Monthly Archives: September 2011

U.S.Chamber of Commerce to Pres. Obama–How to Create Jobs


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to President Obama and Congress on creating jobs.The letter’s purpose is stated as follows:

OPEN LETTER TO CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

The most immediate priority facing our nation is to create jobs for the 25 million Americans who are unemployed, underemployed, or have simply given up looking for work.

To create jobs, we must enact policies that promote and sustain stronger economic growth. We must also address extraordinary fiscal and competitive challenges that are smothering growth and driving away jobs. At the same time, there are specific steps Congress and the administration can take right now to spur faster job growth in America’s private sector without adding to the deficit.

The letter has a number of sections. I have picked out one of them that relates to the Climate Change Sanity blogs theme:

2. PRODUCE MORE AMERICAN ENERGY

Let American energy workers and businesses responsibly develop all sources of domestic energy immediately. This will not only create jobs but will generate new government revenues, protect our energy security, and release us from the grip of some unfriendly governments.

                              Open offshore resources. Almost 190,000 new jobs could be created by 2013 if permitting in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore development returned to pre-moratorium levels. In Alaska, opening up energy production off the coast would create 54,700 jobs.

                              Expand access on federal lands. By expanding oil and gas exploration on federal lands, we could create 530,000 jobs, reduce imports by 44% by 2025, and increase government revenues by $206 billion.

                              Promote development of natural gas. Expanding the development of the nation’s massive shale gas deposits would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and help bring manufacturing back to the United States, especially in the chemicals and steel industries.

By 2020, natural gas production in Western Pennsylvania alone could create 116,000 new jobs, generate more than $2 billion in government revenues, and add $20 billion to the region’s economy.

                        Approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline connecting Canada to U.S. refineries in Texas would support 250,000 jobs, boost investment in the United States by $20 billion, and generate government revenues totaling $585 million.

Well said, and certainly in line with yesterday’s posting see here.

The other letter sections are as follows and worth reading:

  • Expand Trade and Global Commerce
  • Speed Up Infrastructure Projects
  • Welcome Tourists and Business Visitors to the U.S.
  • Speed Up Permits and Provide Regulatory Certainty and Relief
  • Pass Tax Incentives That Create Jobs While Increasing Revenues

cbdakota

 

 

One Billion Motor Vehicles And Peak Oil


Oilprice.com noted that in August, Wards Auto published a story saying that World motor vehicle count now stands at 1 billion.  The U.S. still has the largest registration at about 240 million.   In the Oilprice.com blog, the author considers what 1 billion vehicles and the likelihood of even more being added in the next 25 years might mean. It is interesting reading.  He seems to favor governmental intervention to ameliorate supply (read PEAK OIL) versus demand for fossil fuels.   He says:

It is highly unlikely that there will be anything approaching 240 million registered vehicles in the U.S. 25 years from now. From the vantage point of 2011, it seems probable that many will not be able to afford to own and operate personal motor vehicles of the size and types we have today.

He thinks that the newly mandated CAFÉ standard is just what we need and that we will have to abandon 6 passenger cars and other large sized vehicles. He says:

  In the U.S. we are now facing standards requiring that cars achieve an average of 54.5 MPG 15 years from now. First will come all sorts of weight reductions, such as eliminating spare tires, and adding more plastic and aluminum parts. Engines will become more efficient and car bodies will become more aerodynamic.  Although these changes will be costly, it does not take much arithmetic to conclude that if energy costs are three or four times higher than they are today then mileage will become the key factor by which motor vehicles are judged.

Detractors of these new mileage standards are usually people who have little grasp, or prefer not to think about where real energy costs are going to be 15 years from now. They point out the advanced materials required to build a low-weigh, high mileage, vehicles will be so great that it will push cars beyond what many, if not most, can afford.  

