Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted October 12, 2015
Methane emissions from oil and natural gas systems continue falling. EPA, in an update to its Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, says that methane emissions decreased from 77 million metric tons CO2 equivalent 2013 to 73 million metric tons CO2e last year. This continues a significant downward trend over the past few years.
The significance is this: Further reductions in methane emissions argue strongly against EPA’s position that additional regulation is needed. And, indeed, the agency is working on new layers of methane regulation.
Let’s think this one through. Methane emissions are falling under current the current regulatory regime, yet EPA and its supporters say that further reductions won’t happen without more regulation. (If you feel like you’ve heard this argument before it’s because you have – see here and here on EPA’s ozone proposals.) But here’s what we know: Methane emissions associated with oil and natural gas systems are falling – at a time when natural gas production is dramatically increasing.
Posted October 2, 2015
A number of Americans may look at some of the mixed reaction to the Obama administration’s release of new, more restrictive ozone standards and conclude that if industry and business groups and environmental activists all are unhappy with the final standards, then the administration must be congratulated for splitting the difference.
As measured as that sounds, it’s simply the wrong approach for setting air quality policy – and lots of Americans are likely to be caught up in the impacts.
As noted in this post, changing national ozone standards from the current 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb could impact job growth in nearly one-third of the country’s counties or county equivalents, according to an API analysis of EPA data. Instead of 217 counties out of compliance with ozone standards, 958 could be in violation and potentially subject to constraints that could affect business expansion, infrastructure development, transportation projects and other activities in those localities. Shorter: These impacts could be coming to a neighborhood near you – affecting economic growth and job creation.
Posted October 1, 2015
Here’s probably the most important thing to know about new, more restrictive ozone standards announced by the Obama administration: They could impact job growth in nearly one-third of all counties or county equivalents in the United States, according to a recent API analysis of EPA data. That’s 958 counties – up from just 217 under the current standards – projected to be in non-attainment with ozone standards set at 70 parts per billion (ppb).
So, unless Congress acts (as it should), get ready. These new standards will pretty much hit a lot of Americans right where they live – potentially hurting jobs, chilling investment and curbing business activity, for little or no public health benefit.
Posted September 9, 2015
NERA Economic Consulting has a new study warning of potentially dire economic impacts from continued implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), as written into law by Congress.
NERA set up its study that way for good reasons: Despite abundant evidence that RFS mandates for ever-increasing ethanol use in the nation’s fuel supply are detached from reality, and although it’s pretty clear EPA has mismanaged the RFS to the detriment of those obligated to meet its mandates – the ethanol industry insists that the program continue as statutorily set out in 2007.
That, according to NERA, is a roadmap to potential economic calamity and consumer pain.
Posted September 2, 2015
Finalized federal requirements for ethanol use in 2014, 2015 and 2016 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are scheduled to come out later this year. As EPA completes work on them, the interests of American consumers should be put ahead of special ethanol interests. At the same time, policymakers should recognize that the RFS is broken, out of date and should be repealed.
Ethanol supporters argue that RFS mandates can be met by pushing out more E15 and E85 fuel, which contain higher levels of ethanol than E10 gasoline that’s standard across the country. But this would disregard potential risks to consumers and small businesses. A number of organizations argue that point in official comments to EPA on the RFS, which can be found here.
Posted September 1, 2015
Surely, more state governors soon will echo the concern of Colorado’s John Hickenlooper for the potential economic impacts on his state of stricter ozone standards proposed by EPA. That is, any governor concerned about what it could mean for growth and progress if large chunks of his or her state were declared out of compliance.
In Colorado, that could be more than $19 billion in gross state product losses from 2017 to 2040 and nearly 11,000 lost jobs or job equivalents, according to a study by NERA Economic Consulting.
Posted August 27, 2015
Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Georgia. We started the series with Virginia on June 29 and began this week with a review of Kentucky, Tennessee and Utah. 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 Georgia, 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 25, 2015
Earlier this year at the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) annual conference in Washington, ClearView Energy Partners’ Christine Tezak described the Obama administration’s energy policy as “give a little, take a little,” further characterizing it as “transitioning from scarcity to adequacy.”
It’s accurate. Handed a generational opportunity by America’s energy revolution to advance U.S. economic and security interests, the administration has responded by alternately embracing oil and natural gas development (in limited ways) and working to corral it. Given the chance to build a comprehensive, long-term energy strategy to carry the United States safely into mid-century, the administration has played “small ball” on the energy development side while unleashing a flood of unnecessary, self-limiting proposals largely untethered to scientific and economic analysis.
Posted August 25, 2015
Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Tennessee. We started the series with Virginia on June 29 and began this week with a review of Kentucky. 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 Tennessee, 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 24, 2015
Two items from the weekend help sharpen the focus a strategic choice before Americans as they look to the future: Which energy path will we take?
One path leads to increased domestic energy development. It’s typified by safe and responsible oil and natural gas production that harnesses America’s energy wealth to create jobs, grow the economy and make the U.S. more secure in the world.
Another path likely would lead to very little of the above. It’s characterized by unnecessary regulation and self-limiting policies that hinder or block domestic development. America would be less secure, economically and in the world, and our allies, too.
The two paths, two very different futures – for American energy and America.