of media-backed “solutions” that actually don’t work.

Robert Doyle
Reply to  Gunga Din
November 20, 2017 9:02 am

The sea bed south of the island was tested and looked promising. Sadly, the liberal/statist government is green. Also, there is limited pipeline capacity across the island. Last, the greens refused to fund a new LNG pier.
An America company, Fuel Cell builds several sizes of portable power sources. They will plug in soon.

November 19, 2017 2:24 pm

It’s either Drill, Baby, Drill OR Carpet, Baby, Carpet (the land & sea with windmills and solar panels). Which is preferable? A rhetorical question since I live in the province of Ontario, the windmill capital of Canada. Ontario has the highest electricity prices per KWH in Canada – they were once the lowest.

November 19, 2017 2:32 pm

“Cronies??” Why didn’t Elizabeth Kolbert just come right out and say “imperialist minions” or “Wall Street lackeys?” I’d like to find something good to say about her. But no.

Wait. She knows to spell possessive pronouns without an apostrophe. ʸᵃʸ ˡᶦᶻ

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
November 19, 2017 2:58 pm

Not ‘running pig dog capitalists’? that does have a kind of ring to it, doesn’t it?

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  PiperPaul
November 20, 2017 8:58 am

I’ve usually seen it as “running dog capitalist” followed by either “lackey” or “imperialist lackey”. Your construction is new to me. 😉

November 19, 2017 2:36 pm

author Elizabeth Kolbert clearly assumes that AGW is definitely going to get much worse and rapidly. That is her right, but she seems to then apply her belief as also being in Trump’s mind. Evidently she cannot understand that some has a different belief. The reality is that AGW is a serious RISK, not a known future, this risk involves varying future possible scenarios and widely varying approaches to reduce the risks, both in terms of time frame, cost, and human impacts. And these various alternatives should be weighed against each other by the public who will be impacted and have to pay the bills and consequences of over and under precautions. Of course, I am dreaming, and fully expect that the world will have to just adapt to whatever winds up happening.

Reply to  Driller43
November 19, 2017 4:34 pm

I still haven’t figured out the risk part yet. Warmer is generally better for all creatures. We can always move inland if the sea intrudes (says the guy who lives at 450ft ASL)

Reply to  Driller43
November 19, 2017 7:26 pm

…and of the future possible scenarios, why do we not hear a peep about the one with the most severe consequences – a drop out of the current interglacial into a 100K years of great ice sheets?

Bruce Cobb
November 19, 2017 2:37 pm

Promoting coal at a climate summit is like opening the shades at a meeting for vampires. Makes them a little hot under the collar.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 19, 2017 6:53 pm

coal and climateers is more like vampires and garlic.
Truth telling to a climateer is the sunshine to a vampire.

Climateers hate both for different reasons.
(coal provides energy independence at affordable cost to US, enabling US economy to “bust-a-move” so to speak on the rest of the world’s inefficiencies and lack of entrepreneurship)
(truth about climate would destroy the secret deals made with Liberal pols that enables their climate trough feeding behaviors.)

Taylor Ponlman
November 19, 2017 2:40 pm

Not to mention that the export of LNG to Europe will free them from thrall to Russia, with all the attendant geopolitical issues. As usual, Europe doesn’t know a good thing when they see it. Doing their best to be energy slaves and culture destroyers does not bode well for their future – the new motto: “diversity in everything except energy sources”.

November 19, 2017 3:05 pm

Apparently, in West Virginia there has just been a deal signed with the Chinese

Some $250Billion agreement signed by Trump and the Chinese.

The first stage is reportedly scheduled to begin in the next six to eight months with the building of at least two natural gas-fired power plants likely located in Brooke and Harrison counties.

michael hart
Reply to  AndyG55
November 20, 2017 8:34 am

This one?
Excellent news. The good thing about these sort of agreements with China is that it makes it effectively impossible for a later administration to shut it down.

Larry Hamlin
November 19, 2017 3:12 pm

Great post David.

