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Free Minds & Free Markets

Natural Gas Drives Energy Costs to Record Lows

The U.S. has successfully decoupled economic growth and energy demand.

The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg's New Energy Finance have recently released their 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, which looks, among other things, at the benefits of rising natural gas use across the United States. According to the report, Americans now devote less than four percent of their total annual household spending to energy—the lowest since government record-keeping begun. That welcome development is, in part, a result of the fracking revolution and of the declining prices of natural gas.

Lower energy prices have also helped to reduce manufacturing costs, thus reviving the U.S. economy. Today, the United States generates very cheap electricity for industrial use, outranking China, India and Mexico. In spite of those low energy costs, American producers have been growing more efficient. The United States, the report notes, "has decoupled economic growth and energy demand." Since 2007, American GDP grew by 12 percent, while overall energy consumption fell by 3.7 percent.

The use of natural gas, which is now the top fuel source for electrical generation, has also been good for the environment. The burning of natural gas emits between 50 and 60 percent less carbon dioxide than the burning of coal. As such, the carbon footprint of the power-generating industry has actually shrunk by 24 percent since 2005. Rounding off a set of positive numbers, after many decades of use, we now have greater proven reserves of natural gas than ever before.

Market forces fueled a rise in domestic natural gas production, providing the economy with a cheap, cleaner burning source of fuel. However, the report notes that development of necessary natural gas infrastructure is not keeping pace with demand and should be improved going forward. The report provides proof of natural gas' many positives.

Americans are saving more on energy bills than ever before, the economy is growing and the United States is the only major country reducing its green house gas emissions. Happily, as infrastructure expands and improves, the benefits will only increase.

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  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And we're pissing away the savings on greed(n) energy. My electricity rates haven't gone down in my lovely blue state with its econut mandates. Have yours?

  • albo||

    PA has electric choice, so I've shopped and locked in good rates. Plus my gas bill is almost less than my water bill thanks to Marcellus Shale drilling in the state. Suck it, NY and MD.

  • magellannh||

    The pipeline issue is complicated. There is NIMBY opposition, but on top of that the economics of building new capacity for generation are actually very weak because there's excess capacity for 10 months of the year.

    During the coldest 10-20 days of the year capacity is constrained, this hits electricity supply and prices skyrocket. The problem is the only way to get new capacity financed is to have electricity ratepayers pay for almost all of it on a year round basis even though it's only needed on the 10-20 coldest days of the year.

    This makes new pipeline capacity exceedingly expensive and other approaches, such as building ng storage or using more LNG, much more economical. That'd be the end of the story, but several utilities are lobbying hard to say the only solution is new pipeline infrastructure. These utilities supply electricity, but they also earn their living building infrastructure like pipelines. That conflict causes them to only see the one solution that's most profitable for them - new infrastructure.

    ISO-NE has done a good job of dealing with the pipeline constraint by adding incentives to market participants to guarantee electricity supply during critical periods. These guarantees cause generators to secure the ng supply they'll need to meet the commitments through LNG orders and storage build out. Utility companies want you to think that a ratepayer guaranteed pipeline is the only solution.

  • magellannh||

    The economics of green energy, especially wind, have completely changed in the last 5 years.

    Texas is a shining example of what can happen when right-leaning folks drop their knee-jerk preconceptions about "green" energy and instead focus on the economics. Unsubsidized wind energy is now the lowest cost energy source in the US. It comes in even lower than ng, according to the lazard 10.0 levelized cost of energy report. (google lazard lcoe 10.0)

    For years, renewable energy was championed mostly by environmentalists and lefty tree-huggers, but now renewables are a story about economic growth, huge investment opportunity, and national security.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Wingnut Chorus: OBAMMY WON'T LET US DRILL HERE!

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|3.7.17 @ 9:43AM|#
    "Wingnut Chorus: OBAMMY WON'T LET US DRILL HERE!"

    Turd tune:
    "I lick Obo ass even when facts say otherwise"
    You've been handed the facts more times than you can count, so fuck off.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Eat Shit, Sevo.

    Some fucking idiot was on here last night saying that Obama had stopped drilling on federal land so I produced a Congressional Energy report that showed crude oil production was 1.955 bpd in 2015 - HIGHER than the Bush years.

    You fucking people are immune to facts - you get your talking points from Bratfart and redneck AM radio.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    1.955 million bpd.

    I see the GOP shill "John" is polluting this board again - and even picked up a couple of mini-me GOP shills.

    GO TEAM RED!!! GO GO GO!

  • John||

    That drilling was already happening. What he did do was basically stop all new drilling and take every square inch of federal land that wasn't already leased and prevent it from being leased

    http://instituteforenergyresea.....velopment/

    You are just a lying sack of shit. Go lie elsewhere where people are dumb enough to believe it.

