"Cheap natural gas jumbles energy markets, stirs fears it could inhibit renewables"


Wind, solar, nuclear - f*ck you!

The above is an actual headline from the Washington Post today. First, I told you so—see my column, Natural Gas Flip Flop. From the Post here's some of the fear provoked by cheap abundant natural gas:

Rachel Cleetus, a senior climate economist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said that "the problem is [natural gas] can take over the entire pie and crowd out renewables. Part of the reason this is happening is there's a boom and there's a sense that natural gas resources will be around forever."

…the economic issue is disruptive, too. The rush to produce shale gas "is forcing all of us to seriously address what it means for us," said Ralph Izzo, chief executive of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), a New Jersey-based utility that relies on nuclear energy for half of its power supply. Izzo said it would mean "the delay of the nuclear renaissance for years to come."

Can an energy source be all that bad if it scares the two most heavily subsidized sectors of the electric power generation industry?

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  1. Damn, Ron, really amping up the alt-text. I like it.

    1. Too aggressive for my taste and will never win over popular support for natural gas. How about “Hydrocarbons for Freedom”?

      1. It is more fun to be an asshole when you have a track record of being right all the time. Statists deserve this treatment because they love to use dishonest and confrontational tactics.

  2. segundo

    1. drat! foiled again!

  3. that is because it is not about the environment with these people. It is about having an excuse to control people’s lives and end capitalism.

    1. Of course. Just another cause that was co-opted by the socialists.

  4. That pesky free market! It must be stopped!

    1. It just allows people to live sinful and tacky lives Pro. It has to go, for the good of the people.

      1. Cheap stuff is just so. . .cheap.

        1. It’s better if things cost more because the more expensive something is, the better it is.

      2. chad grrr cheap chinese mcmansions stuff full of thai crap argle bargle

        1. You forgot suvs and Wal-Mart. And Whole Foods.

          1. Mr. Colonel_Angus, will you soon or have you ever attended TRACTOR PULLZ?

            1. You forgot suvs and Wal-Mart. And Whole Foods. -posted from my iPhone while at a tractor pull


            2. I have seen a lawn mower race. And a bar stool race.

              1. Here you go COL Angus,

                A quirky Brit by the name of Ed China builds the world’s fastest couches and office furniture.


              2. There’s literally a lot of technique involved in barstool racing. Most folks think it is just about the alcohol…

                1. There’s literally a lot of technique involved in barstool racing.

                  Cornering takes a lot more effort in such a top-heavy arrangement.

        2. “argle bargle”

          Those Scots are always involved in unfair trading.

    2. Izzo said it would mean “the delay of the nuclear renaissance for years to come.”

      fukushima also re-orientated the free market for reactors.

      1. lol at the use of “free market” in reference to nuclear energy.

      2. “orientated” =/= a word.

        1. != , goddamit;

          1. RBM ? “!”.

            1. with one blow of his mighty Charmap, I am bested.

  5. Cheap natural gas?

    Producers making profits while consumers have more money to purchase other things?

    Oh the horror!

    1. Things that I haven’t personally approved of them buying. Like Cigarettes. And Salt.

    2. Hey, Standard Oil is still vilified to this day for its role in making cheap abundant energy available to all.

      1. and squashing better carb designs

        1. What does this have to do with smoking pipes?

      2. They made profits, and profits are theft.

        They didn’t make those profits by providing a consistent product to willing consumers at a lower price than their competitors. That’s just silly talk.

        Remember that there is a fixed amount of wealth out there, so every bit of profit represents something stolen from a poor person who has nothing worth stealing.

        This whole idea of wealth creation is bunk. I mean, just look around you. There is the same amount of wealth as there was before the evil white man came here and took it from the gamboling Indians.

        Wealth creation? Hogwash!

        Profit is theft.

        1. +10 wampum.

  6. There are about 40 obsolete coal-fired electricity production plants scheduled to shuttered this year. NatGas plants should replace them.

    $2.39 is unbelievable cheap. Of course coal is 50% off 2008 highs (that crazy inflation again).

    1. Except that when you factor in the cost of building those plants that price is a bit higher. And as demand goes up so will the price.

      What those plants close people’s electric bills are going to go through the roof, just like Obama promised and wants. But what the fuck, most greens can afford the bills. What the fuck do they care if a bunch of poor people freeze. They are probably christfag rednecks anyway. Right Shrike?

      1. u really dont understand the electric grid do you. >hint, its fungable

        1. First, it is not hat fungible. You can only send power about 1000 miles. Second, the fact that it is fungible doesn’t make it immune from supply and demand. Less supply with the same demand equals higher prices.

          1. Then Congress should repeal, or at least amend, that pesky supply and demand law.

            They make the laws, don’t they?