Under President Trump the US will clearly be the dominant global energy producer and supplier of natural gas and oil, will grow its coal industry which will be competitive in meeting increasing global coal use demands and will stop the premature political shutdown of our nuclear plants.

Additionally the rediculous massive subsidizes and tax breaks for renewables will be challenged and curtailed along with demands by the federal government to mandate increased costly and unreliable renewable energy use.

Climate models will be shown for the flawed and failed tools of climate alarmists that are completely inappropriate for use in establishing climate policy with these alarmists demands dumped and ignored by the administration thus preventing the waste of trillions of dollars in pursuing stupid schemes proposed by these idiots.

The leadership of the Trump Administration in fighting the global climate alarmist campaign will hugely dampen any progress in moving forward global climate alarmist schemes with the economic and energy absurdities of climate alarmist efforts in countries like Germany becoming more and more visible and clearly seen as being incredibly self destructive.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Larry Hamlin
November 19, 2017 8:38 pm

Germany’s pols should be frightened at the prospect of a US economy supercharged on reduced regulations and energy costs. Add to that, they will have to choose between Russia’s Gazprom or US LNG exports to keep their factories and homes warm and lights on. The only viable alternative for them is ditching the Paris Suicide Pact and going ALL IN on Lignite coal. Any of those 3 will be a bitter pill to swallow.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
November 20, 2017 6:05 am

politics, when done right (this rarely happens…) is all about choosing between bad solution to real problem.
Germany problem all stem from choosing between bad solution to NON-real problem.
Germany losing population wasn’t a problem. Massive immigration to “fix” this non-problem, IS a problem
CO2 and nukes were not a problem. “EnergieWende” to fix this non-problem IS a problem
EUSSR is a problem, too, designed to fix… we still have to figure out what problem, actually. Some sort of WWII post traumatic disorder of main continental countries, for sure.

Gary Pearse.
November 19, 2017 3:26 pm

I declare that it will provide real empirical data on climate theory. At the present time the greening of the planet and collateral burgeoning of harvests, cries out to be included on the benefit side of the equation. Moreover we will push the limits of their little equation until it buckles under.

I believe I was the first one, here at WUWT, to suggest that this greening, which I very roughly calculated to be one factor in the Pause (3 trillion trees on planet, 14% new forest cover, avg carbon sequestered per ten year old tree 250kg, [assume avg new tree ten yrs old], ~ 100Gt of carbon, assume the new carbon is equal to the amount energy of the same amount of anthracite and therefore equal to its negative in the endothermic reactions of photo synthesis. Double this to account for the fattening of pre-existing trees, plus shrubs plus add on a large swack for plankton, algae.) this all occurring at a time of negative natural causes. Finally the nature of this growth is exponential! I note a recent paper talking about the greening sequestration and I await a refinement to include the dreaded endothermic cooling being caused by ‘carbon’ don’t cha know.!

I see Trump in a misty distant future getting a world ecology award and a Nobel Prize for his enormous and enduring contribution to the planet and all its inhabitants. Oh, the bees – honey will flow, flowers bestow their carnival colours and heart cloying fragrances… Oops sorry when I think of the coming Garden of Eden Earth, I get a little charged.

Gary Pearse.
Reply to  Gary Pearse.
November 19, 2017 3:28 pm

Actually the picture of Trump with the oilwell pump stork would make a good badge for the award.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  Gary Pearse.
November 20, 2017 5:55 am

I’m going to use it to make Christmas card covers, there are some people who will enjoy receiving it.

By the way, I am so glad that someone else thinks the whole “Sixth Extinction” narrative is a pile of smelly dog poo.

Paul Courtney
November 19, 2017 3:30 pm

Looks like she missed the breakout session in the green room on “Renewables: As costs drop and wind/solar sweep away fossil fuels, can all that useless oil stuff be repurposed to serve fabulous renewable energy?” How did the nyt get off message?

