Mark J. Perry from the American Enterprise Institute joins us to discuss the phenomenal impact of the US Shale Oil Revolution on the economy, and its testament to American free enterprise, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship.
If anybody pitches you a custom site coded from scratch, just slap them upside the head. – @JamesHahnII (Click to Tweet)
(Texas is) a shining star of the great American energy boom. – @Mark_J_Perry (Click to Tweet)
Everybody is making more than the minimum wage when you have a robust expanding economy. – @Mark_J_Perry (Click to Tweet)
We had about a million barrel per day increase between 2012 and 2013. – @Mark_J_Perry (Click to Tweet)
[Free eBook] The Top 5 Marketing Mistakes Oil & Gas Operators Make — And How to Avoid Them
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Mark J. Perry’s Carpe Diem Blog
Mark J. Perry on Twitter
American Enterprise Institute
Renee Mitchell, Oilfield Photographer
Renee Mitchell on Twitter
Americans for Prosperity
Competitive Enterprise Institute
**TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL TRANSCRIPT OF THIS INTERVIEW, CLICK THE “PRINT/PDF” BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST AT TRIBEROCKET.COM**
James Hahn II: Welcome, ladies and gentlemen to The Oil and Gas Digital Marketing Podcast! I am your host, James Hahn II of TribeRocket.com and this is THE podcast for marketers in oil and gas and B2B marketers across the globe.
And it is hard to believe — Yes! Here we are: one, two, three, number four already. And we have a fantastic interview with Mr. Mark J. Perry from the American Enterprise Institute lined up for you.
But before we get into that, we’re kicking things off a little bit differently this week. We have a bit of a new format because I have noticed in listening back to the first few episodes, we don’t always dig into the digital marketing aspect of things. Even though this is called The Oil and Gas Digital Marketing Podcast.
And so, what I wanted to do is I wanted to add a new segment and switch things up a little bit so that I can make sure that I’m delivering something of value to you in terms of marketing each and every week.
It’s not a slight against any of the conversations we have had. Every one of us is in the oil bidness, and if we didn’t love the oil bidness we wouldn’t be in it no more. So we love talking oil and gas. But, given the name of the podcast it just makes sense that. It seemed to make sense to me anyway, and y’all can chime in on the blog, let me know how you feel about this. But I want to make sure I’m delivering something of value to you that can help you move your business forward when it comes to digital marketing.
And so, we are going to introduce a new segment that we call the Pay Zone Power Move. Let’s get into it!
Pay Zone Power Move
Alright, the Pay Zone Power Move is going to be a digital marketing tactic, strategy, or tool that you can use in your business today to move the needle.
Today, I want to talk about WordPress. You may have heard that word before. If you’ve never built a website, you may have not heard that word before. But, WordPress is essentially a website platform, I guess you could say. Unbelievably enough, it powers one in six websites on the internet. And I think I read that there’s over 600 million.
So, it’s an insane marketshare that they have. And the reason is because it’s completely open source. So they have developers — they, it’s just a huge community of geeks. I guess more nerds. Well, I’m a geek — I don’t know. At any rate, there’s people always improving the platform, making new plugins, making it simpler, making it easier to use, and it just gets better and better and better.
The reason I wanted to talk about that is because I’ve had one too many conversations, and one just came up in the last couple days, where a friend, a person I’m speaking with told me that they spent six-figures on a website. I went and looked at this website. He told me they had to farm out some of the work because they couldn’t figure out how to do (some things). I looked at this, I signed into the portal and said, “I could duplicate this with a WordPress plugin in the next 15 minutes if you give me an excel file.”
That’s the beauty of WordPress. It does whatever you want it to do because there’s hundreds of thousands, if not millions of developers out there that are making they system better and better, and always adding new things. It’s a Swiss Army Knife of websites. Of website platforms, I guess you could say. So, whatever you have in your head as far as design, as far as functionality, as far as architecture, there is something out there in the WordPress world that can do that out the gates, often times for free. And some of the plugins that you have to purchase are most of the time less than $100.
