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Energy Tomorrow Blog

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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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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Why Import Oil? Saudi Cargoes Help U.S. Refiners

saudi arabia  crude oil  refiners  imports  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

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USMCA Advances America’s Energy Security

us trade  Energy Security  imports  exports 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted December 19, 2019

Last week, House Democrats and the Trump administration announced a bipartisan deal on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), concluding the year-long debate and setting the stage for congressional approval. Today, it heads to the House floor, bringing the agreement one step closer to reality.

From an energy perspective, the case for finalizing USMCA is strong, and as we’ve said, its approval is essential to economic progress and energy security. Because North America’s energy markets are interdependent and multi-directional, integration will result in more affordable energy for consumers in all three countries.

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U.S. Leaders Should Empower U.S. Energy Leadership

us energy security  oil and natural gas production  imports  hydraullic fracturing 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 22, 2019

Our newest video reminds everyone how much the United States has gained from the energy revolution – record-breaking, world-leading production of natural gas and oil – with clips of presidents from both political parties over the years, urgently calling for lower oil imports. They knew America’s national security was tied to increasing the nation’s energy security. …

Presidents since Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s recognized that ever-increasing oil imports meant increasing dependency on others for energy. … That changed with the energy revolution. …

The question, as we’ve posed in recent posts (see here and here), is why anyone would erase these gains by banning hydraulic fracturing, as some candidates for president have advocated. Why would America reject its own natural gas and oil abundance and go back to an era of energy scarcity?



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On U.S. Energy Security, Low Energy Prices

monthly-stats-report  exports  imports  trade 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted October 17, 2019

A major milestone for U.S. energy trade appears imminent. For the first time in more than 60 years, the U.S. may be a net exporter of total energy – based on API’s estimates in our latest Monthly Statistical Report (MSR).

The MSR shows that the U.S. petroleum trade balance decreased to net imports of just 818,000 barrels per day in September – and that at a time when domestic demand was at its highest level ever. With the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimating that U.S. net exports of natural gas last month were 5.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) – more than 900,000 barrels per day in oil-equivalent energy – that would exceed U.S net imports of crude oil and refined products. 


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Oil Exports, Lower Net Imports, Greater Energy Security

crude oil exports  oil imports  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 4, 2019

The latest figures on U.S. crude oil exports show growing U.S. energy leadership, while the continued decline in net oil imports signals strengthened American energy security – with both stemming from the revolution in U.S. production. Charts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) help illustrate.

First, EIA reports that U.S. crude oil exports rose to average 2.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in the first half of this year – an increase of 966,000 b/d over the same period in 2018. U.S. crude oil exports set a record in June of 3.2 million b/d, and EIA's graph vividly reflects the sea change in the United States’ oil exporting posture.


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Price Spikes in New England Limited by Natural Gas – Just Not Ours

consumers  natural gas  liquefied natural gas  imports  marcellus  utica shale 

Jessica  Lutz

Jessica Lutz
Posted May 17, 2019

It seems like each winter we see consumers in New England suffering not just from freezing temperatures but also the highest energy prices in the country (see here and here) – largely because there’s not enough natural gas infrastructure to serve the region during periods of peak winter demand. This past winter, the news was a little bit better.

Natural gas prices generally follow seasonal patterns and tend to rise in the winter. For example, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has suggested

that liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports  helped to moderate energy price spikes in the region this year. ...

Still, domestic infrastructure constraints in New York and New England mean that residents remain faced with relatively high and uncertain energy prices plus the possibility of winter shortages – not to mention the unnecessary stress those conditions put on the region’s power grid. 

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The $670 Million Question for New York, New England Consumers

consumers  natural gas  infrastructure  liquefied natural gas  imports 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 4, 2019

A pair of graphics prepared by API Chief Economist Dean Foreman help underscore the impacts of bad, consumer-impacting policies blocking needed natural gas infrastructure in New York and New England.

First, because New York and New England don’t have enough natural gas pipeline capacity to meet the needs of consumers, especially during peak-demand months in the winter, the two have had to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) to help fill in the gaps.

As Dean’s graphic shows, 90 percent of the $1.2 billion in LNG the U.S. has imported since 2016 went to NY/NE. The bad news for consumers is that they paid about $670 million more for the imported LNG than they would have paid for domestic natural gas – that should have been available from the nearby Marcellus shale play with sufficient infrastructure to deliver it.


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U.S. Consumers Bearing the Brunt of Tariffs and Quotas

taxes  trade  consumers  imports  infrastructure 

Jessica  Lutz

Jessica Lutz
Posted March 13, 2019

The administration is considering doubling down on its trade war despite repeated warnings and thorough evidence that tariffs and quotas are negatively impacting American consumers, even while failing to lower the U.S. trade deficit. We can now add one more report to that long list of evidence with the release of a new analysis from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) with all-too-familiar findings: the economic impact of trade restrictions is falling solely on consumers – not the countries that they target – despite the Administration’s claims. This serves as an unfortunate reminder that tariffs are a tax on imported goods that is paid for not only by American businesses but potentially consumers.

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