Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted February 7, 2014
Big news from the Commerce Department this week is that U.S. exports rose to a new high in 2013 and imports dropped to their lowest level since 2009 for the smallest U.S. trade deficit since 2009 – thanks largely to reduced oil imports due to growing domestic production and record exports of products made from petroleum. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports:
A booming domestic energy industry is largely responsible for the turnaround. Not adjusted for inflation, the value of petroleum exports—a category that includes gasoline, kerosene, lubricants, solvents and other products—reached a full-year peak in 2013. Petroleum imports, by value, were the lowest since 2010 and the volume of crude-oil imports, at 2.8 billion barrels, were the lowest since 1995.
Bloomberg reports the U.S. trade gap narrowed to $471.5 billion last year from $534.7 billion in 2012, with the trade balance on petroleum products shrinking to 20.2 percent, the biggest decline in four years.
Posted January 27, 2014
Free America’s Energy Future: Drop Washington’s Counterproductive Oil and Natural Gas Ban
Forbes (Doug Bandow): For years people have been told to expect a dismal energy future. But because of rapid free market innovation, Americans now can look forward to a future of energy abundance. The U.S. could even become a leading exporter—if Washington gets out of the way.
Successive presidents and Congresses imposed controls, approved subsidies, created bureaucracies, and issued proclamations. The most common commitment was to achieve “energy independence.” But President Ronald Reagan set the stage for today’s energy advances by unilaterally eliminating oil price controls and pushing Congress to drop natural gas price and use restrictions.
His successors, however, have regressed back to expensive social engineering. George W. Bush declared war on the common light bulb. Barack Obama poured billions into the coffers of well-connected alternative energy firms, several of which, such as Solyndra, have gone bankrupt. And everyone continued to support the authoritarian Gulf kleptocracies, led by Saudi Arabia, to ensure access to imported oil.
Yet an energy revolution is underway. Observed Mark P. Mills, an Adjunct Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, “The game-changing technologies that have emerged involve hydrocarbons: natural gas, oil, and coal.” Major advances have been made in locating and extracting resources—such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking—and operating in more distant and hostile environments.
Read more: http://onforb.es/1f7kRXN
Posted January 27, 2014
Indications are that President Obama’s State of the Union message tomorrow night will key in on making 2014 a “year of action” to create jobs and grow the economy, which he addressed earlier this month in one of his weekly radio addresses:
“… we’ve got to keep our economy growing, and make sure more Americans have the opportunity to share in that growth. We’ve got to keep creating jobs that offer new opportunity, and make sure those jobs offer the wages and benefits that let you rebuild some security. … This will be a year of action. I’ll keep doing everything I can to create new jobs and new opportunities for American families – with Congress, on my own, and with everyone willing to play their part.”
America’s oil and natural industry is ready to play a part in an action agenda that helps advance a number of the president’s goals, including job creation, economic growth, income inequality, environmental protection and energy security.
Posted January 6, 2014
API hosts its annual State of American Energy event on Tuesday at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and the discussion will focus on choices our country can make to increase energy development, grow jobs and the economy and make us more secure in the world. The event will be streamed live beginning at noon. Join in the conversation on Twitter by using the #SOAE14 hashtag.
The event comes at a time when policymakers are considering important energy issues, some of them framed in recent posts by the National Journal and Politico. At the top of our list of key energy issues:
Keystone XL pipeline
Federal consideration of TransCanada’s application for a cross-border permit passed the five-year mark last fall – which means the Keystone XL could have been built twice in the time the pipeline has been held up by Washington.
Posted October 18, 2013
Amid Oil Boom, Petroleum Exports Surge
National Journal: RICHMOND, Calif. – It takes about a month for oil to arrive from the Middle East to a refinery here on the edge of the San Francisco Bay. On a clear day, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance from the refinery's pier, but you will probably notice first and foremost the massive tankers docked and unloading oil into a web of pipes.
About 60 percent of the oil processed by this refinery, owned and operated by Chevron, comes from the Middle East. Most of the rest comes from Alaska, also by tanker. But the oil coming in is not as interesting as what is going out. Many companies are beginning to turn around and export the refined gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.
"As the economy has taken a hit, as vehicle efficiency standards have lowered the demand for fuel, California refineries in aggregate can now produce more than the local demand and therefore products are beginning to be exported," said Dave Reeves, president of global supply and trading at Chevron.
Read more: http://bit.ly/H1RtaF
Posted May 23, 2013
Richmond Times-Dispatch – Warner, Kaine Introduce Bill to Allow Offshore Energy Leases
Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine want the current offshore drilling moratorium lifted off the coast of their state. Under their legislation, leases for offshore oil and natural gas drilling as well as wind farms could take effect in 2020.
Fuel Fix Blog – W.Va. to launch New Oil, Natural Gas Job Training Center
Two West Virginia colleges are opening training facilities focused on oil and natural gas development. Both schools will house indoor and outdoor laboratories to simulate drilling operations and will offer a variety of training programs to prepare students for jobs in the industry.
Posted May 21, 2013
Kudos to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Ron Wyden for a series of hearings on natural gas issues, including Tuesday's on the impacts of exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG). It’s vital that policymakers understand the scope of America’s natural gas wealth – thanks to hydraulic fracturing – so they can make decisions that will let this wealth work for Americans. The export of LNG is a prime example.
Currently, the Energy Department is considering 18 applications for U.S. facilities that would export American LNG to friends and allies overseas. Studied analyses have projected broad job and economic benefits to the U.S. from LNG exports (here and here), with a new report this week dispelling the notion that exports would significantly impact domestic prices. These reports strongly suggest that government should approve the remaining LNG applications and not try to pick winners in the private market.
Posted January 28, 2013
The campaign against the free trade of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) generally goes down a few of tracks:
- Consumers will be hurt as “excessive” LNG exports stretch demand, making natural gas more expensive here at home.
- Blocking or restricting LNG exports will best fuel U.S. economic growth.
- The federal government needs to prevent “unrestricted” or “unlimited” LNG exports.
Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be one opinion against another. The U.S. Energy Department has a recent, comprehensive study on these issues in hand, in addition to reports and studies by other reputable organizations. The conclusions, based on scholarly research, should guide the federal decision on licensing the construction of LNG export facilities – more than a dozen of which are awaiting approval.
Posted January 11, 2013
Here’s one of the main things wrong with arguments some are making against the export of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG): They substitute narrow interests and agendas for the proved economic benefits of free trade to the entire United States – long demonstrated in the sale of countless other U.S. commodities to overseas buyers.