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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Digging Into the Administration's Lease Sale Announcement

federal leases  white house  offshore oil production  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 27, 2021

The Biden administration’s plan to hold its first ever oil and natural gas lease sales this year is a positive sign after it paused new leasing on federal lands and waters for nearly seven months. The question is whether this is a significant policy shift for the administration, which will be determined by what actually happens and how swiftly it occurs.

It must be remembered that it has been more than two months since the administration was ordered to lift its leasing pause by a federal judge, and the administration is continuing its appeal of the court’s ruling. Again, it’s fair to ask whether this week’s announcement is a policy change – or something else while the legal case continues?

The answers to that question and others are critically important to future oil and gas development in federally controlled reserves, much of which requires sizeable investment and lengthy planning. 

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Sorry, America: OPEC+ Oil Rebuff Keeps Focus on Flawed White House Energy Policies

white house  domestic oil production  us energy security  federal leases 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 19, 2021

We’ve entered a different era in America, one in which this nation, rich in oil and natural gas reserves, publicly begs OPEC+ to increase its crude oil production to offset a U.S. supply-demand imbalance and the highest gasoline prices in years.

Let that sink in: Practically on bended knee, the American president and his administration – leading the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas – have pleaded with an oil cartel to solve their problem by producing more oil – as they bypass U.S. producers and pursue anti-oil policies here at home. …

Insult to injury: OPEC+ said, sorry, America, we see no reason to meet your request.

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Higher U.S. Gasoline Prices Reflect Crude Oil Supply-Demand Imbalance

domestic oil production  federal leases  supply  white house 

Lem Smith

Lem Smith
Posted August 5, 2021

This summer, Americans saw gasoline prices rise to their highest level since 2014 as Congress debated infrastructure policy and economies worldwide continued their recovery.

Gasoline prices primarily reflect the local balance between gasoline supply and demand. Notably, the cost of crude oil is the largest component in the price of regular gasoline, accounting for 55% of the per-gallon cost, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Right now, demand for crude oil is outpacing supply across the U.S. ...

Given these conditions, it’s no time to restrict or discourage U.S. natural gas and oil production. Instead, government and industry should work together to expand the safe and responsible development of American energy resources. Unfortunately, while America’s natural gas and oil are in high demand, the Biden administration has advanced misguided policies that could exacerbate the crude imbalance and further affect consumers.

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U.S. Mostly a Spectator While Others Address Supply-Demand Pinch

opec  white house  oil and natural gas production  supply  demand 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 8, 2021

The Biden administration says it is keeping a close eye on the OPEC+ talks on crude oil production because, as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, it wants “Americans to have access to affordable and reliable energy at the pump.”

Unfortunately, the U.S. is mostly a spectator as OPEC+ debates crude oil supply, which continues to be outpaced by demand, putting upward pressure on crude costs. Because the cost of crude is the biggest factor in gasoline prices, U.S. pump prices have reflected this mismatch between demand and supply. 

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Energy Policies and Potential Impacts on Household Budgets

consumers  consumer products  affordable energy  policy  white house 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted February 16, 2021

Most people get riled up when energy costs rise, especially prices at the pump. It’s understandable; energy represented 6.5% of household expenditures in 2019, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey. Yet, as we’ll see, energy policy choices can affect far more than just what you pay for a gallon of gasoline or your monthly electricity bill.

For example, imagine how you would feel if you learned that U.S. energy policies materially raised the cost of houses and vehicles, in addition to the fuel they require, the costs of which have been on the rise. Those two together plus energy represent more than half of a typical household’s expenditures.

Higher energy costs are a distinct possibility with the Biden administration’s decision to halt new federal natural gas and oil leasing, potentially reducing domestic production, as well as possible moves on the regulatory front and other actions that could limit drilling or hydraulic fracturing. These could put upward pressure on energy costs that then would ripple across various sectors since virtually everything has an energy component.

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Consumer Choice Takes a Back Seat in Federal Push for Electric Vehicles

electric vehicles  consumers  white house  federal government 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 2, 2021

Tucked in one of the Biden administration’s executive orders on climate is a directive to use the federal government’s procurement powers to achieve or facilitate “clean and zero-emission vehicles for Federal, State, local, and Tribal government fleets, including vehicles of the United States Postal Service.” The order also requires that fleet electrification fit with the administration’s support for union jobs and conforms to its “Made in America” principles.