So, if anybody pitches you — this is the best advice I can give you — if anybody pitches you a custom built website from scratch, coded from scratch, just slap them upside the head. Give them my phone number and I’ll them a good talking to for you. Because there is no reason today that you should be reinventing the wheel and paying for a custom-built website.
I mean, there are certain circumstances where if you want something that is just, nobody’s done it before and you’re blowing the doors off the thing, and it’s going to be really complex and really complicated. There are certain circumstances where, yeah, I could see how a custom-built website is going to make sense. But, for the most part, they don’t make sense. If anything, it’s just a developer or a developing company that wants to run up that tab on you for … I shouldn’t say for no good reason, of course they want to have a profitable company and that’s why they’re doing that.
So, there’s a few different things you can do on WordPress. Later we’ll get into different themes. We can get into plugins. We can get into all of these different things. But, the one thing I wanted to drive home before we jumped into this interview is just … You do not need to pay an arm and a leg to get a custom built website done for you. If you have someone. For the most part, almost 100% of the websites I’ve seen in our industry do not need to be custom built. They could very easily be switched over to WordPress, which is going to give you all kinds of search engine optimization and other things that we’ll get into later — benefits.
So, don’t want to go into this too long because I want to jump into this interview, which is fantastic with Mark J. Perry. But, wanted to kick things off. I hope you’ve enjoyed this initial Payzone Power Move.
Let me know in the comments on the blog. Let me know what you would like to know about. If you have any questions, chime in. I’m happy to answer them. Like I said, hope you like the new format. And as of right now. Or, how about right now let’s go ahead and transfer. Transfer? Transition over to that interview with Mr. Mark J. Perry.
Mark J. Perry Interview
James Hahn II: Joining me on the program today is Dr. Mark J. Perry. He is a full professor of Economics in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan where he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Economics and Finance since 1996. Starting in the fall of 2009, Perry has also held a joint appointment as a scholar at The American Enterprise Institute for public policy research in Washington, D.C. Perry earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the George Mason University and, in addition, has an MBA degree in Finance from the University of Minnesota.
Professor Perry has been best known in recent years as the creator and editor of one of the nation’s most popular economics blogs, Carpe Diem. Professor Perry has written on a daily basis since the fall of 2006 to share his thoughts, opinions and expertise on economic issues with a strong emphasis on displaying economic data in a visually appealing way using graphs, charts and tables. Carpe Diem has captured a growing international readership and more than 10 million people have visited the Carpe Diem blog to read to more than 11,000 entries posted during the last seven years.
And now you’re making me look like a slouch. Dr. Mark J. Perry, thank you very much for joining us on the Oil & Gas Digital Marketing Podcast.
Mark J. Perry: Yeah. Hi, James. Good. Glad to be here.
James Hahn II: Yeah. It’s really a pleasure to have you on and honestly an honor. I have followed you ever since I got involved in oil and gas, and I’ve always been impressed by the way that you get the truth out there about the benefits to the economy of what oil and gas brings to the table.
Tell me a little bit about the American Enterprise Institute and what you all do over there.
Mark J. Perry: Yeah. The American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. has been around now for about 75 years. It was started in the late 1930s under kind of a wave of government intervention in the economy.
And so there were some private business people that saw that it would be important to have some like a think tank or a research center that would help to promote the principles of the free market system and promote entrepreneurship and liberty and freedom and limited government.
So for the last 75 years, through private donations, the American Enterprise Institute has been promoting the American free enterprise system and limited government and entrepreneurship. So there are about 60 or 70 scholars and fellows here that work on a full-time basis on a number of different areas including economics, healthcare policy, tax policy, education, foreign affairs and foreign defense. So there are people that are writing books and scholarly articles and writing on the website and on The American.com and on the Enterprise, or now it’s called the AEIdeas Blog.
