It seems that the natural gas market continues to defy all sorts of rational logic. Yesterday the storage change estimates were between withdrawals of 231 bcf and 241bcf with the actual number of 233 bcf, only 41 bcf away from the highest draw on record, was released and the natural gas market fell 10 cents in the March exchange contract. One could make the argument that the total amount in storage is still very high for this time of year and estimates for the next 2 weeks are very low withdrawal amounts due to the weather. It seems as though the market is coming to terms with the supply and demand dynamics and trying to trade intelligently around it. The one saving grace yesterday is that even though the market fell 10 cents very quickly, it was not able to break down below the floor on the technical charts in the $3.80 to $3.83 range. Today’s movement is anybodies guess as we head into the three day weekend celebrating our President’s. The natural gas market is definitely due for a bounce since the market has dropped for almost a month but as the price action indicates the folks that want to continue to sell this market lower (bears) are not done yet. The 6 to 15 weather forecast is closer to normal temperatures than previously thought but the Southeast is still predicted to experience above average temperatures.
On the renewable front, the following wind debates remind me of the California electricity situation at the turn of the century with California not wanting any power plants in it’s state but wanting to import energy from neighboring states and we all know how that turned out. Now, the debates continue on the wind issue as it becomes the forefront of many communities across the United States. The Columbia Law School has put its name on a model ordinance for wind turbine zoning, but local critics of wind power development say it isn't restrictive enough. The Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School released the draft ordinance Tuesday. "Certainly in New York state, wind power is the most frequently mentioned new source of renewable energy," said Michael B. Gerrard, the center's director and the Andrew Sabin professor of professional practice. "So a local ordinance seemed to be very appropriate. The overall effort is to help local entities adopt rational, legal structures for structures aiming to address climate change. We're hoping to save time and effort by doing some of the spade work for them." The ordinance includes rules for commercial wind energy facilities on permits, approvals, oversight and operations. It is designed for municipalities in New York, but could be modified for use in other states. The center will issue a revised version after receiving comments on this draft. But locals who have worked for protective wind power ordinances here don't think the law will stand up to scrutiny. Patricia A. Booras-Miller, LaFargeville, a member of the Environmentally Concerned Citizens Organization of Jefferson County, called the law "outdated." "Townships have become more intelligent with wind development," she said. "This is something to try to come in and try and pacify them by using the name of Columbia Law School."
Continuing on the wind front this morning, the Obama administration's guidelines to help wind-energy developers identify sites that pose the least risks to birds and wildlife will delay projects and cost jobs, the American Wind Energy Association said Tuesday. The Interior Department proposal is aimed at protecting golden eagles from flying into spinning turbines, which the agency said are a threat to birds as the industry expands. Collisions are a major source of mortality in regions of the American West, according to a department fact sheet. The trade group for producers such as Arlington, Va.-based AES Corp. and Dusseldorf, Germany-based E.On AG said the siting proposal may delay projects for as long as three years, increase costs and force operators to shut turbines at certain times of the year. The agency plan will have a "serious impact on the ability for our industry to develop," Denise Bode, CEO of the Washington, D.C. - based trade group, told reporters. Protecting the golden eagle may prevent 34,000 megawatts of development and $68 billion in investment, according to the group. Developers are being urged to follow the guidelines as a way to reduce legal risks if a golden eagle, which has been protected by law since 1962, or other wildlife dies by flying into a turbine blade, according to the Interior Department. The wind-energy industry is expanding as the U.S. seeks to lower pollution and create clean-energy jobs through renewable energy standards and tax policies. Wind producers had capacity to generate 2,200 megawatts of electricity in 1999. By the end of 2009, the industry expanded to more than 34,000 megawatts.