Waste Management Energy Services of Texas, LLC, an in-direct subsidiary of Houston-based Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM), announced On Oct. 11 that its new Reeves County Solids and Liquids Injection Facility, designed for the safe disposal of oilfield wastes, is now fully operational. Located within the Permian Basin, where more than half of the U.S. oil rigs are, the Waste Management Energy Services facility is on a 230-acre site in Balmorhea, Texas. As an injection disposal operation, it requires substantially less surface footprint than a more traditional landfill. The operation currently has 15 employees.


Tom.jpg?resize=75%2C95Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


The U.S. is increasing its natural gas liquefaction capacity by 1327% over the next five years and transforming the entire global LNG marketplace.

Natural gas from places such as Washington County, Pennsylvania will find its way across the entire world over the next five years. A new study from GlobalData reported on its GlobalTrade blog indicates the degree to which the U.S. is achieving energy dominance in the world, especially with respect to the global LNG marketplace. The numbers are striking.


EIA projections of U.S. LNG export capacity – a trend that will continue through 2022, according to GlobalData

The GlobalTrade article reveals total natural gas liquefaction capacity of the U.S. will grow by an incredible 1327% from 2018 and 2022. Yes, gas produced in Butler, Bradford, Lycoming, Susquehanna and Washington Counties, to name a few, is moving out across the high seas to ports around the world, delivering the benefits of clean burning, low cost energy to far-flung regions. Here are the important details (emphasis added):

The US will lead North America in terms of liquefaction capacity additions with 258.8 mtpa, increasing from 19.5 mtpa in 2017 to 287.3 mtpa by 2022. The country is expected to spend around $167.28 billion on new build liquefaction terminals during the outlook period.

“The US is adding substantial LNG liquefaction capacities, redrawing the global LNG landscape,” said Soorya Tejomoortula, oil and gas analyst at GlobalData. “Booming natural gas production, especially from shale, is driving the country’s LNG exports.”

GlobalData identifies Canada as the second highest country in North America with planned liquefaction capacity additions of around 101.1 mtpa by 2022. The country is expected to spend roughly $105.3 billion on the development of new liquefaction terminals.

“Canada is also adding considerable LNG export capacity as its natural gas exports via pipelines to its traditional market, the US, are decreasing,” said Tejomoortula. “The planned capacity additions will also simulate investment and jobs in the country. ”

Between the U.S. and Canada, nearly 360 million tons per year (mpta) of gas liquefaction capacity is being added at a cost of almost $273 billion. That’s a huge investment and this capacity will enable natural gas produced here and revitalizing rural America in the process to also revitalize other regions of the world needing it, cleaning the environment along the way by reducing emissions from burning coal, oil and wood.

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U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose last week for the third consecutive weekly build as refineries continued to reduce output for seasonal maintenance, while gasoline inventories grew unexpectedly, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Oct. 11. Crude inventories rose 6 million barrels in the week to Oct. 5, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 2.6 million barrels. The build was in part due to a 2.4 million-barrel increase in stocks at the Cushing, Okla., delivery hub for U.S. crude futures. Net U.S. crude imports fell last week by 1.4 million barrels per day (bbl/d) to 4.8 million bbl/d, the lowest rate since at least 2001 when the EIA began tracking the data. Weekly figures like this are volatile, however.

Screen-Shot-2014-12-28-at-4.37.52-PM1.jpgRichard Downey
Unatego Area Landowners Association


Andrew Cuomo is intent upon bringing the German Energiewende to New York State. It can expect the same pathetic results; no emissions gains and high prices.

In Upstate New York, economic growth and jobs that retrain young families depend on affordable energy. At this time, renewables won’t cut it. They cost too much. Three stories; California, Germany, and South Australia.


A California homeowner recently shared his electric bill in the Wall Street Journal. The first 441 kilowatts per hour (kWh) bills at 21 cents. The next 1, 324 kWh escalates to 28 cents. From there it skyrockets to 43 cents. His yearly average for a three bedroom home with the thermostat set at 78 degrees is 29 cents. By the way, the guy heats with gas. Otherwise, if he heated with electric, he’d be packing for Idaho.

