Tag Archives: Oil and Gas

GAO study: EPA regulations will kill coal plant jobs and raise energy prices

From CNS News.


New regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency will lead to the closure of older, coal-fired power plants and boost electricity prices in some parts of the country, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

The GAO, at the behest of Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), reviewed a host of information from government sources such as the EPA and Energy Information Agency (EIA) as well as private energy-sector forecasters to determine the likely impact of four new EPA regulations aimed at coal-fired power plants.

[…]GAO found that as many as 12 percent of coal-fired power plants may be closed because the EPA regulations make it too expensive for power companies to operate them, despite coal being one of world’s cheapest fuels.

“It is uncertain how power companies may respond to four key Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, but available information suggests companies may retrofit most coal-fueled generating units with controls to reduce pollution, and that 2 to 12 percent of coal-fueled capacity may be retired,” GAO said.

These changes – either installing expensive retrofits or closing power plants – will drive up electricity prices by as much as 13.5 percent in some areas of the country.

“Available information suggests these actions would likely increase electricity prices in some regions,” GAO said. “Regarding prices, the studies GAO reviewed estimated that increases could vary across the country, with one study projecting a range of increases from 0.1 percent in the Northwest to an increase of 13.5 percent in parts of the South more dependent on electricity generated from coal.”

Coal is the country’s single-largest source of electricity, accounting for 42 percent of power generation in 2011, GAO reported.

[…]The regulations at issue were all put in place by President Obama’s EPA to deal with power plant emissions and industrial waste called coal ash, the byproduct of burning coal.

This is another issue to communicate to everyone who will be voting in November. We already have price inflation from rising gas prices due to insufficient energy production at home, as well as currency inflation from several rounds of money printing and debt monetization. If we have to add to that higher electricity costs, then we really will be in trouble.

New CBO study: lifting drilling restrictions would increase U.S. energy reserves by 30%

From CNS News.


 A report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that lifting the ban on federal oil drilling in certain areas could increase U.S. petroleum reserves by 30 percent, including an estimated 8 billion barrels of oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Using estimates from the Department of the Interior (DOI), CBO said that lifting federal drilling restrictions could bring billions more barrels of oil and gas to market.

“CBO estimates that about 175 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) exists in undiscovered oil and gas reserves on federal lands (excluding most of the natural gas reserves in Alaska)—nearly half of it in the central and western parts of the Gulf of Mexico,” CBO said.

“About 70 percent of the undiscovered oil and gas is under federal control on lands that are currently open to leasing; thus, additional receipts would come from opening the other 30 percent to leasing and production.”

Thus, by lifting federal drilling bans in place in areas like ANWR and areas of the Outer Continental Shelf, oil-producing companies could gain access to an additional 30 percent of U.S. reserves – 52.5 billion barrels.

While the reserves are technically recoverable – meaning oil companies could extract the oil and gas — legal restrictions and current administration policies prohibit oil companies from doing so.

CBO excluded most of Alaska’s gas reserves because there is no infrastructure in place to transport the gas to market, a fact CBO said made them unlikely to be tapped.

The figures come from an August 9 CBO report examining the benefits the federal government would receive if it lifted all current drilling bans on federal lands, including ANWAR.

All that oil would create a lot of jobs, too. But we know from the last four years that the Obama administration has no interest in either producing more energy or creating jobs. Otherwise, they would have built the Keystone XL pipeline and lifted these restrictions on drilling.

EPA administrator boasts about crucifying oil and gas firms

Tom sent me this article from CNS News.


Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) took to the Senate floor today to draw attention to a video of a top EPA official saying the EPA’s “philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies – just as the Romans crucified random citizens in areas they conquered to ensure obedience.

Inhofe quoted a little-watched video from 2010 of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official, Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz, admitting that EPA’s “general philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies.

In the video, Administrator Armendariz says:

“I was in a meeting once and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement, and I think it was probably a little crude and maybe not appropriate for the meeting, but I’ll go ahead and tell you what I said:

“It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean.  They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them.

“Then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”

“It’s a deterrent factor,” Armendariz said, explaining that the EPA is following the Romans’ philosophy for subjugating conquered villages.

Soon after Armendariz touted the EPA’s “philosophy,” the EPA began smear campaigns against natural gas producers, Inhofe’s office noted in advance of today’s Senate speech:

“Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

“In all three of these cases, EPA initially made headline-grabbing statements either insinuating or proclaiming outright that the use of hydraulic fracturing by American energy producers was the cause of water contamination, but in each case their comments were premature at best – and despite their most valiant efforts, they have been unable to find any sound scientific evidence to make this link.”

We want to be careful with environmental regulations so that we don’t hurt job creators. We need to work to have money, and we shouldn’t have to give up our prosperity in order to make a few bureaucrats feel as if they are “saving the world”.