Skip to main content

Energy Tomorrow Blog

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.

More »

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.

More »

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.

More »

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.)

More »

America’s Energy is About Right Choices

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  ethanol  regulation  ozone  taxes  keystone xl pipeline  alaska 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 12, 2015

Oil and natural gas industry groups joined by environmentalists and anti-hunger groups have joined forces to outline concerns with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and to ask Congress to repeal or significantly reform the program with its ethanol mandates. 

Additional coverage includes biofuels producers wanting accountability and reform on the RFS' ethanol requirements, and the push for eliminating the RFS once and for all.

More »

Keystone XL, Venezuela and The National Interest

keystone xl pipeline  crude oil  canadian oil sands  state department  president obama  refineries 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 10, 2015

A postscript to our post explaining that the crude oil the Keystone XL pipeline would deliver is comparable to other heavy crudes already being refined in the U.S.: Oil sands crude would replace other heavy oils – most significantly, crude currently imported from Venezuela.

The point is made in the U.S. State Department’s most recent (of five) environmental reviews of Keystone XL:

Gulf Coast refiners’ traditional sources of heavy crudes, particularly Mexico and Venezuela, are declining and are expected to continue to decline. This results in an outlook where the refiners have significant incentive to obtain heavy crude from the oil sands. Both the EIA’s 2013 AEO (Annual Energy Outlook) and the Hart Heavy Oil Outlook (Hart 2012b) indicate that this demand for heavy crude in the Gulf Coast refineries is likely to persist throughout their outlook periods (2040 and 2035 respectively).

More »

Ethanol, Exports and Effective Energy Policies

ethanol  exports  energy policy  rfs34  jobs  fracking  keystone xl pipeline 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 10, 2015

The New York Times op-ed (Robert Bryce): With the collapse in global oil prices, members of Congress are once again pushing to raise the federal gasoline tax, with the proceeds going to new roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects. While some in Congress might be averse to a tax increase of any kind, they might find it more palatable if it came packaged with a tax cut. Fortunately, there is a perfect option, a hidden levy that has benefited a small group of farmers and manufacturers in a handful of states: the corn ethanol tax.

More »

Coming Clean: The President and ‘Dirty’ Keystone XL Oil

keystone xl pipeline  canadian oil sands  crude oil  greenhouse gas emissions  president obama 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 9, 2015

Apparently not content with the four Pinocchios he recently earned from the Washington Post for statements on the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama last week put in a bid for five with remarks aimed at the project’s environmental impact.

At an appearance in South Carolina, the president termed “extraordinarily dirty” the methods used to develop Canadian oil sands:

“The reason that a lot of environmentalists are concerned about it is the way that you get the oil out in Canada is an extraordinarily dirty way of extracting oil, and obviously there are always risks in piping a lot of oil through Nebraska farmland and other parts of the country.”

First, after more than six years of review by his administration, the president really should take the time to read the U.S. State Department’s environmental review of Keystone XL  – the latest of five that all have cleared the pipeline on environmental grounds. As well, energy consulting firm IHS found that Keystone XL and the oil sands it would deliver would have “no material impact” on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

More »

American Energy and Consumers

american energy  energy bills  energy costs  Economy  jobs  gulf  exports  keystone xl pipeline 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 3, 2015

NY Times: Sometimes, even the supposed experts can lose track of a billion dollars or two. Or, in this case, $100 billion. While few outside of Texas and North Dakota are complaining about this huge savings that consumers have enjoyed since energy prices began falling last summer, economists have been stumped recently trying to figure out exactly what consumers are doing with the windfall.

More »

For Honesty on Keystone XL, Energy Technology and Innovation

keystone xl pipeline  Economy  jobs  fracking  texas 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 2, 2015

The Washington Post (Glenn Kessler): President Obama, seeking to explain his veto of a bill that would have leapfrogged the approval process for the Keystone XL pipeline, in an interview with a North Dakota station repeated some false claims that hadpreviously earned him Pinocchios. Yet he managed to make his statement even more misleading than before, suggesting the pipeline would have no benefit for American producers at all. The Fact Checker obviously takes no position on the pipeline, and has repeatedly skewered both sides for overinflated rhetoric. Yet the president’s latest comments especially stand out. Let’s review the facts again.

More »