Read below for a look at the facts on challenges linked to the size and scope of the directive, as well as concern that U.S. consumers and taxpayers should have over issues including the ownership costs of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), battery disposal, infrastructure costs and the potential for increased reliance on automotive components made by non-U.S. based workers.

First, we’ll focus on a fundamental concern, which is the government, in a market-based economy, taking policy actions to push the market and consumers toward a specific policy outcome. Basically, it’s the government picking winners and losers for consumers.

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Progress or Retreat

president  white house  oil imports  federal leases 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted January 28, 2021

Remarks at the United States Energy Association’s 17th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum:

A month into 2021, a divided America faces more challenges than anytime in modern history. But after a year of crisis, everyone can agree on something – we are ready for recovery.

So, we at API were encouraged to hear President Biden’s Inauguration Day call for unity. Even better, he issued that call at a time when Democrats and Republicans alike can rally around U.S. energy leadership. After all, the new president assumes power when America leads the world both in energy production and environmental performance. ...

Poised to build on this energy progress, API congratulated President Biden. Moments after he took the Oath of Office, we pledged to work with his administration when we can and oppose when we must. So, only eight days into his term, it is disappointing to report that we find ourselves in a posture of strong opposition. But we have no choice.

President Biden’s energy policy actions have completely undercut his message of unity and his mandate for economic recovery. Today I’m going to illustrate why. 

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Administration’s Leasing Approach is a ‘Step Backwards’ on U.S. Energy

us energy security  federal leases  white house  policy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 27, 2021

As the Biden administration takes the first step toward a complete ban on federal natural gas and oil development – including the offshore that accounted for more than one-fifth of U.S. oil production in 2019 – turning America’s energy strength into weakness by launching a new era of increased dependence on foreign oil, let’s see how out of step the approach is with the American people.

From polling of voters last summer in key battleground and other states:  93% said it’s important the U.S. produce enough energy to avoid being reliant on foreign oil; 90% said it’s important to create access to domestic energy; 69% said safe domestic natural gas and oil production makes the U.S. less reliant on foreign energy and has increased U.S. security. (Just 16% disagreed.)

All three viewpoints sharply contrast with where the Biden administration appears to be going with its announced halt on natural gas and oil leasing on federal lands and waters – which many believe will become a full ban on federal development.

Put simply, the White House is advancing an import-more-oil policy – one that would discard the hard-earned security, economic and environmental gains from a decade and a half of domestic energy resurgence. 

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Early Missteps on Energy are Blows to Economy, Security

white house  keystone xl pipeline  federal leases  economic growth  jobs  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 25, 2021

It’s unfortunate that the Biden administration’s first couple of energy decisions – effectively canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and signaling it will halt new federal natural gas and oil leasing – work against economic growth and could undermine the nation’s energy security.

With the U.S. economy struggling to recover from the pandemic, there could hardly be a worse time for actions that kill jobs, potentially increase energy costs and cause the U.S. to import more oil.

Sure, the president promised these things during the campaign. Yet, it’s disappointing nonetheless that thousands of U.S. workers associated with building the Keystone XL are now without jobs and that a federal leasing ban could start a new era of increasing U.S. energy dependence. Coincidentally, the administration just unveiled its “Buy American” initiative. What about energy? How about “Buy American Energy”?

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Ethanol and Honey Bees 2.0

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  white house  ethanol  blend wall 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 28, 2015

The White House has honey bees – an estimated 70,000 of them that call a hive near the South Lawn home. Yet, nationwide bees are struggling. Researchers have warned of declining numbers of bees and other “pollinators” – to the point that last year the White House set up a task force to develop a bee strategy to help reverse the trend. From the White House blog:

Increasing the quantity and quality of habitat for pollinators is a major part of this effort—with actions ranging from the construction of pollinator gardens at Federal buildings to the restoration of millions of acres of Federally managed lands and similar actions on private lands. To support these habitat-focused efforts, USDA and the Department of Interior are today issuing a set of Pollinator-Friendly Best Management Practices for Federal Lands, providing  practical guidance for planners and managers with land stewardship responsibilities.

We acknowledged the bee situation in a post nearly a year ago, noting that the large-scale conversion of grasslands to grow crops for a number of uses was crowding out bees, butterflies and others – including increasing acreage being devoted to ethanol production. Now a new, comprehensive study by University of Vermont researchers underscores the point – that U.S. wild bees are disappearing in many of the country’s most important farmlands and that increased demand for corn to use in biofuel production is a significant part of the problem.

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