Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted December 15, 2020
Let’s make a couple of points from last week’s EPA actions – one that will bring transparency to some of the agency’s rulemaking processes and another that leaves in place effective standards for microscopic soot.
Transparency first. The goal in EPA’s new benefit-cost rule is pretty straight-forward: Americans should be able to judge whether the benefits of future Clean Air Act regulation are justified by potential costs to society. The new rule will help by requiring that future regulation under the act must be written using sound analyses, where data to evaluate environmental, scientific and economic impacts be transparent and replicable.
Many of the natural gas and oil industry’s opponents reject bringing cost-accountability to the development of regulation. Many of them also subscribe to a more-is-better federal regulatory approach – which gets us to point No. 2.
Posted July 6, 2020
Smart regulatory reforms from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) support responsible energy development and strengthen the economy, while protecting human health and the environment. EPA’S proposed Benefit-Cost Rule under the Clean Air Act certainly fits with that approach.
The proposal would improve the rulemaking process by clarifying the environmental, scientific and economic impacts of newly proposed rules for the public, the industry and all stakeholders.
Posted April 27, 2020
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, and while the energy and transportation sectors currently face historic challenges, this environmental milestone is an important reminder that our nation has made significant progress in reducing emissions since 1970. Under the Clean Air Act, we’ve seen the development of cleaner fuels and engine efficiencies that have dramatically improved air quality.
America’s natural gas and oil industry is part of that progress. We’re committed to protecting the environment and improving air quality, while continuing to meet the world’s energy needs. This is an industry of problem solvers – scientists, skilled laborers, small business owners and manufacturers – who have researched operating impacts and monitored environmental performance for decades, contributing to industry-led innovations that have enabled a healthier and more sustainable future.
Posted April 14, 2020
Some points and data that help frame EPA’s proposed rule on National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM), which would retain all six of the current standards:Annual concentrations of PM2.5 have dropped 39% since 2000, and the U.S. has reduced emissions that can contribute to PM – including an 84% drop in sulfur dioxide (SO2), and a 54% decrease in nitrogen oxide (NOx) – since 2000. Fuel switching to clean natural gas in the power sector played an important role in those reductions. This progress can be helped by continued implementation of existing regulations.
Also: Retaining the current PM NAAQS is supported by the absence of compelling new evidence to lower the existing standards. Another NAAQS review was completed in 2015, and at that time an economic analysis indicated there could be a significant impact on the income of families and potential job losses if a lower NAAQS option was selected.
And: EPA’s proposal is consistent with the recommendation of the agency’s independent Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, which voted 5-1 to keep the current standards.
Posted August 21, 2018
EPA’s recent decision not to revisit 2015 ozone standards suggests a couple of points as the agency looks ahead to its scheduled 2020 review of the ozone air quality standards.
First, it’s imperative that EPA build its 2020 review around quality science – for one, to properly consider background levels of ozone and how they affect where the federal government sets the standards. For some parts of the country the 2015 standards were near levels of background ozone – setting up compliance problems for places such as Yellowstone National Park.
Second, on the road to the 2020 review, there should be discussion of implementation relief – from EPA or directly by Congress legislatively.
Posted August 1, 2018
EPA’s latest air quality report shows the air Americans breathe is cleaner than it has been in more than four decades – with increased use of natural gas and cleaner motor fuels playing leading roles.
Posted July 31, 2018
The U.S. natural gas and oil industry is committed to reducing emissions and addressing environmental challenges. Consider:
- Industry’s $108.2 billion in direct spending on greenhouse gas mitigating technologies from 2000-2016 was more than double the investments of each of the next two private industry sectors.
- Methane emissions from natural gas and petroleum systems are down 14 percent since 1990, even as natural gas output increased more than 50 percent over the same period.
- Thanks to increased use of domestic natural gas, the United States leads the world in cutting carbon dioxide, reducing levels to 25-year lows.
These efforts result from industry initiative, not government policy. Companies are demonstrating that meaningful solutions can be achieved through voluntary, collaborative efforts, and the U.S. is breathing easier as a result.
Posted June 21, 2018
Let’s make three quick points following release of a new methane emissions report from the Environmental Defense Fund: The paper's findings are consistent with falling emissions; technology, knowledge and industry collaboration are continuing the progress already made in cutting emissions; and a sound, accurate base of information is needed to help build an understanding of where and how more improvements in reducing emissions can be made in the future.
Posted April 25, 2018
There are plenty of statistics out there to measure the scope of U.S. natural gas production. The United States is the No. 1 natural gas producer in the world, producing 78.9 billion cubic feet per day in 2017. Exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) nearly quadrupled in 2017, making the U.S. a net natural gas exporter for the first time in nearly 60 years and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs across the nation.
The numbers are impressive, but the economic and climate benefits they make possible are even more remarkable. In a new series of short videos, we’ve boiled down the natural gas advantage into five words.
Posted February 22, 2018