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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Good News: Permitting … Uncertain News: Leasing

permitting  federal leases  oil and natural gas production  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 15, 2021

As we await the Biden administration’s report on the federal natural gas and oil leasing program, let’s note the welcome news that oil and gas permitting approvals this year are on track to reach their highest levels since George W. Bush was president.

Permitting at that pace is good for near-term U.S. production, no question. In January, when the administration suspended new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters, it said permitting would continue, and it has. The country benefits from safe, responsible and robust domestic natural gas and oil production.

Americans shouldn’t conflate permitting and leasing. Drilling permits are issued when companies are ready to develop from acreages, onshore and offshore, previously leased from the federal government. Put another way, leases typically are secured years before development occurs. We’re seeing permits go through at a significant rate because investment and planning have been completed and acreages are ready to go into production. Permitting is about production that’s imminent; leases represent energy in the future.

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End the Federal Leasing Pause – Unleash American Energy

federal leases  president  us energy security  imports 

Lem Smith

Lem Smith
Posted June 21, 2021

Last week, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction blocking President Biden’s policy pausing new natural gas and oil leases on federal lands and waters. The decision identified major limits on the federal government’s ability to restrict energy access and concluded that the Department of the Interior must resume lease sales, both onshore and offshore.

On behalf of U.S. natural gas and oil operators, API urges the administration to move quickly to comply with the court order and end the federal leasing pause.

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World Bank: U.S. Leads in Global Flaring Reduction

methane  Environment  federal leases  emission reductions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 3, 2021

The World Bank is out with its annual Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report, and there’s positive news on U.S. flaring from natural gas and oil production – underscoring industry’s commitment to reduce emissions while continuing to supply the affordable, reliable energy Americans use every day.

The report showed a 32% decrease in U.S. flaring from 2019-2020. This included decreased flaring in three key shale regions – the Permian, Bakken and Eagle Ford. Lower production last year associated with the pandemic was a factor, but the report also notes infrastructure improvements to capture and use gas that in the past would have been flared. 

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Administration's Federal Leasing Policy Continues to Raise Flags

federal leases  us energy security  economic growth  interior department 

Olivia Culver

Olivia Culver
Posted April 6, 2021

The Biden administration’s pause in new natural gas and oil leasing on federal lands and waters continues to look like a hard sell, not only in energy-producing states but also with traditional Democratic allies in organized labor.

We’ve talked about potential negative effects of the administration’s policy on leasing and have warned against even greater impacts to the economy and American energy security if the pause becomes a permanent ban on federal leasing and development (see here, here and here). Projected impacts from a full-on ban on leasing and development in an analysis by OnLocation include approximately 1 million jobs could be lost – nearly 120,000 in Texas, more than 62,000 in New Mexico and more than 48,000 in Louisiana – foreign oil imports could increase 2 million barrels per day; and carbon dioxide emissions could increase 5.5%

Similar concerns surfaced as the U.S. Interior Department (DOI) held a forum on the federal oil and gas program. At the public session, Frank Macchiarola, API senior vice president of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs, noted that federal lands and waters account for 22% of U.S. oil and 12% of U.S. natural gas production and urged DOI leaders to recognize the importance of this production to U.S. energy security, economic growth and continued environmental progress.

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New Mexico's Leasing Concerns Should Concern Us All

new mexico  federal leases  jobs  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 18, 2021

It’s not surprising that New Mexico’s governor, both U.S. senators and other elected officials are concerned with the Biden administration’s halt in new federal natural gas and oil leasing. In 2020, New Mexico was the nation’s No. 3 crude oil producer and No. 8 natural gas producer, and the administration’s policy could affect billions of dollars in state revenues and thousands of jobs.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, penned a letter to President Biden earlier this week cautioning that potential lost revenues as a result of the policy could mean significant hardship for her state. New Mexico receives more than 40% of its total revenue – nearly $4 billion annually – from taxes and royalties paid by the natural gas and oil industry. 

