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Political disconnect of our energy needs

Trent Nylander's picture
Wind Program Coordinator Centura College

Residential electrician which transitioned into sales and divisional management spanning a 20-year career. Head Chair for the Chamber of Commerce to refine my public speaking and marketing...

  • Member since 2022
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  • Nov 30, 2022
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Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or in the middle we all want to solve our energy crisis and sustainability for the future. Today's political agenda and squabbling amongst parties prevents us from making true progress and the changes needed. As we have seen in the past, a bill written isn’t always the bill signed. With all the give and take these days, most of the issues get left on the floor and never make it into the final passings. 

 We cannot wait for our leaders to solve these energy issues alone; as this is only a small portion of issues they must deal with daily. For us in the energy industries, this is always on our mind and in our planning. As this sway in political power can make or break any portion of the energy sectors overnight. In time of Democratic power, we see a stronger push for the renewable sector and restraints put on oil and gas. The case in point flips as Republicans gain control and pipelines start to flow and renewables play a less significant role in the energy agenda.  

 On one side you have the support for oil and gas to open up the pipelines and allow additional exploration of resources. The innovation of new fracking techniques allows us access to those once hidden resources. Doing these processes with less destruction to the landscape and environment. Using more refined processes to get the most yield out of the energy means and materials. Innovative technologies stretching our natural resources to maximum potential. 

 In the middle you have those with a different view and take on the oil and gas and the renewable industries. Wanting to stop the pollution of air and water at all costs and live a bohemian mindset. Condemning oil and gas and the processes in renewable material manufacturing. The release of carbon emissions from industrial processes and the organic materials used in the manufacturing of wind turbines and solar panels components.  

On the other side you have those who fully support the renewable energy revolution, transition taking place today. Supporting the renewable energy sectors and our ambitious goals on sustainability and wanting to shut down dirty oil and gas.  

This roller coaster effect is devastating to any sector you support and sets us back in meeting any obtainable energy goals. You can see these shifts by the layoffs in these energy sectors as a new power come to be. Meeting our energy goals and sustainability of our natural resources will require all humanity to come together. Come together in the reality that at the rate of consumption currently we won’t last another century on this planet.  

The truth is folks, we need them all and we need to learn how to use our existing natural resources wisely. This is an energy revolution taking place, and we need all sectors working in conjunction with one another if we are to survive as a species. It’s time to take stock in what we have left in natural resources and have a control means for distribution. Case in point, BP British Petroleum is a government run entity that funds their retirement programs through oil production revenues. This does provide some price control and stability to the oil and gas markets and less means for corporate price gouging.  

Whatever the solution is, we don’t have time to waste arguing the points and accomplishing truly little in the process. We have to push our political bias aside and see past the BS and make the right discissions for humanity ourselves.  

Discussions
Audra Drazga's picture
Audra Drazga on Dec 3, 2022

Love this post - you said it well - "we are on a roller coaster".  I think many can agree we need a diversified approach and balance.

"The truth is folks, we need them all and we need to learn how to use our existing natural resources wisely."

I can't imagine how hard this is for utility executives trying to run a business while balancing the "roller coaster."  

 

Trent Nylander's picture
Trent Nylander on Dec 8, 2022

Diversify, diversify, diversify, most of the big energy players are already on the move. Expanding their portfolios with renewables as well as conventional oil and gas. I had a chance to tour an energy control room for a large energy group in Colorado. It was an eyeopener to say the least. But what surprised me more than anything was the fact that they have their own in-house commodities trading centers. They have the skills and technology at the same time even today renewables supply just a small portion of our grid's daily demands.

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Dec 9, 2022

I not so sure engaging in electrical energy commodities trading is financially wise, prudent, or in the broader public interest. Ever heard of ENRON? There are a large number of bankrupt companies and financial players that thought they could make lots of money trading electrical energy.

The nation’s electrical markets are inherently monopolistic and not particularly suited for operation as normal free-markets. 

Witness what happened during the Texas big freeze. Financial institutions (who do not actually own power plants) made truly obscene amounts of money, with the sell price of energy hundreds of times higher than normal. 

Politicians (typically Democrats) think the government can emulate a free market. It cannot, with the electrical energy marketplace simply ending up being re-regulated to line the pockets of special interest groups. California provides a good example.

Electrical generation, transmission, and distribution markets need to be fairly and even-handily regulated, primarily by honest state governments to insure consumers are not gouged by financial traders and special interests.

 

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Dec 5, 2022

There is no climate emergency and no rational reason to hysterically claim the sky is falling.

Deploy energy resources based on reasonable economics and reasonable environmental impacts. Stop kowtowing to radicals and special interest groups. The solutions to our energy needs lie with balance, not extremes.

Trent Nylander's picture
Thank Trent for the Post!
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