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Energy Tomorrow Blog

FERC’s Quorum, Infrastructure and Natural Gas Exports

federal government  infrastructure  lng exports  natural gas  pipelines 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 7, 2017

FERC’s restored quorum is a good time to remind everyone how critically important infrastructure is to America’s ongoing energy renaissance. This country’s abundance of natural gas and oil – unlocked by modern hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – has made the U.S. the world’s leading gas and oil producer, grown the economy, benefited consumers and boosted American manufacturing while playing an important role in U.S. progress on air quality and climate. These benefits are brought by a natural gas and oil industry that is, itself, an economic dynamo: 10.3 million jobs supported, $1.3 trillion generated to the national economy and economic impacts provided in all 50 states.

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Approve FERC Nominees to Boost Energy Infrastructure

federal government  regulatory system  infrastructure 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 5, 2017

Earlier this year we posted about the lack of a quorum at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and how that could delay important energy infrastructure projects across the country – including a number of natural gas pipelines that would help distribute gas and its benefits to consumers, businesses, manufacturers and power generators.

The issue then was making nominations to fill vacancies to the five-member body, which has lacked a quorum to take official actions since January. Now the issue is the U.S. Senate taking timely action to confirm two nominees, Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson, who were approved by the Senate’s energy and natural resources committee last month. With the recent departure of Commissioner Colette Honorable, FERC currently has just one remaining member, Acting Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur.

The Senate needs to move swiftly – to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of the U.S. infrastructure system, and to help advance broad economic benefits.

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Oil Exports and the Federal Budget

crude oil exports  spr  government revenues  Economy  jobs  eia  taxes 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 27, 2015

Reports by Bloomberg and others say that White House and congressional budget negotiators would sell oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to partially pay for their new budget agreement. Sales would total 58 million barrels from 2018 to 2025, according to a draft House bill (see Section 403-a).

How much money would be raised from the sales would depend on prices at the time of the sales. But, if the goal is generating revenue for government to fund worthy projects, rather than a series of one-time sales, why not lift the ban on U.S. crude oil exports and create an annual revenue stream?

According to a study by ICF International (Page 86), ending the 1970s-era oil exports ban would lift the U.S. economy, create jobs – and generate significant additional revenue for government. A number of other studies mirror ICF’s findings on the economic benefits from lifting the export ban. We highlight ICF here because its estimate of additional oil production from lifting the ban (up 500,000 barrels per day) is almost identical to the output increase estimated by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (470,000 barrels per day). ICF:

Federal, state, and local governments benefit from crude oil exports both in terms of the generation of GDP, which is then taxed at these levels, but also through royalties on federal lands where drilling takes place. Total government revenues, including U.S. federal, state, and local tax receipts attributable to GDP increases from expanding crude oil exports, could increase up to $13.5 billion in 2020.

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Energy and Liberty

analysis  Jack Gerard  energy  government  regulation  hydraulic fracturing  oil and natural gas  methane emissions  revenue 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 2, 2015

A few months ago API President and CEO Jack Gerard explained why America is experiencing an energy revolution:

“We got to this era of energy abundance and global energy leadership because of the entrepreneurial spirit of the private sector, the hard work of the American worker and the unique system of private property and individual rights of the American marketplace.”

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New Rail Rules Do Little to Prevent Accidents

analysis  transportation  crude oil  federal government  regulations  american petroleum institute  Jack Gerard 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 5, 2015

During months of public discussion of improving the safety of transporting crude oil by rail, we’ve stressed the need to let science and fact-based analysis guide development of a holistic strategy that would have the best chance of producing tangible safety benefits.

Unfortunately, new rules published last week by the Transportation Department – featuring requirements for sturdier tank cars and electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes – are a mixed bag that will do little to prevent derailments in the first place.

Instead of working to ensure the integrity of the tracks and to eliminate human error as much as possible, both of which would help prevent accidents from occurring, it seems federal officials at times opted for the optics of appearing to make progress. In the case of the ECP brakes, it’s a technology that experts say doesn’t significantly improve safety – which is the goal. To add to the 99.99 percent safety record in the transport of hazardous materials by rail, a more comprehensive approach that focuses more attention on prevention is needed.

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Arctic Energy Development is in Our Hands

arctic  energy development in alaska  oil and natural gas  boem  federal government  offshore leasing 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 20, 2015

A couple of important points on Arctic energy development from U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska at an event hosted recently by CSIS:

  • The biggest obstacle to U.S. development of its Arctic energy reserves is the U.S.
  • Development of Arctic energy resources will occur regardless of whether the United States engages in it.
  • A discussion of Arctic energy must give weight to the needs and concerns of Alaskans, many of whom directly depend on energy development for the quality of their lives.

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The Global Potential of U.S. Energy

oil and natural gas production  energy exports  keystone xl pipeline  government revenues  hydraulic fracturing  water supplies 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 7, 2015

BloombergView: It's a pernicious bit of American mythology that is used to justify the law against domestic oil producers selling their crude overseas: The U.S. needs "energy independence." Never mind that the law actually undermines this goal, or that the goal itself is practically impossible to achieve. It's the wrong goal. What the U.S. should be striving for is not independence, but energy security.

The story behind the myth goes something like this: If the U.S. doesn't hoard all its oil, then it can't hope to attain energy independence. And until it does that, it has to keep buying oil from politically unstable or unfriendly regimes. Therefore U.S. consumers must tolerate volatile prices for gasoline and heating oil.

The tale is false, but it brushes against one truth: When instability in other countries affects the price of oil, the U.S. economy can suffer. Just last month, the price jumped almost 5 percent when Saudi bombs began to fall on rebel targets in Yemen. Such unpredictable spikes make it difficult for many U.S. businesses to plan ahead, and this means less investment and less hiring.

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Cove Point LNG Export Facility Officially on the Way

liquefied natural gas  lng exports  maryland  economic benefits  government revenues 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 26, 2015

A welcome development in the larger effort to see the U.S. become a major player in the global energy marketplace: groundbreaking ceremonies this week at Maryland’s Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility.

Gov. Larry Hogan joined other golden shovel-wielding dignitaries at Cove Point, built as an LNG import terminal but which is undergoing a $3.8 billion expansion to allow LNG export capability.

Cove Point and other proposed LNG export terminals are the key needed infrastructure for the world’s leading producer of natural gas to get its LNG to market.

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Yes, Lift the Crude Oil Exports Ban

energy exports  us crude oil production  economic benefits  government revenues  conocophillips  gasoline prices 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 20, 2015

The case for lifting the 1970s-era ban on U.S. crude oil exports, in a nutshell: 

The ban is a relic of the past, of an era when the U.S. was producing less and less of its own oil and importing more and more of oil produced by others. Crude exports would add to global crude supplies, putting downward pressure on the cost of crude. A number of studies project that lifting the export ban would lower domestic gasoline prices. Exports would stimulate domestic production, protecting U.S. jobs and creating more in the future. Exports would strengthen U.S. economic power that underlies American global influence.

There are more reasons, more details to the affirmative export case, a number of which were aired at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing this week. In its totality, it’s a strong, strong case.

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Offshore Energy and Virginia

offshore development  virginia offshore drilling  oil and natural gas access  job creation  government revenues  economic growth  interior department 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 11, 2015

With federal officials holding one in a series of public hearings on the Obama administration’s draft offshore oil and natural gas leasing program today in Norfolk, Va., it’s worth underscoring the benefits that offshore energy could bring to the commonwealth.

These include 25,000 jobs by 2035, according to a study by Quest Offshore Resources, and nearly $1.9 billion for the state’s budget by 2035, with revenue sharing in place.

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