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Energy in 2016: The Oily Awards

Energy in 2016: The Oily Awards thumbnail

Best Books:  The Boom:  How Fracking Ignited America’s Energy Revolution and Changed the World by Russell Gold, best history; The Price of Oil, Roberto Aguilera and Marian Radetzki, best economics.

Best Branding:  “Water protector” used by Dakota Access pipeline opponents to disguise the fact that their victory would have almost no impact on water quality.

Sherlock Holmes Dog That Didn’t Bark Award to the EPA for examining fracking dangers in detail without mentioning evidence that any were realized.

Horace Greeley Award:  Go Southwest Young Man!  Scott Sheffield of Pioneer, who has pushed aggressively into the Permian shale basin.

Bernard “Monty” Montgomery Award for a Bridge Too Far:  Elon Musk, who, before establishing his car company as a sustainable enterprise, added cash-hemorrhaging SolarCity to his stable.

The Groucho Marx Award for Zaniest Dictator goes to Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, who announced removal of the 100-Bolivar note when the replacement bill wasn’t available.

The Henry Fonda The Jury is Still Out Award goes to Royal Dutch Shell, whose acquisition of BG closed legally but has yet to be shown to be financially successful.  The wager on natural gas sounds good, but the wager on remote natural gas deposits a bit more questionable.

The Gollum “Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds” Award to Donald Trump for promising to restore coal jobs and promote natural gas production at the same time.  Runner up to the solar industry for “We’re competitive now, so the government should mandate purchase.”

The “If I Beat this dead horse one more time it will run” award to Richard Heinberg, who this year published his tenth book on the theme of peak oil and the energy transition/societal collapse.  (Oil production has risen roughly sixteen million barrels a day since his first book on peak oil.)

 

The Steven Wright “Put the Humidifier and Dehumidifier in the Room and let Them Fight It Out” Award goes to James Howard Kunstler, author of “Too Much Magic:  Magical Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation” and Albert Gore Jr.,  “[Technological progress is] coming so fast,” he says. “It’s very, very exciting” for respectively insisting technology isn’t and is the solution.

The Claude Rains “I’m shocked to find gambling at this establishment” award to Eric Schneiderman, New York Attorney General, who ‘discovered’ that Exxon ‘knew’ about climate change (about a century after scientists first discussed it).

The Bullwinkle J. Moose “This time for sure” award goes to entrepreneur Richard Branson for his prediction that “every car on the road will be electric in 15 years”

Whistling Past the Graveyard Award to the solar power advocates, who argue vociferously that falling costs mean it is competitive, even as the end of subsidies cause a crash in investment in more and more locales.

The Vlad the Impaler “it can’t be killed” award goes to T. Boone Pickens for urging Rick Perry to “inject real fuel competition into the transportation mix” referring to his decades-long quest for government support for CNG-fueled vehicles.

The Bonnie and Clyde “Why Am I A Hero?” Award to coal, responsible for huge amounts of pollution but finds support from prominent politicians who don’t need to be named.

The Peter Venkman “It’s Technical” award to those arguing that energy return on energy investment (EREOI) is the real threat to oil supply, assuming that no one understands it and so it won’t be questioned.

The “Losing Money on Every Sale but Making it up on Volume” award goes to

Saudi Arabias energy minister Khalid al-Falih (bottom right) attends a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, at the OPEC headquarters in Vienna, Austria on November 30, 2016.OPEC sought to defy expectations and finalise a deal reducing its oil output for the first time in eight years, in an effort to boost painfully low crude prices. / AFP / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

that fossil fuel prices are volatile, but consumers should “Buy constant-price, and usually cheaper, efficiency and renewables instead, as the national and global market is doing.”

The Thomas Dolby “She Blinded me with Science” Award goes to opponents of fracking, who can’t seem to accept that anecdotes and vague correlations are not scientific proof.

The Whatever Award for Word That Needs to be Retired goes to “denial” and its variants, almost always used by people who are themselves science deniers, just of different science.

