Kinder Morgan’s Richard Kinder let it all hang out last week. He laid into two of my favorite targets: The Obama administration’s unicorn-based energy policy and Gazprom.
On U.S. energy policy:
Mr. Kinder didn’t stop there. He also regaled company employees, including many watching by webcast, with tales of his meetings with President Barack Obama and his energy secretary, Steven Chu.
He said he was “astounded” at how little consideration they gave to natural gas as a “game changer.” As time has gone on, he said, Mr. Obama and his aides have come to realize that “in the real world that the rest of us live in, you know, natural gas is really important.” But they “still like bicycles and wind,” Mr. Kinder said. And “you know, they loaned a lot of money for solar panels,” he said to laughs, in an apparent reference to the administration’s loan guarantees to Solyndra LLC.
That’s gonna leave a mark. The White House’s response? Pathetic:
“The President has made clear that natural gas has a central role to play in our energy economy,” a White House spokesman said in response.
Whatever. Yes, gas will play a central role in the U.S.’s and the world’s energy economy. And Obama and Chu won’t have squat to do with it. Private ingenuity and private capital are changing the game. Public “ingenuity” and public “capital” generate waste, not power, pace the Solyndra debacle (which is only the first and most well-known of a slew of government-funded alternative energy snafus).
On Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY):
The bankers advising him, he said, had declared it to be the biggest pipeline company in the world. “And I said, ‘Wait a minute. What about that Russian company called Gazprom?’” he recounted at the company’s Houston headquarters. “We are not as big as [Russian Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin’s Gazprom, but then we don’t break people’s kneecaps either,” he said. “We just have to rely on ordinary persuasion, you know.”
Too true. Too funny–in a kind of black way. And as the previous post demonstrates, if Gazprom ever has to rely on ordinary persuasion, it is in deep trouble.