Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted October 16, 2019
Hydraulic fracturing – the technological breakthrough that launched the U.S. energy revolution – has taken a beating during the Democratic presidential derby.
The Washington Post ran a graphic recently, showing that the entire field would ban fracking altogether or restrict it in some capacity. Here’s the portion of the graphic showing the candidates who would ban fracking completely. The group includes some top-tier candidates, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris. Sen. Warren tweeted last month that she would ban fracking everywhere, while Sen. Sanders told the Post that safe fracking is a “pure fiction.”
Not fiction are the negative impacts throughout our society that could result from banning hydraulic fracturing: millions of job losses, trillions lost to the economy, significant increases in household spending on energy.
Posted October 14, 2019
Looking over EPA’s new Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) data on methane emissions, let’s consider two overarching points:
First, energy from natural gas and oil power and empower America’s modern way of life – better health, greater comforts and conveniences and opportunities for Americans and their families to prosper. No other energy comes close in terms of accessibility, reliability, affordability and useful adaptability across an economy and nation as large and diverse as ours.
Second, as America’s natural gas and oil industry produces the energy we count on every day, it also must continue to capture as much methane as possible from that production, to help the U.S. meet its climate objectives. On both of those leading priorities, our industry is on it.
Posted October 8, 2019
Take a look at a recent interview with API President and CEO Mike Sommers conducted by Albuquerque TV station KOB-4 – a conversation about the dual challenge of providing the energy Americans need every day to work, grow and prosper, while protecting the environment and lowering emissions. There’s no better setting for this discussion than in energy-rich New Mexico.
Indeed, the prolific Permian Basin that covers New Mexico’s southeastern corner before spreading into neighboring Texas is a big reason why the United States continues to lead the world in natural gas and oil production.
Posted October 4, 2019
The latest figures on U.S. crude oil exports show growing U.S. energy leadership, while the continued decline in net oil imports signals strengthened American energy security – with both stemming from the revolution in U.S. production. Charts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) help illustrate.
First, EIA reports that U.S. crude oil exports rose to average 2.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in the first half of this year – an increase of 966,000 b/d over the same period in 2018. U.S. crude oil exports set a record in June of 3.2 million b/d, and EIA's graph vividly reflects the sea change in the United States’ oil exporting posture.
Posted September 27, 2019
A pair of new, positive developments on the emissions/climate front. First, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will decline 2.5% this year. Second, a new Energy Department report on the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports confirms the environmental benefits of natural gas vs. coal – significant given expanding markets in Asia and Europe for U.S. LNG.
Both are very important. EIA’s CO2 projection, along with the projected 4.9% increase in natural gas consumed for power generation relative to 2018, underscores the point that increased use of natural gas in fueling power generation lowers CO2 emissions, and that the recent trend of the U.S. recording the lowest CO2 levels in a generation will continue.
Posted September 24, 2019
A key factor in EPA’s recent decision not to directly regulate methane is the simple fact that existing regulation of emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with natural gas and oil production also reduces methane as a co-benefit.
It might surprise some, but on this point current EPA officials are aligned with their agency predecessors under President Obama.
Posted September 17, 2019
With industry keenly focused on conserving water in production zones across the country, a draft federal water reuse plan unveiled this summer by EPA has the potential to foster innovations and investments that can accelerate sound management practices.
In official comments on the plan, API and a number of other energy associations encouraged the agency to consider ways to “provide maximum flexibility, certainty, and clarity” to existing regulatory structures while removing federal barriers within the federal government’s control that discourage and disincentivize the reuse, recycling, and fit-for-treatment uses of water.
At issue is water produced in association with well development that must be captured and accounted for in ways that protect the environment – including treating it for reuse in energy operations or disposal in federally regulated disposal wells.
Posted September 10, 2019
Natural gas and oil, the bellwether of the U.S. economy, continue to be the collateral damage in the administration’s trade war with China – frustratingly ironic given the White House’s stated goal of bolstering American energy.
Important parts for offshore natural gas and oil drilling and production, as well as critical parts and accessories for energy projects are among products imported from China that will be subject to a 30% tariff as of Oct. 1 – an increase from the current 25% tariff.
Higher costs for these needed components could increase the cost of production and, ultimately, energy costs to U.S. consumers.
Posted September 3, 2019
The story of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is long and unfortunate – a program that is now largely obsolete thanks to surging domestic energy, whose mandates continue to loom over American consumers without many of the benefits it was supposed to provide. It lives on, protected by ethanol producers and corn state/presidential politics.
That’s the context for RFS policy tweaks expected soon from the White House – more fiddling with a flawed program that will attempt to force higher content of ethanol-blended fuel into the U.S. supply, potentially impacting consumers, while creating an uneven playing field in the refining sector.
Posted August 29, 2019
With EPA’s reconsideration of its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with natural gas and oil production, some insist the changes will trash environmental protections.
This “rollback” narrative is false and largely designed to play to the extreme environmentalist crowd. Contrary to that view, modifying the NSPS could reduce duplication with state programs, provide greater clarity for industry in its regulatory compliance and, ultimately, further lower methane and other emissions and protect the environment by making it easier for operators to gain approvals for use of new, innovative technologies to detect fugitive emissions for repair. In fact, this procedural correction is best described as a realignment with the agency’s obligations under the Clean Air Act.
The well-worn “rollback” tale also dismisses the effective role of technology, innovation and industry initiative in reducing emissions – such as The Environmental Partnership. It discounts industry’s strong motivation to reduce emissions, which it has done in growing measure amid increased natural gas and oil production.