Thursday, December 8, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Trump Plans To Overturn Obama’s Pipeline Ban

Trump’s Full EPA Transition Team Named

In this newsletter:

1) Trump Plans To Overturn Obama’s Pipeline Ban
Nasdaq News, 6 December 2016
2) Trump Advisors Aim to Privatize Untapped Oil Reserves on Native American Reservations
Reuters, 5 December 2016
3) Trump’s Full EPA Transition Team Named
Watts Up With That, 5 December 2016
4) Harold Hamm Rejects Trump’s Offer of Energy Secretary, 1 December 2016
5) Al Gore Reaches Out To Donald Trump, Hoping To Convert Him
The Wall Street Journal, 5 December 2016
6) Ivanka Trump Will Have Difficulty Pushing Father To The Left On Environment
Washington Examiner, 6 December 2016
7) Ambrose: Trump Plans To Rely On All Energy Sources To Pick Up The Economy
Tribune News Service, 6 December 2016
8) Move Over Fracking: America’s Oil Shale Boom Hasn’t Even Started Yet
OZY News, October 2016 

Full details:

1) Trump Plans To Overturn Obama’s Pipeline Ban
Nasdaq News, 6 December 2016

President-elect Donald Trump is continuing with his new industrial policy to save and retain U.S. jobs -- and it is still more than a month before he takes the oath of office in Washington D.C. 

Immediately after the Obama administration stopped the progress of a prominent midwestern oil pipeline, by refusing to issue a new permit for the rest of the route, a spokesman for Trump's transition team said the incoming administration supports completing the project.

"With regard to the Dakota Access Pipeline, that's something that we support construction of and we'll review the full situation when we're in the White House and make the appropriate determination at that time," said Jason Miller, a spokesman for the president-elect, in New York City, at Trump Tower.

Out-of-state environmental activists broke out into public cheers during a rally after the U.S. Department of the Army, staffed by President Obama's progressive team, said the department wouldn't grant an easement required by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP to proceed through the Missouri River reservoir, the final 1,100-foot link yet to be built in the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline.

The Army statement said that alternate routes would be considered and a complete environmental study of the project should be conducted.

The statement Monday by the Trump transition team, however, demonstrated that decision would not hold any power after the new administration takes over in the coming weeks. The new oil pipeline is expected to generate 500,000 new barrels of oil per day.

Trump last week intervened in a threatened move overseas of a unit of United Technologies Corp. and in the weeks before that prevented Ford Motor Co from shuttering a plant in Kentucky and moving 1,000 jobs to Mexico. The move caused hackles at the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, by zealous free market intellectuals, but generated approval from the "average Joe" workers whose blue collar jobs were saved by the policy pronouncement.

The moves signal an industrial policy somewhat reminiscent of the Reagan era or the JFK era, when the U.S. goverment preached free trade, within American borders, and took an overall deregulatory approach. But was somewhat protectionist against foreign encroachments on U.S. markets which were not reciprocated by trading partners, and which harmed the "little guy," the American working man. Obama's policies have been viewed by market analysts as highly regulatory at home, especially of "green energy" issues and the energy industry in general, but laissez faire, free market with respect to foreign moves by publicly traded manufacturing corporations based in the U.S. Obama had told a worker last summer, whose job at UTC was being eliminated, that he should "get retrained in the clean power industry."

2) Trump Advisors Aim to Privatize Untapped Oil Reserves on Native American Reservations
Reuters, 5 December 2016

Native American reservations cover just 2% of the United States, but they may contain about a fifth of the nation’s oil and gas, along with vast coal reserves.

Now, a group of advisors to President-elect Donald Trump on Native American issues wants to free those resources from what they call a suffocating federal bureaucracy that holds title to 56 million acres of tribal lands, two chairmen of the coalition told Reuters in exclusive interviews.

Image result for Oil Reserves on Native American Reservations

The group proposes to put those lands into private ownership – a politically explosive idea that could upend more than century of policy designed to preserve Indian tribes on U.S.-owned reservations, which are governed by tribal leaders as sovereign nations.

The tribes have rights to use the land, but they do not own it. They can drill it and reap the profits, but only under regulations that are far more burdensome than those applied to private property.

“We should take tribal land away from public treatment,” said Markwayne Mullin, a Republican U.S. Representative from Oklahoma and a Cherokee tribe member who is co-chairing Trump’s Native American Affairs Coalition. “As long as we can do it without unintended consequences, I think we will have broad support around Indian country.”

