Biden’s pause on oil cause for big concern in New Mexico

https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-new-mexico-us-news-coronavirus-pandemic-a07cb29630f79112eced658f18db0e51

Biden’s pause on oil cause for big concern in New Mexico

By Susan Montoya Bryan

January 23, 2021

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — President Joe Biden’s 60-day moratorium on new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits is prompting widespread concerns in New Mexico, where spending on education and other public programs hinges on the industry’s success.

Top Republicans in the state as well as local leaders in communities that border the Permian Basin — one of the most productive regions in the U.S. — say any moves to make permanent the suspension would be economically devastating for the state. Half of New Mexico’s production happens on federal land and amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties each year.

Congressional members from other western states also are raising concerns, saying the ripple effects of the moratorium will hurt small businesses already struggling because of the pandemic.

“During his inauguration, President Biden spoke about bringing our nation together. Eliminating drilling on public lands will cost thousands of New Mexicans their jobs and destroy what’s left of our state’s economy,” Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway told The Associated Press on Friday. “How does that bring us together? Environmental efforts should be fair and well-researched, not knee-jerk mandates that just hurt an already impoverished state.”

In Utah. the state’s delegation asked for Biden to reconsider what they called an arbitrary decision. While it’s common for an incoming administration to pause high-level agency decisions, they argued that such a widespread suspension of routine permitting decisions normally made in the field is unprecedented.

Industry groups said the order effectively brings all regulatory activity to a halt, from routine requests that arise during the normal course of business to requests for rights of way for new pipelines designed to gather more natural gas as part of efforts to reduce venting and flaring — practices that Democrats have targeted in their fight against climate change.

“It really has the opposite intent,” said Robert McEntyre, spokesman for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. “It means some natural gas is not going to be captured, and that’s not what operators want to do. They want to capture it and send it to market.”

New Mexico’s sole Republican in Congress, freshman Rep. Yvette Herrell, was the only member of the state’s delegation to speak out publicly after Biden’s order was issued. She said she supports Republican-backed legislation to prevent the administration from imposing a moratorium on new drilling permits on federal lands.

The issue has been a thorny one for Democrats in New Mexico, where the oil and gas industry has been vilified over pollution concerns despite its role as the state’s top economic driver. Aside from funneling revenues to the state’s coffers, the industry supports about 100,000 direct and related jobs.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office told the AP Friday that the administration is reviewing the federal action and the short- and long-term fiscal implications for the state.

“Certainly we all understand the critical importance of this industry to New Mexico’s bottom line and of the imperative to diversify our state economy and energy portfolio,” Lujan Grisham spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett said in an email.

Steve Pearce, chairman of the state Republican Party, said drilling was beginning to pick up in New Mexico’s share of the Permian Basin because of rising oil prices. But he said he’s concerned that activity could evaporate.

“I think we’re going to see companies choosing not to invest in New Mexico and take their jobs and drilling to Texas just 3 miles away,” Pearce said. “They can just scoot across the border where they don’t have federal lands.”

The executive order includes an exception giving some senior U.S. Interior Department officials authority to approve actions that otherwise would be suspended. But industry officials expect there to be a bottleneck given the amount of requests nationwide.

The order has drawn praise from environmentalists, who have been seeking to rein in development across the West.

“Any step toward fixing the broken federal oil and gas leasing program is a step in the right direction,” said Mark Allison, director of the group New Mexico Wild.

In New Mexico, activists have been pushing to stop drilling outside the boundaries of Chaco Culture National Historical Park, saying there are culturally significant areas that could be damaged by unchecked development. The fight has spanned both Democrat and Republican presidential administrations.

A coalition of groups on Thursday amended an ongoing lawsuit, seeking to overturn the sale of 42 leases that cover nearly 70 square miles (181 square kiometers) in the area. The groups argue that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management rushed public comment on the leases.

January 23, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Joe Biden. Leave a comment.

In the past five years, in order to protect the environment, California has shut down 9,000 MW of natural gas capacity – enough to power 6.8 million homes

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

August 23, 2020

In the past five years, in order to protect the environment, California has shut down 9,000 MW of natural gas capacity – enough to power 6.8 million homes.

