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Natural Gas Exports: To Counter Russia?

The new push to export American natural gas and fracking technology to undercut Russia. We look at the new Great Game.

A monument to Ukrainian poet and writer Taras Shevchenko is silhouetted against an apartment building with a sign advertising Russia's natural gas giant Gazprom, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Russia's state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom said Tuesday it will cancel a price discount on gas it sells to Ukraine.  (AP)

A monument to Ukrainian poet and writer Taras Shevchenko is silhouetted against an apartment building with a sign advertising Russia’s natural gas giant Gazprom, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Russia’s state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom said Tuesday it will cancel a price discount on gas it sells to Ukraine. (AP)

Russian energy – its natural gas and pipelines – give it a big stick over Ukraine and Europe.  A lot of leverage.  But the U.S. suddenly has a lot of natural gas too – a flood unleashed in a handful of boom years of fracking.  Now, with Russian troops all over and around Crimea and Ukraine, the call has gone up for the United States to unleash American natural gas exports and cut Russia’s energy leverage down to size.  Environmentalists say watch out.  American manufacturers, too – warning of higher prices.  But the push is on.  This hour On Point:  the push for an American gas export juggernaut.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Russell Gold, senior energy reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Author of “The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World.” (@RussellGold)

Jason Bordoff, director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. Former special assistant to the President and senior director for energy and climate change on the staff of the National Security Council. (@JasonBordoff)

Carl Pope, principal at Inside Straight Strategies. Former executive director of the Sierra Club. Author of “Strategic Ignorance: Why The Bush Administration is Recklessly Destroying a Century of Environmental Progress.” (@CarlPope)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: At Energy Confab, Oil Chiefs Fret Over Costs — “The result: companies are competing for the same service contractors, engineers and equipment, causing lengthy delays and ballooning costs. Rob Franklin, Exxon Mobil’s president of gas and power marketing, estimates the cost of big gas projects has quadrupled over the past few years.”

New York Times: U.S. Hopes Boom in Natural Gas Can Curb Putin — “The administration’s strategy is to move aggressively to deploy the advantages of its new resources to undercut Russian natural gas sales to Ukraine and Europe, weakening such moves by Mr. Putin in future years. Although Russia is still the world’s biggest exporter of natural gas, the United States recently surpassed it to become the world’s largest natural gas producer, largely because of breakthroughs in hydraulic fracturing technology, known as fracking.”

 

Huffington Post: The Trade Elephant in the Climate Room — “How, Trumka asked, can the United States negotiate a new round of global trade agreements, led by the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with the environmental provisions which make no mention of climate change, the world’s biggest environmental challenge? The current trade model, Trumka points out, pretends that moving emissions from one country to another solves the climate problem — another form of climate denial, but one that lacks even the honesty to admit that it is denial”

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  • Dual citizenship is treason

    Unbelievable here in Pennytucky they frack for gas everywhere Now our govt
    wants to export it ? And give Billions of dollars to Ukraine to pay
    Russia for a over due Nat. gas bill While shutting our VETS,Children and
    poor people’s gas off right here at home ?

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    At the first sign of possible energy independence or at least reduced energy dependence upon mostly hostile foreign governments, we are considering exporting our natural gas? Even though I believe in capitalism, I would propose that we consider natural gas a strategic resource. To the extent that our current domestic consumption underruns supply/production, keep the gas in the ground until we need it. It is like money in the bank. I know and personally benefit from current low prices as I heat my home/water/cook with natural gas, but prices will eventually rise and producers will get their investment back with a satisfactory return. Let’s take a longer term view for a change. Also, if we start exporting natural gas, is it just going to lead to price increases in the U.S., which will hurt American consumers and lead to lower economic activity here? In the meantime, assuming that fracking technology is safe, we now have American expertise in an exportable service and can create jobs (albeit ones that work overseas) rather than simply exporting natural resources like less developed countries do.

    • Bluejay2fly

      You may have hit the nail on the head. You said ” I know and personally benefit from low (nat gas) prices” Perhaps exporting nat gas is a way for our companies to make more money and raise domestic rates as supply becomes depleted. Just a thought.

      • jimino

        “Perhaps exporting nat gas is a way for our companies to make more money and raise domestic rates as supply becomes depleted.”

        Substitute “petroleum” for “nat gas” and you have the main reason for building the XL pipeline.

      • Don_B1

        You nailed it. When the fracking industry first ran into natural gas prices so low they were shutting down recently drilled wells because the price was too low to cover the extraction costs (with the exorbitant profits they considered “required”), they started pushing for port development to support terminals to ship LNG abroad. This is just their latest excuse.

        As soon as exporting LNG becomes large enough, the price of natural gas will go back up toward the $12/thousand cubic feet from the recent range under $4.

        • sickofthechit

          Their push to cap wells once drilled is a matter of economics. The leases are for 5 or 10 years. Any leases that have to be re-negotiated will be more costly so the quicker they can get them drilled and producing they are able to lock them in at the pre-boom lease price. They don’t have to keep them continuously producing, just that they produced some gas.

          It’s the loss of our water that we will regret the most. We are idiots. Me included.

  • John Cedar

    They will need permission from the EPA first.
    How is Al Gore going to make money off from this?
    Use Clinton’s selling of strategic oil reserves, as a road map for the process of rewarding your political friends.

    On a rating of 1-10, how important is Ukrainian independence to the US?
    Apparently important enough to accelerate anthropogenic mass extinction. Why? Because Ukrainians don’t have a lot of skin pigment.

    • Don_B1

      Who says Al Gore wants to make money off this?

      Adding this sentence just discredits your whole post, as it identifies you as a non-thinking, bumper-sticker repeating ideologue.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Can’t we just worry about ourselves?

    • Ray in VT

      That would be nice in an ideal world, but I don’t think that we really have that option in the here and now.

  • Coastghost

    That bossy Sheryl Sandberg, I can’t–oh wait, this IS a show about exporting natural gas, right?
    Well, if we ban “bossy”, we’ll have to toss Sheryl herself, won’t we?

  • Jay

    The US is going to ship natural gas all the way to the Ukraine? That makes no sense at all. Why would the Ukraine agree to that when they can continue to get it from Russia, or when they can tap into their own newly discovered natural gas fields?

    • Don_B1

      The shipments will go to the countries that the pipes from Russia through Ukraine go to and where a Russian cutoff or price increase would cause economic problems.

      • Ray in VT

        I wonder how many of the NG pipelines go through the Ukraine. If it is substantial, then could Ukraine hamper the gas flow and hurt Russia economically. Although Europe might not be too happy about such a move. It might be a bit of leverage that Ukraine could use.

        • Don_B1

          Most of the NG pipelines run through Ukraine. A pipeline was recently built just north of Ukraine to provide an alternate route, but it has to go through Lithuania.

          • Ray in VT

            And the Baltic states seem to be looking warily at Russia these days. Lithuania may not be willing to help Russia out, but they may not be willing to do anything to antagonize it either.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Teach Europe to frack so they can develop their own reserves. A much better long term solution vs. developing expensive LNG resources for US exports.

    • Don_B1

      Europe may not have the geology to support natural gas fracking as is possible in the U.S. Remember the shortage of gas and oil in Europe before WWII and the big drive by the German government to find alternatives, synthetic fuels, etc.?

  • Jeff

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe Norway already exports much of the natural gas and oil supply into the rest of Europe. Perhaps many of the European nations should re-examine their view of shale oil and start extracting it in the same way were are doing here in the US. Once they’ve done that and they still have a major shortfall I could see sending Europe some of the natural gas from the US, but let them exploit their own sources first.

    • Don_B1

      The fracking companies in the U.S. don’t see it that way. They just want to find more customers for their natural gas and want the U.S. taxpayer to subsidize the shipment to those new customers with new port facilities. They see this as a great excuse to do what they have wanted to do since the oversupply drove the sales price below the extraction costs. They feel they need to get the wells drilled now before the people affected by the wells get their act together and get regulation passed in state legislatures.

