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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Energizing South Dakota

analysis  south dakota  biofuels  e15  energy  ethanol  income  renewable fuel standard  pricewaterhousecoopers  wood mackenzie 

Reid Porter

Reid Porter
Posted August 6, 2015

Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with South Dakota. We started the series with Virginia on June 29 and reviewed Florida, Kansas and Maryland earlier this week. All information covered in this series can be found online here, arranged on an interactive map of the United States. State-specific information across the country will be populated on this map as the series continues.

As we can see with South Dakota, the energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.

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Energizing Kansas

analysis  kansas  e15  biofuels  income  regulation  renewable fuels standard  ethanol  wood mackenzie  pricewaterhousecoopers 

Reid Porter

Reid Porter
Posted August 4, 2015

Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Kansas. We started the series with Virginia on June 29. All information covered in this series can be found online here, arranged on an interactive map of the United States. State-specific information across the country will be populated on this map as the series continues.

As we can see with Kansas, the energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.

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Exports, Sound Policy and Access to Reserves

news  energy exports  crude oil  biofuels  renewable fuel standard  arctic  shale energy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 19, 2015

Energy & Environment Daily – Supporters of ending the ban on crude oil exports are mounting a full-court press to win over wary lawmakers, while keeping a close eye on global markets and the calendar.

Export backers in recent months have cited both national security and economic arguments as they look to line up the votes to repeal the decades-old ban. Earlier this week at a speech at the U.S. Energy Information Administration annual conference, Continental Resources Inc. founder Harold Hamm warned that maintaining the ban would cause U.S. production to fall by 1 million barrels a day (Greenwire, June 16).

EIA's own data from earlier this month pegged U.S. oil production at 9.6 million barrels per day in May, but predicted that amount to "generally decline" until early 2016 before picking up again.

However, EIA's latest forecast also noted the highest average monthly price of 2015 for the global oil benchmark -- Brent crude, which rose $5 a barrel in May. At the same time, U.S. average gasoline prices rose to $2.72 last month, a 25-cent increase over April and the highest of the year so far.

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U.S. Energy for Export

news  energy exports  crude oil  shale energy  biofuels  renewable fuel standard  ozone  taxes 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 18, 2015

SNL Accusing OPEC of manipulating crude oil prices, the founder, chairman and CEO of Bakken Shale pioneer Continental Resources Inc. on June 16 detailed arguments for lifting the U.S. ban on oil exports, saying exports would rejuvenate a flat-lining oil industry while lowering domestic gasoline prices.

Speaking to a Washington, D.C.-centric crowd at the U.S. Energy Information Administration's 2015 Energy Conference in Washington, Harold Hamm said the combination of North Dakota's Bakken Shale and Texas' Eagle Ford Shale and "new" Permian shales — "Cowboystan" — provides the nation with more than enough production and reserves to permit exporting light, sweet crude oil.

"Horizontal drilling has transformed" oil and gas production in the U.S. to where the country "reaches energy independence" by 2020 and "we can get to the point where we can produce 20 million barrels per day," more than double what the U.S. has produced in recent months, according to the EIA.

"Only in America" could Cowboystan happen, Hamm said, because of the "three Rs: rigs, rednecks and royalties."

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Energy Exports, Energy Benefits

news  energy exports  crude oil  oil and natural gas development  north dakota  colorado  ohio  fracking  biofuels 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 1, 2015

Ravalli (Mont.) Republic: The nation’s energy future is strong, with oil and natural gas production driving the country closer to becoming a net exporter of energy, the commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Wednesday.

Commissioner Norman Bay said the U.S. has ramped up its oil and gas production while slowing domestic demand for petroleum.

Growth of the nation’s electrical consumption has also slowed to 1 percent a year, and coal is playing a smaller role in U.S. power generation.

“In 2009, all that natural gas flooded the market and the share of electricity generated from coal dropped from 50 percent to 45 percent,” Bay said. “Over time, the share of generation by natural gas continues to increase and electricity generated from coal continues to decrease. It’s primarily driven by market forces.”

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Sound Regulation, Policy Choices Key to Energy Growth

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  biofuels  energy exports  crude oil production  pennsylvania  fracking  solar 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 16, 2015

The Wall Street Journal: A former White House economic adviser is calling for changes to a 2005 law mandating increased use of alternative fuels in the nation’s transportation supply, adding a key voice to a growing chorus of people who say the policy is not working.

