March 29

The Energy Question: Episode 92 – Doug Sandridge and Stu


The Energy Question: Episode 92 – Doug Sandridge and Stu

When the transcript becomes available, we will include it here. -Thank you!

David Blackmon [00:00:09] Before we go into our interview today, I wanted to let everyone know we have a new sponsor for our Energy Question podcast. The US Oil and Gas Association or Usoga for short. First established in 1970, Usoga has been an effective and creative voice for the industry for more than a century now. Usoga is dedicated to educating the public, policymakers and legislators at the federal, state and local levels about the value of the domestic oil and natural gas industry. If you’re in the industry and not currently a Usoga member, please consider joining the association as a way of helping it tell your story to the policymakers whose actions impact everything you do each and every day. You can start that process by contacting Usoga through its website us Thanks so much to Usoga for sponsoring the Energy Question podcast. And now on with our show.

Stuart Turley [00:01:06] Hello everybody! Welcome to the Energy News Beat podcast. My name is Stuart Turley and this is also a double header because listeners are also being released out on the energy question with David Blackmon. But we’ve got a special guest. We have new Doug Sandridge. And I mean, he’s not only an oil executive, he’s an executive director for oil and gas executives for nuclear. And I tell you what, I’m energy agnostic to the point that we have to deliver the lowest kilowatt hour to all citizens of the planet with the least amount of impact on the environment. And it’s got to be sustainable without printing money and causing inflation and riots in the street. I’m just kidding on that. No,.

David Blackmon [00:01:52]  Reliable.

Stuart Turley [00:01:53] And reliable and so David is going to go out on YouTube. and welcome. Thank you.

Doug Sandridge [00:01:59] Great to be here. I’ve been excited to hear this.

Stuart Turley [00:02:02] I’ll tell you what’s fun. I got a shirt for our podcast listeners read Not Against the Great Dogs. Thank you for sending this out. Write a great logo on it. And I signed your, petition. Yes, that was liquidation. And David’s also signed it.

Doug Sandridge [00:02:20] Yes. Yes, yes he did. I’ve been trying to get this man over here to sign it, so just get everything. Anyway. Yes, that’s a declaration. We call it the Declaration of Oil and Gas executives in support of nuclear energy.

Stuart Turley [00:02:34] Wow. Yeah, I am. And tell us you went to Germany to protest. Were you out there with the farmers?

Doug Sandridge [00:02:41] No. Just after the nuclear protest. So, you know, I’ve been doing nuclear advocacy for a few years now. I am an oil and gas guy, and I have been my entire career, and I still make my living doing oil and gas. But a few years ago, I started getting into nuclear advocacy, and it started actually, I, I’m going to give Michael Bloomberg the blame for this, but nice. In the 1920, 2019, 20, 2020 election cycle, I was researching all the policy positions of all of the Democrat candidates for president. Now, as you can imagine, some of those candidates didn’t even have an energy policy. And then all of them were incomprehensible. But you can you can forgive Pete Buttigieg for not having a comprehensible energy policy. He was the mayor of the South Ben, Indiana. So but the one that got me all fired up was Michael Bloomberg, because Michael Bloomberg had on his website that said, if you don’t make me president by the end of our second term, we will be 80% renewable electricity in the United States. And my head nearly exploded. Oh, yeah. Because it’s not it’s not that that’s not a desirable goal, right. And but it’s not for lack of money or lack of will. Physically that was not.

Stuart Turley [00:03:58] Physics matter.

Doug Sandridge [00:03:59] And so I started researching all the reasons. This was an idiotic thing for Bloomberg to say at the end of this. And it took months and months, and I ended up developing a program that I call that the, the, the hurdles to net zero carbon emissions. But as a result of that kind of academic experience, I came to the conclusion we are not going to do any serious decarbonization, especially if we want to keep our our grid reliable and affordable. It is not going to happen without a lot more nuclear energy. So that’s how I got started.

Stuart Turley [00:04:33] I love it. And you know what? There’s a difference between, protest or mostly peaceful and our side of the thing, you know? Anyway, that old joke that Germany or the EU just put down that, oh, it’s okay to have nuclear again. And Germany closed theirs down when you were reading the saber. Leaving open. Yes. That’s what happened. Right.

Doug Sandridge [00:04:58] I’m not going to go down that road. How I got into the Germany thing was. So then fast forward a year from 2020. We’re in 2021. And you guys know they closed down the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York, which was a disaster. It was ridiculous. And it’s pure there’s no safety issues. It provided 25% of New York City’s electricity. It provided 50%, I believe, of all the clean energy in New York at the time, it was closed down for purely political reasons. Right. And my again, my head was exploding. And our friend, our mutual friend Robert Bryce. Yes he did. Instead of doing his normal once a week podcast, he did what he called Indian Point Blackout Week. And he did.

