The Atlas Society Asks Robert Bryce

April 28, 2022 00:59:03
The Atlas Society Asks Robert Bryce
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
The Atlas Society Asks Robert Bryce
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Show Notes

Join CEO Jennifer Grossman and energy expert Robert Bryce for the 101st episode of The Atlas Society Asks. As a longtime skeptic of the viability of renewable energy, listen as Robert Bryce discusses his recent book and documentary, along with his analysis of factors contributing to the Texas power crisis during the 2021 winter storm.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hello everyone. And welcome to the 101st episode of the Atlas society asks. My name is Jennifer Anju, Grossman. My friends know me as JAG. I'm the CEO of the Atlas society. We are the leading nonprofit organization, introduc young people to IRA in fun, creative ways like our graphic novels and animated videos. Today, we are joined by Robert Bryce before I even get to introducing him. I wanna remind all of you who are watching us on zoom on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, LinkedIn. Uh, please go ahead and use the comment section type in your questions. Um, keep them brief and we will get to as many of them as we can. So, uh, my guest today, Robert Bryce, uh, knows more about energy policy than anyone. I know. Uh, he's the host of power hungry podcast, uh, and the producer behind the excellent 2020 documentary juice, how electricity explains the world, which I was, uh, very delighted to have an opportunity to watch at a recent conference where we met, um, key, uh, is the, his many books. Uh, some of which I have here include, um, power hungry, the myths of green energy and real, the real fuels of the future. Uh, a gusher of lies, the dangerous delusions of energy independence, so smaller, faster, lighter, uh, denser, cheaper, how innovation keeps proving the catastrophes wrong. And, uh, his most recent book, a question of power electricity and the wealth of nations. All of these are also available on audible. So we are gonna put those lay into the chat. Robert, welcome again. Thanks for joining us. Speaker 1 00:02:08 Thank you, Jennifer. I'm glad to be here. Speaker 0 00:02:11 So, uh, we are gonna get to audience questions shortly, but I'm going to preempt one that I have a feeling is going to be, uh, asked by many of, of the people joining us today. That's about the Texas power outage last year. Um, you lived through it, you've written extensively on it. Uh, I wonder if you could help explain in a nutshell what happened and what are the implications, um, should we be taking away in terms of future energy policy? Speaker 1 00:02:45 Sure. Well, thanks. Uh, pleased to be with you. Um, the, the blackouts were caused by, uh, as I explained in a Dallas morning news article last August, it was an epic government failure. The, the government, the, the, the state government designed a market that is fundamentally flawed. And one of the key, the, the key flaws is that allowed the entrance, an addition of a whole bunch of renewable energy that was not dispatchable and particular wind energy into the state grid. 66 billion was spent on wind and solar in the years before the outs. And then when the, the grid was on the verge of collapse at 2:00 AM on February 15th of last year, effectively, all of that investment was worthless. As I, as I joke about it, that all that wind and solar went to Cancun with Ted Cruz, it was not of any value. And so the, the way the grid was designed, the, the way the market was designed grid allowed all this, uh, asynchronous generation that's intermittent weather dependent, renewables to be added to the grid, but they didn't dis weren't able to provide any power when power was needed. Speaker 1 00:03:49 And the other key point that, uh, is, is lost in, and there was a ton written after the blackouts and a lot, particularly the New York times and elsewhere saying, oh, those crazy Texas Republicans they're blaming renewables. Well, the key part of this that is lost is that there were over six gigs, 6,000 megawats of coal fired capacity that were retired in the five years prior to the blackouts. So that thermal generation, and that was the colon nuclear plants that, that performed the best when the grid was on the verge of collapse. <affirmative> the, the, the amount of thermal generation in the state, uh, and in particular, coal fell by about 20% and wind generation increased by 20%. So you add all these factors together and you made the grid, the, the Texas grid has become more fragile, and that is partly due to these massive federal subsidies for, for wind and solar. Those are the drivers of all this wind and solar that's being added to the grid, and it's a warning to other states. And then the fact that can, that Texas had a, a black blackout, uh, blackouts, widespread blackouts, and that, that the Texas grid is starting to mimic the grid in California. And that's not a good thing. Speaker 0 00:04:56 Um, have they made any changes that would help to prevent this happening again, or, Speaker 1 00:05:02 Well, the state is trying to the, the public utility commission is, is, is, is tweaking the, some of the regulations, uh, the state legislature passed a bill that allows, that gives the, the public utility commission and ERCOT the grid operator somewhere latitude, but still there's nothing that is stopping this massive influx of new, new solar in part two into the ERCOT grid. And so, uh, I wrote about this recently in Forbes at, at if the current trends and the current projections are correct by the end of next year, by the end of 2023, Texas will have, or the ERCOT grid will have more wind and solar capacity than it has, uh, a natural gas fired capacity. And all of that means that then the existing thermal generators, the coal, the nuclear and the, and the gas generators are less economic. They don't make as much money because they're being forced out of the market by subsidized, wind and solar. So this is a recipe for disaster, and, uh, the, those subsidies cannot be controlled by the state officials. So, uh, the, the result is the increasing fragile fraternization of the Texas grid. And, and it, I hope it, I hope it doesn't, but I, I fear that this is gonna end in tears. Speaker 0 00:06:07 Hmm. All right. Well, uh, we wanna bring some smiles, um, to <laugh> to word off the tears. So I'm ready for some good news. Sure. Is there, we, we celebrated, uh, earth day last week, um, in light of that, how how's America doing in terms of reductions in air pollution from lead smog, carbon monoxide and, and the like, Speaker 1 00:06:32 Well, thanks. And there is a lot of positive news, and I remember the first earth day. Um, and if I can just add one little point here about Texas and that just before we get back to, so I don't forget this. What is going is clear now as well, is that in the aftermath of, of last year's blackouts, consumers are taking, going to take a big hit. So we've seen electric rates throughout the state now being increased. And some of the cooperatives that, uh, took big losses are securitizing the debt, uh, Rayburn country electric, uh, securitized 900 million in losses. Uh, that may be just the beginning of that, but, uh, and, and rate payers are gonna pay the cost because poop rolls downhill in plumbing and in electric grids. So, uh, that's the, this one last point on Texas, but as far as air quality in particular, in, in America, the, the trends here are very positive. I just look this up, uh, uh, on the EPA website, you can [email protected] that, um, since 1990 carbon monoxide in the us has down 73% led down 86 nitrogen dioxide down 61% nitrogen dioxide down 54% ozone particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, effectively. All of these are made massive declines, uh, in the matter of sulfur dioxide, 91% decline. So the, these trends on in terms of criteria, air pollutants are very positive. Speaker 0 00:07:51 Hmm. What's uh, driving the improvements Speaker 1 00:07:53 Well, it's, it's cleaner, uh, cleaner vehicles, obviously, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, um, improvements in and reductions systems, both in vehicles, in industry. Um, all of these things together, uh, are, are, are, are helping clean up the air. And I mean, these are, these are, let's be clear. A lot of this is due to government mandates, but it's been very positive for overall for, uh, the, the air quality throughout the us. Speaker 0 00:08:20 Well, um, speaking of the, the gas that, uh, is going into these new and improved, um, more fuel efficient vehicles, uh, last week, the American petroleum Institute, which represents Exxon Chevron, uh, BP and other major, uh, oil companies endorsed attacks on oil and gas production. What do you make of that? Speaker 1 00:08:46 Well, it it's interesting. I, you know, I haven't really looked at this, um, but it seems to me that this is an effort by the industry to, uh, shield itself, potentially from carbon taxes or some other form of, of, of regulation. And I understand it it's a, an Exxon had endorsed this before of some kind of a carbon tax. And, uh, it's as I see it, it's an effort by the industry to kind of inoculate itself and say, well, we we're for this solution. We put this forward, and this is what we to do now, but let's be clear, you know, what may be good for the majors? And the super majors is not going to be good for the independence and the small producers, because they're, you know, how are they gonna pay this? But the, the, the end result, whether it's the super majors, the independence, this idea of increasing the cost of energy, that's bad for the poor in the middle class, this is a regressive tax. Speaker 1 00:09:37 Let's call it what it is. And, um, I'm, I'm opposed to high cost, energy and expensive energy is the enemy of the poor. And I live in Austin, Texas, and I, I met people here and they say, oh, well, energy's too cheap. Well, these are people that are living very comfortable lives. And, you know, they spend $3 or $5 on a gallon of gas. Doesn't really make a difference to them. But for the tradesmen, for people who I know who I, you know, I've friends with, they're hardworking people. They commute a lot. They commute tens, tens are even a hundred miles a day. Wow. This is a big, this is a big cost for them. And expensive energy is their enemy. They don't wanna pay more at the pump that does nothing for of them. So understand why big oil is making this move. There's a lot of politics behind it, but, um, you know, I'm, I'm for cheap energy. Absolutely because I'm, it's critical to human flourishing. This is high cost. Energy is the enemy of the poor, whether it's liquid fuels, transportation, fuels, electricity, all of that is bad for, for poor and working class people. Speaker 0 00:10:37 So I have a few more questions, but I want to remind our audience. Um, this is a wonderful opportunity to, uh, to ask questions with, as I mentioned, um, someone who knows more about energy and energy policy than anybody I know. And, uh, if you are, uh, frightened and alarmed, I, what, uh, what we've been seeing at the gas pump and, and concerned about, um, these, whether or not the same government, um, agencies that, uh, use the crisis of, of COVID to mandate, um, all kinds of, uh, civil Liberty destroying policies, um, whether they may be using the, uh, climate crisis to do the, the same. So, um, please, uh, submit your questions and, and we'll get to 'em. But last week, um, Robert also, uh, it was a lot going on in the news when it comes to, uh, to energy. Um, president is, Speaker 1 00:11:34 Is, is there ever, oh my gosh, uh, Speaker 0 00:11:37 Biden, um, Biden administration, climate czar, John Kerry told PBS that quote, solar and wind are less expensive than coal or oil or gas. They are just less expensive end. So is that statement true? Um, and if renewables are so inexpensive, why does the Biden administration need a hundred billion dollars to subsidize them? Speaker 1 00:12:10 Well, thank you. I mean, that last question is the key one, isn't it right? That, that these are industries, the solar and wind industries have always been driven by subsidies and they keep making these same claims that are not true. They've never been true. And yet, and now they're being repeated by the, the climate czar for the Biden administration. I, I, I just find it frankly, just, and not just disappointing. It almost disgusting because cuz it's just not the case, this idea that, oh, well, because we don't have fuel costs and we'll use this levelized cost of energy, which is a, a, a, a fiction in terms of measuring the actual cost of delivered electricity. It doesn't account for let's talk about what the key constraints are. The land use problems, which are widespread from coast coast, from Maine to Hawaii even. And I've documented this over 325 communities since 2015 have rejected or restricted wind projects, dozens have rejected or, or restricted solar projects. Speaker 1 00:13:06 So, and this idea that, oh, well it's cheaper. Well, it's only cheaper if you don't count all of these other costs. And, and what we're seeing lately is in fact, the cost of producing new wind turbines has soared. In the last few months, there were been reports about them, the cost of the components up as much as 40%, but this idea, oh, it's cheaper. Well, it doesn't account for the need for backup generation because the wind doesn't always blow, hello, the sun, doesn't always shine that we know for certain, you have to have an existing grid electric grid that has thermal generation that can then step into the breach when the wind fails and the solar doesn't and the sun doesn't shine, which happens all the time. So the maintaining of the existing, what is what the reality is the reality, not the spin. And there is a lot of spin around this issue of cheaper and I've heard it over and over and it makes me triggers the gag reflex honestly, is that, oh, well it just ignores all these other costs and says, oh, well, it's just that, you know, when you just compare the cost of the electricity itself, well, you, you can't do that. Speaker 1 00:14:08 You can't do that and have a reliable electric grid. You have to count all these other costs, including the land cost of transmission, the cost of the backup, the cost of the fuel, all of these things that get ignored, um, in a way that, and including by John Carey that I find just fundamentally wrong. And, and in fact dishonest, Speaker 0 00:14:27 Well, speaking of the Biden administration, um, I'm Speaker 1 00:14:29 Sorry for getting, I get worked up around <laugh> I just I've heard it so many times, Jennifer, and it's just so blatantly false and yet it just keeps being repeated. And John, Kerry's also speaking up saying, oh, well we need more, more subsidies for wind and solar. Why, if these are so cheap, why can't they make it in the marketplace? They've already had 13 extensions of the production tax credit for the wind business, 13 and Charles Grassley himself, who is the father of the production tax credit has said, I never meant this to be permanent and they wanna make it permanent because it's so incredibly lucrative. And these big companies are taking tax subsidies next era energy, which was just prosecuted for killing bald and golden Eagles. They have $4.6 billion in tax credits on their financial statements, 4.6 billion in tax credit carry forwards. It's a massive amount of money. These companies aren't about climate change. They're