Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted February 8, 2019
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s new report, “The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2019 to 2029,” says what we’ve been saying for some time now – the administration’s tariff policies are a drag on the broader economy.
CBO projects that “the recent changes in trade policy in the United States and its trading-partner countries will reduce the level of U.S. real GDP by about 0.1 percent by 2022
Now, 0.1 percent might not sound like a lot over that time period, but potentially we’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars subtracted from the economy. Dean Foreman, API chief economist, says it’s particularly concerning in the context of an economy that’s decelerating.
Posted February 6, 2019
Tuesday night’s State of the Union message was aimed at Washington finding common ground to work for the American people. President Trump said policymakers should embrace the “boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good.” It struck a chord; more than seven in 10 Americans said they liked the speech’s approach and tone.
The challenge now is to move beyond rhetorical flourishes to action. Think: energy. In the quest for the common ground to do the common good, lawmakers can start with energy.Energy is America’s strong suit.
Posted February 5, 2019
Back in 2015, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s first year in office, we first likened his bid to hike taxes on natural gas production to killing the goose that lays golden eggs. That’s because over the years natural gas production has significantly benefited Pennsylvania – the nation’s No. 2 natural gas producer – in jobs, economic lift and impact fees paid by industry that have helped support public infrastructure, storm and water systems, public safety, housing and more, all over the commonwealth.
Negatively impacting a key Pennsylvania industry doesn’t make sense. Yet, in this new year, Wolf is back with a new tax scheme that could hamper natural gas production and its benefits – a proposal to borrow money to invest in infrastructure that would be paid back through a new natural gas production tax. Again, a tax on top of the impact fees industry already pays.
Posted January 30, 2019
Reducing methane emissions from natural gas and oil development is a primary industry mission – underscored at last summer’s World Gas Conference, where speakers from all over the world talked about increased methane capture and reduced emissions.
The reasons are clear. Fundamentally, our industry is in the business of producing and delivering natural gas, of which methane is the main constituent. Capturing as much methane as possible is smart and efficient from a business standpoint.
Equally important, natural gas and oil companies recognize that reducing methane emissions is responsive to the expectations of society, which wants energy to be produced safely and in a way that’s environmentally responsible. Operators are innovating and deploying technologies to achieve those goals. …
All of these points are important to counter a faulty narrative – that more government regulation is the only way to reduce emissions. This view often faults efforts to craft a regulatory approach that strives for greater efficiency, is achievable and fosters innovation.
Posted January 28, 2019
The reopening of the federal government is welcome news for everyone. As one of the country’s most regulated sectors, the natural gas and oil industry urged resolution, recognizing the important federal role in our nation’s energy sector – including infrastructure project review, issuing permits and other activities.
That said, we’ll point out that during the shutdown, industry operated safely and efficiently each and every day, providing the natural gas and oil that support economic expansion, deliver valuable benefits to consumers, strengthen U.S. security and help advance progress on climate and environmental goals.
Industry’s commitment to regulatory compliance was unaffected by the shutdown, including regulation by EPA, the Bureau of Land Management, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies – as well as state regulations.
Posted January 24, 2019
On a day when the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) published its new Annual Energy Outlook – forecasting that the U.S. will become a net energy exporter next year through 2050, growing natural gas share in fueling electricity and rising liquid natural gas exports – API President and CEO Mike Sommers talked about sustaining and growing the engine of all these trends and more: the U.S. energy revolution.
The reason is simple: Where U.S. energy is and where it could go hinge on extending that revolution – to support economic growth, increase U.S. security in the world and help advance environmental and climate goals.
Sommers’ remarks at the U.S. Energy Association’s State of the Energy Industry Forum outlined the key goals for the American energy sector.
Posted January 23, 2019
Con Edison’s moratorium on new natural gas service to homes and businesses in the southern part of affluent Westchester County, just north of New York City, is a wakeup call to the entire state on the folly of stalling or blocking needed pipeline infrastructure.POLITICO has the story. Basically, the natural gas utility says there’s insufficient pipeline capacity to meet the area’s growing need for natural gas, which is underscored during peak heating periods. You know, like right now.
Posted January 18, 2019
The new Short-Term Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) details the vigor of American crude oil production and strengthening U.S. energy security. This is good news for the economy, consumers and America's place in the world.
Consider that EIA estimates U.S. crude oil production averaged 10.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2018, an increase of 1.6 million b/d over 2017. EIA says production reached its highest level and had its largest volume growth on record.
EIA estimates crude oil and petroleum products net imports fell to an average of 2.4 million b/d in 2018, from 3.8 million b/d in 2017 – and 12.5 million b/d in 2005. And EIA forecasts that net imports will keep declining this year, to an average of 1.1 million b/d and to less than 0.1 million b/d in 2020. EIA forecasts that in the fourth quarter of 2020, the United States will be a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products by about 0.9 million b/d.
Posted January 17, 2019
The natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to employee safety has paid off, reflected in API’s new, comprehensive Workplace Safety Report that shows industry’s incidences rate of occupational injuries and illnesses continues to decline and is significantly lower than the rate for the rest of the U.S. private sector.Industry’s safety initiatives – recognized by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which has incorporated a number of API’s recommended practices into its own standards – have been successful. The report is full of data and graphics showing this.
Posted January 11, 2019
Before getting into a new report showing an uptick in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions last year, let’s make sure we keep an eye on the big picture as it concerns U.S. CO2. These points: U.S. CO2 emissions have fallen to their lowest level in a generation – even as global emissions have risen 50 percent since 1990. The leading reason for this favorable trendline is increased use of natural gas in power generation. Nine times this century the U.S. has reduced annual emissions more than any other nation, with clean natural gas playing a key role. As natural gas use in power generation increased, U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions decreased 8 percent between 2010 and 2017.
Now, into that context comes a preliminary estimate from the Rhodium Group that final 2018 data will show CO2 increased 3.4 percent last year. The estimate is consistent with a forecast in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. EIA said the emissions increase reflects 2018’s colder winter (heating) and warmer summer (electricity for cooling).
Significantly, both EIA and Rhodium expect declining CO2 emissions will resume this year.