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Energy Tomorrow Blog

State of American Energy 2021: Ready to Help Build the Future

state of american energy  economic recovery  oil and natural gas industry 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 13, 2021

We’re ready, and we’re able.

After a difficult year in which too many were lost, economic hardship was palpable and creeping doubt dogged the national psyche, Americans are right to look to the future. And America’s natural gas and oil industry is ready and able to help build that future.

It takes energy – affordable, reliable energy – to move people and things, to build, heat, manufacture, innovate and grow today and tomorrow. Natural gas and oil are America’s leading energy sources, by far, and our industry is ready to provide the dependable foundation for the country’s next great chapter.

Like every other business sector, ours took some lumps in 2020, but we proved our resilience, our staying power and capacity, despite significant challenges, to power recovery and drive new opportunity on a nationwide scale.

Those are a few of the key themes from today’s API’s annual State of American Energy event. Emerging from the trials of 2020, all of us can be thankful that the state of American energy – the state of the U.S. natural gas and oil industry – is good, very good.

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Abundant Natural Gas Has Benefited Consumers

natural gas  consumers  energy costs  production 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 11, 2021

Making energy more affordable for Americans is one of the biggest benefits of the U.S. natural gas and oil revolution. Over the past decade or so, abundant domestic reserves, unlocked by modern hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, lowered consumer energy costs – even as household expenses for health care, education and food increased.

The challenge for everyone is not to take affordable, reliable energy for granted. Not too long ago the country was beset with rising annual costs for gasoline, ever-growing oil imports and dwindling domestic natural gas supplies. The natural gas situation was so alarming, lots of smart people believed the U.S. would need to build natural gas import facilities to help meet domestic demand.            

Again, the shale energy revolution changed that storyline. We have plentiful supplies of natural gas here at home and increased energy security. The U.S. has become a leading natural gas exporter and was on track in 2020 to be a net exporter of petroleum and total energy on an annual basis for the first time in 60 years. That’s what energy security looks like.

This leads back to consumer benefits – reflected in a new U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report showing that last year natural gas prices were at their lowest levels in decades.

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Safe Development of ANWR Coastal Plain is Key to America's Energy Future

arctic  access  alaska  anwr  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 6, 2021

An important point for consideration by opponents of the scheduled natural gas and oil lease sale for the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska: World demand for energy will continue rising into the future as far as we can see.

Both the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the International Energy Agency project that – the effects of the pandemic aside – demand for energy, led by natural gas and oil is going to increase. IEA estimates that even with the U.S. participating in the Paris Climate Agreement, natural gas and oil will supply about half, and perhaps more, of the world’s energy in 2040.

In that context, the estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil in the designated 1002 Area of ANWR should be included in America’s strategic energy thinking and planning.

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Leading Through the 2020 Pandemic, Powering the 2021 Recovery

economic recovery  consumers  energy reserves  efficiency 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 30, 2020

What a year. Thinking of those who lost their lives or were seriously ill and the continuing hardships from the pandemic, such as lost jobs and financial setbacks, 2020 can’t end soon enough.

Like other industries, ours faced steep challenges as it played an important role in helping the country battle the virus and supported economic recovery. There was added meaning to the word “resilience,” and our country is better off because our industry proved its staying power.

Think of it this way: Imagine the country in the middle of a global pandemic, trying to regain its footing, but without sufficient domestic natural gas and oil – or a modern, technologically advanced industry to develop that energy for consumers, businesses and manufacturers.

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Spotlight on Progress – Industry-wide Resilience and Opportunities for Growth

economic growth  demand  women in energy industry 

Amanda Eversole

Amanda Eversole
Posted December 18, 2020

Last week, I was honored to participate in the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s (WBENC) Energy Week and present at the State of Energy Industry Webinar, alongside a distinguished group of panelists representing every segment of the natural gas and oil industry to discuss the challenges facing the sector, as well as the opportunities for natural gas and oil operators in the year ahead.

This industry, like many others, has navigated the coronavirus pandemic, the nation’s racial reckoning, the election season and the ongoing economic fallout from widespread shutdowns. Across the board, API members have demonstrated unwavering resilience, finding ways to deliver essential energy products while protecting the health and safety of our workers, communities and the environment.

