Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted June 16, 2014
With the Interior Department turning its attention to the next five-year offshore leasing plan, here’s a figure to keep in mind: 87 percent. That’s how much of our federal offshore acreage is off limits for energy development – and it’s costing us energy, jobs and economic growth.
Andy Radford, API senior policy advisor, set out some of the arguments for increasing access to energy reserves in the next five-year leasing plan during a conference call with reporters.
Posted June 10, 2014
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s Sunday piece highlighted a conversation he had a few weeks ago with President Obama, during which the president talked about energy and climate change. A few things stand out:
The president signaled that climate policy should consider the real-world roles that are being played by various energy sources, saying:
“… we’re not going to suddenly turn off a switch and suddenly we’re no longer using fossil fuels, but we have to use this time wisely, so that you have a tapering off of fossil fuels replaced by clean energy sources that are not releasing carbon.”
Sounds reasonable, given the forecast of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook – that fossil fuels’ share of total U.S. energy use will be 80 percent in 2040, down only slightly from where it was in 2012 (82 percent). Oil and natural gas, which supplied 63 percent of the energy we used in 2012, are projected to supply 61 percent in 2040. Oil and natural gas are America’s energy today and tomorrow.
Posted June 6, 2014
America has a clear choice on energy. An historic American energy revolution is in progress -- thanks to vast shale reserves safely developed with advanced drilling technologies, industry innovation and leadership. This revolution is creating jobs, strengthening our economy and making our country more secure and muscular in the world. With the right energy choices the revolution can continue and grow.
Yet, somehow, Washington is conflicted. While the Obama administration embraces the shale revolution as integral to its all-of-the-above energy strategy, it advances policies fraught with the potential to needlessly hinder it. Instead of taking actions to enhance America’s energy renaissance, the administration is engaged in a regulatory march that quite likely could diminish it. Sustaining this energy revolution should be a no-brainer – not the brain-bender the administration is fostering with muddled vision and contradictory statements.
During a conference call with reporters this week, API President and CEO Jack Gerard discussed inconsistencies between what top administration officials say about U.S. energy development and what the agencies under them are doing to U.S. energy development.
Posted May 27, 2014
When EPA proposed tightening the national ozone standards a few years ago, President Obama told the agency to stand down. The existing standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb) wasn’t due for review, and there was concern stricter standards might harm the economy.
It’s a concern that hasn’t diminished as the agency starts regular review of ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Howard Feldman, API’s director of regulatory and scientific affairs, discussed the review during a conference call with reporters:
“We recognize that EPA has a statutory duty to periodically review the standards. However, the current review of health studies has not identified compelling evidence for more stringent standards. Tightened standards could impose unachievable emission reduction requirements on virtually every part of the nation, including rural and undeveloped areas. These could be the costliest EPA regulations ever.”
Posted May 15, 2014
Another benefit of America’s energy renaissance is seen in the competitive edge North American refiners are gaining because of lower feedstock costs, resulting from surging domestic crude oil and natural gas production.
The latest “This Week in Petroleum” report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that U.S. and Canadian refiners are in a stronger position relative to European counterparts because of lower costs for domestic crude oil and natural gas, from which they make a variety of value-added finished products.
Posted April 11, 2014
Last month EPA implemented new gasoline regulations requiring the last microscopic bits of sulfur to be removed from fuel. The Tier 3 standard is likely to hit consumers and burden the economy while providing, at best, negligible benefit.
Writing for the Jefferson Policy Journal, Paul Driessen makes a number of important points about the potentially onerous effects of the new regulation. Driessen starts by underscoring how unnecessary the new standard is.
Posted March 25, 2014
Check out our new ads on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – including a video that highlights in a humorous way the potential negative impacts for consumers from RFS mandates that force higher ethanol blends into the marketplace.
Unfunny would be seeing boaters left high and (not so) dry because their marine engine conked out, damaged by higher ethanol-blend fuel. Or stranded motorists, or home owners with outdoor equipment ruined by using fuel with more ethanol content than the mower or trimmer was designed to use. These are the real-world stakes in the current debate over the RFS and its ethanol mandates.
Posted March 4, 2014
EPA's new, stricter rule requiring refiners to remove the last bit of sulfur from gasoline very likely will impact consumers and put additional drag on the economy while providing, at best, negligible benefit. The agency’s Tier 3 rule is a prime example of an unreasonable regulatory reach – one that studies have shown will increase costs without appreciably helping the environment.
Posted February 19, 2014
The Geopolitical Consequences of the Shale Revolution
Foreign Affairs (Blackwell and O’Sullivan): Only five years ago, the world’s supply of oil appeared to be peaking, and as conventional gas production declined in the United States, it seemed that the country would become dependent on costly natural gas imports. But in the years since, those predictions have proved spectacularly wrong. Global energy production has begun to shift away from traditional suppliers in Eurasia and the Middle East, as producers tap unconventional gas and oil resources around the world, from the waters of Australia, Brazil, Africa, and the Mediterranean to the oil sands of Alberta. The greatest revolution, however, has taken place in the United States, where producers have taken advantage of two newly viable technologies to unlock resources once deemed commercially infeasible: horizontal drilling, which allows wells to penetrate bands of shale deep underground, and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which uses the injection of high-pressure fluid to release gas and oil from rock formations.
Posted February 18, 2014
The oil and natural gas industry is committed to the safety of highly trained workers who are helping lead America’s energy renaissance. That’s why – while questioning some of the analysis underlying proposed new limits on breathable crystalline silica in the workplace – industry will work with government officials on a final rule that’s workable, protects workers and helps build on industry’s safety record.
That record is a strong one. Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows incidence rates for oil and natural gas extraction and support activities are lower than the private industry rate, the mining industry rate (excluding oil and gas) and the overall Natural Resources and Mining rate. Below, one of the official comments submitted by API and the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which has proposed the new crystalline silica rule:
While the Associations and their members will never be satisfied with any incidence rate that exceeds 0.0, we believe that our industry’s occupational health and safety efforts are bearing fruit. Member companies of the Associations have extensive safety programs in place and also work through trade associations to increase workforce safety through research, information sharing, training, and through the development of standards.