Posts tagged “Barack Obama”
Mike is a true clean energy entrepreneur, starting way back with a fuel cell start-up in the late 1990s, he’s run a venture capital firm, been an executive at a solar company and founded another solar company… and he’s voting for Mitt Romney.
As the presidential election draws near, gasoline prices are again in the news. In the summer they were rising, and Obama’s opponents were pointing fingers in his directions. Now that prices are falling, what does that mean for the Obama and Romney campaigns? In this week’s episode of R-Squared Energy TV, I answer a reader’s question on how falling gasoline prices might impact the Obama campaign for reelection.
Falling gas prices around the country have motorists breathing a sigh of relief, but a Mitt Romney campaign that has used rising fuel costs as a weapon during the lead-up to the presidential election may not be so happy to see pump prices dropping.
After relatively small drops over the first half of October, residents of some states are seeing prices as low as $3.20 per gallon, a major decrease from the $3.84 many drivers were paying only a few short weeks ago. While acknowledging that the cost of fuel is difficult to predict over the long-term, analysts remain optimistic that prices will continue to fall, potentially as low as a national average of only $3 per gallon, a rate not seen since 2010.
In a word – yes.
Last week the President issued an order requiring Ralls Corporation, which is owned by Chinese nationals (and is closely associated with the Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Sany), to cease development activities and divest its interest in four wind farms in Oregon. The order was issued based on recommendations from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS is responsible for reviewing foreign investments in the U.S. to ensure that foreign ownership of U.S. assets will not present a national security risk.
The Claim: President Obama Has Doubled Gasoline Prices
During the Republican primaries, a number of candidates made a claim that at first glance seems improbable: That under President Obama, gasoline prices have doubled. A current advertising campaign by the American Energy Alliance repeats that claim: “Since Obama became president, gas prices have nearly doubled. Tell Obama we can’t afford his failing energy policies.” Let’s examine that claim.
A Recent History of Gasoline Prices
We all remember $4/gallon gasoline under President Bush, so how could prices have doubled under President Obama? Let’s look at the recent history of retail gasoline prices. Barack Obama was sworn in as president on January 20, 2009. In the week that ended on January 19, 2009, the weekly retail gasoline price in the U.S. was $1.90/gallon. Most people don’t remember that given the recent history of high gasoline prices, but I will get to that. CONTINUE»
If Americans want to see sure, steady progress towards the goal of energy independence, they should vote for Mitt Romney, according to billionaire energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens. (See also: Duke Energy CEO Picks Obama Over Romney on Energy)
In an interview with CNBC, Pickens openly backed Romney as President, calling him “better suited” to deal with the increasingly grave energy problem in the United States because Barack Obama only wants to “talk his tax.”
With a large stake in the success of the alternative fuel industry given his deep investments, particularly in wind energy, Pickens’ vote of confidence in Romney appears to be fueled not by political views, but rather by a genuine interest in the future of the energy sector and its continued move away from fossil fuels. This is generating speculation among political analysts that his support could prove valuable for Romney in the battle for votes in oil-producing states like Pennsylvania, Colorado and Ohio, among 27 more.
Release of up to 180 million barrels discussed at White House meeting
With benchmark Brent oil futures moving back over the $110 per barrel line and threatening to continue to slow down an already sluggish American economy, President Barack Obama met Thursday with oil market experts as it considers dipping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
Analysts speculate that this second release of emergency oil reserves could be much larger than the last as officials attempt to bring soaring fuel costs under control while also making up for lost production centered around the passing of Hurricane Isaac last week. While gas prices were expected to drop sharply following the Labor Day weekend, high prices have persisted, forcing the Obama administration’s hand in reopening plans that were originally shelved in the spring.
President Barack Obama has been given an important vote of confidence from within the energy sector, with Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers telling news network CNN that the country is better off now when it comes to energy than it was before Obama’s election.
The statement comes just as the Democratic National Convention gets set to open in Charlotte, North Carolina, with Rogers acting as co-chairman of the event’s host committee. While the words come from within his own camp, Obama appears to be gaining ground on rival Mitt Romney with voters across the country where energy policy is concerned.
I want to post a quick rant on the uselessness of statistics about a country’s oil reserves. I was preparing this afternoon to write a blog post about the revolution in oil production in the US, caused by the adoption of new technologies of fracking and horizontal drilling in areas like the Bakken Shale and the Eagle Ford Shale.
The USGS reports that, with perspective additions, the U.S. holds 32 billion barrels (bb) of oil, 291 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, and 10 billion barrels of natural gas liquids in mean potential undiscovered reserves. This is a substantial upwards revision from last year’s estimate – showing how the new technologies are revolutionizing America’s energy outlook.
Then I started doing the math. The U.S. uses about 18.7 million barrels of crude oil equivalent per day (mbd), according to the EIA. Of that consumption, we’re importing about 8.7 mbd, and producing about 10 mbd. That works out to a total annual consumption of about 6.875 bb of oil, of which about 3.65 bb is from domestic production. At those rates, America would completely exhaust its total reserves, as estimated by the USGS at 32 bb of oil in eight years, nine months. So, by April or May of 2021, the United States would no longer have any oil – if these reserve estimates went unchanged.
Connecting Massive Population Centers
As the population of the U.S. grows from a country of 300 million to 400 million over the next 30-40 years, we’re going to have some decisions to make about how we keep the country moving. In our biggest cities — also the source of the greatest portion of our wealth creation — the highways and transportation systems are becoming more jammed by the day. It should be obvious that more transportation infrastructure options are needed in America’s densely packed regions.
The Interstate Highway System has been successful in linking the country together, but I’m afraid that it promotes sprawling, auto dependent development — which essentially outsources a major cost (fuel) to consumers. More highways, even if they could be built to meet capacity, are not the answer for dense regions because they have proved to only encourage more oil-dependent sprawl.
I believe that High Speed Rail (HSR) is the way to build dense, interlinked cities and regions. This past week saw two major developments about the future of HSR, as the California Senate approved $4.6 billion in funding for the construction of the first section of the state’s HSR and Amtrak announced a plan for significant upgrades to the lines along the Northeast Corridor.