Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Entergy Corp. donates $100,000 to Tulane Energy Institute

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Entergy Corp. has awarded the Tulane Energy Institute a grant of $100,000. The gift, which Entergy officials presented at a reception in Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II on Nov. 17, will fund energy research and course development within the institute, which spans the Freeman School and Tulane’s School of Sciences and Engineering.

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Louisiana’s oil future not so bleak

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

While drivers nationwide revel in lower gasoline prices, many in Louisiana are anxiously watching the cost of oil fall to its lowest levels in 18 months. In a state whose economy has for more than a half-century been closely linked to the petroleum industry, prosperity has been measured by the barrel, and some fear that as oil goes, so goes Louisiana.

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Partisan politics fuels energy debate

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

America’s energy policy took center stage at a special congressional debate hosted by the Freeman School’s Entergy-Tulane Energy Institute, but despite the organizers’ goal of fostering a constructive dialog between parties, the participants in large part stuck to familiar partisan scripts.

“America is addicted to oil, but instead of developing new energy sources, the Republicans are demanding more drilling,” proclaimed Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich). “We can’t drill our way out of high prices. We need to develop alternative energy sources beyond drilling to reduce energy prices and provide a long-term solution.”

“We depend on oil, gas, coal, wind, hydro and nuclear,” countered Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.). “Which of these is the answer to the energy challenge? All of the above and more. Leave no stone unturned.”

The debate, which took place on July 28 in the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, was part of “Congress Debates,” a series of bipartisan national policy discussions sponsored by the House Democratic Caucus, the House Republican Conference, the Democratic Leadership Council and the Congressional Institute. Joining Stupak and Rehberg in debating the nation’s energy policy were Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), Hilda Solis (D-Calif.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.). The event was moderated by Jeanne Cummings of politico.com.

Throughout the debate, Democrats argued in favor of increasing funding for alternative and renewable energy, cracking down on excessive energy speculation, and improving fuel efficiency standards. The Democrats also voiced strong opposition to lifting the federal ban on offshore oil drilling, noting that 82 percent of the natural gas and 79 percent of the oil in the outer continental shelf is already available to energy companies through existing leases.

“The Democrats are for drilling, but you’ve got to drill responsibly,” Stupak said. “Of about 44 million acres [currently leased], we’re drilling on about 10 million acres. Use it or lose it.”

The Republicans argued for an all-of-the-above, market-driven approach to energy policy including new nuclear plants and tax credits to promote conservation and the development of alternative energy sources, but increasing domestic oil and gas capacity was clearly a priority.

“In the 14 years I’ve been in the House, we’ve cast 24 votes to increase oil and gas capacity in this country, and 85 percent of the time the Democrats vote no,” said Wamp. “The consequences of not having that new oil and gas capacity today are very painful for the people we represent.”

There was one bright spot in all the partisan bickering. When Upton complained that Democrats had voted against an amendment to build the transmission lines necessary to get renewable energies like wind and solar power to the national grid, Inslee invited Upton to become the first Republican cosponsor of his bill to create a national high-capacity grid system to accomplish that goal.

“If there’s not some hidden provision in there, I’ll be on board,” Upton responded. “I’ll be glad to work with you.”

While that pledge may not have been the “minor miracle” that moderator Cummings wryly described it as, it was an encouraging sign that bipartisan solutions to the nation’s energy crisis are at least possible.


Energy firms highlight Burkenroad Conference

Monday, April 28th, 2008

With oil prices hovering around $120 a barrel, it doesn’t take much imagination to guess what the hot ticket was at this year’s Burkenroad Reports Investment Conference.

“Energy stocks were white hot,” says Peter Ricchiuti, assistant dean and organizer of the event. “Everybody was interested in energy. There were some presentations where I couldn’t even get into the room.”

Energy companies, banks, offshore service providers, a chicken processor and a manufacturer of products for infants were among the 34 regional small- and mid-cap companies to participate in this year’s conference, an annual event that brings investors together with top management at companies followed by the Freeman School’s Burkenroad Reports equities research program. More than 400 investors attended this year’s program, which took place on April 25 at the New Orleans Sheraton.

According to Ricchiuti, energy companies generating a buzz this year included Hornbeck Offshore Services, Energy Partners, Omni Energy Services, Callon Petroleum and McMoRan Exploration, a pioneer in deeper-pool exploration.

“Everybody else drills for oil at 10,000 to 12,000 feet, but McMoRan believes there’s oil at 35,000 feet,” explains Ricchiuti. “They hit a good-sized well off of Lafayette, and they have a new well just off the mouth of the river that they’re waiting to find the results on. It’s very exciting. There might be a whole other layer of dead dinosaurs under Louisiana.”

Burkenroad Reports Investment ConferenceBank stocks – including Teche Holdings, Iberia Bank and First M&F Corp. – also had an interesting story to tell. “People are running away from banks because of what happened to Citigroup, but these guys have little or no subprime lending, they were not involved in those really complicated derivative securities that blew up, and the housing market here is completely different from the rest of the country,” Ricchiuti says. “With the Fed having lowered interest rates so much, they’re in a better position to make money on loans. There just seems to be a real misperception about these stocks and these companies, and it’s probably an opportunity for investors.”

Despite the market’s poor performance in the wake of the subprime mortgage bust, local stocks have actually done relatively well. The S&P 500 is down 5 percent since January, but the Burkenroad Fund, a mutual fund that invests in many of the stocks followed by Burkenroad Reports, is up 5 percent. “I think people are starting to realize this part of the country is a good place to hide in a downturn,” Ricchiuti says. “We’re big in oil and gas, the weakness of the dollar has created a huge surge in exports coming through the port, and we’re just starting to get all this insurance money. Whereas the rest of the country has come to a screeching halt in housing, there’s still so much to do here.”

Burkenroad Reports was founded in 1993 to give students practical experience as research analysts while at the same time highlighting Louisiana companies often overlooked by Wall Street. Today, the program has grown to include 200 student analysts covering more than 40 small- and mid-cap “stocks under rocks” in six states.



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