about subsidy mining. Speaker 0 00:15:21 Um, so speaking of the Biden administration, they, they appear to be giving somewhat mixed signals when it comes to drilling policy. Um, Speaker 1 00:15:30 No kidding. Speaker 0 00:15:32 <laugh> right. Cause they, they promised to, uh, they, they, they promised no new leases on federal lands, right. Um, but of late they've been touting, uh, new leases to bring down gas prices and yet another one of their climate advisors, uh, Gina McCarthy last week, a sure MSNBC viewers, uh, that the administration remains absolutely committed to not moving forward, uh, with drilling on public lands. So what's going on, Speaker 1 00:16:05 You know, Jennifer, I, I can't make heads or tails of it. I mean, the story changes almost every day. Um, here's the reality, they that the Biden administration and the democratic party are worried big time. They are scared weightless because they're looking at the November elections and hoping that gasoline prices are fall because this is a populist issue. And they're very concerned about the November elections and well, they should be because they need a, they need a big reality check and I think voters are ready to give it to them. But then, so what has been the reaction of the Biden administration? It's been trying to straddle the fence, oh, we're for lower prices, but we're not for increased production. Well, you can't have it both ways. And what it was one of the first things that did Biden administration did, of course, was cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. Speaker 1 00:16:51 And not only did they, did they can, I talked to people at TC energy who owned the Keystone project. They dug out of the ground, the piece of pipe that actually straddled the us Canada border so that they can't, they, they can't just go back and, and restart or reconnect it. They may pulled that piece of pipe out of the ground. So, but the, the, the, or reminded the, the, the best description I've heard of the, the Biden administration's energy policy is they have a lot of tactics, but no strategy. I mean, they're doing all this stuff, but there's no in strategy for them. And so you have Biden, not only saying, uh, and Gina McCarthy saying, oh, we're not gonna drill more on public lands or that we're gonna add more leases, but then they extend, you know, I've talked to drillers who have lease is, but they can't get permits. Speaker 1 00:17:35 They can't get the permit to actually drill on the lease. So they're saying, oh, we're gonna lease more land. But if you don't give the permits, they can't drill and further. And this is the part that I find just, I mean, just beyond I, I thought I read it in the onion, but it was that here's Biden going on asking the NACO Les Maduro in Venezuela to produce more oil. Well, Maduro is a thug and a NACO and he's asking them to produce more oil. Hello. And then not only that, he's going to the Iranians, the, the party of Hela asking them to produce more oil. What doing, I mean, really, what are you doing? This makes no sense at all. And forgetting, it's not just about 40 years ago, that the heah bombed the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut and led to the largest loss of life of Marine, us Marines since IO GMA, Helo was in charge of that. That was their job. And yet we're asking the Iranians to produce more oil while we producing oil here. I mean, it sound kind of jingoistic, but I've followed this for a long time. What are you doing, man? I mean, you know, the, we need more domestic production. Domestic production means energy security. That's what Europe is learning now in particular. And so the bind administration, they're just doing all this stuff, but there's no end goal that I can, that I can ascertain that I can anywhere in the whole thing. Speaker 0 00:18:52 Well, I know you're not jingoistic, um, because of, uh, many of the arguments that you advanced in, in your book, gusher of lies. So I'm gonna get to that. But, um, I see even better questions than the ones that I had prepared coming in over the transom here. So, uh, Jamie FOW on Instagram is asking, are we going to see more fuel shortages with some of our refineries being 30 plus years old and no new ones being built? Speaker 1 00:19:21 I'm not so much worried about the age of the refineries, because what we have seen is the number of refineries in the us has, has declined, but the exist sting refineries have expanded. So I don't see that the issue of, of shortages being a result of lack of refining capacity. Um, what I think is clear, and we've already seen some rationing of diesel fuel or at least discussions of rationing of diesel in Europe. Um, I think the, the issue for the us is the, the, the mixture of crudes that those refine can handle. We, our Gulf coast refineries predominantly, uh, our favor heavy sour crude from overseas, because that's how, why, how they were set up. Uh, but I, I think what we're going to see is, is, is significantly higher prices and that the we're gonna see, uh, higher, longer, I guess, would be the, the, the, the quickest way to, to, to put it that we're going to see an extended peer. I think, of higher oil prices because of these issues we've already talked about, about not, uh, uh, not enough domestic production and that, that decrease in domestic production combined with supply issues, supply chain issues around the world for tubular steel products, as well as Russia going offline, uh, for all the reasons we all know, uh, all of these together are gonna contribute to this, uh, the, the, uh, higher prices for both oil and natural gas. Speaker 0 00:20:38 All right, Scott Schiff, uh, is asking, do you think a return to nuclear power is needed for Europe to not be as dependent on Russian energy? Speaker 1 00:20:48 Absolutely. And, um, interviewed Mark Nelson. Who's a, a brilliant, uh, nuclear analyst. And, uh, he's gonna be on the podcast in a few days, but we just talked about this yesterday, the Germans, uh, you know, how do you explain Germany? Theyre gonna continue to close their nuclear plants even after the, the invasion of Ukraine they've decided, oh, no, we're gonna go ahead and go forward with the closure of our three reactors that produce something on the order of 40 tat hours of electricity per year. But the only way to replace that is either with coal or natural gas. Um, the Belgian government has said, we're going to extend the life of our existing reactors, but as far as I can tell, that's not a done deal, but the British, the, the UK Boris has said, they're planning to build eight reactors, France. Uh, Macron has said, they're going to embrace SMRs. I mean, if, I guess the short answer and the shortest answer would be to say, if there, if sanity prevails, if reason prevails Europe will embrace nuclear and they should, and I'm adamantly in favor of nuclear energy. If we're going to be serious about decarbonization, we have to be deadly serious about nuclear. We're not serious about nuclear in the United States, but the Europeans in particular have to get on it and get on it right away. Speaker 0 00:21:56 All right. Um, from YouTube, Patrick Miller is asking Mr. Bryce, given the $66 billion investment in renewable green energy in Texas, what is the actual total cost per kilowat for that type of energy? Speaker 1 00:22:13 Uh, well, that's a good question. I can't answer that it would be measured in kilowat hours, or, I mean, the, the 66 billion was for the capacity that was installed as well as the transmission lines. Um, you know, the, what proponents would argue is that that's bringing down the cost of, to the consumer. Well, in some cases, that's true because they're, they're bidding into the market at prices that are less than the thermal generators, but that's maybe good