American production is at a record high — it’s time to brag
Working in the gas energy sector my company has a weird relationship with oil politics.
On one hand gas/oil bad which should make us favor Republicans, but on the other hand... renewables and restrictions on Coal have really helped my company out. Gas turbines are really the only practical sources of peak demand with renewables. Yes I know in 30-years or so, we will be out of business unless there is a break through with Hydrogen. (New gas turbines are designed with the potential to run hydrogen)
I work maintenance on gas power plants, and we are struggling to hire enough technicians to work our outages. This October we are at 120% demand (jobs to personnel). Next spring will be our busiest year ever.
Anyway, if anyone knows young kids who want to go into blue collar technical work... there are high paying jobs!
I work in the Gulf South with pipeline / salt cavern storage. The issue with "cavern homogeneity" the Employ America piece lays out is a real concern.
While salt cavern wells can / do get deinventoried and have products swapped...product contamination is always huge concern and one of the pathways for contamination here is the "brine" utilized to empty / fill the well.
Typically in a salt cavern, you have to keep *something* in the well when it is not full of oil...and that thing is brine (salt saturated water). This keeps well from leaching out (less than saturated water from eating away at salt walls of wells in an unpredictable way). If you are storing sour crude in these wells, it's not unlikely that some sulfur contamination will contaminate your brine source / storage. Since the brine for multiple wells is typically consolidated across multiple wells, you risk contaminating a "sweet" well that is utilizing the same brine as a sour well. To manage two types of wells without risk of contamination, you likely need two segregated brine systems to reduce these odds. My educated prior is it would be easier to swap one of the four "hubs" completely over to sweet crude rather than try to swap a handful of the wells at each site.
Another additional question I had which the Employ America piece does not address. Given the historical nature of the SPR only servicing "sour crude" to refineries utilizing sour crude, it's an open question whether the pipeline connections / pathways exist such that the sweet crude can get to the reserve from all potential customers who might sell to the SPR, etc. If suddenly the hub nearest to your refinery doesn't service "sour" crude anymore, only sweet...you suddenly provide no value to the sour crude folks in the region.
How many left wing voters would stay home or vote for a third party if Biden becomes out and proud about encouraging oil drilling? In a normal cycle, I would worry that environmental activists are the kind of feckless idealists who would happily throw away their votes. This year, Trump’s authoritarian tendencies should unite the left. Soccer moms who think Trump is icky but need cheap gas for their SUVs are a bigger constituency than neo-pastoralists who would heighten the contradictions to destroy the economy.
Interesting to read this after reading yesterday that the "Biden Administration to Bar Drilling on Millions of Acres in Alaska drilling in Alaska" including canceling leases signed by Trump. It's very possible that those leases were a bad idea and blocking further exploration there is good. But the messaging contrast between what is advocated in this article and that NYT article is strong.
It would be good to have a vocal leader on the left who had the charisma and rhetorical chops to essentially tell the keep-it-in-the-ground crowd that they live in fantasyland.
Just about everything around you in modern society is based on petroleum products, inside your home, your car, the planes you fly on, the electronics you rely on (Matt’s short list left off biggies like plastics and chemicals). If an influential president could prompt the Thunbergian left to grow up a little bit maybe future presidents wouldn’t have to play this rhetorical shell game.
Would not the "announcement" also be a good time to very publicly approve some "controviertial pipeline project, like the WV-new England gas pipeline, reneging on which was: another Schumer F---up?
I largely agree with you in the short term. However, the idea that we can achieve decarbonization just by funding research and some fleet standards is implausible.
The policy you are suggesting sends private enterprise the clear signal that: oil products will stay cheap in the long term. That means the only places where non-carbon products will replace carbon ones are the places where oil is luckily the more expensive option *intrinsically* and we are running out of the low hanging fruit. Oil is a fucking great fuel source so it would be crazy if it turned out just not to make sense to dig up that shit in the ground that's super useful and energy dense.
Ultimately, unless you apply so much subsidy you've effectively implemented a shit carbon tax I don't see how you can hope to hit carbon goals w/o a carbon tax.
