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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Leading Through the 2020 Pandemic, Powering the 2021 Recovery

economic recovery  consumers  energy reserves  efficiency 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 30, 2020

What a year. Thinking of those who lost their lives or were seriously ill and the continuing hardships from the pandemic, such as lost jobs and financial setbacks, 2020 can’t end soon enough.

Like other industries, ours faced steep challenges as it played an important role in helping the country battle the virus and supported economic recovery. There was added meaning to the word “resilience,” and our country is better off because our industry proved its staying power.

Think of it this way: Imagine the country in the middle of a global pandemic, trying to regain its footing, but without sufficient domestic natural gas and oil – or a modern, technologically advanced industry to develop that energy for consumers, businesses and manufacturers.

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Spotlight on Progress – Industry-wide Resilience and Opportunities for Growth

economic growth  demand  women in energy industry 

Amanda Eversole

Amanda Eversole
Posted December 18, 2020

Last week, I was honored to participate in the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s (WBENC) Energy Week and present at the State of Energy Industry Webinar, alongside a distinguished group of panelists representing every segment of the natural gas and oil industry to discuss the challenges facing the sector, as well as the opportunities for natural gas and oil operators in the year ahead.

This industry, like many others, has navigated the coronavirus pandemic, the nation’s racial reckoning, the election season and the ongoing economic fallout from widespread shutdowns. Across the board, API members have demonstrated unwavering resilience, finding ways to deliver essential energy products while protecting the health and safety of our workers, communities and the environment.

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Normalcy Returning to Natural Gas and Oil Markets

monthly-stats-report  demand  economic recovery 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted December 17, 2020

Celebrating normalcy long has marked Americans’ emergence from a variety of national crises. It’s the same with COVID-19. As we emerge from the pandemic, we dearly want to celebrate a return to normal. Thankfully, as the economy recovers, natural gas and oil are doing their part.  

API’s new Monthly Statistical Report (MSR) and quarterly Industry Outlook show our oil industry’s fortitude and resiliency through an unprecedented period.

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The Environmental Partnership's New Flaring Program

the-environmental-partnership  emission reductions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 16, 2020

new program aimed at reducing flaring in upstream operations underscores The Environmental Partnership’s founding commitment – to seek ways to expand members’ efforts to further reduce emissions and improve industry’s environmental performance.

The flaring program is a significant addition to The Partnership’s list of performance programs. As with programs on pneumatic controllers, manual liquids unloading, leak detection and repair, compressors and pipeline blowdowns, the flaring program will focus on shared technologies, knowledge and best practices to foster actions that reduce flaring.

It’s a critically important step for The Partnership, which has more than 80 members, representing more than 70% of total U.S. onshore oil and natural gas production. 

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EPA Advances Smart Regulation with Benefit-Cost and PM NAAQS Actions

national ambient air quality standards  epa  clean air act 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 15, 2020

Let’s make a couple of points from last week’s EPA actions – one that will bring transparency to some of the agency’s rulemaking processes and another that leaves in place effective standards for microscopic soot.

Transparency first. The goal in EPA’s new benefit-cost rule is pretty straight-forward: Americans should be able to judge whether the benefits of future Clean Air Act regulation are justified by potential costs to society. The new rule will help by requiring that future regulation under the act must be written using sound analyses, where data to evaluate environmental, scientific and economic impacts be transparent and replicable.

Many of the natural gas and oil industry’s opponents reject bringing cost-accountability to the development of regulation. Many of them also subscribe to a more-is-better federal regulatory approach – which gets us to point No. 2.

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Ready for Recovery: Four Ways We're Tackling Today’s Climate Challenges

climate  emission reductions  the-environmental-partnership  carbon capture 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted December 14, 2020

From reducing America’s dependence on foreign energy to powering our economic recovery, the U.S. natural gas and oil industry is providing solutions to today’s biggest challenges.

That includes addressing the risks of climate change. Americans do not have to make the false choice between utilizing our nation’s energy resources and protecting the environment. We can do both.

Here are four ways natural gas and oil companies are stepping up.

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Despite Challenges of 2020, U.S. Boosts its Energy Security

us energy security  imports  trade 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted December 11, 2020

Despite the 2020 COVID-19 recession, the U.S. has reached milestones for energy security and trade, including its lowest imports of crude oil and reliance on OPEC in nearly three decades. 

Achieving the milestones this year has enabled the U.S. to be on track to become a net exporter of petroleum and total energy on an annual basis for the first time in more than 60 years. At the same time, U.S. refiners have increasingly leveraged domestically-produced energy, ultimately benefiting households through lower spending on energy.

In short, record productivity has enabled abundant domestic oil and natural gas supplies, amped-up U.S. energy exports and displaced foreign energy imports to the benefit of American consumers. This is the backdrop for the imminent change of U.S. administration, as well as a heightened focus on U.S. energy security –  see here and here  even though petroleum products and natural gas have remained abundant and at historically low prices. 

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Americans are Big Winners With Natural Gas and Oil Development

economic growth  federal leases  royalties  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 9, 2020

Let’s discuss the value of natural gas and oil to all Americans – the fundamental worth of abundant, affordable and reliable energy to modern, daily life, the economy and our nation’s security – which gets lost in two U.S. senators’ proposal to make producing energy on federal lands more costly.

U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Tom Udall of New Mexico want to increase the royalty rate for production on federal lands, which would discourage that critical production. We’ll get to that point down below. First, let’s zero in on the issue of fundamental value.

In a New York Times op-ed, Grassley and Udall call the American public “the big loser” under the current royalty arrangement. In doing so, the senators are so preoccupied with percentages they inadvertently make an afterthought of what current natural gas and oil production on federal lands means for U.S. economic growth, global leadership, strengthened security at home and significant environmental progress.

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Energy Development on Federal Lands Sends Billions to States

conservation  offshore energy  revenues 

Jessica  Lutz

Jessica Lutz
Posted December 8, 2020

Efficient, safe and responsible natural gas and oil development doesn’t just create jobs and produce the energy that powers our lives – it also funds the conservation programs and public services Americans across the country rely on.

Despite this year’s demand downturn, more than $8 billion from energy development on federal lands and waters in fiscal year 2020 will be disbursed to states and Native American mineral owners, providing funding for conservation programs, schools, infrastructure projects and other public services across the country, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR).

For decades, the natural gas and oil industry has directly contributed to outdoor recreation and environmental conservation, and critical public programs, not only in high-producing states but in communities across the country.

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Oil Market Fundamentals Suggest 2021 May Recoup Much of 2020 Losses

oil markets  economic recovery  investments 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted December 8, 2020

Although many uncertainties remain, oil market fundamentals have recently improved along with economic recovery from the 2020 COVID-19 recession, as we discussed here. If estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and others prove to be correct, 2021 could recoup much of the growth, spending, investment and energy demand that was forgone this year. 

While 2020 has been an especially challenging year and business climate, what we’re seeing is that the U.S. natural gas and oil industry has resiliently increased its productivity to record levels, lowered its costs and expanded critical infrastructure to reposition for growth in a potential recovery.

A critical question for the United States — its economic growth, energy security and trade balance – concerns who will supply the market if it recovers as expected.

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