In a report published Thursday, Harvard University professor Jim Stock, who served on President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers in 2013 and 2014, proposes several reforms to the biofuels mandate, known as the renewable fuel standard, including some requiring congressional approval.

The report adds to a growing body of politicians and experts who are questioning the law’s effectiveness amid regulatory uncertainty and lower oil prices.

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Growing Consensus On ‘Unworkable’ RFS

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  ethanol  biofuels  cellulosic biofuels  american petroleum institute  blend wall 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 11, 2015

To the chorus of voices sounding the alarm on the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – AAA, automakers, outdoor power equipment manufacturers, marine manufacturers, turkey and chicken producers, restaurant companies, grocery manufacturers, environmental non-profits and anti-hunger groups – add another: the advanced biofuels industry.

Given the fact the RFS was designed to encourage development of advanced and cellulosic biofuels, the Advanced Biofuels Association’s call for significant RFS reform is a game-changer in the ongoing public policy debate. ABFA President Michael McAdams at this week’s Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference:

“… the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) – the very tool that was created to foster our industry – has become one of the greatest obstacles to continued development of the advanced and cellulosic biofuel industry due to inconsistent and poor implementation.”

The issue is the way the RFS, through annual ethanol mandates, has resulted in ever-increasing production of ethanol made from corn – versus ethanol and other biofuels made from non-food feedstocks.

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Getting Our Energy Policy Right

american energy  policy  biofuels  ethanol  rfs34  fracking  keystone xl pipeline 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 5, 2015

Denver Post Editorial: Yet another major environmental organization has concluded that biofuels, including ethanol, are a net detriment to the world — both in environmental and economic terms. The World Resources Institute (WRI) "recommends against dedicating land to produce bioenergy. The lesson: do not grow food or grass crops for ethanol or diesel or cut down trees for electricity." Why? The group, based in Washington, D.C., says converting plants into fuel is a terribly inefficient use of land, can never produce a major portion of the world's supplies, and puts pressure on cropland that is needed to feed the world's growing population, among other things.

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Waving the White Flag on the RFS

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  epa regulation  ethanol in gasoline  refineries  cellulosic biofuels 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 24, 2014

For months we’ve been pointing out the brokenness of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the federal law requiring ever-increasing use of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply.

We’ve written about the impending “blend wall,” the point where the RFS would require blending more ethanol into gasoline than could be safely used as E10, potentially putting motorists at risk for damage to vehicles while also potentially risking small-engine equipment and marine engines. We’ve written about RFS-mandated use of “phantom” liquid cellulosic biofuels – a fuel that hasn’t been commercially available despite the recent inclusion by EPA of landfill bio gas in that category (more about that in a future post). And we’ve written about how the 2014 requirements for ethanol use were months and months late from EPA, caught up in election-year politics.

The RFS is indeed broken. Late last week EPA basically agreed, announcing it’s waving the white flag on trying to issue ethanol-use requirements for 2014, which has just a little over one month to go. Instead, the agency said it will complete the 2014 targets in 2015 “prior to or in conjunction with action on the 2015 standards rule.”

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EPA. RFS. Reality.

environmental protection agency  renewable fuel standard  ethanol  e85  e15  blend wall  refinieries  gasoline supply  biofuels 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 20, 2014

Update: EPA waves white flag on 2014 RFS requirements

Interesting Reuters piece last week on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and very tardy 2014 ethanol-use requirements, now more than 10 months overdue from EPA. Reuters reports:

The Obama administration is trying to balance its support for renewable fuels with awareness of infrastructure constraints at gas stations as it finalizes targets for 2014 biofuel use, agency officials said on Tuesday. But with only 11 weeks left in the year, the administration also needs to weigh oil refiners' ability to comply with the long-delayed requirements, one official told the Reuters Global Climate Change Summit.

The article goes on to quote Janet McCabe, who leads EPA’s division overseeing the biofuels program:

(McCabe) acknowledged that delays in setting the targets, formally called the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), should be taken into account. "We need to be mindful of where we are in the year," McCabe said …

Reuters reports that EPA had proposed lowering ethanol mandates for 2014 because the U.S. was on a collision course with the 10 percent blend wall – the point where RFS mandates will require ethanol to be blended into gasoline at levels higher than the 10 percent fuel (E10) for which most of today’s vehicles were designed.

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