for a little while, but if you put those thermal generators out of business or you prevent new thermal generation from being built, you make the overall grid more fragile, and that's what we've seen. And so now, you know, Generac sales in Texas are skyrocketing. They're skyrocketing in California. We have a grid that's less reliable because we don't have the amount of thermal backup, the amount of thermal generation that's absolutely needed during times of high demand. So efficiency can help some, but it, it, it, you know, we're not going to C way our, our way out of this. We need to continue building new power plants. Speaker 0 00:23:15 All right. Uh, on Twitter, Anthony Bosco asks, should we be concerned that more L N G export terminals are, uh, decided to build in places like Mexico instead of the United States? Speaker 1 00:23:32 That's interesting. I don't, I don't know whether those, if it's being built in Mexico, I'm not familiar with this, whether that's gonna be fed with an American natural gas, uh, I will say that the, what we're seeing now with the, the surge and G exports from the us, that it's in fact, driving up the price of domestic natural gas, that's clear. And because we're now American natural gas, like American oil is effectively being traded at an international benchmark. Now that we're not quite there yet, right. We still have the Henry hub benchmark for gas in the us. And I haven't looked at it to day. I think it's five or $6, or maybe it's even higher than that. I haven't looked at it in several days, whereas in Europe, it's $32. So if you're in the LNG business, you can buy American gas, even at $7, liquefy it for three, four, $5, ship it across the Atlantic and make a handsome profit. So that's what we're seeing, but it's this, you know, the LNG exporters are arbitraging that differential in price. And, uh, some of 'em are making up. We're gonna make a lot of money doing it. Speaker 0 00:24:29 All right. Tristan egg on YouTube. I think we answered your question on nuclear, but I hate for you to lose your spot. So, um, come up with another question and I'll pitch it to, uh, to Mr. Bryce. Um, okay. Hannah, Speaker 1 00:24:42 I'll just add one point quickly on, on nuclear Jennifer, and is the us, we're building two reactors in the United States, two, two reactors at plant Vogel in Georgia. China is building 46 and the nuclear regulatory commission under the Biden administration in January, poured out an application for a one and a half megawat. This is a small reactor, but proposed by Olo Olo power tossed out, out their application. That was just a few weeks after the Chinese started operating a high temperature, gas reactor, a helium cooled gas reactor in Shong province. China is doing the cutting edge of the cutting edge in nuclear. And we're standing here with our teeth in our mouth. I mean, we're the country that invented nuclear energy. We should be leading in this and we're trailing and not trailing by a little bit. We're trailing by miles and by and with every passing month we're being, you know, with the, the lead of, of China and even Russia is, is increasing on the United States. We're just, you know, this administration is full and you mentioned Gina McCarthy, anti-nuclear people at the top level of this administration. Mm-hmm <affirmative> Speaker 0 00:25:44 All right. Um, from Instagram, Hannah Cummings, uh, is out, is there any truth to oil scarcity it's been talked about for decades, but we seem to keep finding more sources Speaker 1 00:25:56 And that's just, it it's remarkable, isn't it? That the more oil we find, the more oil we find it's, it seems like it's not possible. And, and, but this is one of the things that is so remarkable about the industry, which is that there's the old saw, where do you find oil, where you already found it? And so where is the hottest oil play in the world today? It's the Permian basin in west Texas. It's our, I, I would bet a hundred dollars to anyone right now. There are more, more oil and gas Wells have been drilled within say a hundred mile radius of Midland, Texas than anywhere else in the world. And it's still the hottest oil play in the world. So we, there's no shortage of oil and natural gas where the shortages are occurring. Now is a lack of capital to drill for that oil and gas, as well as a lack of roughneck, rust abouts tool pushers, the people who know how to run the rigs and the sand chiefs and the FRA spreads. Those people are in short supply as is the, some of the materials that they need. As I mentioned, uh, pipe, you know, basic steel, in some cases, all, a lot of these things are, are, are going up in price and that's affecting the ability of drillers in the United States to drill more Wells. Speaker 0 00:27:02 All right. Well, I mentioned I wanted to get, um, back to your, to this book, you, you wrote gusher of lies back in, uh, 2008, and you systematically dismantled the popular concept of energy independence, um, in a way that I hadn't seen done before. I think I had actually mentioned something about an energy independence, uh, to you at the conference and, and you corrected me. Um, so since you've written this book, however, um, America became a net exporter of petroleum products by 2021, us was the world's largest producer. So I'm wondering if, uh, innovations and oil production, as well as, you know, the crisis in Ukraine showing, uh, the downside of being dependent on energy, um, from countries like Russia, has that changed your calculation at all? Speaker 1 00:27:58 No, it hasn't. And, and, you know, and I've, I've looked at that book. I'm proud of that book. I, you know, 20% of the book, I, I debunk the whole corn ethanol scam, but the, the we're still an interdependent country. We, yes, we export a lot of crude, but we import a lot of crude. So on, on net we've are a slight net exporter of crude, uh, of oil products, but it's because we're able to, into bring in a lot of from overseas. So what we've seen in the United States is this massive increase in light sweet crude that's we west Texas intermediate as a light sweet crude, well, but our refiners are not set up to handle that. They're set up to handle the heavy sour crudes from Nigeria, from Aus, uh, from, uh, Saudi Arabia from other countries because they make more money. They can make more product Handl that, that type of crude oil. Speaker 1 00:28:47 So we export one type of crude and import a different type. So we are now just as we were, when I wrote gusher lies 14 years ago, or published it 14 years ago, we're still very much in an interdependent world, and that's gonna be the case for a long time. We are, are we, is it, are we better off by producing more oil and gas here? Absolutely, absolutely. But, but let's not kid ourselves that we're somehow have some, uh, what is it? Autarchy that we, we, you know, we don't need other countries. And, and also just one last point on this, that the idea of independence well, who's dependent on who is the buyer dependent on the seller is the seller dependent on the buyer. We, we are interdependent. I, I gave you a dollar for, for an apple, well, you got my dollar, but I got the apple and I'm hungry. I need an apple. So, you know, the interdependence, this is gonna change. And I think we're gonna see a big shift in supply chains after, particularly after the Russia and invasion of Ukraine. Uh, but we're still going to be very much interdependent when it comes to energy. Um, and in particular liquid, uh, petroleum, Speaker 0 00:29:48 All right, from Instagram, Isaiah Shar asks, abolish the need for federal permits, uh, or the EPA yay or nay. Speaker 1 00:30:00 Well, the federal government has a role and the federal government controls a lot of land and, and resources offshore and on shore. So I'm not