Finally, the Elton John “I’m Still Standing” Award to OPEC, for the obvious.

Michael Lynch

Forbes



38 Comments on "Energy in 2016: The Oily Awards"

  1. Davy on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 8:50 am 

    Forbes and Michael Lynch earn the snake oily award.

  2. dave thompson on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 9:00 am 

    Any mention of the cash flow problem of the oil industry with what the oil price has been?

  3. rockman on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 9:31 am 

    Over a very clever list IMHO. Not let’s see how many other examples our clever cohorts here can come up with. But don’t be lazy and just toss out some name: give the award an equally clever title like the “Nostradamus Alternative Universe Award” to everyone that predicted the Donald had zero chance of winning the R nomination let alone the presidency. I’m sure the president-elect supporters would be glad to pay for the trophy since those very confident and very wrong predictions discouraged many Secretary Clinton supporters from voting.

  4. Anonymous on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 1:45 pm 

    Dont be a fool rockyman. The ones very publicly ‘predicting’, the hairpiece couldn’t possibly win, were also the very groups that were (very) heavily invested in shillary winning. Had your co-called ‘repubs’ not screwed up and actually been able nominate someone that no one would vote for, they would have been correct too.

    In reality, most of the fake elections in your fake demockracy are decided well in advance of any actual ‘voting’. Those ‘predictions’ were not based on any actual rigorous analysis, but steamed from the belief that the ‘fix’ for killary was in. IoW, the ‘predictions’ are fake too, but are not intended to predict the future as such, but are designed to steer the election outcome in a desire direction. Team shillary felt the so-called election, could be rigged and directed in the same manner that they rigged the primary against the faux-reformer Sanders. Again, had the senior repubs managed to get rid of trump like they were supposed to, and put up someone good enough to run against her, but not good enough to win, then, yes she would have.

    The idea that clintons puppets stayed home since they were certain she would ‘win’, is equally foolish. People stay home for basically one reason. They recognize amerikan voting is a waste of time, a sham. (It is also a waste of time in my country as well, uS colony that it is). Laziness and indifference may play a part in some cases, but shillarys ‘supporters’ are true-believers(tm). None of them would stay home if they they felt there was even a 1% change trump would ‘win’ the throne.

  5. onlooker on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 2:01 pm 

    I am getting more and more that sense that “People stay home for basically one reason. They recognize amerikan voting is a waste of time, a sham. (It is also a waste of time in my country as well, uS colony that it is).” is now for sure the primary reason that potential voters do not vote. And for the most part they are right. The political system worldwide is just a convenient tool now of the pecuniary interests and has been manipulated to give the impression of making a difference but in reality hardly any difference exists now in most countries. Just corrupt and more corrupt.

  6. peakyeast on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 2:31 pm 

    Same here. I stopped voting after the Iraqi war. Our primeminister was lying through his teeth and was exposed. What happens? The whistleblower get imprisoned, threatened, thrown out of windows and has to relocate to another country. – And all the political parties were in on it. They all voted yes to the war – even in the face of this evidence.

    I have NO support to give to our leaders anymore. None. They fight all they can to avoid being decent, responsible and farsighted.

    Disgusting people we have at the top of the pyramid.

  7. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 3:07 pm 

    USA just elected a WWE character lol what a bunch of fucking trailed trash clowns. A nation of fucking losers.

    https://youtu.be/dVxVDDYwNvU

  8. Davy on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 3:47 pm 

    Trailer trash will likely inherit the earth. Anyone who can survive an old smelly trailer on barely eadibly food shows cockroach like survivability and probably has a future and many of us don’t. LOL

  9. Cloggie on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 3:54 pm 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMKFIHRpe7I

    [0:20]

  10. Cloggie on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 3:56 pm 

    There is only one thing more stupid than populism and that’s giving your country away to the third world.

    If it takes a battering ram to take down the globalist establishment, bring in the battering ram.

