Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted April 15, 2021
EPA’s latest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report shows continued progress in lowering U.S. emissions. A good deal of this progress can be attributed to increased use of domestic natural gas. Some key numbers stand out:
Total GHG emissions fell 1.7% from 2018 to 2019 and have decreased 11.6% since 2005; emissions from the electric power sector 12.1% since 1990 and 33% since 2005; methane emissions from natural gas systems have decreased 4% since 2005 – even as marketed natural gas production over the same period increased more than 90%; emissions from abandoned oil and natural gas wells have fallen 2.9% since 1990, 8% since 2005 and 9.5% since 2018 – reflecting reductions in the official estimate of unplugged, abandoned wells.
EPA gives significant credit for the 1.7% emissions decrease noted above to growing use of cleaner natural gas.
Posted April 14, 2021
Timely, accurate reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – by our industry and all emitting sectors of the economy – is critically important for our country’s efforts to address the risks of climate change. That’s why enhancing the consistency and comparability of our industry’s GHG reporting is one of the main elements of the Climate Framework action plan API unveiled last month.
As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) increases its focus on climate and ESG (environmental, social, governance) reporting, let’s just say that the natural gas and oil industry is on it. Not only do we see the value of reporting to stakeholders and the importance of accurate, transparent GHG reporting in developing sound, we want to drive it.
Indeed, industry is well-positioned to be a reporting leader; we’re not newcomers to it.
Posted April 8, 2021
When President Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline in January, it was more than just canceling an important piece of energy infrastructure. It was a setback for the U.S.-Canada energy and trade relationship that has benefited both countries economically and in terms of their security in the world.
A new ICF study assessing U.S.-Canada cross-border petroleum trade finds that there is growing integration of North American energy markets, which in turn leads to lower costs for consumers and increased energy security for both countries. Frank Macchiarola, API senior vice president of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs, talked about the study’s findings during a virtual conference hosted by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
Posted March 31, 2021
API’s new Climate Framework touched off predictable reaction from certain circles – ranging from groups that oppose industry’s very existence to others focused on a single aspect of the framework, carbon pricing.
Frankly, API’s action plan speaks to the vast majority of Americans who support commonsense approaches for lowering greenhouse gas emissions and further improving environmental protections – while also providing the energy from natural gas and oil that our country needs to grow and prosper.
Through the Climate Framework our industry is offering substantive leadership on the climate/energy challenge, with the overarching goal of meaningful progress.
Posted March 25, 2021
API’s new Climate Action Framework is much more than a list of policies and actions to address the risks of climate change. It’s a values statement, the natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to lead on the twin necessities of cleaner energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
We can achieve both. The natural gas and oil industry details in this framework an action plan to get it done, working together with government and other stakeholders. As the plan states in its opening sentences, it’s the opportunity of our time.
Posted March 18, 2021
It’s not surprising that New Mexico’s governor, both U.S. senators and other elected officials are concerned with the Biden administration’s halt in new federal natural gas and oil leasing. In 2020, New Mexico was the nation’s No. 3 crude oil producer and No. 8 natural gas producer, and the administration’s policy could affect billions of dollars in state revenues and thousands of jobs.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, penned a letter to President Biden earlier this week cautioning that potential lost revenues as a result of the policy could mean significant hardship for her state. New Mexico receives more than 40% of its total revenue – nearly $4 billion annually – from taxes and royalties paid by the natural gas and oil industry.
Posted March 5, 2021
We don’t yet know the full extent of the Biden administration’s strategy for U.S. energy. As API President and CEO Mike Sommers has said repeatedly since the election, our industry is ready to work with the administration for a better economy, cleaner environment and progress toward climate goals. Based on remarks by former Secretary of State John Kerry at the CERAWeek conference, there’s important common ground for a cooperative relationship.
“I don’t object per se to fossil fuel," said the president's special envoy for climate. "I object to the byproduct of fossil fuel, which is the carbon. That’s the problem, and the methane, that's another major problem emerging. So, we have to be able to abate. It’s the debate between unabated and abated production.”
Common ground: The natural gas and oil industry also is for abating carbon emissions – and has been working to reduce carbon and capture methane, through innovation and technology, for some time.
Industry investment, innovation and problem-solving on emissions came up so often during CERAWeek, it was hard to track them all. If, as Kerry said, the administration sees carbon and methane emissions as the targets – and not the energy from natural gas and oil – industry not only is a willing partner, it’s one that’s tackling those challenges head on.
Posted March 2, 2021
The natural gas and oil industry is foundational to the U.S. economy and security today and will be for decades to come. That’s reality – and a welcome one, given U.S. world leadership in natural gas and oil production. Natural gas and oil frame the issues of energy and environmental progress – the priorities of safely producing the affordable reliable energy Americans use every day and boosting the economy, while also reducing emissions and our industry’s environmental footprint. We can do both, together.
API President and CEO Mike Sommers underscored these themes at this week’s CERAWeek energy conference – virtual this year because of the pandemic. Sommers’ key points: The natural gas and oil industry will work with the Biden administration as much as possible to achieve progress on climate goals – including technology and regulation; natural gas and oil are fundamental to U.S. security and world leadership; and natural gas and oil is supporting U.S. and world growth, as well as the high-paying jobs of millions of Americans.
Posted February 26, 2021
In introducing U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland – President Biden’s choice to be Interior Department secretary – to the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Congressman Don Young of Alaska, a staunch Republican, predicted this about his House colleague: “You’ll find out that she will listen to you.”
Given the political polarization in Washington, that’s pretty significant – and hugely important in building a bipartisan approach to energy, infrastructure and other issues associated with national economic growth, security and the environment.
The natural gas and oil industry welcomes the opportunity – if Rep. Haaland is confirmed by the full Senate – to work with her as her department manages millions of acres of federal lands and waters that are key to our country’s energy present and future.
Posted February 18, 2021
More than 4 million Texas homes and businesses have been without electricity this week as an Arctic air mass left the state coping with temperatures hovering around zero. Electricity and natural gas use spiked and rolling blackouts were ordered as energy systems experienced what the Webber Energy Group’s Joshua Rhodes called a “black swan event” that taxed all parts of those systems at the same time.
I spoke with Dustin Meyer, API vice president of Natural Gas Markets, to find out what happened in Texas, to understand the conditions that left the nation’s No. 1 energy state struggling for power and heat and what resources could help prevent this from happening again.
Bottom line points: Texas’ difficulties represent a failure of the grid across the board, with all generation technologies falling short of expectations; as in California last summer, events in Texas underscore the need for a diverse energy supply and smart planning to support the health of the U.S. power grid; natural gas, unique among energy sources in supplying needed attributes that ensure grid reliability, is and will remain a key in that diverse mix; and natural gas has carried most of the energy load in Texas this week, and without its contributions the energy picture would have been even worse. Expanded infrastructure would help make natural gas systems more resilient.