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Michael Fitzsimmons

 
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  • Nat Gas Transportation: China Is Trouncing The U.S. At Its Own Game [View article]
    timbo: While I understand where you are coming from, the problem is that the government does make huge bets. Billions have been wasted on "clean coal", battery maker subsidies (with many of the bankrupted companies now owned by the Chinese), the ethanol mandates, biofuel subsidies, I could go on and on. My point is that all these are simply distractions to keep the US addicted to gasoline (foreign oil). The EU and China have both made strategic energy policies that prioritize natural gas in the transportation sector to reduce their reliance on foreign oil. Yet despite the huge economic, environmental, and national security reasons to transition to natural gas transportation, the US government has not taken the steps necessary to embrace and adopt natural gas transportation. The article attempts to explain why. So bottom line is, the US energy market is anything but the "free market" you desire. My point is that as long as the government is going to be making huge investments in energy, why not make invest in the one energy policy that can significantly reduce foreign oil imports: natural gas transportation. As for global warming, if you don't believe it is happening by now, nothing I can say is going to change your mind. As for a "pricing signal", what more do you need than natural gas at $3.60/MMBtu as compared to gasoline and diesel prices?
    Sep 3, 2013. 04:17 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nat Gas Transportation: China Is Trouncing The U.S. At Its Own Game [View article]
    PEhrlich: I only you had stopped with your apology. The article was simply meant to show that China is beating the US at its own game: natural gas transportation (thus the title), and the reasons why despite the much higher costs for China as compared to here in the US. If you want to read something more into the article, including your absurd opinion that somehow I view the Chinese government as "superior" to that in the US, you are certainly within your rights to do so. It is also certainly my right to tell you that you are dead wrong about that opinion. I had hoped the comment section would be a good discussion of smart, long-term, strategic energy policy. Instead, we are having a rather silly discussion about a side issue of your own making.
    Sep 3, 2013. 04:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nat Gas Transportation: China Is Trouncing The U.S. At Its Own Game [View article]
    James: I don't have exact numbers but you can infer much from the data presented in the article. China is obviously buying a large number of big natural gas engines for long-haul trucking (you can see that from the WPRT Q2 numbers). And the GTLS CEO says the Chinese have told him they now intend to move ALL their diesel fleet over to natural gas. I also think you can infer a lot from the CLNE contract for 416 CNG compressors for 310 public refueling stations. CNG, instead of LNG, implies these stations are for ordinary citizens' cars and trucks.

    The $1/gallon subsidy is a good start, but the lack of an overall long-term strategic energy policy is what is missing. This is what the EU and China are doing. While the US is making good strides in the long-haul, refuse, and fleet segments, it is the pace of adoption that is my concern. The US, in my opinion, is simply not making progress fast enough. As I stated in an earlier comment, despite growing US oil production, it still imported about $1 billion/day in foreign oil March. And QE is up to $80 billion/month - a coincidence after decades of importing foreign oil? I think not.

    I believe Congress' over indulgence in EV support is directly attributable to special interest control that wants to keep the status quo firmly in place. More specifically, Congress knows that EVs are a distraction (like the ethanol mandates, biofuels, etc. etc.) that won't materially change ordinary Americans reliance on gasoline. If Americans can't get their hands on affordable NGVs and public CNG refueling stations, things are not likely to change. Including the US economy being held hostage to events in the Middle East that make oil prices go up, and therefore what we pay at the pump. Considering the abundance of natural gas we have, the huge price advantage over gasoline, and the most extensive nat gas pipeline distribution system in the world, I find it amazing that China is kicking our butts in the adoption of NGVs. It is a strategic energy policy failure on the part of the US with massive implications.
    Sep 3, 2013. 02:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Nat Gas Transportation: China Is Trouncing The U.S. At Its Own Game [View article]
    PEhrlich: You are stretching (and simply incorrect) to assume criticism of present US policies implies I believe the Chinese government superior to that of the US. If I thought as much, I would have no problem just saying it. You acknowledge there are "a lot of problems", but how will things change if we don't speak about them? You seem to have an implicit trust that if we all just sit still and say nothing things will improve. I prefer not to be silent when I see a serious problem, and importing foreign oil has been at the root of the US's economic, environmental, and national security problems for decades. I guess I would have much more respect for your comment if instead of incorrectly assuming I feel the "Chinese government is superior" to that of the US (which I have stated now, twice, that I do not feel that way), that you would instead chose to discuss the problems I am talking about and why you agree or disagree with my views and what your solutions are.
    Sep 3, 2013. 02:17 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nat Gas Transportation: China Is Trouncing The U.S. At Its Own Game [View article]
    Thank you H_H - you captured my thought process perfectly..
    Sep 3, 2013. 01:31 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nat Gas Transportation: China Is Trouncing The U.S. At Its Own Game [View article]
    PEhrlich: you make a good point about China being able to make decisions based on building new infrastructure versus updating or changing an old infrastructure (as in the US). However, it should be note that China started with a very large installed base of gasoline and diesel powered vehicles and phase 1 was to convert those over to natural gas. Granted, they also have a serious pollution problem that could cause social unrest - so that is pushing them too. However, considering the huge advantage in price, technology, and the extensive nat gas pipeline distribution network in the US, doesn't it seem strange to you that the US hasn't passed strategic natural gas transportation policies (like the EU and China) and is focusing almost solely on EVs? Why do you think that is?

