Energy Tomorrow Blog
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 February 4, 2016
With the president scheduled to put forward his last budget next week, here’s a short list of principles that should guide energy policy – because all will help sustain and grow the ongoing U.S. energy revolution. They include: reliance on industry innovation that has been the driving force behind America’s energy renaissance – innovation that launched the surge in shale energy production, prompting increased natural gas use and resulting in lower carbon emissions; embracing the successful, free-market approach to energy and economic growth while lowering emissions by basing decisions on sound science; and allowing more opportunities for energy exploration and development.
Erik Milito, API’s director of upstream and industry operations, talked about the policy pathway to energy growth and American prosperity during a conference call with reporters.
Posted January 12, 2016
During his last State of the Union address, President Obama could declare victory – an energy victory that has seen surging domestic production, lower consumer costs, economic growth and environmental progress, all happening together, on his watch. The president can say this U.S. model is winning the day, because it is. He should say this model is exportable to the world, because it is.
Fact: The U.S. is the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas. The domestic revolution in the production of oil and gas has reduced net oil imports and positioned the U.S. to claim its place as a major player in global energy markets. At the same time, the U.S. is leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Fact: Affordable natural gas – the average price at the national benchmark Henry Hub in 2015 was the lowest since 1999 – is largely the reason wholesale electricity prices at major trading hubs (on a monthly average for on-peak hours) were down 27 percent to 37 percent across the U.S. last year compared to 2014. That’s a real benefit for consumers.
Fact: Natural gas is winning in the marketplace. This is reflected in data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showing the change in annual U.S. energy consumption by fuel source over the past decade.
These are all characteristics of the U.S. model, a market-driven model for energy growth, consumer benefits and climate progress. The president can own it. We wouldn’t mind a bit.
Posted January 6, 2016
During this week’s State of American Energy event API President and CEO Jack Gerard described the economic and energy security gains generated by the U.S. energy revolution and the policies needed to create opportunities for the oil and natural gas industry to continue them.
Today let’s focus on some of the things Gerard identified as potential impediments to American energy. These include ideological opposition to progress, anti-consumer initiatives like the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), anti-market programs like the administration’s Clean Power Plan, government red tape and regulatory overreach.
Posted December 11, 2015
Then there’s this from Alaska: Falling oil revenues have the governor in that energy-rich state asking his legislature to plug a $3.5 billion hole in the state budget by imposing a small income tax (Alaska hasn’t had one for 35 years), other tax hikes, budget cuts and a reduction in the annual dividend Alaskans get from the state’s Permanent Fund.
Now, it might not bother you much that Alaskans soon could be paying higher taxes. But there’s another story playing out in Alaska and other places that should trouble all Americans: Access to U.S. energy is being restricted – by policy and regulation – in ways that could imperil America’s energy revolution and the generational opportunities that are being created by that revolution.
Posted December 1, 2015
This week’s climate summit in Paris will be filled with talk of ways to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s an important discussion for sure, but it’s one that should focus on achievable, real-world initiatives. A couple of starting points for an action agenda:
The first is an acknowledgement – that the availability of safe, reliable energy is fundamental to lifting people – and entire nations – from poverty. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called energy the “the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability.” With the International Energy Agency telling us that more than a billion people around the world don’t have electricity, it would be a mistake for the Paris summit to do anything that impedes or blocks access to energy. The world needs more energy, not less.
The second point a realization by the summiteers that private markets, not command-and-control government interventions, offer the best avenue to advance climate objectives while growing energy supplies – progress without hamstringing economies and hindering individual opportunity.
Posted November 3, 2015
API assembled a great panel of election/campaign experts to discuss how Election 2016 is shaping up and which issues will be salient when Americans vote a year from now. As for predicting the key issues 12 months into the future, the experts said what honest experts say: Who knows for sure? Yet, Public Opinion Strategies’ Glen Bolger no doubt was in the ballpark:
“I don’t think any one issue is going to dominate the election. … You’re going to have a number of different issues debated: foreign policy and national security being up there, the economy and jobs … Energy certainly can play a role in that, just given that it is a component of jobs and the economy. It’s a component of our national security, it’s a component of our foreign policy. I think energy will be an issue, but the question is how big.”
