October 24

3 Podcasters Walk in a Bar Episode 35 – Are Molten Sand Reactors The Net Zero Solution?


The guys are at it again, RT is on the road drilling oil, while Stu and David are in Dallas covering the energy news.

03:33 – Molten Sand Reactor at The University of Texas, and housed in Abilene

07:01 – solution for net zero and not having to add billions to the grid.

10:20: California poster child for stupid or leaders in climate change?


David Blackmon LinkedIn

DB Energy Questions 

The Crude Truth with Rey Trevino

Rey Trevino LinkedIn

Energy Transition Weekly Conversation

David Blackmon LinkedIn

Irina Slav LinkedIn

Armando Cavanha LinkedIn

Follow Stuart On LinkedIn and Twitter

If you have any questions, please reach out to us. We want to answer all questions, and if you have what it takes to be a podcast host and you want your show reach out.

Also, sponsor slots are available. There is excellent reach with the four podcasts.


DB Energy Questions 

David Blackmon LinkedIn

The Crude Truth - With The Rey Trevino

The Crude Truth with Rey Trevino

Rey Trevino LinkedIn

The Energy News Beat Podcast

Stu Turley LinkedIn

Video Transcription edited for grammar. We disavow any errors unless they make us look better or smarter.

3 Podcasters Walk in a Bar Episode 35 – Are Molten Sand Reactors The Net Zero Solution?

Stuart Turley: [00:00:14] Hey, everybody. Have you ever heard of that Uncle Mike? Eddie had a Christmas vacation that starts a joke with these three guys walking. These three guys walk into a bar and everybody digs for the carpet. Well, guess what? I happen to know the other two guys. I’m the third. Welcome to the three podcasters. Walk into a bar. My name’s Stuart Turley, president and CEO of the Sandstone Group. I’ve got David Blackmon. I mean, David Blackmon is a busy, busy guy. He is a Telegraph Daily CALLER and Forbes contributing author. He has his podcast, The Energy Question. And it’s going bonkers. He’s also on the energy transition out of Brazil, Dallas, Bulgaria, and the UK. What a great team you got on there. Welcome, David. [00:01:11][57.2]

David Blackmon: [00:01:12] Hey, man, How you doing? I’m having a ride. I’m worried about our team. But I’m glad to see you. [00:01:18][6.0]

Stuart Turley: [00:01:19] Oh, yeah. He’s had a lobotomy. And then we have RT. I mean, RT, he’s one of them big dogs over at Pecos Operating Corporation. He has EMP, so I have to say that so he can understand that E M P and that is over there. It’s an oil and gas exploration company. And he’s over there also has the crude truth. And I mean, the crude truth is a hoot. Welcome, RT [00:01:51][32.5]

Rey Treviño: [00:01:55] So much for the introduction. It’s always great to be here with you. David Blackmon, It’s just a great day. I’m happy. God is good. We’re just out here on location giggling. We just got done steak in the next two wells and we’re going to start drilling here next week. I’m so awesome. I’m just. I can’t believe it. I kind of don’t know what to buy. And right now, I’m just so excited. As always. God is good to be here with you two is just awesome. [00:02:27][32.1]

Stuart Turley: [00:02:28] Keep them visible, please, R.T. Hey, David. We got a deal, and we got a few things that you. You’re an animal. I mean, you’re an AI. Why don’t we throw AI away and just use David Blackmon? [00:02:43][15.4]

David Blackmon: [00:02:44] There you go. [00:02:44][0.3]

Stuart Turley: [00:02:45] I think we should. David, you had a great, great podcast. I mean, this podcast was cool about nuclear, molten sand, or whatever. It was the truth about that molten salt. Thank you. [00:03:01][15.9]

David Blackmon: [00:03:01] The first molten salt reactor and the state of Texas Natural Resources is the company. The CEO is Doug Robison, an old friend who is a fella who made his fortune in the oil and gas business and is now leading the way to bring Texas into the 21st-century nuclear technology with the molten salt reactor in conjunction with four universities. Not three, not two, not one, but four. [00:03:29][27.6]

Stuart Turley: [00:03:31] Is that Abilene? [00:03:31][0.3]

David Blackmon: [00:03:33] Abilene Christian University, where the reactor itself will be housed and the facility is already built and ready to go? [00:03:40][7.3]

Stuart Turley: [00:03:41] Wow. [00:03:41][0.0]

