Broome County, NY Substitutes Solar Crumbs for NatGas Feast

We have nothing against solar energy–honestly. Yes, in one sense solar competes with natural gas, but hey, let the best energy source win! Truth be told, we need all energy sources, not just one. So please understand this is not a “bash solar” story. However, we do have a problem when politicians and anti-fossil fuel zealots insist we MUST use one source of energy over another. That’s just not American. And it doesn’t make economic sense either. You may hear that solar is cheap and getting cheaper. Some claim solar now produces electricity at a lower cost than natural gas. Not true. Here’s a comparison. Earlier this week Broome County celebrated the startup of a “large” solar farm on 20 acres of county-owned land in Conklin, NY. The official ribbon cutting was a big affair with the county executive claiming the county will save $140,000 a year with the facility–a facility that’s a year-and-a-half late going online. Fair enough. Who doesn’t want to save $140K a year, right? Not that a single taxpayer in Broome County will notice the 10 cents per tax bill they end up saving. Meanwhile, over the past ten years in Susquehanna County, PA (just south of Broome County, shares a border with Broome), natural gas drilling has been going great guns. In Susquehanna County, a single driller, Cabot Oil & Gas, has put $1.5 billion into the pockets of private landowners through signing bonuses and royalties, and has spent another $3.5 billion on drilling (over $5 billion total spent)–all in Susquehanna County. It is an economic miracle. Tax revenues in the county have gone through the roof! Millions have poured into tax coffers because of the gas industry. Cabot, a single driller, is providing 2.5% of all the natural gas produced in the U.S.–from Susquehanna County. And that’s just one driller! There are more drillers in Susquehanna. We’d estimate that at least $7-$8 billion has flowed into the county over the past 10 years. Mind blowing. And yet, here in the Binghamton area, local media has a blackout and refuses to report on Susquehanna County’s economic miracle. Meanwhile, Broome residents are told to get all excited about saving $140K a year. We’re being asked to jump up and down and feel good about a few economic cracker crumbs when 15 miles away everyone eats economic filet mignon. And now a group of antis masquerading as a solar group is trying to snow even more Broome residents into thinking solar is our energy savior. They’re selling a bill of goods…
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BP: NatGas is “Destination” Fuel, Not Just Bridge to Renewables

We have long thought (and written) that to concede the argument that renewable energy–wind and solar–is some sort of nirvana, a magical destination, that renewables are our inevitable energy future–is a mistake. To box ourselves in by buying into the argument that natural gas is a “bridge” to get us lower carbon emissions until renewable heaven arrives is faulty thinking. And now, none other than the CEO of BP is saying the same thing. Not in quite the same words we’ve used, but certainly the same sentiment. BP still bows to the alter of man-made global warming nonsense. But at least they have the guts to say, out loud, that natural gas itself is good enough–the “destination” as a fuel, and not simply a “bridge” to renewables. BP CEO Bob Dudley said that this week on a panel at the World Gas Conference in Washington, D.C. On the same panel, French oil giant Total CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, said, “This idea of natural gas as a transition fuel to renewables is strange.” Yes! Finally some clear thinkers willing to stand up for fossil fuels! We need more people to stand up and shout, “The renewables Emperor has no clothes!”…
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Wackos Gather in Harrisburg to Push for 100% Solar/Wind in PA

