Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted March 23, 2016
The Obama administration’s decision last week to eliminate the Atlantic from the next federal offshore leasing plan is a step backward for American energy policy. Despite bipartisan support in Congress and from voters in coastal states, the administration is doubling down on a shortsighted policy that keeps 87 percent of federally controlled offshore acreage off limits to energy exploration.
Expanding access to America’s energy resources – both offshore and onshore – is vital to our future energy security and economic growth.
Posted March 15, 2016
With the Obama administration’s decision not to include the Atlantic in the next federal offshore leasing program, let’s connect some dots that put this unfortunate decision in a fuller context – one where the administration is choosing retreat instead of progress with its energy strategy.
First, America’s energy revolution is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that has put this country on a path toward economic growth, consumer benefits, environmental progress and a more secure energy future. Yet, omitting the Atlantic from the five-year leasing program that will largely guide offshore development from 2017 to 2022 is retreat, not progress, in efforts to produce more energy right here at home.
It’s the wrong path for America – a path also defined by administration policies that have resulted in declining oil and natural gas production on federal lands, an onslaught ofunnecessary regulation and continuation of the harmful Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It’s a path that has made energy infrastructure development more problematic, a path that will negatively impact American households and one that could see the U.S. become less secure and less competitive in the world.
Posted March 14, 2016
When BOEM releases its final program, perhaps this week, watch the Atlantic. A decision to keep the Atlantic lease sale in the five-year plan will say volumes about the administration’s view of offshore energy development. Erik Milito, API director of upstream and industry operations, joined representatives of two other organizations on a conference call with reporters to discuss the next leasing program:
“The possible benefits for developing oil and natural gas off of the Atlantic coast are numerous. The most promising areas for development run all the way from the coasts of Maine to Florida. Official government figures project the possibility of nearly 5 billion barrels of oil and over 37 trillion cubic feet of gas contained by this section of the Atlantic Shelf. This is American energy security, American jobs, U.S. government revenue and American GDP tied up by political red tape. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, stuck, off limits to future generations as it waits for forward-looking energy policy.”
Posted March 2, 2016
Last year, when federal officials released the proposal for the next five-year offshore drilling plan, we said the draft had some positive aspects but fell short of the kind of strategic offshore planning that would adequately serve America’s role as an energy superpower. We also noted strong support for offshore development by mid-Atlantic states, where operations could occur under the draft plan.
Fast-forward to this month, with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) expected to reassess a plan that would be the blueprint for offshore energy development from 2017 through 2022. The need for a robust offshore leasing plan remains critically important – and the plan should retain the single Atlantic lease sale that was included in BOEM’s draft.
Posted October 22, 2015
Recent reports assert that some of the world’s oil suppliers have had a strategy to curtail the U.S. energy revolution – and that the strategy has worked, citing U.S. Energy Information Administration data showing U.S. production in decline. Bloomberg this week:
After a year suffering the economic consequences of the oil price slump, OPEC is finally on the cusp of choking off growth in U.S. crude output. The nation’s production is almost back down to the level pumped in November 2014, when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries switched its strategy to focus on battering competitors and reclaiming market share.
Market decisions by major suppliers certainly have impact. Yet, focusing attention on factors beyond U.S. control misses factors under U.S. control that have a clear bearing on the trajectory of domestic oil production, economic growth and American security.
We’ll name a couple: continuing the outdated ban on U.S. oil exports and regulatory and process roadblocks that limit access to energy reserves and production. What we have is an administration whose self-sanctioning approach to U.S. energy is hurting American competitiveness in the global marketplace, to the benefit of other producers.
Posted April 30, 2015
It’s noteworthy that there’s bipartisanship in Congress on offshore energy development. Last week a group of Republican U.S. House and Senate members signed onto a letter urging the Interior Department to increase access to energy reserves on the nation’s outer continental shelf. It follows a March 26 letter from Virginia’s two Democratic senators and a March 27 letter from a dozen House Democrats supporting offshore energy development.
Bipartisanship in Washington is quite a rare bird, so it’s significant to see it form around the need to develop domestic offshore energy.
Equally important: Strongly worded concern from the most recent letter’s signers that the draft 2017-2022 plan for oil and natural gas leasing offered by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management not be weakened by removing any of the leasing areas in the proposal.
Posted April 20, 2015
A couple of important points on Arctic energy development from U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska at an event hosted recently by CSIS:
- The biggest obstacle to U.S. development of its Arctic energy reserves is the U.S.
- Development of Arctic energy resources will occur regardless of whether the United States engages in it.
- A discussion of Arctic energy must give weight to the needs and concerns of Alaskans, many of whom directly depend on energy development for the quality of their lives.
Posted April 17, 2015
BloombergBusiness: The U.S. pumped crude last month at the fastest pace since February 1973, sending March inventories to the highest level in 85 years.
Crude output climbed 13 percent from a year earlier to 9.32 million barrels a day in March, the American Petroleum Institute said in a monthly report Thursday. Production of natural gas liquids, a byproduct of gas drilling, climbed 9.1 percent to 3.05 million, a record for March. The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked supplies from shale formations in the central U.S.
“Production of both crude oil and natural gas liquids last month remained at the highest levels in decades even as rig counts reached a five-year low,” John Felmy, chief economist at the API in Washington, said in an e-mailed statement.
Posted March 31, 2015
There are a number of main points in official comments submitted by API and seven other energy industry groups to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on its draft offshore oil and natural gas leasing program for the 2017-2022 time period.
Given how much offshore acreage was excluded from the proposed draft, BOEM should not remove any areas proposed in the draft from the final lease plan, the associations write. The government is missing key opportunities to harness U.S. offshore energy in the Atlantic, eastern Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska, as other countries are implementing robust offshore development programs. Energy development on the outer continental shelf (OCS) would generate significant job and economic benefits to the U.S., and industry continues to press ahead with technological, safety and environmental protection improvements – all designed to foster increased safety in offshore operations.
The comments are among those being collected by BOEM before it finalizes the five-year leasing program later this year. The leasing plan is a blueprint for offshore development; areas not listed in it won’t be offered for lease 2017 to 2022. Given the 10 to 15 years needed to develop offshore oil and natural gas – from the time the lease is sold to production – the federal plan is critically important.
Posted March 18, 2015
The Hill: Business groups are waging war on the Obama administration’s proposal to reduce ozone pollution, arguing the regulations would cripple the U.S. economy.
In order to comply with the proposed rule, many areas of the country would have to all but shut down land development and oil and natural gas drilling, industry groups charged on the final day for comments.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is being spurred on by greens and health groups, who argue that lower ozone emissions would benefit public health. The agency, they contend, is obligated to adopt the stricter standards.
But the rules would translate to higher electric bills for American families, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is said in comments it filed Tuesday.