Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted June 9, 2021
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s negative comments last week about fracking – “truly a catastrophic type of production” – and U.S. natural gas are hardly surprising.
Putin has disparaged U.S. hydraulic fracturing before, and we get it: Few heads of state are as threatened by U.S. global energy leadership, built by the fracking/horizontal drilling revolution. Putin’s newest remarks come as Russia nears completion of a new natural gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, to Germany that will vie with exported U.S. natural gas. It’s all in the marketing, right?
More seriously, the Russian leader’s comments are one among many reminders that energy markets are global, that there’s rigorous competition between energy-producing nations to meet global demand and that domestic natural gas and oil production and the infrastructure to transport it are critically important to our economy, security and way of life.
Posted May 25, 2021
New, independent analysis says that the U.S. can rapidly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by using natural gas as a co-fuel at coal power plants – pointing to another reason domestic natural gas is key to a cleaner future.
The analysis by Resources for the Future (RFF) outlines how EPA could foster natural gas cofiring at coal plants to reduce emissions. Authors Maya Domeshek and Dallas Burtraw write that a modest cofiring standard at coal plants can reduce carbon emissions significantly and rapidly and that adding a cofiring standard to other national electricity policies also accelerates emissions reductions.
Posted May 12, 2021
During a period of transition and change in our country, the natural gas and oil industry remains a foundation for progress, supplying the energy to run a modern economy – and doing so in ways that protect the environment and reduce emissions.
API President and CEO Mike Sommers emphasized those and related points in a speech to some of the nation’s leading energy producers at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Sommers described the natural gas and oil industry as one that is focused on producing for the American people as well as one that’s developing technologies and innovating to address the risks of climate change. Sommers said the most important environmental movement in the world is the U.S. natural gas and oil industry.
Posted April 29, 2021
With President Biden committing the U.S. to a more than 50% reduction in economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 – nearly double the previous national target – some policy experts say America will need natural gas and a modern pipeline network to reach the goal.Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy recently published an energy infrastructure report – “Investing in the U.S Natural Gas Pipeline System to Support Net-Zero Targets” – underscoring the importance of natural gas in achieving meaningful environmental progress.
Posted April 21, 2021
Soon after the 2020 election we noted that results showed U.S. voters are mostly moderate and practical and want sensible solutions to key issues facing the nation, which Democratic pollster Mark Penn wrote is driven by common sense over ideology. Americans’ views on energy certainly fit that construct.
New polling by Morning Consult on behalf of API underscores the point and provides important context for Washington policymakers as they debate the twin issues of energy and climate.
Posted April 15, 2021
EPA’s latest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report shows continued progress in lowering U.S. emissions. A good deal of this progress can be attributed to increased use of domestic natural gas. Some key numbers stand out:
Total GHG emissions fell 1.7% from 2018 to 2019 and have decreased 11.6% since 2005; emissions from the electric power sector have fallen 12.1% since 1990 and 33% since 2005; methane emissions from natural gas systems have decreased 4% since 2005 – even as marketed natural gas production over the same period increased more than 90%; emissions from abandoned oil and natural gas wells have fallen 2.9% since 1990, 8% since 2005 and 9.5% since 2018 – reflecting reductions in the official estimate of unplugged, abandoned wells.
EPA gives significant credit for the 1.7% emissions decrease noted above to growing use of cleaner natural gas.
John D. Siciliano
Posted April 5, 2021
API took an important step to extending its safety and environmental protection programs to the continent of Africa, signing a new collaborative agreement with the business group African Energy Chamber (AEC), to expand use of API world-class standards, certifications and training programs.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the AEC – API’s first agreement with an African partner – is the latest in a series of similar agreements in the past year between API and organizations in nearly every region of the world. Such agreements arise from the global recognition API standards have earned for enhancing safety, efficiency and environmental protection across the natural gas and oil industry.
Stephanie Catarino Wissman
Posted March 16, 2021
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is again proposing a severance tax on the commonwealth’s natural gas industry – the seventh such tax proposal in as many years. Like the others before it, this is a bad idea that could harm the benefits of energy production to the state and nation.
Wolf has teed up his latest tax proposal as a “commonsense” solution to the state’s economic recovery efforts. But it’s really a tax-and-spend scheme that could have negative consequences for all Pennsylvanians.
The fact is the effects of a natural gas severance tax would extend beyond industry. Because natural gas production boosts the commonwealth’s broader economy and supports technical education, infrastructure and many other public services, everyone would be impacted.
Posted February 18, 2021
More than 4 million Texas homes and businesses have been without electricity this week as an Arctic air mass left the state coping with temperatures hovering around zero. Electricity and natural gas use spiked and rolling blackouts were ordered as energy systems experienced what the Webber Energy Group’s Joshua Rhodes called a “black swan event” that taxed all parts of those systems at the same time.
I spoke with Dustin Meyer, API vice president of Natural Gas Markets, to find out what happened in Texas, to understand the conditions that left the nation’s No. 1 energy state struggling for power and heat and what resources could help prevent this from happening again.
Bottom line points: Texas’ difficulties represent a failure of the grid across the board, with all generation technologies falling short of expectations; as in California last summer, events in Texas underscore the need for a diverse energy supply and smart planning to support the health of the U.S. power grid; natural gas, unique among energy sources in supplying needed attributes that ensure grid reliability, is and will remain a key in that diverse mix; and natural gas has carried most of the energy load in Texas this week, and without its contributions the energy picture would have been even worse. Expanded infrastructure would help make natural gas systems more resilient.
Posted February 12, 2021
America’s natural gas and oil industry is a reliable foundation for our country’s economic recovery and resurgence, as well as a key factor in helping the nation reach climate and environmental goals. In that context, it’s encouraging to hear President Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Energy – former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm – express support for U.S. natural gas leadership and the opportunity to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions through liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.
The industry is committed to working with the Biden administration toward workable climate solutions, and natural gas-fueled power generation is key to a cleaner energy mix, at home and abroad.