Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted March 24, 2015
Last week’s release of the federal Bureau of Land Management’s new hydraulic fracturing rule suggests it’s time to update an infographic we posted last summer on the administration’s regulatory march that could impede America’s energy revolution.
Unfortunately, the administration’s plans for energy regulation aren’t encouraging – not if you truly grasp the historic opportunity that surging domestic production of oil and natural gas is providing the United States.
We’re talking about the complete rewrite of America’s energy narrative, from one of scarcity – limiting America’s economic possibilities and overshadowing its national security concerns – to one of abundance in which the U.S. is more self-sufficient, more prosperous and more secure in the world.
We call that historic, revolutionary, a true renaissance in American energy.
Posted March 20, 2015
Some important context to the new federal hydraulic fracturing rule announced by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is found in looking at the recent trend in federal onshore energy development.
It’s not an inspiring picture. Since BLM deals with onshore energy, let’s look at oil and natural gas output together, measured in barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Federal onshore production has declined from 1.8 million boe in fiscal year 2009 to 1.6 million boe in FY2014, a decline of 11.3 percent, according to federal data.
Breaking out the natural gas production figures, the decline is more dramatic. Onshore production of natural gas in federal areas fell from 8.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in FY2009 to 6.8 Bcf/d in FY2014, a drop of21.6 percent.
The reason is federal policy. Whether you’re talking about access to reserves or permitting red tape, the bottom-line result is declining production.
Posted March 18, 2015
The Hill: Business groups are waging war on the Obama administration’s proposal to reduce ozone pollution, arguing the regulations would cripple the U.S. economy.
In order to comply with the proposed rule, many areas of the country would have to all but shut down land development and oil and natural gas drilling, industry groups charged on the final day for comments.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is being spurred on by greens and health groups, who argue that lower ozone emissions would benefit public health. The agency, they contend, is obligated to adopt the stricter standards.
But the rules would translate to higher electric bills for American families, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is said in comments it filed Tuesday.
Posted March 18, 2015
A number of congressional Democrats say they plan to reintroduce legislation to repeal the oil and natural gas industry’s “exemption” from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and require disclosure of chemicals using in hydraulic fracturing.
This “Back to the Future” exercise – it first emerged in 2009 – is founded on two falsehoods: that industry is exempt from SDWA and that currently there’s no disclosure of chemicals used in fracking.
In short, the so-called “FRAC Act” that some in Congress hope to reanimate is one of those Washington solutions in search of a problem.
Posted March 17, 2015
The job that could be lost could be yours, or the job that doesn’t materialize could be the one you had your heart set on. Both scenarios could result from lower federal standards on ground-level ozone, which EPA has proposed and is expected to finalize later this year.
A NERA Economic Consulting study lays out the big-picture impacts, that a stricter ozone regulation could reduce U.S. GDP by $270 billion per year and $3.4 trillion from 2017 to 2040, resulting in 2.9 million fewer jobs or job equivalents per year on average through 2040.
Big numbers, but abstract. Embedded in them are potential real-world impacts for lots of Americans in terms of economic opportunity lost or denied, illustrated here on a state-by-state basis. These include businesses that might not be launched or expanded, infrastructure plans that could be shelved, such as roads and bridges. It could entail activities that communities might restrict as they try to comply with stricter ozone standards.
Posted March 12, 2015
Oil and natural gas industry groups joined by environmentalists and anti-hunger groups have joined forces to outline concerns with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and to ask Congress to repeal or significantly reform the program with its ethanol mandates.
Posted February 26, 2015
The president’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) understands the significance of the U.S. energy revolution quite well – reflected in the energy chapter of its recent 2015 Economic Report of the President.
The chapter should be widely read by policymakers, from the president and Congress on down, because it notes the role of surging domestic oil and natural gas production in the ongoing energy revolution. From there it’s possible to identify needed policies for the future.
Posted February 26, 2015
Posted February 10, 2015
Standout findings in a new major field study on methane emissions from natural gas collection and processing facilities across 13 states, led by Colorado State University include a couple of points:
First, of 130 facilities that collect natural gas from production wells, remove impurities and deliver it to inter- and intrastate pipeline networks, 101 had methane loss rates below 1 percent – including 85 of the 114 gathering facilities and all 16 of the processing plants studied. Put another way, methane containment at these facilities is more than 99 percent.
Second, the majority of emissions resulted from abnormalities involving broken or faulty equipment – issues that are relatively easy to address.
Posted February 3, 2015
Politico reports (subscription required) that the White House Office of Management and Budget on Friday finished review of EPA’s final rule to set state implementation plan requirements for the agency’s 2008 ozone standards.
Here’s the significance of that piece of wonky news: Even before EPA has finished telling the states how to implement the 2008 ozone standards, the agency already is well into setting new, potentially stricter standards. Regulation for regulation sake? It would be hard to find a better illustration.