Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted November 30, 2016
Posted September 21, 2016
With environmentalists attacking a provision in pending energy legislation that would boost the competitiveness of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, now’s a good time to review the reasons to expedite federal approval of LNG export projects in this country.
Posted August 2, 2016
Gaining strength is the argument that the United States should move as expeditiously as possible on liquefied natural gas (LNG) export infrastructure that would help secure America’s place in the emerging global LNG market.
The added heft is seen in two ways. First, the initial U.S. shipment of LNG passed through the newly expanded Panama Canal last week, underscoring a point made in this postthat the widened canal will shorten voyage times from U.S. LNG export facilities on the Gulf Coast to Asia and the western coast of South America, boosting the competitiveness of U.S. suppliers. Reduced voyage time means quicker turnaround times, leading to better service and a boost to U.S. competitiveness.
Secondly, an International Energy Agency (IEA) report projects the U.S. will become the world’s third-largest LNG supplier in five years, behind Qatar and Australia.
Posted July 5, 2016
A newly expanded Panama Canal is open for business.
It’s noteworthy, as federal official say, that the enlarged canal can handle the vast majority of the world’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers while significantly shortening travel time and transportation costs for U.S. LNG suppliers to key overseas markets. This is huge for U.S. LNG exports, offering another strong argument for swifter federal approval of pending LNG export projects.
Posted January 4, 2016
As we write, the United States is once again an exporter of crude oil. Sure, in the past the federal government has allowed limited crude exports. The oil tanker that left the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, late last week is the bearer of the first freely traded U.S. crude in about four decades – made possible by congressional legislation that President Obama signed to end a 1970s-era ban on exports. It’s a new day indeed.
But wait, there’s more. Cheniere Energy says it has begun liquefying natural gas at its new export terminal in Louisiana, setting the stage for its first LNG export cargo this month.
Both are big-time energy developments for the United States – opportunities created by a domestic energy revolution largely driven by safely harnessing vast shale reserves with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
Posted November 18, 2015
Interesting analysis on energy independence in the Wall Street Journal by Columbia University’s Jason Bordoff, a former energy adviser to President Obama. It’s a good thing the United States isn’t energy independent, Bordoff writes. That’ll get your attention, right?
As Bordoff explains, “energy independence” is a dusty concept from the 1970s and 80s, after policymakers made it a goal to end U.S. reliance on global crude suppliers after the 1973 oil embargo. It didn’t happen. To the contrary, U.S. imports steadily climbed in the 1990s and 2000s before the significant increases in domestic production, thanks to abundant American shale energy reserves and advanced hydraulic fracturing.
Now, with U.S. energy output surging, the inclination among some is to keep that energy here at home by maintaining the 1970s-era ban on crude oil exports, believing that it lessens others’ ability to disrupt our oil supplies. But Bordoff writes that an “isolationist” approach on energy misunderstands the reality that today’s global energy market is highly integrated and that the interconnectedness of the market has helped the U.S. compensate for supply disruptions here at home and overseas. “Free trade in a highly integrated global energy market made us more secure,” he writes.
Posted November 12, 2015
Another postscript to the president’s unfortunate and shortsighted rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline last week: The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that as total U.S. crude oil imports decline, Canada’s share of the imports total is rising.
The data shows that in August 1995 the U.S. imported a total of 7.43 million barrels per day (bb/d), including a little over 1 million bb/d from Canada, about 13 percent of the total. In August this year U.S. oil imports were 7.63 million bb/d (down from a high of 10.7 million bb/d in June 2005), including 3.4 million bb/d from Canada, about 45 percent of the total. (At the same time imports from Venezuela, which produces a heavy crude similar to oil sands crude, have declined from 1.29 million bb/d in 2004 to 849,000 bb/d in August – no doubt, a result of increasing supply from Canada.)
What we see here is a snapshot of the strategically important growth in the United States’ energy partnership with Canada. Our neighbor and ally is our No. 1 source of imported oil – almost three times larger than imports from Persian Gulf countries.
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.
Posted August 28, 2015
Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Wyoming. We started the series with Virginia and Colorado earlier this summer and reviewed Kentucky, Tennessee , Utah and Georgia to begin this week. All information covered in this series can be found online here, arranged on an interactive map of the United States. State-specific information across the country will be populated on this map as the series continues.
As we can see with Wyoming, the energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.
Posted August 27, 2015
For as long as most younger Americans can recall, the United States has been barred from exporting crude oil – a self-inflicted sanction that’s at odds with our historical role as a global leader in both free trade and oil production. For them, that’s the way it has always been – the U.S. unilaterally excluding itself from the world’s most important energy marketplace.
Yet, history, economics and security imperatives all argue that it shouldn’t stay that way. Rather, U.S. oil exports policy should be restored to its former posture, to realign policy with this reality: America’s shale energy revolution, the most recent in a series of world-changing energy events, affords the U.S. a great opportunity, and that the U.S. should pursue every means possible to harness that revolution’s benefits – including resuming the export of domestic crude.
To start, policymakers must acknowledge a couple of things: First, that maintaining the oil export ban that was imposed after the 1973 embargo is hurting U.S. competitiveness in the global economy and limiting the benefits that could and should accrue to an energy superpower.