Natural Gas is the Future

Across the country there are cities and municipalities that are converting fleet vehicles from traditional gas engines into much cleaner burning natural gas vehicles.  Cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York are converting buses and other city vehicles.  Additionally there are power companies converting traditional gas, steam and coal fired plants onto natural gas plants.  In a small town in Gilbert Arizona, Salt River Project (SRP) the states leading energy producer converted an aging plant into a much cleaner burning natural gas facility.  The overall cost of this project was $541 million and created generating capacity of 1193 megawatts while reducing emission substantially (1002 tons).  The expansion created jobs, reduced costs to consumers and maintained an eye towards environmental concerns.  Compare the investment in retrofitting and expanding this plant with the crony capitalism that was Solyndra, the now bankrupt Solar Panel manufacturer.  While solar power or any other alternative energy resource like wind or tide or geothermal are real they are also in their infancy and not the answer today.  What we need right now are jobs and a solution to our energy needs and utilizing an abundant resource like natural gas could accelerate prosperity.  Encouraging our energy producers rather than punishing them is the solution.

I mentioned the Salt River Project plant conversion for a reason, “Natural Gas.”  In recent years we have uncovered a vast amount of this energy resource right here in this country.  In Louisiana alone the Haynesville Shale discovery has revealed 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and some industry officials believe that those are conservative estimates and the find could actually be several times larger.  To put this into perspective that is the equivalent of approximately 33 billion barrels of oil, enough to meet our current demands for 17 plus years.  The story doesn’t end in Louisiana; vast fields have been discovered in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and right here in Texas.  These fields hold and estimated 2,200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  Understand that these discoveries arise as the reality of oil declines.  Most of the oil consumed by America is imported and we already know that our oil suppliers are at best “unfriendly” to America.  Juxtapose that with the fact that 98% of the natural gas consumed in the United States actually comes from this continent, North America.  The exploration, production and distribution of natural gas mean real jobs for Americans.  As I have written about in earlier pieces these jobs inside the industry also create demand for other jobs in the supporting communities in areas like retail, housing and service to name a few.  Energy jobs are sustainable jobs, they are not public works jobs born out of political desperation in tough economies.  These are the jobs that see us through difficult times; they create promise and prosperity for this generation and the next.

Advancing our energy future requires thinking outside the box we find ourselves in, it requires that we don’t settle for the business as usual way of thinking and we begin to explore the intelligent usage of our natural resources.  For far too long we have demonized many of our natural resources.  Across this great nation under our feet exist massive potential for growth and prosperity.  Natural Gas is an abundant treasure whose full potential has yet to be realized.  The sad fact is that rather than embracing a tangible reality we have opted to pursue pipe dreams based on manipulated fear.  Over and over we have heard the steady drumbeat that we are killing our planet and that we must all bow at the altar of “Renewable” energy.  The reality is that renewable energy is simply not ready for prime time and it cannot shoulder the energy needs of this nation.  But that hasn’t stopped the Obama administration and his thugs at the EPA from intimidation and fear mongering.   I hasn’t stopped those right here in our state from pursuing REZ’s, Smart Grids, Smart Meters and the boondoggle of Windmills.   Rather than embracing our natural resources they have decided to mandate change through heavy-handed regulations.  They have decided to fix the game when it comes to their energy agenda and use your money to do it. 

Rather than investing in boondoggles like converting our entire energy sector into the myth that is “Green” perhaps we should begin to invest in the infrastructure that has seen this nation blossom into the industrialized envy of the world.  Imagine that if the Obama administration had invested the $540 million plus that they invested in Solyndra and the countless other “Clean Green” boondoggles that have produced nothing but debt and bankruptcies taken that money and invested it in retrofitting many of the old gas, steam and coal fired plants into natural gas fired power plants, a much cleaner and more efficient method of generating electricity.  Imagine if the billions that were invested right here in the state of Texas, the time and the effort wasted on plotting a Smart Grid to Power Smart Meters that were driven by Windmills to charge their electric car dream where we could be right now when it comes to leading the nation in cleaner burning more efficient natural gas fired plants. 

There are so many alternatives to their “Alternative” perhaps the Obama administration and agencies right here in Texas could have invested in expanding clean coal through processes like gasification and sequestration.  The point is that this current administration and Texas agencies have less interest in advancing energy independence than they do in chasing their ideology.  If the goal was to truly win the future, truly win the jobs of the future then it is time for this administration to explain why the Department of Energy (an agency that our then head of the PUC seems very cozy wit) Loan Guarantee program has backed $36.8 billion on 42 Clean Green power projects.  Of those, 74% of those loans have been in the area of Solar Power.  Why pour so much into something that cannot support our energy needs while ignoring the natural resources that sit untapped beneath our feet?  Natural gas is an abundant, clean and viable source of energy, it is real, it is tangible and it can meet the demands of a nation screaming for jobs and energy independence.  If politicians are going to invest our money then why don’t they start investing it winners rather than losers?

