Energy Tomorrow Blog
John D. Siciliano
Posted January 16, 2020
Natural gas can’t be beat when it comes to its superior performance in heating a home, especially when compared to heat pumps and other appliances that rely solely on electricity.
Natural gas-powered appliances are both more cost-effective and environmentally friendly for homeowners when compared to their all-electric counterparts, according to consumer studies and government reports.
So, why are some groups campaigning to ban homeowners from using natural gas in favor of these more expensive alternatives?
Posted December 12, 2019
News that the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is bringing attention to the need for a natural gas pipeline to serve an impoverished area near Chicago makes a lot of sense. No person should be preparing for the approaching winter without clean, reliable heat, which natural gas provides.
Unfortunately, people living in the Pembroke Township area south of Chicago near the Indiana state line don’t have natural gas and are facing just such a challenge. The area’s median income is about $16,000 a year, it suffers from 30% unemployment and has a 33.9% poverty rate. ...
The plight of Pembroke Township, like others we’ve noted, is a reminder that access to affordable, reliable energy is critically important not only for comfort and convenience, but also for health, particularly among low-income Americans.
John D. Siciliano
Posted December 9, 2019
The recent box office success of 20th Century Fox’s “Ford vs Ferrari” helped moviegoers understand just what it took for the Ford Motor Company to build a world-class supercar and win the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in the 1960s.
But the movie also made me recall the oil industry’s ties to these champions. And the link between Ford and the energy sector when it comes to upping a car’s engine performance and making cars more environmentally sustainable.
Posted November 14, 2019
Calls for a ban on hydraulic fracturing by some of the Democratic presidential candidates continue to make for discussion on the campaign trail – and boy, that is a discussion everyone should be paying attention to. The stakes are sky-high.
Recently, we highlighted this Michael Lynch analysis warning that a fracking ban could devastate the U.S. economy. Now the Manhattan Institute’s Mark P. Mills has a piece on Real Clear Energy asserting that in the most serious scenarios, banning U.S. fracking could put the global economy in recession – entirely plausible, given that the United States is the leading producer of natural gas and oil, the two energy sources that supply 54% of the globe’s fuel. In all, Mills notes in this report, fossil fuels supply 84% of the world’s energy.
Those are the stakes when candidates kick around the notion of banning hydraulic fracturing, which is used for 95% of new U.S. wells today. Ban fracking and you pull the rug out from under U.S. production – and with it, energy security, global energy leadership and, yes, environmental progress – considering increased U.S. use of natural gas has lowered energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to their lowest levels in a generation.
Posted October 23, 2019
Given bipartisan consensus on the importance of trade to America and our allies, finalization and approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in Congress is long overdue. Because North American markets are highly interdependent, maintaining the tariff-free, intracontinental flow of natural gas, oil and refined products will help ensure that American families have continued access to affordable and reliable energy, and to our export markets in Canada and Mexico.
When it comes to the U.S. economy, the advantages of the USMCA are clear. Trade with Canada and Mexico supports 12 million American jobs across every state, according to the Business Roundtable, and totaled nearly $1.3 trillion in 2017. A U.S. International Trade Commission report estimates that approving USMCA could raise real GDP by $68.2 billion and create 176,000 jobs, relative to a baseline, six years after the trade deal enters into force.
Posted September 19, 2019
At a time of energy uncertainty in the world, the U.S. natural gas and oil industry is producing at levels that have helped cushion domestic markets and American consumers against global supply disruptions that once would have put severe pressure on our economy here at home.
Each final month of the quarter marks the simultaneous release of API’s Monthly Statistical Report (MSR) and quarterly Industry Outlook, and this quarter has offered some remarkable milestones and insights – at a critical time for the world.
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 9, 2019
One of the things I do often on behalf of API is to speak publicly across the United States, emphasizing how the energy revolution has continued to benefit consumers. On the topic of natural gas and electricity generation, a common thread has emerged: Natural gas has generally led to lower energy-related carbon dioxide emissions and lower electricity prices across the nation.
To those who follow the industry, this may be no surprise given that clean natural gas has supplanted coal as the leading energy source for generating electricity in the U.S. Part of this is natural gas’ competitiveness in the marketplace. Thanks in part to the shale revolution, real natural gas prices at Henry Hub decreased 37% between 2010 and 2018 – and as of August 2019 were down by another 15.6% y/y.
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 13, 2019
Now’s a good time to revisit the potential impacts of the “Green New Deal” and other anti-natural gas and oil ideas that have gained so much traction with the Democratic presidential contenders.
As we said a few months ago, fundamentally reordering American energy and Americans’ way of life should be measured by impacts on U.S. consumers, the economy and the country’s energy future.