Shale Boom 2.0: OPEC Underestimated U.S. Frackers

1) Shale Boom 2.0: OPEC Underestimated U.S. Frackers
Bloomberg, 26 February 2017 The current boom in U.S. oil production is even stronger now than the run from July 2011 to April 2015. And this is with oil prices at half their previous level and before President Donald Trump has done anything to meet his pledge to “lift the restrictions on American energy and allow this wealth to pour into our communities.” Output growth could accelerate if prices rise, or costs fall further. What should really trouble OPEC, though, is that this rate of growth is even faster than the first shale boom.  –Julian Lee

2) Energy Superpower: Surging Exports Propel US To Bigger Impact On Global Oil Market 
Financial Times, 28 February 2017 A voracious thirst for petroleum makes the US one of the largest importers of oil. But for the past two weeks it has also scaled the ranks of exporters. Outbound shipments of crude have surpassed 1.2m barrels a day, more than last month’s daily production of Algeria, Ecuador or Qatar — each a member of OPEC. The foreign sales underscore how the US has become more integrated into the world oil market since Washington lifted 40-year-old constraints on crude exports at the end of 2015. The US continues to import much more than it exports but its oil companies now have the freedom to market barrels abroad when it makes economic sense. The situation presents a further challenge to Saudi Arabia and other Opec members, which historically held the power to turn supplies on and off when needed. Or as Timothy Dove, chief executive of Pioneer Natural Resources, told analysts this month: “We’ll be significant swing producers in terms of worldwide supply.”  –Gregory Meyer

3) Shale Revolution Drives American Households’ Energy Cost To Record Low
Energy Indepth, 9 February 2017 Record-low natural gas prices enabled consumers to devote “less than 4% of their total annual household spending to energy in 2016, the smallest share ever recorded by the US government.”

4) Editorial: The Carbon Tax Chimera
The Wall Street Journal, 25 February 2017 The climate may change but one thing that never does is the use of climate change as a political wedge against Republicans. Also never changing is the call from some Republicans to neutralize the issue by handing more economic power to the federal government through a tax on carbon. The risk is that Donald Trump takes up the idea, which would hurt the economy with little benefit to the environment. –Editorial

5) And Finally: Green Activists Abandon Their Cars,Their Rubbish And Their Pets
Power Line, 26 February 2017 We’re reported before on the environmental mess left behind by the Dakota Access Pipeline protest neat the Standing Rock Indian reservatio, but there’s still one more installment to the story that deserves to be entered in the ledger: “Crews continue to clean up the Oceti Sakowin protest camp. As officers moved in and protesters moved out, garbage wasn’t the only thing left behind. Two dogs and six puppies were found and rescued at the main Dakota Access Pipeline Camp by Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue.” So let’s add it all up: protesters claiming to be concerned about nature and wildlife leave huge amounts of trash and abandoned vehicles that threaten the waterway they say is “sacred,” and abandon their own pets. –Steven Hayward