Dan Reed

40 Years Later, Still Dependent on Foreign Oil

Forty years ago, I was a 15-year-old, mostly B-team high school football player. Good thing, too. All the weightlifting I had to do came in handy when, more times than I can count, I had to push my mom’s gas-less Plymouth the last block or two of the waiting line at the one gas station in my hometown that remained open past noon most days. Continue reading…

RP Siegel

Big Oil Fights Obsolescence on Multiple Fronts

Let’s make no bones about it: The fossil fuel industry recognizes that major forces at play – namely the onset and rapid deployment of renewable and other alternative energy sources – pose an existential threat. This enormously powerful industry is using all the weapons at its disposal and battling on several fronts. Continue reading…

Dan Reed

U.S. Natural Gas Production Becoming More Popular

Southerners today owe much to Willis Carrier.

Similarly, they – along with the rest of America – may soon come to hold George Mitchell in the same high regard.

Carrier invented modern air conditioning in 1902. Beginning in the 1950s, air conditioning became affordable and economically practical. It transformed the South from a sparsely populated agrarian backwater dominated by landed gentry (and worked mostly by impoverished descendants of both slaves and stubbornly self-reliant Scots-Irish immigrants) into a booming economic dynamo. Continue reading…

RP Siegel

Domestic Fuel Boom Could Become a Bursting Bubble

When you have a hot product that people are buying lots of, you want to try and sell as much as you can while the getting is good. That is clearly the case with natural gas right now, which at historically low prices is enjoying unprecedented success.

No wonder then that suppliers are trying to whip up demand even further to lock in commitments to natural gas infrastructure before the bubble bursts and prices float back up to historic levels, which they will much sooner than most people expect.

That’s why we’re seeing events like the Penn State Natural Gas Utilization Conference, which brought industry and government officials together to try and find new ways to increase demand for natural gas, which, of course, Pennsylvania has in abundance right now. In fact, there is so much gas available in Pennsylvania right now, supply exceeds demand, which is a problem if you’re a producer. Continue reading…

Dan Reed

In Burying the Lead, United Nations Reveals True Agenda

A beloved and respected college professor in the late 1970s, who had split his time in the 1960s between covering the civil rights movement in the South and the Lyndon Johnson Whitehouse for the New York Times, regularly warned all of us would-be journalists against the devices of “all-knowing, all-seeing, but unseen editors in their ivory towers” seeking to influence policy with agenda-driven reporting.

“We’d get these cables from senior editors in New York,” my professor told us on more than one occasion, harkening back to the days when instructions to reporters in distant bureaus actually were transmitted by Western Union. “And they’d say something like ‘Editors have determined ‘this’ or ‘that’ to be true. Find Facts. Prove Same.’  Then we’d go out and, more often than not, be unable to find the evidence to support the editors’ position. But they wouldn’t listen to the reporters in the field. They knew better.”

Today, while some (perhaps many) news organizations still are driven, at least at times by that bias-laden approach, the tactic has taken even deeper, more sinister root at the intersection of policy and scientific research. The latest evidence is found deep inside the report issued recently by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Continue reading…

Dan Reed

Relatively Low Gas Prices Helped in the Recession

It has been a long time since U.S. oil producers last pumped out of the ground as much oil as they’re pumping out these days. Twenty-three years and 11 months, as a matter of fact. And it is thanks, primarily, to the unconventional exploration and drilling techniques perfected in recent years that Americans more than any other people are reaping significant – and surprising – economic benefits from all that production. Continue reading…

RP Siegel

Flow Batteries Overcome Hurdles in Utility Scale Storage Race

Clearly, as we make our way towards a renewable energy future in which we’ll be taking advantage of these free inexhaustible sources, we’ll need to solve the energy storage problem with a cost effective solution. It’s anybody’s guess at this point as to which horse will win that race. The finish line, at least for now, would be DOE’s stated target of $100 per kWh.

Continue reading…

Dan Reed

Failure to Act Has Major Consequences for Nuclear Energy Industry

Quando omni flunkus moritati.

That’s pseudo-Latin for “When all else fails, play dead.” And it’s the motto from The Possum Lodge, a rundown hunting club/hangout for an eclectic band of Canadian oddballs who populated the cult-hit The Red Green Show (shown in the U.S. on PBS stations.)

But Quando omni flunkus moritatati just as easily could be the motto for the possums who populate the Obama Administration – and sometimes Congress – when it comes to making important decisions that will affect the U.S. energy markets and the national economy for decades to come. Whenever an important energy policy decision needs to be made that might upset some group of political supporters and/or donors, their first step is to delay. Their second step is to delay some more. And their final step is to delay so long that everyone thinks the issue is dead. Continue reading…

RP Siegel

Electric Vehicles are Beginning to Get Traction

“The times they are a-changing.” So said Bob Dylan back in 1964, at what was only the beginning of an era of change that, almost 50 years later, is apparently just getting warmed up. Last year’s novelties are next year’s certainties. That certainly seems to be the case with electric vehicles.

After a false start back in the late 90s with the EV-1, which was conceptually ahead of its time, the technology and public opinion seem to finally be catching up with the idea. Continue reading…