    As for your comment of articles opining about China's government "being superior to ours", I think it is a stretch to imply from this single article that this is my view. I do not feel that way. That said, apathy and an inability to criticize where criticism is due may be one reason why China owns so many US debt instruments and the US is printing money out of thin air every day to pay for its foreign oil imports (and its military machine). Time after time we go through these Middle East crises, oil goes up, gasoline goes up, and the ordinary US citizen gets hosed at the pump (pun intended). How much longer can Americans afford to have blind faith in a government which is increasingly controlled by corporate interests and a very small number of people at the top of the economic ladder?
    Sep 3, 2013. 01:26 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nat Gas Transportation: China Is Trouncing The U.S. At Its Own Game [View article]
    CaptainPike: yes, as you said - we've had administrations from both parties who have pretty much ignored the nat trans transportation issue. The problem is a Congress that as Bill Gross of Pimco said, gives us the best government money can buy. As for coal-to-gas technology, I am really not sure that makes sense when we have all the nat gas we can use coming out our ears at $3.60/MMBtu. And with coal, what do you do with all toxic particulates left over from the process? Like the electric plants, do we just end up with big fly-ask storage ponds? I don't think that is the way to go. Lastly, I am not sure I follow you on the US exporting oil...from Pickens Plan export numbers:

    "In March 2013, a whopping 296 million barrels - or 52 percent of the petroleum consumed in the U.S. - was foreign oil. At a per barrel price of more than $108, that works out to over $32 billion - more than $1 billion a day - or per minute cost of $719,000."
    Sep 3, 2013. 01:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Nat Gas Transportation: China Is Trouncing The U.S. At Its Own Game [View article]
    Well, Congress could easily go around Obama and grease the path for nat gas transportation. Both the EU and China have passed strategic long-term energy policies putting a priority on nat gas transportation. It is amazing to me that China can be paying 4x for its natural gas, is importing much of the technology and know-how from the US, and has to truck the LNG from coastal import terminals to interior customers (using GTLS's Orca delivery vehicles) due to lack of pipeline infrastructure, and is *still* adopting NGVs at a much greater pace than is the US. I think there is no greater proof of dysfunction in Congress than this. At the same time, it looks like Congress is very supportive of exporting our bounty of natural gas...
    Sep 3, 2013. 01:07 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Green Vision: A Solar Powered Desalination Plant With CAES Backup [View article]
    Hi tblakes: Yes, I have read about graphene filters and I sure hope they become commercially available soon. I have seen estimates that the pressure needed to push salt water through them is reduced by about 1/3 and total power by ~15-20%. Here is a recent SA article related to this subject:

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    Sep 3, 2013. 12:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Natural Gas Transportation Stocks For 2013: August Update [View article]
    Rina - despite the huge run in GTLS's stock, are you sure it's a missed opportunity? The company appears to have excellent growth prospects for decades to come.
    Sep 2, 2013. 06:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil Prices: It's Not Syria, It's Libya [View article]
    Moon: That's the first time I ever heard 1.65 boe/d of primarily light sweet crude referred to as "bonus supply" - alla salute!
    Sep 2, 2013. 06:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Natural Gas Transportation Stocks For 2013: August Update [View article]
    Hi Bill - well, I would agree that CLNE's earnings and stock have not done much, but as far as the company is concerned, it's very active and making very good progress. If CLNE was a Chinese company located in China, it would be a completely different story. The problem is US energy policy: the Chinese have smart policies and are getting off gasoline and diesel. Meanwhile, US energy policy is apparently pinning all its hope on electric vehicles - just as the special interest lobbies want it.
    Sep 1, 2013. 01:40 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Natural Gas Transportation Stocks For 2013: August Update [View article]
    From Wiki Answers:
    http://bit.ly/17wPcvk

    According to the Congressional Research Service 170 members of the House and 60 Senators are lawyers. So out of a total of 435 U.S. Representatives and 100 Senators (535 total in Congress), lawyers comprise the biggest voting block of one type, making up 43% of Congress. 60% of the U.S. Senate is lawyers. 37.2% of the House of Representatives are lawyers.

    Big problem, especially since our beloved Supreme Court is basically letting corporations donate as much $ as they want. So, if we want good policy for the ordinary American, we are dependent upon lawyers to turn down lobbyist money (a lot of it). What do you suppose the chances of that happening are?
    Sep 1, 2013. 12:44 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Natural Gas Transportation Stocks For 2013: August Update [View article]
    The press release says CLNE is to supply compressors and related technology. The compressors will be supplied by IMW,
    a CLNE company:

    http://bit.ly/15LYrct

    Since China imports most of its natural gas via LNG terminals, I doubt CLNE will play a role in the selling of the actual commodity there.

    Yes, the Chinese have adopted long-term strategic natural gas transportation policies. Their first step was to target long-haul trucking to push diesel out. With this contract, we also see a big push into the consumer car and truck segment. China is getting a big jump on the US in nat gas transportation. I fear it will be yet another huge economic advantage for them, which is completely ridiculous considering the US's huge bounty of nat gas, the technology to produce it, and the significant price advantage over the Chinese. But this is what happens when you have one country's policies developed by engineers (considered a noble profession in China) and another country that has policies enacted by lawyers who take money from special interest lobbyists (the US). So while the US seems totally fixated on EVs that are having a very slight impact, the Chinese are solving the economic, environmental, and national security issues as a result of oil addiction by adopting nat gas transportation. The US should be doing the same. One day.
    Sep 1, 2013. 09:54 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Natural Gas Transportation Stocks For 2013: August Update [View article]
    Yes, GTLS has had quite a run I must agree, and it is richly priced. However, if you look at the number of natural gas engines being sold in China, as reported in this article, you will see why. GTLS's growth prospects in China are just fantastic. If the US ever gets a clue, which the CEO expects to happen in 2014, GTLS is really going to take off.

    If you do find a stock with better prospects in the natural gas transportation arena, please let me know.
    Sep 1, 2013. 09:45 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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