Showing posts for "Natural Gas"
People looking for a way that natural gas could break oil’s stranglehold on the U.S. transport system typically run into forbidding limits. Gas could be used to run power plants that would charge electric cars, but those cars are currently too expensive for most drivers. Gas could be compressed and used directly in automobiles, but limited range and fueling infrastructure are big barriers. Natural gas could also be converted into gasoline or diesel, but the costs and risks of building plants can scare investors. Read more »
A story on NPR yesterday morning, “The Downsides of Living in an Oil Boomtown,” had an interesting portrait of the economic effects of high oil prices and booming oil production on Williston, North Dakota. The frenzied pace of job creation has led to high wages but also high turnover. A leap in demand for local goods like housing has caused massive inflation in housing prices and day care services. A similar story could be told of many other rural communities in states like Pennsylvania and Texas where the ramp up in oil and gas drilling activity has been a sudden shock on an otherwise rather static business scene. Read more »
Earlier today, the Department of Energy released a long-awaited (and long-delayed) study on the macroeconomic impacts of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. The study, prepared by the consultants NERA, is the most in depth look at the economics of LNG exports published to date. That means it’s long, and will take a while to digest. Here are a few quick observations and context. I’ll write another post later on differences between the NERA results and what I reported in my own LNG exports study earlier this year. Read more »
The annual United Nations climate talks got underway in Doha, Qatar on Monday.
In a piece for the CFR website, I walk through the issues on the table, and offer some thoughts on U.S. strategy. The title of the piece – “A Transitional Climate Summit in Doha” – is a pretty good summary. After three years of high tension and high stakes summits, Doha will almost certainly be more mellow, though no climate conference would be complete without a few fireworks toward the end. Read the whole piece for more. Read more »
A massive cyberattack this summer on Saudi Aramco, Riyadh’s energy giant, left some 30,000-plus of the company’s computers lifeless, making a rather futuristic threat to the oil and gas industry front page news. U.S. Secretary of Defenese Leon Panetta called the attack “probably the most destructive…that the business sector has seen to date.” The Saudis weren’t the only targets. RasGas, a Qatari natural gas company, was also hit. Months later, investigators are still trying to get to the bottom of what happened, and more importantly, why it did, and what can stop it from happening again. Read more »
In a post earlier this week, I argued that people who want serious action on climate change will need to build bipartisan coalitions, which will require accepting oil and gas development. Most of the responses were encouraging, but one type of reaction was not. It came from proponents of oil and gas development, and went something like this: “Great post. But the United States can’t do anything about climate change because [it’s too expensive][renewable energy sucks][China won’t act][etc]”. Read more »
The ongoing fight over whether shale gas operations are leaking dangerous amounts of methane – a question that many have called critical to determining whether shale gas is good or bad – has suffered from a paucity of data. That’s why a much talked about study, authored by thirty scientists (mostly from NOAA) and published in early February, made such big waves: it was the first (and remains the only) study to estimate shockingly high emissions based on actual observations in the field (data was collected in Colorado in 2008). Read more »
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions for January-May are down six percent from 2011 to 2012. Headlines have highlighted the fact that emissions from January-March hit a twenty year low. What explains the shift?
That question has been the subject of intense debate. John Hanger argues that 77 percent of that decline can be attributed to the shift from coal to gas. The folks over at CO2Scorecard, looking at January-March data, put that number at a more modest 21 percent. These are drastically different figures. What number should we believe? Read more »
The ongoing debate over whether to allow liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports has featured a recurrent theme: people insist that the gas would be better used within the United States. “We will go down,” T. Boone Pickens has written, “as the dumbest generation ever if we export our clean, cheap, abundant supplies of natural gas in favor of dirtier, more expensive OPEC oil.” In a letter to the editor today responding to my op-ed on the subject of a couple weeks ago, Bob Bailey writes, “We finally have an alternative to foreign oil in the form of natural gas, and Mr. Levi wants to ship it overseas. I’m confused. Why don’t we keep this resource here? Use it here?” Read more »
Energy, Security, and Climate examines policy challenges surrounding energy, security, and climate change.