So I’m a full-time blogger here and also with a half-appointment at University of Michigan in Flint. So my blog that I started about seven years ago is now incorporated as part of the AEI website for the blog, the blogs at AEI. So I still got my own Carpe Diem blog, but now it’s hosted by American Enterprise Institute. So I blog every day about the economy and what’s going on in the financial markets, and then I’ve been following the energy story for a number of years now.
Like you mentioned, it’s I think an underappreciated and underreported part of the US economy, and so I’ve been trying to promote the importance of the energy sector because I think looking back over last year, the last couple of years, it’s the biggest economic story in the last couple of years. And then in some ways, what’s been happening could be the biggest economic or biggest energy story in at least a generation and maybe in the history of the United States.
So I’ve used data and graphical representation of data, and so that’s one thing about the energy sector is that through the Department of Energy and the Energy Information Administration, they have tons of data on a daily basis almost on US energy production, US energy consumption, US energy prices, state-by-state oil production, natural gas. So it has appealed to me because I didn’t have a lot of background in energy economics, but I like the fact that there is so much great high-frequency data that’s available all the time. So that makes it easy to then graph out and chart out what’s been going on in the US energy sector.
So, again, we’re right in the middle of the great American energy boom in the US shale revolution, and so that’s been one of my areas of research and reporting on the blog is just to talk about this great American energy boom and what’s been happening with shale oil and shale gas as you know a lot about.
James Hahn II: That’s interesting that you say that about 75 years ago a wave of government intervention, I’m trying to do the math. Was that the ’50s? The ’40s?
Mark J. Perry: Well it would have been, I think in 2013 was the American Enterprise Institute’s 75th anniversary, so it would have started in the late ’30s. Let’s say I think around 1938 is when it first started and had a slightly different name in the beginning. But it was in the late ’30s when, again, a small group of business people saw the direction turning against the free enterprise system and away from free enterprise towards government programs, with FDR and social security, the minimum wage, and all of the government programs that got passed during the 1930s.
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So they, at that time, thought it was important to have some organization promoting the original founding principles of the US economy which were the importance of the free enterprise system and the importance of limited government, liberty and freedom. So that’s been the mission of the American Enterprise Institute over the last 75 years starting in around 1938, I think.
James Hahn II: I thought you might say that about FDR. I’ve been doing a lot of research and studying about that. You can only imagine the sort of government intervention that was happening back then. Those guys that started the American Enterprise Institute, it seems that they’d be spinning in their graves right now if they knew the amount of intervention that’s happening at mass scale across our economy right now.
Mark J. Perry: Well yeah. I mean I’m sure they would be alarmed at the trend over the last 75 years, although I’m sure that they would be very proud of the role that the American Enterprise Institute has been playing with just trying to promote the free enterprise system and the principles of liberty and limited government, and how they, the American Enterprise Institute, has been able to expand and flourish over these years at the same time that there’s been this kind of expansion of government intervention in the economy.
And then, of course, it’s not just the American Enterprise Institute. There’s a lot of good think tanks, including the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Manhattan Institute, the whole network of policy groups at the national level and a lot at the state level, trying to make sure that we maintain an ongoing research agenda to really point out the importance of the free enterprise system and free markets and the miracle of the market place, and really make sure that people don’t forget that there are a lot of scholarly types of people that are really advocating limited government, liberty, and more free enterprise and less government.
James Hahn II: How does that engagement look? We have talked about the blog, but at the local level, at the state, federal level, are y’all engaging the constituents or is it a grassroots thing? Is it both leadership and grassroots? What does that look like?
Mark J. Perry Yeah, generally, the American Enterprise Institute doesn’t really get involved with political advocacy and as an institution doesn’t really take any specific positions on any policy that might be – I don’t know – like for immigration or for healthcare. So there’s no organizational philosophy. It’s just a collection of free market-type scholars who are free to work on whatever projects that they’re working on.
