|FROM ENERGY AND CAPITAL NEWSLETTER|
Another Way to Profit from Natural Gas Exports
By Jeff Siegel | Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
It’s not nuclear power that’s unsafe…It’s greed and arrogance.In a new movie called Pandora’s Promise, director Robert Stone makes the case that nuclear power is an effective form of power generation that should be embraced by environmentalists, as it offers the promise of carbon emissions reduction.While I agree with this is theory, in practice it’s still a bit of a slippery slope. After all, Chernobyl and Fukushima were not nuclear crises because the process of nuclear power generation is inherently unsafe. They were crises because of human error. Lax policies, sub-par safety procedures, and poor logistical planning were to blame in both of those instances, not the splitting of isotopes.And this is why, as I’ve said on numerous occasions, the nuclear industry has a public relations problem. It’s very hard to convince folks that nuclear power is an environmentally-friendly option while the Fukushima power plant is still leaking radioactive water — and it will likely take 40 years for the plant to be decommissioned.So last week, I was not surprised to read that Southern California Edison announced it was closing the San Onofre nuclear power plant in California.Massive Oil Discovery — Immediate Action Needed
I’ve found two small companies in New Zealand sitting on one of the largest — yet unknown — shale reserves in the world.
Both are trading for what I consider pennies on the dollar right now. But they won’t be for long.
Word is starting to get out…
Grab your share of the shale riches here.
After a half billion dollars’ worth of repairs and replacement power, Southern California Edison decided to retire a set of reactors due to continued failures of tubes that transport radioactive water.
Critics say that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is to blame, as the company had allegedly hidden the risks of a new steam generator that was installed in 2009.
You see, it’s stuff like this that makes it hard for most folks to get behind the nuclear industry: manufacturers hiding safety issues, government officials looking the other way while substandard designs and planning are put in place, and flat-out lying about the dangers of meltdowns.
This is how the seeds of distrust are planted.
And it’s unfortunate, because if governments weren’t bought and sold by special interests, and honesty — not spin — was the goal of press releases, perhaps the nuclear industry, particularly in the United States, would be less of a target for environmentalists.
Of course, even with the public often skeptical on nuclear industry promises, ultimately it’s not the environmentalists that are hindering domestic growth…
A Credible Case
It’s interesting, but while nuclear power advocates speak glowingly about the carbon-free benefits of nuclear power, carbon emissions in the United States actually fell by more than 200 million metric tons in 2012 — without an increase in nuclear.
Bottom line: You can thank both an increase in demand reduction and a transition from coal to natural gas for that. Sure an increase in solar and wind also helped, but nearly 75% of CO2 emissions declines in 2012 can be traced back to economy-wide energy efficiency and conservation measures.
So perhaps the most logical near-term solution for environmentalists is not increasing or saving the nuclear power industry in the United States, but instead pursuing a more aggressive approach to energy efficiency and conservation along with the continued transition from coal to natural gas.
Now, understand I don’t say this to discredit the contribution of nuclear. Truth is I do believe nuclear offers a great deal of benefits, but those benefits cannot be fully realized until we kick special interests to the curb, retire and decommission about 30% of the nuclear power plants that are now operating past their intended life spans, and come up with real solutions to our nuclear waste problems.
Only then will the domestic nuclear industry be able to make a credible economic and environmental case for nuclear power expansion.
Refer a Friend to Energy and Capital.
Quite frankly, I think the whole thing is being blown out of proportion.
I’m referring to the notion that some great Arctic oil rush will open up the floodgates and usher in a new era of cheap and abundant oil.
First of all, it’s not going to be cheap. Arctic oil production is prohibitively expensive (right now, anyway), and I wouldn’t put too much faith in bold claims of abundance and never-ending prosperity.
Don’t get me wrong; roughly 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil and 30% of its natural gas can be found beneath the icy waters of the Arctic. And over the long term, production costs will make sense.
This is why so many major oil players are laying the groundwork now for Arctic production.
In fact, just last week we learned that Russia, Norway, and Finland are looking to create an investment fund designed to provide the capital necessary to tap billions of barrels of oil and natural gas. And it looks like OAO Gazprom, Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO) and Total SA (NYSE: TOT) could be among the biggest beneficiaries of this fund
California Will Get Fracked
While the Norwegians and the Russians continue to dig deep into the salty ice for access to a wealth of Arctic oil, the U.S. has, for the most part, thrown up its hands.
Sure, Exxon (NYSE: XOM), and other U.S. companies will seek access to some of those Russian parcels. But for the most part, American producers know that right now, the gettin’s good in shale — not ice.
And no matter where you go in the country, the shale boom continues.
Heck, just last week California lawmakers balked at pushing a bill that would ban fracking in the Golden State. Despite objections from residents and environmentalists, there’s little doubt that California’s about to get fracked. After all, we’re looking at a potential 15.4 billion barrels in the Monterey Shale alone. That’s about 60% of the nation’s shale oil reserves.
Lawmakers know with that much oil sitting below their feet, they will have little trouble raising revenue in a state that has had its fair share of economic woes.
Of course, progress isn’t going to happen overnight. And while my colleague Keith Kohl is actively developing new ways for you to play the Monterey Shale, there’s another goldmine in California that can deliver some pretty fat profits in the near term…