Stuart Turley [00:05:40] Like Shark Week for it was nice shark week, I loved it.

Doug Sandridge [00:05:45] And by the time I finished listening to Robert’s four episodes in a row, I was ready to run through a wall to save existing nuclear.

Stuart Turley [00:05:53] I loved it.

Doug Sandridge [00:05:54] It made me mad. And one of the guests that he had on his podcast, it’s a guy named Mark Nelson. I don’t know if you know Mark, but he’s one of the most foremost nuclear advocates in the country. Isn’t that great? And I got to know Mark. And he said, if you want to do something, I will get you involved in the nuclear advocacy. So I went with him to Germany. He said, if you’re serious about this, come with me to Germany and let’s do that. Let’s protest the shutdown of the last nuclear power plant. So I did that and in the end of 2021, and then they closed three of their last six and 20 in December 2021. And then last spring he called again and said, hey, we have shut down the last four in April. And he and his mother and me and my mother went over and I won’t say we protested. We rallied in support of keeping nuclear open.

Stuart Turley [00:06:43] You know what’s even funnier? David and I am. That’s true. Podcasters have been laughing at the fact that, Gretta, was being hauled out from a, fake wind farm protest, coal plant. Excuse me? It was a coal plant. Yeah. And they were all on her out, and she’s laughing. And then, that same wind farm was then being pulled down and destroyed to remind the coal that they would like they shut down. So now Germany is rolling back in. We’ve had a successful deindustrialization, and their carbon output is like quadrupling now. So, we can’t manufacture. Okay. Name was pid Stu. pid It was my, you know, my name. Stuart. Middle name Pid. My parents were mean. But when you said that, they took stupid to a whole another level. I don’t get it.

Doug Sandridge [00:07:42] It’s hard to understand. And, you know, you know, Spain just announced they’re going to shut down the rest of their nuclear power plants. But other than that, it’s.

David Blackmon [00:07:50] Mass insanity in Europe.

Doug Sandridge [00:07:51] It is that there’s a lot of places where that it’s going the other way. I mean, Poland is all in, right? Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, they’re not that great. They’re all going in.

Stuart Turley [00:08:03] And the UAE, I just interviewed Grace Stanke. She is the.

Doug Sandridge [00:08:08] She’s a rock star.

Stuart Turley [00:08:08] She’s a rock star. And she was last year, Miss America, I have to give a shout out to, RT for introducing me on that. I got to interview her, at 12:00 at night on time, and it was 8:00 in the morning there in Dubai. And she was out there representing the US. And the UAE has 30% of their power, or 25% of their power is being done by the first nuclear reactor in there. God bless them and their balance power coming in.

Doug Sandridge [00:08:42] Grace is the real deal. And we had a we had a bill come up in Colorado, a few weeks ago that was simply did nothing except redefine clean energy to include nuclear power in that. Great. And because right now in Colorado, you can’t get any benefits from having nuclear power. And we introduced a bill, senator listed and introduced a bill. And I supported the bill saying all you did is just add nuclear as a defined clean energy, Grace Stanke. She came and was the first person to testify. And now, you know, she did not want to she would not let anyone fly her out. She wanted it to be on her own because she didn’t want to want to say, well, you only came because it. Yeah. So she paid her own way round to be the first person to testify in favor of that bill. Now, the. The, mental midgets in Colorado Senate. Right. Did not pass this. They they voted it down. But anyway, Grace Stanke is a rock star.

David Blackmon [00:09:45] What was. So what was their reasoning for voting at the zero emission power generation?

Doug Sandridge [00:09:51] Because a lot of those people are still living in the past. They still they think nuclear is dirty. They say there’s there’s nothing inappropriate to do with the waste. They but most of the.

David Blackmon [00:10:02] Just the biggest myth in the world.

Doug Sandridge [00:10:03] Is so that they have all the resources. Now, I don’t know this, so I can’t say who’s getting money from who, but I suspect that, you know, there’s a lot of these politicians who get their funding from the Sierra Club, Greenpeace or NRDC. And I think that they, you know, they’re being told we do not want to support that. I don’t know that to be fact. I haven’t checked their.

