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US natural gas will be expensive this winter. Blame exports.




American homes that run on natural gas can expect hefty bills this winter.

How high prices rise depends on many factors, including whether the war in Ukraine is taking a new turn and whether the winter is unusually mild or cold. The Energy Information Agency winter forecast expects higher bills than last year, although not quite as high as summer.

The war in Ukraine and Europe’s ban on Russian gas have already reshaped global markets. Europe is feeling the pinch because much of its gas comes from Russia, but the US faces a different kind of problem.

through most In the 2010s, the US had a supply glut that kept the wholesale price of gas low. Supply far exceeded domestic demand, and almost none of it was exported to other countries as liquefied natural gas (LNG). But since 2016, the US has been building new terminals capable of exporting gas in its more condensed liquid form. Increased exports have raised costs for American consumers as they compete with global markets that generate better profits for the industry. Add in the cost of inflation and extreme weather disasters like Winter Storm Uri, and it looks unlikely that prices will fall for long.

Now that the US is increasingly exposed to the vagaries of the global market, the pitfalls of a gas economy are becoming more apparent.

Gas export drives up prices

Until recent years, the main consumers of gas were industry, the electrical sector, as well as households, businesses and vehicles. As LNG exports have increased, they have essentially “put pressure on the rest of those U.S. markets, particularly residential,” explains Clark Williams-Derry, an energy analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

Like the gasoline you pay for at the pump, there is no universal price for natural gas. The next indicator we have for this in the US is called the Henry Hub, a wholesale price named after a busy distribution location in Louisiana. If you look at what happened to Henry Hub prices, you can explain the weirdness of the US gas markets right now.

The Henry Hub is not what you pay for. Until the gas reaches the home, you pay for the fuel distribution, pipelines, and associated labor. Regulated utilities generally charge consumers for the gas they use and then a fixed price, the cost of building pipelines to deliver the gas. These costs are also increasing thanks to inflation housing prices rising even faster than the Henry Hub would indicate.

That Henry Hub Prize has been so low for most of the past decade that manufacturers have struggled to stay in business. By 2016, the US had opened its first liquefied natural gas terminal in Louisiana, which allowed it to condense the gas so it could be exported to other countries. The opening coincided with a momentous decision made in 2015 to lift a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. To stave off another government funding showdown with the GOP-controlled Congress, President Obama signed legislation that meant the US could begin shipping oil to foreign markets at a better price than domestically.

The US has taken some time to ramp up its export capacity with a pandemic mixed into the equation, so the impact on markets has taken time to catch up. However, economists, including those at the EIA, agree that these terminals are having an impact on domestic prices.

An unexpected event this summer showed how important exports have become in determining US gas prices.

In June there was an explosion at the second largest natural gas export facility, Freeport LNG, a facility designed to convert gas into its liquid form so it can be shipped across the ocean. The facility responsible for 20 percent of US LNG capacity since closedwhich reduces the export capacity by a few percentage points.

Henry Hub’s prices were skyrocketing at the time of the blast, but even the 2 percentage point dip in overall US gas consumption was enough to make an obvious difference. The terminal has faced a number of delays in reopening, but if it does, it will once again shift domestic gas supplies. Two percentage points may not sound like much, but there isn’t much room to maneuver since the pandemic in oil and gas supply and demand. As the explosion showed, changing the wholesale price of gas is enough. In fact, the EIA expects prices to continue rising “when the Freeport LNG terminal in Texas” resumes partial operations as more gas is exported.

The pressure will only increase as the US continues to build more of these terminals. When they ramp up, LNG exports are forecast double from 2020 to 2023 levels. Typically, these terminals are subject to years of environmental reviews and approvals, but Republicans and some Democrats have pushed for expediting those deadlines. Some progressive Democrats have pushed for the Biden administration to clamp down on LNG exports altogether, fearing it will not only drive higher prices but lock the world into decades of consuming fossil fuels it cannot afford .

“There’s no point where you build enough infrastructure to somehow isolate yourself from global markets,” said Lorne Stockman, research director at climate group Oil Change International. “There are times when supply catches up with demand and prices fall, but demand inevitably starts to catch up with supply again. It’s like a hamster wheel.”

You will be charged more due to the epic extreme weather

Henry Hub’s prices have fallen since August, but private customers haven’t felt much relief. Mark Dyson, executive director of the zero-carbon electricity program at energy think tank RMI, pointed to another reason: extreme weather.

In February 2021, Texas was surprised by Uri, an unusually violent one winter storm. Unprepared for the cold temperatures, the state’s independent power grid suffered massive blackouts as gas infrastructure froze and demand for heating soared.