These rates are coming East. Governor Cuomo’s objectives and game plan is the same as California’s, Germany’s, and South Australia’s. Same plan, same results — higher prices to the consumer, minimal change in CO2 emissions.

Currently, New Yorkers pay an average about 12 cents per kWh with mixed generation from coal to hydropower. If gas is zeroed out and only renewables are allowed to grow at the expense of other fuels, prices will rise.

The state tips the scales through subsidies, rebates, mandates, laws and regulations, prioritization of use and, in the case of New York, simply refusing permits. This means you will pay more for your energy. The increased payment is a tax. The electric companies are the tax collectors. The Governor skates. His hand is in your pocket but you’ll never find his fingerprints on your wallet.


Even though Germany is wedded to green virtue, 79% of German electricity is still produced by fossil fuels. 17% is renewable, 5% is nuclear. The Germans pay 37 cents per kWh, over three times the New York State average. After spending billions upon billions on Energiewende, their plan for a renewable future, they’ve plateaued with emissions. The reason: wind and solar always need back-up. In Germany the back-up fuel is dirty “brown coal.” To cut emissions, Germany is building Nord 2, the Baltic Sea pipeline, to import Russian gas. Russian gas is Germany’s clean-up hitter. And American LNG is in the batter’s box. Germany is looking to gas to save Energiewende’s . . . goals.

South Australia has lots of sun and wind, gets 40% of its energy from renewables. The problem is that renewables are expensive. Rates are high, again three times higher than the US average. Managing a renewable grid adds expense. South Australia hired Tesla to build a football field sized storage battery. While costs are unknown, we do know ratepayers are paying Tesla 79 cents a kWh to absorb surplus energy off the grid. Tesla then sells electricity back to the same customers. Nice deal for Tesla, collect coming and going. Lots of sun in Australia but only the customers get burned.

All this expense is unnecessary, predicated on a fallacy — to save the planet we must use renewables.

Few know the United States leads the world in the suppression of CO2 emissions. According to the Energy Information Agency, the US has lowered emissions to a level not seen in 25 years, in spite of a growing economy and a growing population. The US is Number One in total tonnage of emissions reduction, outstripping the next five nations combined. According to Bloomberg, we are the only nation that has a chance of meeting it’s Paris Accord goals, even though we’ve pulled out of the Accord. Credit all this to fracked natural gas.

On the economic side, during the previous administration’s “new normal” of 2% GDP, fracking lowered the Cost of Living Index by keeping fuel affordable. It’s given hope to the Rust Belt, burnished Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, reversed the trade patterns of oil and gas, thus reducing our deficit. It has spurred new industry, revived old ones.

Renewable energy has a bright future. Even now it is cost-effective in specific markets. Hawaii comes to mind. But if the antis were really serious about helping lower worldwide emissions today, they’d be applying for jobs on the rigs or learning welding skills to work on the pipelines. That’s where the real environmental gains are happening.

America is leading the way. Fracked gas is making it happen.

Richard Downey is a retired New York City schoolteacher and a member of the Unatego Board of Education and the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York.

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International Petroleum Corp. (IPC) agreed to acquire Canadian oil and gas producer BlackPearl Resources Inc. in a strategic business combination, the companies said in a joint release on Oct. 10. Under the merger agreement, IPC will acquire all shares of BlackPearl at a price of C$1.85 per share, which represents a premium of 42% to the closing price of BlackPearl shares on Oct. 9, according to the release. Overall, the price tag for the deal is expected to total about C$622.5 million based on the roughly 336.5 million shares of BlackPearl outstanding as of a June company presentation.

Tom.jpg?resize=75%2C95Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


The Williams company is leading the way on something we can rightly call pipeline environmentalism, the linking of the infrastructure to conservation.

