Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted October 9, 2015
We’re still more than a year from the next presidential election, but already we’re hearing attacks on energy company earnings, rhetoric calibrated for the sole purpose of riling up the party base. It’s bad political theater that misleads the American public to score political points, distracting from a substantive debate on the right energy path for the country. This has come up most recently in the debate over lifting the 1970s-era ban on U.S. crude oil exports -- which was advanced with bipartisan U.S. House passage of a bill ending the export ban.
Yesterday, we looked at problems with the White House’s opposition to lifting the ban. Goodness knows, export opponents on Capitol Hill have their own faulty reasons. We’ve covered most of these before, including consumer impacts, national security and the oil imports vs. exports muddle.
Some of the biggest confusion comes from those who find it convenient to flay the oil and natural gas industry. Certainly, running around and repeating “Big Oil” over and over again plays well with people who don’t like fossil fuels and/or progress in general. Unfortunately, in their rush to attack those who supply products that the American people actually want and demand – products that power our economy and modern way of life – it’s the American people who take the hit.
Posted October 8, 2015
These things are true:
- The U.S. gets the majority of its energy from oil and natural gas, and is projected to continue to do so for decades.
- Since 2005 U.S. production of natural gas is up 43 percent.
- Since 2008 U.S. production of crude oil is up 88 percent.
- U.S. air quality continues to improve, with concentrations of carbon monoxide down 60 percent, ozone down 18 percent, lead 87 percent, nitrogen dioxide 43 percent, particulate matter 35 percent and sulfur dioxide 62 percent since 2000.
- The federal U.S. budget deficit for FY2015 was $435 billion.
- The U.S. trade deficit rose in August as exports hit a three-year low.
- Since 2008 our working age population has grown by over 16 million, while employment is up 8.5 million, leaving the U.S. at odds with trends in other countries.
- U.S. poverty and wages are stagnant, and it is getting harder for people to move beyond a minimum-wage job.
- Americans' trust in the federal government's ability to handle domestic problems has reached a new low.
These things are true, and thus, when presented with bipartisan legislation to reduce consumer fuel costs and the trade deficit while increasing U.S. investment, domestic crude oil production, GDP and government revenues and creating good paying jobs – all via U.S. crude oil exports – the White House obviously had no choice but to … threaten to veto it.
Posted September 29, 2015
U.S. oil and natural gas companies continue to lead in investing in the domestic economy, with five companies among the Progressive Policy Institute’s top 25 in 2014 U.S. capital expenditures.
ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum and Hess lead an energy production/mining sector that invested $43.6 billion in 2014, closely following the $48.7 invested by telecom/cable.
That’s great news for the U.S. economy which, as the PPI report details, needs investment to expand. PPI calls the top 25 its “investment heroes” because “their capital spending is helping to raise productivity and wages across the economy.”
Posted September 25, 2015
The Washington Post reports that a coalition of environmental activists wants the Obama administration to stop new federal leasing for oil and natural gas development. Notwithstanding the broad energy, economic and security benefits produced by America’s energy revolution, the opportunity to secure America’s future and significant air quality progress, their position is simple: Keep it in the ground.
The position also is extreme, anti-progress and anti-modern – though hardly surprising. There’s a small but loud element that has little interest in safe and responsible energy development or in constant improvement of operational and environmental safety. Rather, it opposes development altogether. Their recent push is the latest sign of an agenda that would put America in retreat economically and in the world.
What’s surprising is that these activists actually concede that Americans want oil and natural gas. They acknowledge consumer demand for oil and gas – affordable, reliable and portable fuels that make life less harsh, healthier and more prosperous – but they want government to choke off that demand by cutting supply.
Posted August 28, 2015
When President Obama arrives in Alaska on Monday, he is expected to spend much of his time talking about climate. From a White House explainer on the president’s visit:
… President Obama will travel to Alaska and shine a spotlight on what Alaskans in particular have come to know: Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face, it is being driven by human activity, and it is disrupting Americans’ lives right now.
What the president should hear is that the people of Alaska, one of the most energy resource-rich states in the Union, embrace both energy development and climate and environmental goals. They’ve lived that embrace and depend on it. They’re wary of Washington disrupting the relationship. While the Obama administration has approved Shell’s exploratory drilling in the waters off the state’s northern coast, it also has moved to exclude energy development in other state areas.
Posted August 25, 2015
Earlier this year at the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) annual conference in Washington, ClearView Energy Partners’ Christine Tezak described the Obama administration’s energy policy as “give a little, take a little,” further characterizing it as “transitioning from scarcity to adequacy.”
It’s accurate. Handed a generational opportunity by America’s energy revolution to advance U.S. economic and security interests, the administration has responded by alternately embracing oil and natural gas development (in limited ways) and working to corral it. Given the chance to build a comprehensive, long-term energy strategy to carry the United States safely into mid-century, the administration has played “small ball” on the energy development side while unleashing a flood of unnecessary, self-limiting proposals largely untethered to scientific and economic analysis.
Posted August 17, 2015
Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Hawaii. We started the series with Virginia on June 29 and continued with Montana, Iowa, Alabama, Arizona and Nebraska last week. All information covered in this series can be found online here, arranged on an interactive map of the United States. State-specific information across the country will be populated on this map as the series continues.
As we can see with Hawaii, the energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.
Posted August 13, 2015
It’s expected that EPA will submit its recommendation for new ozone standards to the White House Office of Management and Budget next week, with the final rule due by Oct. 1.
The final outcome will be momentous. EPA could – and should – leave the existing standards in place at 75 parts per billion (ppb). That would be remarkable, given the long rulemaking process and the agency’s current inclination to regulate more, not less.
Conversely, reducing the standards to 65 ppb or possibly lower would make it the costliest regulation ever, with the potential to halt economic expansion and infrastructure development dead in their tracks. Stricter standards could result in a $270 billion reduction in GDP per year on average from 2017 through 2040 and an annual loss of 2.9 million job equivalents, according to a study by NERA Economic Consulting.
Posted July 27, 2015
Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with North Dakota. We started our focus on the state level with Virginia on June 29. All information covered in this series can be found online here, arranged on an interactive map of the United States. State-specific information across the country will be populated on this map as the series continues.
As we can see with North Dakota, the energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.
Posted July 24, 2015
Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Oregon. This week started with Maine and the series began with Virginia on June 29. All information covered in this series can be found online here, arranged on an interactive map of the United States. State-specific information across the country will be populated on this map as the series continues.
As we can see with Oregon, the energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.