Who Doesn’t Like Free Markets?

Contrary to popular belief, most corporations do NOT like free markets.  They would prefer a tightly regulated market or monopoly that looks after their interests at the expense of their suppliers or the public as a whole.  Trade associations are frequently formed to look after the interests of incumbent players and limit competition. Recently, another such trade group was formed, America’s Energy Advantage (AEA).  Their purpose is to block the export of natural gas to high demand markets outside the US in hopes that by artificially limiting the demand for domestically produced natural gas, they can keep their own prices lower.

I am asking the leaders of the AEA founding corporations to take a less self interested and short sighted approach to market manipulation and join principled leaders like, Southern Co. CEO, President and Chairman, Thomas Fanning, in supporting free markets for natural gas.  It will bring jobs and money to our country, stabilize prices, and most importantly, stop industry capture of our regulatory regime for the sole benefit of stockholders of their corporations.

From SNL:

“[Fanning’s] company happens to be the third-largest natural gas consumer in the nation.

“We’ve got to make some historic decisions about exporting natural gas. Being parochial, you may be interested to know that I am in favor of exporting natural gas,” he told the audience at the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2013 Energy Conference. “If it helps the economy, then I’m for it.”

Fanning said striving for increased North American energy security will create a multiplier effect through the economy. And one way or another, Fanning sees natural gas prices rising. Other large natural gas consumers, led by Dow Chemical Co., have said the U.S. would be better off restricting exports and have formed the group America’s Energy Advantage to lobby for their interests.”

Fear Wins Again

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

From my car the day after the radioactive steam release in 2012.

Over 2,000 MW of base-load electrical generation capacity was permanently lost in Southern California last week. Activists succeeded in forcing Southern California Edison to close down the *zero* greenhouse gas emission SONGS plant just south of San Clemente. In addition to costing 1,100 jobs and incurring an almost $3 billion dollar decommissioning cost, Southern California’s summer electrical supply is now at risk and new fossil fuel based generation will need to be activated quickly in order to keep air conditioners running.  While I had my own concerns about living 20 miles from the generation site should a disaster happen, the monologue (not dialogue or debate) I heard surrounding the reactivation of the site was not centered on science, environmental fitness or safety planning, but unfortunately half truths and hysterics that suggested another Fukishima disaster was inevitable.

I would have preferred deliberate plan over the reactionary one.  I believe this is what happens when fear and NIMBY concerns take precedence over honest assessment and debate.

Read more….http://sanclemente.patch.com/groups/breaking-news/p/san-onofre-to-close-permanently

Economist Explains Why Exports will Stabilize U.S. Natural Gas Prices

The WSJ editorial by Thomas Tunstall, research director at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Institute for Economic Development, is worth reading.

Supply and demand swings have played havoc with U.S. natural gas prices in the the last decade. Opening up the export market will allow U.S. producers to be more secure in knowing that there will be a market for their production and justify additional development efforts. Stabilizing the supply will reduce shocks and should stabilize prices without huge increases in costs for consumers.