Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted June 4, 2019
Some important points as the U.S. House Select Committee on Intelligence meets this week to talk about the impacts of climate change on U.S. security interests, global humanitarian conditions and other issues.
First, U.S. security is the responsibility of the U.S. military, which is the largest government user of energy, ranking ahead of many countries in overall energy use. More than any other energy sources and by a wide margin, natural gas and oil power America’s military.
Second, U.S. national security is directly tied to having access to safe, reliable, abundant energy and also decreasing dependence on energy supplied by other nations. Thanks to the U.S. energy revolution, resulting in record oil production, America’s dependence on others has fallen significantly since 2006.
Third, on the humanitarian issue, U.S. natural gas and oil offer a golden opportunity to lift regions and even entire countries out of energy poverty – with power for electricity that’s unavailable to nearly 1 billion people on earth and clean fuel for home heating and cooking, which about 2.7 billion people currently live without.
Posted May 31, 2019
The stage and podium banners at the Alaska Oil and Gas Association Conference in Anchorage this week had a simple, direct message – “Alaska: Back On The Map.” Certainly, the U.S. will be stronger, more secure and prosperous if the energy in Alaska and the Arctic offshore are developed to their potential.
This was the main point of keynote remarks by API President and CEO Mike Sommers (speech video here) – that an energy-strong Alaska makes America energy strong. The critical factor, Sommers said, is securing access to reserves – in the Alaskan offshore, the designated development zone of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s (ANWR) coastal plain and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).
Posted May 30, 2019
A new Colorado law handing more control over natural gas and oil operations to municipalities, authority that used to reside with the state, risks another law – the law of unintended consequences – that could deal a serious blow to one of our country’s leading energy-producing states.
This week the city of Broomfield became the seventh Colorado community to impose a ban on new natural gas and oil development since introduction of Senate Bill 181, which became law last month. …
Before SB 181’s passage, industry warned the law could disrupt responsible natural gas and oil development by hatching a patchwork, unpredictable regulatory system across the state – with the unintended consequence of imperiling energy development and jobs and economic growth. Regulatory uncertainty can chill sizeable investments in new operations that often have significant lead times
Unfortunately, that uncertainty appears to be growing in Colorado – with national implications because the state ranks sixth in both natural gas and oil production.
Posted May 29, 2019
The headline of the opinion piece in the Orange County Register caught my eye – and should get the attention of everyone in this country:
“Fracking saves low-income Americans’ lives”
The article is based on research published earlier this year, which calculated that lower heating costs associated with surging domestic natural gas production averted 11,000 winter deaths in the U.S. each winter from 2005 to 2010.
Read on for details, but this research makes the critically important connection between abundant energy and Americans’ well-being.
Posted May 24, 2019
There’s lots to know and understand from a new NOAA study on U.S. methane emissions from 2006-2015, starting with the study finding that there has been “major overestimation” of industry’s methane emissions trends in some previous studies.
While U.S. natural gas production has increased 46 percent since 2006, scientists found “no significant increase” in total U.S. methane emissions. During this same period, the NOAA study found only a “modest” increase in emissions from natural gas and oil activity. (In the context of surging natural gas production – emissions intensity, or emissions per unit production – industry emissions are even smaller.)
Posted May 14, 2019
Winning on trade looks like this: 12 million U.S. jobs supported in all 50 states; commerce with neighbors Mexico and Canada was nearly $1.3 trillion in 2017 – four times what it was 25 years ago; in the energy space, trade helps the U.S. natural gas and oil industry, which supports 10.3 million jobs – many of which exist thanks to free North American trade
For these reasons and more, Congress should approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). From an energy standpoint, the case for USMCA approval is strong.
Posted May 14, 2019
Next month the Connecticut Siting Council is scheduled to hold an important vote on a proposed natural gas-fueled power plant near Killingly, the Killingly Energy Center. The plant should get the council’s go-ahead, as it would help meet growing consumer demand while supporting badly needed stability in the regional power grid.
The plant would produce enough electricity for 500,000 homes. In addition to generating electricity, the facility would generate $110 million in local tax revenue over the next two decades while helping the state advance its climate goals (more on that below).
Most importantly, consumers would get needed help.
Posted May 10, 2019
A big shout-out to The Environmental Partnership, which in just over a year has more than doubled in size and whose members account for a sizeable portion of U.S. natural gas production. No less significant is what the Partnership is doing to achieve environmental and climate progress.
Indeed, a key to the progress the Partnership has made is its model of substantive, almost unprecedented information sharing and collaboration on technologies and techniques to reduce methane emissions. It’s a model that could be applied to meet other challenges in the future. …
While some opponents of natural gas and oil dismiss the idea that a voluntary, industry-led partnership can lead to important environmental results, the collaborative dynamic that was on display at a recent Partnership workshop in Oklahoma City argues otherwise.
Posted May 10, 2019
Headlines announcing big oil discoveries in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM) – such as the Blacktip deepwater find last month – are something we’ve come to expect. Gulf production long has been strategically important to the United States, accounting for 17 percent of total U.S. crude oil production, and it’s easy to take for granted that the basin will just keep producing and producing.
Yet, two recent analyses, IHS Markit’s report for the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and a Crystol Energy report, caution that the Central and Western Gulf, currently open to oil and natural gas development, are maturing, having been developed for several decades, and production could begin to decline before long. GOM development must compete globally with other offshore and onshore prospects or face declining interest in exploration, falling investment and decommissioning of critical infrastructure.
Posted May 7, 2019
Four students from The Village School in Houston are winners of the Offshore Technology Conference’s high school competition, the OTC Energy Challenge, which focuses students on working on real-world issues.
They represent the next generation of women and men who no doubt will be at the forefront of meeting future challenges associated with the production and use of energy.