Milton Suarez
November 19, 2017 3:32 pm

Las Naciones Unidas lo único que tienen es Energía Solar y Eólica y Trump sabe que con eso “no se llega a ninguna parte”; por eso promociona los combustibles fósiles y dice ” drill, baby, drill” porque Tump lo único que tiene son los combustibles fósiles. Nosotros Suarez & Suarez SOLUCIONES SIMPLES tenemos un SISTEMA para generar abundante ENERGÍA LIMPIA en cualquier parte del planeta, a nuestro SISTEMA no le afecta la falta de sol,de viento,no le afecta los terremotos,los huracanes,la sequía, las inundaciones,puede funcionar las 24 horas del día y los 365 días del año y LO MEJOR no produce gases de efecto invernadero y no contamina.

Reply to  Milton Suarez
November 19, 2017 3:44 pm


Reply to  Milton Suarez
November 19, 2017 4:05 pm

The preceding public service announcement was brought to you by Beano……

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Milton Suarez
November 19, 2017 5:28 pm

haces un comentario de crack!
A menos que esté vendiendo guano de murciélago, que es un buen fertilizante.

Reply to  Milton Suarez
November 19, 2017 5:37 pm

Estimado Milton,

Por favor describe tu sistema de energía limpia. Según lo sugerido por Joel, ¿no involucra el guano de murciélago o pájaro?


Gabro, residente legal de Chile, que conoce el guano cuando lo ve y lo huele

Reply to  Gabro
November 19, 2017 8:52 pm


November 19, 2017 3:44 pm

Breaking News. There will be no “Jamaica” (CDU / CSU, FDP and Greens) coalition in Germany. The preliminary soundings have finally failed this evening. In the questions of migration (three parties wanted a limitation of immigration, one not) and “climate protection”, the positions were similar: three Pateien wanted no or a sluggish exit from the coal, one with haste.). The isolated party was the Greens, understandable in their 8.9 percent vote in the last election. That means in the final test, there will be no Jamaican coalition, no date for the end of the internal combustion engine and no coal exit, because even sluggish steps would have been decided only with regard to the Greens. Merkel as Chancellor is at the end, the most powerful woman in the world (Forbes) has lifted and has been punished.
Although this is offtopic, but somehow fits the content of this post.

Reply to  Hans-Georg
November 19, 2017 3:53 pm

November apparently have it in: Remember: 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, November 2016 Trump’s election, contrary to most predictions, except for himself, November 2017, the likely political end of Merkel.

Reply to  Hans-Georg
November 19, 2017 8:04 pm

“Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November.” (From the movie, V for Vendetta.)

Reply to  Hans-Georg
November 19, 2017 5:12 pm

Just as long as someone even more odious doesn’t replace her.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Hans-Georg
November 19, 2017 5:22 pm

Here in the USA we had our Manchurian Candidate President from ’09-early ’17.
Looks like Germany may finally rid itself of its Magdeburg Candidate Chancellor.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
November 19, 2017 8:53 pm

The Mansourian Candidate.

No wonder Baraq Hussein bin Obama al-Indonesii bowed to the Saudi king.

November 19, 2017 3:58 pm

David, i’m sure that you’ve heard of the (former) Taylor Energy here in New Orleans. They would exclusively buy abandoned wells and tap out whatever was left. (now this was long ago, well before 2010) Why would oil companies abandon wells that Taylor found to be profitable?

Reply to  afonzarelli
November 19, 2017 4:23 pm

If the old well had remaining value, it would sold over to someone who specialized in old wells. If that old well specialist said ‘nope’, then abandon it. Similar to whether you go to a pediatrician or a geriatrist for medical care…

Reply to  David Middleton
November 19, 2017 8:49 pm

Thanks DM… “Little Oil” was big enough to make Patrick Taylor the wealthiest man in Louisiana!

Bruce Cobb
November 19, 2017 4:24 pm

“Someday, the world will have to get serious about climate change…”
Pretty tough to “get serious” about a non-existant problem. Maybe, just maybe, “the world” has better things to do.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 19, 2017 5:08 pm

I think “non-problem” is a better term. CO2 AGW is likely real, just not enough to be a problem, i.e. not catastrophic. Thus benefits far outweigh the any downside of increased CO2 and mildly warmer climates.

But the true green liberals yearn for that time when most humans had a life that was harsh, brutish, and short. For it is in social despair that despots and a small privileged class benefit.

