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Old Jun 1st, 2011, 06:18 PM   #1
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The Oil & Gas Industry Thread

Love it and/or hate it, good and/or bad, it's been around since the 1800's and despite its unpopularity with many, it will likely stick around in some form or another for at least another century.

There have been many threads started on ehMac (Oilsands, Oil Spills, Gasoline prices, etc.) but I thought I'd start a general one to collect and discuss related issues.
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Old Jun 1st, 2011, 06:29 PM   #2
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"Reptile Dysfunction" may Halt Drilling

(Don't you just know I wanted to put that title in its own thread, but resisted)

But seriously, here goes the first submission:

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People in Midland like to say God felt such remorse for the dry, dusty landscape that he decided to give it oil.
He also gave it the dunes sagebrush lizard, and now, the tiny, sand-dwelling reptile could put a halt to oil and gas exploration and production in parts of West Texas and harm school budgets across the state.
The federal government has proposed that the lizard, which has all but disappeared from these parts, be listed as an endangered species — a designation that could save it from extinction but slow the pace in one of the nation's most prolific oil patches.
Read more: Protection for lizard may threaten West Texas oil production | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

I will be watching this with interest. The West Texas Oil (and New Mexico) Industry is already in steep decline. I hope they find a win-win solution for both that would protect the lizard and allow the industry to keep operating in an economically feasible way.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 11:55 AM   #3
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This thread died out quickly back in '11 - wonder why? Perhaps a resuscitation is in order?

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Nearly $800 per Canadian, says the IMF

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Did you know that our government spends money subsidizing fossil fuel energy to keep prices artificially low? A new International Monetary Fund study uncovers just how much the Canadian subsidies are and urge our governments to stop these market distortion practices.
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What the general public is mostly unaware of is the prices we pay for energy are subsidized prices. When we pay $50 at the gas pump, the gas we got is actually worth more than $50. When we pay $100 for our hydro bill, the energy we used is actually worth more than $100. Why? It’s because the government financially subsidizes the energy we use. They have been doing this for years but most of the general public are not aware of this. The energy prices we consumers see are below market levels.
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With this in mind, are fossil fuels really that much cheaper than renewable energies? The IMF cites many downsides to putting so much public money into subsidies and keeping energy prices—at least the ‘sticker prices’—artificially low, not least of which is giving the false impression to the general public that fossil fuels are much cheaper than renewable energy.
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So next time you hear someone say they prefer fossil fuel to renewable energy because they are cheaper, tell them they have been paying $787 a year on top of their bills for those fossil fuels without knowing it.
(Ecoopportunity)
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 12:09 PM   #4
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This thread died out quickly back in '11 - wonder why? Perhaps a resuscitation is in order?]
Ecoopportunity[/URL])
The definition if "subsidy" in this study is ridiculous. Typical IMF garbage.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 06:36 PM   #5
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It's the Milk Marketing Board all over again, except it's not poor dairy farmers that are being protected.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 11:34 PM   #6
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They call it a subsidy if they believe taxes are "not optimal"--i.e., governments could conceivably raise the tax rates above those levied on other products.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 01:32 AM   #7
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They call it a subsidy if they believe taxes are "not optimal"--i.e., governments could conceivably raise the tax rates above those levied on other products.
And that premise in itself is also flawed, considering how many additional taxes are ADDED to fuel prices over and above what you'd pay for most other consumer goods. These guys want us to pay MORE taxes?
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 08:31 AM   #8
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And that premise in itself is also flawed, considering how many additional taxes are ADDED to fuel prices over and above what you'd pay for most other consumer goods. These guys want us to pay MORE taxes?
The calculation is that if government could add additional taxes to the product but haven't, then this represents a subsidy. Since gasoline is already taxed far more heavily than other products, they should subtract the additional taxes and call them a subsidy of the government.

This study is woefully short on detail, but I have seen them attempt to claim that allowing the oil industry to deduct the cost of exploration as a business expense is a subsidy. Never mind that any other company can deduct the cost of business development from its income.

I've seen other studies complaining that oil companies can deduct the cost of natural gas used in oil sands recovery. They also call this a subsidy.

The oil industry receives a small subsidy in terms of some accelerated write-offs for equipment, but nothing like what is claimed here.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 10:29 AM   #9
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The actual IMF paper Link here is 67 pages long, and rather ... interesting.

Among the gems are their calculations for 'taxes needed to correct for externalities'. (In this paper's case they are simply looking at 'externalities' from petroleum products, coal, and natural gas.)

Essentially they're concluding that we don't pay enough taxes on things when we buy them to account for the environmental cost of their production or their eventual disposal. Calling it a 'subsidy' isn't really a fair term, because most people assume that a subsidy means 'giving money to someone'.

In our consumerist, throw away society, 'not paying enough to account for the environmental cost of production or eventual disposal' could be pretty much applied to just about everything, not just oil & gas, although oil & gas is a very convenient target because it is portable and transportable.

Right now (21st Century) we've just offloaded the environmental consequences of our overconsumption to developing countries. Like your cheap 'made in China' trinkets? You don't want to know what the rivers look like downstream of industrial centres in China.

The report is 'damning our consumerist lifestyle', with the conclusion that instead of 'consuming less' we should simply 'tax more'. Which is an interesting conclusion. I guess it has to do with the need to always 'grow' the economy. It wouldn't do to preach to 'consume less' and 'be an informed consumer'.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 10:37 AM   #10
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Essentially they're concluding that we don't pay enough taxes on things when we buy them to account for the environmental cost of their production or their eventual disposal. Calling it a 'subsidy' isn't really a fair term, because most people assume that a subsidy means 'giving money to someone'.
However, huge subsidies paid out to people who build and operate windmills suck bill payers dry by inflating the price of energy. This doesn't concern them.

They're also upset that these so-called subsidies are "distorting" the economy. Green energy "distortions" get a free pass.

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The report is 'damning our consumerist lifestyle', with the conclusion that instead of 'consuming less' we should simply 'tax more'.
But only tax more to achieve a society that looks a certain way.
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