I can understand shutting down the natural gas plants – if they were being replaced by new nuclear plants.

But instead of building new nuclear plants, California has been shutting down its already existing nuclear plants, and is planning to close the very last last one in 2025.

Solar power doesn’t work when the sun isn’t shining.

Wind power doesn’t work when the wind isn’t blowing.

Anyone in California who opposes both fossil fuels and nuclear power, but also complains about electricity blackouts, is a hypocrite.

August 23, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. 3 comments.

Idiots who support bans on fracking and restrictions on new pipelines say it’s “unexpected” that New York has a shortage of natural gas

One of the most simple and basic signs of intelligence is the understanding that actions lead to consequences.

In New York, some people are showing a basic lack of understanding of this concept.

In New York state, fracking is banned, and new pipelines have been prohibited in certain locations. The natural and logical outcome of these policies is that the state has a shortage of natural gas. Developers who had been planning to build new housing will not be allowed to hook up the new housing to receive natural gas.

Despite this obvious action-reaction event, the New York Times just reported that this inability to hook up these proposed new homes for natural gas is “unexpected.”

Here are the exact words as reported by the New York Times: (the bolding is mine)

YONKERS – Across the suburbs north of New York City, clusters of luxury towers are rising around commuter rail stations, designed to lure young workers seeking easy access to Manhattan. In all, 16,000 apartments and condominiums are in the works in more than a dozen towns, along with spaces for restaurants and shops.

But the boom unfolding in Westchester County is under threat — not from any not-in-my-backyard opposition or a slumping real estate market.

Instead, it is coming from something unexpected: a lack of natural gas.

Con Edison, the region’s main utility, says its existing network of pipelines cannot satisfy an increasing demand for the fuel.

As a result, the utility has taken the extreme step of imposing a moratorium on new gas hookups in a large swath of Westchester, including for residential buildings planned in Yonkers, White Plains and New Rochelle.

But is this shortage really “unexpected”?

Not for anyone who understands that actions have consequences.

The same article states:

There is an ample supply of natural gas in the United States, but opposition to building or expanding interstate pipelines has caused delivery challenges in the Northeast, according to industry officials.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo lives in Mount Kisco, a town included in Con Edison’s moratorium, and wants the state to move away from fossil fuels toward cleaner energy, like wind. He has banned fracking, a process to extract gas from shale rock, and two years ago his administration rejected a major interstate pipeline project, saying its construction would endanger wetlands.

A person would have to be a complete idiot to support these bans and restrictions, while simultaneously being surprised that there’s a shortage of natural gas.

All of this reminds me of this scene from the movie Casablanca:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjbPi00k_ME

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to end the use of fossil fuels over the next 10 years. I’d be curious to hear whether she supports or opposes letting the developers of this proposed new housing in New York hook up the housing to receive natural gas.

March 21, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Environmentalism. 1 comment.

Vermont just replaced its only only nuclear reactor (which had accounted for 71.8% of the state’s electricity production) with fossil fuels obtained from fracking

For the past 42 years, Vermont’s only nuclear power plant was responsible for 71.8% of the state’s electricity production. This huge amount of electricity was generated by a single nuclear reactor.

Vermont has just shut down this reactor.

The replacement energy source for this shut down reactor is shale gas, a fossil fuel whose combustion causes global warming, and which is obtained from fracking.

And all this time, I had thought that liberals in Vermont were against fossil fuels, fracking, and global warming.

Meanwhile, France, which gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear power, has the cleanest air in the industrialized world, and the cheapest electricity in Europe.

There are new nuclear power plants currently under construction in the U.S., but all of them are in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, which are not exactly thought of as bastions of liberalism and environmentalism.

 

 

February 1, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Politics. 23 comments.

Fracking prevents us from freezing to death

It sure is cold outside. And it’s predicted to be even colder in the next few days.

I want to thank everyone who works in the natural gas industry for saving my life – literally. Without you, I would be dead.

Thank you – thank you so much.

January 27, 2014. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism. 1 comment.