The Williams company, of course, is a pipeline developer and operator. It also maintains an on-line newsletter/blog called PipeUp to report on the progress of activities in which the company is involved. The latest post included two stories that caught my attention. Together, they exhibit what I’d describe as a new industry discipline that can be described as pipeline environmentalism. It is the threading of conservation efforts with pipeline infrastructure development. It makes complete sense and Williams is a champion for it.

The first story is about Williams being featured in a new book that describes some of this pipeline environmentalism:

A new book highlighting innovative best practices in environmental conservation includes a case study on Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Environmental Stewardship Program.

Titled ‘The Science of Strategic Conservation,’ the book is co-authored by Will Allen, Vice President, Conservation Services as well as Director of the Conservation Fund’s Strategic Conservation Planning program, and Kent Messer, Unidel H. Cosgrove Professor and Director of the Center for Experimental & Applied Economics at the University of Delaware.

In 2015, Williams partnered with The Conservation Fund to invest $2.5 million in pioneering an environmental stewardship approach to developing its Atlantic Sunrise linear infrastructure project in central and eastern Pennsylvania.

The book offers practitioners in conservation an array of proven scientific tools and exercises to protect land and water resources.  Included in its list of case studies, the book details how Williams’ Environmental Stewardship Program was brought to life.


“The book is a call for action,” said Messer. “We provide a frank assessment of what has worked in conservation and highlight some of its failures. Conservation efforts throughout the world have a lot of important work to do and the good news is that we have fantastic new tools to build upon successes.”

Williams’ environmental stewardship program began with The Conservation Fund’s development of a scientifically-based identification and evaluation of natural resource stewardship needs in the Atlantic Sunrise project area. This exercise led to the identification and funding of 17 high-potential projects supporting aquatic restoration, nutrient reduction, and trail enhancement.

Once complete, this formal conservation process resulted in the restoration of over 30 acres of streamside habitat, the creation of almost eight miles of new trails, and the storage of approximately 925 tons each year of manure, which reduces quantities of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium entering nearby streams and improves water quality.

Click here to learn more about the book ‘The Science of Strategic Conservation.

The second story provides a specific example of this pipeline environmentalism:

Funding from Williams in connection with the construction of the Atlantic Sunrise project is creating an opportunity for the Pennsylvania Game Commission to expand wildlife habitat at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County, Pa.

The donation is just one part of a larger voluntary mitigation program that Williams is coordinating through The Conservation Fund and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to protect habitat for migratory birds.

“This is public-private partnership at its best,” said Atlantic Sunrise Project Director Chris Springer. “The Commonwealth identified the protection of this property as a top priority, so we are glad to have the opportunity to coordinate with our partners in the preservation of this important wildlife habitat.”


The 77-acre property, consisting largely of agricultural fields and marsh, will be used to expand habitat for birds and other wildlife along the Kittatinny Ridge flyway near Albany Township. The Kittatinny Ridge corridor has been identified as a critical conservation priority within the state and region.

Because most the currently conserved land in this area is forested, and because grassland and wetland birds are some the most rapidly declining groups in Pennsylvania, the new property will be used to increase the habitat for grassland nesting birds while providing new foraging habitat for bats, mammals, and other migrating birds along the Ridge.

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is a 2,600-acre natural area in southeastern Pennsylvania that is famous as the world’s first refuge for birds of prey. A total of 235 species of birds have been sighted at or near this bird-watching mecca.

Hawk Mountain is a fantastic resource and Williams efforts to coordinate with the Game Commission in expanding wildlife habitat highlights how to integrate conservation with pipeline development. This, in turn, shows the way forward with pipeline development in the Northeast; a proactive out-front commitment to ensuring pipelines are not only compatible with other uses but also make positive contributions to the landscape and the natural world in which are placed.

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Tom.jpg?resize=75%2C95Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


It’s time to put the hysteria, the madness and the mobocracy of which extreme environmentalism is a part, behind us. Its time for real energy solutions.

