Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Contrasting Approaches to Energy Access: Obama vs China

China's approach to energy access is rather simple: China aims to build its energy reserves as quickly and as large as economically viable. The aim is to boost industrial and commercial growth, thus boosting the overall economy and national strength.
China is adding 764,000 barrels per day of new crude refining capacity in 2012, bringing total refining capacity to 11.6 million barrels per day. In contrast, the United States is removing refining capacity due to new layers of onerous regulations, lower demand for liquid fuels, and lower refinery margins, thus making it difficult for refineries to earn a profit.[iii]

In December 2008, China began test operation of its first coal-to-liquids plant, which is already making a profit, and plans to reach 1 million tons of annual capacity. Coal-to-liquids technology is not allowed for military use in the United States due to the Energy Independence and Security Act that does not permit the military to use any fuel that releases more carbon dioxide than traditional petroleum.[iv] China already consumes more than three times as much coal as the United States and that is expected to grow rapidly.

Since 2010, Chinese companies invested more than $17 billion into oil and gas deals in the United States and Canada. In 2009, China National Petroleum Corp. bought 60 percent stakes in two oil-sands projects for about $1.9 billion. The following year, Sinopec committed $4.65 billion for a 9 percent stake in Alberta’s Syncrude oil-sands project. Last year, Cnooc agreed to pay $2.1 billion for OPTI Canada Inc.[v] In contrast, environmentalists want to ban the use of oil sands in the United States because of its higher emissions even though those emissions are only slightly higher and will not stop its production and consumption elsewhere.

PetroChina, owned 86 percent by the Chinese government, produced 2.4 million barrels of oil a day last year, surpassing Exxon by 100,000 barrels of oil produced a day. PetroChina’s output increased 3.3 percent in 2011 while Exxon’s fell 5 percent. PetroChina outspent Western companies, acquiring petroleum reserves in Iraq, Australia, Africa, Qatar and Canada. Since 2010, its acquisitions have totaled $7 billion, about twice as much as Exxon. According to the IEA, total acquisitions by Chinese energy firms increased from less than $2 billion between 2002 and 2003 to nearly $48 billion in 2009 and 2010.[vi]

China is purported to have offered to pay for construction of a pipeline to bring Canadian oil sands to Canada’s Pacific Coast, an opportunity that became available when President Obama rejected a decision on the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline between Alberta’s oil fields and the Gulf Coast of the United States until after the election.[vii] _IER
Contrast China's "all-in" approach to Obama's policies of promoting unreliable intermittent-renewables, such as big wind and big solar projects which are backed by crony political backers of his presidential campaigns.

At the same time that Obama is wasting many $billions on a futile quest for intermittent-renewable unreliables, his administration is going all-out to quash energy from oil sands, coal, shale gas & oil, offshore and arctic oil & gas, and safe, clean, new forms of nuclear power.

The new US energy bonanza from shale oil & gas began long before Obama came into office, and is bravely battling against all of the Obama administration's attempts to shut it down, using faux environmental justification for new, stifling regulations.

The US House of Representatives has gotten so fed up with the Obama policies of energy starvation, that they are attempting to promote policies that will lead to new energy supplies that will allow for economic growth in the private sector economy -- a part of the US that Obama seems to have been trying to destroy.
... if anyone is stuck in the past, it’s President Obama, as he has refused to acknowledge the great potential of America’s energy resources thanks to new technologies that help us unlock them.

New discoveries and production of resources like shale oil and gas are dramatically altering our energy supply outlook and the entire global geopolitical landscape. And the pace of change—particularly in the past few years—continues to accelerate.

When it comes to energy supply, efficiency, and environmental safety, our prospects are better than they have been in a long time. And the outlook will only improve if the government unleashes the private sector and stops getting in the way.

North Dakota’s story is illustrative. As recently as 2006, the state ranked ninth in the country in oil production. By 2013, the state could move to the number three spot, behind only Texas and Alaska, according to The Institute for Energy Research. In fact, North Dakota's January oil output eclipsed the current third place holder, California. Production may more than double again within five years.

Private sector breakthroughs created this new energy boom; the federal government is not involved.

It’s a mistake to declare war on any source of supply because, if we have learned anything about energy, it is that future technology will not be what is now predicted.

By fully harnessing the power of our own previously inaccessible energy resources—and by forging strong partnerships with neighboring nations—America is on the cusp of being able to chart a course toward North American energy independence. It is an exciting time for American energy, but only if American energy policy spurs these innovations rather than stifling them. _American.com _ Fred Upton, Chairman US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce
The US government was based upon the idea of "separation of powers" and "checks and balances." If the US ever needed to call upon rational minds within one branch of government to combat irrational ideologues in another branch, now might well be such a time.

Of course, the ideal course would be to eject the green ideologue energy starvationists from the government, so that the private sector could be freed to innovate and grow.



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