So really, one way that they sometimes describe the institution is that it’s a university without students in the sense that people with Ph.D.s and law degrees and advanced graduate degrees who are working on research just like they would if they were a full-time professor, but then they don’t have the teaching responsibilities. But it’s the same kind of atmosphere of just scholars working on scholarly-type work that is often hopefully will promote the free enterprise system that people are publishing articles and scholarly journals and the newspapers.
So it’s a wide range of types of research output that come out of here but without really getting involved with grassroots political advocacy, and there are other organizations like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity. They’re much more involved with organizing rallies and voters and things like that. So that’s a little different focus than the American Enterprise Institute.
James Hahn II: But that just gives you the freedom, like you said, to work on what you feel is important at the time.
Mark J. Perry: Yeah. There’s a lot of scholars here to testify on a regular basis. I’ve done a few testimonies on Capitol Hill before either House Committees or Senate Committees.
So based on the research that goes on here, then often the scholars are get called upon to testify when there is legislation that’s pending or when they are proposing to change legislation around key issues like healthcare and tax policy and issues like that that are important. Then, the scholars here will often provide their insight and expertise and testify before Congressional Committees, again, generally promoting a market approach instead of a government intervention approach.
James Hahn II: The best approach out there. And you sent over a recent presentation that you made, speaking of expertise and insight, called “Navigating the US Economic Recovery: A Year in Review and a Look Ahead.” Can you just give us a little overview on what this presentation is about? There are a lot of stunning graphs in here as you usually put together. So just walk us through this and tell us a little bit about what the American shale revolution is doing for the economy.
Mark J. Perry: Yeah. Well, this is about a month ago so some of these slides are just slightly about a month out-of-date because again, like I mentioned, new energy information and data come out all the time. But I made a presentation in Michigan to a group of business owners and investors and just looked back over the last year and then did a look ahead at what’s coming up in the economy.
So when I reviewed the economy last year I pointed out that, in my opinion, the biggest economic story of the year in 2013 was the amazing American energy revolution, the shale revolution, that is really transforming the energy landscape not just here, but it’s having a global impact. Really, the turnaround happened about five or six years ago, let’s say in 2008 or 2009, which was really when the “petropreneurs” as they are sometimes called finally cracked the shale code and were able to access these oceans of shale oil and shale gas miles below the earth’s surface. They knew for decades that that shale oil and shale gas were there. They just didn’t know what the right combination of technologies were to extract that oil and gas, and they finally figured it out starting around five or six years ago. And then started accessing shale oil in places like Texas and North Dakota, and shale gas in places like Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Then we’ve just had this amazing turnaround because US energy production peaked back in the ’70s, maybe early ’70s I think for oil, and then was on a steady gradual decline from conventional sources of oil and gas. That’s why the big major oil companies were off looking around the world for new sources of oil and gas because they had tapped into everything that was known here for conventional oil. So it was really the smaller companies and people like Harold Hamm and George Mitchell that really were the ones that invested decades of time and energy, resources, research and development and investment capital to really figure out how to get access, how to get at this oil and gas that was trapped in shale formations below the surface of the earth.
So finally starting around 2008 or 2009, we just saw this amazing turnaround and it keeps getting better. That’s why I mentioned in the presentation that, and now we know sure now that we have oil data information for 2013, that we have the largest increase in oil production in a single year since the beginning of commercial US oil activity back around 1850 or 1860. So we had about a million barrel per day increase between 2012 and 2013. And so it’s had this amazing transformative and positive effect on the US economy that I think has gone unrecognized. When you think about the timing of the shale revolution that it started around 2008, 2009, that was exactly when the US economy was being crippled by the financial crisis and the housing bubble crashing, the mortgage meltdown, the high unemployment and the decline in manufacturing.
