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“Economic development and environmental protection can go hand-in-hand”

That pronouncement comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency region 6 office, which has jurisdiction for Texas, among other states. It accompanied EPA’s announcement Friday that the agency had finalized the permit enabling ExxonMobil to proceed with a planned multi-billion dollar expansion of our chemical facility in Baytown, TX.

It’s good that EPA recognizes environmental stewardship to be a key component of our plans for Baytown.

We are also encouraged that EPA recognizes what the expansion will mean for the region’s economy.

ExxonMobil’s project is designed to capitalize on the abundance of natural gas brought about by the country’s shale energy revolution. It calls for construction of a state-of-the-art cracker and facilities to convert ethane, found in natural gas, into premium polyethylene products for use in a range of products, such as packaging to keep food fresh. It will create about 10,000 jobs at the peak of construction and add about 350 permanent jobs to the company’s existing Baytown workforce of 6,500.

BaytownThe expansion will add another 3,800 spinoff jobs in the area and increase regional economic activity by $870 million per year and local tax revenues by $90 million per year.

The significance of EPA’s decision goes far beyond this project. Permitting approval times are a guidepost for how effectively the U.S. is capturing the benefits of the shale energy revolution.

There are nearly 150 proposed major chemical projects around the country linked to shale energy – worth a staggering $100 billion in capital investment. The speed with which regulatory authorities act on these projects (as well as other non-chemical industry proposals) can go a long way toward helping pull the U.S. out of its economic doldrums.

The State Department has taken well over five years to consider the proposed Keystone XL pipeline even though reviews show the project would have no adverse environmental effects, and it would increase U.S. GDP by $3.4 billion.

Similarly, the Energy Department is taking far too long to process applications from companies (including an ExxonMobil joint venture) hoping to export liquefied natural gas. Numerous experts – including economists, think-tank scholars, and even secretaries of energy under the two previous presidents – have concluded that LNG exports would benefit the economy and advance the national interest.

Continued delays by State and DOE are costing the country in jobs, economic activity, and badly needed government revenues.

Timeliness is of the essence when it comes to federal permitting. The country and the economy would be better off if more people in Washington got that message.


3 Comments

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  1. YJ Draiman says:

    Electric cars are they conserving energy? Rev5

    Ask yourselves what is the real cost of “Electric Car”?

    Note: Electricity is a secondary form of energy derived by utilizing one form of energy to produce electric current.

    Let us look at the facts:

    In order to produce electricity, we need some form of energy to generate electricity, whereby you lose a substantial amount of your original source of energy in the generation process.

    In the process we are losing the efficiency of the initial energy source, since it is not a direct use of the energy.

    Let us take it a step further. To generate electricity we utilize; coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydro electric – water, photovoltaic-solar, wind, geothermal, etc. Many electricity generating plants utilize fossil fuel, which creates pollution.

    Do you realize how much of the initial source of energy you lose to get the electricity you need for your electric automobile; you also lose electricity in the transmission lines.

    Why are we jumping to a new technology, without analyzing the economic cost, the effective return and efficiency of such technology; while computing and measuring its affect on the environment?

    Natural gas vehicles are a direct source of energy, where you get the most for your energy source – in efficiency and monetary value. Cost of natural gas to a comparable gallon of gas ranges around $1, it has higher octane and extends the life of your engine, it is also safer than gas.

    The bottom line
    When all is said and done, CNG is a decidedly unfashionable entry in the fuel-of-the-future sweepstakes, yet it may be the dark horse that wins the race. If your goal is to flaunt your green credentials, then go ahead and trade in your hybrid Prius for an all-electric Leaf. Meanwhile, the contractor down the block will buy a new dual-fuel F-250,… read more »

    …or buy an aftermarket conversion kit for the beat-up model already in service. Which vehicle will make the greater contribution to energy independence, national security, and a healthy planet? You guessed it. The NGV, hands down.

    In these hard economic times – I would think, you would want to get the most for your dollar – and not waste resources.

    Another economic impact would be the loss of road tax on fuel, these funds are used to build and maintain the highway infrastructure.

    “It is Cheaper to Save Energy than Make Energy”

    YJ Draiman, Director of Utilities & Sustainability

    http://www.energysavers2.com

  2. YJ Draiman says:

    Generating Energy Storage & A Combination Renewable Energy System

    Solar Power
    Solar Power

    “It is cheaper to save energy than make energy”

    Any renewable energy system that is installed should have extra capacity and be able to convert water into hydrogen which will be used to power a hydrogen generator as a back-up power source.

    We should install a renewable energy system that utilizes solar & wind, when possible add geothermal to the mix.

    A design is needed for a renewable energy system that can generate electricity and heat water with a step down mixer allowing the system to provide water hot enough for radiant heating and at the same time utilize a step down mixing valve to reduce the water temperature to be able its use for hot water in normal consumption.

    A thermal renewable energy system may be able to provide both.

    Prior to sizing up a renewable energy system, an energy audit should be conducted and energy efficiency recommendations should be implemented, that includes changing habits in utilizing energy and utilities in general.

