Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted August 20, 2020
Natural gas as the essential partner for renewables such as wind and solar is something we’ve talked about a lot (see here, here and here). Californians have been schooled on this point recently, with millions suffering under rolling blackouts during soaring temperatures because electrical utilities couldn’t keep pace with skyrocketing demand.
The state’s renewables mandate has played a role in their misery. By requiring that 60% of California’s electricity must come from renewables by 2030 and through green energy subsidies, the state has seen the competitive balance tilt away from other, more flexible power sources, including cleaner natural gas.
Posted August 20, 2020
Posted August 19, 2020
If Democratic policymakers want to ‘build back better’ while also keeping the lights on, they’ll want to support the continued development of America’s vast natural gas and oil resources, which provides reliable, affordable, and cleaner energy.
Democratic leaders like former President Barack Obama – who received a 97% favorability rating in 2018 among self-identified Democrats – and several other keynote speakers at this year’s Democratic National Convention have advocated for U.S. natural gas and oil, with some encouraging its growth to help lower household energy bills, reduce emissions, and create new American jobs.
Posted August 14, 2020
Three reasons EPA’s newly modified rule on methane is good for the environment and U.S. energy – because both are critically important for our nation’s growth and prosperity:
1. Industry will keep reducing emissions while innovating for the future
2. The rule is consistent with the federal Clean Air Act
3. Effective state regulation is recognized
Posted August 13, 2020
The U.S. oil and natural gas industry has long shared the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) goal of reducing emissions from its operations and has consistently and successfully done so while meeting America’s energy needs every day. Specifically, methane is the natural gas we use in our homes and businesses, so operators have a strong incentive to bring it to market.
Methane emissions rates from five of the largest oil and natural gas producing regions across the U.S. – including the Permian and Marcellus basins in Texas, New Mexico, Ohio and Pennsylvania respectively – were down nearly 70% from 2011 to 2018, even as production in those regions increased dramatically. Industry is committed to building on these positive trends through voluntary initiatives like The Environmental Partnership.
Posted August 11, 2020
On National 811 Day, we’re reminding DIYers to dial before you dig!
After several months of coronavirus-imposed quarantine, Americans are mastering the art of stay-at-home. With all those extra hours of downtime, people confined to their houses and apartments are cooking, crafting, exercising and, apparently, remodeling.
This spring, sales surged for home improvement equipment and materials at retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot, and recent polling from Bank of America shows that more than 70% of Americans have decided to tackle a DIY renovation project during the pandemic.
Posted August 7, 2020
News item from Bloomberg: TC Energy Corp. has reached agreements with four labor unions to build the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline – a move that could amplify political pressure on Joe Biden, who has threatened to rip up permits for the project even as he courts blue-collar workers.
Details in the announcement from TC Energy, Keystone XL’s builder: The project labor agreement (PLA) is with the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA); Keystone XL will have 10,000 high-paying construction jobs, primarily filled by union workers; 2,000 unionized workers will start building some of the project’s 28 planned U.S. pump stations this fall, according to Bloomberg.
Overall, Keystone XL is projected to support 42,000 U.S. jobs and generate $2 billion in earnings for U.S. workers during pipeline construction, according to the U.S. State Department, which also found that the project won’t significantly impact climate or the environment.
Posted August 7, 2020
Modern, resilient natural gas and oil infrastructure is vital to maintaining U.S. energy affordability and economic competitiveness. As the industry undergoes rapid digitalization, reliability remains fundamental to energy operations, particularly as cybersecurity risks present emerging challenges.
The U.S. has been subject to an increasing volume of malicious cyberattacks from China, Russia and other foreign adversaries, posing a persistent threat to our national security and grid reliability. Within the next two years, 2.5 billion industrial devices will be brought online in the energy industry, meaning the need to protect our critical infrastructure assets has never been more urgent.
Posted August 6, 2020
There are two new developments with the federal Nationwide Permit 12 program (NWP 12), which is critically important for key infrastructure projects of all kinds. Both point to the need for a clear, efficient, common-sense permitting program that balances environmental protection with streamlining projects that have limited environmental impacts.
Achieving this is occurring on two tracks. U.S. senators have introduced legislation that would cut red tape and in the short term help reestablish regulatory order and allow infrastructure projects to proceed if they’re following certain species protection rules already in the NWP 12. Meanwhile the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a proposal that includes renewing more than 50 Nationwide Permits for the next five years. This is important because the permits would expire in March 2022 otherwise.
Posted August 4, 2020
Let’s follow up on the recent news coming out of The Environmental Partnership – that the group is opening membership to industry’s midstream sector and that participants are discussing the best ways to reduce routine flaring.
Both are big-time developments; both show that the Partnership is doing what it set out to do when it was born in December 2017. Both will help protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions – even as our industry produces the energy Americans count on every day.
Adding midstream companies (including pipelines and storage infrastructure) comes as the Partnership reports more than tripling its membership, including 36 of the top 40 U.S. natural gas producers. It’s more than numbers. Each new member company means a new commitment to improve environmental performance in the field. Growth means the Partnership’s program to reduce methane emissions is extending further across the country. And now, here comes the midstream.