Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted February 4, 2014
President Obama is taking issue with the number of jobs the Keystone XL pipeline would support during its construction phase – 42,100, according to the U.S. State Department environmental review issued last week. During an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly taped Sunday, the president interrupted when O’Reilly brought up Keystone XL and its potential economic impact:
“Well, first of all, it’s not 42,000. That’s – that’s not correct. It’s a couple of thousand to build the pipeline.”
The remark echoed what the president said to the New York Times last summer and also a line in an economic speech he delivered in Tennessee a few days later – each looking askance at the Keystone XL’s job-creating potential.
With all due respect, 42,100 is the Obama administration’s number – the number of jobs the president’s State Department estimates Keystone XL would support across the U.S. while the pipeline is being built.
Posted February 3, 2014
Posted February 3, 2014
The Keystone XL pipeline now is in the “national interest determination” phase of a long process to gain federal approval for construction. Having cleared its fifth State Department environmental review, the project is to be judged by on whether its construction serves the U.S. national interest. Last week’s State Department report listed the key factors that go into that determination:
To make this decision (i.e., the National Interest Determination), the Secretary of State, through the Department, considers many factors, including energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; foreign policy; and compliance with relevant state and federal regulations.
Let’s examine some of these. First, energy security: Would construction of the full Keystone XL pipeline further the energy security of the United States?
Posted January 31, 2014
All along, many of the folks who’ve wanted the Obama administration to nix the Keystone XL pipeline have acknowledged opposition to the project as symbolic, more or less conceding that when it came to arguing the actual merits of the pipeline – jobs, economic stimulus, greater U.S. energy security – they didn’t have much and sometimes only a disingenuous imagination.
For example, author/Keystone XL activist Naomi Klein:
“It is not just about Keystone XL. This is about climate change and Keystone XL is the symbol. Everyone knows that if we stop this pipeline the climate crisis isn’t solved.”
And NextGen’s Tom Steyer:
“There’s definitely a symbolic side to this. It has become, you know, a symbol in some ways in the fight over how to think about this. And that happens sometimes. Sometimes, specific incidents take on a life of their own.”
And Steyer advisor Kate Gordon:
“The goal is as much about organizing young people around a thing. But you have to have a thing.”
Well, here’s the thing: Most Americans prefer jobs, growth and energy – in other words, substance – over symbolism. They want the full Keystone XL pipeline built, reflected in poll after poll after poll. Which is why the U.S. State Department’s new assessment is welcome progress in a process that passed the five-year mark last fall. It found that whether Keystone XL is approved or denied, oil sands extraction is unlikely to be affected – and hence the project would not lead to a surge in greenhouse gas emissions
Posted January 30, 2014
President Obama, during his State of the Union address to Congress this week:
“… one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy. The ‘all the above’ energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working … “
Yes, “all of the above” is working. It refers to embracing all energy sources – oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, renewables and others. That the approach is working is seen in the United States’ increasing energy self-sufficiency. And America is more energy self-sufficient because we’re less reliant on others – chiefly thanks to surging domestic oil and natural gas production.
Posted January 30, 2014
Report: Keystone XL Review by U.S. Expected to be Positive
The Canadian Press: Canadian officials say they're encouraged by what they're hearing about a long-awaited report on the environmental impact of the Keystone XL pipeline that could be released imminently by the U.S. State Department.
Those sources in Washington and Ottawa say they've been told the report could be ready for release within a few days — and that it will bolster the case for the controversial energy project.
"What we're hearing is that it's going to be positive for the project — and therefore positive for Canada," said one diplomat in Washington, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he hadn't seen the report himself, although he had discussed its contents with American contacts.
"The rumours certainly are that it's very thorough and that the analysis will support the project."
Posted January 29, 2014
Energy issue positives from President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night:
Crediting surging domestic oil and natural gas production for adding jobs, creating economic growth and revitalizing the manufacturing sector.
Recognizing that because of domestic output the U.S. “is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades.”
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 23, 2014
What The Captain & Tennille Teach Us About Energy Policy
Forbes: Love apparently didn’t keep the ’70s pop duo Captain & Tennille together.Toni Tennille has filed for divorce from Daryl Dragon after 39 years of marriage. Just as the pair’s most famous standard now rings false, so does our 1970′s notion of energy security. For the past 40 years, U.S. energy policy has been married to the idea of scarcity. Following the oil embargoes of the 1970s, we built policies, from export bans to ethanol mandates, based on the idea that we would forever be at the mercy of other oil-producing nations.
The hydraulic fracturing boom, however, has changed all that. North America is undergoing an energy renaissance. Domestic crude oil production has reached parity with imports, and the International Energy Agency predicts the U.S. may become the world’s largest energy producer as early as next year. Yet our policies remain stuck in the dark ages of scarcity. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are resisting efforts to lift the 1970s-era ban on crude exports, citing issues of “energy security.”
As Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., told the Wall Street Journal: “If we overturn decades of law and send our oil to China and other markets, oil companies might make more money per barrel, but it will be American consumers and our national security that will pay the price.”
There’s a difference between ensuring our energy security and hoarding resources. With our newfound abundance, security comes through continued development of domestic reserves.
Read more: http://onforb.es/KMM7kV