Streetwise Professor

October 22, 2011

Bicycles, Wind and Broken Kneecaps

Filed under: Commodities,Economics,Energy,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 2:01 pm

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 US 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 US’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:

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. An interesting alternative is forcing through utility decoupling.

    It is effective, uncontroversial, and California had a lot of success with it.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — October 22, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

  2. Yes, Of course, Our assiduous servant Obama’s unicorn-based energy policy will prolong and deepen the present recession, just as FDR’s attacks against “malefactors of great wealth” contributed to the regime uncertainty that retarded recovery in the Great Depression.

    The duration of the Great Depression had nothing to do with the fact that the US GNP had declined from $103.6 billion to $56.4 billion between 1929 and 1933. Nothing at all.

    Comment by a — October 23, 2011 @ 3:13 am

  3. Wonder if there will ever come a day when Russians will say: “Breaking knee caps is bad. We don’t want to live in a criminal state. We will do to our criminal leaders what the Egyptians and Libyans have done to theirs.”

    Comment by La Russophobe — October 23, 2011 @ 8:13 am

  4. Alas, dearest Kimmie, as the European Court of Human Rights proved when it rejected the claims of Our junior colleague Mikhail Kh that Putin’s actions in jailing him were politicized, accusation, no matter how widely publicized in Our media, are not proof.

    Comment by a — October 23, 2011 @ 11:57 am

  5. A: Actually, the EHCR found that the Kremlin repeatedly violated Khodorkovsky’s human rights during his kangaroo trial. You are an illiterate ape, or perhaps just a liar.

    But assuming the EHCR had done as you say, presumably you then admit that the Putin regime is wholly illegitimate because of the INNUMERABLE convictions by the EHCR of that regime for state-sponsored murder, torture, kidnapping and rape. Right?

    Comment by La Russophobe — October 24, 2011 @ 10:29 pm

  6. QUESTION: If Putin is really so great and beloved by Russians, why does he need to stage fake photo ops like the the Greek urns?

    Comment by La Russophobe — October 27, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  7. New low for Russia: Putin admits Russian government is helpless, urges vigilantism.

    Comment by La Russophobe — October 29, 2011 @ 11:26 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress