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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Coming Clean: The President and ‘Dirty’ Keystone XL Oil

keystone xl pipeline  canadian oil sands  crude oil  greenhouse gas emissions  president obama 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 9, 2015

Apparently not content with the four Pinocchios he recently earned from the Washington Post for statements on the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama last week put in a bid for five with remarks aimed at the project’s environmental impact.

At an appearance in South Carolina, the president termed “extraordinarily dirty” the methods used to develop Canadian oil sands:

“The reason that a lot of environmentalists are concerned about it is the way that you get the oil out in Canada is an extraordinarily dirty way of extracting oil, and obviously there are always risks in piping a lot of oil through Nebraska farmland and other parts of the country.”

First, after more than six years of review by his administration, the president really should take the time to read the U.S. State Department’s environmental review of Keystone XL  – the latest of five that all have cleared the pipeline on environmental grounds. As well, energy consulting firm IHS found that Keystone XL and the oil sands it would deliver would have “no material impact” on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

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Crude Oil Exports, U.S. Energy and Global Influence

crude oil  energy exports  oil production  domestic production  global markets  refineries 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 3, 2015

ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance applies some uncomplicated logic to the question of whether the United States should lift its 1970s-era ban on exporting domestic crude oil. “We should treat crude oil like any other potential product export,” Lance said at an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As he did during a January visit to Washington, Lance laid out compelling reasons for lifting the crude oil export ban: An abundance of domestic light crude produced from shale is mismatched for a U.S. refining sector that’s largely configured to process heavier crudes, exporting crude would give producers access to the global market, helping to sustain domestic production and U.S. industry jobs, and exports would add supply to the global market, helping stabilize it and affording the U.S. new opportunities to exert positive influences in the world.

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Crude Imports Falling, Thanks to Domestic Output

imports  crude oil  ethanol  Energy Security  renewable fuel standard  american energy  Economy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 18, 2015

Falling crude oil imports is a good-news story for the United States – indicative of greater U.S. energy self-sufficiency, resulting in less dependency on others and increased American energy security in the world. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), net imports of crude fell by more than 2.7 million barrels per day (bbl/d) from 2008 to 2014:

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Rhetoric vs. Action – Exports Edition

crude oil production  exports  trade  economic benefits  gasoline prices  president obama  congress 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 23, 2015

Earlier this month, then-White House advisor John Podesta said the Obama administration is unlikely to do more on the U.S. crude oil export ban beyond the Commerce Department’s recent effort to clarify the rules for exporting ultra-light crude known as condensates. Podesta told Reuters:

“At this stage, I think that what the Commerce Department did in December sort of resolves the debate. We felt comfortable with where they went. If you look at what's going on in the market and actions that the Department took, I think that ... there's not a lot of pressure to do more.”

It’s a strange conclusion given the weight of scholarship that says America’s 1970s ban on crude exports should be lifted – to spur domestic production, create jobs and put downward pressure on U.S. gasoline prices. It also would solve a growing mismatch between supplies of light sweet domestic crude and a refinery sector that’s largely configured to handle heavier crudes. ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance, speaking recently at the Center for Strategic and International Studies:

“(The condensates decision is) a help. … I question whether we’ll ever grow to a million barrels a day of condensate production, so it helps, but it doesn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t answer the issue that we’re going to have coming at us as a nation … crude that our refineries cannot refine. So it’s a help, but by no stretch does it solve the problem. We have to address the bigger issue.”  

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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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America’s Energy Abundance

american energy  Economy  exports  crude oil  imports  fracking 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted December 23, 2014

Dallas Business Journal: So far this year, the U.S. has imported 369.8 million barrels of crude oil, according to the Energy Information Administration. Sure, that sounds like a lot, especially in light of the shale boom renaissance that has swept the country. Until you look at the past few years. For the same period in 2010, the U.S. imported 456.1 million barrels of crude, according to the EIA. So, in four years, oil imports have declined 19 percent and will likely continue to decrease in future years.

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Good Energy Policy, More American Energy Benefits

Economy  jobs  ethanol  e15  renewable fuel standard  fracking  crude oil  exports 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted December 8, 2014

Chicago Tribune Editorial: Last summer the Chicago City Council briefly considered an ordinance that would require gas stations in the city to sell a blend of fuel called E15, which has the potential to damage your car engine.

An E15 mandate is a patently bad idea. Changing pumps to sell a fuel blend of 15 percent ethanol — what you buy now has 10 percent — would be a big expense for gas stations. And E15 isn't safe for use in many older engines, from cars to trucks to boats to lawn mowers.

The idea seemed to die last summer. You might think the aldermen decided to put their constituents before the ethanol industry lobbyists who are pushing this fuel mandate. If you did, chalk that up to a triumph of hope over experience. This is, after all, the Chicago City Council.

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U.S. Energy Production and the World Market

us crude oil production  global markets  shale energy  hydraulic fracturing  horizontal drilling  saudi arabia  exxonmobil  epa regulation  pipelines  utica shale 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 4, 2014

National Journal: World oil producers have put oil prices into a free fall, refusing to pare back global supplies in the hopes that low prices will derail the fracking-backed production boom in the U.S. and preserve OPEC's power over world energy markets.

But global analysts are skeptical that the move will work.

The basic reason: Prices remain high enough to keep pumping. "Looking out there, it seems like there's a huge amount of oil that can be produced at $60, $70 per barrel," said Michael Lynch, president of consulting firm Strategic Energy and Economic Research, referring to the prices for Brent crude oil, a global reference point.

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Thankful For… American Energy

american energy  oil and natural gas production  shale energy  hydraulic fracturing  horizontal drilling  fracking  crude oil  exports  gasoline prices 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

When it comes to energy there’s much for which Americans can give thanks.

We have plentiful and accessible reserves of oil and natural gas that fuel healthy, mobile, modern lifestyles.

We enjoy safe and secure crude oil imports from Canada, our neighbor and ally and No. 1 source of imported oil.

Our country is served by a vibrant, modern industry – one that’s second to none in the use of safe, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, offshore development and environmental awareness.

America keeps running thanks to a vast pipeline network and the world’s biggest, most-efficient refineries. And there’s more.

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