David Blackmon [00:10:25] I know it’s a big PAC. I mean, absolutely, I mean, the Sierra Club, the the climate alarm lobby in general, all that industry. And it’s a pure industry. A multi-billion dollar industry is one of the biggest funder of Democratic Party political campaigns in the United States. They’ve basically taken the place of trial lawyers as the biggest funders of the Democratic Party. I mean, it’s just a matter of public record. So you didn’t have to say it. I’ll say it.

Doug Sandridge [00:10:54] Okay. The good news is, though, the good news is that nuclear energy is quickly becoming a bipartisan issue in many places in the country. I mean, even in California, even in Illinois, Connecticut.

Stuart Turley [00:11:08] It’s kind of funny how, you take a look at Diablo Canyon and it is now got another extension on its like.

Doug Sandridge [00:11:15] 25 more years.

Stuart Turley [00:11:17] Yes. And, and and it’s kind of like, the politicians, when they start getting, like, no power and no shower for you, you know, they it’s going and boom,.

Doug Sandridge [00:11:29] The energy sobriety will make you realize.

Stuart Turley [00:11:33] That energy sobriety.

Doug Sandridge [00:11:35] And I’ve been told I do not know Gavin Newsom personally, but I’ve been told by all my nuclear folks in California that basically when they started having blackouts in 2016, 2017, that he finally he finally became open to the possibility of changing his mind on this issue. Yeah. So blackouts will change your mind?

Stuart Turley [00:11:55] Well, I’ll tell you what. We’re facing some Big Mac blackouts coming around the corner because of the balance. Shout out to Meredith. And when shorting the grid. So. Love, Meredith. Hey.

David Blackmon [00:12:09] Robert Bryce’s documentary. Yes, he has a big role in that.

Stuart Turley [00:12:14] And I’ll tell you what. I just love my interviews with her. But she is. She is another a previous generation of Grace Stanke. And, I mean, I propose to pull into the same, pile there for that.

David Blackmon [00:12:28] That’s a Great idea. We need to organize.

Stuart Turley [00:12:30] It’s great idea.

Doug Sandridge [00:12:32] I want to be there when you do it.

Stuart Turley [00:12:33] Oh, yeah, we’ll have it. But but but the hope he is, is to have that exactly what you’re doing. They’re better looking than you. I have to tell you know,.

Doug Sandridge [00:12:44] I don’t want to be on air with them. I just want to be there when they’re.

Stuart Turley [00:12:47]  Okay.

Doug Sandridge [00:12:48] I want to see them.

Stuart Turley [00:12:49] Yeah, okay. It just. That’s what you’re even good about there it is. Mostly with Irina Slav. This is

David Blackmon [00:12:56] A great story. You have to tell this story.

Doug Sandridge [00:12:57] Well, you know, I grew up overseas. I spent most of my childhood living in Europe. And so my family always try to trends towards international news rather than, you know, American news. So I, you know, I subscribe to the Financial Times rather than the Wall Street Journal, just because I want to get a little bit of a more international perspective. And I found the Irina several years ago, and I just was. So I wanted so much. There’s so much going on in Europe, energy wise. I don’t want it in a European perspective. Right. So I found a Irina and started this. I was the first podcast I ever did was with Irina.

Stuart Turley [00:13:36] No way.

Doug Sandridge [00:13:37] And it wasn’t very good. So don’t please don’t go back and look at it. But but I, I fell in love with her for a number of reasons. First of all, she is super, super smart.

David Blackmon [00:13:47] Oh, right.

Stuart Turley [00:13:47] Oh yes.

David Blackmon [00:13:48] Incredibly,.

David Blackmon [00:13:48] She is an incredible writer.

David Blackmon [00:13:50] Yeah,.

Stuart Turley [00:13:50] Right.

Doug Sandridge [00:13:51] But the best thing is she does all this with the wit and a sense of humor that I cannot wait. And no offense, but I cannot wait to see her article come out every week because it’s going to be really powerful and really funny. Well,.

Stuart Turley [00:14:06] I, I once.

David Blackmon [00:14:08] Totally agree with it.

Stuart Turley [00:14:09] I have done one step further, and that is I’ve had it on my podcast about 12 times, and I and those are the highlight of my month whenever I get my room effects. And then when she added the voice over so you can listen to her Substack, I sit there and listen in her Bulgarian accent and I’m like, touring because I get my Irina effects. And you really get her sense of humor coming out even more.