      • Bluejay2fly

        That sounds incredibly naive and paranoid BUT is very likely true. Well done.

        • Don_B1

          See sickofthechit’s response to my response to an earlier comment from you.

  • hackerkat

    “Not mentioned by any of the commentators touting the U.S. natural gas “weapon” is that U.S. natural gas imports for 2013 were about 2.88 tcf or about 11 percent of U.S. consumption. So, let me see if I understand this: The plan seems to be to import more so we can export more. And this would change exactly what in the worldwide supply picture?”
    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-03-09/ukraine-russia-and-the-nonexistent-u-s-oil-and-natural-gas-weapon

    • Don_B1

      There are regions of the U.S. without pipelines, such as New England, which get LNG from abroad. The cost of building additional pipelines is deemed uneconomic at the current low NG prices.

      So the excess of fracked NG in Pennsylvania (Marcellus shale), etc. does not get to NE, and some other isolated areas, but the fracking companies would like to export that excess to the world, as many fracked wells have been shut down because they are not economic at the low prices that existed a year or more ago. Some will be brought back as current higher prices stabilize or increase.

      • MrNutso

        There is a move to transport LNG over rail like Bakken crude is being done.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        “The cost of building additional pipelines is deemed uneconomic at the current low NG prices.”

        Huh? That statement makes no sense.
        First, the cost of natural gas IN New England is already very high. If the shipped cost of gas is ‘low enough then demand will go up.

        btw – there are several pipeline projects for NE in the works. There is concern that they are not enough to meet the demand.

        • Don_B1

          True on the likelihood that the current pipelines planned will not be enough to meet demand.

          The current high cost in NE is because the NG comes in as LNG on tankers. But the NE demand is volatile and it is the peak and above average demand that they do not want to build pipelines to meet.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    There was a report on NPR last week that said the USA imports 5% of the natural gas it uses from Russia. Why is this the case if we have so much extra NG that we could export it to the EU to replace the NG that they get from Russia if Russia shuts them off in response to sanctions?

  • StilllHere

    Obama is clearly behind this effort to export US natural gas as a desperate way to engender the rspcet he believe Putin owes him.

    • Don_B1

      The effort to build and increase export facilities for LNG was underway long before the current incentive developed, beginning at or even before the price of fracked natural gas went below $3/cfm.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    All energy received is either stored or consumed {pretty quickly turned to heat}. No free lunch.*

    And energy that is stored has no “value” until it’s consumed. Save for the energy insulating the bellies of fat Americans. {value = $}

    Registered Professional Electrical Engineer

    *2nd Law of Thermodynamics

  • MarkVII88

    I read an article recently that said US exports about 75% of its domestically produced propane, a giant increase in recent years. Evidently countries like Japan will pay much more for propane than suppliers can sell it for in the US. That, coupled with the high levels of propane usage by midwestern farms to dry out crops during the wet weather early this past year has led to skyrocketing prices for heating propane here in New England this winter. The prices for heating propane have jumped so high this winter that Congressional Delegations from some Northern States have proposed steps to prevent such exports going forward. What’s to say that the same won’t happen to natural gas in the next few years??? Energy companies will ALWAYS pursue the tactics that will help them make more money.
    http://vtdigger.org/2014/02/05/mike-ryan-propane-now-export-profit-vermonters/

    http://vtdigger.org/2014/02/18/delegation-calls-halt-propane-exports-response-rising-prices/

  • MrNutso

    How about if Europe including Ukraine goes whole hog into fracking for gas and oil, and after they bring themselves up to the same level of bespoiling the environment as is in the U.S., then we can talk about exporting natural gas.

  • Yar

    Energy is a proxy for a global currency, we should tie wages to the cost of energy. More exports means more inflation here in America.

  • kraigrichard

    What about Russia investing money lobbying and advertising in the US about those dangers of fracking and ill health effects.
    Israeli lobbyist and propaganda work torwads goals not consistent with our administration, why doesn’t Moscow also start contributing to media coffers?

    • StilllHere

      The RT network has been giving voice to anti-fracturing nutjobs, even more than NPR. It’s clear what sort of manipulation Moscow is undertaking here.

      • Steve__T

        What? mass hypnosis.

      • jimino

        I’m especially upset by those “nutjobs” who are so concerned that fracking has resulted in their tap water being flammable. What a bunch of whiners.

  • northeaster17

    So there may be a supply crisis. Dig baby dig. Drill baby drill. How about conservation? It’s a feeding frenzy right now. The big money is about to be made. Think it through

    • TFRX

      “Drill baby drill”?

      Stop picking on poor Sarah Palin by reminding everyone what an intellectually uncurious cipher she is.

      (I hope you can tell I’m deadpanning here.)

      • MrNutso

        But she can see Russian gas from her front porch.

        • TFRX

          Now that’s what I call a powerful Borscht belt!

  • Yar

    There is no environmentally safe way to put more CO2 into our air. Just because others are doing it doesn’t make it right.

    • Bluejay2fly

      We cannot have everything. We either should have chosen to be environmentally sound or mega rich. We chose the latter. On the bright side you can go buy your child 30 plastic toys made in China for next to nothing.

      • Yar

        Makes me wonder how single cell organisms ever learned to form communities that had an evolutionary advantage. Maybe we are simply close to the end of a cycle.

        • Bluejay2fly

          We may have got it wrong with all our conspicuous consumption and global interventionism ,but there are other humans in other countries and other times that had or have better priorities than we do. We were just a tragic choice to be #1.

          • Yar

            The worst aspect of it is that the rest of the world aspires to be like us.

          • Bluejay2fly

            That is the greatest tragedy of them all. If we had been ecologically minded like the Native Americans and worked diligently towards social justice what an example we could have been. America could have been the greatest nation that ever lived solving the worlds problems instead of adding to them exponentially. We should start firing vessels full of our music, fashion, visual arts, etc. into space so it won’t be a complete waste when it is game over for the planet we helped destroy.

          • Yar

            I love the idea of turning Viktor Yanukovych’s mansion into a museum of greed.

          • Bluejay2fly

            We have an entire city dedicated to that.

          • Yar

            Yes, if Detroit was Crimea, they would join Canada.

          • Ray in VT

            Blame Canada!

      • sickofthechit

        Where’s money if I am mega rich?

        • Steve__T

          When one measures wealth with money, one is truly poor no matter how much money you have.

        • Bluejay2fly

          I went to the local grocers and noticed blueberries which were not very expensive were from the South Pacific. My winter hat came from Vietnam. Both items could have been sourced locally. We have the money to afford the oil and the ships to transport those items.

  • Bluejay2fly

    What we should have had many years ago was a partnership with the government and the educational, energy, and healthcare industries ,but that was SOCIALISM. Despite claiming it is capitalism and free market we acted like “socialism” by providing all sorts of secret financing, tax breaks, and subsidies which leads to record profits with no accountability. Now we have a system where millions are without private medical insurance because it is unaffordable (but Uncle Sam pays for Medicare, Medicaid), a terrible energy policy which gives us expensive foreign commitments (see Iraq) and disasters like the Exon Valdez, Deep Horizon, etc, and a local financing system for education which makes a 40K a year family pay 6K in school and property tax for a HS diploma that is useless. Our government was bought out by these industries and now only works in their interests at the expense of the many to enrich the few. We may have the worst national energy policy, public educational system, and healthcare system ,but thank God we aren’t like those socialist ****** in Europe!

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    We cannot offset Russia, because we cannot practically supply LNG to Europe.

    We need to move in the opposite direction, by moving as rapidly as possible to renewable energy and become truly energy independent.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      When the sun blows out, we’ll discover what it means to be energy independent. HLB

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        … yes – 5 Billion years from now …

      • DeJay79

        ok so HLB this is a joke right? sorry but somtimes I have to ask with all the crazy stuff some people say on here.

  • adks12020

    I’ve heard that in Europe land most owners don’t hold the mineral rights to the lands they own (the state does) and that is one of the reasons fracking is having difficulty gaining traction there. Does anyone know if there is truth to that? In the U.S. landowners can simply sell those rights to the private companies which is part of what is driving the boom in production. If people can’t do that in Europe then it would make sense that they need to import it.