We just had the great recession, had this huge adverse impact on the economy in 2008 and half of 2009, and then right at that time we get this amazing kind of energy-driven economic stimulus that really I think prevented the economy from going into a much worse recession and probably helped speed up the recovery process to get the economy out of recession. So it’s really kind of I think sobering to think of what would have happened without America’s shale revolution in terms of the great recession and then the recovery that has been subpar but at least has been supported I think to a large degree by what’s going on in the energy sector.
So that’s kind of what I was talking to the group about is pointing out I think that the biggest story over the last year, of course, was the energy revolution and then I presented some details of the production increases and so on and the rest of the presentation. We can talk about that if you want.
James Hahn II: Yeah, and I had heard one oilman joked in front of a group of other oilmen that, “Congratulations, we got Obama re-elected.” Not to get too political here, but it seems that this has really supported the slouching economy, and without this revolution in the amount of tax dollars going into the state and federal level, it really would have looked a lot and felt a lot worse than it has.
Mark J. Perry: Well, that’s true. In fact, several people have pointed out that there has probably been no president in recent history or maybe in all of US history that’s been really more hostile towards the oil and gas industry, and there has probably been no president in history who has benefitted more from the oil and gas revolution. So it’s really ironic that the one president who said that fossil fuels were energies of the past and really wanted to promote renewables, that he is the one who has benefitted significantly because, again, as you mentioned, it may have helped in his re-election. Because the economy was doing much better because of the shale revolution than it would have been without that huge energy-driven stimulus. Especially in certain parts of the country, but really an energy-based prosperity that has spread throughout the entire economy in all 50 states.
James Hahn II: There are quite a few graphs that you could speak to here, and I’m just trying to narrow it down. Even the very first one where you say that the US rose to become the world’s number one hydrocarbon-based energy producer in 2013. Growing up I never thought I would ever hear that.
Mark J. Perry: Well, I know because, of course, when you look at that downward trend over a 30-year period or more that our production of conventional oil and gas had been just gradually declining from year-to-year and decade-to-decade. And then, all of a sudden starting around 2005, 2006 in the graph, we had this just amazing turnaround and that was completely unpredicted I think. Ten years ago nobody would have predicted that. Again, it’s important to recognize that it wasn’t part of any planned energy policy, the ones like policymakers trying to make this happen or directing subsidies or low interest or no interest loans or guaranteed loans towards oil and gas companies.
This all happened in the private sector and because of technology developments with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling and seismic imaging, there was really a private sector effort that created this energy revolution. So that’s really, again, it was unplanned. It was not really predicted. But again, we’ve got this relentless pursuit of profits in this country and a climate of entrepreneurship. People know that there are big payoffs if they can generate new technologies that not only make themselves wealthy but benefit the economy.
So I think we had all the right combination of factors here that created the shale revolution here when it wasn’t happening elsewhere and still hasn’t really happened elsewhere. So it’s really a testament I think to the deep pools of ingenuity and entrepreneurship in the United States that we had been discounting. But I think the shale revolution shows how strong the US economy is and how great the environment is here for entrepreneurship.
So then we see this huge turnaround, and the chart we’re talking about is when we have natural gas, which is generally measured in millions of cubic feet, and then we have oil, which is measured in barrels. But then the Energy Information (Agency) does one measure in quadrillion BTUs where then you can look at oil and gas together and then just see this huge turnaround. And when we look at oil and gas together measured in quadrillions of BTUs, that we’re now at an all-time high. And then in terms of global production we’re the world’s number one producer of hydrocarbon-based energy in the form of natural gas and oil, and I guess we could even add in coal as well.
James Hahn II: Right. And then turns into another stunning few slides later where you say the US now has three supergiant oil fields out of only ten ever worldwide. Tell us about that.
Mark J. Perry: Yeah. Well, what they consider to be a supergiant elite oil field is an oil field that produces more than a million barrels a day at its peak production. We have one already in the US, Prudhoe Bay, that I think peaked out at around 1.5 million barrels per day back maybe in the ’60s or ’70s.