Doug Sandridge [00:14:39] When we started emailing and texting and I was on her podcast and I just, I really like her. And my mom’s like, I mean, my wife is like, don’t need to be worried about this man crush you have on Irina. Of course not. I haven’t even met her, but she’s she’s just that brilliant. You know, so every time I go to Europe, usually every year and usually with my family. And so for a couple of years we go to Europe and I would say to my wife, what do you think about going to Bulgaria? And she’s like, why do you want to go to Bulgaria? And I was like, well, you know, if we’re there and we never been there, let’s go and maybe meet Irina. And she’s like, oh, for the love of God, are you kidding me? And so,.

Stuart Turley [00:15:18] You know, David, I’m a stopper on your material. You have not stopped stocking Irina as many times throughout. Oh, man.

Doug Sandridge [00:15:29] I go into one, I go in 2022, and actually in 2020. In 2022, I, my whole family went on a river cruise for Thanksgiving. And I said to my wife, what do you think about let the kids go home? But what do you think about let’s go in to see Irina and my wife. She just rolls, right. I am not going to Bulgaria to meet some energy analyst. And so last spring, in April, Martin Nelson asked me to go to Berlin to rally in support of German nuclear. Right. And I asked my wife, do you want to go with me? And she said, no, I’m not. I’m not going to Germany to protest nuclear war. So I asked my mom, and then my mom said, sure, let’s go. And I said, why would you think about going to Bulgaria now that I don’t have to worry about my wife and my kids, I can just go. And my wife said, I mean, my mom said, I’ve never been to Bulgaria. Let’s go there. So after we go, we fly directly to Bulgaria. You know, she lives out in the country. She does. So she doesn’t live in in the in Sofia. Right. She lives out in stars Zagori.

Stuart Turley [00:16:34] In a village.

Doug Sandridge [00:16:35] And I didn’t feel comfortable. You know, I feel comfortable driving in Italy or Germany or someplace where I sort of speak the language. I wasn’t sure I wanted to drive in Bulgaria, so we rented a driver service and he drove us out and we met Irina and her daughter, who is lovely.

Stuart Turley [00:16:51] Isn’t she a great. Isn’t it? She was great. Yeah. And the family. And Chris, her husband, is such a neat guy. But I tell you, I absolutely love what you’re doing, and I want to support the effort. Tell us some of the big, oil and gas executives that have signed it. But also, we’re going to this is not just one podcast, because we are going to continue to carry this with you. But like, you have Chris Wright? Chris Wright. And you and I are going to have a discussion here a little bit.

Doug Sandridge [00:17:28] Chris was the I had the idea and I had this idea because some of my friends in the nuclear industry made a statement at a meeting in front of everyone said, well, I know all you oil and gas is directed at me. And the only oil and gas guy in the room, right. They said, I know you oil and gas guys hate us. And I know that that, that your industry undermines the nuclear industry. And I said, hold on, hold on. I don’t think that’s right. And I know that, you know, maybe that was true in the 1970s. I don’t know if the Rockefeller Foundation probably. But but that is not true. Now pulling a flag flag. And I started asking around all my friends, and I cannot find a single person in our industry. And I’m not saying there’s none. Right. But I’ve never found anyone who would say I’m anti-nuclear. And so I thought, I’m going to I started this out, sorry, to prove the nuclear community that we’re with you. We are. And so I had this idea and I thought, well, I’m a nobody. I don’t know if I can pull this off. So I called Chris Wright? I actually texting Chris and Chris is a busy guy. Yeah. You in a few minutes he texted me back and says, I love this idea, let’s do it. So we wrote this declaration of support for nuclear energy. And we Chris was the first one to sign it. And then we started going out and getting other executives to sign it. Tell me why, said HQ team and CEO Chesapeake, the former CEO of Continental Resources. I mean, I all sorts of

David Blackmon [00:18:55] Alan Gilmore just signed it out Of the blue..

Doug Sandridge [00:18:57] Alan Gilmore.

Stuart Turley [00:18:59] I love Allan,.

Doug Sandridge [00:19:00] He was at it, and he found somebody else’s copy of it. Why did their name and then signed it and sent it to me. I don’t even know, Alan.

Stuart Turley [00:19:07] Okay. The only claim to fame I have with Alan is off of my podcast with him. He said that’s the funniest line, best I’ve ever been on. So I really guess it says I’m the best podcaster. So.

Doug Sandridge [00:19:18] I would say of all the podcasts I’ve ever been on, you are the most fun? It’s not a this isn’t serious stuff. This is just fun. Oh, I always do.

Stuart Turley [00:19:28] But it is. We we talk about.

Doug Sandridge [00:19:31] Podcast now first.

Stuart Turley [00:19:35] You know, the funny thing is, we’re covering serious topics, and this is getting around AI because I does not understand me. I can’t spell AI, but yet I can get around the Google Analytics because it does not like oil and gas.

