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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Common Sense Approach to Reliable, Low-Emissions Electricity

natural gas  electricity  renewables  emission reductions 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted July 31, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden's camp says he wouldn’t completely ban hydraulic fracturing (see the New York Times and here) – the technology most responsible for a domestic energy revolution that has made the U.S. the world’s leading producer of natural gas and oil. While Biden’s proposal to end new federal fracking leases is misguided, the fact he wouldn’t try to ban it elsewhere may suggest a recognition that fracking is critically important to the U.S. economy and national security. 

This could indicate some important common ground, which API President and CEO Mike Sommers addressed in the Times article.

This is especially welcome news for the nation’s electricity grid operators. They’re on the front lines of the twin effort to provide affordable energy to American homes and businesses, while lowering carbon dioxide emissions from power generation. For them, clean and reliable natural gas is the cornerstone for succeeding on both fronts, which is why natural gas is the nation’s No. 1 fuel for power generation.


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Studies Show Industry Offers Better Jobs, Greater Opportunity

oil and natural gas jobs  unions 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted July 17, 2020

Some lawmakers have proposed putting hundreds of thousands of Americans to work in clean energy jobs while moving the U.S. away from natural gas and oil and, presumably, from the jobs our industry supports.

Somebody should check to see if that’s what working men and women want.

A new study released this week by North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) shows that workers appreciate jobs in natural gas and oil over “green-collar” jobs – because they pay better, last longer and provide greater opportunities.

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Membership Rise, Midstream Expansion Add to Environmental Partnership’s Reach

the-environmental-partnership  emission reductions  natural gas  methane 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted July 15, 2020

The Environmental Partnership continues to grow, broadening the reach of the industry initiative to further reduce emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds across the country.

In releasing its annual report, the Partnership announced it is expanding its membership to midstream companies. The Partnership, which has tripled the number of participating companies since it was launched, currently includes 36 of the top 40 U.S. natural gas producers.

Again, the Partnership’s membership growth means that more and more companies have signed on to the Partnership’s strategy of bringing operators together to learn from each other, collaborate on technologies and best practices and to take actions that improve their environmental performance. More broadly, this growth shows industry’s commitment to lower emissions and protect the environment while also supplying the energy that makes modern life possible. 

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Proposed Clean Air Act Rulemaking Promotes Regulatory Transparency

clean air act  epa  air quality  emissions 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted July 6, 2020

Smart regulatory reforms from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) support responsible energy development and strengthen the economy, while protecting human health and the environment. EPA’S proposed Benefit-Cost Rule under the Clean Air Act certainly fits with that approach.

The proposal would improve the rulemaking process by clarifying the environmental, scientific and economic impacts of newly proposed rules for the public, the industry and all stakeholders.

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Oilfields Offer Alternative Water Source for Food Production

water quality  recycled water  oilfield 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted June 10, 2020

For more than 25 years, natural gas and oil producers have been reusing oilfield water to irrigate farms in southern California. This industry-driven approach, which mixes oilfield and surface water, strengthens agricultural output and resource conservation in the drought-prone Cawelo Water District.

The use of oilfield produced water (OPW) for irrigation is permitted under California Water Board policy, and a new study by researchers at Duke University and RTI International confirms that OPW is “of comparable quality to the local groundwater in the region.” The practice, which does not pose major risks to crop or human health, has benefited farmers faced with increasing water shortages.

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Early Signs of Recovery for American Energy and Economy

economic growth  energy demand  travel  driving 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted June 9, 2020

As businesses reopen across the country, the U.S. economy is beginning to emerge from the widespread shutdowns caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. America’s energy operators are poised to safely and responsibly power our economic recovery, and the latest market data shows that the initial phases are well underway.

While the short-term outlook remains unclear, energy analysts have consistently backed the strength of this industry’s fundamentals, and long-term forecasts signal demand growth for natural gas and oil through the next several decades.

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Industry-Led Efforts Improve Pipeline Safety Performance

pipeline safety  infrastructure  industry standards 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted May 18, 2020

America’s extensive network of pipelines and energy infrastructure safely connects our abundant natural gas and oil resources with refineries, businesses and consumers. The U.S. liquids pipeline system, which stretches more than 218,000 miles, delivered 21.8 billion barrels of crude oil and refined products in 2018 – the essential link between domestic energy and Americans’ daily lives.

The industry’s commitment to safety and sustainability, through industry-led reporting, standards-setting and performance initiatives, has contributed to ongoing improvements in pipeline operations. This month, API and our partner associations released two new reports that show declining pipeline-related incidents and continuous improvement in environmental performance – both enhanced by growing use of safety management systems.

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Helping the Community

energy industry  community  supplies 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted May 4, 2020

As everyone in government and the private sector works to contain the coronavirus, there’s no shortage of inspiring stories from the front lines of generosity and selflessness as Americans band together to meet the needs of their communities.

We’ve all heard about courageous medical professionals, first responders and essential workers – including grocery store employees, food service workers and delivery drivers – who are leading efforts to safeguard public health and meet priority needs. In this historic pandemic, they’re true American heroes.

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Cleaner Air Delivered by Cleaner Fuels

clean air act  air quality  emssions 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted April 27, 2020

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, and while the energy and transportation sectors currently face historic challenges, this environmental milestone is an important reminder that our nation has made significant progress in reducing emissions since 1970. Under the Clean Air Act, we’ve seen the development of cleaner fuels and engine efficiencies that have dramatically improved air quality.

America’s natural gas and oil industry is part of that progress. We’re committed to protecting the environment and improving air quality, while continuing to meet the world’s energy needs. This is an industry of problem solvers – scientists, skilled laborers, small business owners and manufacturers – who have researched operating impacts and monitored environmental performance for decades, contributing to industry-led innovations that have enabled a healthier and more sustainable future.

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The Misleading ‘Rollback’ Narrative on COVID-19 Compliance

regulation  safe operations  public health 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted April 2, 2020

The health and safety of workers, communities and the environment is always a priority for the natural gas and oil industry, and never more so during a global pandemic. That’s why API requested temporary relief for non-essential compliance requirements from the White House and several federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Sadly, reasonable efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) among the energy workforce have been misconstrued by some as “regulatory rollbacks.” This blatantly political narrative is misleading, not to mention inconsistent with public health recommendations. As businesses and regulators adapt to changing circumstances – and implement physical distancing and stay-at-home policies – there may be limited personnel to manage the full scope of some non-essential requirements, but the commitment to safety and sustainability remains unchanged.

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