No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

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Archive for the 'Energy' Category

November 8, 2013

$2.999

by @ 6:12. Filed under Economy, Energy.

That is the price for regular unleaded at one of the local gas stations. With Obama’s EPA still searching for any way to do to privately-owned land and state-owned land where fracking has been occuring what they have done to federal-owned/controlled land, namely stop fracking and new oil exploration, I never thought I would once again see the day I could walk into a gas station with a $20 bill and a $10 bill, pay for 10.000 gallons of gas, and get change back.

Of course, it is the winter blend of Algore/Whitman Memorial Reformulated Gas With 10% Corn-A-Hole, so it’s 10% less efficient than the summer version of that (and even less efficient than untainted gas). It’s also still too damn high.

April 26, 2011

Obama “solution” to gas prices – tax hikes, continued high prices

by @ 19:17. Filed under Energy, Politics - National.

The lede of this Associated Press article on Obama’s renewed call for the end to tax “breaks” to “Big Oil” tells one everything one needs to know about Democrats and gas prices:

Amid rising gasoline prices at the pump, President Barack Obama urged congressional leaders Tuesday to take steps to repeal oil industry tax breaks, reiterating a call he made in his 2012 budget proposal earlier this year. The White House conceded his plan would do nothing in the short term to lower gas prices.

Allow me to translate – As long as government gets the “excess profits”, Obama is perfectly fine with $4 $5 $6 $10/gallon gas, your Memorial Day vacation plans be damned.

Related - National Review’s editors saw this coming just this morning.

March 12, 2011

“Drill baby, drill!”, says…Bill Clinton?

by @ 16:49. Filed under Energy, Politics - National.

(H/T – Ed Morrissey)

Poltico is reporting that, at a unrecordable IHS CERAWeek conference last night, during a moderated talk with former President George W. Bush and IHS CERA president Daniel Yergin, former President Bill Clinton came out in favor of increased oil exploration:

But according to multiple people in the room, Clinton, surprisingly, agreed with Bush on many oil and gas issues, including criticism of delays in permitting offshore since last year’s Gulf of Mexico spill.

“Bush said all the things you’d expect him to say” on oil and gas issues, said Jim Noe, senior vice president at Hercules Offshore and executive director of the pro-drilling Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition. But Clinton added, “You’d be surprised to know that I agree with all that,” according to Noe and others in the room.

Clinton said there are “ridiculous delays in permitting when our economy doesn’t need it,” according to Noe and others.

“That was the most surprising thing they said,” Noe said.

The two former presidents both generally agreed on the need to get offshore drilling workers back on the job.

Clinton and Bush also agreed on the need for more domestic shale gas production, with Clinton noting that it has been done safely for years in his home state of Arkansas.

This (reportedly) comes from the President who took locking up our natural resources and turned it into an art form. Don’t forget that this came from an event where microphones were banned.

February 23, 2011

Once again, California leads the way

by @ 20:22. Filed under Energy.

Ed Driscoll points out that $4/gallon gas, at least for the high-test stuff, is already a reality in northern California. Given southeast Wisconsin’s unique situation, where every spring the switchover from the winter blend to the southeast Wisconsin/northeast Illinois-specific summer blend of Algore/Whitman Memorial RFG corn-a-hole causes prices to spike by as much as 80 cents, the perma-ban on exploitation of new oil reserves by the ObamiNation, and the radical Islamic takeover of North Africa (with designs on the rest of the Middle East), look for us to once again catch northern Cali in prices.

As Ed noted, “It will be interesting to watch the MSM’s reaction if prices continue at their current highs; they were screaming for higher gasoline prices themselves (as long as the hike was in the form of additional taxes for DC) when gasoline prices cratered in the last weeks of President Bush’s administration.”

January 4, 2011

Budget Chop – Oil and Gas Management

by @ 20:10. Filed under Budget Chop, Energy, Politics - National.

I’ve already highlighted the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for the need of a budget reduction.  My argument at the time was that if they didn’t want to issue any permits for drilling, there wasn’t need for more than one person to be able to answer the phone and say “NO!”

In one of the first acts of the new year, the Obama administration announced that they would now allow 13 companies to resume their deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.  While this doesn’t mean that they will be issuing new permits, I take this as a sign that the Administration is concerned that my suggestions are sure to be implemented.

