A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from June 2011

Open-Ended Resourceship

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 30, 2011

“If resources are not fixed but created, then the nature of the scarcity problem changes dramatically. For the technological means involved in the use of resources determines their creation and therefore the extent of their scarcity. The nature of the scarcity is not outside the process (that is natural), but a condition of it.”

– Tom DeGregori (1987). “Resources Are Not; They Become: An Institutional Theory.” Journal of Economic Issues, p. 1258.

The confounding of physics with economics has plagued a real-world understanding of mineral resource developments. The phenomenon of entropy and the laws of thermodynamics rule in their domain. But there is no economic law analogous to the physical conservation of matter. There is no law of conservation of value; value is continually, routinely created by the market process.

Shale Gas and the New York Times: The Challenge from Energy In Depth (A 'Dewey-Defeats-Truman' Energy Moment?)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 29, 2011

[This factual rebuttal against peak-shale by Chris Tucker and Jeff Eshelman of Energy In Depth (a project of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, or IPAA) is a serious moment in the energy debate. MasterResource reproduces their rebuttal in total and invites comments, particularly from the ‘peak oil’ community that received the front page article of their dreams (or nightmares, depending on the ultimate outcome of this fact-versus-fact debate).]

“What [the New York Times] isn’t entitled to, at least in our view, is to represent its piece as an original investigation; not when the story was essentially outsourced to a well-known critic of the industry whose predictions on shale’s imminent collapse grow less defensible (and more difficult to find on his website) by the day. Nor do we believe The Times is entitled to mislead its readers on the expertise of those whose “leaked” emails — many written in 2008 and 2009 – are used to form the basis of the story, especially when real-world production numbers from 2010 and 2011 directly contradict those speculative accounts.”

– Chris Tucker and Eric Jeff Eshelman, June 27, 2011

The United States produced more natural gas in 2010 than at any point in the previous 37 years, a stunning reversal of fortune given the country’s supply picture earlier this decade, and one that could not have been possible without the massive volumes of American energy that continue to be generated from shale.

Shale Gas Neo-Malthusianism: Poor Journalism at the 'Newspaper of Record'

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#m_lynch">Michael Lynch</a> -- June 28, 2011

“I’m sorry for you—coming to Texas [in 1915] to look for oil. Don’t you know there is no oil in Texas?!”

Wallace Pratt (oil and gas geologist), quoted in “Oil Finding—the Way it Was,” Petroleum 2000 Issue, Oil & Gas Journal, August 1977, p. 144.

The New York Times has published two amazing front-page articles on shale gas (here and here), which raise a number of issues about the prospects for the resource, suggesting that the reserves and profitability are vastly overstated. A careful reading of the articles, however, suggests that it is more smoke than fire.

Two specific issues raised in the article are important: the profitability of shale gas wells and their long-term production profiles. Many ancillary issues are also raised but can be dispensed with.

North Carolina Onshore Wind Development: Look Before You Leap (Part II)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#john-droz">John Droz, Jr.</a> -- June 27, 2011

New England's Renewable Energy Mandate: Reality Anyone?

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- June 24, 2011

Energy Policy in California: Turning Gold into Lead

By Robert Peltier -- June 23, 2011

Rollins College Profile: Bradley ('77) on Enron, Life, and Real-Deal Capitalism

By administrator -- June 22, 2011

The Great Resource Debate (Part III: Pessimists get Optimistic!)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 21, 2011

Appreciating the Master Resource (Part II: Energy Foes Agree!)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 20, 2011

Appreciating the Master Resource (Part I: Energy Friends)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 17, 2011