This past Tuesday, hundreds of Pennsylvanians gathered in Harrisburg to “rally for a new vision for the Commonwealth powered by 100 percent renewable energy.” Among those attending including representatives from businesses, various religious leaders, local mayors, and nurses and doctors to advocate for “bipartisan” legislation to force PA to dump fossil fuels and adopt 100% renewable energy. There is no polite way to say this, but say it we must: This so-called “bipartisan” gathering to push House and Senate bills demanding the state dump the use of fossil fuels (like natural gas) and instead stick solar panels on every rooftop and windmills on every hilltop to power the Keystone state’s electricity (and other) power needs is stark….raving….mad. It’s lunatic. Forcing the state to adopt 100% renewables is not “nice” or a “gentle, blessed future that will arrive someday.” Adopting 100% renewables is a deluded fantasy. To pretend otherwise is unkind. We must call this nuttery out for what it is: irrational hatred of fossil fuels. We have nothing against any form of energy. They all have their pluses and minuses. You like a solar panel on your house–good for you! An ugly windmill with it’s whump whump whump sound nearby? Whatever floats your boat. But ending the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity any time within the next 75-100 years is the end of human life as we know it. What was presented at the rally as some benign gathering of average citizens was nothing of the sort. Big Green (radical) groups, including PennFuture, were behind this flummery…
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PennEnvironment Wants Fossil Fuel-Powered (i.e. Electric) Buses

Last Thursday the radical Big Green group PennEnvironment released a “study” that claims PA should move to adopt electric buses, instead of all other alternatives (like compressed natural gas) because electric buses are (supposedly) more environmentally friendly. We understand the argument about replacing diesel-powered engines to lower the amount of nasty stuff that enters the air. But PennEnvironment’s argument to use electric buses is as much about reducing mythical global warming as it is reducing diesel emissions. And here’s the thing PennEnvironment doesn’t tell you (and what their Big Green supporters are too dull to figure out themselves): electricity comes from somewhere. It’s not magic. It’s produced. In PA, as of January 2018, 54% of all electricity is produced either by coal or natural gas-fired plants. Another 40% is produced by nuclear plants. How much electricity is produced in PA by all those gigantic windmills you see when sailing down the Pennsylvania Turnpike, along with solar? A measly 2.9%. So how “clean” are electric buses, really? Put another way, the majority of what powers electric buses is good old fossil fuels. Does PennEnvironment know they’re advocating for more fossil fuel use? Meanwhile, the Wolf administration (surprisingly) continues to invest in CNG buses, which is the smart thing to do…
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Home Rule Chaos Reigns in NY – Towns Vote to Block Wind, Solar

In June 2014, New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, reaffirmed two lower court rulings that empowers townships and municipalities across the state to strip away property owners’ rights to allow drilling and other energy projects (see Shale Drilling in NY is Over – High Court Upholds Town Bans). NY’s high court ruled in the “Middlefield” and “Dryden” cases that local municipalities have the right to regulate energy development within their jurisdictions–where it can and cannot happen. The seeds planted with the “Dryden” and “Middlefield” cases has sprouted and is now in full bloom–like spring daffodils. So-called “renewable” energy projects are now being blocked using the very same decisions meant to block natural gas drilling–delicious irony that puts a big, fat smile on our face. On the other hand, it points out the truly horrific consequences by NY’s highest court in allowing each community to, in effect, regulate energy production. It is utter folly and lunacy. Welcome to New York…
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The Miseducation of Our Youth: Global Warming Brain Disorder

As supporters of the fossil fuel industry, we must deal with the issue of catastrophic, man-made global warming head-on. Our kids now grow up believing this lie, and they turn into activists demanding action–sometimes to the point of violence–in support of this lie. We recently read an opinion column by a young woman who appears to be bright, earnest, talented, dedicated–and she believes the lies taught to her about fossil fuels and their role in society. She recently protested in Albany, willing to risk arrest, all in the name of demanding Gov. Cuomo end the use of all fossil fuels in New York State. She’s deathly afraid (we’d call it a phobia) of a common occurrence: the construction and operation of a natural gas-fired power plant in Orange County, NY. What this young woman apparently doesn’t understand is that New York would be plunged back into the Dark Ages if we were to forgo all fossil fuel use–as she is demanding via her protests. Wall Street would move to another state with no electricity to operate its computer networks. Disease and death would be rampant throughout the state. Reliable electricity (used to charge the phone she uses to snap selfies of her protest marches and arrests) would be a thing of the past. It’s really quite sad that this young woman has been completely and incontrovertibly miseducated. Lied to. Education malpractice. The real shame is that she parades her abject ignorance for the world to see. The miseducation of our youth–the intentional lies told to them about man-made global warming, must stop…
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Sauce for the Goose: NY Town Considers Moratorium…on Solar!