    Habitual changes can save between 20 to 50% of energy & utility consumption.
    When people are considerate not to waste, they save resources and money.

    PS. Tankless water heaters & Rainwater harvesting conserves our water supply.

    YJ Draiman, Energy/Utility Analyst

    http://www.renewableenergy2.com

  3. William Tucker says:

    Greetings Ken
    How does the Exxon Valdez and Prince William Sound equate with your heading “Economic development and environmental protection can go hand-in-hand’. I believe it lies in the key word “can’, meaning it could, not that it will. Just like the RMS Titanic, they never said it was unsinkable only that it was designed to be unsinkable and history shows us it was not to be. Or, how about, the Qua lboe terminal in Nigeria, Little Rock Arkansas oil spill, the Brooklyn oil spill, Baton Rouge Refinery Benzene leak, Baton Rouge Refinery pipeline oil spill, Yellowstone River oil spill, or the Mayflower Arkansas oil spill. The Political Economy Research Institute August 2013 list of Toxic 100 Air Polluters put Exxon Mobile at number 5 out of the top 100 Polluters.

    I look forward to your replay
    William Tucker

  4. YJ Draiman says:

    Electric cars are they conserving energy? Rev5

    Ask yourselves what is the real cost of “Electric Car”?

    Note: Electricity is a secondary form of energy derived by utilizing one form of energy to produce electric current.

    Let us look at the facts:

    In order to produce electricity, we need some form of energy to generate electricity, whereby you lose a substantial amount of your original source of energy in the generation process.

    In the process we are losing the efficiency of the initial energy source, since it is not a direct use of the energy.

    Let us take it a step further. To generate electricity we utilize; coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydro electric – water, photovoltaic-solar, wind, geothermal, etc. Many electricity generating plants utilize fossil fuel, which creates pollution.

    Do you realize how much of the initial source of energy you lose to get the electricity you need for your electric automobile; you also lose electricity in the transmission lines.

    Why are we jumping to a new technology, without analyzing the economic cost, the effective return and efficiency of such technology; while computing and measuring its affect on the environment?

    Natural gas vehicles are a direct source of energy, where you get the most for your energy source – in efficiency and monetary value. Cost of natural gas to a comparable gallon of gas ranges around $1, it has higher octane and extends the life of your engine, it is also safer than gas.

    The bottom line
    When all is said and done, CNG is a decidedly unfashionable entry in the fuel-of-the-future sweepstakes, yet it may be the dark horse that wins the race. If your goal is to flaunt your green credentials, then go ahead and trade in your hybrid Prius for an all-electric Leaf. Meanwhile, the contractor down the block will buy a new dual-fuel F-250,… read more »

    …or buy an aftermarket conversion kit for the beat-up model already in service. Which vehicle will make the greater contribution to energy independence, national security, and a healthy planet? You guessed it. The NGV, hands down.

    In these hard economic times – I would think, you would want to get the most for your dollar – and not waste resources.

    Another economic impact would be the loss of road tax on fuel, these funds are used to build and maintain the highway infrastructure.

    “It is Cheaper to Save Energy than Make Energy”

    YJ Draiman, Director of Utilities & Sustainability

    http://www.energysavers2.com

  5. YJ Draiman says:

    Generating Energy Storage & A Combination Renewable Energy System

    Solar Power
    Solar Power

    “It is cheaper to save energy than make energy”

    Any renewable energy system that is installed should have extra capacity and be able to convert water into hydrogen which will be used to power a hydrogen generator as a back-up power source.

    We should install a renewable energy system that utilizes solar & wind, when possible add geothermal to the mix.

    A design is needed for a renewable energy system that can generate electricity and heat water with a step down mixer allowing the system to provide water hot enough for radiant heating and at the same time utilize a step down mixing valve to reduce the water temperature to be able its use for hot water in normal consumption.

    A thermal renewable energy system may be able to provide both.

    Prior to sizing up a renewable energy system, an energy audit should be conducted and energy efficiency recommendations should be implemented, that includes changing habits in utilizing energy and utilities in general.

    Habitual changes can save between 20 to 50% of energy & utility consumption.
    When people are considerate not to waste, they save resources and money.

    PS. Tankless water heaters & Rainwater harvesting conserves our water supply.

    YJ Draiman, Energy/Utility Analyst

    http://www.renewableenergy2.com

  6. William Tucker says:

    Greetings Ken
    How does the Exxon Valdez and Prince William Sound equate with your heading “Economic development and environmental protection can go hand-in-hand’. I believe it lies in the key word “can’, meaning it could, not that it will. Just like the RMS Titanic, they never said it was unsinkable only that it was designed to be unsinkable and history shows us it was not to be. Or, how about, the Qua lboe terminal in Nigeria, Little Rock Arkansas oil spill, the Brooklyn oil spill, Baton Rouge Refinery Benzene leak, Baton Rouge Refinery pipeline oil spill, Yellowstone River oil spill, or the Mayflower Arkansas oil spill. The Political Economy Research Institute August 2013 list of Toxic 100 Air Polluters put Exxon Mobile at number 5 out of the top 100 Polluters.

    I look forward to your replay
    William Tucker