  • Sevo||

    Turd fails to realize his stats simply show Obo was incompetent to accomplish his stated goals.
    Or turd chooses to ignore it.

  • timbo||

    Palin,
    Try not to be such a predictable imbecile.
    The reason production was up during brak's tenure was that horizontal drilling techniques became more widespread after 2008 which coincides with the cheap energy boom.
    The energy boom crapped out about 2015 when the world oil prices collapsed due the implosion of the Chinese economy and the destruction of world demand.
    Obama did try to regulate the hell out of the oil and gas industry and destroyed the domestic cola industry. Coal would have been challenged and would have suffered badly anyway due to cheap oil and gas.
    One again, you are just another sad, frustrated, confused leftist who really just hates business and profits. That makes you as stupid as brak O.

  • timbo||

    Oh, and Palin; since you think leftist are benevolent, remember that Obama teamed up with Warren buffet to defeat pipelines from being built so his investment in BNSF railway could make millions by carrying Bakken oil to market by rail rather than cheaper, more efficient pipelines.

    Now, is that evil capitalism or socialist cronyism and protectionism? Could it be that brak o was the biggest corrupt fascist puppet to ever occupy the white house?

    Me thinks you are far to dumb to grasp the concept.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    That is a redneck AM radio lie about Buffett and BNSF. Just like the lie that Buffett does not pay taxes. Bratfart Fake News.

    I invest in Oil & Gas companies. So does Buffett.

  • timbo||

    Berkshire bought BNSF before Obama was elected. Buffet also supported Obama as an economic advisor. All pipelines on deck to be built rom the bakken shale were shelved or defeated legislatively. BNSF profited heavily from railed oil to refinery markets. buffet was enriched more than any single person on earth with the bank bailouts, specifically the bank of America bailout, prior to which Berkshire took a massive investment. All you have to do is look at the public statements. You are not fooling anyone acting like you understanding thing one about markets.

    These are all facts palin.

    You prove your ignorance readily. AM radio loves the cronies just like leftist idiots do . It just depends on which cronies you are told to love. The so called conservatives love all crony military spending. leftist cronies love all enviro-cronyism.
    The comedy comes in the fact that you would have drooled all over Hillary like the sheep that you are and she was going to play the crony game for every single mega government expense.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Berkshire is #4 on the Fortune 500. BNSF's oil carry business is .000001% of Berkshire's profit. It is a lame claim to make that Buffett colluded on a puny little piece of his business.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|3.7.17 @ 12:06PM|#
    "Berkshire is #4 on the Fortune 500"

    Turd:
    "HEY LOOK OVER THEIR!"
    Fuck off.

  • timbo||

    Then why did a guy that forever touted the wonders of capitalism volunteer to be Obama's economic advisor and endorse him? Especially since Obama is one of the biggest admitted Marxists retards on earth?

  • ||

    I've done a little Googling.

    BNSF's 2016 profit was $3.5 billion. Berkshire's 2016 profit was $17 billion which means that BNSF's profits account for about 20.5% of Bershire's profits.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and state the the oil carry business accounts for a bit more than .000001% of Berkshire's profit.

  • timbo||

    Dare I use a slightly over used term but, I think palin gets most of his news from fake sources.

    Most idiots can only understand proggie prose.

    This guy is the epitome of leftist idiocy. Kind of like Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin mated to form a skinny jean, ski-cap-wearing-in-the-summer-time doucher.

  • timbo||

    We all invest in oil and gas companies. They are called mutual funds and we all have them if you have an ira or 401k. Energy stocks are a massive part of any portfolio.

    Even brain dead greeny nut college professors own oil and gas stocks.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You got your ass handed to you again last night, dumbass. You were too chkickenshit to respond to the facts. Oil production on federal lands has essentially been flat for Barry's term. Total hydrocarbon production is down, most notably natural gas production. And while federal land production has been flat to declining state and private land has more than doubled.

    Dumbass.

  • ||

    Can you provide us an example where Obama encouraged drilling ? Or did he and his cronies try to stop any kind of fossil fuel development??

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    yes, Obama opened offshore drilling on the East Coast.

  • timbo||

    He did?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Google.

    Learn it.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|3.7.17 @ 12:06PM|#
    Google.
    Learn it.

    You made the claim, turd, YOU provide the evidence.

  • timbo||

    Palin,
    You do understand that google has many many results when you enter a few words. Sometimes the first one on the list is not always accurate.
    How it works is that you must read many many sources of information to glean any sort of consistency. Reading takes time, cognitive skills, and comprehension. It also helps to not be a sheep or any other sort of lemming robot useful idiot..

