Dan Liljenquist: Utah's Energy Revolution

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  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 14, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    2bits -

    "Government nudging?" No, it's government LEADING the way toward a healthy and successful America.

    That's also known as "good governance," a very illusive concept for Republicans.

    I've complained about "tax breaks for oil companies or farmers?" Oil companies yes, but I don't remember complaining about farmers.

    I was a farm/ranch kid from Western South Dakota. I don't have animosity toward farmers. But I dislike nonsense, especially when it's instituted in government.

    Because of Rural Electrification, bought and paid for by the US government, we and our neighbors had electricity. Private firms would not have strung miles of power lines for farms and ranches, because there would have been no profit in it. And yes, I know, the Constitution says nothing about electricity, so the whole thing was probably, in YOUR mind, unconstitutional.

    If "Conservative" ideologues had their way, the USA would be a third world backwater nation right no.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2014 4:51 p.m.

    I appreciate the Federal Government and all they do for us. And I appreciate the founding fathers for more than my ability to fill my car with gas. They wanted to limit the Federal Government to their proper role (and so do I). Interstate Transportation is part of the defined role of the Federal Government.

    I know the government nudges companies to do what they want them to do (with incentives and tax breaks). But be consistent... I've heard you complain bitterly about any incentives or tax breaks for oil companies or farmers... now you PRAISE it... as if nothing would happen if the Government didn't give them incentives. I'm pretty sure oil companies explore and find oil fields and bring that product to market for the profits... not for government incentives.

    Government nudging is OK, but let's not pretend that's the only reason oil companies drill for oil.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 13, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    “You keep trying to give all the credit to the Federal Government, and none to the corporations.”

    I give credit where credit is due. You should try it sometime.

    You're sure that corporations did the work? Well yes, with taxpayer funding.

    That's the way it's done. That's the way we built the space shuttle and moon rockets. That's the way we built the transcontinental railway. (Ever heard of the golden spike being driven way out west in a place called Utah?) That's the way we build war materials. That's the way we built the interstate Highway system . . . by outsourcing to private contractors . . . With taxpayer money . . . and MASSIVE amounts of GOVERNMENT SPENDING. That's the way we built dams and bridges and other infrastructure that set America up to be a world power. With really BIG Government.

    Government should expand when necessary to help this nation succeed. Mindlessly following a small-government ideology is just silly.

    BTW, did you remember to thank the Founding Fathers when you filled up your gas tank this morning? . . . And when you took your car over BILLIONS of dollars worth of infrastructure to get where you were going?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    You keep trying to give all the credit to the Federal Government, and none to the corporations.

    Even if the Federal Government gave some incentives... I'm pretty sure it was evil corporations that did the work. And I'm pretty sure it is oil companies giving people jobs AND paychecks in North Dakota (not the government).


    Some facts on the North Dakota oil boom... (wikipedia)

    "The North Dakota oil boom is an ongoing period of rapidly expanding oil extraction from the Bakken formation in the state of North Dakota that followed the discovery of Parshall Oil Field in 2006, and is continuing as of 2013.

    The oil boom has resulted in enough jobs to give North Dakota the lowest unemployment rate in the United States.

    The boom has given the state of North Dakota a billion-dollar budget surplus".

    That's probably why you fight AGAINST harvesting oil in Utah... don't want the jobs, or a budget surplus...


    The boom was creating 2,000 millionaires per year in North Dakota. The average income in Mountrail County has more than doubled since the boom started.

    Something we would NEVER want to happen in rural Utah...

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 13, 2014 10:42 a.m.

    Gosh, it's nice to have a federal government that actually works to help the people of the United States (as long as anti-government Tea Party extremists don't gum up the works).

    Read: A Retrospective Review of Shale Gas Development in the United States"

    “The seed of the shale gas boom was planted in the late 1970s when the US government
    decided to fund R&D programs and provide tax credits (and incentive pricing) for developing
    unconventional natural gas in response to the severe natural gas shortage at the time. These
    policies were justified on the grounds that private firms did not have the incentive to make large and risky R&D investments to develop technologies necessary for extracting unconventional
    natural gas. “

    And now North Dakota has more recoverable gas than Saudi Arabia.

    GEE, thank you United States Government . . . And thank you Founding Fathers.

    And let's hope anti-government nut jobs waving Don't-Tread-On-Me flags and Swastika Banners don't take the majority in Congress . . . Or the time of sensible governance will be a distant memory.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 13, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    Hey Liberal Larry

    "It was not new technology that increased oil production . . ."

    WRONG again. Sometimes "Conservatives" show real consistency.

    Look up "Shale Gas" and get back to me.

    "Federal price controls on natural gas led to shortages in the 1970s.[21] Faced with declining natural gas production, the federal government invested in many supply alternatives, including the Eastern Gas Shales Project, which lasted from 1976 to 1992, and the annual FERC-approved research budget of the Gas Research Institute, where the federal government began extensive research funding in 1982, disseminating the results to industry.[2] The federal government also provided tax credits and rules benefiting the industry in the 1980 Energy Act.[2] The Department of Energy later partnered with private gas companies to complete the first successful air-drilled multi-fracture horizontal well in shale in 1986. The federal government further incentivized drilling in shale via the Section 29 tax credit for unconventional gas from 1980-2000." - Wikipedia

    In other words, the Federal Government led research that developed a viable means of extracting high volumes of gas from shale. That's why North Dakota is booming now.

