Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted October 2, 2020
Growing natural gas use in the U.S. power sector continues to be an important factor in decreasing the country’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, a critical greenhouse gas in the climate conversation.
This is seen in the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) emissions report, which showed that these CO2 emissions decreased 2.8% in 2019 compared to 2018, largely thanks to changes in the electricity fuel mix.
Coal-related emissions declined 15% last year, reflecting a decline in coal’s share of U.S. power generation (falling from 27% to 23%). Natural gas is the leading fuel for generating electricity, its share of the mix rising to 38.4% in 2019 from 35% in 2018. (Nuclear accounted for 19.6% of generation while 9% was generated by wind and solar). Coal’s downward trend continued and even accelerated through the first two quarters of 2020, while natural gas’ share in the generating mix remained steady despite falling overall power demand.
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 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 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.
Posted September 9, 2020
Four questions for proponents of policies that would effectively end new natural gas and oil development on federal lands and waters:
Where will the oil come from that won’t be produced here at home because of such a policy?
Where will nearly 1 million Americans find new work after this policy costs them their jobs?
What will Americans do without because of higher energy costs resulting from the policy?
How will the U.S. continue making environmental progress if increased coal use caused by the policy raises carbon dioxide emissions?
These and other questions are prompted by a new analysis projecting the effects of halting new natural gas and oil on federal lands and waters -- prepared for API by OnLocation with the U.S. Energy Information Administration's National Energy Modeling System, which EIA uses to produce its Annual Energy Outlook.
Posted September 3, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden hit the campaign trail this week in southwestern Pennsylvania, home to the energy-rich Marcellus Shale – a good backdrop for discussing how Biden’s energy and jobs policies could affect Pennsylvania and other big production states, including New Mexico and Colorado, as well as Gulf Coast states.
Start with Biden’s remarks from Pittsburgh that, if elected, he will not ban fracking – clearly, to calm voters in shale country, where hydraulic fracturing has revitalized state and local economies, and necessitated by what he said in March and July, which sounded an awful lot like he would ban fracking.
So, case closed, right? Well, not exactly.
Posted September 2, 2020
While the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes a new environmental report on the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) in North Dakota, there’s new research showing that shuttering the pipeline would cut oil production from the prolific Bakken shale region, kill thousands of jobs and cost state and local governments millions in tax revenues generated by energy production.
The environmental effects of Dakota Access’ crossing under Lake Oahe are being studied anew after the corps was ordered to do so by a federal court. The review is expected to take 13 months. Although legal challenges surrounding DAPL are pending, an appeals court overturned the lower court’s order to halt operations and empty the pipeline while the environmental review is ongoing.
While we all wait for the review, an ICF analysis commissioned by API shows what halting Dakota Access operations would mean to production and economies.
Posted August 28, 2020
Americans’ safety and security are critically linked to energy.
Whether it’s energy to power a growing economy or energy that keeps America free and strong in the world – and even reliable energy in the wake of a Category 4 hurricane – abundant domestic natural gas and oil are essential for our security. ...
Abundant and reliable natural gas and oil from America make the country safer and more secure in a number of ways.