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TxEnergyUpdate - August 18, 2021

The TxEnergyUpdate keeps you up to date on the energy sector's latest news and stories



Steven Koonin, former Under Secretary for Science at the Energy Department under President Obama, disagrees with the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).He says that “previous climate-assessment reports have misrepresented scientific research in the “conclusions” presented to policy makers and the media.” As for the models that are often referenced in these reports by politicians, he says, “the complicated computer models used to project future temperature, rainfall and so on remain deficient…The latest models also don’t reproduce the global climate of the past.” For example, “the Summary for Policy Makers section says the rate of global sea-level rise has been increasing over the past 50 years. It doesn’t mention that it was increasing almost as rapidly 90 years ago before decreasing strongly for 40 years.”

The Pentagon is considering a “wide-scale electrification” of all its military vehicles and equipment. Creating a fighting force that runs solely off electricity could greatly diminish the U.S.’s military readiness. It would be hamstrung by battery charging times, lack of electrical infrastructure in remote areas, and increased opportunities for cyberattacks. Also, the switch to electric would wipe out any environmental benefits as the electric systems would require mining for minerals or relying on foreign countries like China. In summary, “transferring from a diversified U.S. energy mix to one concentrated on electricity will create many new threats to the United States, including its military.”

Last week, the Biden Administration called for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to export more oil to slow down rising gas prices in the United States, which have “crossed the $3 mark for the first time since 2014.” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan supported President Biden’s request, saying, “competitive energy markets will ensure reliable and stable energy supplies, and OPEC+ must do more to support the recovery.” However, the call to import foreign oil has left U.S. energy producers dumbfounded as President Biden continues to limit domestic oil and gas production.

The venture capital arms of BP, Chevron, and Shell are growing their investments in “clean tech ventures” to broaden their portfolios. BP Ventures is doubling what they’ve spent in the past by allocating $200 million per year, Chevron recently dedicated $300 million to a low carbon fund, and Shell has invested in “charging technology, hydrogen-electric planes, and a logistics company that aims to prevent trucks running without goods…” These investments show that competition is the fastest route to cleaner, reliable energy, not government: “Oil companies face various challenges in their pursuit of the next big thing in energy, not least competition. So far this year, there have been 1,177 venture capital deals globally in the sector, worth $89.4 billion, according to PitchBook. That is up from $56.9 billion of deals in all of 2020.”



The Public Utility Company of Texas (PUC) will have an open meeting on Thursday, August 19th at 9:30 a.m. Item of note on the agenda, the PUC will hear “Reports of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) for Calendar 2021.” They will also discuss “electric reliability; electric market development; power- to-choose website; ERCOT oversight; transmission planning, construction, and cost recovery in areas outside of ERCOT; and electric reliability standards and organizations arising under federal law.” Finally, they will discuss any action needed “regarding implementation of state and federal legislation affecting electricity markets including current and projected rulemakings and other projects, comments to other state and federal agencies and Commission priorities.”

Link to August 19th meeting: CLICK TO WATCH

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