Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted September 13, 2018
Let’s push back against a narrative springing up around EPA’s proposed improvements to the 2016 standards on emissions from new natural gas and oil production sources – which the agency says will streamline implementation, reduce duplication with state requirements and decrease unnecessary burdens on domestic energy producers.
First, while API reviews EPA’s proposal, it’s important to note that it appears the rule will continue to protect public health and reduce emissions through standards that are smarter, science-based and that promote greater cost-effectiveness – while industry keeps on delivering the energy Americans use every day.
The narrative is based on a mythology that natural gas and oil companies don’t care about emissions and won’t develop new technologies and innovations to capture more and more emissions unless Washington makes them do it. False and false.
Posted September 11, 2018
To mark National Drive Electric Week, as well as discussions of electric vehicles (EVs) likely at this week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, let’s underscore some important perspective on EVs contained in this recent piece by Axios.
Amy Harder’s column compares the carbon dioxide emissions saved by each Tesla EV to the CO2 savings of other sources of energy, including natural gas. Noting Tesla’s July announcement that it had passed the 200,000 mark for vehicles sold in the U.S., Harder – assisted by think tank Third Way – wrote that a nuclear reactor replacing coal equals the CO2 savings of 541,353 Teslas. Natural gas replacing one coal plant equals the CO2 savings of 98,940 Teslas, and so on.
Harder’s piece isn’t a knock against Tesla, just one EV manufacturer, or EVs in general. Rather, it suggests that a national discussion of EVs should be fact-based, and that we might need to tap the brakes a bit on EV technology’s emissions impacts.
Posted September 7, 2018
Cybersecurity continues to be a major focus of the natural gas and oil industry, which recognizes that the need to protect the country’s energy infrastructure is vital for our economy and security. According to federal officials, cyberattacks are increasing across many industries, which has the attention of corporate executives in our industry and reinforces their ongoing efforts to keep our nation’s pipelines and other natural gas and oil facilities safe.Even so, because natural gas is the leading fuel for generating electricity, there have been calls for congressional hearings to discuss threats to the U.S. natural gas pipeline network. It’s a conversation our industry welcomes.
Posted August 30, 2018
A map shows just how much damage could be done to the United States’ fifth-leading natural gas and seventh-largest oil producing state by Colorado’s Initiative 97 – the anti-energy, anti-progress measure that state officials said will be on the November election ballot. Coloradoans and all Americans should be very concerned.
Zeroing in on the state’s top five producing counties (outlined in blue) – Weld in the north on the border with Wyoming, Rio Blanco and Garfield on the western border with Utah, and La Plata and Las Animas on the southern border with New Mexico – the map shows that opportunity for new natural gas and oil development on non-federal land would be all but prohibited.This is an alarming prospect for all Americans, because we’re talking about putting the brakes on one of the country’s leading and fastest-growing energy producers.
Posted August 29, 2018
Responsibly managing water resources is fundamental to modern natural gas and oil development. The U.S. energy renaissance is being driven by high-tech hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, and those processes use water to produce the natural gas and oil that run our economy and the daily lives of individual Americans.
Though the amount of water used for energy is a fraction of overall water use by society – a Texas report pegged it at less than 1 percent of the state's total water use, industry knows that water is critically important to the welfare of the communities that host natural gas and oil development. Which is why individual companies are focused on cutting-edge technologies, systems and facilities to reuse water in their operations.
Bottom line: Using less freshwater to develop energy is important to communities and the environment – and it’s smart business as well. Examples of these technologies abound.
Posted August 28, 2018
API’s Kyle Isakower is featured in a CNBC report that estimates new steel tariffs are adding $40 million to Permian Basin pipeline costs. At issue is Plains All-American’s $1.1 billion pipeline project that would bring crude oil from the Permian to the Gulf Coast. As detailed in this post, Plains requested an exclusion from the tariff for its project, but it was denied by the Commerce Department. …
Far from being part of an “energy dominance” strategy, the administration’s tariffs on steel – including an onerous, opaque exclusions process – and other recent trade-related policies could hinder domestic natural gas and oil development, as well as infrastructure such as pipelines that is needed to fully benefit U.S. consumers.
Posted August 23, 2018
Domestic natural gas abundance – safely developed with modern hydraulic fracturing and high-tech horizontal drilling – has benefitted consumers and the economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping make our air cleaner.
Sustaining and growing those benefits largely depends on market growth for natural gas – to add production that production must have new and/or growing markets to supply. Policy can affect the potential for that market growth. The U.S. Energy Department’s (DOE) continued push to bail out failing coal and nuclear plants is a prime example.
Posted August 21, 2018
With EPA unveiling its proposed new rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, there’s already lots of discussion of whether the proposal is an improvement over the rule it would replace – whether a regime may focus on the utility sector as a system or needs to focus on individual sources.
Be that as it may, we’ll go back to the main point we made amid discussion of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which EPA’s new proposal would replace:
Thanks to clean natural gas and its selection by the market as the leading fuel for electricity generation, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector have plunged – without the CPP’s implementation. According to EPA's fact sheet, CO2 emissions from the power sector decreased 28 percent from 2005 through 2017.
Posted August 10, 2018
A newly released report from the Natural Gas Council demonstrates the resiliency of our nation’s natural gas industry – even in the face of extreme weather events or direct threats to the system, whether physical or cyber.
Posted August 8, 2018
A couple of observations on China’s announcement late last week that it may impose a 25 percent tariff on U.S. shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to that country – which would be in retaliation for announced U.S. tariffs on certain Chinese goods coming into this country.
First, China was the third-largest importer of U.S. LNG in 2017, accounting for nearly 15 percent of our LNG exports, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). As those numbers indicate, this exchange of tariffs could leave a mark as far as U.S. energy exports are concerned. ...
If U.S. energy exports are restricted – at the same time trade policies have been adopted that increase the cost of the steel our industry uses – there’s a risk of significantly affecting a sector that has been a driving force for economic growth. It’s a big price to pay.