    • MrNutso

      The only issue regarding ownership is how much energy companies have to pay for the mineral rights/royalties. European governments may be charging higher fees. That might be a good thing. In Pennsylvania, there are a lot of property owners who are find that their royalties are $0, because the energy companies are deducting costs before calculating royalties. I think the state AG is looking into these agreements.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I don’t care about the US trade deficit. I only care about what I pay for energy sources, mostly natural gas. I’m a consumer of products not a global gangster, like US Senator Barrasso.

  • Art Toegemann

    Russian or American is not the problem. These political intrigues are the result of poor energy policies.The problem is solved already by solar panels. Solar panels were invented in the 194os. It is now a rapidly growing industry and providing the energy needed

    • Bluejay2fly

      Solar power always had branding issues. Jimmy Carter put them on the White House and guess who ripped them off.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Where are you? I’ll hop into my solar car and meet you at Starbucks for a latte. My treat.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        My family has 3 EV’s and 2 of them are solar powered via a rooftop solar PV system.

        • StilllHere

          Good to know the 1% is represented here. Back in the real world …

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Not really. Their investment will pay for itself in less than 10 years, and they will pay less than 1¢ per mile of driving, including regular maintenance.

          • Ray in VT

            Now, don’t be talkin’ no sense. Why would I want to make an investment that pays off over time when I can have something cheap up front that costs me more in the long run?

          • harverdphd

            Here’s a clue…it’s none of your business how someone spends her money

          • Ray in VT

            Very original. Feel free to whizz away whatever money you have that you care to. I will conserve mine in every way possible.

          • Don_B1

            Except when that someone’s spending destroys something of mine.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Investment in what? The solar panels? The EV? The combination of both?

            Here is the math posted of his charging/mileage results by a real Nissan Leaf owner. He pays $.17/kwh and gets 54 eMPG when gas is $3.30/gallon. A far cry from $.01/mile.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          How many miles do you get per day on solar only?

          I know the prius solar option is just to run a fan to keep your car ‘cool’ while baking in the parking lot. Nothing to do with propulsion.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I apologize – the rooftop I was referring to is on their house. Their electric bill is now a tiny fraction of what it was – and that includes driving their two cars.

            There *are* cars that are capable of being self sufficient with solar PV cells on the car itself, like the car dubbed STELLA built by a Dutch university. It seats 4 people and won the most recent race across Australia.

            But, these are not (yet) practical for road use, because of cost, and speed, among other things.

  • Yar

    Isn’t the same guys on both sides of the pond? Exxon is in Ukraine.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    U.S. Price of Natural Gas Delivered to Residential Consumers (Dollars per Thousand Cubic Feet)
    http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n3010us3a.htm

    Hoober Doober

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Wow. Carl Pope makes a great point. Using US domestic gas for trucks and vehicles will hurt Russia more. Also, using domestic gas for increased US manufacturing will create higher value US exports.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Parachuting investment bankers and attorneys behind enemy lines {Russia} will bring Putin to his knees. HD

      • Bluejay2fly

        Be better even if the chutes had a 75% dud rate.

    • Don_B1

      Actually, it already has, in that the reduction in imports of natural gas has reduced demand for natural gas in the rest of the world, leading to a reduction in its price.

  • georgepotts

    get the truckers on natural gas – brilliant idea

    • http://onanov.com Donald Baxter

      They’re dangerous enough running on diesel.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        And how does natural gas make them more dangerous?

        • http://onanov.com Donald Baxter

          isn’t natural gas more dangerous and difficult to control in the case of a tank rupture than diesel?

          • Ray in VT

            There may be some risks, but maybe not more than gas or diesel, at least if the tanks function properly.

            “The Department of Energy says vehicles powered by natural gas are as
            safe as conventional gasoline or diesel vehicles, and their pressurized
            tanks have been designed to withstand severe impact, temperature, and
            environmental exposure. CNG is lighter than air, so if fuel were to
            escape in a crash, it would evaporate rather than create a puddle under
            the car. While the gas is escaping the storage tank, it is highly
            volatile. But once the gas has evaporated, the fire danger is
            diminished.”

            http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/03/the-natural-gas-alternative/index.htm

          • http://onanov.com Donald Baxter

            That makes sense, thanks for the explanation.

          • Ray in VT

            You’re welcome. I wasn’t sure about safety, so I had to look it up.

        • sickofthechit

          It’s highly explosive, whereas diesel is not.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, that may depend. Liquid natural gas is supposed to be pretty volatile I think, but see below from Consumer Reports.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I thought LNG was too expensive for general vehicle deployment. I was assuming CNG.

          • Ray in VT

            LNG is just for ease of transport, isn’t it?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            LNG is denser but it takes energy and expensive equipment to liquify it. The only advantage to LNG is for range extension.

            The beauty of CNG is that it taps into the existing NG infrastructure and there are low barriers to creating filling stations where they are needed.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            This is just FUD. The energy density in electric car batteries is pretty scary too.

          • Don_B1

            Actually, it is explosive only in a narrow range of concentrations, where the mixture of the gas and atmosphere with 20% oxygen is too lean to explode below a low concentration and too rich above a higher concentration; for methane those limits are 5% and 15%.

            That is why the Hindenburg did not explode: the escaping gas burned as it escaped the gas bags.

  • sickofthechit

    “Frackings bad, UmKay”
    Mr. Macky (School Counselor, Southpark Elementary).
    charles a. bowsher

  • sickofthechit

    How much will our children have to pay for clean water when we destroy it all by mixing it with “fracking fluids”. charles a. bowsher

  • AliceOtter33

    Solar Power. Political will be damned.

    • StilllHere

      And when the sun don’t shine, deaths will lower the world overpopulation problem.

      • Ray in VT

        Are there some mass human die offs at night of which I am unaware?

        • BHA_in_Vermont

          Apparently ;-)

          There are some who are anti renewable that pick and choose.
          - Solar is no good because the sun does not shine 24×7
          - Wind won’t work because the wind does not blow 24×7.

          So let’s ignore:
          - geothermal
          - electricity storage

          all can be done.

      • AliceOtter33

        eh?

      • Bluejay2fly

        Less people the lower the demand for energy. I am all for a 2 Billion people planet

        • Yar

          Which 2?

          • Bluejay2fly

            We should have worked that out years ago by having every nation reduce its overpopulation. Instead, we will let fate decide and I guarantee that will not be fair.

  • reid rhodes

    Two things, note how commercials on NPR say brought to you by “America’s Natural Gas.”

    Also no mention about climate change? We need to cut fossil fuels out completely or else none of this balancing of Russia vs. the West matters, when all hell breaks loose with climate change.

    • Bluejay2fly

      Even if we went to zero carbon emissions wouldn’t the third world we helped upgrade to Western standards fill in that void anyway?

      • reid rhodes

        It certainly needs to be a global push, but that cannot be an excuse for the U.S. to not lead the way in green energy.

        • Bluejay2fly

          Yes, after getting there by burning coal, oil, and whatnot. Would that not anger a poor nation who sees a hypocrisy there? Go ahead and order China and India around and see where that goes. Yes, they are trying but their pollution level is still off the charts.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Climate change will likely have a disproportionate effect on poorer nations.

            We all live on the same planet, and if we expect to have a chance, we have to stop burning all fossil fuels.

          • Bluejay2fly

            Look at all the USELESS crap the average American buys at a big box store. Most if not all goes into the landfill in six months and those items were probably transported half way around the world. You need to start there. Clothes, furniture, houses, factories, food containers, cities, these are all disposable commodities in our society. It is way too late for us to find Jesus.

          • StilllHere

            If we can’t tell people what to buy with their food stamps, there’s no way we can tell them what to buy with their own money.

          • harverdphd

            Here’s a clue…it’s none of your business

        • harverdphd

          We don’t lead anymore…ask any liberal

  • DeJay79

    NO!, we should not frack to the max just so that we can help Europe depend less on Russia. Yes we should develop and sell clean energy tech to help the world get off Gas and Oil!!

