Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted July 2, 2018
In previous posts (see here and here), we’ve discussed factors that have affected gasoline prices in the past. The cost of crude oil is chief among them, accounting for more than 50 percent of the fuel price. Some other factors are seasonal, and taxes imposed on each gallon of gasoline vary from state to state.
Posted June 14, 2018
With Wall Street Journal headlines such as “Trans-Atlantic Oil-Price Spread Soars as Supply Glut Disappears,” it might be hard to remember that the United States’ domestic oil production stood at a record 10.5 million barrels per day (mb/d) in April, and the nation’s petroleum trade balance is in its best position in 50 years. This has reinforced U.S. energy security, lowered the trade deficit and boosted economic growth.
That said, given our country’s much improved energy outlook, some may question why we’re still importing crude oil and refined products. And, while we’re still importing oil, why do we export domestic crude – especially when prices have risen at the pump? Why don’t we just keep American oil at home? ...
Answers are found in an understanding of basic market realities.
Posted February 15, 2018
Posted November 16, 2017
The health of African American communities is a genuine cause for concern in our country. But attacking our industry is the wrong approach and detracts from the real work that should be done to reduce disparately high rates of disease among African Americans. Industry is committed to the health and safety of the communities where it operates and to its workers, leading the way on reducing U.S. greenhouse gas and other air emissions and supporting millions of well-paying jobs – one of the most important factors in Americans’ well-being.I’ve read an NAACP paper released this week that accuses the natural gas and oil industry of emissions that disproportionately burden African American communities. As a scientist, my overall observation is that the paper fails to demonstrate a causal relationship between natural gas activity and the health disparities, reported or predicted, within the African American community. Rather, scholarly research attributes those health disparities to other factors that have nothing to do with natural gas and oil operations – such as genetics, indoor allergens and unequal access to preventative care.
Posted September 18, 2017
Much of the energy-related news from hurricane-recovery areas of Texas and Florida continues to be encouraging. Shell said it was restarting its Deer Park refinery in the Houston area that was shut down three weeks ago with the approach of Hurricane Harvey. ExxonMobil said it could start most of the production units at its Beaumont, Texas, refinery later this week. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott said pre-Hurricane Irma preparations and a concentrated focus on refueling the state’s communities have shown progress.
Posted September 13, 2017
Ahead of the unprecedented 1 trillion gallons of water dumped on the Gulf Coast by Harvey, industry members acted swiftly to safely shut down facilities while supporting employees, including significant acts of humanitarianism and millions of dollars donated to relief organizations. Safe shut downs of refineries and other energy infrastructure were conducted to help ensure safe restarts when employees were able to return to work.
Yet, in the days after Harvey, some media reports have implied that these shut down and restarting processes were improper and outside the scope of state and federal oversight. To the contrary, in the event of a major storm like Harvey, refineries strive to use controlled emissions and flaring to protect workers, with facilities communicating closely with state and federal officials. This is done to help maximize facility and community safety. Indeed, in Harvey’s wake there have been no reports of explosions or other similarly hazardous conditions for workers or communities.
Posted September 8, 2017
1. Industry Does Not Condone Price Gouging
2. Gasoline Stations are largely owned by mom-and-pop retailers
3. Supply and Demand Influences Prices
Posted September 6, 2017
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports on rising gasoline prices in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and notes that the storm’s impact on prices is similar to the big hurricanes of 2005, Katrina and Rita. … EIA’s report underscores a number of points we’ve been making about the oil supply chain, of which the Texas-Louisiana region is part – especially the section of that chain that shows the path of refined products from refineries to retail outlets – and the need for patience as processes come back online.
Posted September 5, 2017
As the waters recede, the energy industry is inspecting and assessing its facilities.The industry’s goal, as always, is to keep the marketplace well-supplied while ensuring the highest level of safety. Here’s some of the latest news as our energy infrastructure gets back online.
Posted September 5, 2017
Before then-Hurricane Harvey first made landfall, we discussed how mega-weather events historically have impacted the regional/national oil supply chain and supply levels in the marketplace. The uncertain path of Hurricane Irma will drive continued conversation about storm effects on refineries and other energy infrastructure and the potential for market impacts around the country. That’s the context for some basics about the fuel marketplace and the processes that bring finished consumer products from refineries to retail outlets.