    I'm glad I could help.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    Utah is making improvements all the time. Those who refuse to see those improvements have an ax to grind, and will never... EVER... acknowledge that anything Utah does is good.

    Google UECC - UTAH ENERGY CONSERVATION COALITION. Or "Utah Clean Energy" (to to "Success stsories" section). Or "UCAIR". Or "State Building Energy Efficiency Program". Or "Renewable Energy in Utah" (ACOR). If you look into it... we're making improvements... we just need to make more.

    IMO Our air problem is not just because people want dirty air (and the dirtier the better). It's because there are more people living here now. And that means more industry, so those people have jobs, and so Utahns can get the products/services they need to live.

    So even if we are doing better... since there are so many of us... air quality would naturally suffer.

    We need to do as much as we can. But obviously nothing Utah would do would satisfy some of these people.

  • Frank Staheli Santaquin, ut
    June 13, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    Dan: Excellent insights. It is good that the US is becoming more energy independent, especially in clean alternative fuels. I like that Utah is making great strides in clean energy production. I like your balanced approach. The naysayers would have us effectively go back to pre-automobile days it seems, but the goal, as you so clearly describe, must be one of balance. We do need to get out of the fossil fuel energy business as much as possible, and that will happen, gradually at first, but it will pick up speed, as new and creative ways are found to produce and harness cleaner energy.

    Well written!

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    June 12, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    Fascinating that Dan's solution to the Great Recession is basically "Drill, baby, drill." He does mention renewable energy briefly as point number 4 (should be number 1), but stoking the economic engine with oil, natural gas, and coal is not my idea of utopia. We need to get serious about both our addiction to growth and our blindness to the coming environmental Armageddon.

    Dan, do us a favor and please don't run for office again. Keep writing these editorials. We need a good laugh every week.

  • joeandrade Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    Dan - were you even at the Summit?
    Did you hear the keynote address by Nordhaus? Did you watch Herbert's face as Nordhaus talked?
    Most of the renewable work going on is in spite of the Governor, not because of him or his 'Energy' Office. He and the Office are focused on the filthiest fossil fuels. That includes gas via tracking - because there are very high methane leakages, making Utah gas really no better for the greenhouse problem than coal itself.
    And talk with the Ob-Gyn's in the Uintah Basin - and the pulmonologists along the Wasatch Front.
    Which sandpile has your head been in?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 12, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    And that my friends, explain perfectly why Dan can never be elected to DC.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    June 12, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    We are having an energy revolution all right. We are having a revolution to rapidly extract the remaining natural gas and oil reserves our country has and sell much of it foreign nations. After that runs out, then what?

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    June 12, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    Yikes, this editorial is so wildly inaccurate that I don't know where to start!

    "application of new extraction techniques and technologies that are unlocking heretofore inaccessible oceans of oil"

    U.S. oil production reached a peak in 1970 of 9.6 million barrels per day, 2013 production was 7.5 million. Is this an "ocean" of oil?

    In addition fracking is not a new technology, it was developed in 1947, and first used commercially in 1949!

    It was not new technology that increased oil production, but steady oil prices of $100 per barrell that made fracking economically profitable.

    I think that Mr. Liljenquist was sipping the petroleum industry Kocha Cola when he wrote this fluff piece.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 12, 2014 7:05 a.m.

    Burton Lumber? Dan, you've got to be kidding. While Utah continues to pump filth into the air, intelligent projects in NV and AZ will be powering large cities with thermosolar energy starting this year. Meanwhile Utah whines about coal and "shale oil," a non-starter if there ever was one. No, Utah is pathetically far behind other states, still spending our energy defending the 19th century. You should be spending your energy on this century, Dan.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    June 12, 2014 6:37 a.m.

    Re: "First Wind’s 306-megawatt wind farm helps power thousands of homes in Millard and Beaver counties."

    First Wind's power is sold to southern California. Yes, the physics of electricity means that wind power is being used in Utah, but California is the beneficiary of its price stability and elimination of carbon tax risk.

    Because Utah has so few renewable energy projects and gets about 80 percent of its power from coal (mostly owned and operated by Utah's main utility monopolies), under the new EPA regulations, we as ratepayers will be subject to significant carbon taxes/costs to comply.

    Utah's utility monopolies will be able to simply pass those costs onto ratepayers whereas other states that have been preparing for this looming EPA threat by rapidly investing into price-stable, clean energy sources will be protected.

    But don't expect a renewable energy boom in Utah. Rocky Mountain Power wants to put a $4.25/month fee on its ratepayers who have purchased their own solar panels. Solar threatens its coal-fired power. Charging more for those that make their own clean power is a privilege of being a utility monopoly.