  • sickofthechit

    Why can’t anyone make the parallel connection with depletion of the aquifers in Florida and sinkholes there, and destruction of vast amounts of shale under great pressure being pierced then turned to rubble, the pressure (gas) stored in the matrix of shale is then pumped out and the well is capped off with a much lower pressure (less support for the overburden) and the frackers move on to the next hole. We won’t wind up with sinkholes swallowing Corvettes, we will wind up with sinkholes swallowing cities and towns. Consider yourselves forewarned.
    Charles A. Bowsher

    • Bluejay2fly

      Maybe we could bury our cities that we abandoned. Any potential for losing big D?

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Because that doesn’t make money.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    If we could only harness the energy released in Obama’s golf swing and interminable speeches, the USA could be truly energy independent.. and clean. A win-win for everyone.

    Hoober Doober

    • Bluejay2fly

      George Bush’s and the GOPs idiocy could power the known universe.

      • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

        The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity. –Harlan Ellison

  • http://onanov.com Donald Baxter

    The Price of Sand: http://thepriceofsand.com/

  • Jay

    Even with the increased oil and natural gas production exports from the U.S., America’s top export is still debt.

  • TFRX

    “Fascinating that these anti-fracking demonstrations are so well-covered (on Russian TV).”

    Tom, it’s not that fascinating, except in the magic Beltway Inbred math wherein 400 left-wing demonstrators get the attention that one right-winger does.

    If you’re wondering how much our mainstream press has abandoned their proverbial post…

    • AliceOtter33

      What does this even mean?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    A clean energy ministry. More talk, less result.

    Hoober Doober

    • sickofthechit

      Don’t forget the “Department of Peace” we are still waiting for. charles a. bowsher.

  • Yar

    We have never held energy to the highest possible standard. We should put a use tax on all fossil energy to pay for past ‘crimes’. From the water in WV to BP’s oil spill, fixing the acid drainage off coal mines and ash ponds. The public reaped the rewards and should pay the cost.

    • harverdphd

      We did…

  • georgepotts

    Europe should put in more nuclear power plants

    • Jay

      Yeah, it worked so well at Chernobyl.

      • Bluejay2fly

        That was the result of a test that went wrong on very many levels. It did not explode as the result of normal everyday operations.

        • Jay

          I’m sure that all the people who died and were poisoned as a result, will feel much better after reading your blog.

          • Bluejay2fly

            Millions more died under other aspects of Soviet communism including the deception that took place in the aftermath. If done correctly it could be done safely ask the USN. They have had nuclear powered vessels since the 70′s and no accidents. Nuclear power is not ideal but fossil fuels with the many ocean spills has caused more damage.

          • Jay

            You’ve obviously never heard of the USS Scorpion.

          • Bluejay2fly

            She nor the USS Thresher were reactor related and as far as I know both sites are not creating any problems.

          • Jay

            How can a nuclear reactor from a sunken US submarine, that has been sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean for nearly 46 years, not have a negative impact?

          • Bluejay2fly

            Good question. Maybe not any worse than the hundreds of other vessels full of oil on the sea bottom. If I may change the topic I get your point. Personally, if the world thought like you it would be awesome ,but unfortunately, people are luxury loving and have no compassion about the terrible impact their lifestyle has on the environment. I wish more people were sustainable in that sense but they are not. I refuse to use my AC even when my house is 85. I think adding some discomfort into life would not undo the world.

      • jefe68

        Actually France derives over 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy.

        • brettearle

          But how safe are their reactors?

          Are they in denial as to how many are not up to new improvements and updated safety standards?

          • jefe68

            The French have an excellent safety record.

            By the way I’m not supporting nuclear energy, just pointing out that France has had a successful program for decades.

        • sickofthechit

          and now they think they are “solving” the storage issue by putting it thousands of feet below the surface.
          Wake up, nuclear is not an option because of it’s long range dangers that have not been solved.

          • jefe68

            Wake up… yeah, well I think we all need to wake up. Uh right now you’re using electricity that’s coming from some kind of fossil fuel and you don’t have to deal with brownouts or blackouts everyday.

            Are you prepared to do without electricity in the near future? Because that’s the direction we are moving in in this country.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Renewable energy can supply a sustainable abundance of electricity.

          • jefe68

            No it can’t as it’s now designed.

            I do agree that if we made some substantial investments in this area we could have a huge percentage of energy from renewables. The problem is our grid is antiquated and there is not enough investment to upgrade it. Without that happening renewables wont work as an alternative.

            In Europe they now have very efficient and clean burning plants that use garbage.
            We are not even attempting to use this technology and it’s available now as an alternative to coal.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/13/science/earth/13trash.htmlpagewanted=all&_r=0

            Bottom line, our nation is going to pay the price for not investing in our electric grid infrastructure. I’ll also mention that we should be investing in rail and road infrastructure improvements.

            I live in Boston which has one of the worst commuter rail services and there seems to be no incentive to even consider a light rail system. The MBTA has opened up a new line they call the Indigo line which is a joke. It’s canceled 3 to 5 times a week.
            It services a minority population, Mattapan, Hyde Park and Roxbury and is really being undermined by the MBTA.
            It’s a disgrace.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Huh? We can get about 7X more energy than we need in the US from wind alone.

            Renewable is the *only* way we can go and expect to survive and thrive.

          • jefe68

            As I said our grid is not up to the dealing with it. You keep going on about great ideas for alternative energy, but you leave out the elephant in the room, our antiquated power grid.

            Wind is not an alternative I would want in my backyard. Which brings up the the problem that in densely populated areas it’s not a viable source. The garbage plants are.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Yes, and we need to fix and upgrade out grid *anyway* – which will not only provide real, long term jobs, but it will also have a multiplying benefit to our economy.

            Switching to renewables can pay for itself within about 12 years – and that doesn’t count military savings.

            http://thesolutionsproject.org/

            Our health improves (a lot) and 10′s of thousands of lives are saved per year.

          • Ray in VT
          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            If that pans out and is practical and affordable, then great. But wind and solar PV and solar heat and wave and tidal and biogas and geothermal energy are all here and ready to go.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, who knows about practicality and affordability, but I did think that it was very interesting. I think that there is quite a bit that we could do with current alternatives, as well as just simple conservation. I’ve met people who will drive 100 feet to their mailbox. I just don’t get it.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I’ve seen people drive 50-60 feet to their mailbox or to meet their kids at the school bus.

            Really.

          • Ray in VT

            It just doesn’t make sense. Do they just not care, on even the most basic economic level, how much money they are wasting? That, at least, usually gets peoples attention.

          • harverdphd

            Here’s a clue…it’s none of your business…ma’am

          • Bluejay2fly

            Very well argued professor.

          • harverdphd

            Here’s a clue…it’s none of your business…

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            A little defensive, are we? Walking is what we evolved legs for, and ‘driving’ such a short distance is very wasteful and expensive.

          • harverdphd

            Here’s a clue…it’s none of your business

          • Ray in VT

            Just like how my comment is none of your business? Kindly keep your nose out then.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          And they have no way to dispose of the waste.

          • jefe68

            Well your not exactly correct. France recycles a fair amount of the waste.
            That said they do have to deal with the waste that is not recycled.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            They cannot “recycle” all the nuclear waste. Nuclear power is simply the stupidest way to boil water that I can think of.

            By the way, you’re using ‘your’ in your posts when you’re supposed to be using ‘you’re’.

          • jefe68

            Sorry, typo.

