Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted February 16, 2017
There’s a lot of good news to be found in EPA’s draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2015, which came out this week – all of it underscoring progress, much of it led by industry, in reducing emissions – even as American consumers and the U.S. economy are supplied the energy they need.
Posted February 3, 2017
Last week we encouraged Congress to use the Congressional Review Act to repeal the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) technically flawed and redundant venting and flaring rule. It appears lawmakers are poised to do just that – concerned that the rule could discourage future energy investment on Indian and federal lands, where production trails output on state and private land, and that it risks negatively impacting supplies of affordable energy to American consumers and businesses. Good reasons all to axe BLM’s rule. Likewise, repeal would be responsive to the specific concerns of voices in the West, where vast acreages are under federal control.
Posted December 7, 2016
America’s energy renaissance is producing record volumes of natural gas, helping supply our country’s energy needs and strengthening our security while also advancing climate goals, including reducing carbon dioxide emissions and key pollutants. Thanks to cleaner-burning natural gas, you can make a strong “green” case for hydraulic fracturing, as some are doing.
Posted October 7, 2016
Posted September 16, 2016
Posted August 31, 2016
In recent months we’ve posted a number of times on the “U.S. Model” of domestic energy and economic growth – coupled with greenhouse gas reductions (see here, here and here). Let that sink in: The United States is simultaneously the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas and the world leader in reducing emissions. Energy growth and climate progress together. That’s the U.S. Model. It’s important to grasp the impacts of the U.S. model – and also how it came about.
Posted May 12, 2016
We’ll say it again: Methane emissions are falling. And they’ll continue doing so because industry wants to capture as much of the primary component of natural gas as possible, for delivery to consumers.
So that’s the context for EPA’s regulatory initiative. Basically, the agency looked at the energy landscape – one of surging production but also declining emissions – and determined the next step should be more regulation. The resulting new rules could hinder America’s shale energy revolution, one that has helped lower U.S. energy-related carbon emissions 12 percent below 2005 levels, allowing the United States to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions.
Posted April 19, 2016
Some important context before a discussion of a flawed emissions report from EPA, which follows below.
The United States is the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas – largely thanks to safe and responsible hydraulic fracturing and advanced horizontal drilling. Natural gas production reached a record high level of 79 billion cubic feet per day in 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (chart), while total U.S. energy output increased for the sixth consecutive year.
The increased natural gas production and use is critically important, as it is the key factor in reduced carbon emissions during a period of U.S. economic expansion – a break with historic precedent noted by the New York Times. Indeed, the United States is leading the world in carbon emissions reductions, largely thanks to its energy revolution.
Posted April 5, 2016
Last week EPA launched a new program it hopes will encourage U.S. oil and natural gas companies to voluntarily focus on reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations. EPA:
The Methane Challenge Program will provide partner companies with a platform to make company-wide commitments to cut emissions from sources within their operations by implementing a suite of best management practices within five years. Transparency is a fundamental part of the program, and partner achievements will be tracked by submitting annual data directly to EPA.
Two points: First, our industry is already on it, deploying technologies, innovation and yes, best management practices, effectively capturing methane from energy operations. And it’s succeeding. EPA data shows that since 2005 methane emissions from field production of natural gas have dropped 38 percent, and emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells have dropped 79 percent – at a time of surging natural gas production.
It’s happening because energy companies are working hard to collect methane, the main component of natural gas, for the market. Indeed, the abundance of domestic natural gas is helping lower consumer energy costs for U.S. consumers – including those in the Northeast, which historically has paid more for electricity than other parts of the country – and increasing average annual household disposable income by $1,200.
Posted March 30, 2016
Methane emissions have dropped significantly. Since 2005, emissions from field production of natural gas have dropped 38 percent, and emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells have plunged 79 percent.
These facts bear repeating in light of the Obama administration’s announcement that it is pursuing yet another set of methane regulations. Not only are the additional regulations duplicative and unnecessary, given industry’s success in reducing emissions under current regulations, but the new rules could actually undermine progress.