Natural Gas and Energy Independence

Across the country there are cities and municipalities that are converting fleet vehicles from traditional gas engines into much cleaner burning natural gas vehicles.  Cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York are converting buses and other city vehicles.  Additionally there are power companies converting traditional gas, steam and coal fired plants onto natural gas plants.  In a small town in Gilbert Arizona, Salt River Project (SRP) the states leading energy producer converted an aging plant into a much cleaner burning natural gas facility.  The overall cost of this project was $541 million and created generating capacity of 1193 megawatts while reducing emission substantially (1002 tons).  The expansion created jobs, reduced costs to consumers and maintained an eye towards environmental concerns.  Compare the investment in retrofitting and expanding this plant with the crony capitalism that was Solyndra, the now bankrupt Solar Panel manufacturer.  While solar power or any other alternative energy resource like wind or tide or geothermal are real they are also in their infancy and not the answer today.  What we need right now are jobs and a solution to our energy needs and utilizing an abundant resource like natural gas could accelerate prosperity.  Encouraging our energy producers rather than punishing them is the solution.

I mentioned the Salt River Project plant conversion for a reason, “Natural Gas.”  In recent years we have uncovered a vast amount of this energy resource right here in this country.  In Louisiana alone the Haynesville Shale discovery has revealed 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and some industry officials believe that those are conservative estimates and the find could actually be several times larger.  To put this into perspective that is the equivalent of approximately 33 billion barrels of oil, enough to meet our current demands for 17 plus years.  The story doesn’t end in Louisiana; vast fields have been discovered in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and right here in Texas.  These fields hold and estimated 2,200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  Understand that these discoveries arise as the reality of oil declines.  Most of the oil consumed by America is imported and we already know that our oil suppliers are at best “unfriendly” to America.  Juxtapose that with the fact that 98% of the natural gas consumed in the United States actually comes from this continent, North America.  The exploration, production and distribution of natural gas mean real jobs for Americans.  As I have written about in earlier pieces these jobs inside the industry also create demand for other jobs in the supporting communities in areas like retail, housing and service to name a few.  Energy jobs are sustainable jobs, they are not public works jobs born out of political desperation in tough economies.  These are the jobs that see us through difficult times; they create promise and prosperity for this generation and the next.

Advancing our energy future requires thinking outside the box we find ourselves in, it requires that we don’t settle for the business as usual way of thinking and we begin to explore the intelligent usage of our natural resources.  For far too long we have demonized many of our natural resources.  Across this great nation under our feet exist massive potential for growth and prosperity.  Natural Gas is an abundant treasure whose full potential has yet to be realized.  The sad fact is that rather than embracing a tangible reality we have opted to pursue pipe dreams based on manipulated fear.  Over and over we have heard the steady drumbeat that we are killing our planet and that we must all bow at the altar of “Renewable” energy.  The reality is that renewable energy is simply not ready for prime time and it cannot shoulder the energy needs of this nation.  But that hasn’t stopped the Obama administration and his thugs at the EPA from intimidation and fear mongering.  Rather than embracing our natural resources they have decided to mandate change through heavy-handed regulations.  They have decided to fix the game when it comes to their energy agenda and use your money to do it. 

Rather than investing in boondoggles like converting our entire energy sector into the myth that is “Green” perhaps we should begin to invest in the infrastructure that has seen this nation blossom into the industrialized envy of the world.  Imagine that if the Obama administration had invested the $540 million plus that they invested in Solyndra and taken that money and invested it in retrofitting many of the old gas, steam and coal fired plants into natural gas fired power plants, a much cleaner and more efficient method of generating electricity.  Perhaps the administration could have invested in expanding clean coal through processes like gasification and sequestration.  The point is that this current administration has less interest in advancing energy independence than they do in chasing their ideology.  If the goal was to truly win the future, truly win the jobs of the future then it is time for this administration to explain why the Department of Energy Loan Guarantee program has backed $36.8 billion on 42 clean power projects.  Of those, 74% of those loans have been in the area of Solar Power.  Why pour so much into something that cannot support our energy needs while ignoring the natural resources that sit untapped beneath our feet?  Natural gas is an abundant, clean and viable source of energy, it is real, it is tangible and it can meet the demands of a nation screaming for jobs and energy independence.  Mr. President, if you are going to invest our money then why don’t you start investing it winners rather than losers.