Though I also don't understand why it would be so hard to get a deal on a carbon tax if you offer to do it revenue nuetral and cut whatever taxes buisness/GOP hate in exchange. I get the distrust of environmentalists and environmentalism. I felt it so strongly growing up I demanded my biology teacher offer my extra credit to write a letter to my congresspeople opposing saving the rain forest (just bc I felt like I was being fed a story w/o counterpoints). But if you think your getting something just as good who cares? Your still exchanging a tax w/ negative externality for one with a non-negative one.
Not sure how literal you were being about this, but the short version is that sour crude contains more sulfur, much of it in the form of hydrogen sufide, H2S. H2S is an acid, and acids are literally sour (see: lemons). The sulfur compounds are also corrosive and need to be removed with additional and/or different equipment at refineries.
Note that China produces 52% of global carbon emissions, burns 2 billion tons of coal a year (many times our total), is planning to increase its coal production by 300 million tons in the next five years, and is building 250 gigawatts of new coal-fired generating capacity. India and Indonesia are coming up fast behind.
So basically nothing we or the rest of the developed world does matters dick, as far as the climate is concerned. We’re helpless.
Have a nice, warm day.
The Biden Admin acts as if different departments are run by outside groups with different interests. So far this year, I’ve reviewed two proposed regs BLM and CEQ that make it harder for renewable buildout.. I wrote DOE media to see if they had reviewed these regs, they never answered.
Also I’m not dubious, but a source for more “oil and gas production from federal land” is not in the piece in the link. As was said above the Admin is busily making new decisions that restrict or don’t allow o&g drilling in almost every state. Biden tried to not allow leasing, but the courts determined that it was illegal to do so; of course campaign promises don’t have to be legal. The Alaska decision yesterday is the first but perhaps not the last to rescind existing leases. Bottom line, I disagree that Biden can campaign on this.. “we’re just cutting off tomorrow’s sources, but we’re really all of the above.”
I think a decent number of people (myself included) are literally worried about his health. It also seems likely that the lack of public presence is downstream, not upstream from the health question. Luckily he’s probably running against a 78 year old obese man, so it’s not a bigger issue.
I think that the messaging is tricky here. Biden is trying to both tout the clean energy aspects of his policy and not give Republicans an opening around high energy prices. This isn't just placating lefty environmental groups. Climate policy will probably be one of the Biden Administration's biggest legacies. That spending is intended to win over at least some cross-pressured voters by investing in industry. They're clearly interested in making a big deal out of it.
Dealing with the SPR and production to deal with short term energy price spikes makes sense, but it muddies this message to any voters sophisticated enough to have a strong opinion about emissions. Why are we doing this climate spending and boosting oil production? Matt makes a coherent case for it, but I don't think there's as much upside to leading with it as Matt thinks. I think most of the truly economy-focused voters are mostly just gonna look at gas price fluctuations.
I'd like to see making Saudi Arabia hurt become more of the solution. I don't know what our leverage is, but trying to be their friend isn't working.
Voters don't care about strategy. They care about how much gas costs them today. Today, gas is expensive, which means today is a bad day to talk about oil. Biden should keep his trap shut, quietly try to do something to lower gas prices, and let the Republican spat over the CR take up all the attention.
I think Matt has been drinking some sort of liberal Kool-Aid these days. Joe Biden has taken a moderate approach because of this strange thing called Reality. If he took the left wing Schumer approach to destroying the oil industry, we would have $9 per gallon gas and you could guarantee Trump 2.0 in 2024.
There is no way he can tout his moderate approach, or his left base will get all pissed off. I don't think he wants to tout his moderate approach, it is a compromise forced upon him by the reality of the world we live in. So instead he lets the oil flow and lets his administration illegally pull some drilling leases that were already signed, sealed, and delivered like they just did in Alaska. Those make news, while the flow of oil continues. Seems like smart politics to me, but it isn't what he wants to tout by any stretch.
Unfortunately, catering to normie moderates appears to be a thing of the past.
The political problem with this message is probably more the money giving elements of Biden's coalition. Both large donors and small are motivated by the oil companies are evil message, and I assume they are trying to build their war chest right now. But, assuming Trump starts winning primaries that should take care of itself.
And, I think selling it as promoting energy abundance, energy independence and price stability would be a good general election message.