Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted November 25, 2013
The Telegraph: The once-sleepy town of Williston sits on the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers in the US state of North Dakota.
Five years ago, Williston had a population of 12,000 and was slowly dying on its feet – an agricultural hub marked out from the plains only by the grain silos that stand silhouetted against the big North Dakota skies.
The fall-out from a brief oil boom in the mid-1980s had left the town with sky-high debts and a main street filled with empty shops and peeling facades. Young people looking for jobs skipped town at the first opportunity.
Today, Williston is booming once again. Its streets are filled with bustling commerce and trucks, its bars, restaurants and supermarkets groaning with customers.
Sudden advancements in the oil drilling techniques known as fracking have reinvigorated the small northern town, its population swelling to an estimated 30,000 as people pour in from across the United States in search of work in hard times.
Read more: http://bit.ly/17NWHRs
Posted November 1, 2013
Lawmakers Urge EPA to Change Fuel Mandate
The Hill: More than 100 lawmakers are calling on Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy to reduce the amount of ethanol that oil refiners must blend into gasoline next year.
Signed by 169 House members, the letter sent to McCarthy on Thursday urged the EPA to lower the renewable fuel standard (RFS), arguing the current mandate is unrealistic.
"Whether it’s increasing amounts of ethanol in fuel or higher food and feed prices, the RFS continues to negatively impact American consumers and the economy," Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said in a statement.
Posted October 24, 2013
U.S. Carbon Emissions Hit Lowest Level Since 1994
USA Today: In a bit of encouraging climate news, the U.S. government reported Monday that U.S. emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels were lower last year than at any time since 1994.
Driven by efficiency gains, an unusually warm winter and a switch from coal to natural gas, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions actually declined 3.8% in 2012 even though the U.S. economy grew 2.8% that year, according to new data by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Department of Energy.
This emissions decline was the largest in any year that had positive growth in per capita gross domestic product (GDP) — its economic output — and the only drop when GDP rose at least 2%.Read more: http://ti.me/1eNNHNA
Posted October 2, 2013
California Can Protect the Environment While Sharing in a Financial Bonanza
The Globe and Mail: Hydraulic fracturing — fracking — has been used to extract oil and natural gas from shale rock for decades. But technological improvements in recent years have made the process far more efficient. It’s expanded use in states like North Dakota, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Colorado has sparked an energy revolution that is pushing the United States toward energy independence. It has also sparked major controversy over environmental concerns, nowhere more so than in California. On Sept. 20, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation regulating fracking. In this essay below, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, like Brown an environmentally oriented Democrat, makes the case that energy development and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive.
A 21st-century oil and natural gas industry in Colorado is recognizing that more rigorous regulations translate into broader citizen acceptance. This evolution, and the joining of innovations like horizontal drilling with long-accepted practices like hydraulic fracturing, is moving America toward energy independence.
In the process, we are improving the quality of the air, as well as beginning to fight back against climate change. Colorado has a proud history of leadership and innovation in the deployment of clean energy technologies. We have laws in place that require utilities to produce as much as 30 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Read more: http://bit.ly/GzZbrG
Posted October 1, 2013
Jobs, U.S. energy security and regulation are leading the discussion at the North American Gas Forum (NAGF) this week in Washington. The NAGF is a gathering of regional natural gas industry members -- primarily focused on issues that affect the distribution and use of natural gas domestically and globally. Highlights from the two-day meeting:
- Because of vast shale reserves, the U.S. has a chance to be more secure in the future through safe, reliable supplies of North American energy.
ICF International's Kevin Petak predicted the Marcellus Shale Play will become a "juggernaut," producing more than 20 million cubic feet of natural gas per day by 2035. The U.S. Energy Information Administration's Howard Gruenspecht said U.S. natural gas production is expected to outpace domestic consumption and that the U.S. could become a net exporter by 2040.
Posted September 17, 2013
A new, comprehensive study by the University of Texas showing methane emissions from natural gas drilling are a fraction of estimates from just a few years ago vouches for industry efforts to reduce methane emissions, suggests existing regulation is working and that an additional regulatory layer isn’t needed.
The UT study, sponsored by a group of interests that includes the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and a number of natural gas producers, examined 150 production sites across the U.S. with 489 wells, 27 well completion flowbacks, nine well unloadings and four well workovers.
Posted September 12, 2013
For Canada, the question of whether the Keystone XL pipeline should be built can be reduced to a handful of clarity producing contrasts – as Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer framed for a group of reporters this week:
Does the U.S. choose oil from Venezuela or neighbor and ally Canada?
Do we transport that oil by pipeline, in an environmentally safe and cost-effective manner, or by other means?
Do we choose infrastructure construction, meaning thousands of U.S. jobs and economic stimulus, or the status quo?
Posted September 10, 2013
Let the numbers sink in from a new T2 and Associates study that details the oil and natural gas industry’s investments in technologies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions starting with $81 billion – industry’s investment in GHG mitigation technologies between 2000 and 2012.
Posted August 27, 2013
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz emphasized the Obama administration’s commitment to curbing CO2 emissions during an appearance at Columbia University Monday, but he also stressed that energy policies must be grounded in reality:
Posted August 27, 2013
The Geography of Jobs: Smart Policies Are Good, But Oil Is Better
The Atlantic: If you want to understand how to create jobs -- not just a few at a time, but hundreds of thousands at once -- look to Texas and North Dakota.
Together, these two states account for a little more than 8 percent of the country's population -- about one in 12 people. But they're also responsible for 20 percent of net new jobs since the end of the recession. And, crucially, they account for "more than 100 percent of the increase in U.S. [oil] production since 2009," James Hamilton writes.
The Great Plains have been relatively great throughout the recovery for many reasons -- cheaper land, cheap wages, service sectors insulated from the housing-finance crisis that leveled parts of California, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada -- but energy has helped a lot.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1823p3p