Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted March 9, 2017
Perhaps as soon as next week, oil will begin flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline, connecting energy-producing areas in North Dakota with refineries in Illinois. In a recent legal filing the pipeline’s builder, Energy Transfer Partners, said oil would be put in the final part of the pipeline that crosses under Lake Oahe in North Dakota next week or the week after – but most likely next week. Completion of the 1,172-mile, $3.78 billion project represents important progress on a number of fronts, including infrastructure, U.S. energy security, jobs, state and local economies and the rule of law.
Posted September 13, 2016
The situation in North Dakota with the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) – with various groups trying to shut down construction of a legally permitted project that’s already 60 percent finished – is about more than a pipeline, infrastructure needs, economic growth and job creation. It’s about more than U.S. energy security, which the project will strengthen. It’s about the rule of law in this country.
Posted September 13, 2016
North Dakota’s dramatic production increase is a big reason the United States leads the world in oil and natural gas output. As North Dakota energy production has expanded, so has U.S. output – helping the economy, benefiting individual households and making the country more energy secure. North Dakota is a microcosm of that larger energy picture.
Posted September 6, 2016
Posted January 31, 2015
The long trail of “process” excuses for not approving the Keystone XL pipeline is coming to an end.
Five U.S. State Department reviews – all of them basically saying Keystone XL won’t significantly affect the environment – done.
Public hearings – done.
A new pipeline route through Nebraska – done.
By Monday, federal agencies must weigh in on whether Keystone XL is in the national interest. It is, as we’ll get into below.
The point is, after more than six years of process and review by the White House, we’ve come to the end of the processing and the reviewing. The administration stretched to 76 months a pipeline approval process that typically takes 18 to 24 months. It turned Keystone XL into a political football, punted here and there for reasons that clearly weren’t in the national interest.
Posted August 5, 2014
A couple of snapshots of America’s shale energy boom, with a h/t to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
First, Marcellus Shale natural gas production topped 15 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) through July, a first. EIA reports that the Marcellus accounts for 40 percent of U.S. shale gas production. Output has grown to its current level from 2 bcf/d in 2010.
Posted June 30, 2014
Washington Post Editorial: Quietly but wisely, the Commerce Department has decided to allow the first exports of U.S. crude oil since Congress imposed a ban on such sales (except to Canada) in the 1970s. To be sure, the agency’s ruling amounts to redefining crude in a way that applies only to a form of ultralight oil that U.S. refineries are ill-equipped to process. The executive branch couldn’t do much more than that to expand crude exports without congressional permission. Still, Commerce’s move is a step in the right direction because resuming oil sales abroad could help the U.S. economy reap the full fruits of the shale revolution that has propelled this country back into the top ranks of global oil and gas production.
The origins of the ban lie in the long-gone political and economic issues of the Nixon era. Specifically, the United States banned oil exports in response to the declining domestic production and Middle East supply shocks of that time, which, together with the then-existing system of U.S. price controls, made it seem rational to keep U.S.-produced oil at home rather than let it flow to the highest bidder on the world market. The world has changed dramatically since then; with U.S. production booming, this country is in a position to move the world market. Yet some still defend the export ban on the grounds that it holds down the price of crude to U.S. refineries and, by extension, the price of gasoline at U.S. pumps.
A new report by IHS Global explains why that thinking is outmoded.
Posted April 3, 2014
How American Energy Could Change the World
BBC: The holy grail of American leaders over the past four decades, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, has been energy independence, and thanks to shale oil and gas, the dream could soon become reality.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) and oil giant BP certainly think so - they believe the US will be energy independent by 2035.
As Mr Obama said in his State of the Union address last year: "After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future."
No-one is suggesting America will stop importing power overnight, but being largely self-sufficient in energy could have widespread implications not just for the US, but for the rest of the world.
Posted January 2, 2014
Basically, population is growing faster in the South and West than anywhere else in the country – and North Dakota’s 3.1 percent growth rate leads the nation. The second largest percentage increase was Utah’s 1.6 percent. The Post:
The annual estimates of state population on July 1 shows the South added more than 1.1 million residents between 2012 and 2013, while Western states added almost 728,000 residents over the past year. Northeastern states added 171,000 residents, while the Midwest added another 226,000 people. Many of those new Midwestern residents landed in North Dakota, which added 22,000 residents over the past year. That was a 3.1 percent population increase, the highest of any state in the country, fueled by an energy boom in the Bakken oil fields that has pushed the state’s unemployment rate down to 2.6 percent.
Posted December 6, 2013
Say Anything Blog’s Rob Port has a suggestion for workers in different parts of the country who are dissatisfied with how much they’re earning in their present jobs: Come to North Dakota.
As Port and economics/energy blogger Mark J. Perry point out, North Dakota’s thriving economy, driven largely by surging oil and natural gas development (thanks, fracking!), is producing outrageously low unemployment – and rigorous competition for workers. You don’t have to be Milton Friedman to recognize that economic growth + worker demand = growing wages.