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that despite Obama’s rhetoric about job creation, there is no desire to create jobs in the oil and gas industry.  The Energy Information Administration now projects that offshore energy production will be nearly 20% below what they had predicted for the year.  That shortfall translates into thousands of lost jobs and the wages associated with them.  Not only does the Administration’s war on fossil fuels cause lost jobs, it also causes lost revenues.

According to this spreadsheet (I’ve verified them to the reported revenue) in FY 2008, the Federal Treasury received over $22 Billion in revenue from all oil and gas leasing activity.  in FY 2009, that number dropped to to under $9 Billion and in FY 2010 it was about $8 Billion. Now admittedly, there was approximately $10 Billion of “bonuses” received in 2008 which inflates that number a bit. However, even when adjusting for that, revenue to the treasury for oil and gas leasing has dropped by 33% in just two years.

Let’s recap:  No new leasing, more drilling area restrictions, lost jobs and wages….Oh, that’s not so bad…..

Former executive predicts gas to hit $5 by 2012

December 23, 2010

Budget Chop – Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

During his 2010 victory lap yesterday, President Obama laid out his priority for 2011:

Asked about the often-used car in the ditch analogy, Obama said that the “car [the economy in the analogy] is on level ground.” He spoke about a new direction for the government’s economic focus: “We now have to pivot and focus on jobs and growth,” and education, innovation, and R & D.

While Obama’s lips may be saying “yes, yes,” his double crossed fingers are saying, “no, no!”

Gulf oil drilling jobs continue to be decimated as Obama via the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, works to interfere with, delay or halt altogether, permits for drilling. Most people are aware that Obama has denied an expansion of drilling areas and has delayed permits for new deep water rigs. What folks aren’t aware of is that even in areas where drilling is allowed, even in shallow water, the Bureau has implemented a plan that some would interpret as down right hostile towards all drilling efforts.

While you might think the Bureau is taking time advancing permits to ensure that safety comes first, they’re not. They are doing mostly what bureaucracies do, create process for no end result benefit:

Yet regulators have tightened processes so much that permit applications are being returned six and seven times for more information, says Randall Stilley, Seahawk’s chief exec­utive. One operator con­fided its last rejection was because the application contained two font sizes, he said.

(emphasis mine)

I’m a big believer in pay for performance i.e. if you perform well, you get paid more. I think we should use this type of approach to government agencies. Going forward, I would propose that Congress cut the budget for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. After all, how many people should it take to just say “no” to every inquiry of permitting for an ocean drilling rig?

August 17, 2010

Late-Tuesday Hot Read – WSJ’s “Uncle Sam, Venture Capitalist”

by @ 21:45. Filed under Business, Energy, Politics - National.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board did something that the local presstitutes didn’t do, and looked into the subject of the non-political “justification” for the first day of Obama’s campaign tour so his campaign, Tom Barrett’s campaign, and the DPW didn’t have to pay for the trip, 30-employee ZBB Energy. They’re not-exactly financially viable:

We wonder who in government looked at ZBB’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Since going public in June of 2007, ZBB has been hemorrhaging money. The firm lost $4.9 million in fiscal 2008 and $5.5 million in fiscal 2009. In its most recent filing, in May, it said it had lost $6.9 million for the first nine months of its current fiscal year. It explained it had a “cumulative deficit” of $44.1 million and informed shareholders that it “anticipates incurring continuing losses.” It acknowledged that its ability to continue as a “going concern” was predicated on its ability to drum up additional funds.

In March the company engaged in various stock transactions—including a private placement to the company’s directors—to raise some $1.9 million. It obtained a $1.3 million loan from the federal stimulus program and borrowed $1.5 million more from Investors Bank. In June it announced a debt agreement, which would allow it to tap a further $10 million….

The company also acknowledged in its May filing that the 72,000 square foot manufacturing facility it bought in 2006 is “currently producing at less than 10% of its expected capacity.” That means it can’t currently access the $14 million in federal tax credits, which were supposed to help with equipment for a new facility. Meanwhile, private investors have soured on some energy-storage companies. ZBB’s initial public offering was priced at $6 a share in 2007, and it closed yesterday at 70 cents. (Note – it closed today at 66 cents)

ZBB’s chief financial officer, Scott Scampini, acknowledges the losses and tells us that one problem was that the old management thought “people would just jump and buy this stuff.” New management, he says, now has a “real business plan” to become cash-flow positive in “short order”—by becoming cheap enough to be “competitive with fossil fuels.”