            1. it’d be a great idea, if but for the fact that congress is incapable of repealing anything.

          2. but we dont have less supply john.

            first, those coal-fired plants were already below capacity & declining due to clean air regs & high op costs.

            next, the boosch recession drove down demand across the board & it hasnt recovered.

            also, the cost to maintain old plants & retrofit would make elec moar expensive than taking them offline (damn lifecycles, how do it work?).

            1. first, those coal-fired plants were already below capacity & declining due to clean air regs

              So lets regulate them out of existence and then watch what happens to electricity rates.

              The bottomline is Obama is fucking poor people to make rich greens feel good about themselves.

              Stop trying to pretend it is anything but that.

              1. The bottomline is Obama is fucking poor people everyone who uses energy to make rich greens feel good about themselves.


                1. sarcasmic, “But what the fuck, most greens can afford the bills.”, hence john’s singling out of the poor for Obama’s fuckery, since they can’t afford the bills.

                  having to pay a higher bill that you can still afford is some fuckery, sure, but not as fuckitudenally intense as a bill you cannot afford to pay.

                  1. I’m with Romney in that I’m not that concerned about the really poor people in this country. Between churches and government programs, they’re going to be OK.
                    It’s the people in the middle who are getting screwed.
                    Remember that rising energy costs don’t just affect the light bill. They affect the price of anything you buy from someone who pays a light bill.
                    It fucks everyone.

                    1. distinction without a difference?

                    2. Sarcasmic,

                      I was talking about the people in the middle. The greens are all rich. They don’t give a fuck. The people in the middle and below do.

            2. Over the next 18 months, the Environmental Protection Agency will finalize a flurry of new rules to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants. Mercury, smog, ozone, greenhouse gases, water intake, coal ash?it’s all getting regulated. And, not surprisingly, some lawmakers are grumbling.

              Industry groups such the Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned utilities, and the American Legislative Exchange Council have dubbed the coming rules “EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck.” The regulations, they say, will cost utilities up to $129 billion and force them to retire one-fifth of coal capacity. Given that coal provides 45 percent of the country’s power, that means higher electric bills, more blackouts and fewer jobs. The doomsday scenario has alarmed Republicans in the House, who have been scrambling to block the measures.


        2. Hey o3 dipshit, I’ve worked in business development for a multi-billion dollar electric/gas utility for a decade and John is right.

      2. Utility bills would trend down with NatGas. See Calpine – 92 plants and no coal. Also, the King of Natural Gas, John Arnold, is a big Obama supporter. Its the invisible hand of the market working. Coal is for losers and the market knows it.

        1. If it was, we wouldn’t need the EPA to close them down you half wit.

          1. You are extra hostile today. Are you bummed because your guy is a certain loser in November?

          2. Coal IS a losing fuel if it has to stand up against Nat Gas on equal footing. Unless you’re mining an open pit, Coal mining is a lot more labor intensive (i.e. not as capital intensive) than drilling for Nat Gas. Then Nat Gas is cheaper to transport too. And Nat Gas plants can be turned off and on more or less like a light switch. Coal? You have to keep the trains coming…

            1. So what? If that is the case then it will end on its own. Why is the EPA having to force it?

              I would say that is not true or people wouldn’t be using coal.

              1. Because the EPA could also throw up road blocks to shale drilling. Bye bye Nat Gas boom.

                I’m not saying the EPA pushing Coal out is necessary, I just think the market would do it on its own if there wasn’t intervention for either resource.

                1. I’m not saying the EPA pushing Coal out is necessary, I just think the market would do it on its own if there wasn’t intervention for either resource.

                  Well I think unicorn farts are a great source of energy. BFD. You are making a totally non falsifiable claim to deny the obvious.

                  Electric rates are going to skyrocket and it is Obama’s fault. Go take your fantasies somewhere else.

              2. The pollution. Those old coal plants don’t contain sulfur dioxide. They should be shut down.

                Quit being willfully ignorant.

                1. “The pollution. Those old coal plants don’t contain sulfur dioxide. They should be shut down.”

                  Bullshit. Quit being your usual lying sack of shit. The air is cleaner now that it is ever been. Why don’t you just admit that your goal is to make people poorer and to suffer. That is the point of this whole thing.

                  1. When the left complains (I repeat myself?) about the poor voting against their economic best interests by voting Republican (which they don’t do, most people of modest means vote Democrat), they fail to understand that policies that result in higher prices for energy (and other goods) is not in the economic interests of the indigent.

                    1. The pollution. Those old coal plants don’t contain sulfur dioxide. They should be shut down.

                      This is retarded. Installing a scrubber doesn’t require tearing a plant down.

            2. “And Nat Gas plants can be turned off and on more or less like a light switch.”

