oil and gas industry

BP’s Surprising Pivot

An oil giant decides to face the future instead of fighting it.

With all that’s going on, it’s easy to miss what would in normal times be major news. On Tuesday, BP announced it was beginning to turn away from the oil business. The most significant thing may be this: BP stock rose after the announcement. BP has already sold its petrochemical business. It also announced that …


Wasting Away in Methaneville

Another Trump rollback gets slapped down in court.

A week ago, a federal district court overturned yet another ill-conceived rollback by the Trump Administration. The case, California v. Bernhardt, involved releases of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The legal flaws in the rollback by the Bureau of Land Management, are all too typical of the Administration’s work product. The Administration has repeatedly lost …


Obama’s Public Lands Conservation Legacy

Progress, but still much more to do

President Obama has gotten some high praise lately from the New York Times editorial board, and this op-ed from Prof. David Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice noted for his biography of President Theodore Roosevelt.  Brinkley compares Obama favorably to Teddy Roosevelt for his conservation legacy. The specific recent actions by President Obama that prompted …


The future politics of cap-and-trade in California

It doesn’t look so good for the oil and gas industry

As Ann and Ethan both noted, two major pieces of climate legislation were passed by the California legislature this week, and Governor Brown has promised to sign both bills.  Overall, the legislation extends the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals (which were originally to reach 1990 levels of emissions by 2020) out to a 40% reduction …


Ending Corporate Welfare for Oil

“There Will Be Blood” was the title of 2007 movie about an old-time oilman. If you were doing a similar movie about the situation today, you might call it, “There Will Be Tax Write-Offs.” The taxpayers have been generous to the industry. Oil companies get about $5 billion per year in favored tax treatment.  Mostly, …


The Top Ten Problems with Romney’s Energy Proposal

It’s a great plan in terms of increasing oil and coal profits while helping to cook the planet. Not so great otherwise.


Romney Endorses Keynesian Stimulus Spending — But Calls It an Energy Plan

I posted last week about the Romney energy plan and the super-optimistic projections of energy production it borrows from a Citigroup report.  (here and here). The Romney plan touts enormous economic benefits in terms of job creation, also derived from the same Citigroup report.  Of course, Romney doesn’t mention the report’s warning that its analysis …


What a Gas! A Rare Win-Win

Oil and gas wells vent or flare off natural gas.  New technology shows that this is actually a lot more gas than anyone knew — about four percent of production, according to GAO. Capturing that natural gas for sale would give the government millions of dollars in royalties. Vented gas is methane, a more potent …


How Bad is the Spill?

These comparisons may be a little misleading — a bit like saying that we shouldn’t worry about 9/11 because a a hundred times more people died in the Battle of the Somme in World War I.


Future Energy Scenarios

In a recent post, I discussed projections of future oil prices.  There are big uncertainties, which obviously pose challenges for major oil companies among others.  The approach that Shell takes to such uncertainties is instructive.  Shell has a long history of using scenarios as a planning tool.  An important recent example is its analysis of …