Great point. Energy and advancing the right policies for American energy certainly run through a number of the things Americans say they care about most: jobs, a thriving economy and safety for themselves and their families. That’s what comes through the results of a new Harris Poll of 2,800 registered voters: energy, energy, energy.
Posted October 14, 2015
Highlights from API President and CEO Jack Gerard’s conference call with reporters in which he discussed efforts to lift America’s 1970s-era ban on crude oil exports and the positive climate impacts of the U.S. energy revolution in advance of next month’s COP21 conference in Paris.
Last week the U.S. House of Representatives sent a clear message that it stands for a brighter energy and economic future for our nation when it approved with a strong bipartisan majority lifting the 1970s era ban on crude oil exports. We now call on the Senate to do the same. We urge them to unleash our nation’s energy potential by ending this vestige of our nation’s era of energy scarcity, dependence and insecurity.
According to [studies by Columbia University and Brookings/NERA], putting this additional U.S. oil on the world market could reduce the price of a gallon of gasoline by as much as 12 cents a gallon, a significant savings for consumers. American consumers could save about $5.8 billion per year by 2020, [according to an ICF study]. The study also found that by lifting the ban on crude exports could create up to 300,000 American jobs, well beyond oil-producing states. Eighteen states could gain more than 5,000 jobs each in 2020 from the export of U.S. crude oil. Every other major study agrees. …
Posted October 9, 2015
We’re still more than a year from the next presidential election, but already we’re hearing attacks on energy company earnings, rhetoric calibrated for the sole purpose of riling up the party base. It’s bad political theater that misleads the American public to score political points, distracting from a substantive debate on the right energy path for the country. This has come up most recently in the debate over lifting the 1970s-era ban on U.S. crude oil exports -- which was advanced with bipartisan U.S. House passage of a bill ending the export ban.
Yesterday, we looked at problems with the White House’s opposition to lifting the ban. Goodness knows, export opponents on Capitol Hill have their own faulty reasons. We’ve covered most of these before, including consumer impacts, national security and the oil imports vs. exports muddle.
Some of the biggest confusion comes from those who find it convenient to flay the oil and natural gas industry. Certainly, running around and repeating “Big Oil” over and over again plays well with people who don’t like fossil fuels and/or progress in general. Unfortunately, in their rush to attack those who supply products that the American people actually want and demand – products that power our economy and modern way of life – it’s the American people who take the hit.
Posted October 8, 2015
These things are true:
- The U.S. gets the majority of its energy from oil and natural gas, and is projected to continue to do so for decades.
- Since 2005 U.S. production of natural gas is up 43 percent.
- Since 2008 U.S. production of crude oil is up 88 percent.
- U.S. air quality continues to improve, with concentrations of carbon monoxide down 60 percent, ozone down 18 percent, lead 87 percent, nitrogen dioxide 43 percent, particulate matter 35 percent and sulfur dioxide 62 percent since 2000.
- The federal U.S. budget deficit for FY2015 was $435 billion.
- The U.S. trade deficit rose in August as exports hit a three-year low.
- Since 2008 our working age population has grown by over 16 million, while employment is up 8.5 million, leaving the U.S. at odds with trends in other countries.
- U.S. poverty and wages are stagnant, and it is getting harder for people to move beyond a minimum-wage job.
- Americans' trust in the federal government's ability to handle domestic problems has reached a new low.
These things are true, and thus, when presented with bipartisan legislation to reduce consumer fuel costs and the trade deficit while increasing U.S. investment, domestic crude oil production, GDP and government revenues and creating good paying jobs – all via U.S. crude oil exports – the White House obviously had no choice but to … threaten to veto it.