Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted November 14, 2018
The good news is that EPA’s proposed amendments to the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) OOOOa rule will continue the rule’s ability to effectively reduce volatile organic compound and methane emissions from all emission sources addressed in the previous administration’s rule. Methane is the primary component of natural gas – a key product for industry. Producers are incentivized to bring that product to consumers, making its capture a top priority from a business standpoint, in addition to the environmental considerations. Unfortunately, the proposed rule includes several missed opportunities, and could ultimately stifle innovative new technologies in emissions detection and increase the cost of energy for Americans.
Posted October 23, 2018
Two stat lines capture the essence of modern natural gas and oil development:
First, the United States produced a record 11 million barrels of oil per day (mbd) in September, 2.2 mbd more than September 2017, according to API’s latest Monthly Statistical Report (MSR). It’s a remarkable output number, given where domestic production was less than two decades ago.
Second point: Just as remarkable is the fact the United States’ world leadership in natural gas and oil production is accompanied by world leadership in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Posted September 26, 2018
It’s Clean Energy Week, which API is proud to sponsor. Thus, a new commitment by an oil and natural gas industry group – the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) – to reduce methane emissions is well-timed indeed. Three big points from OGCI’s announcement and Clean Energy Week: 1) Clean natural gas is integral to climate progress; 2) Industry is leading in reducing greenhouse gas emissions; 3) Climate action isn't exclusive to government regulation or special-interest agendas.
Posted September 13, 2018
Let’s push back against a narrative springing up around EPA’s proposed improvements to the 2016 standards on emissions from new natural gas and oil production sources – which the agency says will streamline implementation, reduce duplication with state requirements and decrease unnecessary burdens on domestic energy producers.
First, while API reviews EPA’s proposal, it’s important to note that it appears the rule will continue to protect public health and reduce emissions through standards that are smarter, science-based and that promote greater cost-effectiveness – while industry keeps on delivering the energy Americans use every day.
The narrative is based on a mythology that natural gas and oil companies don’t care about emissions and won’t develop new technologies and innovations to capture more and more emissions unless Washington makes them do it. False and false.
Posted September 11, 2018
To mark National Drive Electric Week, as well as discussions of electric vehicles (EVs) likely at this week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, let’s underscore some important perspective on EVs contained in this recent piece by Axios.
Amy Harder’s column compares the carbon dioxide emissions saved by each Tesla EV to the CO2 savings of other sources of energy, including natural gas. Noting Tesla’s July announcement that it had passed the 200,000 mark for vehicles sold in the U.S., Harder – assisted by think tank Third Way – wrote that a nuclear reactor replacing coal equals the CO2 savings of 541,353 Teslas. Natural gas replacing one coal plant equals the CO2 savings of 98,940 Teslas, and so on.
Harder’s piece isn’t a knock against Tesla, just one EV manufacturer, or EVs in general. Rather, it suggests that a national discussion of EVs should be fact-based, and that we might need to tap the brakes a bit on EV technology’s emissions impacts.
Posted August 21, 2018
With EPA unveiling its proposed new rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, there’s already lots of discussion of whether the proposal is an improvement over the rule it would replace – whether a regime may focus on the utility sector as a system or needs to focus on individual sources.
Be that as it may, we’ll go back to the main point we made amid discussion of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which EPA’s new proposal would replace:
Thanks to clean natural gas and its selection by the market as the leading fuel for electricity generation, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector have plunged – without the CPP’s implementation. According to EPA's fact sheet, CO2 emissions from the power sector decreased 28 percent from 2005 through 2017.
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 July 18, 2018
There’s talk about reducing greenhouse gas emissions – and then there’s taking steps to produce measurable results. The United States is in the second category, with the natural gas and oil industry playing the leading role.
Two charts from the American Enterprise Institute’s Mark J. Perry help illustrate: First, using data gleaned from BP’s Statistical Review of Global Energy, Perry shows that the U.S. led the world in reducing carbon dioxide emissions in 2017.
Posted July 9, 2018
There’s good and not-so-good in a recent Washington Post editorial on natural gas and climate policy, which rightly nails the importance of natural gas to the U.S. economy and the environment, yet wrongly suggests more layers of government regulation are needed to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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.