Category Archives: Energy

January 9, 2017

Running on Fumes: Pandemonium at Mexico’s Gas Pumps

One week into 2017, and Mexico is already descending into chaos.

A week of protests in Mexico has devolved into looting, vandalism, and violence after a double-digit increase in gas prices that landed with a bang as the New Year began.

On Saturday, hundreds of protestors descended on the border dividing San Diego from Mexico, taking control of Mexican Customs and forcing a southbound border shutdown lasting several hours. Thousands of Mexicans returning home from California were forced to turn back toward the U.S. and seek out alternative border crossing points. And that was neither the worst nor the end of it.

These increasingly violent protests did not begin because of “The Wall” that U.S.-President-Elect Donald Trump will ask Congress to fund (for now), but they will certainly have an impact on the border he says he wants to defend. And the more he pressures Mexico economically, the worse it’s going to get.

Through the week, roads across Mexico were blocked by protesters and burning tires, thousands of businesses were ransacked, upward of 1500 people—among them, police officers— were arrested, and at least five people were killed as furious citizens took to the streets following the more than 20 percent price gas hike.

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October 14, 2016

Wikileaks Bombshell: John Podesta Owned 75,000 Shares in Putin-Connected Energy Company

Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta’s membership on the executive board of an energy company, Joule Unlimited, which received millions from a Putin-connected Russian government fund, also included “75,000 common shares,” according to an email exchange uncovered by the Wikileaks hacks.

In the newly-uncovered email exchanged under the subject “Podesta Outstanding Docs for Joule,” Eryn Sepp, who was an assistant to Podesta at the Center for American Progress, forwarded a message to Podesta from Mark C. Solakian, who was Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Joule Unlimited Technologies, Inc.

“It is my understanding that John transferred the resulting 75,000 common shares from the option exercise to the Leonidio LLC.,” Slovakian wrote in a January 2014 email, referencing the Delaware-based holding company. “As such, we would need to edit the Transfer of Share Agreement to reflect the transfer of 75,000 common shares to the LLC.”

Podesta’s membership on the board of directors of Joule Unlimited was first revealed in research from Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large and Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President Peter Schweizer.

In the report, tilted, “From Russia with Money: Hillary Clinton, the Russian Reset, and Cronyism,” it’s revealed that Podesta joined the Joule Unlimited board in June 2011.

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August 28, 2016

Consumers Pay Because Regulators Allow Natural Gas Use at This Solar Plant

Rich consortium gets huge subsidies from taxpayers to build a plant. Check. Regulators OK a contract that forces consumers to pay four to five times the going rate for its product. Check. And the product actually is nowhere near as “green” as people thought it’d be. Check.

Consumers are getting burned by a taxpayer-subsidized solar power plant in California’s Mojave Desert.

An immensely wealthy consortium owns the plant. Government regulators approved a contract forcing consumers to pay four to five times the going rate for electricity produced by the plant.

And the energy, because of an inordinate use of gas, turns out to be nowhere as “green” as folks thought they’d get.

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is one of the largest solar projects in the country.

Ivanpah has an impressive pedigree: It is owned by NRG Energy, BrightSource Energy, and Google Inc. BrightSource itself is owned by a consortium including Google, General Electric Corp., Chevron Corp., BP Alternative Energy, and Morgan Stanley.

Together, these companies command market capitalization in excess of $1 trillion. One would think that with such enormous capital and financial sophistication, Ivanpah’s owners could have undertaken this project without government support.

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August 21, 2016

Texas shale oil has fought Saudi Arabia to a standstill

Opec may now have to brace for a longer war of attrition than they ever imagined. Global inventories of crude oil remain near all-time highs, record volumes are being stored on tankers off-shore.

Opec’s worst fears are coming true. Twenty months after Saudi Arabia took the fateful decision to flood world markets with oil, it has still failed to break the back of the US shale industry.

The Saudi-led Gulf states have certainly succeeded in killing off a string of global mega-projects in deep waters. Investment in upstream exploration from 2014 to 2020 will be $1.8 trillion less than previously assumed, according to consultants IHS. But this is a bitter victory at best.

North America’s hydraulic frackers are cutting costs so fast that most can now produce at prices far below levels needed to fund the Saudi welfare state and its military machine, or to cover Opec budget deficits.