I hate to break the bad news, but the two methods of producing energy that are dependent on batteries aren’t going to be competitive on a cost basis anytime soon (at least unless all the conventional methods of producing energy are made prohibitively-expensive) – solar is at least twice as costly as conventional power, and at least in Wisconsin, wind farms is going to become even more expensive than the 50% premium as the Public Service Commission is expected to require compensation to nearby landowners.

WISN-AM’s Mark Belling spent much of the first hour of today’s show on this, including taking a rather testy phone call from ZBB CEO Eric Apfelbach (starting at about the 5:40 mark in Hour 1 Part 2 of today’s podcast). Belling got Apfelbach to admit the Porkulus loan (of which $490,000 was already tapped) didn’t create a single new job despite the anticipation that it would create 175 jobs, and that he is a Crony “Capitalist” who is more than happy to suckle off the teat of government.

July 13, 2010

Take one down, ship to the Congo…

by @ 10:31. Filed under Energy, Politics - National.

The re-issuance of the “temporary” moratorium on deepwater drilling has forced Diamond Offshore to send a second rig packing, this time to the Congo. Unlike the Ocean Endeavor, which likely will never be back in the Gulf of Mexico, the Ocean Confidence might be back after 3 years in the Congo for a year, but only if the ban on deepwater drilling is lifted.

WISN-AM’s Jay Weber said on his show this morning that he believes that ban will never be lifted while Teh Won is in office. The fact that the Ocean Confidence will be gone for a minimum of 3 years shows Diamond Offshore believes the same.

June 22, 2010

Art Imitating Life?

by @ 19:53. Filed under Energy, Politics - National.

If imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery then President Obama’s administration is just bustin’ buttons with pride tonight!

Yesterday, Iran offered to help the US, and specifically President Obama, plug the oil leak in the Gulf.

“If Americans and Britons and also the Western companies find themselves incapable of capping the oil spill, [they can] ask Iran, [we] will study the case, and send… IRGC experts to the region to help prevent the continuation of this serious crisis,” Qasemi added.

I know, your asking, “what about this is imitation?” 

Do you really think Iran is sincere about helping to plug the leak.  Or, for that matter, do you think they have better abilities than the rest of the world?  No, neither do I!

Using Rahm Emanuel’s own approach, Iran is taunting the US, never allowing a crisis to go to waste!

In a follow up question I need to ask, Rahm, when you uttered those now infamous words, did you ever consider that the crisis that you wanted to exploit just might be a real one that required real solutions?

August 28, 2009

Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!

Do your remember all of those great arguments for support of the Waxman-Markey “let’s rush back to the 1500’s bill?”  We were going to save mother earth, we were going to increase jobs, we were going to be less dependent on foreign oil.

Not so much!

A new study done by Ensys Energy finds that rather than import less oil, if Waxman-Markey is passed, we will actually import MORE oil.  In fact, the study shows that by 2030 we would likely need to DOUBLE the amount of imported oil!

How can that be?  Simple.

If we start taxing production and processing of fossil fuels, less investment will be made into production and processing of fossil fuels.  If less investment is made, less outcome will result.  All of this is pretty much in line with the designs of the Waxman-Markey bill.  The problems comes in that there is no magical product available that can replace fossil fuels in the vast majority of it’s uses.  Thus, we dramatically reduce supply but have little reduction in demand.  Unless we actually do chose to go back to the 1500’s, we’ll need to replace the production that is no longer happening in the US.  According to the study, the shift in production looks like this:

U.S. refining throughput, a measure of productivity, could plummet by as much as 25% (4.4 million barrels per day) and investment in U.S. refining could fall by as much as $90 billion, a decline of 88 percent, by 2030, the EnSys study forecast.

Well, I guess that shoots one of the reasons for the Waxman-Markey bill.  Would you like a quick second?