Due to governmental interference, the U.S. is facing an artificial Peak Oil problem.   This artificial Peak Oil Problem is really a part of the Peak Energy Problem that governmental interference is causing.    We have a lot of fossil fuels.  The U.S has the largest reserve of fossil fuels in the world.  It is likely that North America could become energy independent.  Yes, no propping-up Venezuela nor other countries that don’t have our best interest in mind.   And what a break for our balance of payments.  Becoming completely energy independent might possibly be the wrong thing to do because the prices of crude oil could fall below our production cost thanks to the U.S. bringing on more production capacity.  I don’t want the government to dictate how much crude we should produce or purchase.  Let the market decide whether we produce or buy.

Peak Oil will come sometime, but not in the near future.  What the U.S. is facing is an ideological, artificial Peak Oil problem.   The Obama administration gives money to “renewable fuels” programs and tells us that we must do this to reduce the purchase of foreign crude.   How the government thinks they can do this with renewable fuels is beyond comprehension.  Renewable fuels, are now neither economic nor reliable enough to do that.  In fact, the electrical grid people that distribute the nation’s electricity have found it necessary to have fossil fuel powered back-up capacity equal to the wind or solar capacity.  The renewables can’t be scheduled, meaning their supply is too erratic to provide steady voltage and current.  The wind slows down or stops or the sun goes behind clouds and the former balance of supply and demand goes south. They have to have something as a backup to keep the lights on.  Their second argument is that fossil fuels not be used as combustion results in C02.   The fossil fuel back-up capacity blows that argument.  See here and here to read about the folly of renewable fuels.

The Radical Environmentalists fight every attempt to develop our resources.   Oil in Alaska, offshore oil, oil in the Baaken field, nuclear power, low cost coal,etc..  It doesn’t matter, they are against it.   They use global warming, polar bears, darter fish, left-handed ground squirrels  (I guess I made that one up) and one of my favorites–the Houston toad.    According to some reports only 300 Houston Toads remaining in the world and they have been placed on the endangered species list.  “A world without the Houston toad ... is not a world we can physically live in,” says Paul Crump, a reptile and amphibian keeper at the Houston Zoo who works with the small brown toads.  Who knew?  The world is on the way to a collapse. More dangerous issue than the Osama binLaden threat so lets get the Seal Teams to see nothing bad happens to those warty little buggers. (SARC).

Fracking and the oil pipeline from Canada are the causes du jour for the radical environmental crowd.   It is patently clear that they will only be satisfied when this country is reduced to a third world status.   And our Government supports their activities through the EPA and other departments.  God Bless Michelle Bachmann and her vow to eliminate the EPA if she is elected President.  If she is not, she should be given the job as the EPA Administrator.

We will run out of economically recoverable oil some day.  Same for natural gas, iron ore, etc.  But the many forecasts made by experts about when the oil peak would occur have always been vastly overstated.

We quoted The Oilprice.com author saying that in 15 years the price will be 3 to 4 times higher than today.  It could happen but only if we just sit back and let it happen.  For a more realistic assessment of the Peak Oil tipping point, lets look at what has been said on a WardsAuto.com posting titled “Oil’s Price Always Comes Down.”

Five years ago, I believed in the Peak Oil theory. It postulated that global oil production would peak in 2006, and the following shortage would send prices skyrocketing. Sure enough, in 2008 a barrel of oil shot up to $150.

But less than 12 months later, oil plummeted to less than $40 a barrel. Yes, the price now is back up to $100, but I no longer believe in Peak Oil. Here’s why:

Brazil recently discovered massive oil reserves off its coast that match or beat Saudi Arabia’s. Brazil will start tapping those reserves before this decade is out. In Iraq, infrastructure is being put in place to increase oil production six or seven times greater than today, potentially making it the largest oil producer in the world.

And in the U.S., a new drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing is the mother of all game changers. (My emphasis)  Texas wildcatters figured out a way easily extracting natural gas and oil from shale. Using high-pressure water and sand, they fracture the shale, releasing trapped gas. As a result, the U.S. has added 100 years of natural gas use (at current rates), and the price of natural gas has fallen to nearly half from its peak in 2008.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it’s also called, is controversial. Some environmentalists have seized on it as the next great danger to the planet. A documentary called “Gasland” probably will win an Academy Award for hysterically pointing out the dangers of fracking.