      • DeJay79

        It also worked well at these places:
        and these are just the ones in the US

        Beaver
        Valley Nuclear Generating Station

        Beaver County, Pennsylvania

        Calvert Cliffs Nuclear
        Generating Station
        Calvert Cliffs, Maryland

        Connecticut Yankee Nuclear
        Power Plant
        Haddam Neck, Connecticut

        Ginna Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Ontario, New York

        Hope Creek Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Lower Alloways Creek Township, New Jersey

        Indian Point Energy Center
        Buchanan, New York

        James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear
        Power Plant
        Scriba, New York

        Limerick Nuclear Power Plant
        Limerick Township, Pennsylvania

        Maine Yankee Nuclear Power
        Plant
        Wiscasset, Maine

        Millstone Nuclear Power Plant
        Waterford, Connecticut

        Nine Mile Point Nuclear
        Generating Station
        Scriba, New York

        Oyster Creek Nuclear
        Generating Station
        Lacey Township, New Jersey

        Peach Bottom Nuclear
        Generating Station
        Peach Bottom Township, Pennsylvania

        Pilgrim Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Plymouth, Massachusetts

        Salem Nuclear Power Plant
        Lower Alloways Creek Township, New Jersey

        Saxton Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Bedford County, Pennsylvania

        Seabrook Station Nuclear Power
        Plant
        Seabrook, New Hampshire

        Shippingport Atomic Power
        Station
        Beaver County, Pennsylvania

        Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant
        East Shoreham, New York, New York

        Susquehanna Steam Electric
        Station
        Luzerne County, Pennsylvania

        Three Mile Island Nuclear
        Generating Station
        Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

        Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power
        Plant
        Vernon, Vermont

        Yankee Rowe Nuclear Power
        Station
        Rowe, Massachusetts

        Alvin W. Vogtle Electric
        Generating Plant
        Burke County, Georgia

        Bellefonte Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Hollywood, Alabama

        Browns Ferry Nuclear Power
        Plant
        Athens, Alabama

        Brunswick Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Southport, North Carolina

        Carolinas–Virginia Tube
        Reactor
        Parr, South Carolina

        Catawba Nuclear Station
        York, South Carolina

        Crystal River 3 Nuclear Power
        Plant
        Crystal River, Florida

        Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Power
        Plant
        Baxley, Georgia

        H. B. Robinson Nuclear
        Generating Station
        Darlington County, South Carolina

        Joseph M. Farley Nuclear
        Generating Station
        Dothan, Alabama

        McGuire Nuclear Station
        Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

        North Anna Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Louisa County, Virginia

        Oconee Nuclear Station
        Oconee County, South Carolina

        Sequoyah Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Hamilton County, Tennessee

        Shearon Harris Nuclear Power
        Plant
        New Hill, North Carolina

        St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant
        Hutchinson Island, Florida

        Surry Nuclear Power Plant
        Surry County, Virginia

        Turkey Point Nuclear
        Generating Station
        Homestead, Florida

        Virgil C. Summer Nuclear
        Generating Station
        Fairfield County, South Carolina

        Watts Bar Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Rhea County, Tennessee

        Big Rock Point Nuclear Power
        Plant
        Hayes Township, Michigan

        Byron Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Ogle County, Illinois

        Braidwood Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Will County, Illinois

        Clinton Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Harp Township, Illinois

        Davis-Besse Nuclear Power
        Station
        Carroll Township, Ohio

        Donald C. Cook Nuclear
        Generating Station
        Lake Charter Township, Michigan

        Dresden Generating Station
        Goose Lake Township, Illinois

        Duane Arnold Energy Center
        Fayette Township, Iowa

        Elk River Station
        Elk River, Minnesota

        Enrico Fermi Nuclear
        Generating Station
        Frenchtown Charter Township, Michigan

        Kewaunee Power Station
        Carlton, Wisconsin

        La Crosse Boiling Water
        Reactor
        Genoa, Wisconsin

        LaSalle County Nuclear
        Generating Station
        Brookfield Township, Illinois

        Marble Hill Nuclear Power
        Plant
        Saluda Township, Indiana

        Monticello Nuclear Generating
        Plant
        Monticello, Minnesota

        Palisades Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Covert Township, Michigan

        Perry Nuclear Generating
        Station
        North Perry, Ohio

        Piqua Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Spring Creek Township, Ohio

        Point Beach Nuclear Plant
        Two Creeks, Wisconsin

        Prairie Island Nuclear Power
        Plant
        Red Wing, Minnesota

        Quad Cities Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Cordova Township, Illinois

        Zion Nuclear Power Station
        Zion, Illinois

        Arkansas Nuclear One
        Russellville, Arkansas

        Callaway Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Auxvasse Township, Missouri

        Columbia Generating Station
        Benton County, Washington

        Comanche Peak Nuclear Power
        Plant
        Somervell County, Texas

        Cooper Nuclear Station
        Nemaha County, Nebraska

        Diablo Canyon Power Plant
        Avila Beach, California

        Fort Calhoun Nuclear
        Generating Station
        Washington County, Nebraska

        Fort St. Vrain Generating
        Station
        Platteville, Colorado

        Grand Gulf Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Claiborne County, Mississippi

        Hallam Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Hallam, Nebraska

        N-Reactor
        Hanford Site, Washington

        Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power
        Plant
        Eureka, California

        Palo Verde Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Tonopah, Arizona

        Pathfinder Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Minnehaha County, South Dakota

        Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Herald, California

        River Bend Nuclear Generating
        Station
        West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana

        San Onofre Nuclear Generating
        Station
        San Diego County, California

        Sodium Reactor Experiment
        Santa Susana Field Laboratory, Simi Valley, California

        South Texas Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Matagorda County, Texas

        Trojan Nuclear Power Plant
        Columbia County, Oregon

        Vallecitos Nuclear Center
        Alameda County, California

        Waterford Nuclear Generating
        Station
        Killona, Louisiana

        Wolf Creek Generating Station
        Hampden Township, Kansas

        • Jay

          Did it work well at Three Mile Island?

          • DeJay79

            oops, that one slipped in.

            thanks for the catch

        • Bluejay2fly

          Now list every oil spill, coal mine collapse and all the names of the Oil War dead.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Those are very bad, too.

          • Jay

            You can’t compare an oil spill or coal mine collapse to the likes of Chernobyl or Fukushima, since an oil spill can be cleaned, a collapsed mine can be closed. But Fukushima and Chernobyl will poisoned and uninhabitable cities for generations.

          • DeJay79

            My point is that people love to list the one or two examples of when things went wrong to argue that things they object to never work, which is just not true.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      So they can have lots of poisonous radioactive nuclear waste around for 10′s of thousands of years!

      Yeah, that’s a *great* idea!

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Define “lots”. All the US nuclear waste produced to date can fit into a warehouse the size of a best buy. Doesn’t sound like a ‘lot’..

        Also, Gen IV plants (like LFTR) can use this ‘waste’ as fuel and reduce its volume by 90% and also leave waste that will be at safe ‘background’ levels within 100-300 years, not the tens of thousands of years you claim.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Lots = too much = any.

          Nuclear waste is simply terrible stuff. And nuclear power is the dumbest way possible to boil water.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            So in Neil’s world, if we can power the world by creating a gram of highly hazardous waste then that is too much.

            Neil, at least you are honest in that you admit you are an extremist.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            The radical position is the one that says it is okay to hurt the environment for the profit of a few.

          • pete18

            Do you drive a car?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Yes, but I am building a 5 seat electric car, that will hopefully have a range of 300-400 miles. Aerodynamic drag is the main force that increases energy consumption, and I have designed it with this in mind.

            We already have perfectly viable electric cars, and now we just need to make then more efficient to allow longer ranges on smaller battery packs.

        • Steve__T
      • DeJay79

        lots is a very relative word isn’t it. as in “I had lots of fun this weekend” or “my groceries bill is a lot higher than last year” or “the night sky is filled with lots of stars”

        one of those is much more than the other two.

        My point is Lots of damage is done by drilling and burning Oil, and Gas. Lots of people make Lots of money off the gas and oil industry. so which is worse and which lots is actually more dangerous.

        I do agree radioactive waste is horrible horrible awful stuff. yet its actual quantity is relatively small and we do have ways of containing and disposing of it.

    • nj_v2

      Personally, i think we should go back to burning whale oil.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The planet is a kitchen. Burning fossil fuels is an oven baking pies. Why is the room getting warmer?

