Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted September 19, 2014
Posted September 16, 2014
This week the Keystone XL pipeline reaches a dubious anniversary – six years waiting for the Obama administration to approve a shovel-ready, privately financed infrastructure project that would create jobs while strengthening America’s energy, economic and national security.
It has been an unfortunate, unnecessary wait. Such projects historically are approved by Washington in one to two years. In the six years Keystone XL has been left on hold by this White House, 10,000 miles of oil and natural gas pipelines have been built in the United States.
While Keystone XL languishes, Canada – our neighbor, friend and largest supplier of imported oil – gets the cold shoulder from an administration that has dithered, delayed and dumbfounded its way into obstructing a vital piece of energy infrastructure – pleasing a small minority instead of advancing the national interest.
Posted September 15, 2014
(Wall Street Journal): Skeptics of the U.S. energy boom say it can't last much longer because it requires drilling an ever-increasing number of wells.
But the boom already has lasted longer than anyone would have imagined just a decade ago and has more room to run. That's because oil and natural-gas wells have become more productive—an unrecognized but potent trend that should keep the fuels flowing.
Posted September 3, 2014
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Two major pipeline projects are in the works to ship natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales to the southeastern U.S., a region with a growing appetite for natural gas.
Downtown-based EQT Corp. said Tuesday it is moving forward with its partner NextEra Energy, a Florida electric utility, to form a joint venture dubbed Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC. The partnership plans to build a 330-mile pipeline that would provide at least 2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of transmission capacity to the mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic regions. The project, which is now seeking firm commitments for capacity from shippers during an open season, was first announced in June, and has already gotten commitments for 1.5 Bcf/d, EQT said.
Meanwhile, a partnership of four energy companies — Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources — also announced Tuesday a roughly $5 billion pipeline project to take about 1.5 Bcf/d to North Carolina and Virginia. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would span 550 miles from Harrison County, W.Va., through Virginia and then south to North Carolina.
Posted August 21, 2014
Wall Street Journal: U.S. economic growth accelerated in the second half of 2013 before unexpectedly contracting early this year. But growth late last year was uneven across the nation, with some energy-rich states leading the pack while economies slowed in New England and on the Plains.
That’s according to new data released Wednesday by the Commerce Department. The agency already reported gross domestic product for the nation on a quarterly basis and at the state level annually. Now, it has offered a quarterly breakdown for state-level GDP data through the end of 2013. The data are volatile from quarter to quarter, but allow a finer understanding of the ups and downs in regional economies.
Posted August 15, 2014
Forbes: The U.S. arm of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has been making news this week with a ‘new’ report claiming the Obama Administration drastically underestimated carbon emissions of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The report seeks to make the case as to why the final portion of the Keystone pipeline system should not be built.
As tantalizing as the report sounds, supporters of the pipeline have been quick to point out the report is actually a recycled 2013 SEI report which the State Department took into account, and largely dismissed.
Posted August 14, 2014
Wall Street Journal (Jay Timmons, NAM): In a town famous for inaction, Washington is gearing up to take action on a major policy issue. But there's a hitch: The outcome could be the most expensive regulation in the nation's history, possibly tanking the economy and costing jobs at a time when businesses, manufacturers and families are making a comeback.
Later this year, the Environmental Protection Agency will decide whether it should tighten the air-quality standard for ground-level ozone. There are several things about this possible new standard that are alarming.
Posted August 13, 2014
Bloomberg Businessweek: Fighting across Iraq, Libya, Ukraine and Gaza, and an accelerating economy, should mean higher oil prices. Yet crude is falling.
Six years ago, oil soared to a record $147 a barrel as tension mounted over Iran’s nuclear program and the world economy had just seen the strongest period of sustained growth since the 1970s. Now, West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark price, has traded below $100 for 10 days and Brent, the European equivalent, tumbled to a 13-month low.
What’s changed is the shale fracking boom. The U.S. is pumping the most oil in 27 years, adding more than 3 million barrels of daily supply since 2008. The International Energy Agency said yesterday that a supply glut is shielding the market from disruptions. Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and BNP Paribas SA concur.
Posted August 13, 2014
Ever since the Keystone XL pipeline first started clearing environmental reviews by the U.S. State Department, opponents basically have been left with arguing that State missed one thing or another in an effort to drag out the federal review. Of course, the credibility of the tactic has suffered evaporation with each successful State review, now five in all.
That’s the context for the latest bid to undercut State’s thorough analysis – an analysis that claims that State underestimated Keystone XL’s emissions impact by failing to consider that the pipeline would increase supply and drive down global prices leading to increased demand (and emissions).
The economic foundation is suspect, as Alberta University Professor Andrew Leach writes in an article for MacLean’s, here.
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.