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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Election’s Dynamics Point to Policies That Sustain U.S. Energy Leadership

election  president  policy  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 3, 2020

Post-election analysis says that the U.S. electorate is mostly moderate and expects moderate, sensible policy positions – an important point as Team Biden assembles and a new Congress prepares to convene. 

There’s this from veteran Democratic pollster Mark Penn in the Wall Street Journal: The nation is largely moderate, practical and driven by common sense over ideology. … The message from the voters is that we are not divided into two extreme camps. Rather, they are more centrist in nature and outlook, and that a president who governs too far to the right or left is likely to be left behind in the next election.

And Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis: If Biden wants to keep his winning streak alive, he will keep running the same winning play that got him this far: He will run right down the middle.

On energy, right down the middle, practical and common sense is best for the country’s energy security, economy and environmental protection. This acknowledges the primary role the U.S. energy revolution – made possible by safe, modern hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies – has played in fundamentally changing the trajectory for U.S. security, global energy leadership, economic growth and emissions reduction.

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Federal Leasing Ban Would Add to Wyoming's Pain

wyoming  federal leases  economic losses  jobs 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 17, 2020

If President-elect Joe Biden follows makes good on his campaign promise to ban new natural gas and oil leasing on federal lands and waters, a recent OnLocation analysis sees the U.S. weakened on the world stage – forced to import more foreign oil – with crippling jobs and economic impacts as well.

Losses at the state level would touch Americans where they live. We’ve looked at New Mexico and Louisiana.

In Wyoming, another producing state, the impacts would be especially devastating. The federal government controls nearly half of the acreage in Wyoming, and the state’s energy economy has been rocked by pandemic-related forces, losing about 20% of its energy-related jobs through the second quarter, according to this NBC News report. Banning new federal leasing and development would have dire effects, OnLocation’s analysis projected.

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Energy Policy in the New Administration

federal leases  offshore development  regulation  infrastructure  president 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 13, 2020

Some initial thoughts on energy policy as we look ahead to a new administration and Congress.

First, as API President and CEO Mike Sommers said over the weekend, natural gas and oil will continue to play an important role in the United States’ continued economic recovery – recognizing that, as the leading energy sources for the U.S. economy, the two are essential for growth. ...

Our country needs Washington focused on economic recovery and forward-thinking about energy and climate change, factoring in how much energy will be needed when the U.S. and global economies ramp up (see API Chief Economist Dean Foreman’s post, here), while building on reductions in emissions to date and fostering innovation that will enable a safe, secure and cleaner future. To that point, our industry supports continued development and wider deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage as a tool to further reduce emissions, which the president-elect also supports.

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Build Back Better ... Now

keystone xl  pipelines  jobs  canada 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 6, 2020

Building new pipelines means jobs. Good jobs. That’s the takeaway from a recent announcement that $1.6 billion in contracts have been awarded to six U.S. union contractors to build 800 miles of the Keystone XL pipeline in three states.

TC Energy, the pipeline’s builder, said the awards represent more than 7,000 union jobs in 2021, with additional 2021 contracts to be announced that will push the jobs number north of 8,000. ...  This is good work for American workers who value employment associated with the natural gas and oil industry.

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France’s Faux Pas on Importing U.S. LNG

lng exports  emission reductions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 30, 2020

Natural gas has been the key to lowering U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, through coal-to-natural gas fuel switching in the power sector – no other nation has reduced them more since 2000. Coupled with the progress of U.S. operators in reducing production-related emissions, it’s unfortunate that the French government recently decided to delay a potential $7 billion deal for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG), citing emissions.

The deal between French trading firm Engie and U.S. provider NextDecade for West Texas natural gas (converted to LNG in Brownsville) still might be signed, and let’s hope that happens.

Natural gas has been the critical difference-maker in cutting CO2 emissions in the U.S., lowering them to their lowest levels in a generation. It’s happening globally as well ...

