Its Not The Fracking Making Trouble in Texas

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

There is this odd debate over vaccinations which questions the effectiveness and the safety vaccines.. The anti-vaxxer crowd has on its side nothing except bad science and a lot of emotion but that hasn’t stopped a “debate” from occurring about whether we should be vaccinating our kids. An epidemic of measles however seems to be turning the tide of the argument.

What does that debate have to do with energy? Bad science just keeps appearing everywhere propelled by powerful emotions.

The global warming debate is not really a debate as much as it is a screaming match. Anti-global warming folks perhaps might be overly calm in looking at climate change but advocates of global warming more than make up for any calm with a passion that borders on panic. It’s a climate where neither side is going to persuade the other so the fight is over those who just aren’t sure.

So facts become important. Misrepresenting facts or just plain out and out lying doesn’t further knowledge and it sure doesn’t make for the basis of a good conversation or debate.

Case and Point; we have in one corner the folks at Energy In Depth: a group launched by the Independent Petroleum Association of America.  (Yes, they are a pro-fracking crowd. They will tell you that right up front on their “about” page.) In the other corner the anti-frackers which include a variety of groups which have one thing in common in this case: a report from 2009 which claims fracking has produced greater smog-producing emissions than motor vehicles. This report was written by Al Armendariz. He later became head of the EPA’s office in Dallas and then was forced to resign because of a leaked video of him talking about his strategy to use his EPA authority to go after the oil and gas industry. “Crucify” was the word he infamously used.

Armendariz’s report became the basis for talking points for those opposed to fracking. But, as Energy in Depth points out, data at the time contradicted the report and it was ignored. New data confirms the 2009 report is wrong. I recommend the Energy In Depth article, Data Show Texas Ozone Levels Are Not Driven By Fracking, for this reason: “talking points” are not facts and rarely do they ever get challenged, they just get repeatedly repeated.

On a different matter, the plunge in oil prices appears to be over, for now. Prices have stabilized in the mid to high $40 barrel range. However, gasoline prices haven’t stabilized.  They finally rose this week after falling for 17-weeks in a row. The reason for the increase is simple; refineries are making less gasoline. Strikes by the United Steelworkers affect seven refineries that represent 10% of our refining capacity. Other refineries have shut down for routine maintenance, as they get ready to switch over to producing the required ethanol blends for warmer weather. However, it should be noted that we ended 2014 with gasoline inventories which exceeded the five year average so it remains to be seen if this week’s uptick in gasoline prices will be sustained.

Read the original article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/billtucker/2015/02/03/its-not-the-fracking-making-trouble-in-texas/

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