One of my favorite blogs, The Oil Drum, is shutting down.
Noah Smith has a postmortem, which I largely agree with.
Karl Smith is the only commentator who's dipped his toes into oil, gas, and petrochemicals thus far that I have actively stopped reading because he is so misinformed it makes me angry. His postmortem continues to spout uninformed bias about petrochemicals that I am genuinely surprised no one has bothered to correct. To summarize: no, we cannot make ethanol from ethane. There are proposals to make ethanol from syngas (by first making acetic acid and then hydrogenating it) from Celanese, and there are very uneconomical processes to make ethanol from ethylene (which is no longer done because ethylene used in other capacities has much more value).