Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted May 16, 2013
Breaking Energy – Sieminski: U.S. Tight Oil Growth Helping Lower Global Crude Price
U.S. tight oil production has helped to shave about $20-$25 per barrel from Brent crude oil prices, and continued output growth could further impact global pricing, says Energy Information Administration Administrator Adam Sieminski.
E! Science News – Groundwater Unaffected by Shale Gas Production in Arkansas
Duke University and U.S. Geological Survey scientists sampled 127 shallow drinking water wells in areas overlying Fayetteville Shale gas production in north-central Arkansas and found no ground water contamination from hydraulic fracturing.
Posted May 14, 2013
Ethanol advocates often assert that ethanol costs less per gallon than gasoline while trying to justify the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). While it’s true that on a gallon-to-gallon basis ethanol historically has been cheaper than gasoline, ethanol contains far less energy than gasoline and therefore has cost consumers more to travel the same distance, as I pointed out (here, here and here). Look at the graphics below, produced by EPA and the Energy Department: The real costs to consumers, measured in fuel economy, has been significant.
Posted April 30, 2013
Posted April 19, 2013
It’ll take more than 60 seconds to debunk the main untruths in Fuels America’s video, “The Truth Behind High Gasoline Prices in 60 Seconds” – but then fact often is more complicated than fiction.
First, a few words about Fuels America. It’s a collection of groups committed to “protecting” the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), with its broken mandates for increasing use of ethanol. The organization that includes the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and major corn growers is attacking America’s oil and natural gas industry – ironically, ethanol’s biggest customer.
Posted April 18, 2013
A "consensus has concluded that EPA fuel standards are sorely at odds with the interests of fuel and food consumers in the United States,” writes contributor Robert Bradley. “The direct economic cost of implementing and enforcing these fuel standards far outweighs the questionable benefits."
The Washington Post – Keystone XL Opposition Wanes Among Nebraska Landowners
With the Keystone XL debate set to head back to Nebraska today, the Post reports that folks in the state “largely support the pipeline project.”
Posted April 17, 2013
Washington Times – Is It Time to End Ethanol Vehicle Fuel mandates?
Steve Goreham recaps the pros and cons in the ethanol, Renewable Fuel Standard debate.
Press Connects – Guest Viewpoint: NY Can’t Afford to Pass on Natural Gas
In a guest piece, New York resident Bob Tiberio writes that affordable energy “is the lifeblood of our economy and lowers the cost of almost everything we make and use. It drives economic growth and gives the United States a competitive edge in global markets. For most Americans, a high “quality of life” begins with low cost energy, which increasingly means natural gas from shale.”
Posted April 16, 2013
LA Times – EPA: U.S. Greenhouse Gases Drop
The newspaper highlights the latest good news from the EPA: Increased use of natural gas, much of it developed with hydraulic fracturing, has helped the United States lower its greenhouse gas emissions 1.6 percent from 2010 to 2011 and nearly 7 percent since 2005.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s op-ed argues that Canada is “the safest, most secure and responsible energy supplier to the United States and a reliable trading partner.” This comes after her recent visit to the U.S. advocating approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Approving the pipeline “is the choice of reason,” she writes.
Posted April 15, 2013
Sometimes a good chart is better than a whole boatload of words. The one below, from the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Division of Energy Resources, has a lot to say about one important facet of the current debate over ethanol mandates contained in the Renewable Fuel Standard
The dotted line represents monthly numbers of service stations in Minnesota offering E85 – fuel containing up to 83 percent ethanol. The other line reflects monthly sales of E85 in Minnesota, which ranks number five in the nation in ethanol production.
Posted April 11, 2013
Two members of the University of Illinois’ agricultural and consumer economics department have an article out this month that raises some important concerns about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). As agricultural economics experts at the flagship university of a farm-heavy state, which also is the third-largest ethanol-producing state in the country, their work merits a special mention.
First, Scott Irwin, chairman of the Agriculture Marketing Department, and Professor Darrel Good make some general observations about the RFS (sometimes also referred to as RFS2, for its 2007 revision), uncertainty surrounding potential higher compliance costs and where prices for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) may be headed under the RFS’ current framework:
Posted April 3, 2013
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is no friend of its biggest customer, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. That’s clear from the ethanol lobby’s attacks on our industry for raising questions about E15 gasoline (up to 15 percent ethanol) and the ethanol “blend wall,” addressed here, here and here. So, we were pleasantly surprised with last week’s RFA whitepaper showing that, yes – the high price of federal ethanol credits is increasing the cost of gasoline.Quick review. Another study released last week, from NERA Economic Consulting, found that the fuel market is nearing the point where refiners no longer can satisfy ethanol blending mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) without elevating the ethanol content in gasoline to higher than 10 percent.