Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted September 17, 2019
With industry keenly focused on conserving water in production zones across the country, a draft federal water reuse plan unveiled this summer by EPA has the potential to foster innovations and investments that can accelerate sound management practices.
In official comments on the plan, API and a number of other energy associations encouraged the agency to consider ways to “provide maximum flexibility, certainty, and clarity” to existing regulatory structures while removing federal barriers within the federal government’s control that discourage and disincentivize the reuse, recycling, and fit-for-treatment uses of water.
At issue is water produced in association with well development that must be captured and accounted for in ways that protect the environment – including treating it for reuse in energy operations or disposal in federally regulated disposal wells.
Posted September 10, 2019
Natural gas and oil, the bellwether of the U.S. economy, continue to be the collateral damage in the administration’s trade war with China – frustratingly ironic given the White House’s stated goal of bolstering American energy.
Important parts for offshore natural gas and oil drilling and production, as well as critical parts and accessories for energy projects are among products imported from China that will be subject to a 30% tariff as of Oct. 1 – an increase from the current 25% tariff.
Higher costs for these needed components could increase the cost of production and, ultimately, energy costs to U.S. consumers.
Posted September 3, 2019
The story of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is long and unfortunate – a program that is now largely obsolete thanks to surging domestic energy, whose mandates continue to loom over American consumers without many of the benefits it was supposed to provide. It lives on, protected by ethanol producers and corn state/presidential politics.
That’s the context for RFS policy tweaks expected soon from the White House – more fiddling with a flawed program that will attempt to force higher content of ethanol-blended fuel into the U.S. supply, potentially impacting consumers, while creating an uneven playing field in the refining sector.
Posted August 29, 2019
With EPA’s reconsideration of its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with natural gas and oil production, some insist the changes will trash environmental protections.
This “rollback” narrative is false and largely designed to play to the extreme environmentalist crowd. Contrary to that view, modifying the NSPS could reduce duplication with state programs, provide greater clarity for industry in its regulatory compliance and, ultimately, further lower methane and other emissions and protect the environment by making it easier for operators to gain approvals for use of new, innovative technologies to detect fugitive emissions for repair. In fact, this procedural correction is best described as a realignment with the agency’s obligations under the Clean Air Act.
The well-worn “rollback” tale also dismisses the effective role of technology, innovation and industry initiative in reducing emissions – such as The Environmental Partnership. It discounts industry’s strong motivation to reduce emissions, which it has done in growing measure amid increased natural gas and oil production.
Posted August 26, 2019
News item: China announces retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, including a first-ever tariffs on U.S. crude oil imports. In response, President Trump says previously announced tariffs on Chinese goods will go up. The U.S.-China trade war churns on and with it, there’s significant collateral damage.
We discussed the impacts before – the way trade restrictions threaten U.S. competitiveness and global energy leadership, the drag on the U.S. economy and how the administration’s tariffs hurt U.S. consumers, not China. The latest trade tit-for-tat is similarly damaging.
Posted August 19, 2019
Even with natural gas playing a leading role in reducing U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to their lowest levels in a generation and strong industry initiative to keep lowering production-related methane emissions, natural gas opponents remain on the attack, including a new study that's critical of natural gas from North American shale (see rebuttals, here and here).
More authoritative and trustworthy is the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which issued these methane-related conclusions in a study published earlier this year …
U.S. natural gas has proven environmental and climate benefits, and it’s critically important here at home and around the world, helping to reduce energy poverty and improve peoples’ lives.
Posted August 8, 2019
Our country needs abundant energy AND climate progress – both of them, continuing to advance together, as they have in the U.S. in recent years. Embracing the dual challenge of making energy abundant and accessible while reducing energy-related emissions is the realistic path to growth and opportunity that can broadly benefit the nation and the lives of individual Americans.
Certainly, our industry is focused on new innovations and technologies that continue to reduce emissions from natural gas and oil production and improve the environmental performance of our operations and facilities. …
The objective is continued progress. High-production areas, including the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico and the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana, need additional pipeline infrastructure to take away natural gas when it accompanies oil production. More infrastructure could reduce the amount of flaring – regulated, limited burning of methane – that takes place.
Posted July 25, 2019
With Ohio’s passage of a corporate bailout for nuclear and coal-burning power plants – a consumer-funded subsidy that could amount to more than $1 billion through 2027 – Columbus Dispatch metro columnist Ted Decker lamented: Why are ratepayers paying the price for one company’s ineptitude?
A great question that apparently didn’t register with a majority in the state legislature or Gov. Mike DeWine. Then again, they weren’t persuaded to back off the subsidy plan when confronted by Ohio public opinion, which overwhelmingly opposed docking the state’s ratepayers on a monthly basis to bail out two nuclear power plants.
Posted July 24, 2019
An important test of energy leadership is whether elected officials will act to enhance and protect strategic energy interests – a point we made in a post last week about smart, forward-looking policies that foster safe and responsible offshore energy.
A leadership corollary: First, do no harm.
We say that because, in a nation that’s the No. 1 producer of natural gas and oil in the world, leaders shouldn’t be making energy decisions that hurt those they’re supposed to serve. Unfortunately, in New York, there has been quite a bit of pain inflicted on New Yorkers by the Cuomo administration’s energy agenda.
Posted July 18, 2019
Natural gas continues to be a leader in progress on key climate and environmental goals.
Data contained in two new reports point to the role clean natural gas has played in reducing carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas, and in improving the quality of the air Americans breathe.