The supply shortages this time were the result of the weather, not international conflicts, but the effect was the same as that of the war: prices soared. The combination of these things could have hypothetically turned a $200 bill into a $10,000 bill. To avert that catastrophe, utility regulators instead let companies spread the cost of the storm over a longer period of time — like this Consumers, not just in Texas but also in Colorado and Minnesota, could pay for the storm over the next decade.

The problem is that Winter Storm Uri may not have been a one-off fluke, but an event that is becoming more likely due to climate change. It’s harder for scientists to link a single cold weather event to climate change; some research suggests that warming in the Arctic increases the likelihood of polar air flowing south.

Energy efficiency and clean electricity help us to get off the “hamster wheel” of rising energy prices

There is a valuable lesson to be learned from this summer’s Freeport explosion. Just as a large LNG terminal going offline can make a difference in domestic prices, so can other things. Energy managers immediately point to more production as a solution, even though it creates all sorts of other global warming problems. The methane from natural gas is used as a fossil fuel heats the planet much faster as carbon dioxide.

Stockman suggests it’s time to get off the hamster wheel of trying to drill our way out of high energy prices. “The most important thing that will make energy cheaper and safer for Americans is to reduce and eventually phase out our use of these resources,” Stockman said.

Here the policy of Anti-Inflation Act can make a difference — not in time for this winter, but potentially as early as 2024. One is a fee for excess methane emissions that escape from drilling and transporting natural gas, which could finally spur producers to use more of the lost gas gain overheating of the atmosphere. Another reason is the range of excise tax breaks that incentivize home energy efficiency, including energy efficient appliances such as heat pumps. Finally, utilities and consumers alike are facing new incentives to buy renewable energy over gas, clearly tipping the economy in favor of solar and wind.

“We’re going to see the level of adoption over the next 12 to 24 months that’s going to result in a pretty big dent in gas demand over the Centre County Report term,” Dyson said. “Even a few percentage points drop in gas demand from power, buildings and industry could actually have a pretty big impact on prices. It could actually lower the prices we’re seeing now.”


Senator John Kennedy Criticizes Biden’s Energy Policy As Only He Can (VIDEO)




Joe Biden’s energy policy makes absolutely no sense.

He will not allow America to pursue its own interests and drill here, but he will allow Chevron to drill for oil in Venezuela.

Republican Louisiana Senator John Kennedy was asked about this during a recent appearance on FOX News and answered in a way only John Kennedy can. The man has a real way with words.

city ​​hall Reports:

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“I used to have a beagle named Roger, and Roger was a rascal,” remarked Kennedy. “About every two weeks Roger ran away – he always came back – but about half the time he came back with dead animals that he hid under my back porch,” he explained. “President Biden’s energy policy looks like something Roger used to keep under my porch.”

“The fact is that America has the largest and strongest economy in all of human history,” Kennedy continued. “We cannot run it without fossil fuels – not today, not tomorrow. It is also a fact that America, through reserves and technology, can produce every drop of oil and natural gas that we need and that we can sell to our friends,” he recalled.

“This poses a problem for President Biden because he has embraced the awakened or berserk wing of the Democratic Party and the awakened ideology is that we need to get rid of oil and gas in the United States,” Kennedy said of his radical colleagues in Congress.

“So President Biden came up with a new energy policy, and it’s this: Instead of producing our own oil and gas cheaper in America, we’re going to buy oil from foreign countries that hate us — in this case, Venezuela — so those foreign countries are going to get more money have to buy guns to try to kill us. It’s bullshit,” Kennedy quipped about Biden and his party’s energy policies.

Watch the video:


This is a new instant classic.

cross posted by American lookout.

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A pharma millionaire is suing four hunters for $7 million, and the results will have a huge impact




campaign action

As The New York Times As reported on Saturday, the OnX app is at the center of the controversial case now being heard in Carbon County, Wyoming, for using the app by a Missouri bow hunter Bradly Cape planned how he would gain access to the public lands around Elk Mountain in Wyoming.

Knowing how irritable many landowners are to hunters trespassing on their property, Cape has identified an area of ​​”checkerboard” control. That is, the land is divided into mile-by-mile sections, half of which are public property and half private property, like the black and white squares on a chess board.

At one point on this checkerboard map, Eshelman controlled two squares that met at a corner. The other two squares were public property. Using OnX, Cape mapped the exact location and led three friends to walk around the corner from one public space to another. Not only did they not set foot on Eshelman’s land, they also crossed the territory of his possessions infinite small. Not a single state has laws against this “corner crossing,” which is common in areas where railroad companies were once granted public land to “open up” to the West.

Legally, Eshelman can’t put a fence across that corner. So instead he installed “Keep Out” signs at the corners of each of his squares, leaving only a few inches between them (a photo of the signs is in the Times Article). But on a return visit, the hunters, aware of the shields after scouting the site, brought back a specially constructed short ladder that allowed them to leap across the space between the shields.

