Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted February 16, 2016
The president’s $10 per barrel oil tax proposal has been out for about a week now, and the analysis from a number of experts – both in terms of politics and economics – could be boiled down to the social media acronym “smh,” which stands for “shaking my head.”
Political analysis first: “The president perennially proposes repealing the oil industry tax credits which Congress annually ignores,” Benjamin Salisbury at FBR Capital Markets toldBloomberg. “It seems overwhelmingly likely that this fee meets the same fate.” ClearView Energy Partners’ Kevin Book said there are “near-zero odds that the Republican-led Congress will grant the president’s request.”
Posted February 1, 2016
Iran’s plan to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) within two years is what you call a market signal, one that should cause U.S. policymakers to reconsider the ponderous pace with which proposed U.S. LNG export projects are gaining federal approval. The Wall Street Journal reported:
Iran is pushing to find new ways to extract and export its vast natural-gas reserves, including developing facilities to liquefy the commodity and ship it to Europe in two years now that western sanctions are no longer in place, according to a top Iranian official. Iran holds the world’s largest reserves of natural gas, but has long lacked the export infrastructure of competitors like Russia and Qatar. … Tehran is exploring several options to help the country “join the international LNG club,” said Alireza Kameli, Managing Director of National Iranian Gas Export Co., in an interview here.
Options for Iran include restarting its own advanced LNG export project that was halted in 2012 because of the western sanctions; building a pipeline under the Persian Gulf to Oman, which has LNG export facilities Iran might be able to use; and the construction of floating LNG facilities. Iranian officials say the country could export about 30 billion cubic meters (more than 1 trillion cubic feet) to the European Union long-term, the Journal reported.
While experts may disagree over how soon Iranian LNG exports could reach global markets, it makes sense for the United States – the world’s leading natural gas and oil producer – to capitalize on its natural gas abundance by speeding up federal approvals for domestic LNG exports to non-Free Trade Agreement countries. While a number of LNG export projects have received the go-ahead from Washington in the past couple of years, final non-FTA authorizations for more than 20 facilities remain under review at the Energy Department.
Posted January 14, 2016
If you believe America is best served by taking a true, all-of-the-above approach to energy – and we do – there’s not a lot of value in getting into a donnybrook over which energy sector employs the most people. America needs all of its energy sources and all of each energy sector’s jobs. That said, let’s set the record a little straighter in the wake of a recent report by the Solar Foundation.
The solar report trumpets 209,000 workers employed by the solar industry – including installation, manufacturing, sales & distribution, project development and “all others.” The report compares that figure with 187,000 people employed in just the oil and natural gas industry’s extraction segment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an apples-to-oranges comparison that could leave a wrong impression.
We looked at the comparison and figured something is missing.
Posted October 2, 2015
A number of Americans may look at some of the mixed reaction to the Obama administration’s release of new, more restrictive ozone standards and conclude that if industry and business groups and environmental activists all are unhappy with the final standards, then the administration must be congratulated for splitting the difference.
As measured as that sounds, it’s simply the wrong approach for setting air quality policy – and lots of Americans are likely to be caught up in the impacts.
As noted in this post, changing national ozone standards from the current 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb could impact job growth in nearly one-third of the country’s counties or county equivalents, according to an API analysis of EPA data. Instead of 217 counties out of compliance with ozone standards, 958 could be in violation and potentially subject to constraints that could affect business expansion, infrastructure development, transportation projects and other activities in those localities. Shorter: These impacts could be coming to a neighborhood near you – affecting economic growth and job creation.
Posted October 1, 2015
Here’s probably the most important thing to know about new, more restrictive ozone standards announced by the Obama administration: They could impact job growth in nearly one-third of all counties or county equivalents in the United States, according to a recent API analysis of EPA data. That’s 958 counties – up from just 217 under the current standards – projected to be in non-attainment with ozone standards set at 70 parts per billion (ppb).
So, unless Congress acts (as it should), get ready. These new standards will pretty much hit a lot of Americans right where they live – potentially hurting jobs, chilling investment and curbing business activity, for little or no public health benefit.
Posted September 9, 2015
NERA Economic Consulting has a new study warning of potentially dire economic impacts from continued implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), as written into law by Congress.
NERA set up its study that way for good reasons: Despite abundant evidence that RFS mandates for ever-increasing ethanol use in the nation’s fuel supply are detached from reality, and although it’s pretty clear EPA has mismanaged the RFS to the detriment of those obligated to meet its mandates – the ethanol industry insists that the program continue as statutorily set out in 2007.
That, according to NERA, is a roadmap to potential economic calamity and consumer pain.
Posted September 1, 2015
Surely, more state governors soon will echo the concern of Colorado’s John Hickenlooper for the potential economic impacts on his state of stricter ozone standards proposed by EPA. That is, any governor concerned about what it could mean for growth and progress if large chunks of his or her state were declared out of compliance.
In Colorado, that could be more than $19 billion in gross state product losses from 2017 to 2040 and nearly 11,000 lost jobs or job equivalents, according to a study by NERA Economic Consulting.
Posted August 13, 2015
It’s expected that EPA will submit its recommendation for new ozone standards to the White House Office of Management and Budget next week, with the final rule due by Oct. 1.
The final outcome will be momentous. EPA could – and should – leave the existing standards in place at 75 parts per billion (ppb). That would be remarkable, given the long rulemaking process and the agency’s current inclination to regulate more, not less.
Conversely, reducing the standards to 65 ppb or possibly lower would make it the costliest regulation ever, with the potential to halt economic expansion and infrastructure development dead in their tracks. Stricter standards could result in a $270 billion reduction in GDP per year on average from 2017 through 2040 and an annual loss of 2.9 million job equivalents, according to a study by NERA Economic Consulting.
Posted August 10, 2015
API has a new series of online ads that underscore potential risks from EPA’s proposal to impose stricter national ozone standards. The ads focus on potential impacts for individual states including Indiana, Colorado, Missouri, West Virginia and Virginia – which could see more than 38,600 jobs lost.
The key message in the ads is that an unnecessary tightening of ozone standards nationally could have dire effects locally, in each and every state.
Posted July 28, 2015
As a pending energy issue whose lack of resolution is penalizing U.S. consumers and U.S. energy security, the Keystone XL pipeline may be unsurpassed in its importance.
It’s a $5.4 billion piece of strategic energy infrastructure that unfortunately has become a political football during nearly seven years of White House delay. It’s delay not based on Keystone XL’s energy and economic merits or its climate impacts – all exhaustively analyzed by five U.S. State Department reviews (latest one here). Rather, the project has been delayed because of an extreme, off-oil agenda whose proponents made a privately financed infrastructure project that this country needs into a political symbol.