opposed to having the federal government own those resources and the, and the getting a royalty from it, because those are, those are our lands. We own them in common as Americans. So someone is, has to be in charge of them, and someone has to collect that royalty check. And so it's worked well for decades. And so I'm not suggesting that the federal government should give those up, but what they need to do is act responsibly and realize that, and, and, and this was the other one was just amazing. I think it was just, uh, uh, the last day or so the Biden administration said we're not going to drill in the, in the, uh, uh, the Naval oil Naval petroleum reserve in, in, in Alaska. Speaker 1 00:30:45 Well, wait a minute, those land were set aside for the purposes of securing American energy. And you're gonna say, oh, we're not going to de we're not gonna allow that it's crazy town. I mean, it, these are our resources. We need to develop them. And we shouldn't be going to the, the, this NACO crook Maduro and asking him to produce more oil. Not that he could because VESA, and Venezuela is in, I mean, the country is in shambles. Uh, and, and, and, and of course we shouldn't be asking the Iranians. They're not our friends. They, you know, the people they ever ran, I think are pro-American, but they're, they, their, their government is, is, uh, crooked. And, and, and anti-American, Speaker 0 00:31:23 So I really want to, um, to get into your, your documentary, uh, juice, how electricity explains the world, um, uh, first maybe just tell us a little bit about what prompted you to, to go on, on the project and just a bit about the scope, because sure. It was amazing how many countries, uh, you visited and how many just different walks of life and were incorporated into the, into the narrative. Speaker 1 00:31:51 Sure. Well, thanks. Well, I I'm really proud of the film and I need to give a shout out to my colleague, Tyson Culver, who directed it and did just a great job in pulling together. We did more than 50 interviews and traveled 60,000 miles and, and he made a beautiful film and I was I'm in a it, and I'm on the I'm on camera, but I wasn't the one who made it, I mean, actually physically put it all together. He did so much credit, you know, tremendous credit to him. Um, but the, the quick backstory is I got in, in 2016, I got a contractor write this book and, uh, from my longtime publisher public affairs. And I, I thought, well, I'm gonna write a book about electricity. Well, why don't I make a documentary at the same time? How hard can it be? Well, <laugh> foolish idiot. Speaker 1 00:32:29 Well, it's hard. It's really hard. Um, and I, I wouldn't do it again, trying to make a, a, write a, write a book, and do a film at the same time. But now that it's done, I'm very proud of 'em and happy that they're out, but the, but the, the impetus for it was very simple. I, I, in, in 2016, a few months before I got the contract from public affairs, I read an article. I believe it was in the New York times about power shortages in Nigeria. And I read the article and I thought, well, what's going on in Nigeria? Because I remembered when I was a kid and I it's 40 years ago or more, I saw a piece on 60 minutes with Morely, safer in Lagos talking about power supply problems in Nigeria. And then I'm reading this article now six years ago and thinking, well, why hasn't anything improved? Speaker 1 00:33:10 Why are some countries like Nigeria, electricity, poor, and others like the Japan and the us electricity rich. And so that was the, that was the question I, I will it to, to try and to answer in the book and in the film. And it's a lot about integrity, about societal integrity, about the countries, having a system of laws and people believing in the system that that's absolutely key. And if you have that, you can attract the capital. And if you have the capital, you can attract the fuel and you can have a grid that works. And if you don't have that integrity, it doesn't work. And so I saw that myself in India, I saw it in Lebanon. I've seen it in Puerto Rico. I mean, you know, where you have weak governments, you have weak electric grids. Speaker 0 00:33:48 Uh, well, you focused, um, part of the documentary on the, um, marijuana industry. Yeah. And, uh, how much energy, uh, it was required as totally surprising to, um, to cultivate marijuana. So, uh, tell us a little bit about that and, and what you kind of hope is the, the takeaway. I mean, other than being kind of an interesting little known fact Speaker 1 00:34:13 Or, or the, or the, to away if, uh, the, to away we make the pun here. Well, uh, um, I'm from Oklahoma. Oklahoma has legalized medical marijuana and the, the electricity demand in some, for some of the cooperatives in rural, Oklahoma has skyrocketed, but, and why is that? Because you can produce a lot more weed using grow lights than you can if you're just growing it outside. Right. And so you have much more control. Uh, you can produce six crops a year doing it indoors, outdoor outdoors, you one, or if you're in California, maybe two. Um, but the power density, the power requirements of these indoor pots is very high. And in some cases, hundreds, or even thousands of Watts per square meter, you're talking about the same kind of power densities that you're looking at inside a data center, like what's operated by Google or apple or Amazon. Speaker 1 00:35:00 So they're enormously energy intensive. Um, and it's an industry that, uh, has tried to reduce the amount of electricity it's that is required, but they depend on these sodium high pressure, sodium lights. And those are the ones that make the pot plants grow the best. And so they've experimented with other L E D lights and lower, uh, higher efficiency lighting, but they're as, as one of the, the pot growers, the black market grower that we interviewed in the film, he said, I think I remember exactly who said the LEDs. They just don't have the punch. You use that word so that they just don't make the plants grow and flower, as well as the high pressure sodium lights, which, uh, require a lot of power. And so, in fact, it's been an issue and for law enforcement where, uh, in, in some cities, particularly in California, there's a lot of, uh, illicit, a lot of, uh, organized crime activity in California growing pot. Um, they'll, they'll track some of these houses down because of their high power bills. Speaker 0 00:35:57 Hm, wow. Speaker 1 00:35:58 Or, or the growers, or the growers will steal the power. And that is very, also very common where they'll bypass the meter, uh, especially Chinese and, and Russian organized crime in California. They will buy a house or rent a house, and then even Jack hammer around the meter and bypass the meter so they can get for re electricity, but they'll be, they'll be found out eventually, or many cases they're discovered because of either high electric bills or, uh, or, or demand in a, in a given neighborhood that's too high for what that neighborhood had been. So, uh, you know, this is one of the ways that they find them, either that, or infrared, uh, infrared or FLIR, uh, overhead photography, they're finding some of these is that way as well. Speaker 0 00:36:39 Um, so that's, that's interesting, uh, people finding ways to siphon off electricity, um, and, uh, that as you talked about before the integrity of the system being, um, so vital, uh, where else did you find that to be in, in the world? Um, maybe the, the worst problem. Speaker 1 00:36:59 Sure. Well, uh, you know, I I'll, I'll preface it by, by repeating what I call the iron law of electricity, which is people, businesses and countries will do whatever they have to do to get the electricity they need. Well, I saw it in India. I saw it in, in Lebanon. I saw it in