Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted September 16, 2020
As former Vice President Joe Biden continues to clarify his position on fracking – saying he’d allow it with some environmental safeguards – what he’s not talking about is huge: His and the Democratic Party’s pledge to effectively end new natural gas and oil production on federal lands and waters.
Few states are projected to be hit harder than New Mexico, where more than 30% of the land is controlled by the federal government and accounts for half of the state’s oil production. As of May, New Mexico was producing 885,000 barrels per day, ranking it second in the nation. So, yes, Biden’s promised ban is making folks in New Mexico a little nervous.
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 September 3, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden hit the campaign trail this week in southwestern Pennsylvania, home to the energy-rich Marcellus Shale – a good backdrop for discussing how Biden’s energy and jobs policies could affect Pennsylvania and other big production states, including New Mexico and Colorado, as well as Gulf Coast states.
Start with Biden’s remarks from Pittsburgh that, if elected, he will not ban fracking – clearly, to calm voters in shale country, where hydraulic fracturing has revitalized state and local economies, and necessitated by what he said in March and July, which sounded an awful lot like he would ban fracking.
So, case closed, right? Well, not exactly.
Posted July 28, 2017
It’s a positive step – for U.S. energy, economic growth, consumer benefits and climate progress – for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to begin rescinding its 2015 hydraulic fracturing rule – one that we argue duplicates existing and effective state regulation and risks delaying energy development, potentially impacting consumers. The agency should follow this up by moving swiftly to improve the permitting process for natural gas and oil development on federal lands, as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ordered earlier this month.
Posted March 20, 2015
Some important context to the new federal hydraulic fracturing rule announced by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is found in looking at the recent trend in federal onshore energy development.
It’s not an inspiring picture. Since BLM deals with onshore energy, let’s look at oil and natural gas output together, measured in barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Federal onshore production has declined from 1.8 million boe in fiscal year 2009 to 1.6 million boe in FY2014, a decline of 11.3 percent, according to federal data.
Breaking out the natural gas production figures, the decline is more dramatic. Onshore production of natural gas in federal areas fell from 8.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in FY2009 to 6.8 Bcf/d in FY2014, a drop of21.6 percent.
The reason is federal policy. Whether you’re talking about access to reserves or permitting red tape, the bottom-line result is declining production.
Posted February 2, 2015
Taking a look at the president’s new budget request for the Interior Department, we see the administration asking for $13.2 billion, an increase of nearly $1 billion over the enacted funding level for the current fiscal year.
Now take a look at data from Interior’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue, which tabulates federal revenues from energy developed in federal areas onshore and offshore.
It’s a lot of information, but check the bottom line: For fiscal year 2013, revenues from oil and natural gas developed in federal areas totaled about $12.9 billion. For FY2014 the total was about $11.7 billion. Federal revenues from oil and natural gas development in FY2014 were about $1.2 billion less than in FY2013.
Interestingly, the amount of lost revenue is just about equal to Interior’s requested budget increase for FY2016. In other words, Interior lost $1.2 billion in revenue from 2013 to 2014 and basically is looking to taxpayers to fill in the gap in the next budget.
Posted January 15, 2015
Charting some of the latest Bureau of Land Management (BLM) data on federal oil and natural gas activity – which mostly shows continuing decline.
First, BLM issued fewer new oil and natural gas leases in fiscal year 2014 than in any year since FY1988. That year 9,234 new leases were issued, a number that fell to 1,157 in FY2014. Last year’s number was a retreat from FY2013, when 1,468 new leases were issued.
Other indicators also show declining oil and natural gas opportunity in areas controlled by the federal government.
Posted December 4, 2014
One key to sustaining and growing the ongoing U.S. energy revolution is to increase access to America’s oil and natural gas reserves – specifically, gaining more access to reserves under federal control, onshore and offshore.
And a revolution is what we’re seeing. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), domestic crude output topped 9 million barrels per day for the fourth week in a row, a production level not seen since the mid-1980s.
As great as that news is, it could be better because America’s energy production growth – generating new jobs, growing the economy and increasing our energy security – is occurring on state and private lands. More access to reserves in federal areas would help expand the revolution, generating even more benefits.
Posted November 21, 2014
Credit the U.S. Forest Service for adopting a revised plan for the George Washington National Forest that will allow safe and responsible energy development using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
As others said of the plan, science won out in the sense that hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling can be conducted safely while protecting the forest itself as well as the watershed within it.
Posted July 2, 2014
An inspector general’s report issued this week really underlines what industry has been telling Washington over the past couple of years: Permitting for oil and natural gas drilling on federal lands takes too long, generates too much uncertainty and is a hindrance to developing reserves that are critical to the country’s energy security today and tomorrow.
The Interior Department inspector general’s assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) onshore drilling permit process basically shows that the process is neither very effective nor efficient.