To clarify, with the world’s population expected to hit 9 billion by 2040, the demand for energy is expected to rise by 25%, with a slightly higher percentage coming from oil and gas than today. 
Elliot is spot on with timing; oil and gas companies greatly reduced opex when oil prices were in the $20s last year and are going to keep having to innovate — we all got to see what happens when you cannot pull costs out of the system with Kerr-McGee.
I would enjoy learning more about the materials used in 3D printing — as DPI and Elliot mentioned, I would intuitively be afraid to place a man-made material into the subsurface (such as for a drill bit) at such high temperatures that would need to withstand such large forces. I think you would be fine to do quality control in a lab with a statistically significant sample size, which would allow you to trust placing this equipment on site. Current equipment has an API tolerance that can be problematic; it is exciting to think 3D printing could eliminate this small discrepancy.
I agree with DM and Matt that this situation seems to be a lose-lose for Boeing, and makes me wonder if we can think of how the US government should treat unfair trade agreements. First, if the planes are being dumped into the US and supported by illegal subsidies, I think Boeing needs to prove they have been adversely impacted by the import of a plane they do not also sell. An interesting read linked below highlights this as a unique situation being brought to the US International Trade Commission — this plane has not been imported yet, and it is hard to assess import impact with zero imports. If they can show impact, how can we address the subsidy (because in my view that is the opposite of free trade), without a tariff? Bringing jobs back to the US and “America First” seem a secondary priority to the bipartisan US ITC, a group of seasoned trade lawyers appointed by Bush and Obama, who are trying to ensure fair trade practices (free of dumping, subsidies, copyright infringement, etc.) If I was Delta, I would be nervous I was not going to ever receive planes as cheap as I had hoped.
I would challenge Cissy on the comment “isolationism is coming from a desire to have individual countries be responsible for their own people”, and Ko-Lee on the notion that free trade currently exists (or is something that can be returned to). Free trade is when goods are brought between two areas without any fees, and it could be argued that it was developed for areas who play by the same rules. Because what if one area does not respect its people, or the environment, or the government helps finance its businesses, or manipulates currency? A great quote I read was “American companies…end up competing not with foreign companies but with sovereign foreign states”. Furthermore, the world has always placed tariffs on each other’s goods and provided subsidies to businesses, far from ‘free’ trade. I think this is less of a question of returning to free trade, but creating fair trade that promotes mutual benefit for all countries.
The Folly of Free Trade https://hbr.org/1986/09/the-folly-of-free-trade
I agree with Swan that it is inefficient strategy with players like Amazon and JD.com entering the arena. Amazon is not just a retailer; their competitive edge now seems to be coming from numerous companies’ dependence on their distribution network. This is giving them access to data, monopolizing consumers decisions, and setting new standards for online shopping. Luckily, Alibaba has a lot of capital to catch up, and I think they need to aim for a lot more power and influence than they get from being a stakeholder in CaiNiao.
Growing up in one of the MPCs and experiencing Houston’s three 500-year floods, I enjoyed reading your piece.
One important note to add would be about the impact of city development on perceived flood severity; many of Houston’s floods have been caused by old drainage systems and outdated flood plain mapping. Two major contributors: home flipping (arguably spurred by the popular HGTV show Fixer Upper) causing homes to not be remodeled to code, and four 3-story town homes taking the place of a small, single family home with yard. Going forward, if I was HHC I would be careful to keep flood plain mapping up to date during development, and in all communities consider designing drainage systems with a larger safety factor so they do not become obsolete.
A comment about your first action item: I would challenge that hiring a third party inspection company is a practical solution because there are numerous operational challenges to regulating flaring. The US currently has 1 million+ onshore wells, many in remote locations without the technological capability to transmit data to a computer (that requires satellites and specialized equipment — all wells would have to be retrofitted, old meters replaced, etc.). Flares are also very hot and most cannot have a meter directly attached. Furthermore, meters require calibration and upkeep; who would front the cost? Also, many wells only flare in emergencies — sometimes a pipeline shuts in and the system has to flow somewhere before automatically shutting in. Oil can sit in a tank, but gas has to be flared to prevent having a pressurized vessel (which could act as bomb) on site.
I would argue that implementation will have to fall in the hand’s of operators being honest, and the occasional drone as Sarah mentioned.