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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Energy, to Everyone’s Benefit

american energy  fossil fuels  fracking  keystone xl pipeline  exports 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 12, 2015

The Boston Globe (Jeff Jacoby, excerpted) :… Here on Planet Earth, the booming use of petroleum, coal, and natural gas has fueled an almost inconceivable amount of good. All human technologies generate costs as well as benefits, but the gains from the use of fossil fuels have been extraordinary. The energy derived from fossil fuels, economist Robert Bradley Jr. wrote last spring in Forbes, has “liberated mankind from wretched poverty; fueled millions of high-productivity jobs in nearly every business sector; been a feedstock for medicines that have saved countless lives; and led to the development of fertilizers that have greatly increased crop yields to feed the hungry.” Far from wrecking the planet, the harnessing of carbon-based energy makes it safer and more livable.

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The People Say Build Keystone XL

keystone xl pipeline  congress  president obama  economic benefits  canadian oil sands  infrastructure  investment 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 12, 2015

In a democratic republic like ours, the legislative branch is the voice of the people. Throughout the long – too long – debate over the Keystone XL pipeline, the White House has used politics to stymie a conclusion on the matter. But no more.

House approval of a Senate bill advancing the pipeline will require President Obama to finally decide. Bipartisan majorities in both houses of the Congress of the United States have spoken. The American people, through their elected representatives, have spoken. The president should listen.

Unfortunately, the White House has signaled that he won’t, that he will veto the Keystone XL bill. It would make a mockery of post-Election 2014 assurances from the president that he would work with Congress to accomplish substantive things for the American people. Substantive things like: 42,100 jobs that the U.S. State Department says would be supported by the pipeline’s construction, $2 billion in workers’ pockets and $3.4 billion added to U.S. GDP, according to State’s report, and 830,000 barrels of oil from Canada and the U.S. Bakken region – North American oil that would strengthen U.S. energy security

All of the above and more clearly make the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in the national interest.

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American Energy Leads

american energy  Economy  jobs  growth  infrastructure  texas  exports  fracking  keystone xl pipeline 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 9, 2015

CNN Money: In October 2011, my colleague Blake Ellis and I traveled to western North Dakota to report on the accelerating oil boom. A lot has changed since then.

In oil towns like Williston and Watford City, massive amounts of infrastructure have been built in just the last three years. Here's a look at some of the bigger projects:

 

People: Populations in once-small towns soared as people from around the country (and the world) migrated to the area for jobs. Williston Mayor Howard Klug says that the city of under 15,000 in the 2010 census now has a "serviceable population of 60,000 to 70,000."

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Politics vs. Jobs – EPA and Keystone XL Edition

keystone xl pipeline  environmental protection agency  epa  state department  transcanada  canadian oil sands  oil imports  trade 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 6, 2015

EPA’s 13th-hour ambush of the Keystone XL pipeline and the project’s environmental reviews by the U.S. State Department looks like more of the political gamesmanship the Obama administration has used to keep the pipeline on hold for more than six years. But perhaps EPA overplayed its hand.

As we pointed out, EPA’s letter urging officials to “revisit” the State Department’s Keystone XL conclusions is awkwardly and perhaps suspiciously late. State has done five separate environmental reviews, with the last one completed more than a year ago. This week, while other involved federal agencies weighed in on the pipeline’s merits from a national-interest standpoint, EPA lobbied to revisit established science

Second, the agency’s assertion that the current global price of oil affects the State Department’s environmental conclusion – that Keystone XL would have no significant impact – is oddly at odds with the agency’s position that the current global price of oil has no effect on EPA’s own policymaking decisions.   

Third, EPA did some manipulating of what State said about Keystone XL’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions – its letter citing only the largest numbers in State’s range of possible effects. A reasonable conclusion is that there’s a whiff of politics, for strategic effect, in EPA’s doings.

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Getting Our Energy Policy Right

american energy  policy  biofuels  ethanol  rfs34  fracking  keystone xl pipeline 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 5, 2015

Denver Post Editorial: Yet another major environmental organization has concluded that biofuels, including ethanol, are a net detriment to the world — both in environmental and economic terms. The World Resources Institute (WRI) "recommends against dedicating land to produce bioenergy. The lesson: do not grow food or grass crops for ethanol or diesel or cut down trees for electricity." Why? The group, based in Washington, D.C., says converting plants into fuel is a terribly inefficient use of land, can never produce a major portion of the world's supplies, and puts pressure on cropland that is needed to feed the world's growing population, among other things.