As WyoFile Eshelman’s ranch manager reportedly spotted Cape’s group on the public property. After ranch employees harassed the hunters, including chasing them in pickup trucks driving Eshelman’s men across public lands, the manager, along with Wyoming Fish and Game, called the local sheriff to charge the hunters with criminal trespassing. Initially, officials from both agencies told this manager that they had not issued a trespassing charge for corner crossing. But days later, after the manager pressured local officials by reminding them of Eshelman’s importance in the district, another Fish and Game MP pressed charges.

Eshelman owns 23,277 acres near Elk Mountain, but when prosecuting this case for corner crossing, he attempted to block access to 1.6 million acres of public land.

The case went to court in April, with the local district attorney claiming someone was wanted for trespassing simply for violating “airspace” over private land (which would surely be news to the FAA). It was only about two hours before a local jury decided the whole thing was ridiculous and found the four men not guilty.

That should have been the end of the whole thing, but after not getting what he wanted in the criminal trespassing case, Eshelman pounced on the hunters with a civil suit “for causing millions of dollars in damage,” which is demanding not only compensation for this alleged damage, but also the payment of all legal fees, both criminal and civil, by the hunters. He’s seeking a staggering $7 million in damages for disturbing a few inches of air over his land.

As Donald Trump has demonstrated so many times, those rich enough can endlessly work the courts, using them both as a means of coercing others into submission and as a means of evading personal responsibility for anything. Hunting groups and other public-land access advocates have raised $110,000 to cover legal fees that threaten to wipe out the four hunters.

No matter how ridiculous this all seems, and no matter how fast the jury trial ends, Wyoming officials are convinced that the landowners will win in the end. According to a Republican attorney who used to work for the attorney general’s office, if the hunters win“It wouldn’t surprise me at all that legislators would come back and pass legislation stating corner crossing is illegal. If you win you lose and if you lose you lose.”

Although most people are unaware, this type of checkerboard control covers a large portion of the American West, and blocking access to public lands in this way would render equally vast areas completely inaccessible. The impact would extend far beyond a dopey pharmaceutical millionaire using his Wall Street earnings to snag some of Wyoming’s finest real estate.

The answer to a Wyoming law that says corner crossing is illegal is simply enough: a federal law that says it is. But Republicans are unlikely to allow such a law, even if every hunter in America is clamoring for it. Because for Republicans, when there’s a competition between middle-class hunters and wealthy landowners…it’s not even a competition.

Corresponding forbes, Eshelman made his millions when one of several pharmaceutical companies he was an executive at sold for $3.9 billion in 2011. “Eshelman personally made at least $160 million from the after-tax sale. FORBES estimates his fortune is worth at least $380 million. Eshelman declined to comment on his net worth or how much he made by selling his shares in any of his companies.”

Eshelman is a longtime supporter of conservative Republican politicians. According to WyoFile:

He has donated millions to conservative Republican candidates running for federal office. In the 2008 election cycle, according to Open Secrets, he pumped $5.5 million into, Eshelman’s tax-exempt “527” organization “founded primarily to influence a political election.”

Open Secrets lists Eshelman as the second-highest single donor to “Outside Money Organizations” in the 2010 election cycle with $6,359,660. His total contribution to Republican candidates for federal office is at least $28.5 million.

The Republican Party keeps hitting and pointing fingers at each other. The traditional media act like they didn’t totally screw it up when they predicted a “red wave” a few weeks ago. In tonight’s episode, Markos is joined by democratic political strategist Simon Rosenberg. Rosenberg was one of the few outsiders who, like Daily Kos, kept telling the world that these midterms were closer than was reported. The two are a bit pleased that they are right in their optimism about the 2022 midterm elections, and they offer their analysis of why Democratic candidates have been successful and how terrified the Republican Party is heading into 2024.

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Lindsey Graham Is Teaming Up With Elizabeth Warren To Regulate Twitter, Apple, Google, And Facebook




Sen. Lindsey Graham announced that he is working with Sen. Elizabeth Warren to introduce a digital regulatory commission to regulate social media companies.


Graham (R-SC) said on Fox News: “Big Tech, you can’t sue these people under Section 230, so there’s no regulatory system that works, so I’m going to unveil a digital regulatory commission that looks at social issues, media companies like Apple, Twitter and Google. We need a regulatory environment to control the abuse of power here, so I’m going to do that with Elizabeth Warren. They’re looking for something that can bring us together in Washington. Social media is out of control, it needs to be regulated in some way and I think that brings both parties together.”

Big Tech has gotten so out of hand that it has made Lindsey Graham and Elizabeth Warren (DMA) allies on the same issue.

Graham is right. Elon Musk’s only flaw was that he was so blatant about his abuse of power. Musk could be the last straw, forcing the government to crack down on social media companies.

There are too few people with too much power running a few giant social media companies. The abuse of power in social media must be combated.

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