Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted August 16, 2021
Some observations follow on the Biden administration’s continued call for OPEC to increase its crude oil production – even as it curbs or discourages U.S. production – plus the president’s recent announcement that he wants the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate summer gasoline prices.
We’ll take the FTC first. Chair Lina Khan has been asked to look into any potential illegal conduct or anti-competitive practices that may have occurred during the summer driving season.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported the national average for gasoline reached $3.172 per gallon Aug. 9, the highest point since October 2014. “[T]here have been divergences between oil prices and the cost of gasoline at the pump,” wrote National Economic Council Director Brian Deese. “While many factors can affect gas prices, the president wants to ensure that consumers are not paying more for gas because of anti-competitive or other illegal practices.”
Numerous federal and state agencies have investigated the causes of price spikes for decades and consistently have found that the markets and other factors are responsible for price fluctuations. If the White House truly believes “anti-competitive or other illegal practices” have elevated gasoline prices, it’s strange that it would look to a cartel of oil-exporting countries to help solve the problem. In fact, the administration is floating a false premise on what’s happened this summer with gasoline prices.
Posted August 11, 2021
The White House has big problems with its continued calls for more crude oil production from OPEC – even as it is discouraging U.S. production.
Rising domestic gasoline prices are a political problem for President Biden. … The administration’s political dilemma is that since April 2020, when EIA reported the per-gallon cost of gasoline was $1.938, prices rose to $3.231 last month. The safe assumption is that most Americans have noticed the 66.7% increase at the pump.
The White House response last month was to plead with OPEC to produce more crude oil – and that’s because the cost of crude oil is the No. 1 factor in the retail cost of gasoline. More supply means more downward pressure on crude costs and retail prices.
On Wednesday, President Biden doubled down on the approach, saying the administration wants OPEC to reverse production cuts made during the pandemic to lower prices for consumers. … Therein lies a big energy policy problem.
Posted August 4, 2021
President Biden’s announcement last week that more of a product must be made in the U.S. to conform to the federal Buy American Act – in support of American jobs – provides an opportunity to double down on a point we made in January, when the president advanced “Made in America” concepts via executive order.
In the same spirit, why not advance American-made natural gas and oil and American natural gas and oil jobs?
Natural gas and oil are the leading energy sources used by Americans – and the rest of the world – every day. You’d think that as the world’s leading producer of the world’s leading energy sources, the U.S. would capitalize on that leadership by fostering more safe and responsible development. Unfortunately, not.
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.
Posted June 16, 2021
Here are three things to consider as President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have their first in-person meeting today in Geneva, Switzerland: Energy is at the heart of Russia's influence and power; new U.S. policies put American energy leadership at risk; and U.S. oil and natural gas should be strengthened, not weakened. ...
There is no question the U.S. relationship with Russia is complicated and will be difficult for years to come. The last thing the U.S. needs is to try to deal with Russia while it is at the same time actively weakening its own energy position. It is an unforced error, an opening that cannot be handed over to formidable adversaries such as Mr. Putin.
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.
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.
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.
Posted November 13, 2020
Some initial thoughts on energy policy as we look ahead to a new administration and Congress.
First, as API President and CEO Mike Sommers said over the weekend, natural gas and oil will continue to play an important role in the United States’ continued economic recovery – recognizing that, as the leading energy sources for the U.S. economy, the two are essential for growth. ...
Our country needs Washington focused on economic recovery and forward-thinking about energy and climate change, factoring in how much energy will be needed when the U.S. and global economies ramp up (see API Chief Economist Dean Foreman’s post, here), while building on reductions in emissions to date and fostering innovation that will enable a safe, secure and cleaner future. To that point, our industry supports continued development and wider deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage as a tool to further reduce emissions, which the president-elect also supports.
Posted October 20, 2020
Vice President Joe Biden’s “No Malarkey Express” keeps hitting a speed bump called fracking.
During his townhall event in Philadelphia last week, Biden repeated that if elected president he wouldn’t ban fracking. It’s not hard to see the importance of fracking in energy-rich Pennsylvania – where lots of eyebrows probably were raised by Biden’s past statements and those of running mate Sen. Kamala Harris that fracking would be halted by a Biden administration (see here, here and here).
So, they’re opposed to banning fracking, which is used to develop about 95% of new wells in this country and key to the U.S. becoming the world’s leading producer of natural gas and oil.
But that’s not the same thing as supporting fracking or U.S. natural gas and oil – made clear by Biden’s proposal to effectively ban new natural gas and oil development on federal lands and waters (see his websiteand the Democratic Party Platform).