Puerto Rico. I saw it in, in, in Louisiana last, uh, September where I went and we shot at, after hurricane Ida people, aren't gonna sit in the dark, they're gonna do whatever they have to do to get the electricity they need. So we saw in India, a lot of electricity theft in some areas in electric, in, in India, the amount of electricity that's simply stolen is as high as 50%. Um, in Lebanon, we saw where the, the grid operator EDL is not reliable. So local people will, um, uh, pay the, or, or essentially all Lebanese, who I correct myself effectively. Speaker 1 00:37:44 Everyone who lives in Lebanon pays two electric bills, one to the EDL and the other to the generator mafia. And these are, that's the name for local neighborhood generators who will provide power to their customers when the grid fails and the grid fails all the time. So this is part of the, you know, the way electric grids have developed around the world. And what is clear to me is that that, that people will do what they, what they have to do. They'll pay the generator mafia, they'll buy their own small generator. We saw that in Puerto Rico, we saw it in, in Louisiana. They're not gonna sit in the dark, even if that feeding that gasoline into that generator cost them a lot of money. They'll do it because they need power. Speaker 0 00:38:23 Tell us about what you learned in Iceland. Speaker 1 00:38:26 Well, Iceland is an interesting country. I've been there a couple times. Um, my wife, Lauren and I went there back in 1985, I think, and man has a wreck changed and has though tourism business has skyrocketed, but you know, everyone, uh, loves Iceland. And I understand why, but it's a tiny little island in a, in the middle of the north Atlantic with 300,000 people. And it's famous because they have a zero carbon grid. Well, that's because they have a lot of hydro power and they have great geothermal resources. Well, you don't have that in west Texas. You're not gonna do that. And out Odesa and Andrews county, Texas, because there's not enough water and there's no geothermal. So, uh, you know, Iceland is an amazing place, incredibly beautiful, and the people are very friendly. Um, but it, it is, it's attracted a lot of industry, um, both for, uh, aluminum refining for Silicon, uh, poly Silicon per reduction, uh, because their electricity is so cheap. Um, and so they've attracted industry from all industry from all over the world. Uh, but you know, what has happened in Iceland and their electric grid is not really replicable in other places around the world. Speaker 0 00:39:29 Uh, all right. A few more questions coming in online. Um, Instagram, Frederick Cornell asks a couldn't have Texas's power grid been saved if it was connected to the national grid. Speaker 1 00:39:45 You know, this is one thing that's been brought up a lot and, um, understand why the suggestion is made. But my short answer is it doesn't make any difference. Um, there are a lot of island grids around the world and they work fine, Iceland being an obvious one. Um, I'm not bragging on Texas. I'm not about I'm born and raised in Oklahoma. I've lived in Texas a long time, but I'm not here just saying, oh, I love Texas. And, but, you know, there is an ethos in Texas, we're gonna do it the Texas way. And I get that. But there, even if there were interconnections with, uh, my ISO in, in the north or S P P or, you know, the inter Eastern interconnect, Western interconnect, there's no, no assurance that those states or those grids had any power to spare and further, uh, Meredith Anguin, who I quite admire has written a great book called, uh, shorting the grid, which I usually have right in hand, you know, she made interesting point, which was that if Texas had been interconnected with these other grids, they could have pulled those other grids down because the power demand here was so high. Speaker 1 00:40:44 So this claim that, oh, Texas would've, you know, we would've, you know, wouldn't have had blackouts, had we only been connected to these other grids? Well, they were having the same crisis that Texas was, and that was due to effectively, no wind energy being available and, and massive stress on the gas grid because, and, and part of that stress is due because is due to the fact that we close so much coal fire capacity. So the idea that, oh, there, there would've had a different outcome. Well, maybe, but I think probably not. I don't, I don't, that's not, to me, that's not the key issue. The key issue is about the design of the market that allowed grid to fail. Speaker 0 00:41:21 Um, maybe a stupid question, but tell us a little bit about why Texas, uh, what was the justification or the rationale for Texas wanting to be, um, not connected to the grid? Speaker 1 00:41:34 You know, I don't know that all of that history, Jennifer, I have to admit. Um, what I do know is that the, it was the, you know, I've talked to some friends of mine. And in fact, it was a long time ago when I, my first book was on Iran. It was published 20 years ago. And, and in the writing of that book, I met a great guy named Jim Wal Zel, who lives in Houston. And he said to me, sometime back then he said, this deregulation hasn't really been good for the talking about electricity markets. Hasn't been good for the consumer. Well, it was for a little while when everything was fine, but now we hit a crisis point and we're finding out, no, this wasn't good for the consumer. So the, the, to me, the, the issue of the isolation of ERCOT from the other RTOs, the other regional transmission organiz in the us is not the most interesting part of the story. Speaker 1 00:42:15 It's rather the, the way that Texas decided to deregulate its electricity market and follow the, the mistakes that were made in Britain and Britain did the same thing to deregulate their electricity market and say, oh, we're not going to have an integrated utility. We're gonna have one transmission company and one generator company and the rest of it. Well, this was the Enron model. And what are we finding now? Well, after in the wake of this disaster, the buck doesn't stop anywhere that this deregulated environment led to a market where, oh, well, the market failed. Well, no, the market failed because you didn't set up the market correctly. And there is no one held responsible. And so now I mentioned that a rising electricity prices due to these other factors, securitization, and, and other and other factors. But now we're facing a tsunami of litigation, both for property losses and for loss of life. And ERCOT is one of the named defendants. Well, if ICOT doesn't have sovereign immunity in the courts have already ruled, they don't, well, who's gonna pay for all of this, these losses. It's again, it's going to be the rate payer. Speaker 0 00:43:17 Hmm. All right. Um, from Twitter, Iman FARA asks, what should be the role of a national oil reserve by the administration wants, seems to want to use it to manipulate the market price. Speaker 1 00:43:33 Yeah. You're asking about the strategic petroleum or reserve. And I think this move to tap the, the SPR was just a bad move. I mean, are we seeing some high prices? Yes. But this isn't a crisis. We haven't seen the shutdown of the straits of Hormuz. Uh, the straight of H moves, um, out of the Persian Gulf. Uh, so you know, this, we're not at war. Yes. The Russians are at war and the, when the Ukrainians are at war, but we're not. And, and so this again is the politicization of the energy sector, which in my view is it is remarkable. When you think about other countries like, uh, Venezuela with VESA or, uh, Saudi Arabia with Saudi Aramco or, uh, uh, the, the, in the United Arab Emirates ADOC the ABI national oil company. These are symbols of national pride, these national oil companies in