Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted May 30, 2014
In announcing plans to revamp the way it considers permit applications for projects to export U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) to non-free trade agreement countries, the Energy Department said changes would help streamline the process and increase efficiency.
Unfortunately, the revisions could mean more Washington delay and inject additional uncertainty for multi-billion-dollar investments – hampering efforts to harness America’s game-changing opportunity to create new jobs, boost the economy and stimulate domestic production with LNG exports.
In a DOE blog post, Christopher Smith, principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy, writes that the department will review export applications and make final public interest determinations only after environmental reviews are completed. It would end the department’s procedure of the past year and a half of issuing conditional approvals pending environmental review.
Posted May 28, 2014
In my former role as assistant secretary of energy at the Department of Energy and my current position as executive director of Rice University's Energy and Environment Initiative, we are constantly challenged by this responsibility of energy sustainability in the utilization of fossil fuels. Our future will be determined by increasing energy requirements on a global basis for electricity, fuels and chemicals to meet a doubling of world demand by 2050. Fossil fuels will continue to be more than 80 percent of the world's fuel supply in 2050, as cited by the International Energy Agency, so it is not "if" we will be consuming coal, oil and natural gas, but "how." We must have a genuine "all of the above" energy strategy, and to do so, we must invest in fossil-fuel technology to ensure energy sustainability.
Posted March 14, 2014
More on the growing discussion of how North America’s energy renaissance – led by surging oil and natural gas production – affects U.S. energy and national security and gives our country the chance to positively impact global stability. A part of that conversation is the significant role the Keystone XL pipeline could play in securing our energy future, allowing our country to have greater influence abroad.
Posted March 5, 2014
Politico reports (sub req'd) that the Energy Department plans to stick with its “case-by-case” approach to approving natural gas export projects – even as some policymakers say speeding up the process would send a strong signal that the United States is a leader in global energy markets, expanding its ability to broaden supply options and defuse energy-related standoffs like the one playing out between Russia and Ukraine.
Posted February 28, 2014
U.S. Will Meet Energy Needs by 2020, Citi Researcher Says
Forbes: By the end of this decade, the United States will produce all the energy it needs, the head of commodities research for Citigroup said in Chicago Thursday.
Edward L. Morse, managing director and global head of commodities for Citi, said the gas and oil boom will combine with improved efficiency to make the U.S. a net-zero importer of energy by 2020.
“I think that the chances are close to 100 percent that the U.S. will be supplying 100 percent of its energy requirements for power generation and transportation,” Morse told about 100 people at a Fairmont Hotel gathering sponsored by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Posted January 29, 2014
Contrary to what some in politics, the media and most recently, the president during the State of the Union, have said, the oil and natural gas industry currently receives not one taxpayer “subsidy,” “loophole” or deduction. Since its inception, the U.S. tax code has allowed corporate taxpayers the ability to recover costs. These cost-recovery mechanisms, also known in policy circles as “tax expenditures,” should in no way be confused with “subsidies” – direct government spending or “tax loopholes.”
Posted January 23, 2014
What The Captain & Tennille Teach Us About Energy Policy
Forbes: Love apparently didn’t keep the ’70s pop duo Captain & Tennille together.Toni Tennille has filed for divorce from Daryl Dragon after 39 years of marriage. Just as the pair’s most famous standard now rings false, so does our 1970′s notion of energy security. For the past 40 years, U.S. energy policy has been married to the idea of scarcity. Following the oil embargoes of the 1970s, we built policies, from export bans to ethanol mandates, based on the idea that we would forever be at the mercy of other oil-producing nations.
The hydraulic fracturing boom, however, has changed all that. North America is undergoing an energy renaissance. Domestic crude oil production has reached parity with imports, and the International Energy Agency predicts the U.S. may become the world’s largest energy producer as early as next year. Yet our policies remain stuck in the dark ages of scarcity. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are resisting efforts to lift the 1970s-era ban on crude exports, citing issues of “energy security.”
As Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., told the Wall Street Journal: “If we overturn decades of law and send our oil to China and other markets, oil companies might make more money per barrel, but it will be American consumers and our national security that will pay the price.”
There’s a difference between ensuring our energy security and hoarding resources. With our newfound abundance, security comes through continued development of domestic reserves.
Read more: http://onforb.es/KMM7kV
Posted January 22, 2014
EIA Today in Energy: The 2014 Annual Energy Outlook projects declines in U.S. oil and natural gas imports as a result of increasing domestic production from tight oil and shale plays. U.S. liquid fuels net imports as a share of consumption is projected to decline from a high of 60% in 2005, and about 40% in 2012, to about 25% by 2016. The United States is also projected to become a net exporter of natural gas by 2018.
Conversely, other major economies are likely to become increasingly reliant on imported liquid fuels and natural gas. China, India, and OECD Europe will each import at least 65% of their oil and 35% of their natural gas by 2020—becoming more like Japan, which relies on imports for more than 95% of its oil and gas consumption.
The reasons for these shifts are different between emerging and developed economies. In China and India, oil demand growth from emergent middle classes will likely outpace domestic production, while OECD Europe will likely become more import reliant as a result of declining oil production in the North Sea.
Read more: http://1.usa.gov/1g1pCqW
Posted January 21, 2014
A new year unfortunately means the same old tired arguments from folks seeking higher punitive taxes on America’s oil and natural gas companies, in this case in the form of a post from the Center for American Progress (CAP), which seeks to simplify the complexity of comprehensive tax reform down to “end special tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies.” So what are these “special” tax breaks they want to end?
Well, the first identified by CAP is the “Section 199 deduction” created in 2004 to spur employment in U.S. manufacturing and is available for all U.S. taxpayers who manufacture in the U.S. So, not special for oil and natural gas companies, and in fact oil and natural gas companies are already singled out for reduced used of the deduction, compared to other manufacturers. The second is the foreign tax credit deduction, which is designed to minimize double taxation and is available to all U.S. companies with operations overseas. So again, not special for oil and natural gas companies. Lastly, CAP wants to end the intangible drilling costs deduction (IDCs), which is a cost-recovery mechanism for oil and natural gas exploration and production expenses that has existed since 1913. While drilling costs are unique to drillers, the deduction of costs is similar to cost-recovery provisions provided to every business, so not special, and as a bonus, IDCs are also not a tax break, as drillers pay the full amount of taxes that are owed.
Posted January 21, 2014
In the interview clip below, Paula Jackson of the American Association of Blacks in Energy talks about the importance of the United States making the right choices on energy policy.