EPA Contemplates Slowing Regulation

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Obama Administration is set to ease their enforcement of the new Cross Border Pollution rule that was finalized this past July and was expected to go into full effect in January 2012.  

Make no mistake, this moves comes on the heels of a backlash that started in the homes, plants and factories of energy producing states like Texas.  I have been humbled to be one of those people who have led the fight.  While I am pleased that the administrations move to curb or slow sown enforcing this crippling regulation I want to issue a warming that the fight is not over and the pressure must be continued if we are to see a day when energy independence and sustainable jobs are paramount.  Now is not the time to cease pressuring this or any administration when it comes to securing our future.  My hope continues to be that this is a genuine move forward and not merely a political stunt to curry favor in the upcoming election.   Therefore, I will continue to shine a light on the EPA.  My goal is to see that this step is just the first of many aimed at improving the relationship between our government and the hard working men and women of the energy sector of this great nation.

It is imperative that we do not rest, that we recognize this as a single victory in the context of a much larger war against Texas and other energy producing states.  It is up to each and every one of us to maintain our vigilance as we all strive to build not only a stoner Texas but and even stronger America.  This has been my fight and it will remain my fight until such a time the EPA and its regulatory power and authority favors advancing sustainable jobs, energy independence.

 E. Parker

Current Events In Texas Energy

There are two hunters are out in the woods. One named democrat and the other named economy. They are hunting when economy falls to the ground. Economy doesn't seem to be breathing; his eyes are rolled back in his head. Democrat whips out his cell phone and calls 911. The operator answers: and democrat says, “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator, in a calm soothing voice says, “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let's make sure your friend is dead.” Silence, befalls the phone for several minutes. Then a loud gunshot is heard. Democrat’s voice comes back on the line and says: “OK he’s dead, now what?”

Now let me make this clear, I’m not saying that “Democrats” are dumb…but maybe they do lack just a bit of knowledge and ability to utilize relevant information effectively. 

It has been said that Thomas Jefferson once stated: “Information is the currency of democracy.”  I hope that after spending time with you today you have just a little more in the way of information to help bolster your currency in our democracy. 

Despite the fact that the economy is the engine of the United States and despite the fact that energy is the oil that makes that engine run smoothly, there is an all-out assault on the very life blood that makes the US economy pump.  We are faced with many of the same problems that plagued our founding fathers.  Jefferson battled the ideologues that hoarded information, sadly the same is true today.  To refresh your memory a bit it wasn’t all that long ago that President Obama offered this nugget of wisdom to a graduating class at Hampton University: 

"You're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank that high on the truth meter….” He continued on, “And with iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation."  

This is an example of using bad information to dissuade you from seeking out relevant information.  Tactics like this are common for the current administration and they have allowed President Obama to create an atmosphere of confusion and doubt.  Nowhere is it more prevalent than when it comes to energy.  This administration has successfully crafted an anti-energy agenda and they are enforcing that agenda with the strong-arm of the EPA.  They are fully engaged in disrupting the fuel that drives America’s economy (oil, gas and coal specifically).

Just like the hunter in the joke I opened with, the administration is using the EPA like a gun to kill the economy. The EPA is churning out new regulations in unprecedented number, speed and cost. The Wall Street Journal has called this EPA regulatory spree “unprecedented in U.S. history.” And according to the deputy secretary of the EPA, they do not take into account job losses when creating and reviewing rules.

The reason I am here speaking to you today is to deliver a very simple message:  When you advance an agenda that is clearly anti-energy you are declaring war on Texas.  Why you may ask?

  1. Texas leads the United States in both crude oil production and refining capacity.
  2. Texas is the Nation’s leading natural gas producer. We produce more than three times the natural gas than any other state.
  3. Texas is a major nuclear power generating State, 
  4. Texas leads the Nation in wind-powered generation capacity, and that substantial new wind generation capacity is under construction
  5. Texas produces a substantial amount of coal from its 18 surface mines, and is the top coal consuming state in the nation.

Now the Obama administration “CLAIMS” that this all out assault on energy as it stands is nothing more than an effort to gain energy independence while at the same time protecting the environment.  They believe that we can wean ourselves from the evil of fossil fuels and replace our entire energy portfolio with the magic that is “RENEWABLE” energy.  All that comes to mind when I contemplate their warped philosophy is REALLY!?!

You cannot obtain energy independence with renewable sources of energy alone and if anyone tells you that, they lie and speak from their ideology and not from reality.  

Now back to the assault on Texas and our abundant resources.

