Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted April 21, 2021
Soon after the 2020 election we noted that results showed U.S. voters are mostly moderate and practical and want sensible solutions to key issues facing the nation, which Democratic pollster Mark Penn wrote is driven by common sense over ideology. Americans’ views on energy certainly fit that construct.
New polling by Morning Consult on behalf of API underscores the point and provides important context for Washington policymakers as they debate the twin issues of energy and climate.
Posted April 15, 2021
EPA’s latest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report shows continued progress in lowering U.S. emissions. A good deal of this progress can be attributed to increased use of domestic natural gas. Some key numbers stand out:
Total GHG emissions fell 1.7% from 2018 to 2019 and have decreased 11.6% since 2005; emissions from the electric power sector 12.1% since 1990 and 33% since 2005; methane emissions from natural gas systems have decreased 4% since 2005 – even as marketed natural gas production over the same period increased more than 90%; emissions from abandoned oil and natural gas wells have fallen 2.9% since 1990, 8% since 2005 and 9.5% since 2018 – reflecting reductions in the official estimate of unplugged, abandoned wells.
EPA gives significant credit for the 1.7% emissions decrease noted above to growing use of cleaner natural gas.
John D. Siciliano
Posted April 5, 2021
API took an important step to extending its safety and environmental protection programs to the continent of Africa, signing a new collaborative agreement with the business group African Energy Chamber (AEC), to expand use of API world-class standards, certifications and training programs.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the AEC – API’s first agreement with an African partner – is the latest in a series of similar agreements in the past year between API and organizations in nearly every region of the world. Such agreements arise from the global recognition API standards have earned for enhancing safety, efficiency and environmental protection across the natural gas and oil industry.
Stephanie Catarino Wissman
Posted March 16, 2021
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is again proposing a severance tax on the commonwealth’s natural gas industry – the seventh such tax proposal in as many years. Like the others before it, this is a bad idea that could harm the benefits of energy production to the state and nation.
Wolf has teed up his latest tax proposal as a “commonsense” solution to the state’s economic recovery efforts. But it’s really a tax-and-spend scheme that could have negative consequences for all Pennsylvanians.
The fact is the effects of a natural gas severance tax would extend beyond industry. Because natural gas production boosts the commonwealth’s broader economy and supports technical education, infrastructure and many other public services, everyone would be impacted.
Posted February 18, 2021
More than 4 million Texas homes and businesses have been without electricity this week as an Arctic air mass left the state coping with temperatures hovering around zero. Electricity and natural gas use spiked and rolling blackouts were ordered as energy systems experienced what the Webber Energy Group’s Joshua Rhodes called a “black swan event” that taxed all parts of those systems at the same time.
I spoke with Dustin Meyer, API vice president of Natural Gas Markets, to find out what happened in Texas, to understand the conditions that left the nation’s No. 1 energy state struggling for power and heat and what resources could help prevent this from happening again.
Bottom line points: Texas’ difficulties represent a failure of the grid across the board, with all generation technologies falling short of expectations; as in California last summer, events in Texas underscore the need for a diverse energy supply and smart planning to support the health of the U.S. power grid; natural gas, unique among energy sources in supplying needed attributes that ensure grid reliability, is and will remain a key in that diverse mix; and natural gas has carried most of the energy load in Texas this week, and without its contributions the energy picture would have been even worse. Expanded infrastructure would help make natural gas systems more resilient.
Posted February 12, 2021
America’s natural gas and oil industry is a reliable foundation for our country’s economic recovery and resurgence, as well as a key factor in helping the nation reach climate and environmental goals. In that context, it’s encouraging to hear President Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Energy – former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm – express support for U.S. natural gas leadership and the opportunity to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions through liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.
The industry is committed to working with the Biden administration toward workable climate solutions, and natural gas-fueled power generation is key to a cleaner energy mix, at home and abroad.
Posted February 3, 2021
This past year saw Oklahoma officials pursue a unique experiment – reducing how much natural gas production would be permitted from a well, called “natural gas production prorationing.”
This may be about to change. The intervention has been costly for the state and suggests that governments should exercise more caution when considering actions that could affect markets.
Regulations to prevent wasting resources have been on the books for decades, and Texas has something similar. However, through its Corporation Commission, Oklahoma was the only state that imposed more stringent natural gas production limits last year. The state also increased its efforts to enforce those rules in response to market conditions associated with the COVID-19 recession – that is, strong supply, weak demand and low prices for natural gas.
It’s looking like a mistake.
Posted January 22, 2021
“The risks of climate change are real. Our companies have played and will continue to play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that contribute to climate change.”
Above is a quick summary of the natural gas and oil industry’s climate position (more detail here). Basically, industry recognizes significant climate risks and is committed to working to further reduce GHG emissions – both especially relevant with President Biden’s announcement that the U.S. is rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.As the leading provider of the energy that powers the U.S. economy and Americans’ everyday lives, our industry has a key role to play in the national climate conversation and in developing climate solutions – even as it supports economic growth and U.S. energy security.
Posted January 19, 2021
Addressing the challenge of global climate change will require the collective efforts of the U.S. government and the business community, and America’s natural gas and oil industry is committed – through public policies and private-sector initiatives – to delivering climate solutions.
API supports the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement, including the call for global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By encouraging the development of groundbreaking technologies, like carbon capture, utilization and storage, and promoting the uptake of cleaner-burning natural gas, our members are driving environmental progress while meeting the world’s long-term energy needs.
Posted January 13, 2021
We’re ready, and we’re able.
After a difficult year in which too many were lost, economic hardship was palpable and creeping doubt dogged the national psyche, Americans are right to look to the future. And America’s natural gas and oil industry is ready and able to help build that future.
It takes energy – affordable, reliable energy – to move people and things, to build, heat, manufacture, innovate and grow today and tomorrow. Natural gas and oil are America’s leading energy sources, by far, and our industry is ready to provide the dependable foundation for the country’s next great chapter.
Like every other business sector, ours took some lumps in 2020, but we proved our resilience, our staying power and capacity, despite significant challenges, to power recovery and drive new opportunity on a nationwide scale.
Those are a few of the key themes from today’s API’s annual State of American Energy event. Emerging from the trials of 2020, all of us can be thankful that the state of American energy – the state of the U.S. natural gas and oil industry – is good, very good.