    Even great grandmother knew the answer to that one.

    • Bluejay2fly

      The problem is your grandmother is baking pies for fat, greedy, children who thing eating an entire pie in one setting makes them patriotic supporters of grandma’s culinary skills.

      • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

        100 years ago, ggm didn’t have any fat offspring. Everyone was too busy working to store insulation.

        • Ray in VT

          Whenever I have seen an overweight farmer I have thought “there’s a guy who isn’t doing a lot of shoveling these days”.

          • Bluejay2fly

            They could be George Foreman fat, Ray.

          • Ray in VT

            “big-boned” if you will?

          • Bluejay2fly

            Is fit and fat mutually exclusive?

          • Ray in VT

            No, not really for some, but fit and obese, which is more along the lines of what I was thinking, I think just about is. Based upon my experience in farming, I think that it is pretty difficult to get or maintain a good sized gut if one is really working at farming.

          • Bluejay2fly

            True.

      • brettearle

        You think banning Escalades is going to reduce the problem?

        • Bluejay2fly

          Conspicuous consumption and wasting resources go hand in hand.

          • brettearle

            I realize that.

            My point was that gas guzzling, from a variety of venues, is not necessarily going to solve the problem, currently.

            Indeed, some climatologists aver that it might be impossible to arrest the trends–REGARDLESS of what we do.

          • Bluejay2fly

            Just like the insurmountable problems that horse and coal power gave us in the last century we are waiting for that miracle solution to replace what is not practical.

          • brettearle

            Eventually, civilizations run out of Miracles.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, in the long run we are all dead, but think that we have a few more miracles left in us.

          • brettearle

            Ray,

            I don’t think we have any way of knowing.

            To be frank about it, if I had children I might feel differently about it–and I might be more sanguine…to feel good about my children’s future.

            Perhaps, if you didn’t have children, you might be–Ugh!–more cynical.

            Maybe not.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, nobody knows. It’s just my opinion. Despite our many shortcomings, people are pretty resourceful, and I don’t think that we’ve totally emptied our bag of tricks.

            I don’t know how I could have and raise kids if I was totally cynical about us and our future. What would be the point.

            I see the wonder and the hope and everything that kids have, and in some ways it does make me more optimistic. My nine year old declared on Thursday that he was going to invent some sort of anti-gravity device, and he asked me to work on it with him. Ultimately I give man enough credit not to destroy itself, although that may not be a great bet to make.

          • brettearle

            Can I have in, as an initial financial investor on the anti-gravity device?

            Have your kid send the protoype to Sandra Bullock.

            If she likes it, I’ll send you an initial down payment….

          • Ray in VT

            I tried explaining some of the physics to him, but he just wasn’t getting it. He knows all about the parts of the atom and some stuff about how chemical bonds form, but his concept of how it is that gravity actually functions isn’t quite there. This is his second major endeavor, with his first one being how to provide almost free satellite-based TV for everyone.

          • brettearle

            No one’s concept of how gravity functions is actually quite there.

            Gravity’s too prosaic, by now, anyway.

            I like the second idea better. It has an entrepreneurial feel to it, with the potential for immediate impact.

            Get him on “Shark Tank”, pronto.

            Mark Cuban’ll go right for it….

          • Bluejay2fly

            The greatest miracle that could happen now would be for the Grim Reaper to get his groove back.

          • brettearle

            How’s that!?

            Can I assume that you are NOT referring to mass extinction?

            If yes or no, please say so–and explain further.

          • Bluejay2fly

            Technology has allowed us to to save millions who would have otherwise died due to disease, starvation, old age, and climate conditions. We did not think about how this circumvention of the natural process which curbs animal populations would negatively impact the world. We never asked the question “What is our planets ideal carrying capacity?” If anything capitalists think “more people = more consumers”. Eventually, this victory of technology over disease may not last and we could see another 1919 Influenza type outbreak. If not the complete exhaustion of our planets resources poses even more grim dystopian scenario. Either way we should have been more cognizant of this problem. I am sure some people have looked into this IE “The Population Bomb” but it never seriously resonated in our politics.

          • notafeminista

            1)Ehrlich was and continues to be wrong.
            2)The question (and answer) to Earth’s “carrying” capacity was a)Given by Ehrlich and found to be erroneous. b)Asked and answered presumptuously by climate change cultists every week if not every day. They also have continued to be erroneous and yet continue to insist that what Earth needs is less people.
            If you want to think or talk conspiracy theories – consider a possible correlation between wanting there to be less people on Earth and support for Roe v. Wade.

          • Bluejay2fly

            It is not just about can the planet sustain life ,but at what opportunity costs. How many species of planets and animals are we going to destroy? How many rivers and lakes are we going to kill? How about the pollution agribusiness produces to create mass amounts of unhealthy low quality food. These are all slow killers so to dismiss the carrying capacity off hand like that means you really are not giving it much reflection. Being responsible humans means being good stewards of the planet and not treating it like a rental car.

          • notafeminista

            Okay, assume you’re telling the truth. What would be an acceptable number (in your opinion)of rivers lakes plants and animals killed in order to sustain our
            (meaning the planet’s) current standard of living? If no country, 1st world, 3rd world or otherwise made no growth, made no progress but simply stopped where they are now in terms of any type of development, what, for you, would be the acceptable number of flora and/or fauna made extinct by human practice?

  • sickofthechit

    Third world countries export their resources because they can’t see what a rip off it is. What is our excuse?

    Charles A. Bowsher

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      We are money grubbing capitalists.

      We teach our young children to not eat all their candy at once so there is some for later. Apparently the same does not hold for adults in the oil and gas business.

      $$$$$$$$$

    • tbphkm33

      No excuse… the USA is today the leading 2nd world country. Resembling in part 1st world countries, but increasingly more often, 3rd world countries.

  • AC

    why would companies pay for truck frieght when rail freight is sooo much cheaper?

    • Ray in VT

      Many certainly do. I think that part of the issue that that our rail infrastructure just doesn’t go where or when companies may want to move goods.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Even when goods are shipped via rail they are transported on truck from the depot to the final destination. Also, anything that is time sensitive (eg, perishable, goes by truck).

        • AC

          i meant by mile, local distribution would be a given….

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Understood. As Ray pointed out the rail infrastructure is limited. Businesses use rail if the performance is appropriate for their needs. They would be foolish not to.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that it is sad how much we allowed our rail system to disintegrate here in the U.S. The 1927 flood did in a lot of rail here in Vermont, but it seems that nationally it just wasn’t a priority with the rise of the automobile.

          • Bluejay2fly

            What is worse is what is on the trucks. Tomatoes from Florida that taste like tennis balls. Save your gas and get used to eating food that is on season.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Around here many of the rail lines have been turned into bike paths — aka “rail trails”.

          • Ray in VT

            We have one too. The trail is nice. After years of rail decline and neglect of the track I’m not sure how useful it was, or could be, as a railroad line.

          • HonestDebate1

            There are also turned into horse trails.

          • harverdphd

            The flood of 2013 did a lot of home here in central NY.

          • Ray in VT

            Irene did quite a bit of damage, and many have compared the impact of that storm to the one that struck in 1927.

      • Bluejay2fly

        Heaven forbid we make driving in the nation more pleasant by getting those semi’s off the road.

  • JillProvidence

    Many people had the sneaking feeling that the US was goading Putin to react aggressively and take Crimea. Not only could the US then turn on Putin with outrage, but the US could also consolidate its global power, making Russia’s act to defend its pride and ancient territory look villainous. Now a new incentive for US action comes to the surface: a way for the US to profit by building up this new cold war. We can neutralize Russia’s energy supply that it was “lording over Europe,” find export markets abroad, and justify the expansion of dangerous fracking as a national imperative, a patriotic move. Please explore the other narratives to this Ukraine story besides the “altruistic US desire to export democracy!”

    • brettearle

      The unfortunate part about this sort of public debate is that it can attract very bright and, seemingly, very insightful people into the forum, who sound quite convincing–but who are, nonetheless, guided, on a subtle level, by…….

