Energy regulations should be left to experts and politicians, not voters

Democracy can be a really bad idea. The majority of voters cannot be trusted to make the best decision when it comes to emotional or complex topics, such as minority rights or industrial regulation. Deeply ingrained prejudices, personal profit motives and intentionally misleading propaganda often sway voters more than reason or science. That’s why referendums […]

Corporate responsibility paramount to make Mexican energy reforms work

The ink on Mexico’s new energy laws is finally dry, and the biggest names in the industry are exploring how they can revive our southern neighbor’s wilting oil and gas production. Let’s hope they don’t mess it up. The nine implementing laws signed last week by President Enrique Peña Nieto formalized the biggest overhaul of […]

Cleaning up coal not greenest option, but key for energy diversity

Balancing economic feasibility, shareholder value, regulatory necessity and social responsibility is something that business leaders do every day. Striking the right balance requires creativity and compromise, and no sector faces more challenges than electricity generation. If a power plant produces too much pollution, we suffer health consequences. If the cost is too high, we suffer […]

Asian steel in the oil fields cost Texans jobs

When most people see a flatbed truck loaded with drill pipe rolling west on Interstate 10, it’s a reminder of the thousands of oil and gas wells that are driving the booming Texas economy. When steelworkers in Bellville see those trucks, though, they’re reminded why their plant, which makes similar pipe 60 miles west of […]

Guidelines Could Make Oil Companies Better Neighbors

In Yorktown, Texas, they put locks on fire hydrants to keep oil workers from stealing water. Meanwhile, the ammonia level at the water treatment plant has been rising, and officials suspect it’s from oil field workers illegally dumping used wastewater into the sewage system of the small town, 150 miles southwest of Houston. “It’s easy […]

Missing the Boat on Africa

As a citizen of the globe’s economic and military heavyweight, it’s easy to forget that other parts of the world might be getting along just fine without us. When we pull back, though, and take a look at current trends in global trade, U.S. business may be missing out in the developing world. China, the […]

Bonuses for Cheniere Executives Should be Linked to Profits

There is something a little disquieting about the justification for paying Cheniere Energy’s employees another $2 billion worth of stock bonuses. I’m sure they are good people who work hard for their pay. But they’ve already received $1.7 billion in stock bonuses, which last year made Charif Souki the highest-paid CEO in the United States, […]

Capturing CO2 to Produce More Oil Solves Several Problems

Capturing man-made carbon dioxide and pumping it into the ground would not only help the environment, but also help the United States continue producing record amounts of oil. Many people question how the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, released last week, could present a business opportunity for Texas companies. The answer […]

A Little Advice on Energy Could Go a Long Way South of the Border

Go south, young man, there’s oil in that there shale! That’s the message from Mexican officials and dozens of consultants to Texas oil and gas companies as the Mexican Congress moves to allow private foreign investment in every corner of the nation’s energy industry. Mexico’s natural resources and growing demand for energy present an alluring […]

Pipeline Companies Should Pay for Full Value of Easements

Creating corridors to deliver goods to market while respecting property rights is one of the oldest dilemmas for Texas businesses and landowners. When land was plentiful and the population small, cotton planters donated land and slave labor to build some of the first farm-to-market roads in the 1840s. When railroads and highways starting inching north […]