How do they want to stop Texas: 

The shutdown of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the Deep Water Horizon incident has resulted in less oil being produced domestically and jobs being moved out of this country. That move killed an estimated 13,000 jobs in the gulf region and 19,000 nationally by imposing that moratorium on drilling in US water. Now even after the moratorium has been lifted the slow pace of permitting is leaving experts estimate 250,000 new jobs in the gulf region of the table.  Now that the cleanup and new regulations have been put into place, removing any excuses for restarting operations, they have begun a fight for a sea horse that needs magnification to see, claiming that it is an endangered species and should be considered as a factor in keeping oil production and exploration closed.

Declare the “Dunes Sagebrush Lizard,” or sand dune lizard an endangered species. If the administration declares this common lizard an endangered species if would effectively shut down oil production in the Permian Basin of West Texas. Costing jobs! The Permian Basin of West Texas produced 268 million barrels of oil in 2010. A friend of mine Jerry Patterson calls it a reptile dysfunction.

Declaring the very breath we exhale be counted as illegal and a pollutant. CO2 is not a pollutant. Global warming alarmists are debating over CO2 levels 320 ppm in the air, and OSHA does not even look at CO2 levels being harmful until it reaches 5,000 ppm. All this while CO2 levels in the US have decreased 79% since 1980. 

All this while the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit was caught manipulating climate data. 

All this while the biologist who claimed that polar bears were drowning because of melting ice from CO2 has been suspended and is being investigated for scientific misconduct. Manipulating data!

All this while NASA’s own satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted. [Explain]

Here is an example of some information you can use as currency when you talk to your ideologically driven friends on the other side, Texas has been using CO2 in enhanced oil recovery for more than 30 years. Here is Texas CO2 is commodity not a calamity.

As I mentioned before Texas is the Nation’s leading natural gas producer, producing more than 6 million cubic feet annually. Most using a now controversial technique called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” The practice involves blasting water, sand and other chemicals far underground to break up rock and extract gas. 

Now the EPA has set forth new rules to regulate “fracking.”

To address the concerns that the chemicals used are hazardous, the Texas legislature has passed HB-3328 making drilling companies that do hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” disclose the chemicals. Such disclosure would be listed on the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission and the Texas Railroad Commissions websites. I whole hardily support such discloser.  This is an example of allowing the states to address concerns rather than bureaucrats and ideologues on the beltway.  

Speaking of the Texas Railroad Commission. There is a movement afoot to change the name to the Texas Oil & Gas Commission and trim the commission down to one commissioner from three.  [Explain the current state of the bill]. 

One commissioner over the largest oil and gas industry in the nation would amounts to an Oil & Gas Czar.  I don’t need to expand on why creating “CZARS” is entirely un-American.  

Texas is a major nuclear power generating State. Texas has two nuclear plans located near Victoria, Texas and about 80 miles southwest of Dallas. The events in Japan were unfortunate, regrettable and sobering, but it should not stop the nuclear projects in Texas. While public hearings have been conducted and no formal decision has been made, I encourage those communities and the federal officials to move forward with those projects so that Texas can continue to be a major player as well as a role model for other states in how to responsibly advance energy into the future.

Texas also produces a substantial amount of coal from its more than 16 lignite surface coalmines, and is the top coal consuming state in the nation. Texas electricity is powered by coal. The administration and EPA have thru regulation are forcing our electricity providers to shutdown coal fired power plants.  The result of their actions on Texans is the loss of an estimated 3000-mega watts out of the power grid.  Rather than advance the promise of clean coal technologies the administration has decided to indulge in punitive punishments resulting in higher energy cost and again lodging a bullet in the head of the economy.

******************************

Let us not forget the stealth bullet fired from the silenced weapon. An agenda that is moving throughout the federal agencies, state and local governments like a cancer. Agenda 21 seeks to redistribute wealth in the name of Social, Economic and environmental justice. It is clearly nothing more than environmental extremism masquerading as a benign endeavor seeking to erode our constitution in favor of a one world government.

I believe that Texas is a unique state that is rich in energy resources.  Coal, oil and natural gas reserves buried deep beneath the soil will serve as a source of energy for decades to come but only if we stay committed to protecting a balanced approach of utilizing all the tools in the energy toolbox. 