      Conspiracy theory after Conspiracy Theory.

      • JillProvidence

        What I object to is the refusal to look at different sides of the issue. Kneejerk anything is offensive, whether it’s kneejerk pro-West or kneejerk Conspiracy Theory. Not my bag. The US acts globally but thinks locally.

        • brettearle

          There’s a difference between multi-dimensional viewpoint and hidden-agenda cynicism that goes off the deep end.

          Granted, big differences in thinking and analyses can actually be subtle.

          What’s more, I take your point, just above.

          However, 2 points:

          The first is that we have a lot of knee-jerkers, around here, as well as a lot of flexible-flyers.

          But, frankly, you are paying for the sins of others–from my point of view.

          I will admit that.

          And, what’s more, you may deny what I am about to say, in order for you to win your argument, here, publicly.

          But I would argue that you are either a Chomsky-ite or somewhat of a Chomsky-ite.

          And while I am often critical of US policy, Chomskyites see Apple Pie and Baseball as Fascist-induced inventions.

          [the above is droll satire to
          make a point]

      • tbphkm33

        Jill is not espousing any conspiracy theories??? Her post is well thought out and reflects her opinions on the subject.

        … although, you are right, at times this forum can be flooded with conspiracy nuts or garden variety nuts spewing toxic propaganda that they have memorized, but know little about what they are saying.

        • brettearle

          I don’t agree.

          When someone avers that a country sandbags to induce an action, that comes under the realm of radical speculation.

          I know that we were accused of that, for example, with Ambassador Wilson and Saddam.

          But, I’m sorry.

          Obama and Kerry, I don’t believe, operate that way.

          Obama may not be as Liberal, as many would like to believe. But I simply don’t think that the White House rhetoric, on the Crimea, is the result of manipulative bluster–designed to obfuscate for the purposes of Global Profit motive.

          Some opinions, some policies, and some actions are, in part, employed based on doctrinal impulse.

          Unless you need to believe another conspiracy theory–that US Media always comply with White House policy,100%–such clandestine motives would be uncovered all the time, throughout geopolitical actions and decisions.

          Journalists are desperate for Pulitzers–as are their editors and publishers.

          The Fifth Estate is always capable of acting like the Fifth Estate–even though they sometimes sit on stories or suppress them.

  • georgepotts

    a way to create jobs. create a energy audit group that penalizes 80 year olds who keep their thermostat above 68.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      That is why google bought Nest. They know it is a just a matter of time before big brother will attempt to control your thermostat.

      • notafeminista

        Seems like that’s already familiar. President Carter maybe?

        • HonestDebate1

          Wear a sweater, what’s the big deal?

    • Bluejay2fly

      How about banning AC below 70 in Florida. I was never so cold in my life when I visited Orlando in July.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        Not below 70? How about 75 or 80? If it is 90 and humid outside, 80 inside with lower humidity is quite comfortable.

        • Bluejay2fly

          I lived two years in Italy with no AC at all. Florida is abusive!!!! My house in NYS easily gets over 80 inside and I do not fight to bring it down to 65. Why? because in the winter I would turn the heat on at 65.

        • Ray in VT

          I once had a roommate from D.C. who closed all of the windows and cranked the A.C. as soon as it got above 70.

      • TFRX

        Never been, but is it like how in many a non-Fla place one where one is reminded during the summer, “Bring a sweater–it’s chilly inside”?

    • Jay

      How about creating an energy audit that penalizes George Potts for every mind-less blog that he posts.

      • tbphkm33

        George Potts is the ultimate green poster… I think he must run on helium. At least that explains his mind-less posts.

        • jefe68

          I thought he ran on methane, as most of them stink…

    • HonestDebate1

      Illustrating absurdity with absurdity is fun. So you get a few snotty remarks but then some take you seriously. Discussions of where people should be mandated to set their thermostats ensues. The absurdity is validated and your point is made. Well played.

    • burroak

      Perhaps, you might walk in their cold shoes someday.

  • Obi Won

    Thorium nuclear and solar shingles and roadway is solution. Tom your show and your call screeners are fascists.

    • georgepotts

      the incredible environmental destruction cause by the manufacture of solar doesn’t get talked about. #cesiumkills

      • Obi Won

        True. Thorium and wave then?

  • georgepotts

    in Los Angeles, they water the parks with sprinklers during rain storms.

    water can be desalinated for about twice the current price of water (about 50 cents per person per day)

  • jimino

    Our local utility company has explained the rising cost of heating one’s home during this very cold winter is due, in part, by the lack of a US infrastructure that would allow all the additional, cheap gas to be delivered to local users. We should focus on that before exploring ideas for exporting it.

    • Arkuy The Great

      Good luck getting the NIMBY/BANANA/NOPE folks to allow the necessary pipelines through some forest that is the last known habitat for the Southern-Northeastern Spotted Toad

    • harverdphd

      So they raise prices because they can’t sell as much?

  • hennorama

    Let’s see … those bastions of the idea of “let the market decide,” major oil & gas companies, and Congressional Republicans, are asking for intervention into the market, by lobbying the Obama administration to speed up the process of building LNG export facilities? And no doubt they want special tax incentives, too?

    Nothing like using the “crisis du jour” to lock in future profits, right?

    • tbphkm33

      Its the Nopublican mantra.

    • harverdphd

      You need to learn to love and rspect other opinions

      • hennorama

        harverdphd — TY for you response.

        First, a question: was your use of “rspect” a nod to Pres. Obama’s flub last weeks, during a tribute to Aretha Franklin?

        In case you are unaware, the President said, “When Aretha first told us what . . . R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her…,” and the audience laughed.

        Now, as to your comment — I do respect other opinions and views, regardless of whether I love or agree with them.

        In his case, I simply find it ironic that those who loudly champion the free market will quietly ask for government intervention when it suits their purposes. And of course, these very same entities often profess a desire to “keep government out of our lives,” and for “smaller government,” yet feel no compunction against lobbying for Federal intervention and assistance for themselves.

        Thanks again for your response.

  • Sy2502

    Why? Leave Europe to deal with its own problems, after all they are always loudly complaining of America meddling in foreign affairs. Great, leave them to their conundrum of needing gas from an imperialistic dictator.
    As a European myself, I read European news every day, and Americans would be shocked to see how pro-Putin Europeans really are. So that’s what they want? Great, they can have it!

  • marygrav

    All the Tricksters are on board for War with Russia. They use nationalism and anti-Communism to distort the fact that Big Oil, the AEI, and the US Chamber of Commerce set Giga Profits in War.

    However two historical facts must be noted Colonialism is over, and the Cold War is over; let the peoples live in peace.

    Russia cut off gas supply to Ukraine because of theft in the pipeline. As for Russian singing, the question is how many Americans speak Russian? As for John Boehner and Fracking: Boehner has drank so much chemicals until all water tastes like poison to him and he avoids it.

    Read Stephen Kinzer’s The Brothers on how the US destroyed the Third World hunting Communists. All the political problems including the paranoia of the Russians and the stupidity of the American in believing in the renewal of “duck & cover” can be traced back to the Dallas Brothers and their lies about the Russian threat. We have since post-WWII a threat to the world, not the Communists.

    Fracking will destroy our fresh water supply, as well as cause earthquakes in places where they’ve never been as the support that the gas gives to the earth above crumbles and shifts the plates shift.

    When are WE THE PEOPLE going to grow up and not allow ourselves to be used by the 1% to line their pockets with our blood? Remember the Invasion of Iraq in the name of Jesus and Israel? Look at the outcome? Are we ready for War With Russia. They are not the push-over that the Republican House paints them to be. Remember Sacahassvilli and Georgia? Slapping the Bear is a dangerous thing to do. Remember Casavo? The US warmongers chose to forget how the US/EU plotted the carving up of Serbia, but Putin has not forgotten.

    China is watching and also making plans for the future. The Warmongers talk about the Islands that stand between Japan and China. This animosity can be traced back to Wilson and the Paris Peace Conference 1919 when he helped carve up the World in the favor of the West. Read or listen to Kinzer’s The Brothers and you will see there is no Devil or hell; only the 1% doing their thing.

