Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted November 5, 2015
To a large degree, cleaner air in the United States results from innovations and improvements in transportation fuels over the past four decades. This is important, because the freedom to travel has been ingrained in the American psyche since the days when waves of westward migration began spanning the continent.
Today, Americans are used to free and independent movement, with the average person traveling more than 13,600 miles a year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Meanwhile, Americans’ modern lifestyles depend on freight haulers that deliver commercial goods to the places where they live. The 4 million miles of highways and roads that make up a large portion of the U.S. transportation network serve as the country’s arterial system – and energy makes it go. Refineries supply more than 130 billion gallons of gasoline and 60 billion gallons of diesel a year to power trucks, barges, ships and trains connecting consumers with consumable goods.
The oil and natural gas industry is meeting the challenge of fueling America’s transportation needs while advancing air quality goals that benefit all Americans – by investing in cleaner, safer fuels and next-generation technologies for the future.
Posted October 6, 2015
Last month we connected he lowest pre-Labor Day gasoline prices in more than a decade with the global cost of crude oil, the main factor in prices at the pump. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) attributed crude prices, in part, with growth in global supply – due in no small part to increases in U.S. oil production. Abbreviated: Thanks, U.S. energy revolution.
Now comes EIA’s Winter Fuels Outlook, with forecasts that household heating costs will be lower than the previous two winters. Thanks again, U.S. energy.
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.
Posted July 1, 2015
This weekend our country celebrates 239 years of independence, as well as our collective belief in equality and unalienable rights – enumerated in the Declaration of Independence as “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Heading into Independence Day 2015, it’s fitting to draw some connections between American energy and American life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Today: life.
It’s hard to imagine modern life – in America or anywhere else for that matter – without liberal access to energy. It’s fundamental to sustaining life as we know it, while also providing fundamental opportunity to people across the globe for whom life is a daily struggle. Let’s take a look at some charts from Max Roser’s Our World In Data project. First is global energy use, with energy use starting to grow slowly around the 1900 and then taking off after World War II.
Posted June 12, 2015
Wall Street Journal – Low oil prices and economic growth have helped drive up consumer demand for energy across the world in 2015, the International Energy Agency said Thursday, a phenomenon seen from U.S. gasoline stations to Chinese auto dealerships.
The IEA’s closely watched oil-market report lent some support to an idea pushed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers: that collapsing oil prices would spur more consumer demand and eventually send prices back up. The benchmark U.S. oil price hit a six-month high on Wednesday.
The IEA said world demand for oil would increase by 1.4 million barrels a day this year, 300,000 barrels a day faster than it previously forecast, to a daily average of 94 million barrels this year. Global demand in 2014 was about 92.6 million barrels a day, the IEA said.
Posted June 2, 2015
With EPA last week proposing ethanol-use requirements for 2014, 2015 and 2016 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the ethanol industry no doubt will keep lobbying to foist increasing amounts of higher-ethanol blend fuels like E15 and E85 on the motoring public. This, despite studies that have shown E15 can harm engines and fuel systems in vehicles that weren’t designed to use it – potentially voiding manufacturers’ warranties – and historically small consumer demand for E85.
A subset of the argument for increased use of higher-ethanol blend fuels is the dismissing of concern that E15 also could damage existing service station infrastructure, including storage tanks, fuel lines and dispensers. Though service station owners and operators indicate otherwise, ethanol supporters say that a new National Renewable Energy Laborary (NREL) report – commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), a big ethanol advocate – found that E15 is compatible with existing equipment. It’s simply not true, and the report has some challenges. Let’s look at a few.
Posted April 22, 2015
Today, the United States leads in petroleum products, refining and natural gas production, and we’re on track to lead in the production of crude oil; facts reinforced by last week’s EIA Annual Energy Outlook.
The report confirmed that our nation is more energy secure than ever before. And it said in part that domestic production of natural gas is projected to grow through 2040 eventually reaching 35.45 tcf; and domestic oil production is projected to exceed 10 mbd in a few years and remain at that level through 2030. Keeping pace with our nation’s increased development of our energy resources are the 139 operating refineries that produce more fuel than ever before and support roughly 540,000 good paying jobs and 1.9 percent of our nation’s economy.
Posted March 16, 2015
Denver Business Journal: The boom in oil and natural gas production in North America, largely due to the new technologies of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, is changing the balance of power across the world, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice told attendees at the Vail Global Energy Forum.
Rice opened a two-day forum, which continues through Sunday, with remarks on Friday evening at the Beaver Creek Ski Resort in Vail. The forum, now in its third year, is growing. Nearly 400 people registered for the 2015 event, a 20 percent increase over the previous year, organizers said.
Posted February 12, 2015
Posted January 16, 2015
Pacific Standard magazine (PS) has an interesting longread on honeybees in its January issue. While this is not our area of expertise and we can’t judge the veracity of the entire article, there was one part that we had, unfortunately, seen before:
Over a million acres of grassland were converted to crops in five Midwestern states from 2006 to 2011, according to a study by South Dakota State University. … Across the region more than 99 percent of what was originally prairie has been converted, mostly to corn and soy for animal feed, ethanol, and sweetener … Now the entire Midwest, several beekeepers told me, has become a “corn desert.” This has wrought devastation on most anything that used to live in the fields. Monarch butterflies no longer have milkweed for laying eggs. Birds no longer have insects to eat or prairie to shelter in. Native bees are disappearing.
The years 2006 to 2011 are not a coincidence, as the Environmental Working Group (EWG) explains:
After the federal Renewable Fuel Standard was signed into law in 2007, many corn growers decided to plant corn year after year to profit from higher prices, rather than switching between corn and soybeans, for example. This transition has greatly harmed air and water quality.
And apparently bees. But not to worry, the federal government is on the case.