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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Keystone XL, Polling and Politics

news  keystone xl pipeline  economic growth  canadian oil sands 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 13, 2015

Some observations on a new University of Texas energy poll and its findings on the Keystone XL pipeline:

First, among Americans who have some familiarity with Keystone XL, 45 percent support the pipeline’s construction while 21 percent oppose. (Twenty-one percent said they neither support nor oppose Keystone XL and 13 percent said they didn’t know.)

The more than 2-1 margin of Americans who favor Keystone XL over those who don’t in the poll underscores a couple of things: People who’ve learned about the pipeline, its purposes and its benefits in terms of jobs and economic growth overwhelmingly support it – and they must be baffled that it hasn’t been built yet. It also underscores how unfortunate it is for the country that Keystone XL’s merits have been denied by purely political, inside-Washington reasons.

Second, among those in the poll who oppose Keystone XL, climate change isn’t the top reason they oppose it – no doubt a kick in the pants to those who’ve spent lots of time and money arguing that building the oil pipeline would doom the climate and the planet.

They have themselves to blame. The main reasons to oppose Keystone XL, cited by the 21 percent in the poll – potential impacts on the environment and water, the presence of hazardous chemicals and benefits accruing to Canada instead of U.S. consumers – reflect the “whack-a-mole” strategy opposition leaders used, moving from flawed claim to flawed claim as quickly as facts, science and sound analysis dispelled them.

To further the discussion, let’s look again at the facts surrounding the top concerns of the 21 percent. Maybe that number will come down in the next UT poll.

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Talk Infrastructure – Build Keystone XL Pipeline

analysis  infrastructure  keystone xl pipeline  energy investment  economic benefits  american petroleum institute  Jack Gerard  canadian oil sands 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 11, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden underscored the administration’s call for infrastructure spending during a Bloomberg Government event that focused on the country’s deteriorating delivery and transportation systems.

Highlights include: The Washington politics of infrastructure spending is challenging. “The idea that there is a debate on the Hill on the need to invest in infrastructure is mind blowing,” Biden said. The world’s energy epicenter is North America, and the U.S. needs major investments in energy infrastructure. “We will face a national security dilemma” if we don’t enhance our energy infrastructure, he said. Companies need to have certainty that they can get their products to market efficiently.

Let’s pause a moment and consider these valid points on infrastructure from the vantage point of this administration’s crowning infrastructure decision (or non-decision): the Keystone XL pipeline.

In the Keystone XL, the administration has had the opportunity – for more than six years – to green light $5.4 billion in private infrastructure spending that would create jobs, boost the economy and transport oil from Canada and the U.S. Bakken region – reliably and safely – to our Gulf Coast refineries, enhancing America’s energy security. All with the simple stroke of the president’s pen.

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Energy Exports and Global Leadership

news  energy exports  crude oil  shale energy  utica shale  alberta oil sands  infrastructure  technology innovation  water management  keystone xl pipeline 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 6, 2015

BloombergBusiness: The U.S. will become one of the world’s largest oil exporters if domestic production continues to surge and policy makers lift a four-decade ban that keeps most crude from leaving the country, a government-sponsored study shows.

America would be capable of sending as much as 2.4 million barrels a day overseas in 2025 if federal policy makers were to eliminate restrictions on most crude exports, an analysis by Turner, Mason & Co. for the Energy Information Administration shows. That would make the U.S. the fourth-largest oil exporter, behind Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, based on 2013 EIA data. The report assumes domestic output rises by 7.2 million barrels a day from 2013.

The analysis is part of a series of studies the U.S. government is performing following a 71 percent surge in domestic oil production over the last four years. Drillers including Harold Hamm of Continental Resources Inc. and John Hess of Hess Corp. have been calling on the government to lift the ban on crude exports as they pump more light oil out of shale formations from North Dakota to Texas.

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U.S. Energy Stimulus, Policy and Opportunity

news  economic benefits  gasoline prices  energy exports  crude oil  keystone xl pipeline  fracking  infrastructure  innovation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 4, 2015

USA Today: The U.S. economy may not be benefiting as much as anticipated from the collapse in oil prices over the past 10 months. In fact, for oil-producing states, the decline of some 50% is taking a toll.

But one thing seems clear: The nation as a whole is nowhere near as susceptible to sharp swings in oil prices — one way or the other — as it was for decades.

That was the message from Jason Furman, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and President Obama's chief economist, at a New York forum held by the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy.

Furman spoke one day before the U.S. government reported an annual growth rate of just 0.2% for the nation's gross domestic production from January through March, down substantially from a 2.2% pace in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Among the factors was consumer spending, which rose by only 1.9% in the first quarter compared with a 4.4% increase in the previous quarter.

