Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted November 21, 2016
Posted October 12, 2016
Last week’s discovery of 6 billion barrels of oil in Alaska’s Smith Bay, which would increase the state’s reserves 80 percent, underscores the need for the United States to continue safe development of its Arctic resources.
Posted August 31, 2016
Alaska represents a major part of America’s energy past, present and future. North Slope oil production – accounting for more than 95 percent of Alaska’s overall output – and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline that connects the oil fields with Valdez in the south were and are critically important to our country’s energy security. To ensure America’s future energy security, it’s imperative that Arctic oil and natural gas production in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska’s northern coast be included in the United States’ strategic energy planning.
Posted June 30, 2016
Thanks to America’s shale energy revolution, the United States is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas. The revolution has generated economic lift, increased American security in the world and benefited U.S. trade. Surging natural gas production and use is the main reason the U.S. leads the world in reducing carbon emissions.
These are all great developments for U.S. energy and for our country in general. And Americans recognize it, 73 percent of registered voters in a recent Harris Poll saying they support a national energy policy that ensures safe and responsible development of a secure supply of abundant, affordable and available energy. To get there you must have arobust, forward-looking U.S. offshore oil and natural gas leasing program. Access to domestic energy reserves is fundamental to domestic energy production.
Unfortunately, the next five-year leasing program now being written by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) falls short in the vigor and vision departments.
Posted May 20, 2016
Near year’s end the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is scheduled to release its offshore oil and natural gas leasing program for 2017-2022.
For more than a year BOEM has methodically worked to craft a program that will blueprint offshore development into the next decade and beyond, developing drafts, receiving comments from the public as well as inputs from elected officials in affected states.
With the United States emerging as the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas, planning America’s offshore oil and gas development has never been more important. The United States must have an offshore oil and natural gas program that reflects America’s energy superpower status.
Posted March 23, 2016
The Obama administration’s decision last week to eliminate the Atlantic from the next federal offshore leasing plan is a step backward for American energy policy. Despite bipartisan support in Congress and from voters in coastal states, the administration is doubling down on a shortsighted policy that keeps 87 percent of federally controlled offshore acreage off limits to energy exploration.
Expanding access to America’s energy resources – both offshore and onshore – is vital to our future energy security and economic growth.
Posted December 11, 2015
Then there’s this from Alaska: Falling oil revenues have the governor in that energy-rich state asking his legislature to plug a $3.5 billion hole in the state budget by imposing a small income tax (Alaska hasn’t had one for 35 years), other tax hikes, budget cuts and a reduction in the annual dividend Alaskans get from the state’s Permanent Fund.
Now, it might not bother you much that Alaskans soon could be paying higher taxes. But there’s another story playing out in Alaska and other places that should trouble all Americans: Access to U.S. energy is being restricted – by policy and regulation – in ways that could imperil America’s energy revolution and the generational opportunities that are being created by that revolution.
Posted October 26, 2015
A couple of reactions to last week’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approval of drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) – which we’ll link to a larger conversation about the Obama administration’s oil and natural gas policies.
First, it’s good that BLM has cleared the way for ConocoPhillips to move forward with a $900 million project that includes construction of an 11.8-acre drilling pad in the 23 million-acre NPR-A. The Greater Mooses Tooth Unit (GMT1) project could host up to 33 wells and could reach a monthly production peak of 30,000 barrels per day. America needs the energy, and producing oil from the vast reserve that was originally set aside for energy development almost a century ago is a welcome step. ConocoPhillips’ Natalie Lowman:
“It’s good news. We’re pleased they issued the permit and the right-of-way and now we’re seeking a funding decision.”
BLM approving this one drilling permit prompts another set of reactions, starting with: It’s about time. And: What about energy development in the rest of the oil reserve?
Posted October 22, 2015
Recent reports assert that some of the world’s oil suppliers have had a strategy to curtail the U.S. energy revolution – and that the strategy has worked, citing U.S. Energy Information Administration data showing U.S. production in decline. Bloomberg this week:
After a year suffering the economic consequences of the oil price slump, OPEC is finally on the cusp of choking off growth in U.S. crude output. The nation’s production is almost back down to the level pumped in November 2014, when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries switched its strategy to focus on battering competitors and reclaiming market share.
Market decisions by major suppliers certainly have impact. Yet, focusing attention on factors beyond U.S. control misses factors under U.S. control that have a clear bearing on the trajectory of domestic oil production, economic growth and American security.
We’ll name a couple: continuing the outdated ban on U.S. oil exports and regulatory and process roadblocks that limit access to energy reserves and production. What we have is an administration whose self-sanctioning approach to U.S. energy is hurting American competitiveness in the global marketplace, to the benefit of other producers.
Posted August 28, 2015
When President Obama arrives in Alaska on Monday, he is expected to spend much of his time talking about climate. From a White House explainer on the president’s visit:
… President Obama will travel to Alaska and shine a spotlight on what Alaskans in particular have come to know: Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face, it is being driven by human activity, and it is disrupting Americans’ lives right now.
What the president should hear is that the people of Alaska, one of the most energy resource-rich states in the Union, embrace both energy development and climate and environmental goals. They’ve lived that embrace and depend on it. They’re wary of Washington disrupting the relationship. While the Obama administration has approved Shell’s exploratory drilling in the waters off the state’s northern coast, it also has moved to exclude energy development in other state areas.