Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted July 30, 2020
There’s a basic principle in play in recent news developments in Massachusetts and Ohio – that public energy policy should serve people, not the other way around. In both states, access to clean natural gas, for affordable, reliable energy, means benefits for consumers.
Start in Massachusetts, where the state attorney general struck down the town of Brookline’s bylaw that would have barred new residences from installing natural gas infrastructure for space heating and hot water – mimicking similar restrictions imposed by Berkeley, California. That doesn’t necessarily mean Massachusetts AG Maura Healey has an affinity for natural gas; her decision was based on the primacy of state law and regulations.
No matter, consumers win. And in the process this point is elevated: Public bodies should ensure that dependable, affordable energy is available to consumers – instead of erecting artificial, market-distorting barriers to service.
Posted July 21, 2020
Through the recent COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shocks to energy markets around the world, U.S. natural gas has remained a relatively bright spot.
Record low prices have benefitted consumers, and at the same time many producers dedicated to natural gas in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Louisiana and East Texas have remained viable as cutbacks in oil and associated natural gas from other regions have taken effect. And now about 90% of U.S. drilling for natural gas is concentrated in these regions, that is Appalachia and the Haynesville areas.
The drilling activity has reflected two fundamental observations. The first is that, according to BTU Analytics, the recent breakeven price – that is, the Henry Hub wholesale market price needed to at least break even in drilling a new well – on average has remained near market prices despite COVID-19, a relatively warm winter and broad financial market concerns. The second observation is that natural gas well productivity, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, were resilient after some unexplained variation at the beginning of the year.
Posted May 5, 2020
News reports of a “flotilla” of oil tankers from Saudi Arabia, sailing to the U.S. with more than 40 million barrels of crude oil in their holds for delivery this month, has many Americans questioning why the U.S. – the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer – imports any oil when oversupply associated with the government response to COVID-19 has a number of U.S. operators hurting financially.
Some think President Trump should send the oil fleet home or impose import tariffs. It’s a new chapter in an old debate over why the U.S. imports oil when our domestic production is among the globe’s leaders. In the case of this imported Saudi oil, the answer has much to do with the supply needs of the U.S. refining system.
Posted March 11, 2020
Several states are taking the lead to promote electric vehicles (EVs), and they’re not the states that produce them. From California and Oregon to New Jersey and Maryland, their promotions are mainly efforts intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
But even with large state incentives, are consumers onboard?
Posted March 9, 2020
From recent remarks to a meeting of the Aurora, Colorado, Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Business Roundtable.
The Aurora Chamber aspires to be a catalyst, convener and champion of the Aurora business community. That caught my attention because at API, we see ourselves in much the same way, especially now, when the State of American Energy is one of leadership. America is the global leader in energy development, carbon emissions reductions and environmental performance.
Our industry is built on the catalysts who meet the world’s ever-growing energy demand, conveners who address the risks of climate change, and champions who promote all the Americans working 10.9 million jobs supported by the natural gas and oil industry.
Posted March 6, 2020
It’s been a big week for announcements coming out of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the nation’s natural gas and oil industry.
On Monday, EIA said that annual U.S. oil production broke another big record in 2019, and swiftly followed that with news on Tuesday that U.S. natural gas use has reached new record highs. Both are great news for American energy and national security, the economy and the environment.
Posted February 3, 2020
So far this year, U.S. natural gas prices at Henry Hub have made for the lowest January record in over 45 years, adjusted for consumer price inflation.
As of Jan. 29, the U.S. natural gas spot price at Henry Hub was $1.94 per million Btu – nearly 35% below the price of one year ago and 76% lower than in 2008.
In fact, we know from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that U.S. households saved an average of more than $120 per year on natural gas in 2018 compared with 2008. That’s $10 per month for more than 127,000,000 households – or $52 billion less spending on home and water heating.
John D. Siciliano
Posted January 16, 2020
Natural gas can’t be beat when it comes to its superior performance in heating a home, especially when compared to heat pumps and other appliances that rely solely on electricity.
Natural gas-powered appliances are both more cost-effective and environmentally friendly for homeowners when compared to their all-electric counterparts, according to consumer studies and government reports.
So, why are some groups campaigning to ban homeowners from using natural gas in favor of these more expensive alternatives?
Posted December 12, 2019
News that the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is bringing attention to the need for a natural gas pipeline to serve an impoverished area near Chicago makes a lot of sense. No person should be preparing for the approaching winter without clean, reliable heat, which natural gas provides.
Unfortunately, people living in the Pembroke Township area south of Chicago near the Indiana state line don’t have natural gas and are facing just such a challenge. The area’s median income is about $16,000 a year, it suffers from 30% unemployment and has a 33.9% poverty rate. ...
The plight of Pembroke Township, like others we’ve noted, is a reminder that access to affordable, reliable energy is critically important not only for comfort and convenience, but also for health, particularly among low-income Americans.
John D. Siciliano
Posted December 9, 2019
The recent box office success of 20th Century Fox’s “Ford vs Ferrari” helped moviegoers understand just what it took for the Ford Motor Company to build a world-class supercar and win the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in the 1960s.
But the movie also made me recall the oil industry’s ties to these champions. And the link between Ford and the energy sector when it comes to upping a car’s engine performance and making cars more environmentally sustainable.