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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Canadian Oil Sands, American Benefits

oil sands development  canadian oil sands  trade 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 31, 2014

Here’s what we know about U.S. energy security, with much credit due to our partnership with Canada, America’s  No. 1 source of imported oil:

In 2013, U.S. crude oil imports were 541 million barrels lower than in 2010, a 16 percent decrease, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).Also in 2013, U.S. imports of crude oil from Canada were 222 million barrels higher than in 2010, an increase of nearly 31 percent.

Put the two together and what you see is a more energy-secure America: increased domestic energy – largely from shale development – more oil from our neighbor and ally and reduced imports overall.

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Looking to America’s Bright Energy Future

american energy  exports  jobs  Economy  trade  fracking 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted October 3, 2014

The Hill Congress Blog (Dan Eberhart): America’s boom in shale oil and gas has given us a new tool to counter aggressive nations without firing a shot.  That tool is energy abundance.  With increased production and new techniques of extracting energy from shale, it’s time to break free from outdated shackles on U.S. crude oil exports.

In the 1970s, we were hogtied by energy scarcity. The U.S. suffered a devastating oil embargo during the mid-1970s courtesy of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), and at the end of the six-month embargo, oil prices had quadrupled from $3 a barrel to nearly $12. Our country’s economy was crippled, and we faced the prospect of “stagflation” and wage and price controls.

By December 1975, President Gerald Ford signed the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), a ban on most U.S. energy exports that remains in place today.  At the time, export bans made sense; they preserved the resources we did have.  

That was then, this is now.

Today, the ban is hurting our economy and global competitiveness. Lifting the crude export ban would tilt global markets, benefit the American consumer and bolster the US economy, restoring the US to the status of energy superpower. 

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Merits of Oil Exports are Clear

crude oil  exports  trade  oil production  economic benefits 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 10, 2014

A new report from Brookings’ Energy Security Initiative adds more scholarly weight to the analytical case for lifting America’s decades-old ban on crude oil exports. Echoing earlier studies by IHS and ICF International, the Brookings research finds that allowing the export of domestic crude would stimulate more oil production here at home, provide broad economic benefits and strengthen U.S. energy security. Brookings:

… we believe that the U.S. should allow the market to determine where crude oil will go and move immediately to lift the ban on all crude oil exports. … After 40 years of perceived oil scarcity, the United States is in a position to help maximize its own energy and economic security by applying the same principles to free trade in energy that it applies to other goods. By lifting the ban on crude oil exports, the United States also will help mitigate oil price volatility while alleviating the negative impacts of future global oil supply disruptions.

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Outdated Trade Barriers Limit America’s Energy Potential

energy exports  crude oil  liquefied natural gas  lng  economic growth  trade 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 8, 2014

The U.S. Commerce Department’s newest trade report released this week shows increased exports of crude oil and petroleum products were a major factor in shrinking the trade deficit in June to $41.5 billion, down from $44.7 billion in May.

That’s great news. Energy exports are helping build America’s economic strength globally while creating jobs and opportunity here at home. America is more secure as a result of our energy revolution that is bringing opportunities to engage world energy markets and harness U.S. energy for good. Allowing more U.S. oil and natural gas exports is the logical course to support and expand America’s global presence.

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American Energy is Changing the Global Markets

american energy  trade  global markets  exports  fracking  Economy  Energy Security 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted August 7, 2014

The Christian Science Monitor: WASHINGTON — An oil and gas boom helped drive the US trade deficit to a five-month low in June, according to federal data released Wednesday.

Increased domestic energy production means Americans are buying less foreign oil and gas, and selling more of it overseas. That has tamped down the trade deficit in recent years, helping along an economy that continues to recover from the Great Recession.

Some say the deficit could be slashed further if the US were to ease energy export restrictions put in place to protect US consumers from global energy shocks. But such a move would have impacts that go beyond the country’s balance of trade. Critics of oil and gas exports say they will raise energy prices at home, and increase the environmental impacts of extracting and burning fossil fuels.

Either way, a renaissance in oil and gas production is already changing the way officials, analysts, and economists look at the future of the US economy.