David Blackmon: [00:03:41] The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University College Station, and Georgia Tech as well, and all four research universities working on the same project to bring this molten salt reactor to reality. And the thing about this technology is this reactor is going to be roughly the size of the refrigerator in your kitchen. Okay. And it’s housed underground and it’s going to be on a facility in a facility smack in the middle of the ICU campus in Abilene. And there are no concerns about radioactivity, no concerns about meltdowns. It’s the safest technology in the world. It’s reliable. It will generate electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week for very little cost. And it’s it’s the coming saying this is a proven technology. Rather than a, you know, a hoped-for technology like cold fusion and things like that. [00:04:48][66.5]

Stuart Turley: [00:04:49] All right. You got RT, David. You got RT. [00:04:50][1.7]

David Blackmon: [00:04:50] It’s going to be up and running by 2025, by the way. Anyway, that’s all I want to say. [00:04:54][4.0]

Stuart Turley: [00:04:55] That RT’s jaw just hit his dashboard. For our listeners that are on the podcast, I have to describe RT, RT sitting there flabbergasted. And normally we know that he’s at a flycatcher with his mouth hanging open, but he had that flapper going. David, are you sure? Serious. [00:05:15][19.9]

David Blackmon: [00:05:16] Yeah. [00:05:17][0.2]

Rey Treviño: [00:05:18] I mean. Oh, excuse me. I can’t believe how awesome it is that we’re. We’re creating a power source that’s, first of all, the size of a normal refrigerator. Okay? And then it’s going to be in the middle of a freaking college campus, safe and secure on the ground, I’m sure. However, you know, what a way to throw those worries to the wind. And I think that’s just awesome because, you know, people always talk about the danger that’s involved with nuclear. And, you know, I remind people all the time, hey, we have submarines that are nuclear and aircraft carriers. Yeah. If it is that safe for us to defend with, why would it not be safe for us to use I’ve seen it here and I know. Oh, yeah, my hands. [00:06:11][53.2]

Stuart Turley: [00:06:12] My head just kind of like goes after it. Sorry. [00:06:15][3.3]

Rey Treviño: [00:06:17] Yeah. No, but I mean, you know, I’m not against any form of energy that will create the power needed to move our country and the world forward. And like you just said, David, this is a way that that is truly going to happen. What’s the name of the company again? [00:06:34][17.4]

David Blackmon: [00:06:35] NATURA N A T U R A resources. They’re located in Dallas, but the research project is in Abilene at Abilene Christian University, the website of Natura Resources dot com for anyone that wants to go read about it. You can also watch the episode of The Energy Question where Doug takes us through the whole thing from cradle to grave. [00:06:59][24.0]

Stuart Turley: [00:07:00] In that great. [00:07:01][0.4]

David Blackmon: [00:07:01] Yeah that’s fantastic. And look, these are going to be modular reactors with up to 500 megawatts of generation capacity. You won’t have to build multibillion-dollar transmission lines. They’ll be able to be sited right in the market centers where the electricity is needed and used. It’s clean, it’s zero emissions. It’s it’s a technology that’s going to be the wave of the future. I fully believe it. I think it’s going to be well ahead of anything else in the nuclear space. And folks, if you want to get to net zero, you can’t get there without a massive expansion of nuclear. It’s as simple as that. Wind and solar are not going to I mean, they have solar in particular has a legitimate use in a legitimate place, in a well-managed power grid. But if you want to get the net zero, you have to have 24 seven reliable, predictable generation. And that’s going to come with modular nuclear like this molten salt reactor. [00:08:06][64.3]

Stuart Turley: [00:08:06] Well, I’m going to ask a couple of things, because even with all the nuclear that we could do, we’re still going to need lots of oil and gas are you going to need that now on the cost per kilowatt hour? Did he mention what that’s going to be? Because it’s going to be way lower. You’re not going to get it. [00:08:28][21.1]

David Blackmon: [00:08:28] It will be watching once it’s been brought up to scale. But, you know, of course, initially it’ll be high due to upfront capital, just like we’re experiencing with all these renewable technologies. Right. But ultimately it’ll be the cheapest power on the grid and there’s no question about it. Once you scale it up, it’ll be the cheapest power on the grid. [00:08:49][21.8]

Stuart Turley: [00:08:50] And that. Great. [00:08:50][0.7]

David Blackmon: [00:08:51] Yeah. [00:08:51][0.0]

Stuart Turley: [00:08:52] Hey, [00:08:52][0.0]

Rey Treviño: [00:08:52] Awesome. [00:08:52][0.0]