According to the same study, because no magical new power source will be available, the effect of the Waxman-Markey bill will not reduce carbon emissions.  All Waxman-Markey will do is shift the carbon emissions from the US to other countries around the world.  In other words, only the NIMBY people will get anything out of Waxman-Markey.  Yeah, they’ll get something right up to the point that the US economy is hammered because we have a dramatically increasing negative trade balance because we have to import twice as much energy as we used to!  Oh, and we’ll lose a bunch of jobs too!

 

August 18, 2009

Drill Here, Drill Now Tuesday (8/18/2009) part 2 – shale edition

by @ 7:39. Tags:
Filed under Energy.

(H/T – JiangxiDad)

I usually don’t do two of these in a week, but it’s not every day that we hear of East Coast shale. Investor’s Business Daily reports that New York Governor David Patterson (yes, he is a Dem) wants to go get the natural gas contained in the Marcellus Shale formation. This formation, which covers the souther portion of New York, the western part of Pennsylvania, almost the entirety of West Virginia, the eastern portion of Ohio, and portions of neighboring states, is estimated to hold as much as 1,300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or 65 years’ worth of domestic natural gas production.

Naturally, the envirowhackos that want to prevent this exploitation are whining that the method that would be used to get the natural gas, fracking, uses a lot of water, and could damage the aquifers that supply New York City with drinking water. IBD explodes both halves of that, pointing out that fracking has already been done in the area with no aquifer damage, and that fracking requires less water than ethanol production.

I echo IBD’s call to Gov. Patterson – “Drill, Patterson, drill.”

Drill Here, Drill Now Tuesday (8/18/2009) – offshore edition – UPDATE – With a Soros connection?

by @ 6:00. Tags:
Filed under Energy.

(H/T for the concept – Jessi Olson – H/T for the article – Carol Platt Liebau)

Long-term reader of this blog may remember a weekly series that I borrowed from Jessi Olson called “Drill Here, Drill Now Tuesday” in response to the ludicrously-high gas prices of last summer. We both called for increased domestic oil drilling.

The prices may not be quite as bad this summer, but it’s not for a lack of trying by the Obama administration. At every turn, from refusing to explore the possibility of offshore drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to a rescinding of existing permits to tap the oil shale out west, they have tried to squeeze the life out of the domestic oil industry. In fact, the Department of the Interior attempted to take a court-ordered ban of new drilling in Alaska and have that apply nationwide, only to be told by the court that it only applied to Alaska.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Export-Import Bank has issued a $2 billion “preliminary committment” letter to Brazilian state-owned Petrobras so it can exploit the Tupi oil field. I have to wonder whether that is merely because it isn’t in American waters, it involves a state-owned enterprise, or both.

Revisions/extensions (4:36 pm 8/18/2009) - Ed Morrissey dug up a Bloomberg piece from Friday on The Left’s Moneybag George Soros changing to a higher-dividend position in Petrobras. Do remember that The Chicago Way involves rewarding one’s benefactors.

July 28, 2009

Expiration date – nuclear edition

by @ 16:36. Filed under Energy, Politics - National.

(H/T – RadicalRon)

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the Department of Energy rejected USEC’s $2 billion loan-guarantee application for The American Centrifuge project, a uranium gas-centrifuge enrichment facility, despite a campaign-era pledge from Barack Obama to support said guarantee. USEC CEO John K. Welch claims that the program met the original intent of the DOE loan-guarantee program; of course, that was before Obama actually became President.

I would have simply wrote it off to the Obama administration’s hatred of American nuclear power and the expiration of yet another campaign promise, but in the course of confirming that gas-centrifuge technology is how the Iranians are working at getting nuclear weapons, I discovered that not only is it considered the enrichment method of the future, with Russia, Japan, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands adopting it, there is a second gas-centrifuge project from Louisiana Energy Services, the National Enrichment Facility.

So, what are the differences between LES and USEC? I haven’t been able to determine whether LES also applied for loan guarantees, but there are two differences between the two companies. First, LES is a wholly-owned subsidiary of European URENCO, while USEC is a Maryland company. Second, there is a donation difference between the officers of LES and the officers of USEC. The USEC donation list is rather Republican-heavy, and features donations from Welch to John McCain. Meanwhile, the LES donation list is rather Democrat-heavy, and features a max-amount donation from PR head Brenda Brooks to Obama.

