The front page of this morning’s RealClearEnergy, a screenshot of which sits above, features an illuminating juxtaposition.
On the left column, there are six news stories about how the natural gas industry and other engines of capital investment are putting their own money into expanding the market for gas into the transportation sector. Thanks to the technolution in oil and gas drilling known as hydraulic fracturing, or fraking, gas production is booming, and prices are down. At the same time, geopolitical instability is pushing the price of gasoline to $5 a gallon. The upshot is that gas now makes for an attractive motor fuel. To that end, the industry is investing in infrastructure (natural gas powered engines for trucks and fueling stations), in order to grow and thereby seize market share from the oil industry. Whether the gas industry succeeds or fails in its competition with the oil industry, the consumer can only win.
On the right column, the first story is an oped by T. Boone Pickens, in favor of H.R. 1380, the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act (a.k.a., the NAT GAS Act, a.k.a., the “T. Boone Pickens Earmark Bill,” a.k.a., the “Pickens-Your-Pocket Boondoggle Bill,” a.k.a. the “Billionaire’s Bailout,” a.k.a. the “Pickens Payout Plan”). As its many nicknames would suggest, this legislation was written by billionaire T. Boone Pickens, in order to makes himself even richer. Pickens purveys in natural gas, and the legislation would have taxpayers throw money at infrastructure (natural gas powered engines for trucks and fueling stations), in order to facilitate the gas industry’s growth into the transportation sector, at the expense of the oil industry. Pickens proposes these subsidies (to himself), DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE INDUSTRY IS ALREADY DOING SO WITH ITS OWN MONEY!!!!! Alas, Pickens already has won over the President. If he succeeds in per$uading enough Members of Congress to get his Billionaire’s Bailout passed, then the taxpayer will suffer an egregious loss.