Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted June 30, 2020
When the “Green New Deal” first was floated in Washington last year, it struggled to gain much altitude and more or less collapsed of its own weight.
The plan proposed dramatic alterations to America – especially the energy sector. Provisions impacting transportation, housing, communications and modern standards of living weren’t very palatable. Ernest Moniz, President Obama’s energy secretary, suggested the plan wasn’t “politically or economically implementable.” Not surprisingly, House leaders didn’t warm to the proposal, and it didn’t gain traction in Congress.
This week the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis has unveiled a new climate package of market-based mechanisms, government mandates, investments and tax incentives – including promotion of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) and provisions aimed at electric utilities and automakers, who would be told to produce only electric cars by 2035.
While API will review the House proposal according to the API Climate Position and Climate Policy Principles, let’s assert that the forward path on climate must be realistic. This means including natural gas and oil – which will be part of the nation’s energy mix for decades to come – and capitalizing on our industry’s proven ability to help significantly reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Posted June 30, 2020
Good technical standards and industry practices are important to safe, sustainable energy infrastructure that is critical to unleashing the benefits of domestic energy – including clean, affordable natural gas.
Major energy players have pointed to new midstream infrastructure investments in the massive Permian region that will allow them to produce more while also improving environmental performance. In addition, this infrastructure will benefit consumers globally through the export of U.S. natural gas – produced right here at home under stringent regulations, many of which point to API’s world-class safety standards that improve environmental performance and sustainability.
Posted June 26, 2020
Pennsylvania promises to again be a battleground state this year, and former Vice President Joe Biden was in Lancaster this week to talk about health care and the coronavirus. At some point voters in the nation’s No. 2 energy-producing state will want to know what he thinks about natural gas and oil.
Our industry supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania, furnishes tens of billions of dollars in wages and contributions to the commonwealth’s economy. Nearly $2 billion in impact fee revenue from natural gas production has gone to the state – distributed to counties and municipalities to fund public safety, water and sewer projects, environmental programs and more.
Natural gas and oil are critical to Pennsylvania and to the United States, and any policy or program that would ban or severely restrict safe fracking, impacting natural gas and oil production, could have significant energy and economic effects. It’s not just API making the policy argument for energy and against banning fracking.
Posted June 24, 2020
As the U.S. Supreme Court weighs a request to delay a lower-court decision to exclude “construction of new oil and natural gas pipelines” from a key federal permitting program, it’s clear the district court’s ruling could seriously harm projects that are critical to strengthening U.S. energy infrastructure.
As many as 75 pipelines in various stages of development could be impacted after last month’s ruling by a federal judge in Montana, who said the Nationwide Permit 12 program (NWP 12) can’t be used for constructing new natural gas and oil pipelines – singling them out among other utility projects that remain NWP 12 eligible. One issue with the district court ruling is that it doesn’t define “pipeline” or what may be covered. The 75 pipelines referred to here include pipelines to deliver natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids.
The affected capital investment can be measured in the billions of dollars. Publicly available estimates for the capital costs of just 11 of the 75 projects could exceed $32 billion, which could support nearly 480,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs.
Posted June 19, 2020
We’ve discussed the historic link between economic growth and energy – chiefly, natural gas and oil, America’s and the world’s leading energy sources. When the economy grows it boosts demand for energy. And when that energy is supplied, growth is enabled or powered. See this blog by API Chief Economist Dean Foreman, in which he describes data behind our confidence that natural gas and oil will be big participants in the nation’s economic recovery.
Indeed, the indicators of this linkage are visible in API’s June Monthly Statistical Report. Based on May data, the MSR records an increase in U.S. petroleum demand of 2.0 million barrels per day, with motor gasoline leading the way. It’s the largest such increase in nearly 45 years.
Americans are getting back to work, and as they do, they need fuel. Likewise, rising fuel demand reflects increased demand for transportation and delivery of goods and services. As our industry meets this demand, growth is enabled.
Posted June 18, 2020
As the U.S. and world confront the unprecedented combination of a public health crisis, significant economic downturn and tumultuous domestic and global oil markets, we have seen oil demand, prices, and consequently drilling and production fall by historic amounts.
Overall, we see market forces at work, with a re-balancing of supply and demand to historic proportions despite great uncertainties. The underlying fundamentals appear to be constructive and should position the U.S. natural gas and oil industry to participate in an economic recovery. And if the third-party consensus is correct the next year or so could bring positives for U.S. and global energy.
Posted June 17, 2020
Delivering what’s essential. It’s at the heart of what our industry does – and it’s never been more important than right now.
The pandemic has focused Americans on health, safety, family and other critical priorities.
At the same time, we’ve been reminded that the heroes in this crisis are first-responders, doctors and nurses. We’ve also become aware that others – including people working at supermarkets, pharmacies, fuel stations and in modern communications networks – also serve in indispensable roles.
These contributions are highlighted in API’s new video, “Essential."
Posted June 15, 2020
During this moment of public health and economic uncertainty, the natural gas and oil industry has taken steps to ensure the integrity of our products and develop new standards that add value for our customers, while bolstering efficiency and sustainability throughout the supply chain.
API has focused squarely on the thriving U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) market through our voluntary standards program, and we believe that our best practices and engineering standards are essential to the future of the U.S. LNG export market.
Posted June 11, 2020
Practical, safe, and responsible offshore energy development doesn’t just create jobs and power our lives – it also funds America’s largest federal conservation program. For decades, the natural gas and oil industry has directly contributed to outdoor recreation and environmental conservation, thanks to a long-standing law that would be strengthened by legislation that is up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.
Senators will soon vote on S. 3422, the Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan bill that would codify a permanent funding stream for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address a considerable maintenance and construction backlog on public lands.
Posted June 10, 2020
For more than 25 years, natural gas and oil producers have been reusing oilfield water to irrigate farms in southern California. This industry-driven approach, which mixes oilfield and surface water, strengthens agricultural output and resource conservation in the drought-prone Cawelo Water District.
The use of oilfield produced water (OPW) for irrigation is permitted under California Water Board policy, and a new study by researchers at Duke University and RTI International confirms that OPW is “of comparable quality to the local groundwater in the region.” The practice, which does not pose major risks to crop or human health, has benefited farmers faced with increasing water shortages.