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EPA vs. EPA – Keystone XL Round

epa  keystone xl pipeline  politics  science  oil markets  renewable fuel standard 

Bob Greco

Bob Greco
Posted February 5, 2015

Two of the Environmental Protection Agency’s seven statements of purpose reference “best available scientific information” and “accurate information.”  These also happen to be two things that many in Washington, D.C., feel that EPA is setting aside in the pursuit of political goals.  Yesterday the agency released comments on the Keystone XL pipeline that gave plenty of credence to its critics.

It is somewhat of a shame, because EPA’s comments did make many good points.  It acknowledged the comprehensiveness of the State Departments review of the project, the usefulness of mitigation measures the project will take to reduce environmental impact and the reduction of risks associated with spills and leaks from the pipeline.  And then we begin to drift from accurate information into political calculation. 

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EPA and Prolonging Keystone XL’s Review

keystone xl pipeline  environmental protection agency  epa  economic benefits  canadian oil sands  greenhouse gas emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 3, 2015

After more than six years of delaying, blocking, sidetracking and goalpost-shifting on the Keystone XL pipeline, the White House clearly knows something about political football – specifically, using all of the above to keep Keystone XL on the drawing board and out of the ground.

It’s not a game to the American workers who’ve seen coveted jobs delayed, nor is it fun for the entire country, in terms of blocked economic stimulus and sidetracked energy security.

Now EPA is tagging in with an out-of-left-field assessment of the State Department’s final environmental review. We say that because State’s environmental report was completed a year ago – making five reviews that all basically said Keystone XL would not significantly impact the environment, climate or otherwise.  

While other involved federal agencies recently weighed in on the pipeline’s importance to U.S. national interests, EPA – at the 13th hour – says current crude oil prices make it important to “revisit” State’s environmental conclusions.

Nonsense.

Unfortunately, for an administration that has practically made a badge of honor out of stiff-arming Keystone XL – in the face of bipartisan congressional support and the broad favor of the American people – EPA is simply providing another excuse for the White House to continue doing nothing.

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U.S. Energy – For Jobs, Government Revenue, More Trade

american energy  Economy  jobs  trade  manufacturing  exports  policy  ethanol  rfs34  keystone xl pipeline  fracking 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 3, 2015

NPR: As the economy continues to recover, economists are seeing stark differences between people with high school and college degrees. Four-year college graduates are nearly twice as likely to have a job compared to Americans who just graduated high school and stopped there. But economists say that doesn't mean everybody needs a four-year degree. In fact, millions of good-paying jobs are opening up in the trades. And some pay better than what the average college graduate makes.

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Energy Infrastructure, for Energy, Jobs, Security

american energy  infrastructure  innovation  fracking  Economy  revenue  keystone xl 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 2, 2015

Philadelphia Inquirer (Kevin Colosimo): Gov. Wolf has fulfilled a campaign promise to ban natural-gas drilling on state parklands, but he should ignore suggestions that he go further by instituting a statewide fracking ban. Simply put, a ban would kill the goose that has delivered a lot of golden eggs to the commonwealth. Consider: The natural-gas industry has contributed $34.7 billion to our economy, accounting for 5.8 percent of Pennsylvania's economic activity, according to an American Petroleum Institute study. The same study determined that the oil and natural-gas industry supports 339,000 jobs, or roughly 4.7 percent of the state's total employment. Shale development has generated more than $2 billion in state taxes, according to the state Department of Revenue.

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Yes, Keystone XL is in the National Interest

keystone xl pipeline  economic benefits  jobs creation  president obama  canadian oil sands  bakken shale  trade  infrastructure  senate  congress 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 31, 2015

The long trail of “process” excuses for not approving the Keystone XL pipeline is coming to an end.

Five U.S. State Department reviews – all of them basically saying Keystone XL won’t significantly affect the environment – done.

Public hearings – done.

A new pipeline route through Nebraska – done.

By Monday, federal agencies must weigh in on whether Keystone XL is in the national interest. It is, as we’ll get into below.

The point is, after more than six years of process and review by the White House, we’ve come to the end of the processing and the reviewing. The administration stretched to 76 months a pipeline approval process that typically takes 18 to 24 months. It turned Keystone XL into a political football, punted here and there for reasons that clearly weren’t in the national interest.

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