  11. rockman on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 4:25 pm 

    A – “The idea that clintons puppets stayed home since they were certain she would ‘win’, is equally foolish.” And we’ll just let everyone here decide who the biggest fool is based upon the post election publicly available FACTS:

    Democratic turnout was down 21% this year.

    Clinton received 1,019,237 fewer votes this year than in 2008.

    DEMOCRAT PARTY TURNOUT – In 2008 there were 38,111,341 Democrat votes in the primary. In 2016 there were 29,939,251 votes. A net decrease of 8,172,090 (-21%). Perhaps no need to vote since many D’s assumed Secretary Clinton had already been “anointed” as the candidate for POTUS by the party.

    So why did so few liberals turn out to vote for one of the lost popular liberal candidates in history? Probably only second after President Obama.

    So why did so few liberals turn out to vote against the undeniably most anti-liberal R presidential candidate in years?

    Why did 1% fewer women turn out to vote for a Democrat female candidate then a D male candidate in the last election for the POTUS?

    Why did so few D’s turn out to vote knowing that the only counterbalance to having a R dominated Congress would be to elect a D POTUS?

    Why did so few D’s turn out to vote knowing that the next POTUS would pick at least member of the SCOTUS and maybe two given Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 83 yo. And developing publicly acknowledged health issues that had led D leaders to plead with her to resign while President Obama was still in office.

    How could President-elect Trump win the election when he received fewer votes then Senator Romney received when he lost his bid for presidency?

    Why did third party candidates (typically liberals) votes surged from 2.2 million in 2012 to just over 7.8 million in 2016. Did they think it was safe to “waste their vote” since the MSM was certain Mr. Trump couldn’t win?

    Added up that seems to be a very strong argument for Secretary Clinton receiving as many if not more votes the even President Obama. Especially in key battleground states where he picked up a majority of the electoral college votes.

    Did all those D’s not go vote for Secretary Clinton because they didn’t care whether she or Donald Trump won? Or did they assume with the relentless reports from the MSM that Secretary Clinton’s opponent was the worse candidate the R party had ever nominated and had no chance of winning perhaps convinced many there was no need to vote? As a counterbalance the Rockman did an unscientific poll of his conservative world and discovered a surprising amount of enthusiasm to go to the polls. And very little to vote by some D’s including the Rockman’s wife. But in her defense and the other D’s this is Texas where Secretary Clinton had little chance. Of course that attitude was advantageous to the other Texas R’s on the ballot.

    So we’ll just agree to disagree and let everyone else decide what the more logical conclusion might be. Perhaps a lot of equally foolish will agree with the Rockman.

  12. onlooker on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 4:26 pm 

    Clog, we can debate this to the cows come home. The globalist agenda which is to say the Empire agenda is precisely what has allowed for this acute inequality around the world. Your railing against it is thus amusing. What do you think allowed slavery to flourish. What do you see happening the last hundred years or so. The fragmentation of the world into vast swaths of poverty and pockets of affluence. It is exploitation on a massive scale made possible by globalism ie. the globalist agenda. So now you fear everyone will become like the third world. Haha, no need to fear Clog. The insatiable economic monster has so thoroughly exploited this planet that not much is being left for anybody. The inevitable conclusion of all this universal destitution and poverty. Our elite rulers never bothered to control our numbers especially in the third world because they loved the mass slave labor available.

  13. penury on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 4:32 pm 

    Yes, people will have to admit that there are a lot of formerly employed and formerly middle class families out there and a lot of people living in tents or in the woods and trust me, a lot of them vote, and not D this year.

  14. onlooker on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 4:38 pm 

    Yes,Penury the same process that has allowed us in rich countries to live quite a bit better relative to so many others has turned against us

  15. makati1 on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 4:43 pm 

    “Change is as good as a rest.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    We shall see.

  16. Anonymous on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 5:05 pm 

    Dont know why any merikant would get so worked up over a fake election in a fake demockracy.