November 19, 2017 4:27 pm

Rational thought is not the strong suit of agw activists.

Joel O’Bryan
November 19, 2017 5:02 pm

It must suck to be Elizabeth Kolbert – To be so pathologically stupid that you think you’re smart. Then she must socialize in circles of like-minded IYI’s so she never has to face of how stupid she is, thus avoiding the pain of cognitive dissonance.

November 19, 2017 5:20 pm

I agree with one statement by Ms. Kolbert – speaking of fossil fuel promotion – “However incompetent the Administration may be in other realms, it has proven itself remarkably adept in this one.”

This summarizes my feeling pretty well. About the only thing I find to agree with the Trumpster is his stance on climate change and energy policy. But his support of the “skeptical” view sullies those on the skeptical side. My support of his view, when discussing it with my friends, is met by hoots of derision.

Not only that, but he could change his position on this issue at any time. Ivanka and Jared could become corrupted and change the Trumpster’s mind, and he could become Kolbert’s hero.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  scraft1
November 19, 2017 5:32 pm

“and he could become Kolbert’s hero.”

That is one fundamental error about the Left. The work on identity politics. Trump could do everything the Liberals want, but they would still hate him because he is white, male, and straight.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
November 19, 2017 5:38 pm

And rich, who enjoys being so.

And a breeder, with five kids from three wives.

Reply to  scraft1
November 19, 2017 7:59 pm

“Not only that, but he could change his position on this issue at any time. Ivanka and Jared could become corrupted and change the Trumpster’s mind, and he could become Kolbert’s hero.”

Sounds like you bought into the Leftwing propaganda about Trump. Trump has a mind of his own.

The Leftwing wants you to think Trump has no set principles and is easily swayed. They want you to think Trump is mentally disturbed.

This is actually standard procedure for the Left. They always trash Republican presidents and question their mental abilities and mental health (recall that they called Karl Rove “Bushes Brain” implying that Rove led Bush 43 around by the nose).

They are especially critical of Trump because he doesn’t take their lies sitting down, he hits them back hard, and they hate him for it. Bush 43 *never* fought back against the lies of the MSM (Mission Accomplished, as an example).

It’s understandable that the MSM hates Trump, since he is showing the world just what a bunch of liars the Leftwing Media and Leftists are, and is really doing serious damage to the Leftwing Media’s credibility (actually, the MSM are harming their own credibility with their lies, and Trump is just pointing this out for all to see).

There was an interesting article that appeared while Trump was in China, and according to the article, the Chinese discovered that the reality of Trump was much different than how he is portrayed in the U.S. Leftwing Media. The Chinese people came to the conclusion that the U.S. Leftwing media were liars and were not to be trusted.

Those Chinese are pretty smart!

Reply to  TA
November 19, 2017 8:16 pm

Trump was a Democrat longer than he has been a Republican, so he uses democrat tactics against the democrats while being a member of the Republican Party. That’s why they hate him so much. He does not identify with the gentry class of republicans who like Bush 43 never fought back against democrat lies and exaggerations.

Tom Halla
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
November 19, 2017 8:26 pm

Trump was involved with the Reform Party, the former Perot cover operation, since the early 1990’s. He did have a transactional attitude towards a fair number of Democratic Party politicians, making campaign contributions to those who could provide his operations a favor.

November 19, 2017 6:10 pm

What is most important is the economic welfare of the USA which is suffereing from a huge federal debt, huge annual federal deficits, and huge annual trade deficits. Enabling an increase in fossil fuel production should help to improve our nation’s economic situation. Reducing our consumption of fossil fuels should also be of economic benefit. The question is always what investments will have the largest economic pay out for the country. I would think that a combination of increased fossil fuel production and a decrease in fossil fule usage due to alternate energy sources would be of most benefit to the economy of the USA. As far as climate is concerned, based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with models, one can conclude that the climate change we are experiencing today is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is really zero. Of real concern is the fact that the Earth’s supply of fossil fuels is finite and before the fuel runs out mankind must switch to alternate sources of energy. Running out of fossil fuels may be several hundred years in the future but in terms of the entire history of mankind, that is not long at all.