But then that was conventional oil and so that eventually diminished over time, but they have identified ten of the supergiant elite oil fields in the world and now three of those are in the United States. And I think a couple of the other ten were in the past and aren’t really current. So now we’ve got the Permian Basin in West Texas centered on Midland and Odessa, Texas, and they went over a million barrels a day in May of 2011. And then, not too far from there in South Central Texas from San Antonio down towards Mexico there is the Eagle Ford, or I guess they pronounce it Eagle Ford in Texas, the Eagle Ford shale basin, and that went over a million barrels a day in May of last year.
And then the Energy Information Administration is predicting that Bakken Oil Field in West North Dakota and then it goes over into Eastern Montana, that that will go over a million barrels a day. It may have gone over in December. There is a couple of months lag to get the production data. But they are estimating that that will be the third supergiant elite oil field in the US, the Bakken which will be producing a million barrels a day if it hasn’t already within the next month or two.
So again, I think that’s just a testament and a reflection of this American energy boom that we now have three supergiant elite oil fields producing a million barrels a day. And then, of course, Texas is our number one oil-producing state. Because of those two supergiant oil fields there along with other oil production state, they now as a separate country would be the ninth largest oil-producing nation in the world. And their oil output has doubled over the last couple of years, or maybe two and a half years. They are now producing something like 36% of all the oil produced in the Unites States. They are a shining star of the great American energy boom is what’s happening in the state of Texas in spreading wealth and prosperity, generating tax revenues for the state, and paying out millions of dollars every week in royalties to the land owners and farmers who are providing the mineral rights to the oil companies. And then just all of the jobs and construction. When you look at building permits in North Dakota or Texas, they are just going crazy with construction of homes and businesses and hotels.
So it goes beyond just the direct jobs in oil and gas extraction. But then it spreads throughout the entire state economies and provides wealth and jobs and prosperity and income and royalty payments for thousands and thousands of people. So, it’s a really exciting trend what’s been happening in Texas.
James Hahn II: All my Texan friends that are listening are going to be very happy that you’ve talked them up very well.
Mark J. Perry: Yeah.
James Hahn II: Yeah. Texas is great. I have said it before, the whole business, the whole oil bidness is the entrepreneur’s dream. I think you are exactly right that this whole shale revolution, coming from the private sector. It hasn’t been legislated. It hasn’t been pushed down from Washington. It’s something that happened. When you give people economic freedom they go out there and they do amazing things and it helps the country.
Mark J. Perry: Well, yeah. It also has been happening almost exclusively on private lands and then some state lands. But it’s not like the federal government under Obama has made all sorts of offshore oil areas available or federal lands available in places like Colorado and Utah. This has really been happening, like we’ve been talking, outside of the beltway influence. And it really has been happening in the private sector with technology developed in private sector, and it’s generally happening on private lands.
So it really is, again, a testament to how much untapped or available skills and talent we have. We have these deep pools of talent and entrepreneurship in the United States when they are not hampered and hobbled by government and government regulation and taxes. So again, I think it really should give us some faith in the market that we’ve had this energy boom developing and emerging out of the private sector and really creating wealth and prosperity the way it always should be created, which is from private people pursuing their own goals and trying to make money and then create wealth for themselves, but then spread wealth to the whole country.
I mean when you just look at the one benefit that you could identify that a lot of these people that developed the shale gas revolution got extremely wealthy, but everybody in the country saves a little bit of money because we almost everybody uses natural gas for either heating or for cooking.
So our energy bills are down quite a bit because of the decrease in natural gas prices and certain calculations depending on how you do it. But you could identify hundreds of billions of dollars of savings for consumers and businesses throughout the whole country who have saved money on their natural gas expense because of the natural and because of the shale gas revolution. So that would just be one example of how it’s not concentrated wealth among a few small group of people. The shale prosperity has really spread throughout the entire economy and created all sorts of jobs and jobs at McDonald’s and jobs for oil engineers and jobs for home builders. So it’s a great story.