Revisions/extensions (11:10 pm 7/28/2009) - Fixed the link back to JammieWearingFool.

July 1, 2009

100% energy-independent Wisconsin (on “green” energy, no less)?

by @ 21:26. Filed under Energy, Politics - Wisconsin.

I hate to dump all over Mark Neumann’s idea that Wisconsin could, with “green, renewable” energy, be 100% energy independent in a generation, but I’m afraid I must. First, I must state that I admire what he did with the “green” home his company built.

There are two primary sources of energy, electricity and fuel. I could not find specifically how much electricity Wisconsin uses, but American Transmission Company, which serves the eastern 2/3rds of the state, most of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and the Rockford, Illinois area, delivered a total of 68,162,000 megawatt-hours of electricity in 2008, with a peak 1-hour load of 11,794 megawatts. Meanwhile, in 2007 (the last year figures were available), the consumption of “green power” in Wisconsin, including power produced outside the state, was 197,145 megawatt-hours, with a peak 1-hour capacity of just under 106 megawatts. Granted, that doesn’t include hydroelectric (which is 100% tapped), and it doesn’t include projects built since 2007, but somehow I doubt there’s anywhere close to either 50,000,000 megawatt-hours/year or a reliable peak capacity of anywhere near 9,000 megawatts in “green” power. Those requirements just go up exponentially if plug-in electric cars ever hit Wisconsin.

Second, there’s fuel. I will necessarily be overly simplistic because of a similar lack of reliable information, but that’s balanced by the fact that, unless synthetic fuels somehow can be made with the resources in Wisconsin, we will never be 100% fuel-independent. In 2007, Wisconsin drivers used about 2,950,000,000 gallons of fuel. I don’t know what the splits between gasoline and diesel were, so I will assume that it was all gasoline. Further, I’ll assume that 7% of that fuel was ethanol. That leaves 2,743,500 gallons of gasoline used. In a generation, I would expect, between fuel efficiency increases and population increases, that to be reduced by about 25%, or about 2,000,000 gallons of gasoline.

If that is replaced by ethanol, given the inefficiencies of it versus gasoline, we’re looking at 2,500,000 gallons of ethanol that would need to be produced to make every part of E85 that can be produced in Wisconsin actually produced in Wisconsin. Assuming all of that is produced from corn (which the outstate farmers would love), about 7,620,000 acres would need to be given over to ethanol production. Given there were just over 15,000,000 acres of farmland in 2007, divided between crops and livestock, where exactly is all that corn going to be grown?

I do note that using switchgrass to make ethanol uses half the land. Still, that’s over a quarter of the farmland. What farm products do we give up exporting? Wheat? Corn? Milk?

There is another alternative; hydrogen-powered fuel cells. Provided there is sufficient electricity to split water into its component hydrogen and oxygen, it would seem that Wisconsin, with Lake Michigan on the east, Lake Superior on the northwest, the Mississippi River on the southwest, and innumerable lakes and rivers, would be a prime source for hydrogen. However, there’s two bits of bad news. First, it takes a lot of energy to split water, and Wisconsin doesn’t exactly have a surplus of that, especially “green” energy. Second, does anybody believe for a second that the enviromentalists will let that water be used for energy on anything approaching a mass scale?

Revisions/extensions (9:32 pm 7/1/2009) - I originally forgot to take into account that E85 still is 15% gasoline. The affected numbers have been corrected.

June 29, 2009

But Isn’t That My Ox Being Gored?

The Republican Party claims to stand for principles.  Amongst the principles they claim to stand for are limited government, personal liberty and free markets.  However, too many in the Republican Party believe that principles are not absolute.  They believe that principles can, shall we say, be flexible.  The rationale of these Republicans is that limited government is good, if I’m not in power, personal liberty is good unless my party says otherwise and free markets are good unless our party says there’s a problem.  Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota is a perfect example of one of these flexibly principled Republicans.

As a result of Governor Sanford’s confusing personal life, there have been several articles this weekend promoting Pawlenty as a rising spokesperson, perhaps even now, a strong contender for the 2012 Presidential bid…yeah, whatever.  I don’t know if it’s some of that thinking or just because he’s a lame duck Governor and is working on his next meal ticket but, Pawlenty is quickly becoming to Governor’s what Michele Bachmann is for the House of Representatives; in the media all the time talking about things that they shouldn’t be talking about. 