    Want to know who ‘won’ the last Jewnited Snakes election rocky?

    The Pentagon, oil corporations, wall st, CRF, and the lobby won the ‘election’. Just like they have the last 20 or 30 times or so, or more even. Those guys are so damned good @ demockracy, they haven’t lost a single uS election yet.

    A remarkably consistent record, you should be proud rockyman. They are bowling 500, or is it batting 500? Who cares, u$a, u$a!

  17. BobInget on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 5:23 pm 

    Show some respect for America’s last President, boys and girl.

    Editors of these pages should be looking forward to PO Energy ratings skyrocketing in 2017.

    Think Horizon times ten.

  18. BobInget on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 5:43 pm 

    Some of you know Robry from years of tracking natural gas and lately Arctic melt. Here’s a piece he wrote today in response to a thread on IV’s “Energy Investing”

    One day around last Easter, my daughter came home with three chicks
    that she had purchased from the local farmers co-op. This was a first
    for her (and me), and gave us both a crash course on chickens.

    Two of the three were the run-of-the mill, normal variety. But one
    of them… somehow she cajoled her way into getting one of the genetically-
    modified types… the kind that they aren’t supposed to sell to just
    anyone without a license to handle genetically-modified livestock.

    So home they came. Two of the three (being normal) grew normally. But
    the third (named “Peep”) took off like a shot. He got so huge that I
    eventually (out of my own humor) nicknamed him “Chickzilla” because of
    his size. It became a chore to pick him up to put him away (he weighed
    so much) and he was more the size of a very large Turkey than a chicken.

    Then one day a very large hawk flew into the coop my daughter had built
    for them. The two smaller chickens fled in a panic. Not Chickzilla!
    The big chicken quickly cornered the hawk and drop-kicked the poor thing
    several times before most of the poor hawk could get up and fly away.
    Not so much as a scratch on Chickzilla!

    Technology is very much like that. You hear of advancements on the news,
    but as they creep up on you, you may not notice, until a Chickzilla
    suddenly shows up at your door.

    I misjudged the natgas shales, as many did five or six years ago, some even
    calling them fraudulent. Then natgas plunged to $2 on the overproduction
    that ensued.

    Oil shale cannot be likewise dismissed. Recent advances in drilling have
    markedly shortened well-drilling times, allowing many more wells to be
    drilled per year by the newer, modern drilling fleet. That means that
    well-rig depreciation and personnel costs can be spread thinner over more
    wells, making them cheaper.

    I have seen engineering data on a number of shale formations. The RIP
    estimates are staggering… trillions of barrels, though the vast majority
    is yet (under present-day technology) deemed economic. But as drilling,
    fracking, tracking, automating, and other harvesting technologies advance
    the numbers folks will be projecting much higher commercial estimates as
    various “economic” thresholds are crossed. Technology is not a done deal.
    it never will be.

    One area of critical importance, may actually be land values, and certainly
    we are seeing that in the Permian right now. Land there has become much
    more valuable than present-day theoretical drilling economics suggest. This
    could be very well to people looking ahead at what drilling economies will
    look like six or eight years from now, and acting economically out of that
    foresight.

    Some have been speculating $40,000 per acre in the Permian. I don’t know
    that it is worth that today, but as economics change will those values climb
    to $60,000 an acre? $100,000 an acre? $250,000 an acre? Are real-estate
    values looking ahead?

    Pie in the sky technology? So were concrete roads in the early 20th century,
    when in comparison to rail that mode of transportation looked to be lacking.
    I would neither bet against, or dismiss technology.
    Rob

  19. peakyeast on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 5:56 pm 

    @bob: Thanks a lot for that story; I really liked it. You always provide interesting comments – just like rockman.

  20. makati1 on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 6:18 pm 

    BobInget, the faster the petro-world collapses, the better it will be for ALL living things on the planet. Maybe 20917 will be the year? We can only hope.