James Hahn II: Jobs at McDonald’s that have $2,000 signing bonuses.
Mark J. Perry: Well, yeah. I mean when you look at Williston, North Dakota. I follow the unemployment rate when it’s released every month for Williams County which is where Williston is centered. Their unemployment rate I think the last time I checked was 0.5%, so one half of 1%, which really basically means full employment and really a labor shortage. So when the economy is booming like that, you don’t even need a minimum wage. Everybody is making more than the minimum wage when you have a robust expanding economy. But that just points out that people at all levels of employment from unskilled or low-skilled fast food workers to the petroleum engineers and carpenters and everybody is making money.
There was a report I had on my blog or on Twitter a few days ago about one booming business in North Dakota are the companies that clean the clothes for the oil workers because they get so dirty and filled with oil. So there is a booming business now for the companies that do the cleaning of the oil workers’ clothes and sell them the clothes and sell them work shoes and things like that. That’s just one example.
There is another example of a woman who I follow on Twitter named Renee Mitchell who has a whole business now on oilfield photography. And going out and photographing the oil rigs and oil wells and the oilfields for either promotional materials for the companies or just for people or newspapers that want pictures, magazines. So that’s just another example of one person who has a great job now, or whose business expanded greatly because of the oil boom in the Bakken area.
James Hahn II: So transitioning away from the slides and so forth and looking to the future, what do you see? Because right now we’re operating in a pretty free market area in this regard. It seems that Obama has decided to turn a blind eye because he realizes how much he benefits from it. Do you see regulators getting involved in really slowing things down or what do you see over the next year, two years, three years when it comes to the freedom to keep doing what we’re doing?
Mark J. Perry: Okay. Well, yeah, that’s a good question because it always depends on what’s happening in the private sector. And then, it always depends on what’s happening I guess in Williston, North Dakota, in Midland Texas, in San Antonio and then what’s happening inside the beltway here what the regulators and politicians have in mind.
So I think fortunately there are a lot of really pro-energy legislators from oil states and people who recognize the huge benefits. So I guess in terms of what I know is happening, I don’t know that there is much going on in terms of increased regulatory efforts. But the big issues now I think for public policy as it relates to energy are the issues of exporting natural gas and exporting oil. So because there is so much oil production and natural gas production that oil exports have been banned, in terms of crude oil exports, have been banned since the 1970s during the Arab oil embargo.
So the producers here now aren’t able to export any of their crude oil. They can refine it into products like jet fuel and kerosene and fuel oil and export those, and that’s been a huge booming sector for our exports of energy products. Petroleum, refined petroleum products has doubled over the last five years. And so there are efforts now to lift the ban on crude oil exports to allow US producers to take advantage of selling some of their oil in the world market.
And then, of course, with the natural gas, that’s somewhat restricted and can only be exported with a special permit. They have been awarding a few permits to liquefied natural gas and sell it around the world because one of the slides I had in there was showing that our natural gas is selling at around let’s say $3 or it’s up a little bit now. This was in November, but it was selling at $3 per million BTUs. And it was three times that amount in Europe, and about five times that amount in Asia and South America.
So, of course, there is this huge incentive for our oil gas producers to sell their gas on the world market because they can get four to five times the price in the world market compared here. So that’s been kind of controversial because of course a lot of the chemical companies and manufacturers that use a lot of natural gas would prefer to keep all the natural gas in the country because they’re thinking that the prices will remain lower.
So I guess in terms of regulatory public policy impacts, I guess those are the two big issues right now in Washington is whether or not we would lift the ban on oil exports and/or lift the restrictions on selling natural gas overseas. I think there is some movement in the direction of both of those to possibly move more towards a free market and let the market decide where our energy resources should be bought and sold.
