Guest opining by David Middleton
Trump’s Deceptive Energy Policy
“We have ended the war on American energy,” President Trump boasted in his State of the Union address, “and we have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal. We are now, very proudly, an exporter of energy to the world.”
Those two sentences were about all Mr. Trump devoted to his energy policy in his message. Brief as they were, they encapsulated nearly everything that is shallow, dishonest and just plain wrong with that policy, as well as his approach to environmental issues generally.
Here’s what’s deceptive: There has been no war on energy. American oil, gas and renewables like wind and solar flourished under President Obama. Coal was the exception, but Mr. Obama was not its enemy; the market was. “Beautiful, clean coal,” meanwhile, remains a mirage, at least for now; the affordable technology isn’t there. And the United States has always exported energy. In recent years — the Obama years — the amount of energy the country has sent abroad has begun to catch up with the energy it brings in.
All this production, however, has a dark side, rarely mentioned in the huzzahs about the 10-million-barrel milestone: the continued carbon-loading of the atmosphere…
Such concerns are nowhere to be found in the playbook of a man who says that climate change is a hoax. Hence, full speed ahead, at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department, with Mr. Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda, and with the overturning of rules that seek to balance conservation and commercial exploitation, and the opening up of nearly all of America’s offshore waters to drilling — whatever the risk, and however small the need.
If you’re going to lie, you may as well make it a whopper…
There has been no war on energy. American oil, gas and renewables like wind and solar flourished under President Obama.
Renewables, including hydroelectric, “flourished” from about 4 quadrillion btu (quad) in 2009 to about 7 quad in 2016. Total U.S. annual primary energy consumption is around 96 quad . And there very much was a war on energy. At least there was a war on energy that works. The war on coal was obvious. Fortunately, the war on oil and natural gas was mostly limited to Federal leases.
President Obama did everything he could to impede oil & gas production. Unfortunately for him, the shale revolution took place on State and private mineral leases.
All of the increase in oil & gas production came from areas not under Federal control:
The Obama administration’s unlawful drilling moratorium and subsequent “permitorium,” led to the loss of over 200,000 bbl/day of oil production from 2010-2015:
Oil and natural gas flourished despite President Obama. President Trump has begun the process of undoing 8 years of regulatory assault on the oil & gas industry.
While not all of these areas will be fully opened due to challenges from States like Florida, much of it will be open and available for leasing, exploration, drilling and production.
And the United States has always exported energy. In recent years — the Obama years — the amount of energy the country has sent abroad has begun to catch up with the energy it brings in.
The energy the country sends abroad mostly consists of refined petroleum products… And Obama had nothing to do with it.
The U.S. “energy trade balance” turned the corner in 2005. If not for Obama’s war on energy, the U.S. may have actually become a net energy exporter while he was in office. As it now stands, the U.S. is poised to become a net energy exported for the first time since the 1950’s, during President Trump’s first term in office.
Hence, full speed ahead, … opening up of nearly all of America’s offshore waters to drilling — whatever the risk, and however small the need.
Because if you wait until the nation needs the oil to open the areas up, you won’t be able to get the oil when the nation needs it. ANWR Area 1002 is practically a step-out from Prudhoe Bay… But it will probably take at least five years to establish meaningful production after the first leases are issued. In the meantime, “Little Oil” is “getting busy” around ANWR…
Small bidders snatch up land near ANWR in state oil lease sale
Alex DeMarban December 30, 2017
Major oil companies did not bid Wednesday on state leases near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as Congress moves to open the refuge’s coastal plain to drilling, but small bidding groups did.
And new North Slope prospects generated interest in the annual state lease sale that officials said was one of the biggest of the last two decades.
The state received $19.9 million in bids for the North Slope lease sale on Wednesday, making it the third-largest sale in the last two decades, said Chantal Walsh, director of the Alaska Oil and Gas Division. That was a surprise because so much of the land in the region had already been leased, she said.
The amount of leased state land on the North Slope is at historically high levels, said Mark Wiggin, deputy commissioner of the state’s Natural Resources department.
Somehow, I doubt that The New York Times Editorial Board reads the Anchorage Daily News.