              Not. True.

              1. EAP,

                It’s a bloody fucking exaggeration, I said “more or less.” Nat Gas is a god damn compressible fluid, it is a lot easier to stop/start feeding the fuel into the turbines than it is with coal. The contrast is even more drastic compared to light water nuclear plants, which are a pain in the ass to turn off/start back up.

                1. The difficulty of starting/stopping a coal plant has little to do with the compressibility of coal. “Feeding the fuel” requires basically just flipping a switch for the PA fan and the pulverizers. Getting a large CC gas plant up to capacity faces most of the same problems as a coal plant.

                  1. And in Connecticut, they explode.

                    MIDDLETOWN, Conn. ? An explosion that sounded like a sonic boom blew out walls of an unfinished power plant and set off a fire during a test of natural gas lines Sunday, killing at least five workers and injuring a dozen or more.

                    The explosion at the Kleen Energy Systems plant in Middletown, about 20 miles south of Hartford, could be heard and felt for miles.


        2. When you mention someone giving gratuities to politicians, that is not really a persuasive argument that the “invisible hand of the market” is working properly.

          1. but but but, the ONLY capitalism is cronyism!111oneoneon!11

        3. See Calpine – 92 plants and no coal.

          They have a few CC plants that can peak at 1000 MW. Everything else is tiny.

  7. Weren’t these idiots bitching just a few short years ago about how great burning ch4 instead of coal was for the environment?

    1. It does burn pretty damn clean…and produces less co2 per watt generated then does coal or oil.

      1. What is not clean about carbon dioxide? It is a pure, non-toxic part of the atmosphere.

        1. There is abundant evidence that increasing CO2 levels have mixed effects on global temperature levels over time.

          1. The evidence suggests that it is a very negligible thing to have any concern about. There are more fucked up things going on than slight temperature fluctuations, which will happen naturally no matter what.

            1. I guess I’m too subtle General Steak. Did I say CO2 is making the damn ice caps melt faster? Nope, I didn’t even say it warmed anything. “Mixed effects” = who the hell cares, it isn’t doing much of anything now is it?

              1. I am getting mixed signals from your discussions.

                1. Zing sir!

  8. Brevity is the soul of wit:

    Weren’t these idiots bitching just a few short years ago about how great burning ch4 instead of coal was for the environment?

    1. not brief enough:

      Weren’t these idiots bitching just a few short years ago about how great burning ch4 instead of coal was for the environment?

      1. Weren’t these idiots bitching just a few short years ago about how great burning ch4 instead of coal was for the environment?

        1. Weren’t these idiots bitching just a few short years ago about how great burning ch4 instead of coal was for the environment?

  9. Congress MUST do something!

    I suggest a comprehensive 2,000+ page bill that will also increase badly-needed “investments” in key sectors of the economy — so that America can become more “competitive”, ensure “energy fairness”, and “Win the Future”(TM).

    My idea rests on heavy natural gas/oil/coal/gasoline taxes and high tariffs on any imported natural gas/oil/coal/gasoline, combined with massive federal “investments” in solar, wind, nuclear, cellulosic, ethanol, unicorn farts, political kickbacks, and “community organizations” working in “energy-poor” communities. Let it never be said that the Administration opted for the easy path of allowing this country to obtain the energy it needs.

    Complex issues, like energy, require complex solutions…plus lots and lots of payola. It’s a win-win for every moocher involved.

    1. Good campaign speech, would read again. Need to insert “change” and “jobs” in there somewhere though. Could probably just sprinkle at random and obtain desired effect.

      Don’t forget about “fairness” too.

      1. Don’t forget about “fairness” too.

        ensure “energy fairness”

        His speech was so good you missed part of it 😉


  10. Bunny huggers can’t stand the basic fact that renewables will have their time when the market makes it their time(assuming the government stops meddling).

    They want green energy, and they want it now. They won’t wait. Marcellus Shale is harshing their mellow now. And in a few decades it will be Utica Shale doing the same thing.

    And the environmentalists hate that. Because at that point they’ll be dead, never having seen a shining nation on the hill powered by the sun and the wind and the arrogance of people who live to tell everyone else how to live.

    1. And with that, I’m off to frack the Fayetteville shale.

  11. I posted this yesterday in the Solyndra thread but it bears reposting.

    Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) DOE Solyndra Hearings-


    If you go to around 5:30 in the video you will see Pompeo ask Mr. Silver that isn’t the whole point of the DOE alternative energy loan program to bring down the cost of manufacturing these products, and thus shouldn’t we be happy that the price has come down? He then proceeds to follow it up by saying basically – why did we waste a half a billion on Solyndra when we knew they wouldn’t be able to compete at the market price that the globe had already set for their product?

    Government, you suck at portfolio management.