  21. makati1 on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 6:18 pm 

    2017…lol. No editing allowed.

  22. Boat on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 10:05 pm 

    Mak,

    Only climate change kill the petro-world. Your gonna need decades of popcorn and after death popcorn to watch this unfold.

  23. makati1 on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 10:42 pm 

    Boat, the world runs on money, NOT oil. Oil is the energy that helps to keep the money (profit) system going, but there will be NO oil without profit. Money existed long before oil was ever used. Without it (profit), oil will stay in the ground. We are fast approaching that day. Maybe 2017 will see the end of oil as a profitable resource. Only fools who have invested their life in the oily business, refuse to see the truth. Climate change will end our lives eventually, but when the economy goes down, so does oil and almost everything else the 1st world cherishes. And that day is fast approaching. TPTB are going to crash the economy and globalization in Trump’s first four years. A One World Government requires it and that is the Neocon’s goal.

  24. Boat on Sun, 1st Jan 2017 11:55 pm 

    mak,

    One world government. Lol Robitics is the future of which in turn creates much less need for cheap labor and trade. Countries that need materials and have money will trade. I would predict the opposite from you, of course, Countries will end immigration and become more segregated throughout the world. No need for a collaspe. In the 50’s after losing 20 million in WWII the Chinese lost another 50+ due to famine. They did not collaspe. The world did not collaspe. People can die in large numbers without collaspe.
    As climate change plugs along invest in companies that build weather proof buildings and housing. A garden ain’t gonna get it done.

  25. makati1 on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 12:14 am 

    Boat, keep sucking up that Koolaid. I learned to question ‘authority’ when I was a kid. You obviously never did. You sure do like that propaganda flavor.

    Automation has already put millions out of work, but the revolt is coming. If the ‘robotics’ are not any better than those red-light running, wall crashing, self driving cabs, it has ZERO future.

    America cannot make shit without help and parts from Asia. BTW: China has decided that if Taiwan shows signs of independence, it will just shout down ALL trade and travel from there. Not a shot fired. The collapse of the whole world electronics industry will follow. The little hiccup when Fukushima blew shut it down for months and that didn’t even involve Taiwan. You have no idea where the stuff you buy and use comers from. Not a clue.

    You need to do some reading about the part of the world you do NOT live in. The real one.

  26. onlooker on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 4:33 am 

    Yes Boat, technology has been so great it is bringing us to the point of annihilation. Like putting a gun in the hands of a little child.

  27. Cloggie on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 9:59 am 

    boat says Countries will end immigration and become more segregated throughout the world.

    Boat has detected that Trump has won for real and now quietly sneaks towards the White Nationalist position and away from the logic of the NWO.

    99% of the population are opportunists that waits to see who has won and next claims always to have been on the side of the winner, honest.

    You’re 99% boat. Now go buy a Confederate Flag and wave it frantically on January 20.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcV1UpZAWAc

  28. Cloggie on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 10:04 am 

    onlooker says: Yes Boat, technology has been so great it is bringing us to the point of annihilation. Like putting a gun in the hands of a little child.

    Are you living in a cave, onlooker?

    You have a car?
    You have a fridge/freezer?
    You have an internet connection?
    You have electric tools?
    When was the last time you flew?

    Of course you have a 5 figure life and have no plans to end that.

    If you don’t lead a Thoreau life (for ever, not just for 18 months like T.) your words aren’t too convincing.

  29. Cloggie on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 10:13 am 

    makati says And that day is fast approaching. TPTB are going to crash the economy and globalization in Trump’s first four years. A One World Government requires it and that is the Neocon’s goal.

    The One World project was voted out of office on November 8 and will never come back. The best the rejected establishment can hope for is to return to power in 4-8 years and White America not revolting/seceding.

    But by that time America will be a third world country, not able to hit a dent in a package of butter and eclipsed by China.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOMsCUeZ6rw

    (Roberts recently repeated his prediction with the same time frame)

    Trump is an attempt to an orderly retreat from the intentions of the NWO and seek allies in Eurasia.

