THE United States is experiencing a boom in oil and natural gas production — one that many people, including Mitt Romney, see as a game-changing, tectonic shift in our energy picture. But while the boom is real, the benefits are less than meet the eye.
Okay, call me a spoilsport, but as much as we all might wish otherwise, there really is no free energy lunch. Not so long as much or more needs to be put in to get it than it yields, that removes more valuable land and other resources from more beneficial uses than it is worth, that isn’t reliably available in sufficient quantities when and where needed, that promises highly debatable environmental advantages, that costs consumers lots more than “nonrenewable” alternatives, and whose sustainability depends upon endless government mandates and subsidies.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2349:]]By Jeff Rubin
Higher prices are supposed to encourage more world supply. It’s standard textbook economics. But what happens when instead of export-oriented global firms, it’s governments that control supply. They may not respond to price signals the same way as profit maximizing companies. n fact, they may respond in the exact opposite way.
By Joseph Dancy
Developments in the Energy Sector
Several recent developments in the energy sector that investors may want to watch:
China Suspends Diesel Exports
Last weekend it was announced that China has suspended exports of diesel fuel indefinitely to help meet domestic energy demand ahead of the peak summer season. The measure could create energy shortages and spread higher prices – and possibly panic about the availability of energy supplies - across Asia.
By Karen Roche of The Energy Report
Worldwide hysteria and the fear factor notwithstanding, Casey Research Chairman Doug Casey still considers nuclear power "by far the safest, cheapest and cleanest form of mass power generation." Sharing his views in this Energy Report exclusive on the eve of a sold-out Casey Research Summit in Boca Raton, Florida, Doug says power generated from wind, sun, the tides and other alternative sources are "very nice special applications but don't work economically unless they're subsidized."
The Energy Report: You have traveled the world extensively, studying the geopolitical forces that shape the economy on a day-to-day basis. In the past, you’ve been quite enthusiastic about uranium because of the need for nuclear power. Has the situation in Japan altered your view?
The commodities bull run fueled in recent years by China's breakneck economic growth may be close to an end, according to one expert. But others feel a correction will only be short-lived.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2138:]]By The Energy Report
Portfolio Manager and Founder Josh Young of Young Capital Management (YCM) looks for value in oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies. In this exclusive interview with The Energy Report, Josh discusses some of his best ideas—strategies that could well deliver the significant upside and reduced risk investors might not expect from natural gas producers.
The Energy Report: Are you overweighted to natural gas right now?
Japan put its nuclear calamity on par with the world's worst nuclear disaster, Chernobyl, on Tuesday after new data showed that more radiation had leaked from its earthquake-crippled power plant in the early days of the crisis than first thought.
By John Downs
Imagine you invented a machine that revolutionized travel. You know your invention could cut local and long distance travel time substantially and vastly improve the ability for business to deliver freight efficiently. The invention would add trillions to global GDP. If released, your invention would no doubt be universally used and admired. However, based on the initial safety assessments, analysts predict that if used widely your invention would cause the deaths of 300,000 Americans per year and countless more around the globe. Would you still release it?
Don't hold your breath for a big drop in oil prices. So says the International Monetary Fund. Its World Economic Outlook report, released Thursday, says oil markets are facing "a period of increased scarcity."