Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted March 4, 2016
Just recently saw this article on National Geographic.com, suggesting the United States made a significant shift in its energy economy in 2015:
Consider what happened last year alone. The amount of electricity from coal-fired power plants hit a record low while that from natural gas generators hit a record high. Also, renewable energy added the most new power to the electric grid, and annual carbon emissions reached a 20-year low.
First, a reminder that new power capacity added to the grid doesn’t translate directly to new power. Below, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows that in terms of electricity generation change (from 2014 to 2015) at utility-scale facilities and including distributed solar, natural gas led in net generation:
That’s not knocking renewables, just an illustration of today’s energy reality and a reminder of the oft-overlooked energy, economic and climate benefits accruing to the United States from increasing natural gas use.
Posted February 12, 2016
What if we had a market-based approach for reducing carbon dioxide emissions – gifted to the United States because of its unique combination of abundant energy resources, technological advances and know-how – that not only would yield CO2 reductions at world-leading levels but also would strengthen our economy and security? And all at potentially less cost than the mandates under the CPP?
OK, it wasn’t an altogether serious question, because that approach and the progress it has generated actually exist. Progress on emissions and energy has come from America’s ongoing energy revolution, a renaissance fueled by vast shale reserves and driven by safe hydraulic fracturing and advanced horizontal drilling.
Posted January 13, 2016
Absent from EPA’s plans was any acknowledgement that methane and carbon emissions are already down. Recognizing progress we’ve already made – and the market factors contributing to that success – is critical to avoiding costly, duplicative regulations that could undermine that progress, as well as economic growth.
Posted November 25, 2015
Posted November 13, 2015
Ethanol producers want Secretary of State John Kerry to trumpet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) at the big Paris climate conference later this month. Big Ethanol says the U.S. should highlight the RFS in Paris, not hide it – referring to the fact the RFS is missing from the Obama administration’s “intended nationally determined contribution” document that outlines what the U.S. would do under the next international climate agreement.
Maybe the reason for the omission is the number of studies showing that climate and environment are worse off because of the RFS.
Posted July 17, 2015
Earlier this week Climate Central posted a story on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants noting that 41 states experienced reductions from 2008 to 2013, according to a study by Ceres, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Bank of America and four large utilities.
Posted March 20, 2015
More unhelpful talk from the administration directed at America’s energy industry – strange, given the key role played by the oil and natural gas industry in the nation’s recovery from recession, in reducing oil imports, in making the U.S. more secure in the world and in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, all on the current administration’s watch.
It’s not that some in the administration haven’t noticed these positives. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell at CSIS this week:
“… it’s no coincidence that our economic recovery has been accompanied by the biggest energy transformation of our lifetimes. The energy revolution we experienced in these last six years helped spur the recovery, but it’s also been accelerated by the policies our country put in place. Since 2008, American oil production has surged, from 5 million to 9 million barrels a day. And our dependence on foreign oil has fallen to its lowest level in more than 30 years. … These shifts in U.S. energy markets aren’t marginal or temporary. They are tectonic shifts …”
... Yet, in a recent interview President Obama talked about energy companies and climate change in adversarial, unproductive tones – echoing other administration messaging lately that borrows from the activist community. Like that messaging, these recent remarks are divorced from reality.
Posted April 4, 2014
It’s hard to overstate the significance of the role that abundant, clean-burning natural gas had in bringing U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to a 20-year low in 2012. While the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expected 2013 emissions to inch up – mostly due to increased coal use in electrical generation – the projected level still would be more than 10 percent below where emissions were in 2005.
While lowering CO2 emissions is talked about in various circles, the fact is the United States already is doing it, thanks largely to natural gas – 60 percent of the U.S. total produced with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
Posted September 10, 2013
Let the numbers sink in from a new T2 and Associates study that details the oil and natural gas industry’s investments in technologies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions starting with $81 billion – industry’s investment in GHG mitigation technologies between 2000 and 2012.
Posted April 16, 2013
A pair of noteworthy items point to the sustainability of America’s shale natural gas revolution – and also its added benefits.
First, the newest biennial report by the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) says the United States has a total future natural gas supply of 2,688 trillion cubic feet (tcf) as of the end of 2012, a significant increase from its 2010 year-end estimate. Details:
- 2,384 tcf in technically recoverable reserves, including 2,226 tcf from conventional sources, tight sands and carbonates and shales, plus 158 tcf in coalbed reserves. The overall future supply number is the sum of PGC’s technically recoverable figure and the Energy Department’s latest figure for proved reserves (dry gas).
- Compared to the year-end 2010 estimate, assessed resources increased by 28 percent.
- The assessment is the highest in PGC’s 48-year history.