Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted May 31, 2019
The stage and podium banners at the Alaska Oil and Gas Association Conference in Anchorage this week had a simple, direct message – “Alaska: Back On The Map.” Certainly, the U.S. will be stronger, more secure and prosperous if the energy in Alaska and the Arctic offshore are developed to their potential.
This was the main point of keynote remarks by API President and CEO Mike Sommers (speech video here) – that an energy-strong Alaska makes America energy strong. The critical factor, Sommers said, is securing access to reserves – in the Alaskan offshore, the designated development zone of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s (ANWR) coastal plain and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).
Posted May 30, 2019
A new Colorado law handing more control over natural gas and oil operations to municipalities, authority that used to reside with the state, risks another law – the law of unintended consequences – that could deal a serious blow to one of our country’s leading energy-producing states.
This week the city of Broomfield became the seventh Colorado community to impose a ban on new natural gas and oil development since introduction of Senate Bill 181, which became law last month. …
Before SB 181’s passage, industry warned the law could disrupt responsible natural gas and oil development by hatching a patchwork, unpredictable regulatory system across the state – with the unintended consequence of imperiling energy development and jobs and economic growth. Regulatory uncertainty can chill sizeable investments in new operations that often have significant lead times
Unfortunately, that uncertainty appears to be growing in Colorado – with national implications because the state ranks sixth in both natural gas and oil production.
Posted May 29, 2019
The headline of the opinion piece in the Orange County Register caught my eye – and should get the attention of everyone in this country:
“Fracking saves low-income Americans’ lives”
The article is based on research published earlier this year, which calculated that lower heating costs associated with surging domestic natural gas production averted 11,000 winter deaths in the U.S. each winter from 2005 to 2010.
Read on for details, but this research makes the critically important connection between abundant energy and Americans’ well-being.
Posted May 24, 2019
There’s lots to know and understand from a new NOAA study on U.S. methane emissions from 2006-2015, starting with the study finding that there has been “major overestimation” of industry’s methane emissions trends in some previous studies.
While U.S. natural gas production has increased 46 percent since 2006, scientists found “no significant increase” in total U.S. methane emissions. During this same period, the NOAA study found only a “modest” increase in emissions from natural gas and oil activity. (In the context of surging natural gas production – emissions intensity, or emissions per unit production – industry emissions are even smaller.)
Posted May 21, 2019
Having already shelled out $2.2 billion for the federal tax credit for purchases of electric vehicles (EV) between 2011 and 2017, U.S. taxpayers could see that cost increase seven-fold over the next decade – while yielding negligible results, according to a new study.
Coupled with the fact that upper-income households have bought most of the EVs sold in the U.S. (and benefited from these tax subsidies), the report continues to raise questions about the EV subsidy and legislation that would expand it.
Posted May 17, 2019
It seems like each winter we see consumers in New England suffering not just from freezing temperatures but also the highest energy prices in the country (see here and here) – largely because there’s not enough natural gas infrastructure to serve the region during periods of peak winter demand. This past winter, the news was a little bit better.Natural gas prices generally follow seasonal patterns and tend to rise in the winter. For example, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has suggested
that liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports helped to moderate energy price spikes in the region this year. ...
Still, domestic infrastructure constraints in New York and New England mean that residents remain faced with relatively high and uncertain energy prices plus the possibility of winter shortages – not to mention the unnecessary stress those conditions put on the region’s power grid.
Posted May 16, 2019
Updated and new API standards that address the ethanol blended into the nation’s gasoline supply – developed in partnership with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) – will enhance the natural gas and oil industry’s ability to safely trade and/or ship its products.
Certainly, our industry has disagreed with RFA over policies and specific provisions related to the Renewable Fuel Standard’s mandates for increasing ethanol use in the nation’s gasoline. Even so, we agree on the need for technical standards to help ensure the safe transfer of products and work together to develop them.
Posted May 14, 2019
Winning on trade looks like this: 12 million U.S. jobs supported in all 50 states; commerce with neighbors Mexico and Canada was nearly $1.3 trillion in 2017 – four times what it was 25 years ago; in the energy space, trade helps the U.S. natural gas and oil industry, which supports 10.3 million jobs – many of which exist thanks to free North American trade
For these reasons and more, Congress should approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). From an energy standpoint, the case for USMCA approval is strong.
Posted May 14, 2019
Next month the Connecticut Siting Council is scheduled to hold an important vote on a proposed natural gas-fueled power plant near Killingly, the Killingly Energy Center. The plant should get the council’s go-ahead, as it would help meet growing consumer demand while supporting badly needed stability in the regional power grid.
The plant would produce enough electricity for 500,000 homes. In addition to generating electricity, the facility would generate $110 million in local tax revenue over the next two decades while helping the state advance its climate goals (more on that below).
Most importantly, consumers would get needed help.
Posted May 10, 2019
A big shout-out to The Environmental Partnership, which in just over a year has more than doubled in size and whose members account for a sizeable portion of U.S. natural gas production. No less significant is what the Partnership is doing to achieve environmental and climate progress.
Indeed, a key to the progress the Partnership has made is its model of substantive, almost unprecedented information sharing and collaboration on technologies and techniques to reduce methane emissions. It’s a model that could be applied to meet other challenges in the future. …
While some opponents of natural gas and oil dismiss the idea that a voluntary, industry-led partnership can lead to important environmental results, the collaborative dynamic that was on display at a recent Partnership workshop in Oklahoma City argues otherwise.