Skip to main content

Energy Tomorrow Blog

Denying Access to Energy Denies Safety, Prosperity, Opportunity

access  oil and natural gas development  offshore oil production  alaska  regulation  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

More »

U.S. Oil Exports and the Global Market

crude oil exports  crude markets  oil production  economic growth  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 9, 2015

The U.S. shale energy revolution is a game-changer – for the United States and the world’s energy balance. The U.S. has become the No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas, resulting from a domestic energy renaissance driven by advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – fracking. And the positive impacts are all around us.

U.S. crude imports are down, and American energy self-sufficiency is up. An America that’s more energy self-sufficient is more secure. Meanwhile, the global crude market is better supplied and more stable – thanks to the availability of crude that would have been imported to the U.S. Domestic pump prices reflect this well-supplied market. At the same time, greater use of natural gas has increased each American household’s disposable income by $1,200, and IHS says the benefit will grow to more than $3,500 in 2025. Thanks, fracking.

More »

The Oil Exports Conversation

crude oil exports  domestic oil production  security  economic growth  jobs 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 7, 2015

t’s good that Congress appears to be talking seriously about ending the United States’ four-decades-old ban on crude oil exports. Reports say Democrats and Republicans are discussing a deal that would include lifting the export ban – though it’s unclear what a specific deal would look like. “We need to have a conversation” about oil exports, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin told Politico. “We need to have a fair negotiation.”

Of course, we’ve been having a conversation about the merits of lifting the exports ban for some time. And it starts with this: Every major study on the issue has found that exporting U.S. crude oil would be good for America and Americans. The benefits range from those to consumers, to the economy, to American security to domestic energy production. According to the research, ending the outdated ban would positively impact all of the above.

More »

Oil Exports and America’s New Era of Energy Opportunity

crude oil exports  oil production  security  refinieries  consumer products  economic growth  jobs 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 2, 2015

When the Energy Policy and Conservation Act was signed into law by President Gerald Ford in 1975, Ford said it would put the United States “solidly on the road to energy independence.” The legislation included a ban on most exports of domestically produced crude oil. For many, shutting in domestic oil production – effectively self-sanctioning a vital U.S. industrial sector from the global marketplace – seemed like a good idea. At the time.

The country had been roiled by an oil embargo imposed by exporting states in response to U.S. support for Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Americans learned the meaning of oil shock – long lines for gasoline, odd/even day rationing schedules, shortages and rising prices. The Federal Reserve’s Michael Corbett writes that the embargo nearly quadrupled the price of a barrel of oil to $11.65 – quaintly low in 2015 dollars, but economically crippling four decades ago.

More »

Our Self-Limiting Energy Policies

crude oil exports  crude oil production  access  arctic  alaska  security  regulation  leasing 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

More »

Saying ‘Yes’ to Iran, ‘No’ to U.S.

crude oil exports  domestic oil production  security  president obama  economic growth  jobs 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 19, 2015

The question Americans should be asking right now: Why is the Obama administration actively working to clear the way for Iran to resume trading its crude oil on the global market while it opposes legislation that would do the same for U.S. oil?

It’s a great question for which the administration can offer no good answer, because there isn’t one.

Yet, that’s the policy disconnect that is unfolding before Americans’ very eyes, with the weekend news that the administration approved conditional sanctions waivers for Iran that at some point will let the Iranians resume exporting their oil to the world – within days of the White House threatening to veto bipartisan legislation in Congress that would end the 1970s-era ban on U.S. oil exports.

More »

U.S. Energy Exports Opportunity Knocks

energy exports  crude oil exports  lng exports  security  economic growth  domestic oil production 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 15, 2015

Reuters reports that Lithuania is in talks with U.S. liquefied natural gas company Cheniere Energy, seeking to reduce its dependence on Russia for LNG supplies. Lithuania opened an LNG import terminal last year, and its gas supply contract with Russian state-owned supplier Gazprom is scheduled to expire at the end of the year. Rokas Masiulis, Lithuania’s energy minister:

“We would love to have U.S. cargo in our region to have competition with Gazprom. … I believe negotiations with Gazprom now will be on competitive, reasonable terms and that will be just business and nothing else. … After we have built an LNG terminal, there is no possibility of blackmail. Since we think there is no possibility of blackmail, discussion will be rational and economical rather than political. This is a big step.”

The minister speaks diplomatically, so let’s read between the lines a bit. We suspect that Lithuania is trying to secure the diversification of its energy supply. The country wants options, additional sources of LNG so that it is beyond leveraging by Russia on natural gas. Russia did this with oil in 2006, Reuters reports.

At the same time, Masiulis told Reuters that Lithuania also would be open to buying U.S. crude oil if the United States repeals its current ban on the export of domestic crude.

More »

Keep Crude Exports Debate Focused on Jobs, Security

crude oil exports  domestic oil production  economic growth  jobs  us energy security  trade 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 13, 2015

Last week’s bipartisan U.S. House vote to end America’s 1970s-era ban on crude oil exports is stirring needed debate over U.S. energy and trade policy as the exports issue advances in Congress. Unfortunately, much of the conversation remains focused on the wrong things.

For example, export opponents continue to say the United States shouldn’t export crude oil as long as it’s an oil importer. We rebutted that economically faulty position here.  Access to global markets means bringing overseas wealth to the United States. Conversely, shutting in a domestic commodity is an obstacle to production and economic growth. The oil imports/exports threshold is one that isn’t applied to other domestic goods – and for good reason: Access to global markets is good for domestic producers.

More »

Bipartisan Crude Exports Vote is for Jobs, Security

crude oil exports  domestic oil production  economic growth  jobs  security  congress 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 9, 2015

It’s a bit early to go into a “victory formation” with the U.S. House of Representatives’ bipartisan vote to pass legislation lifting the United States’ decades-old ban on exporting domestic crude oil. The measure still has to get through the Senate, and President Obama has promised to veto it – vetoing help to consumersjobs and economic growth, as well as an opportunity to increase America’s global competitiveness while strengthening our security.

Yet, it’s a major step in the direction of making energy history, which ending the export ban surely would represent. It would acknowledge that the world is much changed since the 1970s-era ban was imposed – mainly, that the U.S. energy revolution has rewritten America’s energy narrative while fundamentally reordered the world energy balance. Both compel policymakers to finish the job and lift the export ban. 

More »

Bipartisan Crude Exports Vote – A Vote for U.S. Jobs, Security, Competitiveness

crude oil exports  domestic oil production  economic growth  security  jobs 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 9, 2015

It’s a bit early to go into a “victory formation” with the U.S. House of Representatives’ bipartisan vote to pass legislation lifting the United States’ decades-old ban on exporting domestic crude oil. The measure still has to get through the Senate, and President Obama has promised to veto it – vetoing help to consumersjobs and economic growth, as well as an opportunity to increase America’s global competitiveness while strengthening our security.

Yet, it’s a major step in the direction of making energy history, which ending the export ban surely would represent. It would acknowledge that the world is much changed since the 1970s-era ban was imposed – mainly, that the U.S. energy revolution has rewritten America’s energy narrative while fundamentally reordered the world energy balance. Both compel policymakers to finish the job and lift the export ban.

More »