A perfect example showing Pawlenty in the media saying things he shouldn’t and showing his flexible principles, was his appearance on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”  On the show, Pawlenty argued that the recently passed cap and trade bill was bad policy.  OK, I’m with him so far.  It’s when he tells us why it’s bad policy that I give him my patented “Ron Paul talking about the gold standard” look.  According to American Pravda’s version of the interview, here’s why Pawlenty believes Cap and Trade is bad policy:

In an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning, the Republican governor said he shares the goal of reducing pollution and emissions. But he says the best way to do that is through conservation, more fuel-efficient vehicles and improving base-load power with nuclear energy.

They add:

Pawlenty says the cap and trade emissions regime in the bill would send U.S. jobs to other countries.

Funny, in 2007 the Minnesota Legislature passed a renewable energy bill.  That bill requires that energy producers in the state generate specific and increasing percentages of their energy through things like wind, solar or hydrogen.  The mandates are high enough that it will make Minnesota the state with the most renewable generated energy in the nation.  An amendment to remove Minnesota’s restriction on nuclear plants, the only State one of a few, with Wisconsin being another, to have such a restriction, failed.  Likewise, an amendment to waive the renewable requirements if they cost more than 10% more than existing methods also failed.  Finally, the bill contained a provision that allows utilities that exceed their required amounts of renewable energy to sell credits to other utilities.  Sounds a bit like the sale of carbon credits doesn’t it? 

Governor Pawlenty signed this bill and in many corners, was seen as a cheer leader for the bill.  Today, he decries a national version of what he gladly burdened Minnesotans with just two years ago. 

To too many Republicans like Pawlenty, principles only matter when it’s not their ox being gored.

Revisions/extensions (8:37 am 6/29/2009, steveegg) - Made a correction, as Wisconsin also has a complete moratorium on new nuclear power plants.

June 24, 2009

Must-watch Wednesday – Mary Katharine Ham tries to read Waxman-Markey

by @ 17:38. Filed under Energy, Envirowhackos, Politics - National.

It may no longer be called HamNation, and she doesn’t do videos nearly as often as she used to, but Mary Katharine Ham is back with a vengeance on the Waxman-Markey Cap-and-Trade-Tax bill about to be rammed down our throats…

YouTube Preview Image

The 1,201-page version that just got marked up (as H.R. 2998) isn’t even the final version that will be rammed through on Friday, but it will be at least a not-at-all-reasonable facsimile.

Revisions/extensions (7:22 pm 6/24/2009) - I hope MKH doesn’t get laryngitis reading the bill. So far, she made it through the table of contents. Instead of posting videos, I’ll direct you to her YouTube page.

May 29, 2009

Pre-vacation Hot Read – Lance Burri’s smackdown of Time on economics

by @ 21:24. Filed under Economy, Energy.

Lance Burri smacks down a Time story that claims oil is not subject to the laws of economics. The closing smash:

In order: expectation of increased demand; increased demand for futures; restriction of supply; more restriction of supply.

Okay, all of you who took basic economics in high school: what do the laws of economics say about those factors?

They say whoever wrote that article doesn’t understand basic economics.

The brilliance is how he uses Time’s article against its idiotic lede.

May 12, 2009

Drill here, drill now Tuesdays – 5/12/2009 (and a new NRE poll)

The original concept started with Jessi Olson back when oil was at $140/barrel and gasoline was over $4/gallon

Even though the economy shows very few signs of restarting, the price of oil is back up over $60/barrel after hitting a low of nearly $35/barrel, and gasoline in Milwaukee is already tickling $2.60/gallon after a couple months of being well below $2/gallon. Somehow, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that in that time frame, the Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration have restored every last roadblock to oil exploration and exploitation that resulted in the record prices last summer.

With that in mind, I’ve started up a new poll. It’s rather simple – when will gas prices in Milwaukee lead with a “1” again?

When will the number 1 once again lead the price of regular unleaded gasoline in Milwaukee?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • When it climbs above $9.99/gallon. (75%, 66 Vote(s))
  • When it dips below $2.00/gallon. (25%, 22 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 88

Loading ... Loading ...