Consumers proved slow to spend their savings from lower gasoline prices, savings that economists estimate at $700 per household, as Furman pointed out. But that reluctance may change soon, to the benefit of the nation's economy, he added.

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‘The American Energy Moment’

Jack Gerard  cera  infrastructure  keystone xl pipeline  oil and gas industry  ozone standards  renewable fuel standard  regulations 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 23, 2015

In a post earlier this month I suggested that the domestic energy surge – the government says the U.S. is No. 1 in the world in energy developed from oil and natural gas – is helping reduce oil imports and increasing U.S. energy security – and that it’s a big reason fewer than one in four Americans recently told Gallup they view the energy situation as “very serious.” Probably safe to say the other three are more or less comfortable with the country’s energy picture.  

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Energy Abundance and Global Energy Leadership

oil and natural gas production  keystone xl pipeline  fuels  refineries  greenhouse gas emissions  ozone regulations  renewable fuel standard  cera 

Jack Gerard

Jack Gerard
Posted April 22, 2015

Today, the United States leads in petroleum products, refining and natural gas production, and we’re on track to lead in the production of crude oil; facts reinforced by last week’s EIA Annual Energy Outlook.

The report confirmed that our nation is more energy secure than ever before.  And it said in part that domestic production of natural gas is projected to grow through 2040 eventually reaching 35.45 tcf; and domestic oil production is projected to exceed 10 mbd in a few years and remain at that level through 2030.  Keeping pace with our nation’s increased development of our energy resources are the 139 operating refineries that produce more fuel than ever before and support roughly 540,000 good paying jobs and 1.9 percent of our nation’s economy.  

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Energy Production Growth, Policy Challenges

crude oil production  offshore leasing plan  atlantic ocs  keystone xl pipeline  ethanol  fracking  shale plays 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 17, 2015

BloombergBusiness: The U.S. pumped crude last month at the fastest pace since February 1973, sending March inventories to the highest level in 85 years.

Crude output climbed 13 percent from a year earlier to 9.32 million barrels a day in March, the American Petroleum Institute said in a monthly report Thursday. Production of natural gas liquids, a byproduct of gas drilling, climbed 9.1 percent to 3.05 million, a record for March. The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked supplies from shale formations in the central U.S.

“Production of both crude oil and natural gas liquids last month remained at the highest levels in decades even as rig counts reached a five-year low,” John Felmy, chief economist at the API in Washington, said in an e-mailed statement.

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Energy Growth, Global Impacts

oil and natural gas development  imports  energy markets  hydraulic fracturing  keystone xl pipeline 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 15, 2015

Wall Street Journal (subscription publication): The U.S. could soon export more energy than it imports, significantly changing the country’s appetite for foreign fuels starting as early as 2020, according to a new report from the Energy Information Administration.

Despite energy prices that are sharply lower today than they were a year ago, the federal government’s new outlook forecasts that U.S. oil and natural gas production will continue to rise over the next five years.

As American drillers keep pumping, the U.S. will meet more of its own energy needs. The trend will also boost the amount of natural gas, refined fuels such as diesel and ultralight oil the U.S. has available to ship overseas, reversing the country’s energy importing trend that has been in place since the 1950s.

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The Global Potential of U.S. Energy

oil and natural gas production  energy exports  keystone xl pipeline  government revenues  hydraulic fracturing  water supplies 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 7, 2015

BloombergView: It's a pernicious bit of American mythology that is used to justify the law against domestic oil producers selling their crude overseas: The U.S. needs "energy independence." Never mind that the law actually undermines this goal, or that the goal itself is practically impossible to achieve. It's the wrong goal. What the U.S. should be striving for is not independence, but energy security.

The story behind the myth goes something like this: If the U.S. doesn't hoard all its oil, then it can't hope to attain energy independence. And until it does that, it has to keep buying oil from politically unstable or unfriendly regimes. Therefore U.S. consumers must tolerate volatile prices for gasoline and heating oil.

The tale is false, but it brushes against one truth: When instability in other countries affects the price of oil, the U.S. economy can suffer. Just last month, the price jumped almost 5 percent when Saudi bombs began to fall on rebel targets in Yemen. Such unpredictable spikes make it difficult for many U.S. businesses to plan ahead, and this means less investment and less hiring.

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Hydraulic Fracturing Debate Focuses on Benefits, Regulation

hydraulic fracturing  fracking  Economy  jobs  lng exports  north dakota  texas  keystone xl pipeline 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 24, 2015

The Obama Administration released new federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing last Friday that could add to the cost of shale development, and add costs to the poorest Americans the most. ‘Fracking’ is already heavily regulated bythe states and new federal rules could hurt the booming shale industry in places like Wyoming – a state with the largest amount of development on federal lands. These reasons – and more – underscore the question – Do we really need new federal regulations? (Shorter: No.)

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