Of course, “Gasland” approaches its topic with the impartiality and evenhandedness of pseudo-documentaries such as “Roger and Me” and “Who Killed The Electric Car?” So far, fracking has been done mostly in the U.S., but it soon will spread to the rest of the world. (My emphasis) Before this decade is out, we are going to see vast increases in the amount of oil and natural gas available. And this will have enormous implications for the auto industry and policy planners.

Closing out is a good time to call for a lesson from “Minnesotans 4 Global Warming”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWiKvNDTjB4&feature=player_embedded

cbdakota

China Is Having Doubts About EVs


While the US government doesn’t seem to be reconsidering their push behind Electric Vehicles (EVs), ($7500 rebates for buyers of an EV), the Chinese government apparently is considering abandoning their plan of a singular focus on EVs to one of a much broader consideration of ways to reduce transportation fuel use.

From AutoblogGreen:

Beijing – and in some ways, the whole of China – had set out to leapfrog conventional engine technology by developing and manufacturing huge amounts of electric vehicles. In particular, the city had hoped its push to develop plug-ins would give it an advantage over the West in electric vehicle technology. But hopes and dreams don’t always jive with reality.

AutoblogGreen adds this:

Forbes presents a compelling story on this notion that China and its sole focus on electric vehicles don’t mix. Here’s a particularly striking excerpt:

Take Warren Buffett. In September 2008, the “Oracle of Omaha” took a 10-percent stake in BYD, the Shenzhen-based battery and vehicle maker, for $200 million. The move landed him on the cover of Fortune in 2009, inside the company’s e6 model with the now-famous caption, “Warren Buffett hasn’t just seen the car of the future, he’s sitting in the driver’s seat.”

But was he really sitting in the vehicle of future? Forbes says BYD has sold a grand total of 53 (!) e6s since March of 2010, with nearly all of those going to local taxi companies, which leads us to this question: How can a vehicle that doesn’t sell represent the future?

Letting the market place decide seems to have a supporter, but it is odd that it is the Chinese marketplace not the American.

cbdakota

Are The Customers There to Buy The Volt?


GM vaulted back from dismal July sales of 142 Volts to a rousing sales volume of 302 units in August. GM’s reason for the low volume seems a little tired as it is pretty much a repeat of last month.   From AutoblogGreen:

 GM spokesman Rob Peterson recently told AutoblogGreen that Volt production is whizzing along at “roughly 150 units per day,” so we’d assume it won’t be long before Volt sales creep up.

And FoxNews.com reports this:

Sales of the four-seat hatchback were hampered by a July shutdown of the Hamtramck, Michigan assembly line where it is built. The closure needed in order to retool the plant to increase production for the 2012 model year.

As a result, supplies at dealerships — where Volts reportedly sit on the lot for less than 10 days, about as quick as a car can be processed and turned around for a customer — have been tighter than usual.

Of the 2,395 cars that were produced in August, a GM spokesman tells FoxNews.com that a third are in transit and another 700 or so earmarked for dealers for use as demos as new markets for the car are added across the country. So, even with production up to steam, the supply chain isn’t quite at full speed.

Nevertheless, GM has repeatedly said that it will sell 10,000 Volts by the end of 2011, and reconfirmed that goal for this report. The total stands at approximately 3,772. (Error in this Fox Report-actual is 3172)

With over 7,500 built since production began in late 2010, many of which are tied up as demos, and production currently running at 150 cars a day, GM is certainly on track to build more than 10,000 cars by Christmas break, but are the customers there to buy them?

Ok, so they have built over 7500.  From that we subtract, 3172 sold and 700 used as demos.  This math, which may be too simple but it can’t be far off, says that 3678 Volts are unsold.  That is more than they have sold.    Repeating Fox News’s question “…but are the customers there to buy them?”

cbdakota