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Natural Gas 4 Us: The Energy Game 2024

Updated: Mar 5

It is the New Year 2024 and the energy information barrage continues unabated. As stated before it comes from many different points of view often requiring, scrutiny, skepticism, and fact-checking. I know I am dating myself, in the “old days” of three network television news and respected newspapers, there was seemingly an attempt to have multiple sources for reporting, more strenuous fact verification, and presenting both sides of an issue. Though that may have been naïve, fast forward to the digital age and immediate access to innumerable Internet sources and a multitude of daily articles of variant points of view at the swipe of a finger. As winter weather grips the country there is a cold reality that the much-touted and greatly subsidized American greening energy effort is not all sunny and breezy.

For us living in northwestern Pennsylvania, we are somewhat removed from all the climate and energy extremes. But that does not infer there is no impact here as the energy interests promote, posture, and convince the best way forward.

Last month nearly two hundred countries met in the United Arab Emirates for the Cop28 climate summit the delegates debated strenuously for “an explicit commitment to ‘phase out’ or even phase down fossil fuels.” After two weeks the final agreement stated, quoting from The Guardian, compromised language “to transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, to achieve net zero by 2050 (whatever that truly means) in keeping with the science”.

“Transitioning away” can be viewed as a more real and practical approach by Saudi Arabia, and Russia along with other OPEC members trying to limit production and maintain higher market prices for oil. US oil companies despite restraints and threats of the Biden administration are at record levels of domestic production. The constant call for energy security since the nineteen seventies by Washington politicos has never been achieved given that no overall plan has been advanced and committed to in practice.

The Biden administration's reactionary and helter-skelter approach and debt funding of Green energy projects is not orderly and is proving often counterproductive. Introducing unproven, expensive, and wishful projects again makes for mistakes and bad policy. Biden by defacto executive order without legislative authority announced last Friday a new Natural gas tax. In addition, his administration has launched various regulatory attacks, on appliances, such as gas stoves, dryers, furnaces, as well as dishwashers, air conditioners, and washing machines. The government's support for the rapid introduction of electric vehicles is challenged by cost, lack of charging infrastructure, and reliability. Ford, GM, Stellantis, and Toyota are scaling back investments in the transition to EVs as electric cars fill dealer car lots. Winter has no sympathy for the car batteries, the media is filled with reports of Tesla charging stations in Chicago filled with abandoned cars due to charging systems failures. Biden through the Inflation Reduction Act has set aside two years ago billions of dollars for rapid charge systems to be built across the country the first one finally opened in Ohio last month.

Extremes continue, the Secretary of the United Nations according to Associated Press at a recent UN conference, said “Humanity has opened the gates of hell” calling for a climate action plan. Hart Energy reported that at the recent DUG East conference in Pittsburgh, Toby Rice, CEO of EQT Corp., called on political leaders to focus public conversation on energy solutions and avoid an inevitable “train wreck” of an energy crisis. Welcome to 2024.


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