Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted September 21, 2020
America’s natural gas and oil industry is committed to reducing the risks of climate change by producing ever-cleaner fuels and continuously improving environmental performance. As a nation, we’ve made significant progress over the years, with national greenhouse gas emissions down 10% since 2005.
Tackling the challenge of climate change will require a collaborative, cross-sector effort, and API is prepared – with climate policy principles – to constructively engage to identify workable policy solutions that deliver economic and environmental progress.
This Climate Week, let’s recognize the ongoing role that energy operators will continue to play in safely developing resources in the U.S. and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
John D. Siciliano
Posted September 11, 2020
New groundbreaking technologies to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere provide a glimpse of what could very well be the next big breakthrough for the natural gas and oil industry.
New technologies have the power to change the impossible to possible. We’ve long argued that industry’s ability to innovate and develop new technologies – including game-changers such as fracking – are key to our energy future. But such technological breakthroughs have been underestimated in the past, and aren’t always reflected in formal projections that are based on what is currently known and available.
Just imagine a natural gas power plant that emits zero CO2 emissions. The first preliminary tests on just such a power plant were conducted two years ago by a collaboration led by the company Net Power. The tests were so promising that the plant made it into the MIT Technology Review’s list of the top 10 breakthrough technologies.
Posted September 9, 2020
Four questions for proponents of policies that would effectively end new natural gas and oil development on federal lands and waters:
Where will the oil come from that won’t be produced here at home because of such a policy?
Where will nearly 1 million Americans find new work after this policy costs them their jobs?
What will Americans do without because of higher energy costs resulting from the policy?
How will the U.S. continue making environmental progress if increased coal use caused by the policy raises carbon dioxide emissions?
These and other questions are prompted by a new analysis projecting the effects of halting new natural gas and oil on federal lands and waters -- prepared for API by OnLocation with the U.S. Energy Information Administration's National Energy Modeling System, which EIA uses to produce its Annual Energy Outlook.
Posted August 19, 2020
If Democratic policymakers want to ‘build back better’ while also keeping the lights on, they’ll want to support the continued development of America’s vast natural gas and oil resources, which provides reliable, affordable, and cleaner energy.
Democratic leaders like former President Barack Obama – who received a 97% favorability rating in 2018 among self-identified Democrats – and several other keynote speakers at this year’s Democratic National Convention have advocated for U.S. natural gas and oil, with some encouraging its growth to help lower household energy bills, reduce emissions, and create new American jobs.
Posted August 14, 2020
Three reasons EPA’s newly modified rule on methane is good for the environment and U.S. energy – because both are critically important for our nation’s growth and prosperity:
1. Industry will keep reducing emissions while innovating for the future
2. The rule is consistent with the federal Clean Air Act
3. Effective state regulation is recognized
Posted August 13, 2020
The U.S. oil and natural gas industry has long shared the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) goal of reducing emissions from its operations and has consistently and successfully done so while meeting America’s energy needs every day. Specifically, methane is the natural gas we use in our homes and businesses, so operators have a strong incentive to bring it to market.
Methane emissions rates from five of the largest oil and natural gas producing regions across the U.S. – including the Permian and Marcellus basins in Texas, New Mexico, Ohio and Pennsylvania respectively – were down nearly 70% from 2011 to 2018, even as production in those regions increased dramatically. Industry is committed to building on these positive trends through voluntary initiatives like The Environmental Partnership.
Posted August 4, 2020
Let’s follow up on the recent news coming out of The Environmental Partnership – that the group is opening membership to industry’s midstream sector and that participants are discussing the best ways to reduce routine flaring.
Both are big-time developments; both show that the Partnership is doing what it set out to do when it was born in December 2017. Both will help protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions – even as our industry produces the energy Americans count on every day.
Adding midstream companies (including pipelines and storage infrastructure) comes as the Partnership reports more than tripling its membership, including 36 of the top 40 U.S. natural gas producers. It’s more than numbers. Each new member company means a new commitment to improve environmental performance in the field. Growth means the Partnership’s program to reduce methane emissions is extending further across the country. And now, here comes the midstream.
Posted July 31, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden's camp says he wouldn’t completely ban hydraulic fracturing (see the New York Times and here) – the technology most responsible for a domestic energy revolution that has made the U.S. the world’s leading producer of natural gas and oil. While Biden’s proposal to end new federal fracking leases is misguided, the fact he wouldn’t try to ban it elsewhere may suggest a recognition that fracking is critically important to the U.S. economy and national security.
This could indicate some important common ground, which API President and CEO Mike Sommers addressed in the Times article.This is especially welcome news for the nation’s electricity grid operators. They’re on the front lines of the twin effort to provide affordable energy to American homes and businesses, while lowering carbon dioxide emissions from power generation. For them, clean and reliable natural gas is the cornerstone for succeeding on both fronts, which is why natural gas is the nation’s No. 1 fuel for power generation.
Posted July 15, 2020
The Environmental Partnership continues to grow, broadening the reach of the industry initiative to further reduce emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds across the country.
In releasing its annual report, the Partnership announced it is expanding its membership to midstream companies. The Partnership, which has tripled the number of participating companies since it was launched, currently includes 36 of the top 40 U.S. natural gas producers.
Again, the Partnership’s membership growth means that more and more companies have signed on to the Partnership’s strategy of bringing operators together to learn from each other, collaborate on technologies and best practices and to take actions that improve their environmental performance. More broadly, this growth shows industry’s commitment to lower emissions and protect the environment while also supplying the energy that makes modern life possible.
Posted July 9, 2020
Exporting U.S. natural gas via liquefied natural gas (LNG) has a big advantage over coal in lowering greenhouse gas emissions in electricity generation, according to a new study by ICF, (summarized here).
The analysis certainly quantifies what we’ve discussed before (see here and here) – that using clean natural gas to generate electricity significantly lowers GHG emissions compared to the emissions levels of coal-fired generation – on average, by 50.5%, according to ICF’s research.
GHGs include carbon dioxide from the fuel itself as well as CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and other gases emitted during the construction and operation of related fuel supply chain and power plant infrastructure.
The findings support the view that exported LNG gives the United States, the world’s leading natural gas producer, a golden opportunity to strengthen its global environmental and climate leadership.