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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Industry Leadership, Smart Regulations Key to Emissions Reduction

natural gas  emission reductions  climate  regulation 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted September 5, 2019

The U.S. natural gas and oil industry is laser-focused on tackling the dual challenge of delivering energy for all and protecting our planet, keeping pace with record demand for affordable fuels while reducing emissions every step of the way. 

By investing in innovative technologies, developing state-of-the-art standards and supporting smart regulations that reduce methane and other emissions, our industry is improving sustainability, particularly for the production of cleaner-burning natural gas.

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Rigorous Science to Protect Public Health and Safety

public health  safe operations  science 

Uni Blake

Uni Blake
Posted September 4, 2019

The natural gas and oil industry cares about the health and safety of the communities where it operates. These are our homes and communities, too – places where we’re raising our families. Getting health and safety right is more than just business. It’s a major focus of our industry’s engagement with communities, as we earn and sustain the permission to safely develop natural gas and oil. 

As part of this engagement, industry is mindful of the safety, health and welfare of surrounding communities, to ensure careful decision-making related to our health and safety responsibilities. We’re guided by high-quality science. We employ and work with scientists, including toxicologists and epidemiologists, so that our analyses are well-founded.

As a scientist myself, let me be clear: We must rely on real science as a basis for sound decision-making so that as we operate the public and the environment are protected. Unscientific material – such as opinion pieces, unfinished studies and misinformation campaigns – isn’t helpful to this process, creates false narratives and can skew public perceptions.  

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Expected RFS Tweaks Likely Will Make Flawed Program Worse

renewable fuel standard  ethanol  consumers  refineries  blend wall 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 3, 2019

The story of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is long and unfortunate – a program that is now  largely obsolete thanks to surging domestic energy, whose mandates continue to loom over American consumers without many of the benefits it was supposed to provide. It lives on, protected by ethanol producers and corn state/presidential politics.

That’s the context for RFS policy tweaks expected soon from the White House – more fiddling with a flawed program that will attempt to force higher content of ethanol-blended fuel into the U.S. supply, potentially impacting consumers, while creating an uneven playing field in the refining sector.

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Strengthening EPA Emissions Standards

emission reductions  epa  methane 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 29, 2019

With EPA’s reconsideration of its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with natural gas and oil production, some insist the changes will trash environmental protections.

This “rollback” narrative is false and largely designed to play to the extreme environmentalist crowd. Contrary to that view, modifying the NSPS could reduce duplication with state programs, provide greater clarity for industry in its regulatory compliance and, ultimately, further lower methane and other emissions and protect the environment by making it easier for operators to gain approvals for use of new, innovative technologies to detect fugitive emissions for repair. In fact, this procedural correction is best described as a realignment with the agency’s obligations under the Clean Air Act.

The well-worn “rollback” tale also dismisses the effective role of technology, innovation and industry initiative in reducing emissions – such as The Environmental Partnership. It discounts industry’s strong motivation to reduce emissions, which it has done in growing measure amid increased natural gas and oil production.

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Delivering the Second Wave of U.S. LNG Mega-Projects

lng exports  workforce  investments  labor unions 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted August 28, 2019

U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – growing to a record 4.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) in the third quarter of 2019 – have been a catalyst for new natural gas resource development, U.S. pipeline and natural gas processing investments and the U.S. economy. ...

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects U.S. LNG exports to more than double again by 2025, which holds the potential for even greater domestic economic benefits, plus a central, emerging role for U.S. energy leadership in global markets.

Realizing these benefits is critically dependent on the United States’ ability to build and deliver an unprecedented number of multi-billion-dollar U.S. mega-projects over the next several years. When ”demographics are destiny” and the average age of a welder in the U.S. already is over 57 years, we should remain optimistic about the potential to build these projects but also pragmatic about the policies and business environment needed to achieve the goals.

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Trade Tit-For-Tat Impacts U.S. Energy, Consumers

trade  china  energy exports 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 26, 2019

News item: China announces retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, including a first-ever tariffs on U.S. crude oil imports. In response, President Trump says previously announced tariffs on Chinese goods will go up. The U.S.-China trade war churns on and with it, there’s significant collateral damage.

We discussed the impacts before – the way trade restrictions threaten U.S. competitiveness and global energy leadership, the drag on the U.S. economy and how the administration’s tariffs hurt U.S. consumers, not China.  The latest trade tit-for-tat is similarly damaging. 

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U.S. Natural Gas and Oil – Still No. 1

production  oil and natural gas production  Energy Security  eia 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted August 23, 2019

We like to talk about the ongoing strength of the U.S. shale revolution – and that’s intentional because, like most Americans, we think continued leadership in producing natural gas and oil is a big deal.

This week the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) underscored America’s energy influence, reporting that last year the U.S. led the world in natural gas and oil production, which it has done since 2014.

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Trade Restrictions Threaten U.S. Competitiveness, Energy Leadership

energy exports  trade  china 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted August 21, 2019

U.S. crude oil exports are reaching a record 31 countries, and exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) are set to jump a projected 63 percent this year – boosting American jobs and adding stability to global markets.

But the ongoing trade war puts growing markets for U.S. energy exports at risk.

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Natural Gas, Lower Methane Emissions and Rising Opportunity

natural gas from shale  emission reductions  methane  the-environmental-partnership 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 19, 2019

Even with natural gas playing a leading role in reducing U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to their lowest levels in a generation and strong industry initiative to keep lowering production-related methane emissions, natural gas opponents remain on the attack, including a new study that's critical of natural gas from North American shale (see rebuttals, here and here).

More authoritative and trustworthy is the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which issued these methane-related conclusions in a study published earlier this year …

U.S. natural gas has proven environmental and climate benefits, and it’s critically important here at home and around the world, helping to reduce energy poverty and improve peoples’ lives.


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Trans-Alaska Pipeline Inspected by First FAA-Approved Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight UAS

technology innovation  Pipeline  alaska  safe operations 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted August 16, 2019

Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks made history last month by completing the first true beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) flight under the small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) rule. The team flew a long-range hybrid-electric unmanned aircraft nearly four miles along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) as part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) UAS Integration Pilot Program – and in partnership with Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.

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