Energy Tomorrow Blog
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With Europe’s dependence on Russian gas impeding diplomatic efforts, it’s time to reconsider outdated policies that are keeping the U.S. from becoming an energy exporter.
U.S. lawmakers don’t drive around in 1970s-era cars, yet they don’t seem to mind energy policies that are equally out of date.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.
Posted March 28, 2014
The bureau's Economic Census Advance Report, released Wednesday, provides the first comprehensive look at the U.S. economy since the Great Recession, supplying data on a series of key metrics across more than 1,000 industries. The report comes out every five years.
Posted March 26, 2014
Study Projects Major Job Losses From Banning Fracking in Colorado
Denver Business Journal: Fracking draws the ire of environmental activists, many of whom envision a world without the controversial process.
But economists from the University of Colorado (CU) predict job losses of 93,000, and $12 billion in lost gross domestic product (GDP), if proposed bans on hydraulic fracturing in Colorado become law, according to a study released Wednesday.
In just the first five years of a ban on fracking, the loss in GDP would be $8 billion and 68,000 fewer jobs, according to the study.
Posted March 25, 2014
Because Lithuania has a front-row seat to the current Ukraine-Russia crisis, the appearance of the country’s energy minister at a Senate hearing on U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports was especially timely. Jaroslav Neverovič had a pretty simple message to the United States: We need U.S. natural gas.
Neverovič probably was the most anticipated of the witnesses at the Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s hearing, the first led by Sen. Mary Landrieu, the panel’s new chairman. Neverovič:
“At present, we are completely – 100 percent – dependent upon single supplier of natural gas and, as a result, are forced to pay a political price for this vital energy resource. Lithuanian families and businesses pay 30 percent more for natural gas than citizens in other European countries. This is not just unfair. This is abuse of monopolist position.”
The minister said while Lithuania is taking steps to achieve energy independence, it needs help.
Posted March 25, 2014
U.S. to Become Top LNG Exporter, Experts Say
Fuel Fix.com: HOUSTON — The U.S. is poised to become the top exporter of liquefied petroleum gas — more commonly known as propane or butane — within just a few years, officials with research analyst IHS said Monday.
By the 2020s, the U.S. likely will displace top LPG exporters including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, said IHS Senior Director Walt Hart, during the IHS International LPG Seminar in Houston. The domestic supply of propane and butane is on the rise, produced along with the booming output of U.S. shale gas. But the domestic market for propane and butane is relatively flat, several experts said.
That’s not the case abroad. While most U.S. LPG exports go to Latin America today, a growing portion likely will go to Asia as demand there rises, in part due to its use as a fuel source for heating and cooking but also because of its role as a feedstock for the manufacture of petrochemicals.
Posted March 24, 2014
U.S. Energy Boom May Signal New Export Era
Los Angeles Times: In a Louisiana swamp several miles upriver from the Gulf of Mexico, about 3,000 construction workers are building a massive industrial facility to liquefy natural gas, preparing for a new era when the U.S. will begin exporting energy around the globe.
The $12-billion project is one of the largest single industrial investments in the nation, part of a massive transformation of the energy sector that has led to a boom in drilling, transportation and refining from coast to coast.
Five years ago, the idea of exporting U.S. gas and oil was not only unheard of, but, in the case of most U.S. crude oil, illegal. At that time, the United States was facing a future of dwindling domestic supplies and vulnerability to foreign producers. It was anxiously building facilities to import natural gas, worried about ever-higher prices and building much of its foreign policy on the need to secure energy supplies.
But U.S. energy production has boomed with the technological revolution of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, and the ability to tap newly accessible massive reserves. The nation surpassed Russia in 2009 as the largest producer of natural gas and is expected to zip past Saudi Arabia next year to become the largest oil producer in the world.
Now, the U.S. energy industry is pushing for a new era of exports.
Posted March 21, 2014
The Huntsman Corporation’s Peter Huntsman has this op-ed in USA Today that invokes a poll in which people were asked to respond to these statements:
Some say that exporting American natural gas to other countries will increase economic growth, keep thousands employed, and help increase domestic production of natural gas. Others say that American natural gas should be used here at home, where it can lead to thousands of new manufacturing jobs, grow the entire American economy, and keep prices of natural gas affordable. Which comes closest to your view?
Actually, it’s a false choice, a little bit of opinion polling flim-flammery. We can have both – as careful, scholarly research (see here and here) has shown. We have ample natural gas reserves to supply the needs here at home as well as those of friendly overseas buyers.
Posted March 5, 2014
Politico reports (sub req'd) that the Energy Department plans to stick with its “case-by-case” approach to approving natural gas export projects – even as some policymakers say speeding up the process would send a strong signal that the United States is a leader in global energy markets, expanding its ability to broaden supply options and defuse energy-related standoffs like the one playing out between Russia and Ukraine.