Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted June 11, 2020
Practical, safe, and responsible offshore energy development doesn’t just create jobs and power our lives – it also funds America’s largest federal conservation program. For decades, the natural gas and oil industry has directly contributed to outdoor recreation and environmental conservation, thanks to a long-standing law that would be strengthened by legislation that is up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.
Senators will soon vote on S. 3422, the Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan bill that would codify a permanent funding stream for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address a considerable maintenance and construction backlog on public lands.
Posted June 2, 2020
Whenever someone talks about banning offshore oil and natural gas development, as some in Congress have proposed, they miss the fact that offshore oil and gas pays for the country’s most important conservation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Everyone who cares about coastal restoration, wetlands protection, park upkeep, building hiking paths and other recreational areas should be aware that since 1965 the LWCF has supplied billions of dollars for conservation and environmental projects across the 50 states, from Grand Canyon National Park to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore – almost entirely funded by safe and responsible offshore oil and natural gas development.
The Wilderness Society puts it this way: “The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has been America’s most important conservation funding tool for nearly 50 years.”
John D. Siciliano
Posted May 20, 2020
Capt. Russell Holmes is the Center for Offshore Safety’s (COS) new director after serving for nearly three decades with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Holmes, who retired from the Coast Guard in 2020, takes over for Charlie Williams, who had led the center since 2012 after a long industry career. Holmes will be taking the center’s mission of offshore safety and environmental protection into its second decade of existence.
The center was created soon after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, the COS has enhanced the safety culture in offshore operations, while supporting federal regulations that mandate Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) at all operations on the Outer Continental Shelf.
Just prior to joining the center, Holmes served as the Coast Guard’s senior point of contact for offshore safety in the Gulf, overseeing marine inspection and investigation programs that ultimately support SEMS. As he explains in the Q&A below, Holmes says the industry’s professionalism and safety commitment matched his while he was serving as one of industry’s lead regulators.
John D. Siciliano
Posted April 20, 2020
Today is the 10th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. A decade later, offshore energy development has never been safer, largely because of industry leadership in developing new technologies and creating a proactive safety management culture. This is critically important because the offshore accounts for 15% of U.S. oil production. Innovations in infrastructure and deep-sea equipment, plus rigorous safety training, safety protocols and the management tools to ensure those protocols are effective, reflect industry’s commitment to prevent such an incident, in which lives were lost, from happening again. In the Q&A that follows, Debra Phillips, API senior vice president for Global Industry Services, talks about what has been learned and industry’s responses – including hundreds of safety standards – to maximize offshore safety.
Posted November 18, 2019
As part of ongoing efforts to foster safe energy development around the world through the sharing of international industry standards and operational expertise, API is helping the country of Guyana as it builds its national energy plan – a key step in the South American nation becoming a major energy producer.
API and the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) recently led talks in Guyana’s capital, Georgetown, after the Guyanese government asked for support as the country nears its first-ever oil production, expected in the first quarter of 2020.
Posted November 7, 2019
Safe and responsible energy development drives economic growth and environmental progress, and by expanding exploration on federal lands and along the Outer Continental Shelf, the U.S. stands to generate billions of dollars in funding for infrastructure, education and conservation.
Posted October 24, 2019
As the New York Times launches another attack on congressionally mandated support for U.S. offshore development in the Gulf of Mexico, some facts are in order:
The Deep Water Royalty Relief Act enacted by Congress in 1995 was designed to help spur deep water offshore production as the U.S. faced increasing dependence on imported oil – and the courts found that its intent is clear. Background on the act here and here.
The false claim that there is a royalty relief “loophole,” asserted by the Times and others, omits the fact that between 2000 and 2018 natural gas and oil companies paid more than $122 billion to the government in high bids, royalties and rents. Add to that tens of billions the industry spent to develop those leases, creating jobs and boosting local and regional economies – an integral part of industry’s $1.3 trillion overall support for the U.S. economy.
Today, U.S. Gulf production is setting records, averaging 1.8 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2018 and expected by the government to reach 1.9 million b/d this year and 2 million b/d in 2020. This production generates millions in revenue-sharing dollars for coastal states, as well as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports state conservation and outdoor recreation projects all across the country.
Posted September 24, 2019
As the U.S. will soon become a net exporter of total energy, API is continuing to lead the way on safety and environmental protection through the development of key industry standards.
Globally, offshore energy development is poised to grow, with significant new finds spurring the construction of some of the largest floating offshore production facilities ever built.
Just this past month, API released a suite of new Integrity Management (IM) standards outlining how floating production platforms should function to improve operational efficiency, safety, and environmental protection.
Posted September 19, 2019
Borrowing from a line from a presidential campaign gone by, we’ll point out that Democrats were for natural gas and oil before they were against it. See the clips below of President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Our homegrown energy revolution is delivering abundant, affordable and reliable energy for American consumers and strengthening an industry that supports 10.3 million well-paying U.S. jobs. As the world’s No. 1 producer of natural gas and oil, the U.S. is increasingly energy self-sufficient, which reinforces our domestic economy, national security and climate leadership.
Posted July 17, 2019
Legislation in Congress that could cripple future U.S. offshore energy development needs to be seen for the longer-term damage it could do to America’s strategic energy and national security.
One House bill would permanently extend a moratorium on development in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico; another would permanently bar leasing in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Given projected growth in America’s energy needs, such shortsighted legislation fails the test of leadership in setting energy policy that will enhance and protect our nation’s strategic interests.