Comments by Gary L. Hunt Subscribe

On Rationalizing California's Residential Electricity Rates

Great job on this piece, Severin, as always in framing the issues.

Isn't the real price of California's energy policies including high tiered rate structures being paid or avoided by the economic impacts of substitution factors such as economic growth and business development shifting to Texas, Nevada and other locations with lower rates and a better regulatory and business climate? 

Electric utilities are starving for growth from a combination of a weak economic recovery, business choosing to go elsewhere and the societal good news of rising energy efficiency, customer-side of the meter demand reduction leaving higher costs to be spread across a flat or slow growing customer base? 

And residential customers able to do so are responding to high rate tiers by going off the grid with solar leases and other ways to substitute a tax deductible capital cost or a lower lease payment for their utility bill?

All this social engineering isn't making us stronger, its sucking the robustness out of the economy and making our infrastructure much more subject to volatility.


October 2, 2014    View Comment    

On The Missing Oil Crisis of 2014


Bravo!   You remind us not to take for granted the enormously positive impact of the tight oil growth in the US.  With all the 'fracking' about fracking it is good to be reminded that the shale revolution in oil & gas in the US is like as GIANT insurance policy for our economy.

Well done!

August 8, 2014    View Comment    

On The Four Men Who Caused The Majority Of Global Warming

This is silly.  Why stop with the people your named from a hundred years ago?  You could go much farther back and trash the discover of fire and every other invention or discovery that contributed to economic growth around the world.  The entire premise of climate science has been so tarnished by all this hype and hyperbole that it is impossible to have a rational discussion about it. 

Time to go back to your day job.


January 29, 2014    View Comment    

On What’s Missing in the Romney Energy Plan?


All this externalities hocus pocus is a smoke screen to raise the cost of fossil fuels to improve the economics of renewable energy by piling on additional costs.  The only way that is possible in competitive markets is with price controls and that is what carbon taxes are.

If the US does not use the fossil resources available to us domestically they will be exported and sold to the highest bidder for use elsewhere.  That is trade-off.

August 30, 2012    View Comment    

On What’s Missing in the Romney Energy Plan?

 The problem in New York is your politicians want it both ways.  They pander to environmental groups opposed to fossil fuel use and any expansion of supply.  But they are loathe to let Pennsylvania and other Marcellus shale states gain the revenue and economic benefits from allowing horizontal drilling and fracking.

The states have actually been quite good at pushing hard on the transparancy issue.  Texas, in particular, had demanded the disclosure of the sources for the fracking water to be used, the contents of the fracking cocktail to be used and the plan for watewater disposal of the used fracking liquids.

I am of the opinion those tough Texas standards will likely become the best practice.

As to the IEA study, that is pure pandering to the EU environmental constituencies and should be taken as a purely politically correct document.  France and Poland both have substantial unconventional conventional resources and while France is more like New York in its attitude, Poland---fearing Russian gas dependence and high prices for LNG priced against global oil has a more difficult choice.  Its shale composition will be more difficult to explore and extract but it should clearly be worth it to assure energy alternatives to Russia. 

August 30, 2012    View Comment    

On What’s Missing in the Romney Energy Plan?


Oh Ye of little Faith!  We do not have a national energy plan because we do not have a national energy consensus.  Instead we have a strategy by the Obama Administration to achieve by regulatory fiat and executive order a policy regime the President has been unable to get Congressional approval to implement.

As legal challenges to Federal regulations are made, we're seeing a pattern of court decisions overturning the administration's actions for lack of stututory authority.

Under our Federal system the state have authority to manage their own policies in these areas unless preempted by Congressional action.  Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have been regulated by the states consistent with that Constitutional balance.  Some states like North Dakota, Texas, and Pennsylvania have chosen to move forward to permit E&P actyivities.  Others like New York have not.

This is the perfect laboratory to test what works and does not work.  So far the benefits appear to be outweighing the risks for the state that have allowed E&P.  North Dakota has grown to be the second largest producer of domesic oil and gas second only to Texas and surpassing California and Alaska in a very short period of time with very little problems.  It enjoys robust economic growth and an unemployment rate less than 4%.

What's not to like about this, Jesse?


August 29, 2012    View Comment    

On What’s Missing in the Romney Energy Plan?


You have to quit drinking that Washington DC kool-aid!  We have domestic energy production growth today BECAUSE OF the states.  Their record of stewardship is at least as good as the Federal Governments.  The states have proven more practical, focused on balancing the economic and environmental issues more skillfully and quickly.  That not every state agrees with your personal regulatory or policy views isn't a reasonable basis for trashing our Federal system.

August 29, 2012    View Comment    

On What’s Missing in the Romney Energy Plan?


I am not a mouthpiece for any fuel type, but rather for a competitive energy marketplace that can find equilibrium in the least cost, best fit way.  Your comment ignores that the transformation underway in the energy industry today from the tremendous growth of natural gas availability from shale is having a profound impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Natural gas displacement of coal fired generation produces a 40% reduction in GHG emissions with no technology risk and at much lower costs.  What's not to like about that?

Fossil fuel use is a reality.  You can wish it away but that will not make it so.

August 29, 2012    View Comment