Energy Tomorrow Blog
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted December 10, 2014
Two U.S. energy production updates and a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report showing the economic impacts of America’s shale energy revolution – which is driving overall U.S. production.
A chart from energy/economics blogger Mark J. Perry shows the impact of U.S. energy production on energy imports – measuring net petroleum imports as a share of products supplied. The chart shows steady increases in imports from the mid-1980s to an apex of more than 60 percent in 2005. Today, we’re looking at a percentage share that’s as low as it has been in four decades.
Posted October 10, 2014
A new University of Colorado study affirms the dynamic and critical role energy development is playing in the state – in terms of support for public schools, job creation and the economy.
Just looking at 2012, oil and natural gas activity generated more than $200 million for Colorado schools, supported nearly 94,000 jobs in the state and created more than $23 million in state economic activity, according to the report conducted by the university’s Leeds School of Business and commissioned by API.
Posted September 26, 2014
There’s more evidence that the U.S. oil and natural gas industry is driving economic growth – not just in the industry itself, but also in the vast supply chain that sustains energy development – adding to overall GDP, wages and revenues to government.
A new IHS study, commissioned by the Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) estimates that employment growth in the supply chain that supports unconventional oil and natural gas development – that is, energy from shale and other tight-rock formations with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – will outpace, by a more than a 2-to-1 margin, the U.S. average from 2012 to 2025.
Posted December 17, 2013
Last month we made some points on a Senate proposal that would impact America’s oil and natural gas industry with higher taxes and costs. Research has shown that delaying industry’s ability to write off intangible drilling costs likely would mean fewer wells drilled, lost jobs and lower energy production. Doing away with the “last-in, last-out” (LIFO) accounting method used by a number of energy companies would require them to redirect cash or sell assets to cover tax payments.
Now API has been joined by more than a dozen other organizations – representing energy producers, refiners, supporting servicers, equipment manufacturers, marketers and retailers – in challenging proposals that could hinder an industry that already sends $85 million a day to the U.S. Treasury.
In a letter to members of Congress the groups say that while efforts to make the tax code less complicated and more competitive are good, raising energy taxes and increasing costs will work against greater industry investment and activity that would provide broad benefit to the U.S. economy.
Posted December 13, 2013
Last week we posted on a new study showing tremendous economic and energy benefits to opening the U.S. Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to offshore oil and natural gas development. The folks at the National Ocean Industries Association have a video out that captures the study’s highlights in a little over a minute.