Full story

3) Trump’s Full EPA Transition Team Named
Watts Up With That, 5 December 2016
Anthony Watts

Dr. David Schnare writes via email:

In addition to Myron Ebell and Amy Oliver , the following were just named as on the “landing team”, the group who will go to EPA to collect information needed for the transition. Here is my statement:

The President-Elect’s Transition team named me and others to the EPA Transition Landing Team today.  This will upset some of you and will please others.  My approach, and that of the entire transition team, is to be highly professional as we seek the information the transition team needs to create its action plans.  Our job will be to ask appropriate questions and to listen.  Any of you that would like to meet with our team, please let me know and I will transmit that to our team. In the mean time, I will have nothing to share on the team’s activities and I’ll not be airing my own opinions until our job is done. Best to you all.  – David Schnare

Environmental Protection Agency

David Kreutzer
Employer (current or most recent): The Heritage Foundation
Funding source: Private

Austin Lipari
Employer (current or most recent): The Federalist Society
Funding source: Volunteer

David Schnare
Employer (current or most recent): Energy and Environment Legal Institute
Funding source: Volunteer

David Stevenson
Employer (current or most recent): Caesar Rodney Institute
Funding source: Volunteer

George Sugiyama
Employer (current or most recent): The Sugiyama Group LLC
Funding source: Volunteer

4) Harold Hamm Rejects Trump’s Offer of Energy Secretary, 1 December 2016
Julianne Geiger

Energy mogul Harold Hamm will not be taking President-Elect Trump up on his offer to name him Energy Secretary, according to Fox News.

Hamm, who yesterday cleared a cool $3 billion in less than three hours off his shares in Continental Resources Inc. after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced that it had finally agreed to cap its production at 32.5 million barrels per day, also serves as the CEO of Continental Resources, which is clearly a full-time gig when he’s not busy raking in billions on the back of OPEC deals.

Hamm, whose net worth was previously estimated to be $13.8 billion, has served as Donald Trump’s energy advisor and has long been considered a front runner for the position of Energy Secretary.

“I am not considering the job,” Hamm said to Fox Business Network on Thursday.
According to Hamm, he’s happy assisting Trump from the sidelines, and is optimistic about America’s oil and gas industry under the new administration, which he sees as less regulation happy—particularly around fracking—and less tax happy.

Before the elections, Hamm called these regulations “death by a thousand cuts.” And Hamm would know, because Continental Resources was a pioneer in making oil from shale rock profitable in North Dakota.

Speaking of North Dakota, in his stead, Harold Hamm offered Trump an alternative Energy Secretary nominee: Rep. Kevin Cramer from North Dakota. In fact, Hamm said he thought Cramer would do a better job than he would.

"Kevin's a great guy, and he would be a perfect candidate, as well. I've put his name forward.”

Cramer has served as a congressman in North Dakota since 2012, and before that, he served as North Dakota’s utility regulator. Like Hamm, Cramer has been an advisor to Donald Trump on energy policy, writing two papers on the subject for him. Cramer considers himself a climate-change skeptic, but would likely steer Trump towards more neutral territory from his brash comments during the campaign about how the whole climate change thing is a hoax.

Full story

5) Al Gore Reaches Out To Donald Trump, Hoping To Convert Him
The Wall Street Journal, 5 December 2016
Michael Bender

One month after saying that Donald Trump “would take us toward a climate catastrophe,” former Vice President Al Gore met with the newly elected Republican on Monday in New York as he tries to extend an olive branch on his top issue.

Mr. Gore met with Mr. Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, who is reportedly interested in pursuing climate-change issues.

“I had a lengthy and very productive session with the president-elect. It was a sincere search for areas of common ground,” Mr. Gore told reporters at Trump Tower. “I had a meeting beforehand with Ivanka Trump. The bulk of the time was with the president-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued, and I’m just going to leave it at that.”

During the campaign, Mr. Gore criticized Mr. Trump’s stated positions on climate change, including an October campaign stop in Miami for then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in which he said electing Mr. Trump would lead to a “climate catastrophe.”

Mr. Trump has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax.” In 2012, he posted on Twitter that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

“Climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax—a lot of people are making a lot of money,” Mr. Trump said on Meet the Press in January. “I know much about climate change. I’ve received environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China. Obviously, I joke. But this is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change.”