In June 2014, New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, reaffirmed two lower court rulings that empowers townships and municipalities across the state to strip away property owners’ rights to allow drilling and other energy projects (see Shale Drilling in NY is Over – High Court Upholds Town Bans). NY’s high court ruled in the “Middlefield” and “Dryden” cases that local municipalities have the right to regulate energy development within their jurisdictions–where it can and cannot happen. As we said at the time, “In our opinion it means there will never be any meaningful shale drilling in New York. No driller in his right mind will roll the dice, lock up thousands of acres by spending millions of dollars, just to see it all disappear at the next town board election with a vote by 3 of 5 people.” But what’s sauce for the goose is now sauce for the gander. The Town of Delaware Town Board in Sullivan County, NY is seriously considering, and about to adopt, a one-year moratorium on solar farms. It seems a company has expressed serious interest in plastering ugly solar farms all over the beautiful countryside, and town regulations are not yet in place to control what may turn into out-of-control solar farm development. So Delaware plans to adopt a moratorium to slam the breaks on–for at least a year. Can anyone say poetic justice? This action by Delaware does not fit Lord Cuomo’s wishes. You see, in NY, only elitist snobs like Cuomo get to choose what kind of energy source we serfs who live under his rule can use. Natural gas is out, solar is in–because Cuomo wants it. Yet the Court of Appeals ruling from 2014 has now risen up to bite Cuomo and his thuggish Big Green cronies on their fat rear-ends. We love it!…
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Renewables a “Roadmap to Nowhere” – Sued for Telling the Truth

We spotted an article a month ago that is shocking and disturbing. This is the first time we’ve had a chance in our daily article roundup to bring it to you. A Stanford University professor pedals a “religion” that claims the world can be fueled by 100% renewable energy. That is, renewables can provide everything we need: electricity, heating, transportation, industry, shipping, the works. And renewables can do it so well that we won’t need power plants that run on actual fuel. It’s a bizarre viewpoint, but there you go. Some people believe in Santa Claus too. The Stanford prof published a paper espousing this theory. There were a lot of factual flaws in the paper, so another scientist (actually 22 prominent scientists) published a paper pointing out the problems with the Stanford prof’s paper. That’s how it’s done in academe. You put your research out there, and others can (often do) come along and question it with their own research and rebuttal. That’s how science gets better. So what did the Stanford prof do? He sued one of the 22 authors of the dissenting paper, along with the academic journal that published it! Sued them for libel. The person he chose to sue isn’t affiliated with an institution with a legal team to defend him–so this is selective persecution. An attempt at legal bullying. No longer is science something we debate with published findings. Now it’s a matter of faith–and God help you if you believe on the wrong side of an issue like global warming, or renewables. If you dare to believe the “wrong way”–or worse yet poke holes in a true believer’s theories–you may get hauled into court. An ebook titled “ROADMAP TO NOWHERE: The Myth of Powering the Nation With Renewable Energy” (full copy below) covers this controversy and shines a light on what you thought you knew about so-called renewables. The ebook compares renewables with nuclear energy (we wish it were natgas, but perhaps using nuclear is the better comparison in this case). Take a blood pressure pill before you read the following…
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PA Awards 5 “Alternative Fuel” Projects $1.1M – All Fossil Fuels

Yesterday Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (liberal Democrat) issued a press release to take credit for/crow about handing out another $1 million of taxpayer money. This time the money is part of the state’s Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants (AFIG) program–a program aimed at replacing gasoline and diesel fuel. At least replacing a little bit of it–a token gesture. The state issued grants totaling more than $1.1 million in their effort to replace fossil fuels as the fuel that powers vehicles. And what “alternative” will replace those nasty fossil fuels? What clean-burning, good-for-the-environment option did PA deign to fund for over $1 million? Was the money used to purchase new electric charging stations for Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs, and Teslas? Nope. The superior option to replace those nasty fossil fuels is…other fossil fuels! The grants will buy buses that run on propane, and build compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling stations for vehicles that run on CNG. No electric outlets in sight. By using propane and CNG, Wolf says PA will replace “hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel” (meaning gasoline and diesel), making PA’s air cleaner. We think it’s kind of funny that Wolf’s enviro left hates natural gas, yet Wolf calls it clean and green and hands out money to make it more widely available…
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French Bank BNP Paribas Says It Will No Longer Fund Shale Cos.

