Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted September 30, 2020
Sifting through what was a rollicking presidential debate Tuesday night, searching for important takeaways … Let’s look at the discussion near the end of the event that focused on climate, energy policy and energy jobs – in which safe and responsible natural gas and oil production here at home is a critical player.
As was accurately noted during the debate, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector are at their lowest levels in a generation – primarily because of growing use of natural gas to fuel electricity generation. Natural gas is the leading fuel for U.S. power generation and is projected to continue leading for decades to come.
Posted September 30, 2020
The wild thing about the electricity grid is that you can see when the laws of man succumb to the laws of physics.
California provided a case study in late August. The state’s first rolling blackouts in nearly two decades spotlighted its mandates for how much electricity certain technologies can provide. There was lots of blame to go around and, while there is no single culprit behind the blackouts, what happened showed just how vital natural gas generation is to maintain a fully functioning grid, because of its reliability and unique operating characteristics.
Posted September 25, 2020
A call for environmental justice (EJ) is featured in U.S. House climate legislation being debated in Congress. While the EJ section of House Democrats’ climate plan focuses on environmental goals, one part calls for an energy justice and democracy program at the U.S. Energy Department to reduce energy poverty and to ensure communities have equitable access to energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Building or expanding America’s natural gas pipeline network is key to reducing energy poverty in the U.S. – seeing that Americans, no matter where they live, can get affordable natural gas for home heating, cooking and other uses. Thanks to abundant, affordable natural gas, U.S. power sector emissions of carbon dioxide are at their lowest levels in a generation. Increasing infrastructure capacity, increasing natural gas use, supports this beneficial trend.
Unfortunately, this kind of energy fairness isn’t a reality everywhere in the U.S. Some Americans have no choice but to use wood-burning fireplaces or stoves to heat their homes, due to the lack of safe, reliable pipelines and other infrastructure to get energy where consumers want and need it.
Posted September 24, 2020
Four observations about California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order requiring that by 2035 all new cars sold in the state must be zero-emission vehicles – as well as his push for halting fracking in the state:
1. The governor's executive order could seriously impact middle-class Californians.
2. Seriously, a zero-emissions mandate in a state that has struggled to keep the lights on?
3. There's rhetoric and there's reality.
4. State natural gas and oil production is being targeted.
Posted September 21, 2020
America’s natural gas and oil industry is committed to reducing the risks of climate change by producing ever-cleaner fuels and continuously improving environmental performance. As a nation, we’ve made significant progress over the years, with national greenhouse gas emissions down 10% since 2005.
Tackling the challenge of climate change will require a collaborative, cross-sector effort, and API is prepared – with climate policy principles – to constructively engage to identify workable policy solutions that deliver economic and environmental progress.
This Climate Week, let’s recognize the ongoing role that energy operators will continue to play in safely developing resources in the U.S. and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
Posted September 17, 2020
Sometimes, through the headlines, it can be hard to see that the economy and oil markets recently have made noteworthy progress toward rebalancing and normalizing – which is encouraging news for the industry, the country and consumers.
While petroleum demand remains below where it was this time a year ago and is likely to stay below 2019 levels until the latter half of 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), signs are visible of a recovery from lows earlier this year.
Posted September 16, 2020
As former Vice President Joe Biden continues to clarify his position on fracking – saying he’d allow it with some environmental safeguards – what he’s not talking about is huge: His and the Democratic Party’s pledge to effectively end new natural gas and oil production on federal lands and waters.
Few states are projected to be hit harder than New Mexico, where more than 30% of the land is controlled by the federal government and accounts for half of the state’s oil production. As of May, New Mexico was producing 885,000 barrels per day, ranking it second in the nation. So, yes, Biden’s promised ban is making folks in New Mexico a little nervous.
Posted September 14, 2020
A national policy that puts U.S. energy off-limits to development would have serious negative impacts for our nation’s security, jobs, the economy and household budgets. As argued in this post, proponents of policies that ban new natural gas and oil development on federal lands and waters have a lot of explaining to do.
Unfortunately, it also includes the White House, which announced this week that there will be no offshore oil and natural gas development in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic going forward, into the year 2032.
This is wrong for U.S. energy, wrong for American security, wrong for jobs and wrong for economic growth.
John D. Siciliano
Posted September 11, 2020
New groundbreaking technologies to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere provide a glimpse of what could very well be the next big breakthrough for the natural gas and oil industry.
New technologies have the power to change the impossible to possible. We’ve long argued that industry’s ability to innovate and develop new technologies – including game-changers such as fracking – are key to our energy future. But such technological breakthroughs have been underestimated in the past, and aren’t always reflected in formal projections that are based on what is currently known and available.
Just imagine a natural gas power plant that emits zero CO2 emissions. The first preliminary tests on just such a power plant were conducted two years ago by a collaboration led by the company Net Power. The tests were so promising that the plant made it into the MIT Technology Review’s list of the top 10 breakthrough technologies.
Posted September 11, 2020
While oil markets remain concerned over the outlook for petroleum demand – see John Kemp’s piece arguing there’s lost momentum – a number of important indicators of transportation and industrial activity corroborate API’s primary data suggesting a more nuanced landscape while also supporting the view that genuine progress has recently been achieved.
Since petroleum demand has remained a solid indicator of economic activity, the information has broad applicability to everyone who is concerned with what’s happening now. And for those of us in the industry, accurate and timely data are essential to the flow of real activities and investment dollars.
From here it looks like oil markets have been relatively impatient, having anticipated a continued tightening as demand has recovered and supply declined. The challenge is managing expectations for the rate of recovery.