Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted February 10, 2021
Natural gas and oil will remain central to meeting our nation’s energy needs well into the future. So says the nonpartisan U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its 2021 Annual Energy Outlook.
The analysis is critically important given the Biden administration’s apparent shift away from the previous administration’s focus on building American energy dominance through homegrown natural gas and oil – seen in the president’s executive order halting new federal leasing.
EIA’s forecast and the administration’s energy position are incompatible with each other, raising a simple question: If we aren’t allowed access to key federal natural gas and oil reserves, onshore and offshore, where will our energy supply come from?
Posted January 27, 2021
As the Biden administration takes the first step toward a complete ban on federal natural gas and oil development – including the offshore that accounted for more than one-fifth of U.S. oil production in 2019 – turning America’s energy strength into weakness by launching a new era of increased dependence on foreign oil, let’s see how out of step the approach is with the American people.
From polling of voters last summer in key battleground and other states: 93% said it’s important the U.S. produce enough energy to avoid being reliant on foreign oil; 90% said it’s important to create access to domestic energy; 69% said safe domestic natural gas and oil production makes the U.S. less reliant on foreign energy and has increased U.S. security. (Just 16% disagreed.)
All three viewpoints sharply contrast with where the Biden administration appears to be going with its announced halt on natural gas and oil leasing on federal lands and waters – which many believe will become a full ban on federal development.
Put simply, the White House is advancing an import-more-oil policy – one that would discard the hard-earned security, economic and environmental gains from a decade and a half of domestic energy resurgence.
Posted January 25, 2021
It’s unfortunate that the Biden administration’s first couple of energy decisions – effectively canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and signaling it will halt new federal natural gas and oil leasing – work against economic growth and could undermine the nation’s energy security.
With the U.S. economy struggling to recover from the pandemic, there could hardly be a worse time for actions that kill jobs, potentially increase energy costs and cause the U.S. to import more oil.
Sure, the president promised these things during the campaign. Yet, it’s disappointing nonetheless that thousands of U.S. workers associated with building the Keystone XL are now without jobs and that a federal leasing ban could start a new era of increasing U.S. energy dependence. Coincidentally, the administration just unveiled its “Buy American” initiative. What about energy? How about “Buy American Energy”?
Posted January 6, 2021
An important point for consideration by opponents of the scheduled natural gas and oil lease sale for the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska: World demand for energy will continue rising into the future as far as we can see.
Both the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the International Energy Agency project that – the effects of the pandemic aside – demand for energy, led by natural gas and oil is going to increase. IEA estimates that even with the U.S. participating in the Paris Climate Agreement, natural gas and oil will supply about half, and perhaps more, of the world’s energy in 2040.
Posted December 11, 2020
Despite the 2020 COVID-19 recession, the U.S. has reached milestones for energy security and trade, including its lowest imports of crude oil and reliance on OPEC in nearly three decades.
Achieving the milestones this year has enabled the U.S. to be on track to become a net exporter of petroleum and total energy on an annual basis for the first time in more than 60 years. At the same time, U.S. refiners have increasingly leveraged domestically-produced energy, ultimately benefiting households through lower spending on energy.
In short, record productivity has enabled abundant domestic oil and natural gas supplies, amped-up U.S. energy exports and displaced foreign energy imports to the benefit of American consumers. This is the backdrop for the imminent change of U.S. administration, as well as a heightened focus on U.S. energy security – see here and here – even though petroleum products and natural gas have remained abundant and at historically low prices.
Posted December 9, 2020
Let’s discuss the value of natural gas and oil to all Americans – the fundamental worth of abundant, affordable and reliable energy to modern, daily life, the economy and our nation’s security – which gets lost in two U.S. senators’ proposal to make producing energy on federal lands more costly.
U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Tom Udall of New Mexico want to increase the royalty rate for production on federal lands, which would discourage that critical production. We’ll get to that point down below. First, let’s zero in on the issue of fundamental value.
In a New York Times op-ed, Grassley and Udall call the American public “the big loser” under the current royalty arrangement. In doing so, the senators are so preoccupied with percentages they inadvertently make an afterthought of what current natural gas and oil production on federal lands means for U.S. economic growth, global leadership, strengthened security at home and significant environmental progress.
Posted December 3, 2020
Post-election analysis says that the U.S. electorate is mostly moderate and expects moderate, sensible policy positions – an important point as Team Biden assembles and a new Congress prepares to convene.
There’s this from veteran Democratic pollster Mark Penn in the Wall Street Journal: The nation is largely moderate, practical and driven by common sense over ideology. … The message from the voters is that we are not divided into two extreme camps. Rather, they are more centrist in nature and outlook, and that a president who governs too far to the right or left is likely to be left behind in the next election.
And Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis: If Biden wants to keep his winning streak alive, he will keep running the same winning play that got him this far: He will run right down the middle.
On energy, right down the middle, practical and common sense is best for the country’s energy security, economy and environmental protection. This acknowledges the primary role the U.S. energy revolution – made possible by safe, modern hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies – has played in fundamentally changing the trajectory for U.S. security, global energy leadership, economic growth and emissions reduction.
Posted October 26, 2020
Vice President Joe Biden’s statements on fracking and energy during the final presidential debate raise questions about the former vice president’s overall understanding of issues that are so critical to the U.S. economy, security and the environment.
We’ve previously noted Biden’s various comments on fracking – he has said he would ban the technology that made the U.S. the world No. 1 in natural gas and oil production (see here and here), before vowing he wouldn’t ban it. He repeated the no-ban pledge in Nashville (after asserting he never said he opposed fracking).More problematic is another promise Biden repeated during the final presidential debate – that he’ll ban new federal natural gas and oil leasing, effectively halting new production on federal lands and waters.
Posted September 14, 2020
A national policy that puts U.S. energy off-limits to development would have serious negative impacts for our nation’s security, jobs, the economy and household budgets. As argued in this post, proponents of policies that ban new natural gas and oil development on federal lands and waters have a lot of explaining to do.
Unfortunately, it also includes the White House, which announced this week that there will be no offshore oil and natural gas development in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic going forward, into the year 2032.
This is wrong for U.S. energy, wrong for American security, wrong for jobs and wrong for economic growth.
Posted August 28, 2020
Americans’ safety and security are critically linked to energy.
Whether it’s energy to power a growing economy or energy that keeps America free and strong in the world – and even reliable energy in the wake of a Category 4 hurricane – abundant domestic natural gas and oil are essential for our security. ...
Abundant and reliable natural gas and oil from America make the country safer and more secure in a number of ways.