We spotted a Reuters story trumpeting word from BNP Paribas–France’s largest bank–that it will no longer “work with oil and natural gas companies that primarily do business in shale or oil sands.” Why? “It plans to boost support for renewable energy projects.” We found that interesting, because BNP Paribas has had a hand in financing a myriad of projects–in the Marcellus/Utica region. Many of the projects they’ve underwritten are in the midstream (pipeline companies), and the downstream (gas-fired electric generating plants). Does the ban on working oil and natural gas companies extend to them? After all, they flow the gas fracked from shale (or oil sands), or burn fracked gas in the case of power plants. Will BNP pull its part of the $400 million credit line from Eureka Midstream (see M-U Pipeline Co. Eureka Midstream Expands Line of Credit to $400M)? Will BNP pull its $460 million worth of loans for the Lawrence County, PA fracked shale gas-fired electric plant (see Ground Broken for Lawrence County, PA NatGas-Fired Electric Plant)? Will BNP pull its backing of hundreds of millions of dollars from two fracked gas-fired OH power plants it’s involved with (see Fluor & Clean Energy Partner to Build 2 OH NatGas Electric Plants). You get our point. This is nothing more than a rankly hypocritical, sleazy, pandering, pusillanimous publicity stunt. Totally meaningless…
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PA DEP Offers $1M in Grants for CNG, Propane Refueling Stations

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) is offering $1 million in grants to companies willing to build “alternative fuel infrastructure projects” in Pennsylvania. What the heck is that? CNG (compress natural gas) fueling stations, propane fueling stations, and electric vehicle charging stations. The catch? The fueling stations must be open and available to the general public, and must be located with the “designated alternative fuel corridors” of certain interstate highways: I-76, I-276, I-476, I-70, I-95, and I-80. PA wants to goose the use of alternative fuels. Here’s the deets on the program…
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French Schizo: Ban Gas Drilling; Gas Bridge to Renewable Future

MDN editor Jim Willis had the pleasure of visiting France in 2006. It is a breathtakingly beautiful country. Jim found the French people to be personable and easy to deal with, contrary to the popular myth they are arrogant and hate Americans. But hey, that was just one guy’s experience. Maybe you have had a different experience? We’ve written about France’s on again, off again frack ban over the years (see our stories about France here). You don’t have to worry about whether or not France will ever allow fracking. Beginning this fall, the country will stop issuing ANY/ALL permits to drill for ANY/ALL oil and gas–conventional, shale, doesn’t matter (see France Commits Energy Suicide – No New Oil & Gas Exploration, Ever). France says it will transition to “environmentally-friendly energy.” You know, like solar and wind–even though discarded solar panels are about the same thing as disposing of nuclear waste (an ecological disaster). But appearances are everything for French President Emmanuel Macron and his certifiably-insane government. France (as of 2013, the most recent stats we could find) gets 44.5% of its energy from oil and gas, the single largest block of energy powering the country. Nuclear is second, at 41%. Wind and solar? Together they make up less than 1% of France’s energy supply. Here’s another bit of evidence that France is schizophrenic when it comes to energy: Recently the French international association for gas, CEDIGAZ, released a report (copy below) that predicts worldwide natural gas use will rise 1.6% per year from 2014-2035, outstripping all other forms of energy, renewable or not. CEDIGAZ also says natural gas and LNG are “a key transition fuel” to the renewable, sustainable nirvana that awaits us in the future. And yet France is banning all oil and gas drilling–eliminating the bridge to that future. How do you reconcile that?…
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The Shocking Ignorance of Anti-Fossil Fuel Protesters