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Despite Challenges of 2020, U.S. Boosts its Energy Security

us energy security  imports  trade 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted December 11, 2020

Despite the 2020 COVID-19 recession, the U.S. has reached milestones for energy security and trade, including its lowest imports of crude oil and reliance on OPEC in nearly three decades. 

Achieving the milestones this year has enabled the U.S. to be on track to become a net exporter of petroleum and total energy on an annual basis for the first time in more than 60 years. At the same time, U.S. refiners have increasingly leveraged domestically-produced energy, ultimately benefiting households through lower spending on energy.

In short, record productivity has enabled abundant domestic oil and natural gas supplies, amped-up U.S. energy exports and displaced foreign energy imports to the benefit of American consumers. This is the backdrop for the imminent change of U.S. administration, as well as a heightened focus on U.S. energy security –  see here and here  even though petroleum products and natural gas have remained abundant and at historically low prices. 

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Americans are Big Winners With Natural Gas and Oil Development

economic growth  federal leases  royalties  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 9, 2020

Let’s discuss the value of natural gas and oil to all Americans – the fundamental worth of abundant, affordable and reliable energy to modern, daily life, the economy and our nation’s security – which gets lost in two U.S. senators’ proposal to make producing energy on federal lands more costly.

U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Tom Udall of New Mexico want to increase the royalty rate for production on federal lands, which would discourage that critical production. We’ll get to that point down below. First, let’s zero in on the issue of fundamental value.

In a New York Times op-ed, Grassley and Udall call the American public “the big loser” under the current royalty arrangement. In doing so, the senators are so preoccupied with percentages they inadvertently make an afterthought of what current natural gas and oil production on federal lands means for U.S. economic growth, global leadership, strengthened security at home and significant environmental progress.

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Energy Development on Federal Lands Sends Billions to States

conservation  offshore energy  revenues 

Jessica  Lutz

Jessica Lutz
Posted December 8, 2020

Efficient, safe and responsible natural gas and oil development doesn’t just create jobs and produce the energy that powers our lives – it also funds the conservation programs and public services Americans across the country rely on.

Despite this year’s demand downturn, more than $8 billion from energy development on federal lands and waters in fiscal year 2020 will be disbursed to states and Native American mineral owners, providing funding for conservation programs, schools, infrastructure projects and other public services across the country, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR).

For decades, the natural gas and oil industry has directly contributed to outdoor recreation and environmental conservation, and critical public programs, not only in high-producing states but in communities across the country.

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Election’s Dynamics Point to Policies That Sustain U.S. Energy Leadership

election  president  policy  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 3, 2020

Post-election analysis says that the U.S. electorate is mostly moderate and expects moderate, sensible policy positions – an important point as Team Biden assembles and a new Congress prepares to convene. 

There’s this from veteran Democratic pollster Mark Penn in the Wall Street Journal: The nation is largely moderate, practical and driven by common sense over ideology. … The message from the voters is that we are not divided into two extreme camps. Rather, they are more centrist in nature and outlook, and that a president who governs too far to the right or left is likely to be left behind in the next election.

And Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis: If Biden wants to keep his winning streak alive, he will keep running the same winning play that got him this far: He will run right down the middle.

On energy, right down the middle, practical and common sense is best for the country’s energy security, economy and environmental protection. This acknowledges the primary role the U.S. energy revolution – made possible by safe, modern hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies – has played in fundamentally changing the trajectory for U.S. security, global energy leadership, economic growth and emissions reduction.

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U.S. Has Come Too Far For a Retreat on Natural Gas and Oil

fracking  federal leases  us energy security  economic growth 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 26, 2020

Vice President Joe Biden’s statements on fracking and energy during the final presidential debate raise questions about the former vice president’s overall understanding of issues that are so critical to the U.S. economy, security and the environment.

We’ve previously noted Biden’s various comments on fracking – he has said he would ban the technology that made the U.S. the world No. 1 in natural gas and oil production (see here and here), before vowing he wouldn’t ban it. He repeated the no-ban pledge in Nashville (after asserting he never said he opposed fracking).  

More problematic is another promise Biden repeated during the final presidential debate – that he’ll ban new federal natural gas and oil leasing, effectively halting new production on federal lands and waters. 

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