After the election, Reince Priebus, chief of staff to Mr. Trump, said on Fox News that the president-elect’s “default” position is that he thinks “most of it is a bunch of bunk.”

Still. Mr. Gore has said that he hopes Mr. Trump won’t undo President Barack Obama’s ambitious climate agenda.

Full story

6) Ivanka Trump Will Have Difficulty Pushing Father To The Left On Environment
Washington Examiner, 6 December 2016
James Antle III

Ivanka Trump got former Vice President Al Gore inside Trump Tower to talk about global warming with President-elect Trump. If she uses her role as first daughter to serve as an informal climate change czar, her success could end there.

The eldest Trump daughter is close to her father. But she is not a Republican and is less conservative than her brothers Eric and Donald Jr. Ivanka benefits the most from the Trump family brand being about wealth and glamor, the least from its association with right-wing politics.

It's nevertheless been reported that Ivanka wishes to assume the bully pulpit usually wielded by the first lady and that climate change could become one of her signature issues. She has already served as an ambassador of sorts for her father in more liberal settings, such as her September appearance at "Weekend with Charlie Rose" in Aspen.

Jared Kushner, her husband, comes from a Democratic family. That hasn't stopped him from emerging as an important adviser to President-elect Trump, who has even floated the possibility that his son-in-law will have a role in the Middle East peace process.

Ivanka has already had an impact on her father's appeal to working women, helping to shape his approach to parental leave and other family issues. But environmental activism could be a bridge too far.

Donald Trump was elected president by Rust Belt states, with strong support from voters list environmental regulations alongside trade agreements as the reason for the decline in manufacturing jobs. He ran up huge margins in coal states, beating Hillary Clinton by 30 points in Kentucky and almost 42 points in Kentucky.

"He didn't win on an Al Gore environmental platform," said a Republican consultant. "Quite the opposite."

Trump defended coal jobs during the campaign and is said to have been frustrated with some of the regulations he personally encountered in real estate. Thomas Pyle of the pro-energy Institute for Energy Research is the transition team's point man for the Department of Energy, the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Myron Ebell at the Environmental Protection Agency. Ebell in particular is no fan of Gore or the EPA.

Ivanka's parental leave plan didn't thrill conservative advocates of limited government. But it could potentially appeal to some social conservatives who might look for new ways to be "pro-family" in a Trumpian Republican Party where government-cutting takes a back seat to other goals.

Trump's criticism of environmentalism was far more important to the coalition that elected him. It would be hard for him to embrace carbon dioxide regulations that could potentially kill the very jobs he has vowed to protect.

Even in his meeting with the New York Times, where he pledged to keep an open mind about climate change, Trump said what he would do about it would depend on "how much it will cost our companies."

Translation: I may not call global warming a Chinese hoax, but don't get your hopes up for cap and trade.

It's possible, of course, that Ivanka Trump will be able to promote smaller ball environmental initiatives that are less costly. That probably won't be enough for Gore, however. "I think the momentum is unstoppable now," he said on the fight against climate change in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes Monday night. "We're winning this."

Usually, when the word "conflict" appears in the same sentence with Donald and Ivanka Trump, it is a reference to whether the incoming president can disentangle himself from the family business empire. But there could be a conflict over environmental policy.

"He taught us that there's nothing that we cannot accomplish, if we marry vision and passion with an enduring work ethic," Ivanka declared of her father at the Republican National Convention.

Greening the Trump administration might take even more.

7) Ambrose: Trump Plans To Rely On All Energy Sources To Pick Up The Economy
Tribune News Service, 6 December 2016
Jay Ambrose
Who knows, but there’s at least a chance that President-elect Donald Trump could help save the world from global warming and, on top of that, from global warming alarmists with other means of doing harm.

Consider the following:

He is against President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which has the following faults: (1) It would cost consumers a fortune and save relatively little. (2) It would reduce temperatures by an insignificant fraction by century’s end. (3) It’s against the law. In fact, the plan is in court now and the outlook is that it will be ruled unconstitutional.

In producing the policy, the Environmental Protection Agency rather blatantly misinterpreted federal statutes to say it had the right to wipe out state laws all over the land, and it does not. Trump could get rid of it by executive order.

Without it, say those wanting to keep it in place, it would be hard for the United States to do its part in reducing carbon dioxide by amounts set forth in the Paris Agreement. There are, however, other answers, and the agreement signed by 193 nations includes multiple faults, not the least of them that it could thwart economic growth and thus kill people in developing countries.

The fact is, fossil fuels remain crucial to industrialization of the kind that can save hundreds of millions from destitution. Deny these fuels to the poor, and they stay poor. The richest countries say they will dish out billions of dollars to help, but much of that money would simply make corrupt, thieving leaders richer.
Trump wants to use dreaded coal. But he also wants to find ways to make the coal clean, and that’s possible, though not inexpensive.

It is outrageous that the Obama administration is tightening rules reducing the use of coal. Minus what Trump hopes for, the mineral is on its way out, anyway, and speeding up the decline simply means livelihoods are lost earlier than necessary.
A foremost cause of coal decline has been fracking that produces cheaper natural gas, shoving coal aside as it sends far less CO2 into the atmosphere. Not infrequently, Obama brags about CO2 reductions under his watch, but it’s free-market fracking far more than governmental interventions that’s the champ.

Fracking could have achieved more if the administration had allowed more drilling on federal lands, something Trump pledges to do. That move would also increase oil production, making us increasingly less dependent on Middle East oil.

Trump plans to rely on all energy sources to pick up the economy, and that includes wind power and solar, although he considers solar panels a fraud. He does want to end subsidies to renewable fuels, and he is absolutely right. Let the free market have at it instead, saving public money and more likely leading to breakthroughs. Tip of the day: Crony capitalism does not work.

Full post

8) Move Over Fracking: America’s Oil Shale Boom Hasn’t Even Started Yet
OZY News, October 2016
James Watkins

Oil 81788220
Potential extraction for three types of U.S. oil reserves (from top to bottom): zapping, tapping and fracking. These figures from the USGS show “technically recoverable” deposits. Scale: 1:4.2 trillion. GETTY/SHUTTERSTOCK

What do Hot Pockets and oil shale have in common? As it turns out, more than you might imagine. True, you can’t bake oil shale the way you can Hot Pockets. And you can’t steam Hot Pockets (unless you like ’em soggy) the way you can oil shale when you want to siphon off its black gold. But there is one preparation method that works for both these two improbable sources of abundant energy, and it’s probably in your kitchen at this very moment: microwaves.

As strange as it sounds, producers are experimenting with ways to zap previously unextractable oil resources with microwaves, which has the potential to kick-start an even bigger energy revolution than fracking — and appease environmentalists while they’re at it. This is potentially “a whole shift in the paradigm,” says Peter Kearl, co-founder and CTO of Qmast, a Colorado-based company pioneering the use of the microwave tech. Some marquee names are betting on the play: Oil giants BP and ConocoPhillips are pouring resources into developing similar extraction techniques, which can be far less water- and energy-intensive than fracking.

If producers can find a way to microwave oil shales in the Green River Formation, which sprawls across Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, the nation’s recoverable reserves could soar and energy independence could become more than an election slogan. Even with existing methods — strip-mining the shale and then cooking it, or injecting steam to cook the rock underground (hydraulic fracturing is useless here) — the formation contains enough oil to last the U.S. 165 years at current rates of consumption. Microwave extraction could goose those numbers even higher. After all, there are more than 4 trillion (with a “t”) barrels of oil in the Green River Formation. And yet this microwave extraction technology comes at a time when the world is awash in oil, and prices are so low that domestic producers are having a hard time pumping at a profit.

Time for a quick geology lesson. Don’t worry, if “painless” and “geology lesson” ever belonged in the same sentence, it’s this one. The most important takeaway: Don’t confuse shale oil with the not-at-all-confusingly-named oil shale. Shale oil is essentially liquid oil locked up in rock that’s found in deep formations and requires hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for it to flow freely to the wellbore for extraction. Oil shale, on the other hand, isn’t really oil yet. Instead, it is found in more shallow formations that contain solid organic materials called kerogen.

“You can get oil out of it,” says Dr. Seth Shonkoff, executive director of the energy science and policy institute PSE Healthy Energy, but it “usually involves subjecting the oil shale to high heat.” High heat from, say, microwaves. OK, class dismissed.
In Kearl’s playbook, you’d leave the kerogen in the ground and bring its oil to the surface. Producers would microwave oil shale formations with a beam as powerful as 500 household microwave ovens, cooking the kerogen and releasing the oil

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

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