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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Oil Exports and the Federal Budget

crude oil exports  spr  government revenues  Economy  jobs  eia  taxes 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 27, 2015

Reports by Bloomberg and others say that White House and congressional budget negotiators would sell oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to partially pay for their new budget agreement. Sales would total 58 million barrels from 2018 to 2025, according to a draft House bill (see Section 403-a).

How much money would be raised from the sales would depend on prices at the time of the sales. But, if the goal is generating revenue for government to fund worthy projects, rather than a series of one-time sales, why not lift the ban on U.S. crude oil exports and create an annual revenue stream?

According to a study by ICF International (Page 86), ending the 1970s-era oil exports ban would lift the U.S. economy, create jobs – and generate significant additional revenue for government. A number of other studies mirror ICF’s findings on the economic benefits from lifting the export ban. We highlight ICF here because its estimate of additional oil production from lifting the ban (up 500,000 barrels per day) is almost identical to the output increase estimated by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (470,000 barrels per day). ICF:

Federal, state, and local governments benefit from crude oil exports both in terms of the generation of GDP, which is then taxed at these levels, but also through royalties on federal lands where drilling takes place. Total government revenues, including U.S. federal, state, and local tax receipts attributable to GDP increases from expanding crude oil exports, could increase up to $13.5 billion in 2020.

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Turning Alaska Reserve’s Energy Potential to Reality

alaska  npr-a  oil and natural gas  access  crude oil exports  conocophillips 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 26, 2015

A couple of reactions to last week’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM)  approval of drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A)  – which we’ll link to a larger conversation about the Obama administration’s oil and natural gas policies.

First, it’s good that BLM has cleared the way for ConocoPhillips to move forward with a $900 million project that includes construction of an 11.8-acre drilling pad in the 23 million-acre NPR-A. The Greater Mooses Tooth Unit (GMT1) project could host up to 33 wells and could reach a monthly production peak of 30,000 barrels per day. America needs the energy, and producing oil from the vast reserve that was originally set aside for energy development almost a century ago is a welcome step. ConocoPhillips’ Natalie Lowman:

“It’s good news. We’re pleased they issued the permit and the right-of-way and now we’re seeking a funding decision.”

BLM approving this one drilling permit prompts another set of reactions, starting with: It’s about time. And: What about energy development in the rest of the oil reserve?

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Our Self-Limiting Energy Policies

crude oil exports  crude oil production  access  arctic  alaska  security  regulation  leasing 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 22, 2015

Recent reports assert that some of the world’s oil suppliers have had a strategy to curtail the U.S. energy revolution – and that the strategy has worked, citing U.S. Energy Information Administration data showing U.S. production in decline. Bloomberg this week:

After a year suffering the economic consequences of the oil price slump, OPEC is finally on the cusp of choking off growth in U.S. crude output. The nation’s production is almost back down to the level pumped in November 2014, when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries switched its strategy to focus on battering competitors and reclaiming market share.

Market decisions by major suppliers certainly have impact. Yet, focusing attention on factors beyond U.S. control misses factors under U.S. control that have a clear bearing on the trajectory of domestic oil production, economic growth and American security.

We’ll name a couple: continuing the outdated ban on U.S. oil exports and regulatory and process roadblocks that limit access to energy reserves and production. What we have is an administration whose self-sanctioning approach to U.S. energy is hurting American competitiveness in the global marketplace, to the benefit of other producers.

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Saying ‘Yes’ to Iran, ‘No’ to U.S.

crude oil exports  domestic oil production  security  president obama  economic growth  jobs 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 19, 2015

The question Americans should be asking right now: Why is the Obama administration actively working to clear the way for Iran to resume trading its crude oil on the global market while it opposes legislation that would do the same for U.S. oil?

It’s a great question for which the administration can offer no good answer, because there isn’t one.

Yet, that’s the policy disconnect that is unfolding before Americans’ very eyes, with the weekend news that the administration approved conditional sanctions waivers for Iran that at some point will let the Iranians resume exporting their oil to the world – within days of the White House threatening to veto bipartisan legislation in Congress that would end the 1970s-era ban on U.S. oil exports.

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U.S. Energy Exports Opportunity Knocks

energy exports  crude oil exports  lng exports  security  economic growth  domestic oil production 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 15, 2015

Reuters reports that Lithuania is in talks with U.S. liquefied natural gas company Cheniere Energy, seeking to reduce its dependence on Russia for LNG supplies. Lithuania opened an LNG import terminal last year, and its gas supply contract with Russian state-owned supplier Gazprom is scheduled to expire at the end of the year. Rokas Masiulis, Lithuania’s energy minister:

“We would love to have U.S. cargo in our region to have competition with Gazprom. … I believe negotiations with Gazprom now will be on competitive, reasonable terms and that will be just business and nothing else. … After we have built an LNG terminal, there is no possibility of blackmail. Since we think there is no possibility of blackmail, discussion will be rational and economical rather than political. This is a big step.”

The minister speaks diplomatically, so let’s read between the lines a bit. We suspect that Lithuania is trying to secure the diversification of its energy supply. The country wants options, additional sources of LNG so that it is beyond leveraging by Russia on natural gas. Russia did this with oil in 2006, Reuters reports.

