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Energy & the Law

Category Archives: Energy Policy

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What Your New President Will Do For or To You

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

We begin with a Rorschach test. As the big election day approaches, which candidate do you see in the photograph? Discuss among yourselves. Get ready for lots of musical interludes. The nation’s despair runs deep and wide, so profound that it cannot be expressed in mere words. What do they promise? Let’s look at what we might expect from… Continue Reading

Fueling Freedom: Explaining the Value of Fossil Fuels

Posted in Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

Which of these statements makes sense to you: A. “Never before have the rulers of a society intentionally driven it backwards to scarcer, more expensive, and less efficient energy.” B. “Communism is the optimal system for avoiding dangerous global warming”. C. “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves… Continue Reading

Truthiness and Truth Edition

Posted in Energy Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

Truthiness: A quality characterizing a “truth” that a person making an argument or assertion claims to know intuitively, “from the gut” or because it “feels right” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination or facts. Today we explore truthiness in action. Let’s start with the loftiest bully pulpit in the land. The Washington Post gave President… Continue Reading

Did the 2015 Texas Legislature Help Oil and Gas?

Posted in Energy Policy, Legislation

Your Texas legislators have done their work and the citizens are safe for the next two years.  The other good news is that industry supporters generally believe the 2015 Legislature was their friend. House Bill 2: Set aside $4,471,800 to the University of Texas at Austin Bureau for Economic Geology and appointed a technical advisory committee to study the… Continue Reading

Fracking, Trigger Warnings, and a Safe Room

Posted in Energy Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

First, an apology. I have brought shame to my own self and this blog for failing to invoke trigger warnings about activities I will mention again, after the appropriate trigger warning. (I had no idea there were so many.) Trigger Warning This post will refer to activities in oil and gas production as they are commonly described in the industry…. Continue Reading

Obama Approves Keystone Pipeline and Other News- Special Edition

Posted in Energy Policy

It was an abrupt and remarkable about-face. In a Rose Garden ceremony in the presence of the CEOs of America’s largest oil companies and special guest David Koch (brother Charles remained ball-gagged and handcuffed by the editorial board of The Nation), President Obama signed an executive order fast-tracking construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and, to the… Continue Reading

Meanwhile in Texas … Who Should Decide About Fracking?

Posted in Energy Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

Who should decide when, where, how, and even if, hydraulic fracturing should occur? The locals: “You hypocrites Our good public servants in Austin want ‘local control’ when its against Washington, but deny us the same right.  We know better than you about what’s best for our community. To hell with catastrophic litigation exposure and declining tax revenues. If you didn’t get a regular royalty check and had to… Continue Reading

Frackers v. Anti’s – Scoring update

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

The box scores after election day showed frackers 4, anti’s 4. Courtesy of a gubernatorial grand-slam by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, hydraulic fracturing is now banned throughout the entire state of New York. In this ballgame within a ballgame, it’s Yoko and Shawn, the likes of Moveon.org , and wealthy Manhattanites: 1 Mineral owners, asthmatics, underemployed up-staters, and cash-starved municipalities: 0 Producers… Continue Reading

What’s Going On in Denton, Texas?

Posted in Energy Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

As you probably know, the Denton City Council denied a petition signed by several thousand citizens to ban hydraulic fracturing within the city limits. The denial sent the question to the November 4 general election ballot.  Here is the proposition, its legalese in full bloom: SHALL AN ORDINANCE BE ENACTED PROHIBITING, WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OF DENTON, TEXAS, HYDRAULIC FRACTURING,… Continue Reading

Truth and Illusion in the Fracking Debate

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

“What is it like to live inside your head with Peter Pan and the Easter Bunny?” So asks the sister in “Bridges of Madison County” after the brother wonders if the Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood characters had sex all those years ago. And so it is from certain quarters in the hydraulic fracking debate who continue to… Continue Reading

Are Oil and Gas Producers Protecting the Environment?

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

In their search for Utopia, some opponents of oil and gas drilling ignore innovation … What’s harmful now will forever be that way. The Question That isn’t true, but it raises a question for producers: What are you doing to reduce the negative effects of your activities on the communities where you operate? The Answers Here are examples of the industry investing considerable time,… Continue Reading

What’s Up at the Department of Energy?

Posted in Energy Policy

Who is that man on the right?           a.  Lineal descendant of  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,   b.  Reincarnation of Froederick Fronkensteen,     c.  Tootsie … in the later years,       d.  Ernest Moniz, Secretary of the U.S Department of Energy Other than Solyndra, what comes to mind when you consider the DOE (assuming… Continue Reading

Keystone Pipeline is Delayed … Why?

Posted in Energy Policy

In considering how many bad reasons President Obama might have in announcing a delay of his Keystone Pipeline decision, you’ve got to feel like the hungry mosquito at the nudist colony: There is so much opportunity you don’t know where to start. I can think of 253: 199 Democratic members of the U S House, 53 in the… Continue Reading

The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

Do bystanders see oil and gas producers as taking a stand for morality?  Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress says they should.  He approaches the value of fossil fuels in our society differently from most industry defenders. The opponents make a moral case against fossil fuels: They destroy the earth and their use must be… Continue Reading

An Oil and Gas Rorschach Test

Posted in Energy Policy

There is a “Rorschach” way to examine your thinking about the controversy over fossil fuels and global warming.  Psychologists use the Rorschach test to examine a person’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning. It’s been employed to detect  underlying thought disorder, especially disorganized thinking as evidenced by disorganized speech.  Try this on yourself. Here is a photograph (from an English… Continue Reading

Four Horsemen of the Environmental Apocalypse

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

In the Book of Revelation, the really scary guys were the four horsemen. Now, as then, some would have you believe that the end times are upon us. This time it is because of fracking. Is it really? Absent from many discussions about oil and gas drilling are fairness and objectivity. In their place are the modern horsepersons of the anti-drilling movement. There are many, but let’s focus… Continue Reading

Gasland II, Rebuked

Posted in Energy Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

Gasland II made its villainous debut this week on HBO.  It‘s more egregious than the first in that it not only repeats disproven scenarios, but adds new ones that are equally misinformed. I complain about these injustices as a hobby, so don’t take my word for it. Listen to someone who makes a living understanding and explaining these matters.       Steve Everley of Energy in… Continue Reading

Different Takes on the President’s Climate Change Policy

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

We begin with a tribute to global warming of a different sort. For those not yet overexposed to reports on President Obama’s climate change policy announcement, I offer this reasonably objective factual summary of the highlights from the Washington Post (rather than the platitudes underlying many reports). A link to the text of the President’s plan is embedded in… Continue Reading

President to Unveil Energy Policy

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

Politico and other sources report that President Obama promised a crowd of supporters in northern California recently that he would unveil his climate change strategy sometime soon. What it might look like is unknown.  It has been suggested that the policy will revolve around EPA pollution sources like power plants.  It is reported that there is no relation… Continue Reading

Oil and Gas Bills Passed By Texas Legislature

Posted in Energy Policy

Co-author Travis Booher The regular session of the 2013 Texas Legislature is over and now it’s time to assess the damage. Bills significant to the oil and gas industry, and their fate, are as follows: HB 100 – Forced unitization: Failed. Regardless of your opinion of the merits, this was no surprise. SB 108 – Allowing… Continue Reading

The Fracking Debate is Not Unique to the United States.

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

I spent the better part of last week surrounded by foreigners … which is to be expected because I was in a foreign country, the Netherlands to be precise. Looper Reed has joined First Law International, a consortium of select, highly-rated law firms in over 45 countries, assembled to give businesses in one country, the United States for example, access to counsel… Continue Reading