  12. Noooo! Not cheap, plentiful energy! NOT THAT!

  13. Rachel Cleetus, a senior climate economist at the Union of Concerned Scientists…

    Forever locked in battle with the Guild of Calamitous Intent.

    1. Maddow’s clitoris? What?

      1. That’s despicable!

      2. That’s no clitoris.

        1. It’s a space station?

          1. No, just a pseudo penis.

    2. Concerned Scientist troll is concerned.

  14. Natural Gas does not need to ‘delay the nuclear renaissance’. Light water reactors are a dead-end technology.

    Tell you what. You get the NRC off my back, and I’ll bet you $1 billion that in 20 years I’ll be building molten-salt nuclear reactors that will be producing more electricity than natural gas and coal combined in the US.

    1. Speaking of which, natural gas is an excellent alternative to gasoline. The engine conversions are cheap (but illegal on a mass scale unless it’s for a private fleet…anyone want to repeal that bullshit?) and there is an existing distribution network for most of the country. It would be a simple fuel to make synthetically too.

      1. but illegal on a mass scale unless it’s for a private fleet…anyone want to repeal that bullshit?


  15. But cheap gas has also thrown energy markets into turmoil. It is impossible for almost any other source of electric power to compete, especially coal and nuclear. By trimming fuel bills, cheap gas has reduced incentives for energy conservation and efficiency.

    The utter cluelessness of this amazes me. If only there were another mechanism that would do the opposite!

    1. You rang?

      1. “yes. I was wondering, do you have Prince Albert in a can?” *hangs up*

        1. (dammit, “is your fridge running?” would’ve been more envirelated.)

          1. That’s “Is your fridge running EFFICIENTLY”, if you please.

            1. No, it uses entirely too much arm motion.

  16. Cheap, abundant power source that people decide to buy of their own free will crowds out incredibly expensive energy sources that don’t work; more at 11.

    1. I can picture Mr. “under my plan…skyrocket” throwing a temper tantrum in the oval office, throwing things around and sweeping everything off of the desk onto the floor. Steven Chu is shitting his pants.

    2. The fact that those arguments were made with a straight face as opposition to natural gas is depressing. And that was done by someone who purports to being an economist. She should be ashamed of herself.

  17. What in hell is a climate economist? I smell bullshit

    1. I smell bullshit

      Well, yeah. Methane is a greenhouse gas, after all.

      1. RCD: Methane is an odorless gas. Just saying.

    2. It means that when she was deciding on a subject to major in she hitched a ride on the green subsidy gravy train that her equally clueless academic advisers said would set until her retirement if her parents were willing to pay for a ‘cross disciplinary’ program that cost just a little extra.

      1. set her until retirement

      2. I would say the green gravy train is paying. Spouting bullshit for high wages is good work if you can get it.

        1. Depends on when she hitched her wagon. If she is of more recent vintage than she has a career audit in her future soon after the education bubble bursts.

          1. True. But it will be good while it lasts. And I hope you are right about the audit.

        2. It is going to de-rail eventually. The black mark these people have put on the reputation of science isnt going to wear off anytime soon, and for that I hope they all burn in hell

  18. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the natural gas industry has been paying off environmental groups (particularly Sierra Club) to play the role of useful idiot, plugging natural gas as a “bridge fuel” and kneecapping the competition.

    It would appear no one here has clean hands. Natural gas loves rent-seeking just as much as anyone else.

  19. Contrary to the Post article, not really much good news for electric vehicles. Yes, power prices are down a little, but the drilling technologies that have made the gas boom and leading to greater oil production as well and so will put some pressure on oil prices, too.

  20. From a technocratic point of view, things have been proceeding well. A temporary increase in energy prices – specifically oil – have forced innovations in several fields related to higher energy efficiency and cheaper and cleaner energy production. The arrival now of cheap natural gas will once again lower energy costs, improve productivity, lower prices, and generally increase prosperity, all while reducing dependence on foreign energy production and reducing the need to support military interventions in the Middle East and elsewhere for the sake of energy security.

    True green technology is still a ways away, but the current investments and interest will pay off in the long term even though they seem a poor investment from a short term view. Natural gas will act as a bridge to the future, sustaining productivity improvements and prosperity until even cleaner energy sources are profitable.

    Meanwhile the Paul and Johnson candidacies will help move the center of conversation on the right towards fiscal responsibility where the right tends to be correct and away from social conservative where the right tends to be insanely stupid, thus moving the general political climate forward while providing a movement towards fiscal responsibility to balance the wish-fulfillment fantasies of the political left.

    Things are going pretty well, and the fundamentalist liberals and libertarians will both be pretty upset, while the fundamentalist conservatives will be apoplectic. All in all a good day’s work.

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