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U.S. energy policies? Disturbing, ‘State of Energy’ speaker asserts calls
Wednesday, 08 November 2023 21:27

From Staff Reports 

BLACK MOUNTAIN — “A State of Energy” report was presented by Stuart Weidie, president and CEO of Blossman Gas Inc, during a luncheon meeting of the Asheville-based Council of Independent Business Owners on Oct. 26 at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly here.

About 50 people attended the session.

Weidie, who grew up in Mississippi, is the chairman of the Propane Education and Research Council. “He has his pulse on the energy industry in America,” a CIBO promotion stated.

He began his presentation with a chart based on millions of barrels. Going back 35 years we’ve had…. 350 million barrels — less than half the amount (35 years ago).

As for the nation’s Stragetic Petroleum Reserve shortfall, Weidie said, “We are quite vulnerable and it’s very disturbing... The (strategic) petroleum reserve has been used by both political parties” in recent years.

“Right now it would cost us twice as much (to buy back each barrel of oil) as what we sold it for. The price point to refill this is $75... We’re at $84, so that’s why we’re not doing anything right now.”

Weidie then pointed out that “they’re producing 250 million barrels a day in Iran...”

“It’s supposed to be ‘strategic’ and it’s supposed to be about ‘national security’ — and we haven’t followed it (the reserve guidelines) for at least the last two and half years.

What this chart doesn’t tell you — all you heard is we’re hurting production. But the rest of the country has massive resources.” As a result of government policy, “We are diminishing our country’s ability to rely on our own energy — and we’re relying on others. It makes no sense. I will say the production is going up, but not at the level needed... We are producing more than we did two and half years ago, but less than three years ago.”

Weidie then pointed out that “the refineries that (now) are being built are in Asia, China, North Africa… We (the U.S.) haven’t built a refinery in this country since the 1970s.

“We can’t do this indefinitely because demand is going up… not only in gas and natural gas, but refined products, we’re diminishing the future.”

While noting that “energy policy is complex,” he noted that, nonetheless, “China built 58 coal-fired powered plants last year, while we’re decommissioning plants every year.”

CIBO member Mac Swicegood asserted, “You haven’t said anything about enthanol.”

“Yes,” Weidie replied. He then added, “Ethanol supplements are not the solution. It (basically) is paid as a subsidy to corn farmers in the Midwest.”

An unidentified man asked why new energy-producing plants have not been built in the U.S.

“Part of the challenge here is you can’t get a new one built,” Weidie replied. “Some people are converting to renewable fuel plants. But again, environmental regulations have increased to the point that you can’t justify the costs to put in a new plant.

“Everyone talks oil — even the intelligent, well-informed people talk about oil...”

To that end, Weidie pointed out that, “right now, we’re exporting 28 billion gallons of propane out of the United States every year... We’ve got this stuff (propane) out of our ears — and we’re having to export it… to China” and other nations.

Rhetorically, he asked, “Why don’t we use it here?”Answering his own question, Weidie replied, “It’s all policy-driven” by the U.S. government. “We’ve got more inventory (in propane and other alternative fuels) than we need.

“Speaking about electricity for a moment — electricity is not an energy source,” Weidie said. “It’s a method of moving something generated from somewhere else...

“Everyone always says we’re going to use wind and solar to transition... You would have to cover 40 percent of our country” to accomplish that goal.

“When people say, ‘We’re going to put wind and solar farms everywhere’ — they really don’t know what they’re talking about. In the country of Denmark, there is nowhere you can stand — from one end to the other — where you cannot see a windmill. Is that a really smart way to use up all of your land?”



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