Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted May 18, 2016
The average American household has saved almost $750 in annual energy costs compared to 2008, according to recent data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Greater availability of domestic oil and natural gas, made possible by hydraulic fracturing, has helped drive down prices for gasoline, electricity and home heating.
Keeping affordable, reliable energy moving to families and businesses requires infrastructure -- pipelines, storage, processing, rail and maritime resources. Candidates often make infrastructure development a centerpiece of their economic plans, promising to create jobs and modernize the U.S. transportation system by improving roads, bridges, rail networks and airports. Energy infrastructure should be on that list. Shovel-ready projects abound in the energy sector.
Posted May 16, 2016
We kick off “Infrastructure Week 2016,” a seven-day focus on America’s infrastructure needs, sponsored by more than 100 trade associations and business and labor groups, with a conversation API President and CEO Jack Gerard and Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions, had last week with reporters covering a range of infrastructure and energy policy issues. Highlights below.
Gerard and McGarvey framed the infrastructure discussion by pointing out the way new pipelines, pipeline expansions and other projects are needed to harness America’s energy revolution and spread the benefits of the new energy abundance – to consumers, workers, businesses and to the betterment of the environment – to all parts of the country.
Posted April 25, 2016
During a speech last week to labor union officials, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo talked big about the need for big infrastructure in this country. Gov. Cuomo mentioned the building of the Erie Canal in the 1800s, the interstate highway system that was launched in the 1950s and the construction of big bridges. The North America’s Building Trades Unions audience cheered and clapped warmly when Cuomo called for the vision and leadership needed for America to once again build big infrastructure:
“We built this nation into the greatest nation on the globe with our hands and sweat. That was the American way. We were tough, we were gutsy, we were daring, and there was no challenge that we wouldn’t take on, and we built this country and we regained that spirit of energy and positivity and ambition. … We can do these big projects. We did do these big projects … The George Washington Bridge, the Verrazano Bridge, hundreds of miles of subway system under New York, an 80-mile aqueduct built in the 1800s just to get water to New York City. We never said no …”
The next day, Cuomo’s administration said no – to the proposed $683 million Constitution natural gas pipeline. No to infrastructure – privately financed at that. No to the construction jobs wanted by the folks who cheered the governor the day before. No to consumers in New York state, who’d benefit from abundant, clean-burning natural gas, piped into a number of the state’s southern counties from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale.
And some wonder why so many Americans are cynical about politicians.
Posted April 20, 2016
Americans in the building construction trades know the importance of new energy infrastructure. Building things is what they do. In recent years they’ve recognized the value of partnering with the oil and natural gas industry on infrastructure projects to deliver energy, create jobs and boost the economy – all benefits of America’s ongoing energy revolution.
At this week’s Washington legislative conference of North America’s Building Trades Union, NABTU President Sean McGarvey listed energy infrastructure among the union’s top priorities in 2016 and noted the importance of forming partnerships to advance shared goals, such as infrastructure:
“There are other ways, too, in which our unions are building that go beyond the jobsite, such as building a new labor-management paradigm in the United States through formal partnerships with entire industries and individual companies.”
Nowhere is this dynamic more timely and important than in the effort to build new natural gas pipelines in the Northeast, where constricted capacity historically has contributed to higher energy costs during peak winter months.
Posted March 14, 2016
When BOEM releases its final program, perhaps this week, watch the Atlantic. A decision to keep the Atlantic lease sale in the five-year plan will say volumes about the administration’s view of offshore energy development. Erik Milito, API director of upstream and industry operations, joined representatives of two other organizations on a conference call with reporters to discuss the next leasing program:
“The possible benefits for developing oil and natural gas off of the Atlantic coast are numerous. The most promising areas for development run all the way from the coasts of Maine to Florida. Official government figures project the possibility of nearly 5 billion barrels of oil and over 37 trillion cubic feet of gas contained by this section of the Atlantic Shelf. This is American energy security, American jobs, U.S. government revenue and American GDP tied up by political red tape. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, stuck, off limits to future generations as it waits for forward-looking energy policy.”
Posted March 8, 2016
The oil and natural gas industry will offer employment opportunity for women and minorities over the next couple of decades. So says a new report by consulting firm IHS, which projects significant job gains for women, African Americans and Hispanics between now and 2035.
IHS estimates that by 2035 Hispanics and African Americans will hold nearly 40 percent of the 1.9 million direct jobs in the oil and natural gas and petrochemical industries, with 16 percent of the jobs being held by women.
Posted February 24, 2016
Two separate but related news items last week demonstrate the economic promise and geopolitical significance of America’s natural gas export opportunity.
The first headline, “U.S. LNG Set to Hit Global Market,” signifies a landmark moment in America’s trajectory from energy scarcity to abundance. The export facility covered in the article – Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass in Cameron Parish, La. – actually opened as a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in 2008. Just two years later in September 2010, it became the first U.S. facility to apply for a Department of Energy permit to export LNG. After a decade that saw U.S. natural gas production jump 45 percent – and following an extensive review process – Sabine Pass is set to ship its first cargo to Europe.
Posted February 5, 2016
Our industry is committed to helping America’s veterans who’re looking for civilian jobs after finishing their military service. This week API and Vets4Energy unveiled a new web toolthat should help veterans match their skill sets with those needed in the energy industry. Likewise, the site will help employers looking for military occupations that could factor into their hiring needs.
The new web tool is timely, with more than 1 million military service members expected to transition to civilian life over the next four years, according to the new site. More than 8.4 million military veterans are under the age of 60.
Posted January 14, 2016
If you believe America is best served by taking a true, all-of-the-above approach to energy – and we do – there’s not a lot of value in getting into a donnybrook over which energy sector employs the most people. America needs all of its energy sources and all of each energy sector’s jobs. That said, let’s set the record a little straighter in the wake of a recent report by the Solar Foundation.
The solar report trumpets 209,000 workers employed by the solar industry – including installation, manufacturing, sales & distribution, project development and “all others.” The report compares that figure with 187,000 people employed in just the oil and natural gas industry’s extraction segment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an apples-to-oranges comparison that could leave a wrong impression.
We looked at the comparison and figured something is missing.
Posted January 7, 2016
At this year’s State of American Energy event, we highlighted the impact of energy policy on the lives and livelihoods of families and businesses in every state. The connection between policy and pocketbooks is evident after a year in which Americans saved an average $550 per driver on gasoline, due largely to strong U.S. oil and natural gas production. But to maintain the economic and security benefits of America’s 21st century energy renaissance, we’ll need to make smart policy choices that increase access to energy resources, encourage infrastructure development, rein in misguided ethanol policy and curb costly, duplicative regulations.