    But I don’t think that the old guard will ever return to power and that instead the Euro’s will revolt and break away if there is no Reps-follow-up after Trump (his daughter?).

  30. onlooker on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 10:41 am 

    First off the issue has nothing to do with my lifestyle or even preferences but the lifestyles and preferences of millions upon millions who utilizing all this technology, goods etc have been instrumental in leading us to the precipice. The fact that I was born in a rich country and enjoy its privileges does not disqualify my argument that we have gone on a path of destruction without heeding what the future would bring and that technology greatly facilitated that.

  31. Boat on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 11:14 am 

    Clog,

    First of all I never In my life would vote for a guy like Trump. 2nd I have looked to ending immigration as just one step towards controlling population expansion. Third there has never been any human born that should be discredited for the color of their skin.
    I am just better than most at predicting reality without bias. I look at trends that I see growing and enjoy guessing at their impact. That is much different from dreaming up a perfect world and expecting it to happen. Or looking at troubling trends and dream up some collaspe secenerio that don’t match the facts on the ground. I am amused at the chatter and emotion but live on a much more practical level.
    A good example is barrel counting. I enjoy following many types of energy and am routinely critiqued for it. By talking about it somehow makes me a supporter of all of it. Lol I am not a FF lover. But when these doomers state obvious bad opinions I do my best to present a more realistic view. When I make predictions, that does not mean I necessarily want the future to look that way, just that I think the future will unfold that way.
    Most every thing we experiance is out of any one mans control. You for example look through the prism of hate and race. Me? I think that’s childish but more expected in Europe where there is more tribalism. No flag waving here.
    Trump? The US is much bigger than a bad president or a good one. We muddle through just fine. No collaspe or civil war. If every county had equal media attention ya’ll would talk of other things. After all we’re just 320 million out of 7 trillion.

  32. Boat on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 11:19 am 

    Onlooker,

    While the iron is hot let me mention there was no claim that robots changing the dynamics of trade will be good. But there is no reason to ignore reality.

  33. onlooker on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 11:37 am 

    But there is no reason to ignore reality.– Could not have said it better. Oh and Happy New Year Boat

  34. GregT on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 11:44 am 

    “I am just better than most at predicting reality without bias.”

    You’ve outdone yourself once again Boat. Your bias is as clear as the sky is blue. You continually ignore any and all information that doesn’t fit your narrative.

    “If every county had equal media attention ya’ll would talk of other things.”

    Every country does Kevin. Again, you simply choose to ignore anything that isn’t fed to you by the US MSM. Ignorance and denial = sheer stupidity. Comfortably dumb.

  35. GregT on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 12:03 pm 

    “Me? I think that’s childish but more expected in Europe where there is more tribalism. No flag waving here.”

    Nope, no flag waving at all. Just more ignorance and denial. Forming an opinion based on emotions, rather than facts, once again.

  36. Boat on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 12:22 pm 

    greggiet,

    Coming from a Jew hater and a deep state believer, I would expect that kind of comment. Hey guess what, the UN condemned Israel for the ongoing settlements. I believe the decision was correct by Obama not to block. I would go further and return the land to dirt.
    On the other hand I would give their military a few of those rail guns when ready to take out any enemy setting off a rocket.

  37. GregT on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 12:26 pm 

    “Coming from a Jew hater and a deep state believer, I would expect that kind of comment.”

    Your comment has nothing at all to do with what you wrote above, or my rebuttal to it.

    More nonsense Kevin. Get your head out of your asshole.

  38. GregT on Mon, 2nd Jan 2017 12:46 pm 

    ” I would go further and return the land to dirt.”

    I would not. I don’t hate the Jews like you apparently do, and I don’t believe in murdering other peoples. I prefer diplomacy, and the rights of the people to determine their own destiny through the democratic process. One more thing that you obviously are incapable of understanding.

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