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Singling Out Natural Gas and Oil for Higher Taxes is Bad Policy

taxes  investment  economic growth  subsidies 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 27, 2020

Three points about Vice President Joe Biden’s pledge, if elected, to deny the natural gas and oil industry the use of growth and investment provisions in the tax code that are available to virtually the entire U.S. manufacturing sector – basically, singling out our industry for higher taxes.

1. Our industry is strongly invested in the U.S. economy, its infrastructure and workforce through spending today and in the future.

2. The ability through tax deductions to recover costs associated with job creation and other operational investments is critically important to seed energy development in the future, to create new jobs and help drive economic growth.

3. The U.S. natural gas and oil industry pays its fair share in taxes – and then some – while delivering safe, affordable and reliable energy that Americans count on every day.

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U.S. Has Come Too Far For a Retreat on Natural Gas and Oil

fracking  federal leases  us energy security  economic growth 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 26, 2020

Vice President Joe Biden’s statements on fracking and energy during the final presidential debate raise questions about the former vice president’s overall understanding of issues that are so critical to the U.S. economy, security and the environment.

We’ve previously noted Biden’s various comments on fracking – he has said he would ban the technology that made the U.S. the world No. 1 in natural gas and oil production (see here and here), before vowing he wouldn’t ban it. He repeated the no-ban pledge in Nashville (after asserting he never said he opposed fracking).  

More problematic is another promise Biden repeated during the final presidential debate – that he’ll ban new federal natural gas and oil leasing, effectively halting new production on federal lands and waters. 

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Fracking Questions Continue to Follow Biden

president  fracking  leasing 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 20, 2020

Vice President Joe Biden’s “No Malarkey Express” keeps hitting a speed bump called fracking.

During his townhall event in Philadelphia last week, Biden repeated that if elected president he wouldn’t ban fracking. It’s not hard to see the importance of fracking in energy-rich Pennsylvania – where lots of eyebrows probably were raised by Biden’s past statements and those of running mate Sen. Kamala Harris that fracking would be halted by a Biden administration (see herehere and here).

So, they’re opposed to banning fracking, which is used to develop about 95% of new wells in this country and key to the U.S. becoming the world’s leading producer of natural gas and oil.

But that’s not the same thing as supporting fracking or U.S. natural gas and oil – made clear by Biden’s proposal to effectively ban new natural gas and oil development on federal lands and waters (see his websiteand the Democratic Party Platform).

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Natural Gas is Integral in Path to Sustainable Future

natural gas  iea  emission reductions  technology  carbon capture 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 19, 2020

There’s an interesting subplot the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) recent report on the technology push that’s needed to reach sustainability targets: the empowering, essential role of natural gas.

It bears repeating: Abundant, affordable natural gas is critical to the growth of renewable energy, supplying reliable fuel for power generation when intermittent sources aren’t available. Natural gas and petroleum are used in the manufacturing of renewable technologies and in the development of potential game-changers such as hydrogen.

Even if the United States alone were to meet the aggressive sustainability goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, natural gas and oil would still make up 46% of the energy mix in 2040.  Indeed, IEA expects natural gas demand to rebound by almost 3% in the next year, and oil demand should similarly recover within coming years. In another report, IEA indicates that those who herald oil’s demise are doing so prematurely.

Meanwhile, natural gas provides reliable and affordable energy that we will depend on for the foreseeable future. In fact, natural gas will be essential in helping the world reach its sustainability goals.

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Banning Energy Development Would Devastate Louisiana

lousiana  economic growth  federal leases  offshore development 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 16, 2020

We’ve discussed the significant national impacts of policies touted by some (see here and here) that would effectively stop new natural gas and oil leasing and development on federal lands and waters, potentially weakening U.S. security, killing jobs, raising household energy costs and more.

The national numbers could be big and alarming. Still, most Americans probably can relate more easily to potential impacts where they live, work and raise their families. This post zeroes in on New Mexico. Another state where the potential is large for job losses, reduced economic activity and decreased revenues – for education and other state and local priorities – is Louisiana.

A new ICF analysis shows much is at stake in banning new federal leasing and development for Louisiana, which ranked third in the nation in 2019 natural gas production and ninth in oil production as of June 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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