Scott Sheffield, the outgoing chief of Pioneer Natural Resources, threw down the gauntlet last week – with some poetic licence – claiming that his pre-tax production costs in the Permian Basin of West Texas have fallen to $2.25 a barrel.

“Definitely we can compete with anything that Saudi Arabia has. We have the best rock,” he said. Revolutionary improvements in drilling technology and data analytics that have changed the cost calculus faster than almost anybody thought possible.

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July 21, 2016

No **** Sherlock: Renewable Energy is a Disaster, New York Times Reveals

Today’s “No Shit Sherlock” award goes to the New York Times‘s environment pages for their belated discovery that renewable energy is a lame duck.

Is the global effort to combat climate change, painstakingly agreed to in Paris seven months ago, already going off the rails?

Germany, Europe’s champion for renewable energy, seems to be having second thoughts about its ambitious push to ramp up its use of renewable fuels for power generation.

Hoping to slow the burst of new renewable energy on its grid, the country eliminated an open-ended subsidy for solar and wind power and put a ceiling on additional renewable capacity.

Germany may also drop a timetable to end coal-fired generation, which still accounts for over 40 percent of its electricity, according to a report leaked from the country’s environment ministry. Instead, the government will pay billions to keep coal generators in reserve, to provide emergency power at times when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine.

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May 4, 2016

Navajo Nation In Crisis As EPA Tries To Shutter The West’s Largest Coal Plant (Video)

Historically power plants and mines have been some of the best jobs for those in the nation, but the plants do more than just provide high paying jobs they have allowed the Navajo Nation to preserve its unique cultural identity.” says Arizona state Sen. Carlyle Begay, himself of Navajo heritage.

The Navajo residents of Page, Ariz., have gotten to the point where they openly worry their modest rush hour may end altogether.

The rush hour consists of only a few hundred cars carrying 520 people out to the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), heading down a windy road to the coal-fired power plant, which is dramatically positioned on a ridge a mile from the shores of Lake Powell, the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States.

The Navajo coal plant’s lease is set to expire in 2019, pending complex negotiations aimed at extending operations until 2044. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations have complicated the plant’s future through so-called Regional Haze regulations, which were crafted to improve visibility and not curb pollution. In essence, the Navajo Nation and the region could lose a key source of economic prosperity to slightly improve tourists’ view of the Grand Canyon.

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April 23, 2016

Fossil Fuels: The Greenest Energy (Video)

To make earth cleaner, greener and safer, which energy sources should humanity rely on? Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress explains how modern societies have cleaned up our water, air and streets using the very energy sources you may not have expected–oil, coal and natural gas.

March 24, 2016

Too Big to Fail? Large Solar Power Plant Going Bust (Video)

Located in the desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, IVANPAH is the nations largest solar power plant… and now it’s failing!

March 21, 2016

Lights out for Venezuela’s socialist regime

Electricity fails for being provided ‘the same way that Bernie Sanders wants to supply education – free’

Venezuelans will “enjoy” an extended Easter holiday next week as a worsening electricity shortage has forced the government to shut down the country for five days.

President Nicolas Maduro granted everyone an extra three days off work next week, making the typically two-day Easter holiday five days long. The goal is to ease demand on Venezuela’s power grid.

William Murray, chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C., has studied centrally planned societies, recently writing a book called “Utopian Road to Hell: Enslaving America and the World with Central Planning.” He believes he knows what the real problem is.

“The reason that there’s an electricity shortage, a power shortage, in Venezuela is because power in Venezuela is supplied in the same way that Bernie Sanders wants to supply education and medicine in the United States – free of charge,” Murray told WND. “There is no charge for electricity in Venezuela.”

According to Bloomberg, the Venezuelan government has rationed electricity and water for months and encouraged citizens to avoid waste. Venezuela is in the midst of a prolonged drought that has reduced output at hydroelectric dams, which supply the majority of the country’s power.

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March 18, 2016

Ivanpah Solar Plant May Be Forced to Shut Down

Federally backed project asks California regulators for more time to sort out its problems.

A federally backed, $2.2 billion solar project in the California desert isn’t producing the electricity it is contractually required to deliver to PG&E Corp., which says the solar plant may be forced to shut down if it doesn’t receive a break Thursday from state regulators.

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