Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted January 11, 2019
Before getting into a new report showing an uptick in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions last year, let’s make sure we keep an eye on the big picture as it concerns U.S. CO2. These points: U.S. CO2 emissions have fallen to their lowest level in a generation – even as global emissions have risen 50 percent since 1990. The leading reason for this favorable trendline is increased use of natural gas in power generation. Nine times this century the U.S. has reduced annual emissions more than any other nation, with clean natural gas playing a key role. As natural gas use in power generation increased, U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions decreased 8 percent between 2010 and 2017.
Now, into that context comes a preliminary estimate from the Rhodium Group that final 2018 data will show CO2 increased 3.4 percent last year. The estimate is consistent with a forecast in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. EIA said the emissions increase reflects 2018’s colder winter (heating) and warmer summer (electricity for cooling).
Significantly, both EIA and Rhodium expect declining CO2 emissions will resume this year.
Posted December 7, 2018
Bolstered by natural gas and innovation, the U.S. has proven that you can reduce emissions without sacrificing affordable energy. We have a road map to success, and we have forged a path for others to follow. As world leaders meet this week in search of a plan, we offer our experiences as a way for us all to build on this progress.
Posted December 5, 2018
The recent National Climate Assessment – projecting significant impacts to the country and the economy in the absence of more measures to address climate change – has garnered a good deal of attention, as well it should. The report raises a number of important questions for the national climate conversation, leading to a consensus path forward for the United States.While we don’t know all the ways our country may address climate in the years ahead, we must define meaningful progress as taking action and producing results – both of which our industry has been doing and will continue to do.
Posted November 20, 2018
Posted November 14, 2018
The good news is that EPA’s proposed amendments to the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) OOOOa rule will continue the rule’s ability to effectively reduce volatile organic compound and methane emissions from all emission sources addressed in the previous administration’s rule. Methane is the primary component of natural gas – a key product for industry. Producers are incentivized to bring that product to consumers, making its capture a top priority from a business standpoint, in addition to the environmental considerations. Unfortunately, the proposed rule includes several missed opportunities, and could ultimately stifle innovative new technologies in emissions detection and increase the cost of energy for Americans.
Posted October 23, 2018
Two stat lines capture the essence of modern natural gas and oil development:
First, the United States produced a record 11 million barrels of oil per day (mbd) in September, 2.2 mbd more than September 2017, according to API’s latest Monthly Statistical Report (MSR). It’s a remarkable output number, given where domestic production was less than two decades ago.
Second point: Just as remarkable is the fact the United States’ world leadership in natural gas and oil production is accompanied by world leadership in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Posted September 26, 2018
It’s Clean Energy Week, which API is proud to sponsor. Thus, a new commitment by an oil and natural gas industry group – the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) – to reduce methane emissions is well-timed indeed. Three big points from OGCI’s announcement and Clean Energy Week: 1) Clean natural gas is integral to climate progress; 2) Industry is leading in reducing greenhouse gas emissions; 3) Climate action isn't exclusive to government regulation or special-interest agendas.
Posted September 13, 2018
Let’s push back against a narrative springing up around EPA’s proposed improvements to the 2016 standards on emissions from new natural gas and oil production sources – which the agency says will streamline implementation, reduce duplication with state requirements and decrease unnecessary burdens on domestic energy producers.
First, while API reviews EPA’s proposal, it’s important to note that it appears the rule will continue to protect public health and reduce emissions through standards that are smarter, science-based and that promote greater cost-effectiveness – while industry keeps on delivering the energy Americans use every day.
The narrative is based on a mythology that natural gas and oil companies don’t care about emissions and won’t develop new technologies and innovations to capture more and more emissions unless Washington makes them do it. False and false.
Posted September 11, 2018
To mark National Drive Electric Week, as well as discussions of electric vehicles (EVs) likely at this week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, let’s underscore some important perspective on EVs contained in this recent piece by Axios.
Amy Harder’s column compares the carbon dioxide emissions saved by each Tesla EV to the CO2 savings of other sources of energy, including natural gas. Noting Tesla’s July announcement that it had passed the 200,000 mark for vehicles sold in the U.S., Harder – assisted by think tank Third Way – wrote that a nuclear reactor replacing coal equals the CO2 savings of 541,353 Teslas. Natural gas replacing one coal plant equals the CO2 savings of 98,940 Teslas, and so on.
Harder’s piece isn’t a knock against Tesla, just one EV manufacturer, or EVs in general. Rather, it suggests that a national discussion of EVs should be fact-based, and that we might need to tap the brakes a bit on EV technology’s emissions impacts.
Posted August 21, 2018
With EPA unveiling its proposed new rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, there’s already lots of discussion of whether the proposal is an improvement over the rule it would replace – whether a regime may focus on the utility sector as a system or needs to focus on individual sources.
Be that as it may, we’ll go back to the main point we made amid discussion of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which EPA’s new proposal would replace:
Thanks to clean natural gas and its selection by the market as the leading fuel for electricity generation, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector have plunged – without the CPP’s implementation. According to EPA's fact sheet, CO2 emissions from the power sector decreased 28 percent from 2005 through 2017.