Cooler Heads Abandon a Gas Tax Increase

For the past 6 years, consumers endured economic bad news ranging from disappointing to terrible.  Their chance of finding a good new job is so dismal that millions stopped looking.  The middle-class saw their wages and salaries stall or declined.  Their financial net worth declined a shocking 19%.  For many, the value of their home […]

The Calm behind Fracked-Well Flaring Optics

Flaring at fracking sites makes for great TV pictures but flames don’t speak and don’t come with explanatory tags.  For a fiction writer, it’s even better than a blank slate.  TV news anchors are served up with a screen of agile flames in brilliant colors.  The viewer is treated to an engaging performance that screams […]

Oil Despots versus a Blind EPA

America’s new found effectiveness in extracting oil and gas from underground deposits has boosted U.S. oil production from 5,077 thousand barrels per day in 2007 to 6,498 thousand barrels per day in 2012.  Further increases are feasible if prices continue covering production costs.  For decades, U.S. oil and gas consumption exceeded production and needed imports […]

Killing Our Carbon-Related Economic Recovery

In an economy with elevated unemployment, chronic under-employment, feeble GDP growth, and federal deficits as far as consumers can see, there is little stimulus to thank except for the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing and the turnaround in US oil and gas production, driven by fracking.  US crude production is up 2 million barrels per day […]

Fracking Part II: “Peak Oil” Was Overtaken by Events

On a recent road trip through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, most of the oil well jack pumps that we saw were motionless – even though a few pumps continued rocking. Since pumps run while it’s economic to operate, most wells could not yield enough crude to pay for electric to the […]

Fracking Done Right — Part I

The economic benefits from fracking (hydraulic fracturing of gas and oil-bearing shale) are widely understood. They include reduced oil imports, a lower deficit in our balance of payments, domestic jobs in energy extraction and in manufacturing that uses natural gas as a feedstock. However, the environmental dangers of fracking are poorly understood and are often […]

Opening Bid on Fracking Regulations

Gasoline prices hit their highest Labor Day level ever in 2012.  In days before and after, the usual mix of factors leading to that retail peak.  The half-hearted embargo on Iranian oil was a factor.   Slow-moving hurricane Isaac led some consumers and transport operators to top up their tanks and a few refineries closed.  On […]

The Fracking Solution to a Big Energy Problem

Among the cleanest and most promising technologies in energy production doesn’t come from the sun or the wind or the waters.  Hydraulic fracturing, a newly perfected way to extract natural gas from the ground, gives American energy a breath of new hope, as our reliance on foreign energy sources has been on the rise. Now […]