The Economics and Politics of Domestic Energy Production Growth

The good news is America finally has a national energy policy we can believe in.  Even better news is that this national energy policy is being defined, shaped and driven by the markets and the ingenuity of investors, landowners and business people all across America.  The challenge we face is keeping our government out of the way and out of our pockets so that this economic revival and its multiplying economic effect and the low cost energy it is producing can become sustainable. There are at …Continue Reading »

Texas Requires Frac Cocktail Disclosure

New rules proposed by the Texas Railroad Commission requiring the disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing went into effect in the Lone Star State February 1, 2012 for all initial drilling permits issued after that date. The rules were adopted in response to a bill approved by the Texas Legislature in May 2011. The rules require public posting on the chemicals used on fracfocus.org designed to that purpose. Texas joins a growing number of states imposing disclosure requires on …Continue Reading »

Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Put Off until After the 2012 Election

President Obama decided to delay a decision on the$ 7 billion Keystone XL Pipeline expansion running from Alberta to the Gulf coast until after the 2012 Presidential election.  The State Department technically has the lead role in approval of the pipeline construction permit since it crosses the Canadian border.  In a statement the State Department said it needed more time to review alternate routes out of an abundance of caution over the groundwater risk to the Ogallala Aquifer of any oil spill …Continue Reading »

USEPA Cross State Air Rule threatens 55 GW of Power Generation

US EPA Cross State Air Rule messes with Texas in a big way. The reason ERCOT exists today is that the Lone Star State hated Federal regulation so much that it did everything in its power to avoid Federal Power Act jurisdiction and walled off Texas from the rest of the Eastern Interconnect to maintain its independence. Today many Texans still think that is a good idea! But avoiding Federal power regulation is not enough to save Texas from the US Environmental Protection Agency and its Cross …Continue Reading »

Wind When We Need It

There is much to admire about Texas, and no, this is not a political commentary on Texas Governor Rick Perry or his run for President.  In the energy space, Texas has been a leader since Spindletop blew its top and put oil on the map for the Lone Star State.  Texas has also been a leader in both offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore development of its unconventional oil and gas resources using horizontal drilling. I had the privilege to be part of the clean energy vanguard in …Continue Reading »

Will Austin Energy Double Down on Renewables?

That is the decision to be made over the next few weeks as the City Council of Austin Texas takes up the proposed 2020 Generation Plan proposed by Austin Energy.[1] The key question is whether Austin will reduce or phase out its current coal fired generation from its partnership with the Lower Colorado River Authority in the Fayette Power Project and up the ante on its renewable energy portfolio share to as much as 35%. Roger Duncan, Austin Energy’s iconic General Manager retired at the end of …Continue Reading »