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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Fracking, Federal Regs and the Facts

fracking  hydraulic fracturing  regulation  fracfocus 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

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Ozone Regulation and Real-World Impacts

ozone standards  epa  economic impacts  american petroleum institute  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

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America’s Energy is About Right Choices

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  ethanol  regulation  ozone  taxes  keystone xl pipeline  alaska 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
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. 

Additional coverage includes biofuels producers wanting accountability and reform on the RFS' ethanol requirements, and the push for eliminating the RFS once and for all.

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The Energy Revolution – The View From the White House

oil and natural gas development  access  president obama  congress  energy policy  economic benefits  trade  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

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Regulation, Access and Energy

american energy  regulation  fracking  texas  ohio  pipelines 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 26, 2015

The Daily Signal: Although the White House Council of Economic Advisers’ annual report to Congress largely restates the President’s State of the Union address on “middle-class economics,” it includes a welcome suggestion. This glimmer of hope is a lone, but surprising sentence in the report’s energy chapter: “The regulatory structure for addressing local environmental concerns, especially around land and water use [for hydraulic fracturing operations], exists primarily at the State and local level.” If the Obama Administration were to take the advice, it would mark a positive step in the right direction after years of moving in the opposite direction.

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More Good News on Methane Emissions – Again

methane emissions  natural gas production  hydraulic fracturing  regulation  epa 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

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The Ozone Regulatory Revolving Door

ozone standards  epa  regulation  air quality  economic impacts  job losses 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

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Ozone Science, Facts Should Guide Public Debate

ozone standards  air quality  economic impacts  job losses  epa regulation  policy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 29, 2015

With EPA opening public hearings (subscription required) on its proposed new ground-level ozone standards, it’s important that we not let some key facts get lost in the wave of comments and anecdotes that results when there’s an open microphone available.

At issue is EPA’s plan to make more restrictive the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone, from the current 75 parts per billion (ppb) to between 65 and 70 ppb. The agency is collecting input until mid-March before finalizing the rule this fall.

We’ve made the case before that the existing standards are working, that our air is getting cleaner and will continue to do so with the current rule. In short, there’s no good reason to make the standards more stringent. That’s what the science shows, as experts detailed at EPA’s hearing in Washington, D.C. (here and here). Indeed, EPA’s own data shows that ozone levels have fallen 33 percent since 1980, including 18 percent since 2000.

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Seizing Our Energy Moment

crude oil  exports  infrastructure  permit delays  regulation  education  hydraulic fracturing  fracking  pipelines  new york natural gas 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted January 22, 2015

The Bakken Magazine: “Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.”

This is the dreaded phrase on the “Go to Jail Card” that you’ve likely drawn, or at least heard of, when playing the game of Monopoly. Drawing this card is an all-around bummer. You lose a chance at scooping up valuable property before others do, you don’t get to collect $200 that you might need to purchase property, and it increases the chance that you lose the game. But at least it’s just a game. Right?

Wrong. What many people probably don’t realize is that we’re in a real-life game similar to Monopoly, but this one is focused on the global oil market, not property. And, it just so happens that we’re stuck holding the “Do not pass Go” card.

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The Possibilities of Resilient American Energy

us energy  gasoline prices  crude oil  exports  trade  economic benefits  oil and natural gas production  keystone xl pipeline  fracking  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 16, 2015

Bloomberg: Ending restrictions on U.S. crude exports could cut gasoline prices as much as 12 cents a gallon, a Columbia University study co-written by a former adviser to President Barack Obama has concluded.

Without the partial ban, domestic production might increase as much as 1.2 million barrels a day by 2025, making the U.S. more resilient to global supply disruptions, according to the study.

“Easing energy export restrictions does not raise gasoline prices for consumers,” Jason Bordoff, a former energy and climate adviser to Obama who is now director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, said in a telephone interview.

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