Reply to  willhaas
November 19, 2017 8:08 pm

Do you not realize those areas of the world heavy into alternate energy also have the highest energy costs. High energy costs, bad for the economy.

Reply to  willhaas
November 19, 2017 8:17 pm

“What is most important is the economic welfare of the USA which is suffereing from a huge federal debt,”

Here’s a headline from March 2017:

“U.S. debt to reach 150 percent of GDP in 30 years”

I just read today where the U.S. had reduced the ratio of Debt to GDP by one percent since Trump took Office (can’t find the link).

We can pay off our debts if we get enough economic activity going, along with some reductions in expenditures. It’s hard to believe that half our $20 TRILLION Debt was run up in only 12 years by Bush 43, Obama and the Republican congress. Totally irresponsible!!!

We are paying almost $600 billion per year in interest payments to those who hold our debt. We are spending $700 billion per year on the national defense budget.

We need to get our fiscal house in order.

In the Real World
Reply to  willhaas
November 20, 2017 5:57 am

For Willhaas & TA , if you google up ” Debt to the Penny” , you will get the US Treasury site where “Daily History ” will give details of US Government & National debt over many years .
It shows that Trump has reduced US national debt by over $100 Billion .
Sounds like a lot , & is definitely going in the right direction , but a long way to go as Obama increased it by the same amount , on average , every month he was in office .
Along with the employment figures , highest number of people in work for 40 or 50 years , & GDP growth of 3% for the last 2 quarters , [ under Obama it was lowest ever at 2.5% per year ],
the US economy is now doing quite well .

But you will never hear those facts from the left wing main stream media .

Reply to  In the Real World
November 20, 2017 11:24 am

Thanks for that “Debt to the penny” tip. I bookmarked it and will check it out.

In the Real World
Reply to  willhaas
November 20, 2017 12:42 pm

Oops , just rechecking the debt record it I have found it had been going down but took a jump upwards in September .
So had been good , but something happened then to increase it .

November 19, 2017 7:51 pm

Leftists can’t comprehend the concept of unintended consequences of their failed policies…

The more governments waste on expensive, diffuse, intermittent and unreliable wind/solar energy, the more expensive energy becomes in those countries, which leads to higher prices for goods and services, decreased economic growth, higher unemployments, higher taxes, stagnant/falling GDPs, uncompetitive goods and services, larger annual deficits, money printing, devalued currencies, etc.

The money wasted on “sustainable” wind/solar government projects takes money out of the private sector, which would have been much better invested in: new technologies, hiring new employees, capital goods, R&D, higher wages, expanding new and existing businesses, etc.

In addition, CAGW government projects misallocate government spending that could have been better spent on improving: ports, roads, bridges, power grids, telecommunication networks, new public schools, water treatment facilities, cheap fossil fuel plants, hydro-electric projects, developing next-generation nuclear facilities, etc., etc., etc.,….

Leftists also don’t have a clue on the Present Value of money wasted on “green” energy projects/subsidies, which has a negative multiplier effect on their economies.

Already, the money Leftist governments have wasted on CAGW could have been used to build next generation nuclear power plants to completely replace fossil fuels…. Just leave it to the free market to decide what and WHEN new energy technologies are utilized to replace fossil fuels…

When (not if) Leftists’ CAGW is officially disconfirmed, the blowback against the Left will be profound…

Reply to  SAMURAI
November 20, 2017 1:11 am

Except now we hit the tipping point of no subsidy solar and wind in countries with a large renewables roll out plan…

Reply to  Griff
November 20, 2017 6:13 am


Leftists keep repeating this silly claim of fossil fuel vs. wind/solar cost parity without any evidence whatsoever… Wind and Solar’s cost/kWh is roughly 3~5 times more expensive than coal and natural gas.

Repeating something does not make it so…

I’m really sorry, Griff, but CAGW is a Leftist political phenomenon, not a physical one…

The Left owns it and will eventually pay dearly for their 30+ year advocacy of this failed Leftist CAGW agenda..

