Header graphic for print
Energy & the Law

Category Archives: Energy Policy

Subscribe to Energy Policy RSS Feed

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

Is the Oil and Gas Industry Undertaxed?

Posted in Energy Policy

The short answer is no, according to the American Petroleum Institute. The API compared oil and gas to other industries in terms of profit margin and effective tax rate. The oil and gas industry-wide profit margin is 7.3%, which is lower than manufacturing (8.6%), computers and peripherals (9.7%), pharmaceuticals (16.0%) and beverage and tobacco products (19.3%)…. Continue Reading

A Look at Two Approaches to Oil and Gas Regulation

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

This is a tale of two regulatory schemes. First, there is the federal way, and I’m not making this up: In my last post we learned that if the BLM, when preparing its PRMP/FEIS (which in some incomprehensible way is different from a PRMP/EIS, but which nevertheless includes an RFD) which is issued by an EA and adopted… Continue Reading

HOW MUCH CONSENSUS IS THERE ON GLOBAL WARMING?

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

This post is not from a global warming denier. But I do appreciate even-handed assessments of the situation. Here are two reports that fit the bill.  In the London Telegraph, Geoffrey Lean says that recent research suggests climate change might not be as catastrophic as the gloomiest forecasts. But he warns that it will be decades, if not centuries,… Continue Reading

Who’s Against Fracking and What are They Saying?

Posted in Energy Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

“Science is my most favorite subject, especially the Old Testament.” Kenneth, 30 Rock Keeping in mind the importance of science, technology, and transparency in evaluating the safety and reliability of fracking, let’s take a look at some of the leaders in the anti-fracking movement. The results are worthy of your attention. Displaying an understanding of science… Continue Reading

What Can the Energy Industry Expect from Obama’s Second Term?

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

“It is better to stop a bad law than pass a good one.” Calvin Coolidge. Is anybody in Washington listening to Silent Cal?  What can the energy industry (oil and gas in particular) expect from the Administration in its second term?  Let’s gaze into the crystal ball: Carbon Tax The National Center for Policy Analysis predicts… Continue Reading

What is the Best Way to Fight Rising Sea Levels?

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

For the purposes of this conversation let’s agree that global warming exists, and let’s not argue about whether it is, as those who use big words say, “anthropomorphic”  “anthropogenic” or, as you and I might say, “man made”. Bjorn Lomborg doesn’t focus so much on the causes of rising sea levels; he proposes alternative ways to address the effects. In… Continue Reading

EPA Planning to Ban Coal-Fired Power Plants?

Posted in Energy Policy, Regulations

According to a Sunday blog post by Conn Carroll in the Washington Examiner, the EPA is hurrying efforts to implement regulations that would ban coal-fired power plants before the end of the year, in fear that a loss by President Obama in Tuesday’s election would put an end to what would otherwise be on the second-term agenda. Some will discredit that post as another example of … Continue Reading

EPA Region 6 Has New Administrator

Posted in Energy Policy, Regulations

Ron Curry is the EPA’s new administrator for Region 6, which is responsible for enforcement of federal environmental laws in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas.  Mr. Curry replaces Al “Crucify ‘em” Armendariz, who was sacked earlier this year after comments, caught on video, in which he likened his tactics to the Romans of antiquity who supressed the villages they… Continue Reading

Fracking is an Ally Against Global Warming

Posted in Energy Policy

  It is difficult to resist shameless promotion of natural gas, especially when to do so makes sense.  Here is an article by Bjorn Lomborg,   A Fracking Good Story . Mr Lomborg is is an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School, and founder and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and is known as a global warming skeptic, not because… Continue Reading

Portions of Pennsylvania’s Act 13 Declared Unconstitutional

Posted in Energy Policy, Local Ordinances

In a victory for local control of oil and gas activity, or for environmentalists hoping to ban gas drilling altogether, or both, a Pennsylvania court struck down two major provisions of that state’s new oil and gas statute as unconstitutional. Act 13 of the Pennsylvania legislature, signed into law in February 2012, significantly amended the Pennsylvania Oil… Continue Reading

Natural Gas Not Ready as a Transportation Fuel? There’s Always LNG Export

Posted in Energy Policy

In a recent entry on the blog Exxon Perspectives, the huge producer presents a number of reasons why relying on compressed natural gas as a transportation fuel might be misplaced, at least for the near future. Among the obstacles: Vehicle costs are high Infrastructure is nonexistent and costs will be high  CNG has lower energy density than… Continue Reading

What Can the Energy Industry Expect from the President’s Second Term?

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

It is better to stop a bad law than pass a good one. Calvin Coolidge. IsWashingtonlistening to Silent Cal? This post is about what the energy industry- oil and gas in particular -might expect from the Administration in its second term. Disclaimer: I dont sponsor any of these predictions. The authorsknow more about these subjects… Continue Reading