Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Future of energy as seen from a Texas point of view

 


The cold wind is blowing, the snow is piling up and the temperatures are plummeting in Wyoming as I write this . . . from Texas, where it is 74 degrees!

We make an annual trip to north Dallas each January and it seems that I always learn something about energy that can be applied to Wyoming.

T. Boone Pickens is one of our nation’s leaders when it comes to energy. He has an amazing grasp of the future and his ideas are worth listening to.

Two years ago, I heard him speak in person at the Dallas Rotary Club.

This year, he was featured on the editorial page of the Dallas Morning News with a report of how he sees the future of energy in America and what President Donald Trump should be doing about it.

He summarizes his full newspaper-sized page list of suggestions with two main ideas:

1) Don’t screw up what we have going for us.

2) Don’t settle for what we have done so far.

In his article, he also heaps praise on former Gov. Rick Perry.

Pickens has kind words for Perry when he writes: “ . . . he understands both the immense needs and incredible opportunities our nation has with regard to energy.

“That combination is no small thing. Energy is vital to our nation’s prosperity, and the incoming president and his administration will be faced with a lot of big decisions about America’s energy future.

“During a lifetime in business, I’ve had to make a lot of tough decisions — right and wrong, and many of them very public. Good calls have made me a lot of money, and I’ve lost on the bad ones. Fortunately, I’ve been right more often than I’ve been wrong.”

Here are four main points he starts with:

“1. Establish clarity about who makes energy decisions. Currently, decisions about energy are spread among the president, the Department of Energy, the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Commerce and numerous committees and subcommittees in Congress, to name just a few. And that’s just federal.

“2. Promote hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. There are roughly 30 oil and natural gas producing states in America. In every one of them, fracking has increased the amount of recoverable natural gas to the point that the U.S. now has the largest reserves of recoverable gas in the world, more than Qatar, more than Russia, and even more than Saudi Arabia.

“3. Work with industry, not against it. America’s energy renaissance has been made possible by the innovation and ingenuity of private industry. Federal and state agencies and policymakers should make it a practice to work with the oil and gas industry to improve any safety or environmental.

“4. Meet our nation’s own energy needs before we worry about other countries. The best way to help Europe escape the yoke of European dependence on Russian natural gas, and help Mexico maximize its oil resources, is by exporting our technology and expertise, not our oil and gas.

“OPEC members are on the run, suffering low oil prices and coordinating supply cuts. But they’re playing the long game. It’s not enough to match the influence of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries; we must beat them in the long term. How do we do that?

“1. Work with our allies. With Mexico and Canada, establish a North American Energy Alliance to create an energy powerhouse that will never have to bow to the demands of OPEC again.

“2. Modernize government fleets. Federal, state, county and local fleets should be looking for ways to save taxpayer money, strengthen our economy and reduce pollution by leading the changeover from using gasoline and diesel to using cheaper, cleaner fuels.

“3. Build the electrical grid of the future. Electric vehicles aren’t going to replace oil and the internal combustion engines overnight. But renewable energy sources have a lot of potential, and we need a power grid capable of connecting those vehicles (and everything else) to the next generation of power plants, promoting greater efficiency, and protecting America against cyber or physical attacks.

“4. Continue to research and develop new energy sources. Wind and solar prices are going to continue to drop, and the middle of America is the Saudi Arabia of Wind. States like Iowa have embraced wind energy and offshore wind turbines that are fast becoming commercially viable.”

Pickens makes some good points here that apply direct to Wyoming’s largest industry – energy.

 

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