David Blackmon [00:19:53] So it does not. It doesn’t like anybody who says anything good about all that.

Stuart Turley [00:19:58] A lot of plans coming up, with all the things that we want to do for you, for marketing, for everything else. If you’re an oil and gas executive, we want you to get in touch with Doug Sandridge, sign up and help us market this program, because it is not at a point anymore where you can sit, Mike, if you want to sit there and have a, a blackout. When you look at Texas, Texas nuclear is a solid board of 10%. Whatever line it is, it is straight across.

David Blackmon [00:20:34] I think. Yeah,

Stuart Turley [00:20:35] Is a baseline we need, I believe California is 10% out of the Diablo Canyon. If you don’t have that baseline, you can attach renewable. Oh, by the way, once you get an 80 year reactor, I think you got some more on that. Bad. You do. And the other thing of all you people that like your cell phone out there trying to make a cell phone out of a neutral reactor or a windmill writes a rock, as they say, Scooby-Doo would say, right,.

Doug Sandridge [00:21:06] Yeah, yeah, we need it. Oh, it’s interesting you say that because I was at a class teaching a class at University of Oklahoma last week, and after the class, a lot of these students want to stand around and talk with me afterwards. And I had several students who said, now because I, I said, we need more nuclear. I’m not saying to the exclusion of something else, but they came up and they said, so what are you replacing? We talk about more nuclear. And I said, we’re not talking about replacing anything. We need more energy.

David Blackmon [00:21:37] And just to keep up with demand.

Doug Sandridge [00:21:38] Keep up with demand here.

Stuart Turley [00:21:40] AI was driving more of it.

David Blackmon [00:21:42] Gonna double.

Doug Sandridge [00:21:43] Exactly all the AI, all the.

David Blackmon [00:21:46] Targeting electric vehicles.

Doug Sandridge [00:21:46] So I said I don’t I’m not they they said are we, are we talking about getting rid of some gas or are we trying to reduce renewables? I said, no, this is a creative. We’re adding we need nuclear to add to everything we have, especially if we’re going to really make a dent into world poverty, into all the the billion people in the world who don’t have affordable or reliable energy. So nuclear is not replacing anything else. It is a creative. And in addition to we need more energy, not less.

David Blackmon [00:22:17] And that’s I think that’s one of the hardest points to to really get people to understand, yes, we’re going to have to have more of everything or we’re going to have to shut our society down. We won’t be able to sustain modern society with all the gadgets, with.  With all the EV charging hospitals, everything Bitcoin mining that devours energy. We can’t continue to do that without more of everything and a lot more of nuclear. If we’re really going to get to something even close to net zero.

Stuart Turley [00:22:51] And I would also like to say, in closing, we’re going to have one last word go through. Well with two things, right? I really vote off and vote in the mail. Call your grandparents. Yes, your great grandparents drag them to their parent and grandparents. Yeah, and get them.

Doug Sandridge [00:23:14] No, we’re not advocating dead people.

David Blackmon [00:23:16] No, We’re not advocate.

Stuart Turley [00:23:17] No, we gotta do something. Just make sure you vote. No. We’re not. We actually believe in ethics. I believe in ethics. Now, here’s the thing. You have to vote. But vote with your money. And I guarantee you, as a, group of humans in the United States, great. We’ll win the battle. Coming up is tough, but we will win. The good side is going to win. Vote! Vote with your money. So don’t be afraid to do that. What are your last words there?

Doug Sandridge [00:23:53] Thank you for having me here. Giving me the opportunity to visit with you guys.

Stuart Turley [00:23:56] I’m ending the subject, right?

Doug Sandridge [00:24:00] I was out, I took my family is very.

Stuart Turley [00:24:05] And only the living.

Doug Sandridge [00:24:07] Yeah, everyone living with my family. But yes, I agree with you. Thank you for giving me the forum to talk about this and look forward to working with you guys in the future.

Stuart Turley [00:24:17] We’re going to have fun.

Doug Sandridge [00:24:18] We need more energy. And nuclear is not the only thing, but it’s going to be a part.

David Blackmon [00:24:22] It’s got to be a big part of. And maybe you were going to a political rally.

Doug Sandridge [00:24:26] I did not know that. I thought I was just coming to have a chat.

Stuart Turley [00:24:28] Oh, no. But this is so good. Thanks to our audience. We appreciate everybody. They. Hey, it’s good to see you. We will see you guys next time on the energy question and the energy news beat.


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