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Energy Access, Rising Production Boost America

american energy  jobs  trade  gulf 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted July 21, 2014

Recent Improvements in Petroleum Trade Balance Mitigate U.S. Trade Deficit

 

EIA Today in Energy: Since the mid-1970s, the United States has run a deficit in merchandise trade, meaning that payments for imports exceeded receipts for exports. This large and growing deficit on the merchandise trade balance reached a maximum of $883 billion in the second quarter of 2008.

 

As a result of the recession, dramatic declines of imports in excess of exports during the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 reduced the merchandise trade deficit by 49%, to $449 billion in the second quarter of 2009. This trend of declining imports resulted in the lowest quarterly deficit level since early 2002. The merchandise trade deficit then increased to $686 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, with much of the difference from the 2008 level ($131 billion) attributable to a $158 billion increase in net exports of crude oil and petroleum products.

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Adding Up the Benefits from Harnessing U.S. Energy

crude oil  exports  trade  bakken shale  fracking  emissions  oil sands 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 30, 2014

Washington Post Editorial: Quietly but wisely, the Commerce Department has decided to allow the first exports of U.S. crude oil since Congress imposed a ban on such sales (except to Canada) in the 1970s. To be sure, the agency’s ruling amounts to redefining crude in a way that applies only to a form of ultralight oil that U.S. refineries are ill-equipped to process. The executive branch couldn’t do much more than that to expand crude exports without congressional permission. Still, Commerce’s move is a step in the right direction because resuming oil sales abroad could help the U.S. economy reap the full fruits of the shale revolution that has propelled this country back into the top ranks of global oil and gas production.

The origins of the ban lie in the long-gone political and economic issues of the Nixon era. Specifically, the United States banned oil exports in response to the declining domestic production and Middle East supply shocks of that time, which, together with the then-existing system of U.S. price controls, made it seem rational to keep U.S.-produced oil at home rather than let it flow to the highest bidder on the world market. The world has changed dramatically since then; with U.S. production booming, this country is in a position to move the world market. Yet some still defend the export ban on the grounds that it holds down the price of crude to U.S. refineries and, by extension, the price of gasoline at U.S. pumps.

new report by IHS Global explains why that thinking is outmoded. 

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Voters: Yes on LNG Exports, Yes on Energy

lng exports  trade  economic benefits  infrastructure  keystone xl 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 22, 2014

Energy and economic prosperity go together – on that most Americans agree. New polling finds strong majorities ofregistered voters connect exporting natural gas and new job creation, trade deficit reduction and a stronger economy.

The results mirror findings in other recent surveys on energy infrastructure investment and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. All together, they tell decision makers to choose pro-energy development and investment policies to put more Americans to work and to make America stronger in the world today.

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The Benefits of Cove Point LNG Exports

lng exports  liquefied natural gas  energy department  economic benefits  us trade 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 20, 2014

Last week’s finding by federal regulators that a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporting project in southern Maryland would pose “no significant impact” on the environmental  is great news for the local and state economy, as well as for the United States, when it comes to broader trade and economic benefits from exporting U.S. LNG. Let’s hope the commission quickly follows up to approve the $3.8 billion project at Cove Point, Md.

Diane Leopold, president of Dominion Energy, which owns the existing LNG import facility (left) where the export project is planned:

“This marks another important step forward in a project that has very significant economic benefits and helps two allied nations in their efforts to increase their energy security and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. … The Cove Point LNG facility has been in existence for nearly 40 years and this makes the most of existing facilities. This project will be built within the existing footprint and fence line of an industrial site. There is no need for additional pipelines, storage tanks or permanent piers, thus limiting its impact and making an environmental assessment appropriate.”

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Energy Choices Unlock Energy’s Benefits

lng exports  economic growth  shale benefits  keystone xl  trade 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 16, 2014

Bloomberg: Dominion Resources (D) Inc.’s plan to export liquefied natural gas cleared a U.S. environmental review, a key step toward final approval as supporters in Congress seek to expedite overseas shipments of the fuel.

U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval of Dominion’s proposed Cove Point project on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay would have “no significant impact” on the environment, as long as proper measures are taken, the staff said today in an environmental assessment.

The full commission is scheduled to issue a final decision on Cove Point by Aug. 13. Cheniere Energy Inc. (LNG)’s Sabine Pass is the only U.S. project so far to win approval from the FERC and Energy Department.

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