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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Keep Arctic in U.S. Offshore Leasing Plan

arctic  alaska  offshore energy  safe operations 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 30, 2016

Thanks to America’s shale energy revolution, the United States is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas. The revolution has generated economic lift, increased American security in the world and benefited U.S. trade. Surging natural gas production and use is the main reason the U.S. leads the world in reducing carbon emissions.

These are all great developments for U.S. energy and for our country in general. And Americans recognize it, 73 percent of registered voters in a recent Harris Poll saying they support a national energy policy that ensures safe and responsible development of a secure supply of abundant, affordable and available energy. To get there you must have arobust, forward-looking U.S. offshore oil and natural gas leasing program. Access to domestic energy reserves is fundamental to domestic energy production.  

Unfortunately, the next five-year leasing program now being written by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) falls short in the vigor and vision departments.

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Safe Fracking and Our Energy Future

natural gas  hydraulic fracturing  fracking  safe operations  climate 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 14, 2016

Advanced hydraulic fracturing – the foundation of America’s historic, game-changing energy revolution – is under attack. On the presidential campaign trail, in conversations in Washington and other places, fracking faces ideologically motivated challenges from those who ignore its science and misrepresent its safety record.

It’s critically important that we have an honest conversation about hydraulic fracturing because it is responsible for at least 2 million wells and up to 95 percent of new wells being drilled – accounting for more than 43 percent of oil and 67 percent of natural gas production. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that fracking, which now accounts for about half of U.S. dry natural gas production (14 trillion cubic feet or Tcf), will account for 69 percent of production in 2040 (29 Tcf).

This is significant because increased use of clean-burning natural gas is the primary reason the United States is leading the world in reducing energy-associated carbon emissions. Without fracking and the natural gas produced by it, the United States would be with the other nations of the world who’re in search of climate solutions.

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America Needs Forward-Looking Offshore Energy Plan

offshore development  oil and natural gas  safe operations  alaska  arctic  boem 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 20, 2016

Near year’s end the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is scheduled to release its offshore oil and natural gas leasing program for 2017-2022.

For more than a year BOEM has methodically worked to craft a program that will blueprint offshore development into the next decade and beyond, developing drafts, receiving comments from the public as well as inputs from elected officials in affected states.

With the United States emerging as the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas, planning America’s offshore oil and gas development has never been more important. The United States must have an offshore oil and natural gas program that reflects America’s energy superpower status.

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The Right Policies for Offshore Energy Progress

access  offshore development  oil and natural gas production  safe operations  vote4energy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 14, 2016

Take a look at details of API’s energy policy recommendations to the two political parties from this week’s Vote4Energy event. They include access to oil and natural gas resources and an approach to oversight that fosters the goal of safe and responsible energy development.

Access is critically important, especially when you’re talking about developing offshore oil and natural gas reserves. Today, 87 percent of offshore acreage under federal control remains off limits to energy development. 

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Hydraulic Fracturing Drives U.S. Energy Revolution

hydraulic fracturing  fracking  oil and natural gas production  safe operations  regulation 

Jack Gerard

Jack Gerard
Posted February 17, 2016

America’s status as the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas is delivering major benefits to U.S. families and businesses. Production increases have ensured a stable supply of affordable, reliable energy, helping drive down prices for gasoline, electricity and home heating. Carbon emissions have also dropped – to near 20-year lows – thanks to abundant supplies of clean-burning natural gas.

It’s all possible due to hydraulic fracturing and advances in horizontal drilling. According to the Energy Department, at least 2 million oil and natural gas wells have been hydraulically fractured in this country, including up to 95 percent of new wells that account for more than 43 percent of U.S. oil production and 67 percent of its natural gas production.

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Fracking Safety and Science

hydraulic fracturing  fracking  safe operations  epa  water supplies  oil and natural gas production 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 20, 2016

Last week we made the point that America’s ongoing energy revolution is the main reason the United States is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas – a renaissance that is reducing oil imports and benefiting consumers in the form of lower prices at the pump. The same energy surge also is a leading reason the U.S. is leading the world inreducing carbon pollution.

These points argue for sustaining and growing domestic production – instead of trying to “transition away” from it, as the president said during last week’s State of the Union address. Turning our backs on vast public oil and gas resources – instead of safely developing them – would throw away a generational opportunity to strengthen America’s energy security, lift the economy, help U.S. consumers and aid friends overseas. It’s a shortsighted approach – especially when the U.S. model of increased domestic production, economic growth and emissions reduction is already working.

Safe, responsible hydraulic fracturing is the engine of America’s energy revolution. 

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Continuing the Offshore Safety Discussion

offshore safety  oil and natural gas production  bsee  regulation  safe operations 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 2, 2015

A couple of important takeaways from this week’s Capitol Hill hearing on a proposed federal well control rule for offshore drilling:

First, offshore drilling is safer today than it has ever been – for the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and Pacific regions. In coordination with federal regulators, industry has improved the safety of offshore development – in terms of safety systems management, prevention and response – while advancing the nation’s energy security through continued offshore oil and natural gas production.

This is seen in the approximately 275 API exploration and production standards that include offshore operations, more than 100 of which have been incorporated into federal regulation. 

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Industry’s Falling Methane Emissions

safe operations  safety standards  methane  hydraulic fracturing  epa  air quality 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 12, 2015

Methane emissions from oil and natural gas systems continue falling. EPA, in an update to its Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, says that methane emissions decreased from 77 million metric tons CO2 equivalent 2013 to 73 million metric tons CO2e last year. This continues a significant downward trend over the past few years.

The significance is this: Further reductions in methane emissions argue strongly against EPA’s position that additional regulation is needed. And, indeed, the agency is working on new layers of methane regulation.

Let’s think this one through. Methane emissions are falling under current the current regulatory regime, yet EPA and its supporters say that further reductions won’t happen without more regulation. (If you feel like you’ve heard this argument before it’s because you have – see here and here on EPA’s ozone proposals.) But here’s what we know: Methane emissions associated with oil and natural gas systems are falling – at a time when natural gas production is dramatically increasing.  

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Even More Good News on Methane Emissions

analysis  methane  natural gas development  safe operations  air quality  epa  american petroleum institute 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 8, 2015

Before getting into the latest in a series of research studies on energy-related methane emissions, it’s important to stay focused on the big picture. 

Data from EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report published this spring shows that net methane emissions from natural gas production fell 38 percent from 2005 to 2013 – even as natural gas production rose dramatically. Also: Methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells declined 79 percent from 2005 to 2013, EPA found.

That’s the appropriate context for 11 new studies just published in the scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology, reporting research in the Barnett Shale play in North Texas. The studies follow others coordinated by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).  One released in 2013 found that methane emissions from natural gas drilling were a fraction of previous estimates. Another released earlier this year found that that vast majority of natural gas facilities – from the production phase to distribution via inter- and intra-state pipeline networks – recorded methane loss rates of below 1 percent.

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Safe Energy for America’s Future

news  safe operations  fracking  epa  shale energy  keystone xl  alaska  ozone  oil and natural gas development 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 6, 2015

USA Today (editorial)Fracking — the practice of cracking open underground oil and gas formations with water, sand and chemicals — has rescued U.S. energy production from a dangerous decline. Any debate about banning it should take a hard look at what that would cost the nation and at facts that aren't always part of the discussion.

Those facts are spelled out in a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency on fracking and groundwater. One of the harshest charges against fracking, often leveled with apocalyptic intensity by its foes, is that it indiscriminately contaminates vital drinking water supplies.

The EPA's timely report essentially said that's overblown.

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