    War is hell; but we are already catching hell.

    • harverdphd

      Where is the love? Where is the rspect?

      • Bluejay2fly

        TROLL

    • Obi Won

      Dulles Brothers

  • Arkuy The Great

    Energy has long been the tool of foreign policy, politics and economic competitiveness. For many decades America has been at a disadvantage, being dependent upon the good will of other nations to assure a steady supply and a pricing regimen that would not break us. Now we are becoming a major producer again ourselves. Becoming independent of global producers and even becoming an alternative vendor ourselves does lend a certain amount of economic and political power. Oil is an economic weapon should we choose to use it accordingly. Should we not wish to involve ourselves militarily we still have “soft power” options available to assert our interests.

    • jimino

      What oil, gas, etc. does “America” own and sell? I thought private interests solely controlled that process.

  • brettearle

    Is any one experiencing either unprovoked censorship, or unexplained deletion, on the Thread?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Haven’t noticed. However, the thread ‘count’ appears to be going up.

      Do you get any feedback on the deleted comments? Do they still show up in your disqus or do they disappear there too?

      • brettearle

        Thanks for your response.

        They ARE showing up on my disqus…

        Your comment didn’t come up, until now [5 hours later]–even though you probably posted it, shortly after you posted mine.

    • hennorama

      brettearle — not lately. Of course, I haven’t invoked former VP Richard Cheney’s nickname of late.

      • brettearle

        Your comment didn’t show up for 3 hours, after you posted it.

        • hennorama

          brettearle — that’s interesting. FYI, it is 2:34 AM Tuesday, March 11, 2014 (GMT)

          [PS] I was able to see both this comment and the one to which you replied as soon as I posted them.

      • brettearle

        Halo-Burnt-in
        Hell-o-Burnt-In
        Hell-o-Burnt-In
        Halo-Burnt-In

        Hell

        • hennorama

          brettearle — Hail, oh Burton:

          “Say it once… Say it twice… But we dare you to say it THREE TIMES … Beetleju…”

          • Arkuy The Great

            “The Scotsman”
            “You mean…Macbeth!?”

          • hennorama

            Arkuy The Great — a Slings and Arrows reference? Impressive, that.

            “Don’t say his name aloud.”

            (Aloud his name is not allowed.)

            Please allow a minor edit of The Bard:

            “Double, double toil and trouble
            Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

            [Juice of Beetle], tooth of wolf,
            Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf
            Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,
            Root of hemlock digg’d i the dark…”

          • Arkuy The Great

            Slings and Arrows; I loved that show!

    • hennorama

      brettearle — DISQUS has implemented various changes over the last day or so, which may explain your experiences.

  • burroak

    I was waiting and wondering when an observational comment from a listener would question the unknown-long-term effects of fracking; his comment about rare earthquakes in Oklahoma is very unsettling. What becomes of those vast underground, chemically riddled drill holes? Nothing, does the fracked earth just effortlessly and seamlessly seal itself?
    Would there not be side effects to a building if its foundation was drilled or how a car runs if its engine is drilled, or even a human’s mouth if its teeth were frequently drilled.
    I understand energy is vital to America’s livelihood, and its economy; but so is its environment. Do we not have a responsible to the one place we inhabit? It’s not like we could just stay at a Marriot on Mars.

  • Dee

    Re: John Boehner and his “open the spigot ” comment

    Once again , this is the Dean Martin like drunk comment from John Boehner who admits to crashing the American economy
    into the ditch when he was majority whip in the Hse (under Bush (along with Mitch Mc Connell, senate leader ) with their de-
    regulation of the US Banking system and their ongoing com-
    mitment to the destructive use of corporate power in the US.
    (See URL, below)

    Ralph Nader , and the Path of Corporate Fascism
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsPGHBLcLtc

  • notafeminista
  • nj_v2

    Will the Mexico and the Canada send gas to the Ukraine?

    Really, isn’t it past time that people got this correct?

    • HonestDebate1

      Take it to The Hague.

  • HonestDebate1

    Natural gas is cleaner. It is an immediate and massive improvement financially, environmentally and geo-politically over oil. It’s doable, a word completely ignored by the weather deniers.

    • Ray in VT

      Who denies that there is weather?

      • HonestDebate1

        Those who blame every snow storm, hot summer, drought or flood on AGW. It’s just weather.

        • Ray in VT

          That would be unwise, as is denying the role that climate change can, is or likely will affect those events.

          • HonestDebate1

            I wouldnt know. I’ve never met a climate change denier.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. That seems unlikely, as, from what I have seen, the TOP is full of them.

          • HonestDebate1

            I have no idea who the TOP is.

          • Ray in VT

            You also have a poor handle on what are the proper way to use grammar.

          • HonestDebate1

            Huh?

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know what the recent big fuss is over a “three parent” child. As late as 2009, after years maneuvers, a Frankenstein’s Monster in the form of the TOP was brought into creation by grafting together genes from the old Dixiecrats and the Know Nothings, mixed in with some material from the John Birch Society, 1930s style isolationism and fundamentalist Christianity. Thus was the once GOP melded together with a “grassroots” movement that clings to outdated beliefs in ideas and ideology that both cannot be squared with facts and will not accept facts that contradict those beliefs.

  • ExcellentNews

    Renewables = American jobs and American technology for America.

    Fossil Fuels = American dollars in the offshore bank accounts of despots, cronies and fundamentalists.

    You make the choice – while you still can.

  • Publius

    How about a program discussing whether or not free citizens of the world should stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine by instituting a worldwide boycott, urging people to cancel all travel to Russia and to boycott Russian products and goods to the greatest extent feasible. Obviously people who need Russian natural gas or other items to survive would need to do what they need to do to survive. They could perhaps reduce usage as feasible. But perhaps they and others should send an economic message to Russia that there are serious consequences free people can impose, separate and apart from what governments may do, for outrageous behavior in contravention of international law. What do some of your experts think?

  • georgepotts

    I want to disagree with all of the weather deniers.

    • Ray in VT

      Weather doesn’t exist. It’s a conservative conspiracy and they just made the term up a couple of months ago.

      • georgepotts

        Look out! The Weather Is Changing!

        And The SKY IS FALLING!

        • Ray in VT

          I know. Yesterday it was almost 45 in places around here and tomorrow it may get close to 0. How ever will we cope?
          I’m much more concerned with the long term changes in the climate.

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    KIEV: I have the solution to the Crimean Invasion, a passive act that would force the Russians to withdraw. It is foolproof, I think, but if the Russians are insanely reckless it could lead to nuclear war. I’ve accurately predicted +30 years of things from the end of Cold War 6 months before Berlin Wall fell to the economic collapse 5 months before Sept 2008. And I’m a Soviet expert, having spent 8 of the last 22 years here. Producer, call – I will only say it on air. Gas, Oil, Metal, Timber, yeah Europe could diversify from Ruskie materials- I said when they invaded, that in 5 years, Europe could be buying 40-50% less- a catastrophe to the Russian economy.
    http://HAMMERNEWS.blogspot.com

    • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

      I am quite pissed- thugs at the Crimean border kidnapped (raped,killed?) a very nice girl I interviewed- Katya Butko. of AutoMaidan- I’ve talked to the other journo girl too. These paramilitary scum from Russia, Serbia, etc are animals- they beat journalists, even Russian, and are out of control. Keep going on like that and they could provoke a popular insurgency (terrorism), like Iraq- why to the Russians think they are immune when they invade and terrorize a sleepy peaceful peninsula?

  • georgepotts

    Watch out! The weather is changing!

  • georgepotts

    It is proven fact that the weather changes.

  • HonestDebate1

    Solar panels, electric cars and windmills are not saving the planet.

  • HonestDebate1

    That’s a wish. Fossil fuels are reality, we cannot survive without them. I prefer an “all of the above” approach.

    The solar industry has bought themselves into Congress too. It has cost us dearly.

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