Stuart Turley: [00:08:53] Hey, RT. Harold Hamm threw out a bone the other day, and he said that oil has a chance of going to 150 bucks. What do you think about going to 150? [00:09:05][11.9]

Rey Treviño: [00:09:07] Well, I mean, JPMorgan put out something that said we got a chance to go to $300 a barrel. But I don’t you know, I’m not running to the bank on that either. Oh, all right. You know, guys, you all of the experts, when it comes to the financial side of where oil’s going. I do know that we are running low on our supply. And it’s because we continue to produce from existing fields and not drill new wells. So the more we continue to do that, I know our supply is going to go down. So there is no reason why we probably won’t see a $120 oil, maybe 150. I will say this as an American and as American, public at large, the 150 guys, our economy is going to take a major hit. So from that standpoint, I don’t want us to. Yes, my oil will be a lot higher than what it is today. But we can people will not be traveling. Gasoline is already so high that, you know, can you imagine where it is today at $90 oil and gasoline prices that now just imagine what gasoline prices would be at 150. Stu, what do you think? [00:10:18][71.2]

Stuart Turley: [00:10:20] I don’t think we’re going to get to the 150. I gave up trying to put a price out there, you know, with all the demand demand, and supply, and demand used to be a very easy one. David and I could get our crayons out and go. That would make sense. Now you have geopolitical you have the regulatory legislation through regulate regulations. You know, who knows? And then you have California. That is just absolutely the poster child for stupidity. You know what’s weird? All of our podcasts are The Crude Truth, The Energy Transition, and the Energy News Beat podcast. Two of our biggest states, are New York and California. All of all three of those. Yeah, I’m not kidding. We are big in Germany, we’re big in the UK and we’re big in New York and California and we’ve been very vocal about that. But the refineries are the real big issue of why they have downsized. All their refineries rT and the refineries. There’s a drop of more than 30% in refining production. And now California is importing from South Korea. Oh, it’s really good for the environment to throw all that gasoline and diesel into a tanker chugging across the ocean and have it dropped in. [00:12:01][100.9]

David Blackmon: [00:12:02] Yeah, They’re bringing in refined products, not crude oil, right? Yeah, [00:12:05][3.0]

Stuart Turley: [00:12:05] That’s Right. And they are refineries are shutting down because California has imposed new regulation that bans the sale of gas-powered cars by 20 2035. All right. Ford. [00:12:22][16.6]

Rey Treviño: [00:12:23] I can’t wait. Yeah. [00:12:24][1.2]

Stuart Turley: [00:12:25] Ford just announced? Was it yesterday that they’re stopping a multi-billion dollar battery plant? I believe it’s Michigan. They announced yesterday we had David you wrote an article on the EU backing out of their commitment on these. What do you think is going on? [00:12:44][19.6]

David Blackmon: [00:12:46] Well, I mean, I think there’s a general awakening starting to happen, not just in the United States, but in Europe and really in other parts of the world that, you know, the realization that the reason why. Energy costs are the cost of all forms of energy, not just oil and gas, but all forms of energy keep going up and up and up. It’s because of these policies. And it became really obvious in Britain with the supposedly conservative Party trying to move this 400-page energy bill that will put all sorts of new costs and new demands on consumers. Just an insane piece of legislation. And I think that scared Sunni. You know, they’ve got an election coming up. He has to call an election before 2025. And so, I mean, he came to a realization, I think, that he can’t be reelected. His party cannot win a parliamentary majority by pursuing these policies because consumers are in revolt. I have protests in the streets in London, in Paris, all over Europe. You’re starting to see protests pop up here in the United States. And it’s all due to these idiotic policies that these governments have been pursuing. Right. And I think there’s going to be a general backlash against all of it. And you’re going to see a lot of change in governments here in the quote, Western democracies in the coming few years because of. [00:14:26][99.9]

Stuart Turley: [00:14:28] The reality is everything we’re doing is. Yeah, go ahead, RT. The ramifications are huge because this goes across everything. What are you saying, RT? [00:14:37][8.7]

Rey Treviño: [00:14:40] Well, let me just finish my statement. Oh, that’s interesting that you talk about how we’re going to see political party rule changes because of what’s going on. And you just wrote another article that said the title of it, like maybe free to expand the title is if Trump Selected his Net zero. Goodbye. Yeah. And this. So I’d kind of like for you to expand on that, because I do think that ties into what you just said, that people are starting to understand that, hey, if we want to stay elected, we got to start making better realistic choices than hoping for. And I’m going to be crude for fairy dust and unicorn pets. Yeah. So I just think which I thought it was. [00:15:27][47.4]