    I'm sorry buddy.

  • ||

    The squirrels keep swallowing my posts.

    I did some Googling and the Washington Post and the New York Times state that Obama banned drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans this past December.

    I'd post the links but I don't think the squirrels like them.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|3.7.17 @ 10:29AM|#
    "Eat Shit, Sevo."
    I wouldn't get within ten feet of turds like you.

    "Some fucking idiot was on here last night saying that Obama had stopped drilling on federal land so I produced a Congressional Energy report that showed crude oil production was 1.955 bpd in 2015 - HIGHER than the Bush years."
    Which is EXACTLY the sort of slimy non-answer for which you are so famous.
    Either you are stupid enough to think that's a valid reply or enough of a liar to hope we don't notice the sleight-of-hand.
    You've been given the facts more often than YOU can count without taking off your shoes.
    Fuck off.

  • timbo||

    Don't get too mad at Palin. We need to know what the morons are doing every once in a while.
    Good to know that they are doing the same luddite, envirowhacko crap that they have been doing since they were spat out of the marxists public schools.

  • John||

    However, the report notes that development of necessary natural gas infrastructure is not keeping pace with demand and should be improved going forward.

    Why could that be I be I wonder? Could it be because we have a group of religious lunatics opposing every new pipeline?

  • albo||

    We've got a pipeline planned that will move it from the shale gas regions to port. Since PA is ostensibly a blue state but also is also a coal, gas and oil state, the protests have just been anemic copies of the Standing Rock nutbars. The Hydrox to their Oreo. People are mostly worried about their property values, which shouldn't be affect much at all.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    The anal blockage who fantasizes about being Palin's buttplug thinks that progressives were all-in for domestic energy development. The facts don't matter to a delusional piece of human excrement.

  • John||

    The fact that US energy production went up under Obama proves that Progressives are all in. Just ignore the 8 years that Obama spent doing everything he could to stop domestic energy production that didn't involve green energy scams.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    The fact is that progressives universally ridiculed Sarah Palin's "drill, baby, drill" strategy, and opposed offshore drilling, drilling on federal land, fracking of private land, coal mining, and infrastructure projects at every opportunity. The progressive idea of energy policy was more subsidies to cronies for ugly, bird-killing wind turbines and failed solar projects.

    But that's an inconvenient truth to an anal blockage who fantasizes about being Palin's buttplug.

  • John||

    It is funny how events keep proving the people Progs smugly assure as are stupid right.

  • ||

    I predict a proposal coming from Democrats within the next week for a tax on natural gas in order to help fund green energy products.

  • Sevo||

    Sort of on-topic:

    "American Indians to protest Trump, pipeline in Washington"
    [...]
    "This fight against the Dakota Access pipeline has been the tip of the spear of a powerful global movement calling for the United States government and Donald Trump to respect indigenous nations and people in our right to water, land, sovereignty, and culture," said Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network."
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/tex.....982129.php

    Red herrings available by the bushel.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    calling for the United States government and Donald Trump to respect indigenous nations and people

    You want respect, OK then. Shut down the Bureau of Indian Affairs that forces Native Americans to live on shitty quasi-communist communes instead of respecting them enough to allow them to pursue whatever life they wish. How's that for respect?

    Somehow I doubt this "powerful global movement" would go for that.

  • Sevo||

    I'm not gonna get this info from AP, but if there were actual 'investigative journalists', I'd be very curious who is paying to get 'thousands of people from across the country' to DC and, oh, feed them while they're there.

  • wareagle||

    whoever pays to get them there does not pay for the mess they leave behind.

  • Princess Trigger||

    Bu-u-u-ut the EARTHQUAKES!
    Oklahoma is uninhabitable due to the earthquakes that shake those Okies every ten minutes.

  • MarconiDarwin||

    Wrong order of cause and effect

  • Alan Vanneman||

    The link doesn't work.

  • MarconiDarwin||

    Reopen those coal mines. Eliminate regulations. No Obamacare.

    Give those miners what they want. Jobs. Let them work their butts off.

    Then give those mine owners subsidies

  • timbo||

    No subsidies though. And if coal cannot compete with nat gas, then tough luck. The world should be a tough place.

    Perhaps we could get some thinning of the herd that way

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    fuck off, troll

  • timbo||

    I see "fuck off troll" a lot on this site.

    Is that like saying someone is bad when they are really good?

  • Motivation Quotes||

    You are just a lying sack of shit. Go lie elsewhere where people are dumb enough to believe it.

    --------------------------------------------------
    quotes about being strong
    becoming strong quotes

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