Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted May 16, 2017
Last month’s presidential executive order aimed at increasing access to U.S. offshore natural gas and oil reserves is starting to bear fruit with two important developments from the Interior Department, which oversees access to federal offshore and onshore resources. … Both are welcome developments. America’s future energy security largely depends on safe development of offshore energy. Increasing access to offshore natural gas is critically important with 94 percent of federal offshore acreage currently off limits.
Posted June 25, 2015
The U.S. Interior Department is out with its Economic Report for Fiscal Year 2014 – which doesn’t sound like it would be a whole lot of fun reading. But the report actually contains some pretty important bits of information.
For example, you get a clear sense that Interior Department activities support jobs and economic growth, which are good things. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell called her department a “powerful economic engine.” More Jewell:
“Our parks and public lands support outdoor recreation, promote renewable energy and allow us to harness other domestic energy resources, create jobs and promote economic development in communities across all 50 states.”
It’s the “other domestic energy resources” that caught our eye.
Posted April 30, 2015
It’s noteworthy that there’s bipartisanship in Congress on offshore energy development. Last week a group of Republican U.S. House and Senate members signed onto a letter urging the Interior Department to increase access to energy reserves on the nation’s outer continental shelf. It follows a March 26 letter from Virginia’s two Democratic senators and a March 27 letter from a dozen House Democrats supporting offshore energy development.
Bipartisanship in Washington is quite a rare bird, so it’s significant to see it form around the need to develop domestic offshore energy.
Equally important: Strongly worded concern from the most recent letter’s signers that the draft 2017-2022 plan for oil and natural gas leasing offered by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management not be weakened by removing any of the leasing areas in the proposal.
Posted February 11, 2015
With federal officials holding one in a series of public hearings on the Obama administration’s draft offshore oil and natural gas leasing program today in Norfolk, Va., it’s worth underscoring the benefits that offshore energy could bring to the commonwealth.
These include 25,000 jobs by 2035, according to a study by Quest Offshore Resources, and nearly $1.9 billion for the state’s budget by 2035, with revenue sharing in place.
Posted February 2, 2015
Taking a look at the president’s new budget request for the Interior Department, we see the administration asking for $13.2 billion, an increase of nearly $1 billion over the enacted funding level for the current fiscal year.
Now take a look at data from Interior’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue, which tabulates federal revenues from energy developed in federal areas onshore and offshore.
It’s a lot of information, but check the bottom line: For fiscal year 2013, revenues from oil and natural gas developed in federal areas totaled about $12.9 billion. For FY2014 the total was about $11.7 billion. Federal revenues from oil and natural gas development in FY2014 were about $1.2 billion less than in FY2013.
Interestingly, the amount of lost revenue is just about equal to Interior’s requested budget increase for FY2016. In other words, Interior lost $1.2 billion in revenue from 2013 to 2014 and basically is looking to taxpayers to fill in the gap in the next budget.
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Posted January 28, 2015
Three maps, two views of America’s offshore energy wealth.
One reflects vast offshore oil and natural gas resource potential – nearly 50 billion barrels of oil and more than 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. We say potential because these areas represent the 87 percent of America’s federal offshore acreage that has been closed to exploration and development, dwarfing the areas where development is allowed.
Nonetheless, what’s visible is the profile of an offshore energy giant, an offshore superpower. This is energy muscle waiting to be flexed. These are resources that could benefit Americans in terms of energy security, as more oil and natural gas is safely and responsibly produced right here at home, as well as job creation and economic stimulus.
That’s what energy superpowers do. They develop their resources to increase their security in a world where secure energy is fundamental to overall security. They develop their resources to fuel economic growth and to help ensure the prosperity of their citizens.
Posted December 4, 2014
One key to sustaining and growing the ongoing U.S. energy revolution is to increase access to America’s oil and natural gas reserves – specifically, gaining more access to reserves under federal control, onshore and offshore.
And a revolution is what we’re seeing. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), domestic crude output topped 9 million barrels per day for the fourth week in a row, a production level not seen since the mid-1980s.
As great as that news is, it could be better because America’s energy production growth – generating new jobs, growing the economy and increasing our energy security – is occurring on state and private lands. More access to reserves in federal areas would help expand the revolution, generating even more benefits.
Posted October 28, 2014
In an interview with the Huffington Post, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, in just a handful of minutes, does a pretty good job answering some of the most common attacks on hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling made by opponents of fracking – many of whom apparently want no part of the job creation, increased U.S. energy security and reduced emissions of methane and carbon dioxide that safe and responsible fracking brings. Jewell:
“Fracking has been around for over 60 years. It is the ability to actually unlock oil and gas from reservoirs away from the wellbore. New techniques with directional drilling and staged fracking have enabled people to direct those fractures into formations that release a lot of oil and gas a long way away – maybe two miles from the actual wellhead.”
In a nutshell she describes the marriage of advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that is responsible for America’s ongoing energy renaissance – dramatically increasing domestic oil and natural gas production from vast shale reserves to the point where the U.S. now is No. 1 in the world in natural gas production and is expected to be No. 1 in oil output soon.
Posted November 19, 2013
The Interior Department says it disbursed more than $14.2 billion in revenue generated by energy production during the federal fiscal year that ended Oct. 30 – a $2 billion or 17 percent increase over the previous year. The increase included $2.77 billion in bonus bids for new oil and natural gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell:
“Domestic energy production infuses funding into communities across the United States that creates American jobs, fosters land and water conservation efforts, improves critical infrastructure, and supports education. The funding reflects significant energy production from public resources in the United States and serves as a critical revenue stream for federal and state governments and tribal communities.”
Interior said revenues were distributed to state, local, federal and tribal accounts for reclamation, conservation, recreation and historic preservation projects. Local governments use these revenues for needs ranging from funding schools to infrastructure improvements, the department said. More than $8 billion was sent to the U.S. Treasury to fund programs for the entire nation.
Certainly, this is good news. Increased production of U.S. oil and natural gas results in job creation and economic stimulus, as well as more revenue for governments in the form of income taxes, rents, royalties and bonus payments. Every day the oil and natural gas industry delivers about $85 million to the U.S. Treasury. Our effective tax rate of 44 percent (2007-2012) leads other industries.
Posted June 15, 2011