Energy Tomorrow Blog
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.”
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.
Posted May 15, 2014
CNBC (Spencer Abraham/Bill Richardson): Once again the world is looking for America's leadership in unsettled times. Our diplomats have limited options to combat Russia's annexation of Crimea, but they can take greater advantage of a new tool in their toolbox that no administration has had for generations — U.S. energy abundance. American energy exports will not only create economic opportunities here at home but will provide strategic geopolitical advantages abroad.
The crisis involving Ukraine and Russia highlights the need for American energy leadership. Russia remains the world's largest exporter of natural gas, supplying 30 percent of Europe's imports. Countries on Russia's periphery, many nearly completely dependent on Russian supply, pay exorbitant oil linked prices. Many are NATO allies.
Posted May 14, 2014
Wall Street Journal (subscription publication): Top Obama administration officials are considering relaxing federal laws banning crude-oil exports, a move that would upend decades-old policy, cause a political stir in Washington and sway the global oil market.
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Tuesday that some of the fast-growing supply of domestically produced oil isn't suitable for refining locally, which could warrant re-examining a nearly 40-year-old law that bans exports of most crude.
"The nature of the oil we're producing may not be well-matched to our current refinery capacity," Mr. Moniz said Tuesday after an energy conference in Seoul. The administration is studying the issue, though government officials declined to comment on its scope or timing.
Posted April 28, 2014
Posted April 18, 2014
While Maryland isn’t among the country’s leading producers of oil and natural gas, the industry’s employment and economic impact in the state is significant. That impact, as measured by a PwC study:
- 75,400 jobs supported in 2011 (most recent year for which comprehensive data is available), accounting for 2.2 percent of the state’s total employment.
- Nearly 18,000 direct oil and natural gas industry jobs
Posted April 10, 2014
Posted April 10, 2014
Legislation that would accelerate U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – by approving a backlog of more than 20 export permits pending with the Energy Department and expediting future permit requests for export to World Trade Organization members – cleared an important hurdle in the U.S. House this week.
“In the last few weeks, new proposals have won bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, and we are optimistic that members will come together on efforts to harness the full economic and strategic power of America’s energy exports. The U.S. is the world’s top producer of natural gas, and allies around the globe are looking to America for leadership on energy issues. Now is the time to tear down our own bureaucratic hurdles to trade, create thousands of new American jobs, and strengthen our position as an energy superpower.”
Posted April 4, 2014
Opponents of Natural Gas Exports Have It All Wrong
WSJ MarketWatch (Furchtgott-Roth): Americans opposed to the export of U.S. natural gas give many reasons for their position. But almost all of them are wrong.
The problem is that people underestimate the amount of this country’s natural gas and the potential effect exports could have on the world market.
Russia has swallowed parts of Georgia and Ukraine. No one is proposing that America send soldiers to defend those countries, even though we guaranteed Ukraine’s sovereignty in 1994 under the Budapest Memorandum. Instead, we can help our allies by diminishing Russia’s economic power over them. And that power rests on oil and gas.
Posted April 1, 2014
With Europe’s dependence on Russian gas impeding diplomatic efforts, it’s time to reconsider outdated policies that are keeping the U.S. from becoming an energy exporter.
U.S. lawmakers don’t drive around in 1970s-era cars, yet they don’t seem to mind energy policies that are equally out of date. Attempts to export shale oil and gas, for example, have run smack into legal and regulatory barriers as old as a Gran Torino.
Energy companies have been urging Congress to lift the lid on exports and start treating oil and gas again like any other commodity that’s freely traded in world markets. Tapping global demand for U.S. shale oil and gas, they say, will spur domestic production and create even more jobs in a sector that’s already racked up robust employment gains.