May 8, 2009

Here comes the annual Algore/Whitman Memorial RFG Price Hike

by @ 7:28. Filed under Energy, Envirowhackos.

In case you haven’t noticed gas prices in the Milwaukee area lately, they’ve begun their annual winter-blend-to-summer-blend price spike. According to our friends at GasBuddy.com (which runs both MilwaukeeGasPrices.com and MadisonGasPrices.com), Milwaukee-area gas prices went up from an average of $2.088/gallon this time last month to $2.367/gallon as of this morning. Meanwhile, Madison-area gas prices from an average of $2.088/gallon this time last month to $2.196/gallon as of this morning.

One can’t even blame corn-a-hole this time, as to meet the federal mandates for minimum corn-a-hole content, most stations have chosen to put 10% ethanol in regular unleaded outstate. That leaves the RFG as the sole remaining difference, and I could’ve swore that, back when it was crammed down our fuel injectors, it wasn’t supposed to be more than a couple cents per gallon more expensive.

April 3, 2009

But, But, But…

by @ 9:04. Filed under Economy, Energy, Politics - National.

From CNNmoney:

America’s oil bust

BRADFORD, Pa. (CNNMoney.com) — Six months ago this oil town in Western Pennsylvania was booming. You couldn’t find a worker to paint a house, let alone man a drill rig. The nearby oil fields buzzed with activity as high prices drove a production frenzy.

Now this boomtown’s bustle is as quiet as the surrounding late-winter forest.

but, but, but I thought we were supposed to be getting all kinds of “Green Jobs!”  I thought we were going to grow jobs!  Is it possible that Obama’s plan to “grow green jobs” might actually cause massive unemployment in industries that are not in favor?  Is it possible that some areas of the country may actually have significantly worse unemployment because of Obama’s plan to “grow jobs?”

Elkhart Indiana, Saaaalute!

February 10, 2009

Odd Man Out

by @ 5:23. Filed under Energy, Global "Warming".

An article out in Germany talks about growing interest in developing nuclear power in Europe.   According to the article, Germany and even Sweden are talking about restarting nuclear power development.   Apparently previous agreements to cease and desist are now considered old fashioned:

Sweden announced last week that it was revoking a 1980 referendum decision to phase out nuclear power. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and the leaders of the three other parties in the coalition described the deal as “historic.”

The European Union gets nearly 30% of its electricity from nuclear plants.   It has 147 active nuclear power plants.   They have 2 under construction with 20 proposed plants.

Isn’t nuclear so, what’s the phrase, 1970’s?   I thought nuclear was anti green, anti new world order.   Why the sudden interest in nuclear?

With gas and oil prices rocketing and fears about global warming growing, however, nuclear power seems to be experiencing a global renaissance.

Funny thing, we’ve got all the same issues and concerns.   The one advantage we do have is that we have more coal than anywhere else in the world, but that’s bad too.

I’ve looked through the entire stimulus bill and can find no reference to nuclear energy in it.   That’s kind of odd considering that President Obama continues to tout all of the green jobs that will be created.  

Europe’s decided that being anti nuclear is “historic.”   Looks like contrary to all of Obama’s talk about leading we’re just going to be plain old history.

How Green Is Your Ethanol?

by @ 5:12. Filed under Corn-a-hole, Energy.

With apologies to the New Christy Minstrels:

Green Green it’s green they say
on the far side of the hill
Green green I’m goin’ away
to where the gas is greener still

a Well I told those Greenies when they said "use the corn!"
Dontcha know it’s a fool’s game you play?
You’ll up food prices, need a huge subsidy
And not supplant one barrel of oil
a-singin"¦.

Remember all those ethanol commercials?   They used to tell us about how efficient it was because we grow it and how much greener it was than using fossil fuels.

We saw the folly of the first “benefit” a year plus ago as ethanol use contributed to a doubling of corn prices which resulted in dramatic increases in all food that contained corn or corn products.   Now we have the University of Minnesota throwing cold water on the latter.

In a study to be fully released later this week, The U of M concludes:

The researchers found that depending on the materials and technology used in production, cellulosic ethanol’s environmental and health costs (19 to 32 cents per gallon) are less than half the costs of gasoline (71 cents per gallon), while corn-based ethanol’s costs (72 to about $1.45 per gallon) range from roughly equal to about double that of gasoline.

