Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted November 24, 2014
After decades of declining domestic oil production, the country is in the middle of an unexpected boom. Driven by new technology that reaches previously inaccessible reserves, production has soared by millions of barrels a day. This surge has been a key factor driving oil prices down.
So, should U.S. oil companies be allowed to sell that oil overseas?
Because of a restriction dating back to the oil scares of the 1970s, producers for the most part can’t export their oil. The export ban was part of a series of laws passed to ease supply concerns and prevent U.S. producers from skirting price controls by selling crude into the world market at higher prices.
Posted November 21, 2014
USA Today (Manhattan Institute’s Mark Mills): When the newly elected Congress convenes in January, energy will be a priority. In fact energy is the "foundation" action item according to the just-released roadmap from Speaker of the House John Boehner. So this is a particularly good time to map out just how different the energy world is today, and will be in the future.
Four decades ago, when America's extant energy policy paradigm was forged, the U.S. was the world's fastest growing major energy user in an environment of resource dependency and depletion. The facts have since flipped: America is now the fastest growing energy producer, while nearly all net new demand takes place elsewhere.
In this context, consider the implications for America, and the world, of five key numbers.
Posted November 19, 2014
WYTV (ABC, Ohio): The Utica Shale Academy, located inside Southern Local Schools, held a special demonstration Tuesday for students and board members.
Austin Sadler, 17, is the only senior in the academy. He hasn’t wasted any time obtaining three certifications needed to get a job in the oil and gas industry after graduation.
Sadler said he has learned how to case a well, install pipe and tubing and understands how gas and oil is extracted from the ground. The first certification he received was for safety, called the Rig Pass.
“It allows me to be safely on any rig. I can be on a rig and know what I am doing and what not to do,” Sadler said.
Posted November 18, 2014
Posted November 17, 2014
The Economist: To find out how much energy security has mattered in the Pacific’s recent history, ask the Japanese. At the museum of the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honours the country’s war dead (sometimes controversially), an exhibit suggests, with a jarring note of self-justification, that an American naval blockade against Japanese oil imports in 1941 triggered the Pacific war.
Seventy years later a tsunami that swooshed in from the Pacific and knocked out the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station led to the closure of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors. Parts of the country, which is a greedy consumer of electricity, were left practically powerless. Huge tankers full of natural gas, heading for terminals dotted along Japan’s Pacific coastline, eventually got the country up and running again. In 2012 Japan consumed 37% of the world’s liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Posted November 14, 2014
The Fix (Washington Post): President Obama is fond of telling Congress that it should pass things with the overwhelming support of the American people, including (among other things) comprehensive immigration reform, increasing the minimum wage, and increasing gun background checks.
And yet, Obama could soon be in a position of vetoing something with a similar amount of support: the Keystone XL pipeline.
Poll after poll has shown support for Keystone is somewhere between very strong and overwhelming. A Pew Research Center survey this month showed support for the project at nearly two-to-one, 59 percent to 31 percent. And that was about the lowest level of support we've seen to date. Support has registered as high as two-thirds of Americans.
Posted November 13, 2014
Bipartisanship was the unifying theme from lawmakers and panelists during an event on the intersection of energy and policy earlier today, hosted by The Hill. With the midterm elections over, it’s clear “energy ultimately prevailed,” API President and CEO Jack Gerard said, starting the discussion of what the future holds for energy in the next Congress. Gerard:
“Energy should not be a partisan issue, and while the election played out in a Republican/Democrat-type dynamic, ultimately we believe energy prevailed. Energy was a key issue in a lot of races across the country and it’s clear the American public is growing in their support of energy, especially oil and natural gas.”
Indeed, the U.S. – and the 114th Congress -- has a unique energy opportunity. When looking back even just five or six years ago, no one predicted America’s energy revolution after decades of energy scarcity. Fast-forward to today: We live in an era of rich abundance and ample oil and natural gas resources. America is now in a position to become the world’s energy superpower thanks to industry technology and innovation.
Posted November 12, 2014
See video below of Thursday's event, hosted by The Hill newspaper, that featured discussion of the energy policy issues that are likely to be front and center in the new Congress, which will have a new Senate majority.
Discussion focused on what’s next in the energy sector – from industry in terms of innovation and other advancements that affect energy development, and from Washington policymakers on Capitol Hill and within the administration.
Posted November 11, 2014
President Barack Obama has also joined the chorus, claiming in a recent speech at Northwestern University that America is a world energy leader because “right off the bat” his administration “upped our investments in American energy.”
In reality, we’ve become the world’s leading natural gas producer and soon-to-be leading oil producer despite, not because of, White House policies.
Posted November 5, 2014
Wall Street Journal: Next year’s GOP-controlled Senate is expected to come out strongly against President Barack Obama ’s most consequential energy and environment policies, with the likely majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, vowing to hold votes on the Keystone XL pipeline and legislation to pare back the administration’s proposed carbon emissions rules.
It is an open question how much headway Republicans can make, given the Senate’s 60-vote procedural threshold and the threat of a presidential veto. But centrist Democrats with home-state energy interests could align with Republicans to create bipartisan majorities on bills that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) didn’t want to bring to the floor, including approving the Keystone XL pipeline, curtailing Environmental Protection Agency rules to cut carbon emissions and expediting federal reviews of natural-gas exports. The votes would put senators on the record in a way Mr. Reid often avoided.