With the almost daily battles raging inside the Beltway over claims of "fake news," it's hardly surprising that energy hasn't been spared.
But what is surprising is the jarringly overt way in which energy is being politicized. The new Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, is a good case in point.
As a former governor of Texas, Perry is a public supporter of increasing U.S. production of hydrocarbons like oil and gas, while openly criticizing the potential for alternative energy sources and roundly dismissing concerns over climate change.
And by the way, several times in the recent past he's also come out in favor of shutting down the very Department of Energy that he's now in charge of.
Recently, Perry's gone on the offensive against renewables – as well as (whether he realizes it or not) natural gas. He claims they're threatening the national power grid.
Here's how some of the targeted companies responded…
There Are No "Silver Bullets" in Energy
The nub of Perry's argument comes right out of a frequent theme seen on the Trump campaign trail: that government subsidies to solar and wind power are responsible for the demise in coal production.
Now, regular readers of Oil & Energy Investor know my approach to this ongoing debate. What is needed in both the domestic and global energy markets is a genuine balance in energy availability.
That requires multiple sources providing energy as seamlessly as possible. An additional important component emerges when we also consider the desirability of having interchangeability between and among energy types.
That means an approach looking to wean an economy off using, say, oil or coal, is misplaced. "Silver bullets" only work in horror movies.
All energy sources are required. It's the integration of these sources that translates into the most efficient, cost-effective, and best solution for both producers and consumers.
Unfortunately, putting a heavy political thumb on the scales seems the preferred course of action in D.C.
For Perry, Only Coal Is Reliable
These days, the new refrain coming from the Energy Secretary is to link continued reliance on coal with essential availability of electricity. In other words, expanding renewables is supposed to make the power grid less reliable.
Keep in mind that this is an approach that does not address any environmental impact issues, only the availability of power.
A few months ago, Perry announced a review would be conducted to "prove" the connection. Overlook for a moment that any real, objective evaluation of the matter shouldn't prejudge its outcome – unless, of course, the Perry "research" is undertaken by an avowed oil supporter and is designed to fit into an already established political agenda…
But the industry that's being targeted is already responding…
And that makes the June 21 note written by Nicholas Kusnetz and appearing in Inside Climate News such an interesting read…
About the Author
Dr. Kent Moors is an internationally recognized expert in oil and natural gas policy, risk assessment, and emerging market economic development. He serves as an advisor to many U.S. governors and foreign governments. Kent details his latest global travels in his free Oil & Energy Investor e-letter. He makes specific investment recommendations in his newsletter, the Energy Advantage. For more active investors, he issues shorter-term trades in his Energy Inner Circle.