Energy Tomorrow Blog
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.
Posted June 19, 2020
We’ve discussed the historic link between economic growth and energy – chiefly, natural gas and oil, America’s and the world’s leading energy sources. When the economy grows it boosts demand for energy. And when that energy is supplied, growth is enabled or powered. See this blog by API Chief Economist Dean Foreman, in which he describes data behind our confidence that natural gas and oil will be big participants in the nation’s economic recovery.
Indeed, the indicators of this linkage are visible in API’s June Monthly Statistical Report. Based on May data, the MSR records an increase in U.S. petroleum demand of 2.0 million barrels per day, with motor gasoline leading the way. It’s the largest such increase in nearly 45 years.
Americans are getting back to work, and as they do, they need fuel. Likewise, rising fuel demand reflects increased demand for transportation and delivery of goods and services. As our industry meets this demand, growth is enabled.
Posted June 18, 2020
As the U.S. and world confront the unprecedented combination of a public health crisis, significant economic downturn and tumultuous domestic and global oil markets, we have seen oil demand, prices, and consequently drilling and production fall by historic amounts.
Overall, we see market forces at work, with a re-balancing of supply and demand to historic proportions despite great uncertainties. The underlying fundamentals appear to be constructive and should position the U.S. natural gas and oil industry to participate in an economic recovery. And if the third-party consensus is correct the next year or so could bring positives for U.S. and global energy.
Posted June 17, 2020
Delivering what’s essential. It’s at the heart of what our industry does – and it’s never been more important than right now.
The pandemic has focused Americans on health, safety, family and other critical priorities.
At the same time, we’ve been reminded that the heroes in this crisis are first-responders, doctors and nurses. We’ve also become aware that others – including people working at supermarkets, pharmacies, fuel stations and in modern communications networks – also serve in indispensable roles.
These contributions are highlighted in API’s new video, “Essential."
Posted June 15, 2020
During this moment of public health and economic uncertainty, the natural gas and oil industry has taken steps to ensure the integrity of our products and develop new standards that add value for our customers, while bolstering efficiency and sustainability throughout the supply chain.
API has focused squarely on the thriving U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) market through our voluntary standards program, and we believe that our best practices and engineering standards are essential to the future of the U.S. LNG export market.
Posted June 11, 2020
Practical, safe, and responsible offshore energy development doesn’t just create jobs and power our lives – it also funds America’s largest federal conservation program. For decades, the natural gas and oil industry has directly contributed to outdoor recreation and environmental conservation, thanks to a long-standing law that would be strengthened by legislation that is up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.
Senators will soon vote on S. 3422, the Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan bill that would codify a permanent funding stream for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address a considerable maintenance and construction backlog on public lands.
Posted June 10, 2020
For more than 25 years, natural gas and oil producers have been reusing oilfield water to irrigate farms in southern California. This industry-driven approach, which mixes oilfield and surface water, strengthens agricultural output and resource conservation in the drought-prone Cawelo Water District.
The use of oilfield produced water (OPW) for irrigation is permitted under California Water Board policy, and a new study by researchers at Duke University and RTI International confirms that OPW is “of comparable quality to the local groundwater in the region.” The practice, which does not pose major risks to crop or human health, has benefited farmers faced with increasing water shortages.
Posted June 9, 2020
As businesses reopen across the country, the U.S. economy is beginning to emerge from the widespread shutdowns caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. America’s energy operators are poised to safely and responsibly power our economic recovery, and the latest market data shows that the initial phases are well underway.
While the short-term outlook remains unclear, energy analysts have consistently backed the strength of this industry’s fundamentals, and long-term forecasts signal demand growth for natural gas and oil through the next several decades.
Posted June 4, 2020
EPA has announced its final rule to modernize Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), which will clarify the jurisdiction of states in issuing required water quality certifications. As discussed in this post, the changes will help the timely advance of needed infrastructure projects – which in some instances EPA believes have been delayed or blocked by states exceeding their Section 401 authority.EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the CWA review process has been abused in the past, holding key infrastructure “hostage.”
Posted June 2, 2020
Whenever someone talks about banning offshore oil and natural gas development, as some in Congress have proposed, they miss the fact that offshore oil and gas pays for the country’s most important conservation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Everyone who cares about coastal restoration, wetlands protection, park upkeep, building hiking paths and other recreational areas should be aware that since 1965 the LWCF has supplied billions of dollars for conservation and environmental projects across the 50 states, from Grand Canyon National Park to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore – almost entirely funded by safe and responsible offshore oil and natural gas development.
The Wilderness Society puts it this way: “The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has been America’s most important conservation funding tool for nearly 50 years.”