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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Natural Gas and Market-Driven Emissions Progress

natural gas benefits  co2 emissions  emission reductions  us energy security  economic benefits  renewable energy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 4, 2016

Just recently saw this article on National Geographic.com, suggesting the United States made a significant shift in its energy economy in 2015:

Consider what happened last year alone. The amount of electricity from coal-fired power plants hit a record low while that from natural gas generators hit a record high. Also, renewable energy added the most new power to the electric grid, and annual carbon emissions reached a 20-year low.

First, a reminder that new power capacity added to the grid doesn’t translate directly to new power. Below, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows that in terms of electricity generation change (from 2014 to 2015) at utility-scale facilities and including distributed solar, natural gas led in net generation:  

That’s not knocking renewables, just an illustration of today’s energy reality and a reminder of the oft-overlooked energy, economic and climate benefits accruing to the United States from increasing natural gas use.

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America's Progress in Reducing Emissions

co2 emissions  natural gas  us energy  epa 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 12, 2016

What if we had a market-based approach for reducing carbon dioxide emissions – gifted to the United States because of its unique combination of abundant energy resources, technological advances and know-how – that not only would yield CO2 reductions at world-leading levels but also would strengthen our economy and security? And all at potentially less cost than the mandates under the CPP?

OK, it wasn’t an altogether serious question, because that approach and the progress it has generated actually exist. Progress on emissions and energy has come from America’s ongoing energy revolution, a renaissance fueled by vast shale reserves and driven by safe hydraulic fracturing and advanced horizontal drilling.

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Natural Gas – An Electric Win

natural gas  electricity  affordable energy  carbon emissions  economic benefits 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 29, 2016

Politicians like to have visions – often broad aspirational statements that are mostly detached from any number of realities. We’re not opposed to visions per se, yet it’s good to remember a maxim that’s popular in the military: A vision without resources is a hallucination. So here’s our vision, outlined by API President and CEO Jack Gerard earlier this month:

“Energy is fundamental to our society … In this New Year let us all resolve to work together toward a shared vision of a world where everyone – without regard to zip code, state, nation, continent or hemisphere – has access to reliable, safe and affordable energy.”

This is no aspiration detached from reality. We know how to get the needed resources to actualize this vision – a market-driven, consumer-focused approach to energy policy that boosts our nation’s economy, helps the environment and benefits energy users here and around the world. 

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A Look at Our Energy Tomorrow

exxonmobil  energy  natural gas  renewable fuel  hydraulic fracturing  emissions  climate change 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 25, 2016

A couple of the big-picture projections in ExxonMobil’s annual global energy outlook: The world’s energy needs will grow 25 percent between now until 2040, with oil, natural gas and coal continuing to meet 80 percent of that demand.

Now, read what the energy company says about the future of natural gas:

The biggest expected growth will be in natural gas, which provides a practical energy solution for many applications while also providing a significant cost advantage versus other options to help reduce climate change risks.

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Squandering Public Resources, Squandering Our Energy Opportunity

oil and natural gas production  us energy security  federal leases  president obama  economic growth  emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 15, 2016

Federal officials followed President Obama’s State of the Union pledge to change Washington’s management of fossil fuel resources by announcing the government will stop issuing new coal leases on federal lands. The president’s keep-it-in-the-ground energy strategy, first voiced when he rejected the Keystone XL pipeline last fall, continues unfolding.

Unfortunately, the president doesn’t seem aware that his administration could blow a generational opportunity for America, one that’s being provided by the ongoing revolution in domestic oil and natural gas production. That he doesn’t see it helps explain the disconnect in his connecting of these thoughts during the State of the Union:

“… we’ve cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly 60 percent, and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth. Gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad, either. Now we’ve got to accelerate the transition away from old, dirtier energy sources.”

Respectfully, Mr. President, falling oil imports, reduced U.S. carbon emissions and $2 gasoline are reasons to sustain and grow America’s energy revolution – not reasons to kneecap it.

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EPA Should Recognize Market-Driven Climate Progress

natural gas  epa  regulation  co2 emissions  methane emissions  climate 

Jack Gerard

Jack Gerard
Posted January 13, 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pledges to start 2016 “hitting the ground running” to build on a “monumental” 2015. In a blog post last week, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signaled her agency will continue its focus on methane and carbon regulations.

Absent from EPA’s plans was any acknowledgement that methane and carbon emissions are already down. Recognizing progress we’ve already made – and the market factors contributing to that success – is critical to avoiding costly, duplicative regulations that could undermine that progress, as well as economic growth.

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On Climate, Paris Talk and U.S. Action

climate  emissions  ghg emission reduction  natural gas benefits  methane 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 14, 2015

The New York Times reports that weekend exultation over the new global climate agreement was quickly replaced by the realization that talking about emissions goals in Paris could be dwarfed by what it takes to produce actual results:

Before the applause had even settled … world leaders warned that momentum from the historic accord must not be allowed to dissipate. “Today, we celebrate,” said Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Union’s energy commissioner and top climate negotiator. “Tomorrow, we have to act.” With nearly every nation on Earth having now pledged to gradually reduce emissions of the heat-trapping gases … much of the burden for maintaining the momentum shifts back to the countries to figure out, and carry out, the concrete steps needed to deliver on their vows.

 Actually, the figuring out part has been done and real emissions reductions have been realized in the United States – without the heavy hand of government, without one-size-fits-all frameworks, without economy-hamstringing interventions.

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America’s Climate and Energy Success Story

oil and natural gas development  energy growth  climate  greenhouse gas emissions  co2  methane  electricity 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 1, 2015

This week’s climate summit in Paris will be filled with talk of ways to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s an important discussion for sure, but it’s one that should focus on achievable, real-world initiatives. A couple of starting points for an action agenda:  

The first is an acknowledgement – that the availability of safe, reliable energy is fundamental to lifting people – and entire nations – from poverty.  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called energy the “the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability.” With the International Energy Agency telling us that more than a billion people around the world don’t have electricity, it would be a mistake for the Paris summit to do anything that impedes or blocks access to energy. The world needs more energy, not less.

The second point a realization by the summiteers that private markets, not command-and-control government interventions, offer the best avenue to advance climate objectives while growing energy supplies – progress without hamstringing economies and hindering individual opportunity.

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Consumers Need More Protection From RFS

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  epa  blend wall  consumers  e15  e85  ghg emissions  climate 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 30, 2015

In finalizing ethanol volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the EPA is basically testing the limits of the ethanol “blend wall” and the potential impacts of breaching it. Unfortunately, the guinea pigs in the experiment are U.S. consumers – their wallets, their vehicles.

That’s what we draw from EPA’s requirements for levels of corn ethanol and other renewable fuels that must be blended into the U.S. fuel supply. EPA officially set requirements for 2014 (two years late), 2015 (a year late) and 2016. Requirements for 2016 are the most significant – 18.11 billion gallons, which is lower than what Congress originally required when it created the RFS, but higher than what EPA proposed in May (17.4 billion gallons).

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A High-Energy Thanksgiving

affordable energy  american energy security  co2 emissions  consumer products  oil and natural gas production  economic benefits  gasoline prices  energy exports 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving is about taking a moment to give thanks for our good fortune. A festival of gratitude with food, family and friends – maybe with a little football thrown in.  So here's a list of some of the things that we’re thankful for this holiday season, from A to Z.

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