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In U.S. Rep. Haaland, There’s Common Ground for a Working Relationship

interior department  federal leases  infrastructure  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 26, 2021

In introducing U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland – President Biden’s choice to be Interior Department secretary – to the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Congressman Don Young of Alaska, a staunch Republican, predicted this about his House colleague: “You’ll find out that she will listen to you.”

Given the political polarization in Washington, that’s pretty significant – and hugely important in building a bipartisan approach to energy, infrastructure and other issues associated with national economic growth, security and the environment.

The natural gas and oil industry welcomes the opportunity – if Rep. Haaland is confirmed by the full Senate – to work with her as her department manages millions of acres of federal lands and waters that are key to our country’s energy present and future.

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EIA says Natural Gas and Oil Will Remain Integral, But Where Will They Come From?

eia forecast  energy production  us energy security  federal leases 

Jessica  Lutz

Jessica Lutz
Posted February 10, 2021

Natural gas and oil will remain central to meeting our nation’s energy needs well into the future. So says the nonpartisan U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its 2021 Annual Energy Outlook.

The analysis is critically important given the Biden administration’s apparent shift away from the previous administration’s focus on building American energy dominance through homegrown natural gas and oil – seen in the president’s executive order halting new federal leasing.

EIA’s forecast and the administration’s energy position are incompatible with each other, raising a simple question: If we aren’t allowed access to key federal natural gas and oil reserves, onshore and offshore, where will our energy supply come from?

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When Energy Policy is at Odds with Policy Goals

president  policy  anwr  conservation  jobs  federal leases 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 28, 2021

We’ve talked about the potential harm to economic recovery and U.S. energy security in the Biden administration’s early, misguided policy actions – killing the Keystone XL pipeline and halting new natural gas and oil leasing on federal lands and waters, the apparent first step toward banning federal development altogether.

Taking a closer look at the flurry of executive orders from the White House, the president’s energy actions also run counter to his own objectives, including these three:

Advancing “Made in America” concepts; conservation and environmental protection and improving the U.S. government’s relationships with Native Americans.

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Progress or Retreat

president  white house  oil imports  federal leases 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted January 28, 2021

Remarks at the United States Energy Association’s 17th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum:

A month into 2021, a divided America faces more challenges than anytime in modern history. But after a year of crisis, everyone can agree on something – we are ready for recovery.

So, we at API were encouraged to hear President Biden’s Inauguration Day call for unity. Even better, he issued that call at a time when Democrats and Republicans alike can rally around U.S. energy leadership. After all, the new president assumes power when America leads the world both in energy production and environmental performance. ...

Poised to build on this energy progress, API congratulated President Biden. Moments after he took the Oath of Office, we pledged to work with his administration when we can and oppose when we must. So, only eight days into his term, it is disappointing to report that we find ourselves in a posture of strong opposition. But we have no choice.

President Biden’s energy policy actions have completely undercut his message of unity and his mandate for economic recovery. Today I’m going to illustrate why. 

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Administration’s Leasing Approach is a ‘Step Backwards’ on U.S. Energy

us energy security  federal leases  white house  policy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 27, 2021

As the Biden administration takes the first step toward a complete ban on federal natural gas and oil development – including the offshore that accounted for more than one-fifth of U.S. oil production in 2019 – turning America’s energy strength into weakness by launching a new era of increased dependence on foreign oil, let’s see how out of step the approach is with the American people.

From polling of voters last summer in key battleground and other states:  93% said it’s important the U.S. produce enough energy to avoid being reliant on foreign oil; 90% said it’s important to create access to domestic energy; 69% said safe domestic natural gas and oil production makes the U.S. less reliant on foreign energy and has increased U.S. security. (Just 16% disagreed.)

All three viewpoints sharply contrast with where the Biden administration appears to be going with its announced halt on natural gas and oil leasing on federal lands and waters – which many believe will become a full ban on federal development.

Put simply, the White House is advancing an import-more-oil policy – one that would discard the hard-earned security, economic and environmental gains from a decade and a half of domestic energy resurgence. 

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