Department: Editor's Notebook

Guest Editorial: New York City Housing not Feeling the Heat

March 2018, Vol. 245, No. 3

The finger-pointing among government officials began quickly when thousands of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents were literally left in the cold as the temperature dropped to record lows. So far, unsurprisingly, no one is taking the blame for the unacceptable state of public housing heating infrastructure, which failed in dozens of buildings. Yet resident leaders have been calling for upgrades for years, warning that exactly what did happen would happen. But NYCHA residents don’t need a culprit, they need action. And while the heating crisis prompted new promises from elected officials for new […]

Pipeline Companies Care About Safety, Too

February 2018, Vol. 245, No. 2

According to the EIA, there are more than 200 natural gas pipeline systems in the United States. Within these systems are more than 300,000 miles of interstate and intrastate transmission pipelines, along with another 2.1 million miles of distribution pipelines. These numbers increase every year along with the age of previously installed pipelines. Emotionally charged protesters, media,  state and government officials are quick to respond when an incident occurs. Take away TransCanada’s recent spill on the highly publicized Keystone XL project, the last really big newsmaker was PG&E’s 2010 San Bruno, CA rupture. According to […]

Replacing a Legend is Never Easy, but I’m up for the Challenge

January 2018, Vol. 245, No. 1

Historically there have been some great feats of longevity and everyone has their favorites. Most deal with sports or at least the ones that can be recounted easily. Today I find myself tasked with replacing a Ripkenesque-type icon in the publishing world. That’s right, after 22 years as editor of Pipeline & Gas Journal, Jeff Share is retiring, stepping down, moving on, seeking greener pastures, oh you get the idea. Regardless of how you look at it, Jeff’s departure comes at a time when P&GJ reigns as the unquestioned #1 oil and natural gas pipeline […]

Time to Say Thanks and Goodbye

December 2017, Vol. 244, No. 12

I’ve often thought what I’d say in a farewell column, which this is because I’m retiring along with my wife, Janet. This process began three years ago when her company moved to The Woodlands, creating a 40-mile trip each way. Janet’s aching knees soon cried out for relief so last year we decided to retire at the end of 2017. We first met in 2002, soon became a couple and in 2009 got married in the Poconos. Why did we wait so long? If you know me, you know the answer. My good friend Ray […]

Pipeline Protesters’ Motives Aren’t as Environmentally Pure as You Think

November 2017, Vol. 244, No. 11

This just in: U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled Oct. 12 that Dakota Access Pipeline can continue operating while the federal government reviews its environmental impact. He declined to vacate a previous permit even though in June he ordered a new study, ruling that the Army Corps of Engineers had not adequately reviewed the project before it approved the required construction permits. In his latest ruling, reported by AP, Boasberg said deficiencies in the original review “are not fundamental or incurable flaws” and that the Corps has such a “significant possibility of justifying its prior determinations” […]

Hurricane Harvey Rocks Houston

October 2017, Vol. 244, No. 10

“The worst thing about this is that you know people are going to die.” Mid-afternoon on Aug. 25 and I was talking to our managing editor Mike Reed as we prepared to go home. Hurricane Harvey was approaching Houston. Everyone’s nerves were on edge. We knew we were going to get hit and hit hard, though being in a metro area of 10,000 square miles, you’re never sure where a storm will cause the most havoc. But the warnings were coming fast and furious from local officials and weather forecasters who did everything but tell […]

Opposition to Pipeline Construction Projects Nothing New

September 2017, Vol. 244, No. 9

Isn’t it interesting that no matter how much changes in the our industry, certain things are designed to never change. One of the first major conferences I covered was the 13th Annual Arthur Andersen Oil & Gas Symposium held in Houston in December 1992. Arthur Andersen held one of the most influential energy conferences until the Justice Department put the Big 6 accounting firm out of business in 2002 in the aftermath of the Enron scandal. At this symposium, Gene Pokorny, chairman of Cambridge Reports/Research International, addressed Great Expectations: American Views about Energy, the Environment […]

No Surprise that Keystone XL’s in Jeopardy

August 2017, Vol. 244, No. 8

President Trump loves whining about “fake news” but he unwittingly gave our industry the biggest fake news story of the year in March when he grandly signed off on the Keystone XL pipeline project. That was a nice photo taken at the White House at which TransCanada CEO Russ Girling was in attendance. Girling may have been smiling on the outside, but I wonder if that masked how he really felt. Before you can build a pipeline, you have to go through this process called an open season in which your would-be customers – the […]

Russia Seeks to Stop America’s Booming Energy Industry

July 2017, Vol. 244, No. 7

The next time Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits President Putin in the Kremlin, he should ask his former buddy something that’s bothered me for years: what are the Russians up to in attempting to sabotage our energy industry? First, let’s understand that energy has always been used as a political tool, even by Washington. During the mid-1980s, at the request of President Reagan, the Saudis ramped up their oil production to over 10 million barrels per day, causing the price to crash to below $10. The singular goal was to wreck the already tottering […]

The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same

June 2017, Vol. 244, No. 6

I’m staring at the bare walls of my office, bereft of my autographed photos of Mickey Mantle, Muhammad Ali, Simon & Garfunkel, Ronald & Nancy Reagan, Al Capone, and my most treasured piece, a personally signed photo of Jennifer Aniston. We’re getting ready for the Big Move. As you know, Ollie Klinger sold the company along with its rich legacy to Gulf Publishing Co. Oildom was a family-owned New Jersey-based energy publishing company begun by his Ollie’s grandfather in 1908. Through the years the company largely focused on pipeline construction until Ollie III bought Pipeline […]

America Needs Tough Pipeline Regulations

April 2017, Vol. 244, No. 4

Ray Galvin wouldn’t be too pleased with what’s been going on in Washington, D.C. as it relates to the environment. Ray was president of Chevron U.S.A. Production Company when I interviewed him in November 1994 for my book, The Oil Makers. He was a brilliant, thoughtful man who had worked his way into a top position with the widely respected oil petroleum company. In fact, with a little more support from his bosses, he may have been the one who unlocked the hidden mysteries of fracking, writes Bryan Burrough in his excellent book, The Frackers. […]

The Oil and Gas Industry Lost a Good One

February 2017, Vol. 244, No. 2

Getting older we tend to wander to the obituary page to see who passed away that we have known. As time moves forward, there is a greater chance of making that sad connection. It happened last month when I read of the Jan. 12 death of Glenn H. McCarthy Jr., son of the legendary wildcatter/hotelier and a pretty good oilman in his own right. Glenn was 78. I had not seen him since I interviewed him in 1996 to work on a book of his late father, which never materialized. McCarthy was one of the […]

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