Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted July 4, 2013
Petroleum products are everywhere – from the time your iPhone alarm rings in the morning to the time you turn off the lights at night, oil and natural gas impacts almost every aspect of life. And it’s not just electronics – from toothpaste to medicines, to clothing to the roof over your head, when you stop to think about it, the oil and natural gas industry is an integral part of the American way of life.
Oil and natural gas contribute to our health and well-being through a myriad of medicines, medical supplies and health and safety products. Aspirin is synthesized from petroleum byproducts, and advanced medical devices such as heart valves and artificial limbs are made of plastic. Kevlar®, a lightweight fiber that’s five times stronger than steel helps keep our armed forces safe and our police forces protected – and it all began with oil and natural gas.
Posted July 3, 2013
Now that a federal court has stopped implementation of a new rule that would’ve required U.S. oil and natural gas companies to publicly release commercially sensitive information about foreign and domestic projects, discussion should turn to transparency tools that won’t hurt U.S. companies’ global competitiveness and potentially cause job losses.
The decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia halts implementation of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s controversial Section 1504 within the Dodd-Frank Act. Under the provision, publicly traded U.S. energy companies would have to reveal extensive data about how much they pay in licenses, taxes, royalties and other fees to foreign governments – essentially giving foreign competitors that aren’t subject to SEC rules a big advantage in the bidding process for energy contracts. The court ruling should clear the way for effective transparency that doesn’t put U.S. companies behind the 8-ball. Harry Ng, API vice president and general counsel:
Posted June 28, 2013
Raise your hand if you’ve played “Whack-A-Mole,” the old staple of arcades and carnivals, where the object is bopping the heads of mechanical varmints with a padded mallet as they rapidly and randomly pop up through multiple holes in the game table.
The concept pretty well captures tactics Keystone XL pipeline and Canadian oil sands opponents have used to help delay the Keystone XL, a shovel-ready project that would create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, help grow our economy and make the U.S. more energy secure.
Posted June 25, 2013
Wall Street Journal - Texas' Next Big Oil Rush
Refineries in Texas are seeing a much-needed boost as pipelines begin to carry landlocked crude oil from U.S. shale plays to the Gulf Coast. This increase in domestic crude oil is due to increased hydraulic fracturing and shale development across the country. (Subscription publication)
USA Today – Report: Oil Sands No More Corrosive Than Average Crude
A new report from the National Research Council found “no evidence … that Alberta’s pipeline contents are more corrosive than average crude oil.”
Posted June 21, 2013
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, explaining in a Washington Post op-ed why a self-identified “pro-pipeline senator” opposes the Keystone XL pipeline:
As a former mayor of Richmond, a city with a gas utility, I think it makes no sense to be anti-pipeline. But I oppose the Keystone XL project. Although the president’s decision is technically over whether to allow a pipeline to deliver oil from Alberta to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the real issue isn’t the pipeline. It’s the wisdom of using tar sands oil. … By most accounts, oil from tar sands is 15 to 20 percent dirtier than conventional petroleum, and the process of extracting and refining it is more difficult and resource-intensive. With so many cleaner alternatives, there is no reason to embrace the use of a dirtier fuel source. Approving the pipeline would send a clear signal to the markets to expand the development of tar sands oil. Such an expansion would hurt our nation’s work to reduce carbon emissions. We have to make energy cleaner tomorrow than it is today. That’s why the president should block Keystone. … Tar sands oil is the opposite of an innovative, make-it-cleaner approach. It represents a major backslide.
Sen. Kaine is right on a number of energy issues – supporting more offshore drilling for oil and natural gas as well as more natural gas development from hydraulic fracturing – but on the Keystone XL he’s just wrong. Let’s take a closer look.
Posted June 20, 2013
One hundred forty-five of the president’s 2012 campaign staffers have written a letter to their former boss urging him to reject the Keystone XL pipeline:
“We trust you to make the right decision after you weigh all arguments, but one thing you taught us as organizers is that nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change. … You can help cement your legacy as a climate champion by rejecting this pipeline. You already know all the reasons we can’t afford this pipeline – that it will lock in gigatons of carbon pollution over the next four decades and that it could spill into our nation’s most valuable water sources – we’re just asking you to think of us as you make up your mind.”
Posted June 20, 2013
Fuel Fix Blog – IEA: U.S. Natural Gas Output to Accelerate Next Year
A new estimate from the International Energy Agency says that 2014-2018 domestic natural gas production will increase thanks to expanded hydraulic fracturing. U.S. shale production increased six-fold to 265 billion cubic meters last year from 45 billion in 2007.
CNBC’s top states for business ranking reflects a reordering because of a U.S. energy surge that “has literally transformed the financial landscape of the central corridor; creating jobs and rising incomes." According to CNBC, this points to the importance of policies that encourage more energy development. "The reality is, California could reap the same shale-oil and shale-gas bounties now benefiting North Dakota. Politicians simply choose not to."
Posted June 14, 2013
Fuel Fix Blog – Report: Renewables, Natural Gas Should Work Together On the Grid
According to a new report by the Texas Clean Energy Coalition, natural gas and renewables “have a strong complimentary relationship” that is beneficial for providing the energy Americans need every day.
Today in Energy – U.S. Crude Oil Production Could Reach 10M Barrels Per Day By 2040
EIA projects that thanks in large part to increased tight oil production – shale development – domestic production could continue to expand to 10 million barrels per day or higher by 2040.
Posted June 14, 2013
The energy stimulus from shale development last year in Pennsylvania is big – big as in approaching a number with nine zeroes:
- $202.4 million collected in state impact fees from energy producers.
- $731 million in rents and royalties paid to land and mineral rights owners.
That’s nearly $1 billion from the oil and natural gas industry in terms of tax revenues for government to allocate (more below) and payments to individuals.
Pennsylvania officials announced this week $202,472,000 was collected in producer-paid impact fees in 2012. About $204 million was collected for 2011, bringing the two-year total to more than $406.6 million, state officials said. Public Utility Commission Chairman Robert F. Powelson:
“The PUC is entrusted by the Governor and the legislature with the collection and distribution of the Impact Fee monies. Again, we have met all of the deadlines in the legislation, which contains a complex and specific formula for getting this money into the hands of local communities.”
Posted May 23, 2013
Gasoline prices have been rising with the approach of the summer driving season – up to about $3.66, according to AAA – pushed there by rising crude oil prices. U.S. consumers need help. And they could get it – if the administration pursued a number of energy policies to put downward pressure on global crude costs, while abandoning other choices that could harm consumers.
API Chief Economist John Felmy’s reporter briefing Thursday focused attention on two paths: one that will increase domestic production of oil and natural gas and one that won’t. Unfortunately, the administration – via proposals to increase energy taxes and a new wave of questionable regulation – looks headed down the wrong path, a recipe for disaster for American energy: