Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted February 22, 2019
A big win this week for U.S. liquid natural gas exports: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the Calcasieu Pass liquid natural gas (LNG) export facility in Louisiana – marking an end to a two-year logjam on LNG export approvals while boosting American global energy leadership and signaling opportunity to European allies who’ve been beholden to Russia for natural gas.
The $4.5 billion Calcasieu Pass project near Cameron Parish will be able to export 10 million metric tons per annum of LNG per year. Venture Global first applied for FERC approval for the facility in 2015. About a dozen other proposed facilities await FERC approval. Now, perhaps, the end’s in sight.
Posted February 21, 2019
Update: Middleborough, Massachusetts, has joined parts of New York’s Westchester County on a list of places in the Northeast U.S. where they’ve announced moratoriums on new natural gas service.
As is true in Westchester, there’s not enough pipeline infrastructure to deliver natural gas to everyone in Middleborough who wants it. No question, the situation in Middleborough is unfortunate – as it is in sections of Westchester County affected by the natural gas moratorium there.
Blame short-sighted, agenda-driven opposition to constructing new natural gas pipelines or expand existing ones. Natural gas is near enough – in the Marcellus shale play in Pennsylvania that also extends into New York state.
Posted February 20, 2019
Over API’s 100-year history – we complete our first century next month – we’ve created more than 700 standards to enhance the safety, efficiency and sustainability of natural gas and oil operations. The newest of these updates Recommended Practice 54 (RP 54), which sets procedures to advance and maintain a safe and healthy work environment in drilling and well servicing operations.
Specifically, the new edition of RP 54 (first developed in 1981) includes a section on flowback operations, which is important for safe well testing. It also includes revised requirements for process hazard assessment for facilities and sites and introduces formal risk assessments and expanded provisions for offshore operations.
Posted February 13, 2019
The Green New Deal is getting quite a bit of attention in Washington right now, and naturally, people want to know what the natural gas and oil industry thinks about the proposal to revolutionize America’s economy and way of life – since it appears the plan aims to eliminate natural gas and oil, the nation’s leading fuels, right when there’s record energy demand by consumers.
My reaction is that any proposal that would fundamentally reorder American energy – and the way of life in this country – should first be measured by its impacts on American consumers, the economy and the country’s opportunity for future prosperity.
Especially this one. There’s little question that GND would significantly alter America as we know it.
Posted February 12, 2019
Recent tweet from the American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Perry includes a chart that vividly illustrates one of the biggest benefits of the U.S. energy revolution. First, it plots soaring U.S. net petroleum imports, which peaked at 60.3 percent in 2005, and then logs the plunge to just 12.1 percent last year. The thing that caught my eye in Perry’s tweet is that the time frame for his graph, 1957-2018, is pretty much the span of this blogger’s life.
Most importantly, in one generation, the United States has gone from steadily growing energy dependency to a nation that’s largely in control of its energy destiny. It’s a turnabout many of Americans never thought possible. Remarkable. Breathtaking. Or, as Perry tweets, amazing.
Posted February 8, 2019
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s new report, “The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2019 to 2029,” says what we’ve been saying for some time now – the administration’s tariff policies are a drag on the broader economy.
CBO projects that “the recent changes in trade policy in the United States and its trading-partner countries will reduce the level of U.S. real GDP by about 0.1 percent by 2022
Now, 0.1 percent might not sound like a lot over that time period, but potentially we’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars subtracted from the economy. Dean Foreman, API chief economist, says it’s particularly concerning in the context of an economy that’s decelerating.
Posted February 6, 2019
Tuesday night’s State of the Union message was aimed at Washington finding common ground to work for the American people. President Trump said policymakers should embrace the “boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good.” It struck a chord; more than seven in 10 Americans said they liked the speech’s approach and tone.
The challenge now is to move beyond rhetorical flourishes to action. Think: energy. In the quest for the common ground to do the common good, lawmakers can start with energy.Energy is America’s strong suit.
Posted February 5, 2019
Back in 2015, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s first year in office, we first likened his bid to hike taxes on natural gas production to killing the goose that lays golden eggs. That’s because over the years natural gas production has significantly benefited Pennsylvania – the nation’s No. 2 natural gas producer – in jobs, economic lift and impact fees paid by industry that have helped support public infrastructure, storm and water systems, public safety, housing and more, all over the commonwealth.
Negatively impacting a key Pennsylvania industry doesn’t make sense. Yet, in this new year, Wolf is back with a new tax scheme that could hamper natural gas production and its benefits – a proposal to borrow money to invest in infrastructure that would be paid back through a new natural gas production tax. Again, a tax on top of the impact fees industry already pays.
Posted January 30, 2019
Reducing methane emissions from natural gas and oil development is a primary industry mission – underscored at last summer’s World Gas Conference, where speakers from all over the world talked about increased methane capture and reduced emissions.
The reasons are clear. Fundamentally, our industry is in the business of producing and delivering natural gas, of which methane is the main constituent. Capturing as much methane as possible is smart and efficient from a business standpoint.
Equally important, natural gas and oil companies recognize that reducing methane emissions is responsive to the expectations of society, which wants energy to be produced safely and in a way that’s environmentally responsible. Operators are innovating and deploying technologies to achieve those goals. …
All of these points are important to counter a faulty narrative – that more government regulation is the only way to reduce emissions. This view often faults efforts to craft a regulatory approach that strives for greater efficiency, is achievable and fosters innovation.
Posted January 28, 2019
The reopening of the federal government is welcome news for everyone. As one of the country’s most regulated sectors, the natural gas and oil industry urged resolution, recognizing the important federal role in our nation’s energy sector – including infrastructure project review, issuing permits and other activities.
That said, we’ll point out that during the shutdown, industry operated safely and efficiently each and every day, providing the natural gas and oil that support economic expansion, deliver valuable benefits to consumers, strengthen U.S. security and help advance progress on climate and environmental goals.
Industry’s commitment to regulatory compliance was unaffected by the shutdown, including regulation by EPA, the Bureau of Land Management, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies – as well as state regulations.