Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted June 4, 2019
Some important points as the U.S. House Select Committee on Intelligence meets this week to talk about the impacts of climate change on U.S. security interests, global humanitarian conditions and other issues.
First, U.S. security is the responsibility of the U.S. military, which is the largest government user of energy, ranking ahead of many countries in overall energy use. More than any other energy sources and by a wide margin, natural gas and oil power America’s military.
Second, U.S. national security is directly tied to having access to safe, reliable, abundant energy and also decreasing dependence on energy supplied by other nations. Thanks to the U.S. energy revolution, resulting in record oil production, America’s dependence on others has fallen significantly since 2006.
Third, on the humanitarian issue, U.S. natural gas and oil offer a golden opportunity to lift regions and even entire countries out of energy poverty – with power for electricity that’s unavailable to nearly 1 billion people on earth and clean fuel for home heating and cooking, which about 2.7 billion people currently live without.
Posted June 3, 2019
The administration’s decision to allow summer sales of E15 fuel – a blend containing 50 percent more ethanol than the E10 gasoline that’s widespread across the country – is a disappointing and ineffective approach to addressing concerns with the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
EPA’s rulemaking that extends the RVP waiver, effectively lifting a ban on summertime E15 sales, only worsens risks for U.S. consumers – given repeated warnings that pushing more E15 into the fuel supply could harm the vast majority of vehicles on the road that aren’t designed to use it, as well as engines in motorcycles, boats and lawn equipment for which E15 is incompatible. All to help farmers struggling under the weight of the administration’s own harmful trade tariffs.
It may seem obvious, but apparently it needs stating: EPA should be most concerned about the interests of U.S. consumers as it forms policy, not cleaning up messes caused by the administration’s flawed trade policy.
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.