Gosh, that’s odd.   I thought gas was the evil, anti green fuel.   Who would have thought that ethanol was a horribly ungreen fuel?   The answer is anyone who would do a little research past seeing the word “green!”   The problem with corn based ethanol has always been in what it takes to grow the corn and turn it into fuel.   Unfortunately, few people want to educate themselves and look only at the core product and what they believe comes out of a tailpipe.   Even the authors of the research see the myopia:

“To understand the environmental and health consequences of biofuels, we must look well beyond the tailpipe to how and    where biofuels are produced. Clearly, upstream emissions matter,” Hill says.

“Green” has become a pixie dust that changes anything it touches into something no longer questionable as to its economic quality or its usefulness.   Putting doggie doodoo into a bag and calling it “green” may make some folks feel good but it has no value to me as a pillow.

H/T Glenn Beck

January 11, 2009

Drill Here, Drill Now Tues…er, Sunday – 1/11/2009

(H/T for the new news – Amanda Carpenter, H/T for the DHDNT concept – Jessi Olson)

My gas price – $1.879 just outside the bunker

Why do I have a special Sunday edition of Drill Here, Drill Now? It’s because Senate Majority Leader Dingy Harry Reid (D-OPEC) and 65 of his fellow members of the bipartisan Party-In-Government used their first floor vote of the session to lock up the not-yet-developed energy-rich land to the tune of $10 billion. Even though that’s supposedly short of a veto (which I hope would happen if this shows up before noon Eastern 1/20), the fact that there were several ‘Rats missing in action means that my prediction in the Weekend Scramble that the pork would net a veto-proof majority came through.

There is one place left to stop this, and thanks to San Fran Nan’s (D-CA) machinations, it is likely that the House will join the Senate in not allowing any minority-written amendments.

January 6, 2009

Drill Here, Drill Now Tuesdays – 1/6/2009

by @ 12:15. Tags:
Filed under Energy.

This was started by Jessi Olson back when gas was over $4/gallon. Despite the fact that gas is currently under $2/gallon, I’ll continue to do this on a more-or-less regular basis until the underlying message sinks into the collective cement blocks that pass for heads amongst the members of the bipartisan Party-In-Government.

My price for gas – $1.899/gallon outside the bunker

Today, I will focus on a different aspect of oil – heating oil. As I type, heating oil is rocketing off the floor of about $1.20/gallon established last month, up to a current level of $1.64/gallon. Yes, that is below where it was this time last year (somewhere around $2.60/gallon), and well below the mid-summer spike of about $4.15/gallon, but that drop was a result of the temporary opening of places like the outer continental shelf to oil exploration. The Democrats are already sharpening their knives to slay that opening, and the current surge in oil and gas prices is proof we are still at the ragged-high edge of the demand/supply-price curve.

Worse, Ed Morrissey passes along a report that friend-to-the-Left Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will no longer be sending his suitable-only-for-heavy-oils-like-heating-oil crude over here for “free”. The cynical side of me says that won’t return because he got what he wanted out of that “investment”; kindred spirits in charge of everything. Even if I weren’t cynical, the fact remains that CITGO isn’t in the charity business anymore at a time when costs are going up.

Do you really want to be dependent on the whims of a tyrant who can’t even keep his own country powered? If not, then I have three words for you – “Drill baby, drill!”

November 19, 2008

Drill Here, Drill Now Tuesdays – Special Wednesday edition – 11/19/2008

by @ 14:26. Tags:
Filed under Energy.

This was started by Jessi Olson of Wake Up America back when most of the country was off-limits to oil exploration. I’ve sort of fallen off the wagon once the off-shore ban expired, and really fell off after the election.

Price of regular unleaded in south-suburban Milwaukee – $1.899

There is actually some hopeful news today, which is why I brought this thing in from the dustbin. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Interior Department has finalized the rules for opening up the Mountain West’s oil shale reserves. Royalties will start at 5%, then increase by 1 point a year after the 5th year of commercial exploitation to the standard 12.5%. Also, 49% of those royalties will be shared with the state in which a particular mine is.

Naturally, the no-drill crowd is all up in arms, but at least they have to actively reverse course now to get oil back up their dream of $140+/bbl and gas to their $4-$10/gallon dream.

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