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Energy Tomorrow Blog

We Need More U.S. Oil, Not an Import-More-Oil Strategy

president  opec  crude oil production  gasoline prices  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 11, 2021

The White House has big problems with its continued calls for more crude oil production from OPEC – even as it is discouraging U.S. production.

Rising domestic gasoline prices are a political problem for President Biden. … The administration’s political dilemma is that since April 2020, when EIA reported the per-gallon cost of gasoline was $1.938, prices rose to $3.231 last month. The safe assumption is that most Americans have noticed the 66.7% increase at the pump.

The White House response last month was to plead with OPEC to produce more crude oil – and that’s because the cost of crude oil is the No. 1 factor in the retail cost of gasoline. More supply means more downward pressure on crude costs and retail prices.

On Wednesday, President Biden doubled down on the approach, saying the administration wants OPEC to reverse production cuts made during the pandemic to lower prices for consumers. … Therein lies a big energy policy problem.

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Q&A: The Demand/Supply Dilemma, Consumer Impacts and the Need for Sound Policy

demand  supply  us energy security  production  consumers  gasoline prices 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 1, 2021

In recent weeks API Chief Economist Dean Foreman has noted the return of petroleum demand, as economies strengthen in the U.S. and globally, to a level that’s outpacing supply (see here). In the Q&A that follows, Dr. Foreman discusses the impacts of the supply-demand mismatch on American consumers and markets, as well as the consequences of the Biden administration’s energy policy signals.

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Summer Driving Season – Questions and Answers

gasoline prices  us energy security  oil production  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 27, 2021

As Americans flock to the roads this Memorial Day weekend, let’s consider the key factors that impact fuel costs, what it means for U.S. consumers and the best paths to ensure affordable, reliable energy going forward. Four questions and answers: Where are fuel prices today, what's driving fuel prices higher, what can be done to help U.S. consumers, and is the U.S. on the right energy policy course?

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MSR: U.S. Petroleum Demand Up, Pushing Domestic Production to Keep Pace

monthly-stats-report  energy demand  gasoline demand 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted May 20, 2021

API’s primary data for April 2021 evidenced momentum for the broader U.S. economic recovery, as petroleum demand and refining activity rose, supply remained solid and leading economic indicators pointed higher.

The April headline figure was that total U.S. petroleum demand of 19.6 million barrels per day (mb/d) rose by 2.5% from March and to within 3.5% of its level in April 2019, which was its highest for the month in 11 years.

Contemplate that for a second: For all of the dislocation and continuing issues with recovery from COVID-19 pandemic, total petroleum demand in April was within a sliver of where it was that record-setting April of 2019.

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Fuel Supply Networks are Responding Properly

fuel supply  gasoline  distillate demand  jet fuel 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted March 26, 2020

Supply networks for refined products – including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel – appear to be responding properly and flexibly to sudden and sharp declines for transportation fuel stemming from the coronavirus (COVID-19) and global efforts to slow its spread.

Market conditions can shift, yet API’s view at this point is that most refined products markets have continued to function well in keeping about a month’s worth of storage.

We gauge this in part by comparing recent inventory levels for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel with their ranges over the past five years. Although some products appear to have more available storage capacity than others, if needed, it also is apparent that the pace at which refiners produce fuels can provide additional adjustments which will affect demand for storage.


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GAO Report – Another Reason to Sunset the RFS

ethanol  renewable fuel standard  consumers  gasoline prices  emission reductions 

Jessica  Lutz

Jessica Lutz
Posted June 11, 2019

We’ve warned before (see here, here and here) that the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its mandates for ever-increasing ethanol use put consumers at risk. And that the administration’s recent decision to allow summer sales of E15 fuel – a blend containing 50 percent more ethanol than the E10 gasoline that’s widespread across the country – is an ineffective approach to addressing concerns with the RFS that will only serve to make things worse. Now, we can add another report to the long list of evidence that the RFS needs to be sunset – this time coming from the non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The GAO recently reviewed the effects of the RFS and found that requiring the use of corn-based ethanol and biodiesel in gasoline supplies hasn’t lowered pump prices or significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions – two of the main goals of the flawed RFS program. In fact, the review finds that gas prices outside of the corn-rich Midwest likely increased because of the program. To make matters worse, the review also found that there has been little, if any, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – a main selling point used by proponents to justify the program. 

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API, RFA Team Up on New and Updated Gasoline-Ethanol Standards

gasoline  ethanol  safety standards  renewable fuels association 

Debra Phillips

Debra Phillips
Posted May 16, 2019

Updated and new API standards that address the ethanol blended into the nation’s gasoline supply – developed in partnership with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) – will enhance the natural gas and oil industry’s ability to safely trade and/or ship its products.

Certainly, our industry has disagreed with RFA over policies and specific provisions related to the Renewable Fuel Standard’s mandates for increasing ethanol use in the nation’s gasoline. Even so, we agree on the need for technical standards to help ensure the safe transfer of products and work together to develop them.

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Summer Driving and Gasoline Prices

consumers  gasoline prices  fuels  gasoline taxes 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted May 1, 2019

With summer driving season almost here, nationwide average gasoline prices were $2.88 per gallon as of April 30, according to the American Automobile Association, identical to what they were one year ago when adjusted for price inflation. This good news for consumers is due, at least in part, to record-breaking domestic oil production, which has put downward pressure on global prices for crude oil, the main factor in determining prices as the fuel pump.

While the current price may be the same when you pull up to pump, some notable things have changed behind the scenes.


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New Ad: E15 Push Puts Consumers at Risk

consumers  e15  renewable fuel standard  ethanol  gasoline  refiners 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 7, 2018

With the Trump administration considering a move that would push more E15 fuel into the nation's gasoline supply, API has a new ad warning that consumers could bear the risks of additional volumes of the higher-ethanol blend.

The ad touches on points we’ve made for years about the infusion of E15 (see here, here and here), spurred by the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The administration is thinking about facilitating the sale of E15 year-round. Currently, the Clean Air Act requires that E15 meet gasoline volatility requirements in the summertime. Key points in the ad: E15 can damage the engines and fuel systems of vehicles that weren’t designed to use it; nearly three out of four vehicles on the road today weren’t made to use E15; and automobile manufacturers have said using E15 could void car warranties.

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More on Variations in State Gasoline Prices

gasoline prices  taxes  regulation  consumers 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted July 6, 2018

Earlier this week we looked at the summer variation in gasoline prices, due mainly to increased driving as well as fuel specifications that have added to the cost of gasoline. As the 2018 summer driving season approaches its midpoint, let’s check the data on gasoline prices and, separately, take a deeper look at why prices in any one state have tended to be higher (or lower) than the national average.

According to the American Automobile Association, the nationwide average price for regular gasoline was $2.85 per gallon on June 28, a decrease of 12 cents per gallon since May 28. 

Remember, gasoline and diesel fuel prices tend to track the price of crude oil, because crude oil currently makes up more than half of the cost to make the fuels. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that crude oil made up 56 percent of the price of gasoline in May, the agency’s most recent analysis.


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