David Blackmon: [00:15:27] Unicorn Force farts. [00:15:28][1.1]

Rey Treviño: [00:15:30] That sounds a lot nicer for the children out there. There, I would say, than what I said. Yes. Fairy dust and unicorn farts. And so, please, if you don’t mind, you can expand on that just a little bit? Great. [00:15:43][12.6]

David Blackmon: [00:15:44] Well, I mean, the thesis of that piece that was in the Telegraph was that if Trump gets elected and soon wins reelection in the US and the UK are going to be standing astride all these conferences at the WEF and the COP 28, the COP conferences that are put on annually by the United Nations saying we’re not going along with the game anymore. And that’s going to put a lot of pressure on other European countries and Canada and other Western nations to kind of cool their heels in the same way. And you already see countries like India, India, Italy, Greece, Sweden, and other countries in Europe pulling back as well. And so much of this momentum has been built through peer pressure at these annual meetings where all the quote, environmentalists fly in on their private jets and overwhelm the local airport and have $500 dinners every night with $1,000 bottles of wine and pretend that they’re saving the earth. And it’s all peer pressure and they adopt these resolutions that say, here’s what we’re all going to do. And they and, you know, the representatives fly back to their chosen country and try to implement all that crazy stuff without ever thinking through the ultimate implications of any of it. There’s no overarching plan to integrate it all into a real, true integrated plan. And so you end up with these unintended consequences and costs of everything going up and artificial shortages being created and all that. And so, you know, if Trump gets elected, what was the first thing he did upon being elected, the first time he pulled out of the Paris Accord and things like that again and closed the border? And if he gets elected again, he’s going to do those same two things again and he’s going to say, this is all crazy. These mandates for electric vehicles and building all these enormous wind towers in the Atlantic Ocean and killing all the whales, he’s going to say, no, we’re not going to do that. And so it’s going to change very quickly. And I just think that that soon has set himself up as an obvious partner for Trump in slowing all this nonsense down and putting us on a better path. [00:18:24][160.3]

Stuart Turley: [00:18:26] You know, there’s there’s a lot to be said for having a debate. Let’s throw sustainable energy into a true format of fiscal format instead of ESG. It is better to be fiscal energy. I mean, it’s got to have that ESG in there instead of, you know, you can’t just print money. The world’s about to get hit in the back of the head with a shovel. [00:18:52][26.3]

David Blackmon: [00:18:53] Yeah. Yeah. You know, if none of this is sustainable in any real sense, if it at all, of course, depends on how you define that term. Sustainable. Right. Of course, the environmental left always wants to ignore the economic impacts of all of this and the human impacts. Okay. So the other thing they always want to ignore is the fact, the unarguable fact that all of this hits the lower-income folks the hardest. Absolutely. They spend a higher percentage of their income on energy than wealthier people do. Well, who’s setting all the policy policies? The wealthier people who are impacted by these policies. And so it’s just a terrible situation where the worst people possible are making all the decisions and we’ve got to stop it. [00:19:44][50.8]

Stuart Turley: [00:19:44] Oh, you bet. Well, David, I do appreciate you. And I think we’re just about out of time. And I think. [00:19:51][6.1]

David Blackmon: [00:19:51] I’ve dominated the heck out of this episode. But that’s okay. [00:19:54][2.5]

Stuart Turley: [00:19:54] I love that you are phenomenal. And we do have a few bloopers that we’re going to add back in, David, and send those out, so. [00:20:03][9.2]

David Blackmon: [00:20:03] Oh, my gosh. [00:20:04][0.3]

Stuart Turley: [00:20:05] Yeah. Oh, yeah. We’ll have some fun because it got me there doing that bad. [00:20:10][5.6]

David Blackmon: [00:20:11] If I pick my Nose, I don’t think I was. Hopefully not. [00:20:12][1.4]

Stuart Turley: [00:20:13] But you know RT we we know he’s out on the in west Texas in a well bed so. [00:20:20][7.1]

David Blackmon: [00:20:20] Yeah, we lost him anyway. [00:20:22][2.4]

Stuart Turley: [00:20:23] Well, David, thank you so much. I used to always get on with the last episode. All right. All right.





3 podcaster walk into a bar, David Blackmon, RT Trevino, Stu Turley

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