Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted September 3, 2014
Following up on last week’s rebuttal of a truth-challenged attack on hydraulic fracturing in a USA Today op-ed, in which we detail how federal and state regulation, combined with industry standards are protecting the environment, water supplies and communities.
The op-ed by the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Amy Mall opens by posing a false choice for Americans: economic and energy security from development using fracking or safety. It continues:
… a controversial new extraction technology known as "fracking" — combined with unprecedented exemptions for the industry from bedrock federal environmental and public health laws — has fueled a recent explosion in domestic oil and gas development. And safeguards have not kept pace.
Fracking isn’t new. Earlier this year the U.S. marked the 65th anniversary of the first commercial use of hydraulic fracturing. Fracking pre-dates McDonald’s, diet soft drinks, credit cards and more – even Barbie. It’s a fact, and saying otherwise is dishonest.
Posted August 29, 2014
Supply matters. The impact of the U.S. energy revolution on global supply, with real benefits reaching consumers, is seen we head into the Labor Day weekend. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports the U.S. average retail price for gasoline on Aug. 25 was the lowest price on the Monday before Labor Day since 2010. EIA explains:
The recent decline in gasoline prices largely reflects changes in crude oil prices. In June of this year, the Brent spot price reached its year-to-date high of $115/barrel (bbl), then fell to $102/bbl on August 22. Current Brent prices are below their August average level over the past three years, which ranged between $110/bbl and $113/bbl.
This parallels another EIA report, crediting the surge in U.S. crude oil production with a more stabilized global crude market:
Record-setting liquid fuels production growth in the United States has more than offset the rise in unplanned global supply disruptions over the past few years … U.S. liquid fuels production, which includes crude oil, hydrocarbon gas liquids, biofuels, and refinery processing gain, grew by more than 4.0 million barrels per day (bbl/d) from January 2011 to July 2014, of which 3.0 million bbl/d was crude oil production growth. During that same period, global unplanned supply disruptions grew by 2.8 million bbl/d. U.S. production growth, the main factor counterbalancing the supply disruptions on the global oil market, has contributed to a decrease in crude oil price volatility since 2011.
More simply, supply matters. Because crude oil is traded globally, every additional barrel of U.S. production going into that market has impact.
Posted August 29, 2014
New York Times: THREE RIVERS, Tex. — Whenever overseas turmoil has pushed energy prices higher in the past, John and Beth Hughes have curbed their driving by eating at home more and shopping locally. But the current crises in Ukraine and Iraq did not stop them from making the two-hour drive to San Antonio to visit the Alamo, have a chicken fried steak lunch, and buy fish for their tank before driving home to Corpus Christi.
“We were able to take a day-cation because of the lower gas prices,” said Ms. Hughes.
The reason for the improved economics of road travel can be found 10,000 feet below the ground here, where the South Texas Eagle Ford shale is providing more than a million new barrels of oil supplies to the world market every day. United States refinery production in recent weeks reached record highs and left supply depots flush, cushioning the impact of all the instability surrounding traditional global oil fields.
Posted August 28, 2014
A USA Today op-ed this week on hydraulic fracturing by the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Amy Mall is such an achievement in dishonesty it’ll take multiple posts to unpack it all. So stay tuned. For now, let’s look at the opening, tone-setting paragraph of Mall’s piece and the way it deploys a false choice to try to undercut public support for fracking, the very basis of America’s ongoing energy revolution. Mall writes:
We all want economic and energy security. But recklessly ramping up U.S. oil and gas production is not the answer.
Mall starts with a truth – in an otherwise seriously truth-challenged piece. Yes, Americans very much want economic and energy security.
Posted August 27, 2014
USAToday Editorial: There is much news these days from the world's major energy producing regions. Almost none of it is good.
Iraq, Libya and Syria are in turmoil. Russia, the world's largest exporter of natural gas and the second largest exporter of oil, is bullying Ukraine and by extension Western Europe. And Iran's nuclear program may yet provoke a market-roiling conflict.
Amazingly, as all this has transpired, U.S. gasoline prices have been stable, even falling. The domestic economy is picking up steam. And the stock market has hit all-time highs.
Go figure. Perhaps the markets are in denial and Americans are in for an ugly surprise. They were blindsided in 1973 when an Arab oil boycott led to higher prices and long gas lines, and again in 1979 when the Iranian revolution led to a second oil shock.
But there are legitimate reasons why things would look relatively good here while so much of the world burns. First among them is a U.S. energy renaissance that has left the nation far less dependent on Mideast oil.
Posted August 12, 2014
Wall Street Journal (subscription required): When House Republicans took up a measure to speed the government's reviews of applications to export natural gas, a move long sought by energy companies, the unexpected happened: The bill won "yes" votes from 47 Democrats.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Cory Gardner (R., Colo.), anticipated some Democratic backing, but not that much. Rep. Steve Israel of New York, who leads the Democrats' House campaign arm, was a yes, as was House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland. Both voted in 2012 to restrict oil and gas exports.
The energy boom is shaping a new kind of Democrat in national politics, lawmakers who are giving greater support to the oil and gas industry even at the risk of alienating environmental groups, a core of the party's base. The trend comes as oil-and-gas production moves beyond America's traditionally energy-rich states, a development that also is increasing U.S. geopolitical influence abroad.
Posted July 17, 2014
We like to bring attention to good-news energy stories from states like North Dakota (also here and here) because the oil and natural gas development there is creating good-paying jobs for Americans, generating opportunity and lifting economies. The great news is that the benefits from the U.S. energy revolution are being felt in a number of places.
A new study shows the tremendous positive impacts of energy development in Louisiana, the nation’s No. 2 crude oil producer at nearly 1.45 million barrels per day when federal offshore production is included, and No. 2 in petroleum refining capacity.
The quick story: Louisiana has embraced oil and natural gas development, and oil and natural gas development has embraced Louisiana – with jobs, economic stimulus and revenues for state and local governments. This is clear from the study of the state impact of the oil and natural gas extraction, refining and pipeline industries by economist Loren C. Scott.
Posted July 3, 2014
Happy Fourth of July, America!
Celebrating Independence Day takes many forms – cookouts, fireworks, community parades, family gatherings and more. It’s also celebrating the uniqueness of America, founded on the notion that all are deserving of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness …”
This being an energy blog, let’s connect energy and the elements enshrined in the Declaration. Many things combine to produce and protect our liberty, our freedom. Secure energy is one of them, and America’s energy revolution, built on surging production of domestic oil and natural gas, is making energy security a reality.
Posted June 24, 2014
Thanks to the Utica Shale, Ohio is emerging as a key energy state. This post features a photo essay on the Energy From Shale website, showing some of the scenes from the heart of the Utica – where jobs are being created and whole communities are being reinvigorated.
In Ohio as in other shale energy states, advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling is unlocking vast reserves of oil and natural gas. It’s a revolution that’s the main reason the U.S. is now the world’s leading natural gas producer and could become the world’s leading oil producer by next year.
Posted June 23, 2014
It’s hard to overstate the revolution that’s under way in American Energy. In just a few years we’ve gone from a scenario of energy scarcity to energy abundance – thanks in large part to the innovations and investments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. As the White House noted in its May report, “The All-Of-The-Above Energy Strategy as a Path to Sustainable Economic Growth,” dramatic increases in domestic oil and natural gas production have brought jobs, energy security and economic growth. ...
“All-Of-The-Above” is not just a strategy, or a simple catch-phrase. It represents our reality. Analysis by EIA as well as international and private analyses show that oil and natural gas provide the bulk of the energy we use today (62 percent) and will continue to provide the majority of the energy we use for many years to come (60 percent in 2040).