And then, of course, with the Keystone XL pipeline, I guess that’s the other question mark right now. I guess some people were saying that they think that probably it will be approved. So yeah, that’s kind of what’s going on in Washington is Keystone XL and then oil and gas exports. And I don’t know this much about any efforts to impose additional regulations. Because I think the states are doing a pretty good job of regulating at the state level and I think they would like to kind of retain the control all over the regulatory process and not get the federal government involved.
James Hahn II: Well, let’s just hope that all of those things continue to move in the right direction. I am looking down now. I wanted to get into your blogging growth and your Twitter account, but I think the content, if you will, that you have given us over the last 30 minutes demonstrates why you have so many people reading your blog, why you have so many people engaging with you on Twitter.
So just to wrap things up here, if you wanted to send people to a place to find more about what you’re doing at the American Enterprise Institute, where would you send them?
Mark J. Perry: Well yeah, they can find my blog. The URL address is kind of long, but if anybody just goes to Google and searches for Carpe Diem blog, or Mark Perry blog, or even just maybe Carpe Diem, they would be able to find a link to my blog.
And then like we talked about, I’ve tried to provide updated content every day, seven days a week. That’s kind of a challenge because sometimes to get stuff up every day, but I try to have new material up on a daily basis. Lots of graphs and charts can make things visually appealing and easy to understand.
I also use Twitter quite a bit now and send out 10 or 12 tweets every day, and they can find me by I guess doing a search for Mark J. Perry. I try to also get stuff out on Twitter on a regular basis once an hour or something like that. So yeah, between Twitter, which is kind of this micro blogging, and then the Carpe Diem blog, I’m trying to get stuff out every day and all the time for people so that they can follow me on either or both places pretty easily.
James Hahn II: Well, I certainly appreciate your time today and I definitely appreciate all of your efforts in getting the truth about what is happening in the US economy out there.
Mark J. Perry, thank you again for joining us on the Oil & Gas Digital Marketing Podcast. I really appreciate your time.
Mark J. Perry: Yeah, thank you very much, James.
Closing Remarks – Please Subscribe and Give us
5-stars on iTunes!
James Hahn II: This brings us to the end of another Oil and Gas Digital Marketing Podcast. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Mr. Mark J. Perry from there American Enterprise Institute. I know I thoroughly enjoyed talking to him. It’s always great to hear some good news coming out of the ‘Merican economy. And it’s always a bonus when you get to talk about the fact that it came as a result of the free market, and the incredible entrepreneurial spirit that pervades this phenomenal industry in which we are blessed to work — the oil and gas bidness.
That is, once again, another Oil and Gas Digital Marketing Podcast. I have been your host, James Hahn II from TribeRocket.com, you can check me out over there. You can download our free eBook, which is The Top 5 Marketing Mistakes Oil & Gas Operators Make — And How to Avoid Them. If you do download that eBook, we will give you a free 90 minute digital marketing audits where we will get on the phone. Look at your website. Look at your Facebook page, Twitter account. Whatever you’re doing, LinkedIn. Whatever you’re doing, we will look at that audit it, and give you as much free advice as we possibly can in 90 minutes.
Also, great news. I can’t forget about this. We have been accepted, we are in the iTunes store. We are officially legit now. If you go in there and type “oil and gas”, the podcast pops right up. So, if you’re a Mac user or if you use iTunes on a Windows phone or desktop. In any way you interact with iTunes. If that’s how you’re getting this podcast, or if you do have an iPhone, please go subscribe on iTunes.
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Thank you, thank you, thank you again for tuning in for this week’s episode of The Oil & Gas Digital Marketing Podcast. I hope you have a fantastic week. No matter what your function is in the industry, let’s all get on our hustle. Get out there and grind. And, as Mr. J. Paul Getty once said, “Rise early. Work hard. And strike oil.”
Folks, we will talk to you, next week!