Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted March 20, 2015
The case for lifting the 1970s-era ban on U.S. crude oil exports, in a nutshell:
The ban is a relic of the past, of an era when the U.S. was producing less and less of its own oil and importing more and more of oil produced by others. Crude exports would add to global crude supplies, putting downward pressure on the cost of crude. A number of studies project that lifting the export ban would lower domestic gasoline prices. Exports would stimulate domestic production, protecting U.S. jobs and creating more in the future. Exports would strengthen U.S. economic power that underlies American global influence.
There are more reasons, more details to the affirmative export case, a number of which were aired at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing this week. In its totality, it’s a strong, strong case.
Posted February 11, 2015
With federal officials holding one in a series of public hearings on the Obama administration’s draft offshore oil and natural gas leasing program today in Norfolk, Va., it’s worth underscoring the benefits that offshore energy could bring to the commonwealth.
These include 25,000 jobs by 2035, according to a study by Quest Offshore Resources, and nearly $1.9 billion for the state’s budget by 2035, with revenue sharing in place.
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.
Posted December 10, 2014
Two U.S. energy production updates and a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report showing the economic impacts of America’s shale energy revolution – which is driving overall U.S. production.
A chart from energy/economics blogger Mark J. Perry shows the impact of U.S. energy production on energy imports – measuring net petroleum imports as a share of products supplied. The chart shows steady increases in imports from the mid-1980s to an apex of more than 60 percent in 2005. Today, we’re looking at a percentage share that’s as low as it has been in four decades.
Posted October 27, 2014
Ever heard of the broken window fallacy? In economic circles, it’s a common parable used to dismiss arguments that damage – like the breaking of a window – has a silver lining: spending to fix the window boosts the window repairman, which boosts the folks who make panes of glass and so forth.
Yet, that argument (and the one depicted in the broken window parable) misses a big unseen – there’s no free lunch in spending to repair or rebuild property. The money comes from somewhere. The person who must buy a new window spends money he or she might have invested or spent elsewhere in the economy, with greater economic impact. Likewise with government spending. Those dollars came from taxpayers who might have invested or spent elsewhere in the economy, with greater economic impact.
We say all of this because another common argument being heard is that tossing bricks of energy regulation will invigorate the energy sector.
Posted October 10, 2014
A new University of Colorado study affirms the dynamic and critical role energy development is playing in the state – in terms of support for public schools, job creation and the economy.
Just looking at 2012, oil and natural gas activity generated more than $200 million for Colorado schools, supported nearly 94,000 jobs in the state and created more than $23 million in state economic activity, according to the report conducted by the university’s Leeds School of Business and commissioned by API.
Posted September 26, 2014
There’s more evidence that the U.S. oil and natural gas industry is driving economic growth – not just in the industry itself, but also in the vast supply chain that sustains energy development – adding to overall GDP, wages and revenues to government.
A new IHS study, commissioned by the Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) estimates that employment growth in the supply chain that supports unconventional oil and natural gas development – that is, energy from shale and other tight-rock formations with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – will outpace, by a more than a 2-to-1 margin, the U.S. average from 2012 to 2025.
Posted July 9, 2014
Hydraulic fracturing is a proven, safe technique that has been used since 1949 in over one million wells right here in the U.S. As a result, America is now the number one producer of natural gas in the world, and by 2015, it is expected that we will take the top spot in crude oil production. Of course, with this success, come both benefits and challenges.
Posted May 21, 2014
Eye-catching headline this week in The Hill: “EPA races to finish Obama rules.” First reaction: Haste makes waste – and when talking about regulation that could affect America’s dynamic, game-changing energy revolution, the goal should be sound policy, not speed. The Hill:
Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are racing to churn out new regulations before the clock runs out on President Obama’s term. … Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle say they are concerned by the broad sweep of the EPA’s regulatory agenda, even though the agency says it is merely enacting the laws that Congress has passed. “I recognize that EPA has to do this, but I think EPA is sometimes stretching the limit too far in how aggressive they’ve been moving,” said Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who has distanced himself from the president’s environmental and energy policies as he runs for reelection in his energy-rich state.
Posted December 17, 2013
Last month we made some points on a Senate proposal that would impact America’s oil and natural gas industry with higher taxes and costs. Research has shown that delaying industry’s ability to write off intangible drilling costs likely would mean fewer wells drilled, lost jobs and lower energy production. Doing away with the “last-in, last-out” (LIFO) accounting method used by a number of energy companies would require them to redirect cash or sell assets to cover tax payments.
Now API has been joined by more than a dozen other organizations – representing energy producers, refiners, supporting servicers, equipment manufacturers, marketers and retailers – in challenging proposals that could hinder an industry that already sends $85 million a day to the U.S. Treasury.
In a letter to members of Congress the groups say that while efforts to make the tax code less complicated and more competitive are good, raising energy taxes and increasing costs will work against greater industry investment and activity that would provide broad benefit to the U.S. economy.