Reply to  SAMURAI
November 20, 2017 1:11 am

Oh – also climate science and renewables have nothing to do with leftists/any left wing

Reply to  Griff
November 20, 2017 6:25 am

Really tell that to those who voted against Merkel and as Germany looks likely to have to go back to the polls where she is expected to do worse.

November 19, 2017 7:53 pm

Under the Harper government in Canada we had a very vibrant oil and gas sector. If you drove down any highway in the western provinces during this time there were numerous trucks carrying large skids and items to support the growth in these sectors. These materials were coming from every province in Canada with manufacturing capabilities and were supplying jobs across Canada. There was a shortage of skilled help to build and maintain the many projects that were been installed to meet the demand of energy needed. An example of the methods used to fill the short fall of skilled labor was there were 18 charter flights a week from Moncton New Brunswick in the east to the Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan oil fields. That was just some of the examples of the benefits a healthy resource sector supplies. Calgary Alberta had many engineering and design firms which specialized in energy projects to support the energy sectors head offices that were in Calgary. Enter Trudeau and his pack of Liberal destroyers and the energy sector is treated like an unwanted child. Since gaining office Trudeau has put a moratorium on the following by himself. No new tanker traffic off the coast of British Columbia. That killed Gateway pipeline 1.2 Billion barrels of production. No new drilling to be allowed in the arctic district. This moratorium was done without consulting any of the local residents who actually live in this area. In the past there has been numerous reserves proven out in this area but due to government meddling nothing has been brought to production. Think north slope times 2 for reserves. Changes made to the environmental regulations by un-elected advisors without any parliamentary vote or over sight. The former head of the World Wildlife Foundation for Canada is a “trusted” adviser to Trudeau and as such these changes were responsible for the cancellation of the Trans Canada pipelines Energy east project. As a result the three eastern Canadian refineries are using foreign conflict oil rather than Canadian ethical oil. Calgary has an unemployment rate of 15% most of that is in the high end design and engineering positions that do not exist anymore due to the cancellation of major projects due to lack of pipeline capacity. You should be happy in the US that Trump supports growth and not the destroyers we have here in Canada.

Reply to  Boris
November 19, 2017 8:15 pm

Here here! The selfie king is single handedly destroying Canada using the taxpayer to cost his dream of some sort of peace prize or heavens forbid, head the UN.

Reply to  nc
November 19, 2017 8:35 pm

Trudeau: A word used to describe a spoiled, young douche who hasn’t had to work for what they have, a real pretty boy airhead. –from the Urban Dictionary.

Retired Kit P
November 19, 2017 9:28 pm


Natural gas is a fossil fuel. Natural gas is not low CO2.

Nuclear power is a mature industry.

Taking credit for lowering CO2 by using natural gas is BS!

BS is my response to the oil and gas industry when they say they have safety culture. It is okay to kill your fellow workers and neighbors.

I do not have a problem with the oil and gas industry making a profit. Could you skip the BS about being better when it comes to safety and the environment.

Disclosure, I worked in the nuclear industry. I know that coal, oil, and gas provide an invaluable part of out economy. Skip the BA justifications and tell the French and Al gore to eat sh!t, pound sand, and bark at the moon.

Something about the horse you rode on too, but maybe only old sailor would get it. Irony not needed.

Reply to  David Middleton
November 20, 2017 5:43 am

Dave Middleton – you could add that nuclear would be a great solution if the industry could build a power plant without wild cost overruns and seemingly endless delays. If environmentalists and agw mavens would support nuclear as a solution then reforms leading to a practical nuclear industry would be possible.

“Natural gas to nuclear” is a pipe dream (forgive the bad pun) without wide public support, which is sorely lacking now. Natural gas is an excellent stand-alone solution so long as the price stays low.

November 19, 2017 10:01 pm

Well, at least so far Trump has done the right thing(s) on energy.
He should take control of the tax fiasco himself and cut taxes across the board…otherwise it is not going to pass in the senate, which might be a good thing.

Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
November 20, 2017 11:52 am

Congress definitely needs to cut the corporate taxes (large and small) which will get the economy going.