At the same time, Masiulis told Reuters that Lithuania also would be open to buying U.S. crude oil if the United States repeals its current ban on the export of domestic crude.

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U.S. Energy, Leading the World

crude oil exports  oil and natural gas development  security  economic growth  jobs  congress 

Jack Gerard

Jack Gerard
Posted October 14, 2015

Highlights from API President and CEO Jack Gerard’s conference call with reporters in which he discussed efforts to lift America’s 1970s-era ban on crude oil exports and the positive climate impacts of the U.S. energy revolution in advance of next month’s COP21 conference in Paris.

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives sent a clear message that it stands for a brighter energy and economic future for our nation when it approved with a strong bipartisan majority lifting the 1970s era ban on crude oil exports. We now call on the Senate to do the same. We urge them to unleash our nation’s energy potential by ending this vestige of our nation’s era of energy scarcity, dependence and insecurity.

According to [studies by Columbia University and Brookings/NERA], putting this additional U.S. oil on the world market could reduce the price of a gallon of gasoline by as much as 12 cents a gallon, a significant savings for consumers. American consumers could save about $5.8 billion per year by 2020, [according to an ICF study]. The study also found that by lifting the ban on crude exports could create up to 300,000 American jobs, well beyond oil-producing states. Eighteen states could gain more than 5,000 jobs each in 2020 from the export of U.S. crude oil. Every other major study agrees. …

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Keep Crude Exports Debate Focused on Jobs, Security

crude oil exports  domestic oil production  economic growth  jobs  us energy security  trade 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 13, 2015

Last week’s bipartisan U.S. House vote to end America’s 1970s-era ban on crude oil exports is stirring needed debate over U.S. energy and trade policy as the exports issue advances in Congress. Unfortunately, much of the conversation remains focused on the wrong things.

For example, export opponents continue to say the United States shouldn’t export crude oil as long as it’s an oil importer. We rebutted that economically faulty position here.  Access to global markets means bringing overseas wealth to the United States. Conversely, shutting in a domestic commodity is an obstacle to production and economic growth. The oil imports/exports threshold is one that isn’t applied to other domestic goods – and for good reason: Access to global markets is good for domestic producers.

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Bipartisan Crude Exports Vote is for Jobs, Security

crude oil exports  domestic oil production  economic growth  jobs  security  congress 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 9, 2015

It’s a bit early to go into a “victory formation” with the U.S. House of Representatives’ bipartisan vote to pass legislation lifting the United States’ decades-old ban on exporting domestic crude oil. The measure still has to get through the Senate, and President Obama has promised to veto it – vetoing help to consumersjobs and economic growth, as well as an opportunity to increase America’s global competitiveness while strengthening our security.

Yet, it’s a major step in the direction of making energy history, which ending the export ban surely would represent. It would acknowledge that the world is much changed since the 1970s-era ban was imposed – mainly, that the U.S. energy revolution has rewritten America’s energy narrative while fundamentally reordered the world energy balance. Both compel policymakers to finish the job and lift the export ban. 

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Bipartisan Crude Exports Vote – A Vote for U.S. Jobs, Security, Competitiveness

crude oil exports  domestic oil production  economic growth  security  jobs 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 9, 2015

It’s a bit early to go into a “victory formation” with the U.S. House of Representatives’ bipartisan vote to pass legislation lifting the United States’ decades-old ban on exporting domestic crude oil. The measure still has to get through the Senate, and President Obama has promised to veto it – vetoing help to consumersjobs and economic growth, as well as an opportunity to increase America’s global competitiveness while strengthening our security.

Yet, it’s a major step in the direction of making energy history, which ending the export ban surely would represent. It would acknowledge that the world is much changed since the 1970s-era ban was imposed – mainly, that the U.S. energy revolution has rewritten America’s energy narrative while fundamentally reordered the world energy balance. Both compel policymakers to finish the job and lift the export ban.

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Populists Versus the Populace – Oil Exports Edition

crude oil exports  earnings  oil and natural gas development  investments  taxes  economic growth  jobs 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 9, 2015

We’re still more than a year from the next presidential election, but already we’re hearing attacks on energy company earnings, rhetoric calibrated for the sole purpose of riling up the party base. It’s bad political theater that misleads the American public to score political points, distracting from a substantive debate on the right energy path for the country. This has come up most recently in the debate over lifting the 1970s-era ban on U.S. crude oil exports -- which was advanced with bipartisan U.S. House passage of a bill ending the export ban.

Yesterday, we looked at problems with the White House’s opposition to lifting the ban. Goodness knows, export opponents on Capitol Hill have their own faulty reasons. We’ve covered most of these before, including consumer impactsnational security and the oil imports vs. exports muddle.

Some of the biggest confusion comes from those who find it convenient to flay the oil and natural gas industry. Certainly, running around and repeating “Big Oil” over and over again plays well with people who don’t like fossil fuels and/or progress in general. Unfortunately, in their rush to attack those who supply products that the American people actually want and demand – products that power our economy and modern way of life – it’s the American people who take the hit.


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