Saturday, August 4, 2018

Cleaning Out The In Box -- August 4, 2018

Too many soybeans? The North Dakota solution -- process soybeans into "renewable" diesel and ship it to California where there's a huge market. Now that the Chinese have imposed a new tariff on US soybeans, what's not to like? Making America great again. From what I can tell, everybody wins on this one. From The Billings Gazette -- the Andeavor Dickinson Refinery would like to build a pilot project at the existing refinery that processes vegetable oil and Bakken crude to create a 5% renewable diesel blen

Too mjuch sand? The Texas solution -- put it back into the ground as fracking sand. From Fox Business (no link; google app won't link Fox Business) --
A Houston-based supplier of sand for West Texas oil drillers has hit financial pay dirt by mining and processing the sand virtually next door to its customers.
Hi-Crush Partners, a master limited partnership, had been shipping sand from Wisconsin to oil drillers in the Permian Basin of West Texas, but now operates a facility in the basin, thus enabling it to slash transportation costs and sell the commodity for far less than some rivals.
A Hi-Crush facility in Kermit, Texas – after just one year of operating – has been able to significantly cut expenses and create a viable billion-dollar sand mining operation.
Another natural gas pipeline from the Permian proposed. From The Houston Chronicle --
  • the Whistler Pipeline
  • Targa to partnership with Florida's NextEra Energy, Ohio's MPLX, and some private equity investors
  • 600 mile natural gas pipeline system from the Permian to the coast
  • Targa is "now looking to compete with Houston's Kinder Morgan, others building thes new pipelines
  • MPLX is the pipeline arm of Marathon Petroleum, not to be confused with Marathon Oil
Big oil wins again -- in the court of common sense. I think this is the third "case" that has been tossed in the past few months. The other two were court cases; this one is a SEC investigation. From ABC News, the SEC drops investigation into Exxon climate change response. This is probably one case the Justice Department won't pursue:
The government has dropped a two-year investigation into how Exxon Mobil Corp. factors climate-change regulations into its calculations of the value of its assets.
The Securities and Exchange Commission informed the energy giant in a letter dated Thursday that it would not recommend an enforcement action against the company at this time.
Exxon Mobil cooperated with the inquiry, producing more than 4.2 million pages of documents.
Russia: old news, FWIW, from oilprice --
Russia reverses almost all its oil production cuts.
At 11.215 million bpd, Russia’s oil production last month was very close to the post-Soviet record-high of October 2016, the month used as a baseline for the production cuts.
Russia’s July oil production surged by 148,000 bpd from June.
So, for round numbers, the three big producers -- the US, Saudi Arabia, and Russia -- are each at about 11 million bopd. Nice easy number to remember.
Bait and switch: Xcel Energy's plan for Colorado -- op-ed at Colorado Politics --
  • 15 years ago, Xcel's customers invested $190 million "to drastically improve" the environmental performance of a couple of coal-fired utility plants
  • at the time, Xcel said the improvements would keep the units running through 2035
  • apparently 2035 came sooner than expected
  • Xcel now wants to close those coal-fired utility plants
  • replace them with wind energy
  • cost to Colorado consumers? At least $287 million. Upfront. Again. Like the $190 million.
  • savings to Colorado consumers: no sooner than 2046 -- if ever
  • other data points from the article:
    • Colorado is one 21 states in which consumers have no choice in electricity provide -- so as Xcel increases its asset base, any operational costs it incurs are passed on to ratepayers
    • the company's executive compensation is tied to stock performance
My hunch and comment:
  • it will go through without a hitch
  • the investor class will continue to do well
  • the increased monthly cost to Colorado consumers will be nominal
  • what's not to like?
Residential electricity rates by state (updated August 1, 2018): Colorado still has low-cost electricity.

Algore was not lying: carbon taxes will cool the earth -- IceAgeNow. Details:
  • Australian carbon tax
  • will cost $160 billion
  • if works as planned, after ten years, the carbon tax will cool earth's temperature by 1/20,000th of one degree
  • plus or minus 1/10,000th degree, I suppose

From the linked article:
The predicted global warming for the next decade is .17 of one degree. Just to stop that 0.17 of a degree rise, we would need to spend $77,000 for every man, woman or child on earth.
Looks like Australia has it all figured out.

Exxon's energy projections through 2040: link here --

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