Every now again we go on a rant about the hypocrisy, indeed the stupidity, of those who claim we can just stop using fossil fuels altogether–now–and switch to so-called renewables. If we only had the political will. According to the fantasizers, solar and wind and hydro and other non-fossil fuel sources could eliminate the need for fossil fuels. But what they fail to understand or grasp or admit (or perhaps all three), is that without fossil fuels they would not have clothes, houses, cell phones, vehicles for transportation and a host of other modern conveniences. Frankly, without fossil fuel extraction, we would immediately be plunged back into the Stone Ages–with cruel, very short, lifespans. Antis fail to recognize the key role fossil fuels play in our everyday lives. Our ongoing prediction, which will be proved long after we’ve exited this world, is that fossil fuels are here for at least the next 100 years. We spotted a local letter to the editor from a numskull spouting this “fossil fuels will kill us all” meme, and on the same day, an article by the always-excellent David Blackmon, writing for Forbes, which outlines many of the ways life would change without fossil fuels. Together these two pieces show the stark contrast between those who think, and those who don’t…
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Mark Zuckerberg Goes Fracking in North Dakota, Antis Have Meltdown

Mark Zuckerberg is the very wealthy and quite young founder and CEO of Facebook. As is typical of his generation and in the tech world, Zuckerberg is a flaming liberal. But you have have to give the guy credit. He not only founded Facebook, he grew it–to one of the biggest companies (value-wise) in the world. And he hasn’t screwed it all up. So he’s learned something. He’s teachable. Apparently Zuckerberg thinks if someone like Donald Trump can win the presidency, he might be able to himself. So Zuck has been traveling across the county, visiting various companies/factories/etc. Last week the Zuck was in North Dakota, visiting the Bakken Shale. Which may seem unusual. Zuckerberg is a big renewables guy. However, Zuckerberg wanted to see fracking, its workers and the communities around it, first-hand. He cautioned against the dangers of “demonizing” people who work in the fossil fuel industry. You know, our opinion of Zuck just went up a few notches. Maybe this kid can learn. He’s keeping an open mind. But of course some of his biggest fans, anti-drilling snowflakes, had a meltdown and took to social media to castigate their former hero…
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Trump Forces G20 to Acknowledge Role of Fossil Fuels Worldwide

At the G20 summit of industrialized nations in Germany last week, something pretty incredible happened. All of the European nations part of the G20 are attempting to bully the United States into dumping fossil fuels. Donald Trump stood up to them last week and got them to add language to the official communique that Washington will “work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently.” Folks, this is major! Europe backed down. Trump stood firm and he stood tall. Europe has been in this fugue of denial, claiming the world will just be able to flip and switch and convert to so-called renewable energy–any year now. Trump got them to admit that false pretense is not reality. He got them to admit that fossil fuels are and will be a part of the world’s energy mix for the foreseeable future (generations, with an “s”). No doubt the Europeans didn’t like being shamed into admitting the renewable emperor has no clothes. Here’s an even bigger surprise. The lib editors at the Detroit News think Trump did the right thing–and say fossil fuels are here to stay for a long time…
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Wind & Solar Powergen 3-4x More Expensive to Build than NatGas

Our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, has done us all a huge favor. Yesterday we brought you a post by EIA’s Today in Energy that points out in 2016 some 81% of all the energy we used in the US of A came from fossil fuels (see Fossil Fuels Continue to Dominate American Energy – 81% in 2016). Today we bring you another post from the EIA. This one compares the cost to build new electric generation plants, as measured by how much it costs per megawatt hour produced, to build the plant. What the post points out is that the only source of new electric power that’s cheaper to build/produce than natural gas, is hydroelectric power. Dams. And even at that, hydro is not all that much cheaper than natgas. Wind is nearly triple the price of natgas to build, and solar is four times as much! So much for the renewable nirvana future that awaits us…
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