those, in those places here, the, the, the, the super majors in the oil industry in general is just continually demonized by the democratic party. Speaker 1 00:44:28 And I'm not a democratic, I'm not a Republican I'm disgusted, but this, this, this, this continual demonization of a sector that absolutely critical for the American economy. I just don't get it. I mean, I know it's been part of the democratic playbook for a long time, but they don't have an alternative. There is no oil as art Berman has, has put it oil is the economy we, we, we cannot do without oil and these ideas that, oh, we'll just go to somewhere else and do something else. We'll all run drive Teslas. No, we're not. We can't, we can't afford it. We don't have enough copper. We don't have neodymium all these other things. And yet the, the oil and gas industry continues to be scapegoated as somehow they are responsible for these high prices. They're not Speaker 0 00:45:11 All right. So Facebook, Ashley Zan asks, uh, what about, what's the future of energy production? Is there any viability in, uh, TIAL wave energy or is nuclear oil and coal, uh, to go forever? I guess I would add to that, uh, just was at a conference last week, uh, on abundant technologies, accelerating exponential technologies. And one of, uh, the, the speakers was, um, raising funds for a, um, a company that would use the same kind of, um, oil drilling oil, uh, and gas exploration, um, equipment workers expertise to drill way, way, way down to get to geothermal. Speaker 1 00:46:05 Right? Well, the geothermal has some promise, and, but remember, it's a very, still a very expensive technology and you have to have a, a sufficient temperature gradient. In other words, you have to find some really hot water down there, hot rocks to make it worthwhile. Um, so I'm not opposed to geothermal. I just, you know, I I've yet to see it work at scale. Um, but the idea that we're gonna stumble onto some new technology that hasn't been in in it, and John Carey's already said this, well, we need things that haven't been invented yet. Well, you're gonna, you're gonna stake your energy future, the future of our economy on things that haven't been invented yet. And this is one of the fundamental problems that I have Jennifer, when I look at what's going on now. And, and, and I'm clear, I'm a critic of the CR club, the natural resources, defense council, the NGO, industrial complex, all of these groups, these pressure groups, I don't call 'em environmental groups. Speaker 1 00:47:00 They're not environmentalists. They're standing by while next era energy. And these other wind companies are killing our bald and golden Eagles and doing so knowingly. And in fact, I would argue intentionally and should have been indicted, um, under felony violations of the bald and golden Eagle per tech stack. But I digress, but we haven't there. There's nothing new under the sun. We've been looking for alternative energy technologies for decades. The ones we have now are the ones we're going to have. So what do we know? What do we know for certain that works and has a small footprint, a very small environmental footprint doesn't require acres and miles and miles of, of, of, of territory for solar panels and wind turbines. It's nuclear energy. We need to be serious about nuclear. We're serious about reducing our CO2 emissions. We need to be serious about nuclear there. Aren't, there's a, a plethora of different technologies that are been proven to work. We need to get them deployed and commercialized and out into the market and the us should be leading, but I'm afraid we're gonna seed that, that position of leadership to the Canadians, or I don't know, maybe the Europeans French maybe, but, uh, we're, we're just, we're, we're not progressing our nuclear technology sector in the way that we should. Speaker 0 00:48:07 All right. Um, ISTA again, Marcus 1 0 1 asks, should we push for private power companies and transmission networks, or is it better to reform the current system? Speaker 1 00:48:20 Well, what we're seeing, it's a good question. And I think it's exactly the right one to be thinking about now, because let's look at the us grid. We talk, talk about the American grid as though it's one thing. Well, it's not one thing. We have regional transmission organizations like the New York independent system operator. We have ERCOT in Texas. We have Caso in California, uh, the Southwest power pool, Mico, PJM, the ISO new England. We have all these different regional transmission organizations. And then we also have three in 300 different electricity providers in America. So we have 900 co-ops, eight or eight or 900 cooperatives, 2000 publicly owned power entities, including I live in Austin, Austin energy. So it's a very diffused ownership of the, of the grid that we rely on. And remarkably diffused the most diffused ownership of any electric grid of electric grid electric system in the world. Speaker 1 00:49:13 So, but what we're seeing as the grid becomes less reliable. That's a long preface. As we see the grid become less reliable. We're seeing more entities, even individuals buying gen racks that are essentially making their own private grids. So I'm in favor of public power. I'm in favor of public ownership. I cooperatives they're part of the, you know, the, the, the, the living remnants of the new deal. I think these, these assets should in many cases, be owned by the public because they are key to the, to the operation of our economy. But if they're, if the system is failing and the system of governance around it, as failing people are going toed, and they're gonna create their own private micro grid or whatever it is to assure that they have power, because they're not gonna do without Speaker 0 00:49:56 All right from Twitter, um, sky thinks right. Asks with the problem with the problem from resource scarcity, still an issue. Is this making it difficult for energy companies to maintain and meet demand? Speaker 1 00:50:14 Well, sure. Well, let's talk about resource intensity and resource scarcity. And mm-hmm <affirmative> where, where is this hitting the, the, the, the, the energy sector most, most particularly it's electric vehicles in our alternative energy technologies? Yes, there are some rare earth elements Han is used in the refining process, but all of these alternative energy technologies, particularly electric vehicles and offshore and onshore wind turbines are incredibly resource intensive, not just for, not just for land that's part of it or, or ocean territory, but also for, for the electric vehicle, hugely copper intensive, uh, uh, manganese, zinc, spherical, graphite, rare earth elements, offshore wind turbines, uh, the new ones. It will require as much as three tons of rare earth elements. The, the, there was a great report that was published by the department of energy, uh, right at two months ago, looking at the issue of, of permanent magnets, neodymium iron boron, magnets, China controls 92% of the global market for these magnets. Speaker 1 00:51:15 And, and the us could start now and say, well, we're gonna get serious about industrial policy. Well, it won't make a difference for five years, 10 years, maybe 15 years down the road. So when I think about supply chains, and I think about the energy sector, what I'm thinking about and what been, I've been talking about, I haven't written much about it. I haven't had time, but talked about it quite a lot is we're seeding our supply chain in, in the face of a Russia's invasion of Ukraine to the Chinese. I, I just don't understand why this is being acceptable. And, and yet, you know, these the, I mean, why do you think LA Muska so closely to hard to China because that's where he sources the key products that go into his cars. Speaker 0 00:51:53 All right. We've got about seven minutes left. Um, let's, uh, see if we can get to a few of these, uh, last questions and sure. Um, just really impressed, uh, by the way, audience, by the, the, the quality of, of your questions. Yeah. Um, before we close, uh, Robert, just tell us a little bit about where they can find you follow you, um, your podcast, all of that. And of course, uh, as I mentioned, all these books are available on Amazon. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:52:23 Well, first about the books. Thank you. Thank you. Yes. Thank you. Uh, uh, about the books, you don't have to read them. You just have to buy them. So you <laugh>, you don't have to read it. You just have to buy it. And if you buy it on your Kindle, I make a better royalty. So let's keep, let's get that outta the way. Uh, the power hungry podcast. Uh, we release an episode every Tuesday. Sometimes we're releasing more than one episode a week. Having great fun with that. Uh, this week I had Lisa Lenos from wind action on talking about the, the rural backlash to the wind industry. Uh, so, uh, I published those episodes on YouTube, on my YouTube channel, Robert Bryce TV, uh, and the podcast goes out on all the regular audio outlets. I'm also on the [email protected] So I'm, I'm pretty easy to find on the Google, but, uh, um, I, I will add just one thing. Speaker 1 00:53:06 You didn't ask me this, but I love this stuff. I mean, I live, this is my, the, this is my purpose. This is my life, what I do, mm-hmm <affirmative>, and I'm passionate about it because it's so important. And what I, what motivates me is that there's so much misinformation and so much, uh, spin and propaganda that is coming out. And some of it, unfortunately from the administration and, you know, we need, we need physics in math and that's the only, that's what I view as my job is to try and make complica complicated things simple. And so pound the math, pound the physics, and then start over again. So that's, that's basically what I do for the last 10 years of my life. I just, some days just keep repeating myself, but I'm having fun with it. So, uh, anyway, yeah. Enough of the commercial. All right. Speaker 0 00:53:48 Um, okay. So let's maybe do a rapid fire on some of these sure. Um, get to as many of 'em as we can. Facebook James Sinclair. Was there any singular decision that ERCO made, uh, that did Texas in, or was T at fault for multiple issues that led to grid failure? Speaker 1 00:54:07 The, the arguably the worst decision that was made in all of this and ERCOT had to shed load beginning at about 2:00 AM on February 15th, when our lights went out here in Austin for 45 hours, but the biggest, the most problematic decision that was made, and it was, it's not clear why this was made. There still, hasn't been a full explanation why the price of electricity was set at $9,000 a megawat hour, and then was left there for three days. It should not have stayed at that level. It should have been brought back down, but it was set at that and left at that for too long. And that was of all the mistakes were that were made. That was probably the worst one. Speaker 0 00:54:40 All right. Instagram, Gavin, oh nine. Uh, thoughts on E L on Musks, solar powered neighborhood in Austin, have you visited it? Speaker 1 00:54:51 Uh, have not visited it. Um, I've, I've flown over the Gigafactory. I see it, you know, it's out, uh, in the Southeast part of town. Uh, my, my short answer on all of that is that's a very big bet, a, an extraordinarily large bet on a handful of the price of a handful of commodities, lithium cobalt, copper, uh, nickel, uh, spherical, graphite, and, and he's gone very long on all of those commodities. And now they're soaring in price. And in fact, just a few days ago, he tweeted out something saying, we might need Tesla might need to get into the lithium mining and refining business. Well, good luck with that. So, um, uh, the, the supply chains are the key for Tesla and for everybody else. But, um, I, I, if I had any stones, I I'd short Tesla, but I'm not the first one to say that. So I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna short Tesla. <laugh> Speaker 0 00:55:40 All right. Facebook J homey, Vero, Y do environmentalists, praise solar, even though they, they can leap CAD or use up land that could otherwise be used for farming. Speaker 1 00:55:51 You know, this I'm glad you brought that up because, uh, I've documented this. And I think Jennifer, we talked about it before we went on the air. There are 300 and over 325 communities across the country have, have rejected or restricted wind projects in America since 2015, I've documented it all. You can look on my website and, uh, at Robert bryce.com and look a renewable rejection database, the problem with wind and solar is they require too much land, but the, the, the activist community, the climate activist community, they are just they're Gaga over wind and solar. And I, and frankly, some of it is just they're they're on the take. And I say that they, they get money from these companies, these people that are pushing wind and solar. And so that's what I mean. Look at the New York, uh, offshore wind Alliance, look who their members are. Speaker 1 00:56:34 It includes the natural resources defense council in the Sierra club. What are you doing? This is they're putting offshore wind turbines. That plan is to put them in the middle of north Atlantic, right. Whale habitat, a critically endangered Marine Mamal. And you're okay with them putting turbines right in the middle of their habitat. They're not environmental groups, they're activist groups. And they, they, but they they've lost their moral compass when it comes to protection of wildlife and protection of our, our, our, our, our land and waters. I don't get it, but it's the same with solar. It's just because, oh, well, it's renewable. It must be green. Jesse Abell had it right. Solar and wind may be renewable. They are not green. Speaker 0 00:57:12 All right, we'll take this one. Last one, Franco Roman on Instagram resource wars, myth, or potential future, Speaker 1 00:57:22 You know, there have been a number of books that have been written about this, Michael Claire among them. I, you know, it's true that I, I think that, that one of the reasons why we've invaded a, we have invaded Iraq twice was clearly because of the oil issue and, and Saddam's control. There's just no doubt about it. Um, I don't dismiss the idea out of hand, um, and to given Russia's invasion of Ukraine, you know, I think that it is requiring a lot of strategists to rethink what they thought they knew. Um, and Russia, if it is able to hold on to Eastern parts of Ukraine is going to have control over vast resources in Ukraine that, um, uh, they'll be able to, to exploit. So, uh, I, I haven't given that particular issue that, uh, a tremendous amount of thought, but, uh, don't dismiss it out of hand by any means. Speaker 0 00:58:11 All right. Well, Robert, very impressive. <laugh> as, as advertised, uh, the, the breadth of your knowledge, uh, about energy, electricity, um, resources is just breathtaking. And, um, and this was, uh, I learned a lot. Um, so thank you for joining us. Speaker 1 00:58:31 Well, that's very kind, thank you. I'm glad to be invited Speaker 0 00:58:34 And thanks everyone who, uh, who watched us, um, who sent us your spectacular questions. Um, if you enjoyed this video or any of the other work and S that we produce at the out society, please consider supporting us with a tax deductible donation and, um, make sure to also sign up for our newsletter. So you will get, uh, the, you'll be the first to know about our future episodes of the out society ask. So thanks everyone.

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