Friday, December 16, 2016

Trump’s Top Nominations Signal Push For American Energy Boom








North America: 21st Century’s Energy Superpower

In this newsletter:

1) Trump’s Top Nominations Signal Push For American Energy Boom
PoliZette, 13 December 2016
 
2) Climate Sceptic Rick Perry Is Trump’s Pick To Lead US Department of Energy 
Post Register, 13 December 2016 
 
3) Donald Trump Picks Climate Sceptic Ryan Zinke As Secretary of the Interior
The Sun, 14 December 2016 
 
4) BBC Interview With Benny Peiser On Trump’s Climate & Energy Policies
BBC Radio Scotland, 8 December 2016
                 
5) Coal Is Resurgent, Renewables In Retreat: Energy With Trump
Associated Press, 8 December 2016
 
6) North America: 21st Century’s Energy Superpower
The American Interest, 1 December 2016

Full details:

1) Trump’s Top Nominations Signal Push For American Energy Boom
PoliZette, 13 December 2016
Jim Stinson

President-Elect Donald Trump’s selection of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state indicates the next administration will be more focused on energy than perhaps any other in recent U.S. history.

The choice, despite hand-wringing from Democratic critics such as former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, sends a clear signal to Congress, policymakers, and the world: Energy will be key to America’s economic growth and revival.

The statement is further backed up by Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. And by the fact Trump is considering former Texas Gov. Rick Perry for secretary of energy. Few governors have to know energy policy more than a Texas governor.

It’s all a bold statement because under President Obama and other world leaders, it became trendy to diss energy producers and play up “green energy,” despite the fact solar and wind power may not be able to provide the numbers that consumers need.

Trump is signaling a commitment to an economy powered well and cheaply by abundant supplies of oil, gasoline and electricity.

Full story
 
2) Climate Sceptic Rick Perry Is Trump’s Pick To Lead US Department of Energy 
Post Register, 13 December 2016 
Luke Ramseth

President-elect Donald Trump plans to select former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to lead the U.S. Department of Energy, according to the Associated Press and multiple other reports.

Perry, 66, famously forgot DOE was one of three departments he would eliminate five years ago during a Republican presidential primary debate. “Sorry. Oops,” he said.

As Texas governor from 2000 to 2015, Perry oversaw a natural gas and oil drilling boom, the state became the country’s top wind power producer, and coal-fired power generation thrived — even as other states decreased reliance on the energy source due to pollution concerns. Like Trump, Perry has said he is skeptical of climate change, despite overwhelming scientific evidence.

It’s unknown how Perry’s energy background might translate to leading an agency charged with a broad range of duties, from overseeing the nation’s nuclear weapons, to cleaning up nuclear waste and conducting research at 17 national laboratories. DOE has a budget of $30 billion — larger than agencies such as NASA, the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency, but far smaller than the state of Texas’ $110 billion in annual spending. […]

Perry would join at least one other prominent climate change skeptic in Trump’s cabinet: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who Trump picked to lead the EPA. Trump previously called climate change a “hoax,” then recently appeared to moderate his stance. But over the weekend he told Fox News that “nobody really knows” whether climate change is real, despite widespread scientific agreement that humans are causing it.

Full story

3) Donald Trump Picks Climate Sceptic Ryan Zinke As Secretary of the Interior
The Sun, 14 December 2016 

DONALD Trump is set to pick yet another climate change sceptic for his next appointment, Ryan Zinke, who has been slammed by Greenpeace and is a massive fan of hunting.

The Montana Republican was the hot tip to get the role of US secretary of interior on Tuesday, according to a number of top transition sources.

It was reported by NBC News Zinke, 55, who is a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, has sealed the deal for the role.

The Interior Department looks after managing around three-quarters of federal land and natural resources.

Full story

4) BBC Interview With Benny Peiser On Trump’s Climate & Energy Policies
BBC Radio Scotland, 8 December 2016
                
Interview on Newsdrive, BBC Radio Scotland, 8 December 2016
 
Bill Whiteford: Now there’s been fierce criticism of Donald Trump’s decision to choose a climate change sceptic to head the US Environmental Protection Agency. Scott Pruitt is the Attorney General of the oil rich state of Oklahoma and is seen as a close ally of the fossil fuel industry. Joining us now is Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, itself a sceptical organisation… So what do you make of this [decision], do you think it marks a big change in policy, not just in the States but throughout the world?

Benny Peiser: Yes it does, it signals clearly that Donald Trump will radically change direction on both climate and energy policy, which will have huge ramifications both for the US and also internationally. European countries will think very hard before they decide to go it alone yet again. Any country that tries to go it alone will suffer detrimental economic consequences because America has a huge advantage now, it is an energy superpower. Cheap oil and cheap gas is making America more competitive and countries that go for more expensive forms of energy will become less competitive.

BW: Are we not due, as a country (the United Kingdom), to ratify the Paris treaty soon?

BP: Yes, but the Paris Agreement is not legally binding so it doesn’t actually mean very much to any countries. It was produced in such a way that it doesn’t have to go through the US Senate – so it doesn’t have any legally binding targets. So countries can do what they want, apart from the few, like Britain, that have legally binding targets. Britain will suffer its own consequences because it has no flexibility on these issues, but other countries such as India and China will now do business as usual.

BW: Scott Pruitt may be the head of the EPA, after his nomination gets through the Senate, but the EPA itself is a huge organisation, all of which is predicated on climate change – how can he change that?

BP: He doesn’t have to change very much on the science issue; the policies will change. First of all, because of the realisation that America is sitting on a huge gold mine in the form of cheap oil and gas, any countries that has huge shale reserves will exploit them, they will produce huge amounts of cheap energy, which will make alternative forms of energy like wind and solar even more expensive than they are. So America will have a huge competitive advantage as a result, and I think the Trump administration will go full speed to exploit these cheap resources.

BW: What does this mean for renewables in places like Britain?

BP: Britain, if it continues on its current path, will become less and less competitive. We already have higher production costs; energy in the US is a third of the cost than in Britain. Any country that is becoming too expensive in terms of energy will suffer and their industries will suffer and will just move to places where it’s cheaper to produce.

BW: But in the States at the moment they are actually exporting their shale gas because they’re producing too much of it – that is why it is coming to Grangemouth in Scotland, for Ineos. If they keep drilling, they’ll make far too much of it and it will be too cheap, and actually their own shale industry will go bust.

BP: That’s why they are so keen on OPEC doing a deal to try and push up the price of oil. Obviously, if there is too much, the prices go down and only the most efficient companies will survive. Many hundred of shale companies have gone bust because the price has gone down.  Nevertheless, the US is sitting on a hundred years worth of cheap oil and gas and I don’t see that this is going to change. Trump is in all likelihood going to accelerate that, and any country that thinks they can go green and ignore cheap energy will suffer economically.

BW: Dr Benny Peiser, from the Global Warming Policy Forum, thanks very much.

5) Coal Is Resurgent, Renewables In Retreat: Energy With Trump
Associated Press, 8 December 2016 

If you want a snapshot of what the global energy map will look like under President Donald Trump, look no farther than the stock market.

Glencore Plc, the world’s top coal trader, surged more than 7 percent the day after the election. Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s biggest wind-turbine maker, plunged as much as 13 percent. The swing foretells a story of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel making a comeback, while the fight against climate change — and investment in wind and solar power — languishes.

“De-carbonization, which has been the organizing principle of Obama’s energy policy, came to a screeching halt last night,” said Bob McNally, president of consultant Rapidan Group in Washington and a former senior energy official at the White House under Republican President George W. Bush.

In his only major energy policy speech before the elections, Trump said that he would rescind “job-destroying” environmental regulations within 100 days of taking office and cancel the climate deal reached last year in Paris.

“A Trump administration will focus on real environmental challenges, not the phony ones we’ve been looking at,” Trump told supporters in May in North Dakota, the birth-place of the U.S. shale revolution.

If the president-elect delivers on his campaign promises, he could effectively roll back eight years of U.S. energy policy, with consequences to industry giants like Exxon Mobil Corp. and oil-rich nations including Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

“Trump has promised a dramatic shift in U.S. energy policy, from getting out of the Paris climate deal, to easing regulation on domestic oil and gas drilling, to scrapping the Clean Power Plan that affects the role of coal,” said Jason Bordoff, director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and a former White House official under President Obama. […]

“The result is undoubtedly a blow for the renewable energy industry,” said Matt Loffman, an analyst at energy consultant Douglas-Westwood in Houston. “The historic election result is perhaps welcome news for a hydrocarbon industry that has been on the ropes for over two years.”

As Trump shapes his energy agenda, the first clue about his priorities could come with his selection for secretary of energy…. Whoever his choice as energy secretary, the global fossil fuels industry, which over the last four years has been on the defensive with Obama, is likely to find a friend in the White House.

“The oil and gas industry is a clear winner with the new president,” said Alexandre Andlauer, head of oil at research firm Alphavalue in Paris. “U.S. oil companies have a better future today than yesterday.”

Full story

6) North America: 21st Century’s Energy Superpower
The American Interest, 1 December 2016

North America is turning into one of the world’s biggest energy powerhouses of the 21st century.

American natural gas production has increased more than 50 percent over the past ten years, a welcome development that comes to us courtesy of the shale boom. Fracking has unleashed a flood of new supplies of hydrocarbons on the American natural gas market, and has kept prices in the bargain basement range for years now, as anyone currently heating their home with natural gas or propane will be able to tell you. But these benefits aren’t solely being enjoyed here in the U.S.—our southern neighbor is importing more American natural gas now than ever before.

The EIA reports:

The expansion of the U.S. cross-border pipeline network into Mexico has been driven primarily by strong growth in Mexico’s natural gas demand in the power sector, declining domestic production, and the lower prices of U.S. pipeline gas compared with more expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports…In the next three years, U.S. pipeline capacity into Mexico will nearly double. […]

The expansion of U.S. pipeline export capacity to Mexico has been matched by the expansion of Mexico’s domestic pipeline network, which includes 12 additional pipelines with a total capacity of 9.7 Bcf/d currently in development within Mexico…U.S. pipeline exports to Mexico have increased significantly over the past several years and are beginning to gradually displace Mexico’s LNG imports.

Thanks to the American shale boom, Mexico is suddenly capable of weaning itself off of expensive LNG imports, and it’s working closely with the U.S. to build out the necessary pipeline infrastructure to unleash this glut of shale gas south of the border.

We’ve long argued that the shale revolution was just one piece (though undoubtedly the most important) of a larger North American energy boom. Canada has plenty of crude left to plumb in the oil-rich province of Alberta; the United States is flush with tight oil, shale gas, and increasingly with wind and solar farms as well; and Mexico is working to privatize its own oil industry (through a series of sometimes painful reforms) in order to boost efficiencies and more fully develop its own prodigious domestic energy sources.

Further integration of the continent’s energy supply chains will only serve to strengthen North America’s position as one of the world’s biggest energy powerhouses in the 21st century.

Full post

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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