Coming Soon: A fresh look for an industry that’s always innovating
Skip to main content

Energy Tomorrow Blog

Challenges to U.S. Energy Infrastructure Challenge U.S. Energy Leadership

infrastructure  pipelines  permitting 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 7, 2020

Building and expanding U.S. pipeline infrastructure in this country shouldn’t be so difficult – not considering the critical role pipeline construction and operation play in American energy leadership, job creation and economic growth.

Modern natural gas and oil pipelines are the safe connection between consumers and America’s abundant, reliable, cleaner energy. Additional infrastructure is needed so that no matter where people live, they can be better served – expanding the benefit of domestic energy abundance.

Unfortunately, it has become increasingly challenging to get projects off the drawing board because of almost endless legal maneuvering and government red tape. Both contribute to delay and uncertainty that undermine project investment and completion.

More »

The High Cost of Singling Out Pipelines in NWP 12 Ruling

pipelines  permitting  environmental review 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 24, 2020

As the U.S. Supreme Court weighs a request to delay a lower-court decision to exclude “construction of new oil and natural gas pipelines” from a key federal permitting program, it’s clear the district court’s ruling could seriously harm projects that are critical to strengthening U.S. energy infrastructure.

As many as 75 pipelines in various stages of development could be impacted after last month’s ruling by a federal judge in Montana, who said the Nationwide Permit 12 program (NWP 12) can’t be used for constructing new natural gas and oil pipelines – singling them out among other utility projects that remain NWP 12 eligible. One issue with the district court ruling is that it doesn’t define “pipeline” or what may be covered. The 75 pipelines referred to here include pipelines to deliver natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids.

The affected capital investment can be measured in the billions of dollars. Publicly available estimates for the capital costs of just 11 of the 75 projects could exceed $32 billion, which could support nearly 480,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs.

More »

U.S. Pipeline Needs Dealt a Setback by NWP 12 Ruling

pipelines  permitting  environmental impact 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 12, 2020

Americans everywhere should be concerned about a federal judge’s decision in Montana that could significantly delay the safe and timely construction of new natural gas and oil pipelines across the country.

In a ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris excluded only the “construction of new oil and gas pipelines” from the Nationwide Permit 12 program (NWP 12). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses NWP 12 to authorize a number of utility/infrastructure construction and maintenance projects crossing certain streams and wetlands where there is minimal effect on the environment. …

Nationwide Permits are used for projects deemed necessary for the public interest and that have minimal adverse environmental impacts. To prohibit new natural gas and oil projects from utilizing NWP 12 is arbitrary and actually could make it harder to protect the environment.


More »

Constitution Pipeline Stalls Out, New Yorkers Miss Out

natural gas access  infrastructure  permitting  pipelines  new york 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 5, 2020

Politics continues to dictate energy policy in New York – with the state’s consumers paying the price.

Look at the recently announced shelving of the Constitution natural gas pipeline by the Williams Company and its partners. The 124-mile line would have piped natural gas from the nearby Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania into New York. The builders gave up after nearly eight years of trying to get through regulatory red tape and general opposition to new natural gas infrastructure by Albany.

It’s a missed opportunity for New Yorkers. 

More »

Updated Federal Review is Critical to Robust Energy Infrastructure

pipelines  permitting  permian basin  safe operations  energy  infrastructure 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 29, 2019

The administration is right: Robust U.S. supplies of natural gas and oil offer great economic opportunity for this nation – requiring robust infrastructure to deliver energy to Americans in all parts of the country. …

It’s very important for Americans to understand that more efficient federal and state permitting for infrastructure projects includes continued regulatory oversight and thorough environmental review by government agencies. Cutting “red tape” will help solve the problem of “energy disparity” in America by providing energy to currently under-served regions, without compromising environmental protection or public safety.

Updating the federal review and permitting process is critical for safe and responsible pipeline construction and operation.


More »

Key to Infrastructure Plan is Streamlined Reviews

infrastructure  pipelines  technology  permitting  environmental review 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 13, 2018

Perhaps the most important aspect of the administration’s infrastructure plan is taking steps to ensure that infrastructure happens – by streamlining federal reviews and permitting processes. It simply takes too long for energy projects to get approvals and permits, creating uncertainty that can hinder private investment in infrastructure that benefits consumers, manufacturers and the entire economy.

More »

Understanding Infrastructure

analysis  infrastructure  oil and natural gas development  pipelines  permitting  regulation  energy department  eia  investment 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 19, 2015

The issue was energy infrastructure – where the United States is and where things are headed. At the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) annual conference this week, one discussion honed in on the challenges to infrastructure approval and construction – as well as government’s best role in developing projects that are key to U.S. energy transport and overall energy security. The latter produced some friction between speakers not often seen at conferences like EIA’s. More below.

The U.S. Energy Department’s Melanie Kenderdine talked about some of the details in the department’s recently issued Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), which focused on ways to modernize the nation’s infrastructure.

More »

Fruits of the Energy Revolution

analysis  oil and natural gas development  gasoline price factors  crude markets  federal leases  permitting  hydraulic fracturing 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 21, 2015

Consumers have felt some of the fruits of America’s energy revolution, API Chief Economist John Felmy told reporters in a pre-Memorial Day conference call

Felmy noted that drivers are paying about $1 less per gallon of gasoline on average nationwide than they did at this time a year ago, according to AAA. He said that thanks to advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the U.S. energy resurgence has offset production declines in other parts of the world, which has resulted in a more stable global market for crude oil – and relief at the gas pump. He added that the U.S. energy picture currently is characterized by strong domestic supply, moderate demand, increasingly efficient production and a refining sector that’s turning out record amounts of gasoline.

Felmy said the right energy choices by our country’s leaders can help continue the energy revolution.

More »

Access and Interior’s New Budget Request

access  interior department  onshore access  offshore access  federal lands  federal revenues  leasing  permitting 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 2, 2015

Taking a look at the president’s new budget request for the Interior Department, we see the administration asking for $13.2 billion, an increase of nearly $1 billion over the enacted funding level for the current fiscal year.

Now take a look at data from Interior’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue, which tabulates federal revenues from energy developed in federal areas onshore and offshore.

It’s a lot of information, but check the bottom line: For fiscal year 2013, revenues from oil and natural gas developed in federal areas totaled about $12.9 billion. For FY2014 the total was about $11.7 billion. Federal revenues from oil and natural gas development in FY2014 were about $1.2 billion less than in FY2013.

Interestingly, the amount of lost revenue is just about equal to Interior’s requested budget increase for FY2016. In other words, Interior lost $1.2 billion in revenue from 2013 to 2014 and basically is looking to taxpayers to fill in the gap in the next budget. 

More »

Energy’s Continued Decline on Federal Lands

oil and natural gas development  federal lands  regulation  permitting  access  leasing  blm 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 15, 2015

Charting some of the latest Bureau of Land Management (BLM) data on federal oil and natural gas activity – which mostly shows continuing decline.

First, BLM issued fewer new oil and natural gas leases in fiscal year 2014 than in any year since FY1988. That year 9,234 new leases were issued, a number that fell to 1,157 in FY2014. Last year’s number was a retreat from FY2013, when 1,468 new leases were issued.

Other indicators also show declining oil and natural gas opportunity in areas controlled by the federal government.

More »