If you don’t know already, I am in the strongest terms considering a run for the Texas Railroad Commission, for the open seat being vacated by EAJ. There will be others that will want to speak to you, others that will want to convince you that they are more qualified with no other qualifications than they are from MIDLAND, or because they were in the Texas House of Reps for 20+ years.I believe in the promise that is Texas, I believe in our potential, in our resources and in our workforce.  I believe that Texas can and will serve as a model for other states and ultimately for the federal government on how to responsibly blend the use of fossil fuels with the promise of renewable energies, but only if we stand together and fight for a better tomorrow.  It is imperative that we continue to expose the ideology of the current administration as flawed.  Make no mistake, the EPA has placed a bulls eye on Texas and as I have discussed here today they will continue their fight to strangle us with regulations.  It is our charge to stand against the forces that unite against us while at the same time understanding our responsibility to lead the way in protecting our natural resources and advancing New Energy Technologies.   I believe that Energy innovation should come in response to technological and entrepreneurial innovation, not in response to government mandates or dooms-day scenarios that will never come to pass.  My challenge to you is to leave here today and continue to arm yourself with the currency of our democracy, KNOWLEDGE” and to begin the process of reclaiming our country.  I want to leave you with the words of Abraham Lincoln as a reminder of why it is time to stand and be heard, time to remind our leaders what our beliefs and values are: “…That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth.”   

Ladies and Gentleman We are Texans, Powering a Brighter Tomorrow

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak to you today, God Bless America and God Bless Texas.

American Dream or America Dreaming

As per usual the partisan rhetoric is flying off the lips of the hyperbolic mouthpieces we call our elected representatives.  The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) released their newest calculations regarding the impact of the Affordable Care Act or if you like “ObamaCare” on the labor market.  True to form with no regard for the truth or any measure of thoughtful analysis a hearing was held in congress where like proud Peacocks on parade both sides tried to score cheap political points to impress their respective bases at the expense of hard working Americans.  They puffed their chests out and tried to explain why the loss of the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs as a result of ObamaCare was either a good thing or a very bad thing.  To be fair, the CBO stated in their report that these jobs would not simply vanish, they would just be downsized to reflect part-time status rather than full time jobs.  Now I will never attempt to figure out government math, it is impossible because it isn’t a math taught to any of us in school.  What I can do is offer my humble opinion about what I heard and how what I heard reflects a more troubling trend in America.

The report says that “…employers will not be handing out pink slips en mas rather they will be giving Americans the freedom to choose their employer for healthcare or reduce the number of hours they work or leave their jobs to get healthcare through the exchanges.”  I love the use of the word “Freedom” in this.  They say that they are giving Americans a choice here, work part time or not at all so you can qualify for the subsidies or roll the dice and work full time.  What!?!  And, if you choose to work full time then you would lose your subsidy.  So, where is the incentive to work?  Shouldn’t the incentive be to get people full time work so that they don’t have to live a subsidized life?  If we employed people full time and more of them then perhaps we wouldn’t have to worry about extending long term unemployment befits, bloated food stamp participation, massive increases in disability payments and a plethora of programs that have exploded our debt and threaten to unravel a nation.  It isn’t “Rocket Surgery” people, full time work should be THE goal, there should be an incentive not deterrence.

The Administration is feeling the heat, so straight from the White House are three words they are now using to describe the benefits of this report, spinning furiously to explain the positive, those words are “Freedom, Opportunity and Choice.”  In my humble opinion these are simply three shades of lipstick they are trying to use on this pig.  The White House is saying and I quote “There is nothing in this report that will take away 2.5 million jobs in fact what is says more clearly is more people may choose not to work or they may choose to reduce their hours.”  Does any of that make sense to anybody who isn’t infected with politicanitus?

So back to the point of this rant, the American Dream is being redefined.  America is a country that was built on grit, determination and an indomitable spirit.  America is a country where you worked your ass off to get ahead.  A country where everything meaningful has been invented, reengineered and improved upon and things yet to be realized are being researched and developed.  All because we dared to dream because our parents taught us a work ethic second to none but we now have a President and a political system that can utter words like these with a straight face:

“It allows Americans to choose to spend more time with their families or pursue their dream, that is not a bad thing it’s a good thing.”(Rep Chris van Hollen (D) of Maryland)

“This isn’t employers cutting jobs, it is newly empowered workers choosing to go a different path.” (Rep Bill Pascrell (D) of New Jersey)   

“… in fact what is says more clearly is more people may choose not to work or they may choose to reduce their hours (White House Press Staff).”  

That’s the answer America, the debt is ballooning, unemployment has been over 6.5% for over 5 years, and the average household income has declined steadily. More kids live with their parents now than at any other time in history and on and on and on but the answer according to our Leader is that we now have the “Freedom” to work less, the “Opportunity” to be subsidized and the “Choice” to opt out of the America he has fundamentally transformed.

Our leaders have failed us, they have failed to stand at the vanguard of liberty as the guardians of the dream that is uniquely American.  They pander to the lessor nature of man rather than inspiring the greatness that once defined America. 

Of course that is just my take.