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Posts tagged “valero”

By Robert Rapier on Mar 12, 2012 with 27 responses

The Professor Who Knew Too Little

It is clear that many people have a very simplistic — but wrong — view of the energy markets. This extends to politicians who believe they can usher in a return to $2 gasoline, as well as those who underestimate the difficulty of replacing oil with renewable energy.

For the average person, gasoline prices go up because oil companies are pulling strings, meeting in secret to set prices, or withholding product from the market. To top it off, we are sending them our tax dollars as subsidies while they are wallowing in cash! That’s the view from the man on the street. Somehow, I would have expected a USC business school professor to have a more sophisticated understanding of the situation — especially if he decided to write an article about it. But I would have been wrong.

Normally, when I read something like the following, I am more prone to just shake my head over the sad state of the person’s energy IQ. But I am making an exception here in the case of Professor Ira Kalb, a marketing professor at USC’s Marshall School of Business. The professor recently wrote the following article for Business Insider:

The Only Reason Gas Is $5-A-Gallon Is Oil Companies Have Convinced Us Prices Are Out Of Their Control
CONTINUE»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 24, 2009 with no responses

My Top 10 Energy Related Stories of 2009

Here are my choices for the Top 10 energy related stories of 2009. Previously I listed how I voted in Platt’s Top 10 poll, but my list is a bit different from theirs. I have a couple of stories here that they didn’t list, and I combined some topics. And don’t get too hung up on the relative rankings. You can make arguments that some stories should be higher than others, but I gave less consideration to whether 6 should be ahead of 7 (for example) than just making sure the important stories were listed. 1. Volatility in the oil markets My top choice for this year is the same as my top choice from last year. While not as… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 22, 2009 with no responses

Catching Up

Back home now, just trying to catch up on the energy news of note. Four stories that I want to highlight. First was POET’s announcement on their progress on cellulosic ethanol: Poet hits ‘long shot,’ cuts cellulosic ethanol costs WASHINGTON – The head of the world’s largest ethanol producer, Sioux Falls-based Poet, said Wednesday that his company has drastically cut its cellulosic ethanol production costs. It is a breakthrough that will allow cellulosic ethanol to compete with gasoline within two years. Jeff Broin, Poet chief executive, told reporters during a roundtable discussion that the company has reduced its cellulosic ethanol production cost during the past year from $4.13 a gallon to $2.35 a gallon. Andrew Leonard of Salon asked me… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 7, 2009 with no responses

Big Oil Buys Big Ethanol

Some people think that the oil industry is hostile toward the ethanol industry because they consider them a real threat. But I always point out that the oil industry dwarfs the ethanol industry by such a large amount that it could easily buy up all the available assets of the ethanol industry – if they thought there was a good business opportunity. My speculation has turned into reality as an announcement was just released that major oil refiner Valero is buying up the assets of bankrupt ethanol producer VeraSun: VeraSun Energy to sell assets to Valero Energy Ethanol producer VeraSun Energy Corp. said Friday it is selling assets to Valero Energy Corp. for $280 million amid difficult industry conditions and… Continue»