I prefer the across-the-board taxcuts, too, but there is a very narrow margin in the U.S. Senate so I think Trump is going to settle for corporate tax cuts and middleclass taxcuts. I have heard people like Speaker Paul Ryan claim that all taxpayers will get some kind of reduction, but it’s kind of hard to tell right now.

The Republican Senate better pass something or the whole Republican party and the conservative movement could be in trouble.

All we need is for Nancy Pelosi to gain control of the House and start stonewalling Trump and trying to impeach Trump. Something like this would pretty much bring progress to a halt, and it is a real possibilty if Republicans demonstrate they are unable to take effective action.

Our goals should be to pass a taxcut and work on repealing Obamacare, and work very hard to get additional conservative Republican Senators elected in 2018 and hold on to the House seats.

Success in passing a few bills will payoff with success at the polls.

November 19, 2017 10:39 pm

Looks like BSEE is an opportunity to reduce cost and waste.

Reply to  Dan Pangburn
November 20, 2017 5:04 am

Ha! Good one Dan although you forgot the (sarc). Very, very expensive in time and labor for the offshore operators, both Big and Little Oil.

November 20, 2017 1:09 am

“the idiocy of not realizing that coal will remain one of the top three energy sources well-into the mid-21st century and that natural gas to nuclear is the only pathway to low-carbon energy (if such a pathway was necessary)”

Given that coal is not going to grow though (I think the IEA does show a 1% increase to 2040, but historically has been too conservative on impacts/scale of renewables) and that outside the US there is little increase in natural gas generation and that nuclear is now only going to be deployed in China and India…

Reply to  Griff
November 20, 2017 6:48 am

Griff you can’t get anything right you need to stop reading the guardian. I have gotten every number right we have so far argued about so I would pay attention to the numbers I am about to give you.

Natural gas consumption increases by 1.4%/year it is projected to increase faster post 2020 because renewables had been increasing at 2.3%/year but most of the easy fruit has been done and the rate is projected to fall. The likely prediction is they will both settle at around 2%. Nuclear power as the third option is expected to rise to around 1.5% but relies on China and India decisions yet to be made. Any shortfall in nuclear power will be met by coal which will probably be less than your 1% more like 0.6%/year in growth.

Overall we will be using 40% more energy in 2040 compared to date and no country can do that trajectory and stay inside the Paris agreement ambitions.

The only hope we have of not setting a new record CO2 emission for next year is if the situation with Merkel and the failure to form government unsettles the European market. The emissions control path laid out by Paris is already dead and those attending are just plundering whatever they can from a hopeless cause.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Griff
November 20, 2017 3:34 pm

“nuclear is now only going to be deployed in China and India…”

Griff missed a few.

The one that I find most interesting is the 4 large reactors being built by the South Koreans in UAE. International competition used to dominated by the west.

UAE exports LNG. By building nukes, more gas to sell.

November 20, 2017 3:24 am

David Middleton, Great article!
However I don’t think Elizabeth Kolbert is “ignorant” since all the facts are at her disposal. Perhaps Elizabeth Kolbert would better described as “moronic” or lacking in cognitive capacity to adequately analyze the available facts. Just saying.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Gene
November 20, 2017 7:23 am

I conclude that calling the advocates of the green blob “moronic” both oversimplifies the issue and libels the mentally deficient.
Ms Kolbert has the mental capacity to actually do research as to her belief system, it is the evident fact that she either did not do the research or it did not affect her conclusions is a real problem. Fanaticism has shown itself to have been much more of a threat in recent history than any disaster scenario various True Believers push.

Robert in Busan
Reply to  Gene
November 20, 2017 9:20 am

I wouldn’t chacterize libtards as ‘moronic’. I like to say they exhibit a blithe and measured ignorance of facts and reason.

November 20, 2017 3:30 am

Just a continuation of the standard ‘Progressive’ mantra which is ‘Why tell the truth if you can lie and get away with it!’