One of our readers wrote me yesterday to bemoan the absolute madness of so much of what counts for debate in today’s society but is really just a dangerous combination of hysteria and mobocracy. She’s completely frustrated with the way environmental extremists, aided by lazy reporters (who, without investigation, treat the former’s tactics as legitimate), have dominated the conversation. She writes:

The angry mob that is the anti-fracking pipeline resistance movement has targeted citizens, regulators, politicians and even FERC commissioners in their homes. It has bald-faced lied for years and, yet, is basically promoted as heroic by the press. Reporters are failing at their job.

She’s correct. It’s time reporters starting asking tough questions of these people and challenged them with a dose of reality. We need real energy solutions, not more nonsense from the unaccomplished and the unthinking.

I read a quote the other day from a well-known writer by the name of Midge Decter who, having made the political journey from progressive to conservative, stated “There comes a time to join the side you’re on.”  That quote came to mind as I thought about our reader’s comment. She started out as a fractivist of sorts but came to understand almost no one on her side was interested in the facts. Most were simply manipulating a press eager to be used and abused as part of some politically correct cause.


The quote came to mind again, repeatedly, as I perused some recent headlines. The Guardian, for example, just went with this:

Why the next three months are crucial for the future of the planet

Really? No, the planet will do just fine. And, when one reads the full story it becomes readily apparent the real story centers around the fact some nations such as the U.S., Australia and Brazil are not playing along with the hysteria. Corporatist investors in “green energy” are worried things may not work out for them as planned. Keeping up the madness is essential to hedge fund investors.

Now, I have used this blog extensively to extol the benefits of natural gas in reducing emissions. I do nothing to suggest man might not be having some impacts on climate change. When I read the next three months are crucial to saving the planet, though, I know I’m being scammed. I start thinking like Midge Decter.

That’s because I’m more inclined to the “Inconvenient Facts” set forth so effectively by Greg Whitestone. I have, nonetheless, resisted using these pages to get into that whole side of things because gas is the solution regardless who’s correct. Some have suggested I should spend even more of my time trying to convince those who are worried about global warming that gas is a real energy solution, which, of course, it most definitely is.

But, I’m coming to the view that it’s time the warmists made a serious fact-based effort to convince me we only have three months to save the planet (yet again). I’ll listen. I’ll even keep singing the praises of gas in reducing emissions, which are as real as could be. But, I’m tired of their hysteria, madness and mobocracy. I’m only interested in the facts and real energy solutions. I’ll talk with anyone about those as long as they’re willing to engage a civil conversation to see what we can agree upon.

Unfortunately, environmental extremists aren’t interested in that conversation. They’re uncompromising zealots who often serve in cause of corporatism without even knowing it. They are manipulated, even as they manipulate, because environmental extremism is their religion. They’re true believers even if their preachers are paid by the devil. They believe they can impose their will because simply because they believe.

They view themselves as the pillars of morality and their opponents as evil, which entitles them, in their minds, to dismantle, disrupt and destroy without regard to any principles other than their momentary own. It is impossible to do business with them or to make them part of any community of thoughtful people.

This brings me to some further observations from our reader who poses these questions for reporters who should be challenging environmental extremists instead of showing them off:

Why do you think FERC now has people giving testimony one on one?

Do you want to participate in public processes that are chaotic charades?

Do you think activists are righteous and should feel free to walk into pipeline facilities or generating stations and shut them down?

Do you believe any community would be able to function if we all felt we could just do whatever we wanted at any moment, taking over parks and streets?

The questions are rhetorical, of course. Reporters today are too often part of the movement themselves. It’s up to the rest of us to get the facts out in any way we can. If we’re truly interested in energy solutions, environmental progress, economic prosperity and real communities, we’ll start calling out the hysteria, the madness and the mobocracy for what it is and deal in those facts. As for those unwilling to talk, to debate and to exchange facts, well, the hell with them. We’ll just have to beat them and I know which side I’m on — it’s called civil society.

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