Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted June 11, 2019
We’ve warned before (see here, here and here) that the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its mandates for ever-increasing ethanol use put consumers at risk. And that the administration’s recent decision to allow summer sales of E15 fuel – a blend containing 50 percent more ethanol than the E10 gasoline that’s widespread across the country – is an ineffective approach to addressing concerns with the RFS that will only serve to make things worse. Now, we can add another report to the long list of evidence that the RFS needs to be sunset – this time coming from the non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).The GAO recently reviewed the effects of the RFS and found that requiring the use of corn-based ethanol and biodiesel in gasoline supplies hasn’t lowered pump prices or significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions – two of the main goals of the flawed RFS program. In fact, the review finds that gas prices outside of the corn-rich Midwest likely increased because of the program. To make matters worse, the review also found that there has been little, if any, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – a main selling point used by proponents to justify the program.
Posted June 3, 2019
The administration’s decision to allow summer sales of E15 fuel – a blend containing 50 percent more ethanol than the E10 gasoline that’s widespread across the country – is a disappointing and ineffective approach to addressing concerns with the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
EPA’s rulemaking that extends the RVP waiver, effectively lifting a ban on summertime E15 sales, only worsens risks for U.S. consumers – given repeated warnings that pushing more E15 into the fuel supply could harm the vast majority of vehicles on the road that aren’t designed to use it, as well as engines in motorcycles, boats and lawn equipment for which E15 is incompatible. All to help farmers struggling under the weight of the administration’s own harmful trade tariffs.
It may seem obvious, but apparently it needs stating: EPA should be most concerned about the interests of U.S. consumers as it forms policy, not cleaning up messes caused by the administration’s flawed trade policy.
Posted May 29, 2019
The headline of the opinion piece in the Orange County Register caught my eye – and should get the attention of everyone in this country:
“Fracking saves low-income Americans’ lives”
The article is based on research published earlier this year, which calculated that lower heating costs associated with surging domestic natural gas production averted 11,000 winter deaths in the U.S. each winter from 2005 to 2010.
Read on for details, but this research makes the critically important connection between abundant energy and Americans’ well-being.
Posted May 21, 2019
Having already shelled out $2.2 billion for the federal tax credit for purchases of electric vehicles (EV) between 2011 and 2017, U.S. taxpayers could see that cost increase seven-fold over the next decade – while yielding negligible results, according to a new study.
Coupled with the fact that upper-income households have bought most of the EVs sold in the U.S. (and benefited from these tax subsidies), the report continues to raise questions about the EV subsidy and legislation that would expand it.
Posted May 17, 2019
It seems like each winter we see consumers in New England suffering not just from freezing temperatures but also the highest energy prices in the country (see here and here) – largely because there’s not enough natural gas infrastructure to serve the region during periods of peak winter demand. This past winter, the news was a little bit better.Natural gas prices generally follow seasonal patterns and tend to rise in the winter. For example, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has suggested
that liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports helped to moderate energy price spikes in the region this year. ...
Still, domestic infrastructure constraints in New York and New England mean that residents remain faced with relatively high and uncertain energy prices plus the possibility of winter shortages – not to mention the unnecessary stress those conditions put on the region’s power grid.
Posted May 14, 2019
Next month the Connecticut Siting Council is scheduled to hold an important vote on a proposed natural gas-fueled power plant near Killingly, the Killingly Energy Center. The plant should get the council’s go-ahead, as it would help meet growing consumer demand while supporting badly needed stability in the regional power grid.
The plant would produce enough electricity for 500,000 homes. In addition to generating electricity, the facility would generate $110 million in local tax revenue over the next two decades while helping the state advance its climate goals (more on that below).
Most importantly, consumers would get needed help.
Posted May 8, 2019
We can’t say it enough: U.S. consumers, not China, are paying the costs of the administration’s tariffs on Chinese goods – which the administration says will increase on Friday to 25 percent on $200 billion in goods, up from the current 10 percent.As we’ve noted here, here and here, Americans are the ones hurt by tariffs, which essentially are a tax on consumer goods that millions of U.S. families use.
Posted May 1, 2019
With summer driving season almost here, nationwide average gasoline prices were $2.88 per gallon as of April 30, according to the American Automobile Association, identical to what they were one year ago when adjusted for price inflation. This good news for consumers is due, at least in part, to record-breaking domestic oil production, which has put downward pressure on global prices for crude oil, the main factor in determining prices as the fuel pump.
While the current price may be the same when you pull up to pump, some notable things have changed behind the scenes.
Posted April 26, 2019
Over the past few weeks, we’ve published a series of posts on the United States’ emergence as a major global natural gas exporter, including discussion of the benefits both at home and abroad (see here and here).
In this post, we’ll look at how the business of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is changing in exciting ways—ways that give customers around the world unprecedented flexibility and access to clean and reliable natural gas.
We’ll see that while some of these trends have been in motion for years, it’s been the introduction of U.S. LNG into the market that has really accelerated this shift. With multiple project developers pursuing a wide range of structures and technologies, it’s clear that the U.S. is once again at the forefront of innovation in this critical part of the world’s energy sector.
Posted April 16, 2019
Patagonia’s limiting sales of its popular vests, excluding corporate clients judged not to be onboard with the outdoor clothier’s environmental and climate positions, apparently including natural gas and oil (see the last few sentences in this tweeted email from a certified Patagonia seller) – seems odd and inconsistent, given how much petroleum is used to make those products.
More on that below. First, let’s point out that, contrary to Patagonia’s impression of the natural gas and oil, our industry cares a great deal about environmental and climate progress – even as it supplies the energy that empowers modern life and growth in the United States. We need both, and they’re not mutually exclusive.
In this 21st century economy, Americans want access to affordable energy. You need energy for prosperity, mobility and good health, and Industry is committed to developing that energy safely and responsibly.
At the same time, industry is leading in important environmental and climate progress, by producing record amounts of clean natural gas – the chief reason U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have fallen to their lowest levels in a generation.