Lucius von Steinkaninchen
November 20, 2017 9:21 am

Isn’t “The Sixth Extinction” the title of a craptacular disaster/survival movie? One where doomsday arrives because meteor impacts turn people into vampires? (Yes I know, “WTF”.)

Oh yes! Behold the trailer:

And yet, at this point the space vampires apocalypse sounds slightly less unbelievable than all this global warming hysteria saying for the past 20 years that the world will end next tuesday.

Steve Zell
November 20, 2017 9:53 am

[Elisabeth Kolbert quote]”Then, on Tuesday, the International Energy Agency, which is based in Paris, released its annual “World Energy Outlook.” One of the agency’s key findings is that global energy demand will continue to rise through 2040. Another is that, owing to technological advances like fracking, the United States is poised to become a major exporter of fossil fuels. “By the mid-2020s, the United States [will] become the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter and a few years later a net exporter of oil,” the agency predicts. It’s hard to say which of these announcements was the most depressing, but, on some level, it doesn’t really matter, since they’re all connected.”

In the 1970’s, when the United States depended on oil exports from the Middle East, we used to line up in cars for miles at 6 AM at gas stations, which frequently ran out of gasoline by 9 or 10 AM, and cars with odd-numbered license plates were only allowed to buy gas on odd-numbered days of the month, and ditto for even numbers. All our genius President [Carter] could tell us was turn down the thermostat and wear sweaters indoors. Now THAT was depressing!

Instead of begging tinpot dictators for oil, exporting it at OUR price sounds great for America!

Retired Kit P
November 20, 2017 3:17 pm

“In the future, please quote the exact words I posted with which you disagree.”

I wonder what part of BS David does not understand?

“Natural gas is a low carbon fuel compared to coal.”
BS! Plot the three base load sources of new generation together on a bar chart. Coal and natural gas look about the same compared to nuclear.

“On a MW for MW basis, it would reduce carbon emissions, relative to coal, faster than any power source other than nuclear.”

More BS! There are only three choices for large new baseload. According David bad is better than worse.

“Natural gas combined cycle is also currently the most cost-effective type of new power plant in the US.”

BS x 100! I am thinking that David lives in Texas and works for the oil/gas industry.

All steam plants are expensive. They are built to last 60 years. So what is the ‘delivered’ cost of fuel for 60 years?

I sure we can all trust the oil/gas industry to not charge what the market will bare for natural gas. I am sure state and local governments will not tax the hell out of natural gas driving the price of electricity up and blame power companies for passing along the cost to ratepayers.

Oh wait, looking at the last 15 years that is just what happened.

“industry could build a power plant without wild cost overruns and seemingly endless delays.”

I suspect that in the case of scraft1 this statement is more ignorance than BS. This is the nature of large capital projects and power plants in general.

The important criteria is how well and how long does a power plant run after it is built.

November 21, 2017 9:04 am

Ouch! Stay down Kit.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  cephus0
November 21, 2017 7:44 pm

So cephuso you do not think David is peddling BS?

Are you in the oil/gas industry too?

David is just wrong wrong wrong! Typical of folks who are expert is one field but think they understand how other things work. People like David will not even consider that they could be wrong.

“regarding CO2 emissions…”

CO2 emissions are listed in gCO2 per kwh. David got the units wrong.

The methodology for determining this is Life Cycle Assessments (LCA aks Cradle to Grave) per ISO 14000. David was wrong again.

LCA is a useful tool in reducing the environmental impact of doing things.

For example, improvements at existing US nuke plants is equivalent to building 26 new nukes. No item for this on David’s DOE table. Huge reduction in ghg at very little cost.

Improvements in mining and enrichment of uranium is also huge. Fuel utilization is also huge. We get twice as much electricity per fuel pellet because of fuel assembly design.

None of these things were done to reduce CO2. They were done reduce costs of making customers power.

I would also point out that the coal industry has made great improvements too.

David is just wrong about CCGT being a good way to reduce CO2. Just BS.

As far as levelized costs, David is basing his claims on DOE models for 2022.

My crystal ball is a little foggy for natural gas prices for 60 years.

The power industry has not forgotten how it got burned (pun intended) by the natural gas industry.

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