Robert Zubrin—whom I’ve interviewed for the Objective Standard—runs Pioneer Energy out of Lakewood, Colorado. The Denver Postdescribes the “Mobile Alkane Gas Separator” Zubrin’s company is developing: “The unit captures the waste byproduct of drilling” and turns it into salable natural gas. Zubrin told the Post: “This is a significant step forward and a significant resource for America.” Soon “the first MAGS unit will be sent to North Dakota for full field operations,” the Post reports.
I really hope this pans out, not only so that Zubrin and his crew earn spectacular amounts of wealth, but so that I and millions of other people around the world can have access to the energy he hopes to provide.
People living in the world’s poorest regions “desperately need cheap sources of energy now to fuel the economic growth that lifts families out of poverty. They can’t afford today’s expensive clean energy solutions, and we can’t expect them wait for the technology to get cheaper,” Bill Gates said recently. Alex Epstein discusses Gates’s remarks and their context in a recent article for Forbes. Epstein discusses the issue at length and summarizes his own view: “Life has gotten much better in poor countries with massively increased fossil fuel use.”
Gates also believes that “we” (by which I suppose he means government) should invest in research to “make fossil fuels cleaner and make clean energy cheaper than any fossil fuel.” I oppose government forcibly seizing wealth for the purpose, but obviously private R&D can be great. Gates himself is funding research into nuclear energy.
Speaking at last month’s Snowcon, Howard Roerig explained the process of hydraulic fracturing. The point I found most interesting was how drillers found a way to drill horizontally, slowly bending away from a vertical hole.
The sources for Roerig’s slides may be found on the YouTube page.