Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted September 1, 2021
One of the great stories of the U.S. energy revolution is that, as it broke productivity records, it ultimately imposed downward pressure on the prices for energy and other goods and services, benefiting U.S. household budgets.
Yet, so far in 2021, prices have risen for energy and most other goods – and could bring unfavorable surprises for macroeconomic policies and households alike.
Posted January 11, 2021
Making energy more affordable for Americans is one of the biggest benefits of the U.S. natural gas and oil revolution. Over the past decade or so, abundant domestic reserves, unlocked by modern hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, lowered consumer energy costs – even as household expenses for health care, education and food increased.
The challenge for everyone is not to take affordable, reliable energy for granted. Not too long ago the country was beset with rising annual costs for gasoline, ever-growing oil imports and dwindling domestic natural gas supplies. The natural gas situation was so alarming, lots of smart people believed the U.S. would need to build natural gas import facilities to help meet domestic demand.
Again, the shale energy revolution changed that storyline. We have plentiful supplies of natural gas here at home and increased energy security. The U.S. has become a leading natural gas exporter and was on track in 2020 to be a net exporter of petroleum and total energy on an annual basis for the first time in 60 years. That’s what energy security looks like.
This leads back to consumer benefits – reflected in a new U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report showing that last year natural gas prices were at their lowest levels in decades.
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 April 9, 2019
America’s energy revolution is decidedly pro-consumer. Indeed, surging U.S. natural gas and oil production has significantly helped individual Americans and their families with their budgets, plan travel and more.
We’ll go mostly visual to absorb this – in a handful of charts from API’s Quarterly Industry Outlook, prepared by Chief Economist Dean Foreman. …
America’s natural gas and oil resurgence has played a major role in that when you think about the average family’s needs for driving, home heating and keeping the lights on (remembering that natural gas is the leading U.S. fuel for power generation). It follows, then, that families spending less on energy had more of their disposable income available for other needs.
Posted November 21, 2018
Recent headlines on natural gas prices may leave Americans feeling whipsawed by marketplace fluctuations (see here and here). So, let’s look at what’s been going on with natural gas this year. But first, four points to keep in mind:Affordable natural gas has saved the average household more than $100 per year in recent years; (2) most consumers are typically insulated from wholesale price variations – the focus of recent news coverage; (3) price increases this month to date are mainly the result of lower inventories coupled with cold weather forecasts that, of course, can change suddenly; and (4) recent price movements in natural gas futures are well within the ranges seen during the resurgence in U.S. energy production
Posted January 17, 2017
These reports are significant in a couple of ways. Lower natural gas prices obviously benefit consumers, and they also benefit when costs are lower for the leading fuel for electricity generation. In addition, our air is cleaner because cleaner-burning natural gas has reduced carbon emissions from the power sector to 25-year lows. Future U.S. energy policy should recognize these natural gas benefits and others – including lower costs for manufacturers and export opportunities – by fostering more domestic natural gas production.
Posted December 28, 2016
Posted October 28, 2016
Posted August 19, 2016
The successful U.S. energy paradigm shouldn’t be put at risk by imposing higher taxes on the energy producers. Americans agree. In a recent poll 66 percent of registered voters said they oppose higher taxes that could decrease energy production. In a year where everyone is poll-conscious, it’s an opinion that should be heard.
Posted July 1, 2016
When you see the significant economic, consumer and climate benefits to the U.S. from increased use of natural gas, it’s quite a puzzle when some won’t take “yes” for an answer – yes to lower energy costs, yes to infrastructure jobs, yes to carbon emissions reductions. Unfortunately for Massachusetts residents, that’s the path the state legislature appears to be taking. More below. First, a review of how clean-burning natural gas is making life better across the rest of the country.
Let’s start with reduced household energy costs, which are helping to lower Americans’ cost of living, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In constant 2015 dollars, EIA says average annual energy costs per household peaked at about $5,300 in 2008 then declined 14.1 percent in 2014.