Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted August 29, 2018
Responsibly managing water resources is fundamental to modern natural gas and oil development. The U.S. energy renaissance is being driven by high-tech hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, and those processes use water to produce the natural gas and oil that run our economy and the daily lives of individual Americans.
Though the amount of water used for energy is a fraction of overall water use by society – a Texas report pegged it at less than 1 percent of the state's total water use, industry knows that water is critically important to the welfare of the communities that host natural gas and oil development. Which is why individual companies are focused on cutting-edge technologies, systems and facilities to reuse water in their operations.
Bottom line: Using less freshwater to develop energy is important to communities and the environment – and it’s smart business as well. Examples of these technologies abound.
Posted August 28, 2018
API’s Kyle Isakower is featured in a CNBC report that estimates new steel tariffs are adding $40 million to Permian Basin pipeline costs. At issue is Plains All-American’s $1.1 billion pipeline project that would bring crude oil from the Permian to the Gulf Coast. As detailed in this post, Plains requested an exclusion from the tariff for its project, but it was denied by the Commerce Department. …
Far from being part of an “energy dominance” strategy, the administration’s tariffs on steel – including an onerous, opaque exclusions process – and other recent trade-related policies could hinder domestic natural gas and oil development, as well as infrastructure such as pipelines that is needed to fully benefit U.S. consumers.
Posted August 23, 2018
Domestic natural gas abundance – safely developed with modern hydraulic fracturing and high-tech horizontal drilling – has benefitted consumers and the economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping make our air cleaner.
Sustaining and growing those benefits largely depends on market growth for natural gas – to add production that production must have new and/or growing markets to supply. Policy can affect the potential for that market growth. The U.S. Energy Department’s (DOE) continued push to bail out failing coal and nuclear plants is a prime example.
Posted August 21, 2018
With EPA unveiling its proposed new rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, there’s already lots of discussion of whether the proposal is an improvement over the rule it would replace – whether a regime may focus on the utility sector as a system or needs to focus on individual sources.
Be that as it may, we’ll go back to the main point we made amid discussion of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which EPA’s new proposal would replace:
Thanks to clean natural gas and its selection by the market as the leading fuel for electricity generation, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector have plunged – without the CPP’s implementation. According to EPA's fact sheet, CO2 emissions from the power sector decreased 28 percent from 2005 through 2017.
Posted August 21, 2018
The U.S. is leading the world in the production and refining of natural gas and oil which is boosting our economy, keeping energy affordable for consumers and benefitting American workers. Despite these facts the Trump administration continues to push policies that work against domestic energy production. Proposed additional Section 301 tariffs – and the retaliatory tariffs from China that they could provoke – follow a similar pattern.
Posted August 21, 2018
EPA’s recent decision not to revisit 2015 ozone standards suggests a couple of points as the agency looks ahead to its scheduled 2020 review of the ozone air quality standards.
First, it’s imperative that EPA build its 2020 review around quality science – for one, to properly consider background levels of ozone and how they affect where the federal government sets the standards. For some parts of the country the 2015 standards were near levels of background ozone – setting up compliance problems for places such as Yellowstone National Park.
Second, on the road to the 2020 review, there should be discussion of implementation relief – from EPA or directly by Congress legislatively.
Posted August 17, 2018
With EPA receiving public input this week on its proposed ethanol volumes for 2019 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), it’s important to stay focused on the potential negative impacts of a broken Washington policy — on consumers and the fuel market.
Yes, we know that America’s energy renaissance in natural gas and oil production has accomplished the program’s aim of reducing U.S. reliance on imported crude oil. And we know that the RFS’ original goal of developing a commercially viable supply of cellulosic biofuel hasn’t become a reality. Even putting those (very large) factors aside, it is still very clear that lawmakers must to work together to find meaningful and long-term solutions to the broken RFS mandate – because it could bring very real harm to the nation’s consumers through higher energy costs and damage to the engines in their vehicles.
This week, API Downstream Group Director Frank Macchiarola told reporters that Congress needs to protect American consumers from potential risks posed by RFS mandates.
Posted August 16, 2018
Lots of positive energy data points in API’s newest Monthly Statistical Report – and one that’s potentially concerning.
The good is that the U.S. tied its record for crude oil production in July at 10.7 million barrels per day (b/d) and set a new one for natural gas liquids, 4.4 million b/d. With total liquids production up by more than 2 million b/d compared to July 2017, the U.S. has accounted for almost all of the growth in world oil production so far in 2018 – more than compensating for production losses elsewhere around the world.
Now the potential point of concern. The U.S. petroleum trade balance retreated in July, perhaps the result – at least in part – of trade tensions prompted by new U.S. tariffs. Crude export were down 240,000 b/d last month, and refined products exports decreased 220,000 b/d.
Posted August 16, 2018
As we head into what historically is the heart of the annual hurricane season, America’s refiners have never been in a stronger position to deliver the fuels we all need – which is good news for consumers.
According to API’s Monthly Statistical Report (MSR), the refining industry in June eclipsed 18 million barrels per day (b/d) of liquid fuels processed in distillation units and has remained on track for its strongest year on record.
Indeed, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that refinery runs will average 16.9 million b/d this year and 17 million b/d in 2019 – both of which would be records, surpassing the 2017 annual average of 16.6 million b/d.
Posted August 15, 2018
Increased access to America’s offshore natural gas and oil would bring far-reaching benefits to coastal states, and the entire country. This is precisely why the diverse, bipartisan “Explore Offshore” coalition gathered today in Florida: because the strategic interests of Florida and our nation are tied to responsible development of offshore natural gas and oil..