Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted April 28, 2021
We’ve written quite a bit recently about how the economic recovery so far has spurred increased demand for oil and refined products (see here, here, and here). The demand for air travel and consequently jet fuel, which historically have related strongly to the pace of economic growth, lagged the economy so far.
In fact, U.S. passenger traffic in April 2021 was roughly half of what it was in 2019, per the Transportation Safety Administration, so many people are asking why ticket prices have already begun to rise. After all, even as summer approaches, aren’t there a lot of idle planes and crews eager to be re-hired and return to service?
There is in fact a lot of idle capacity. Yet, ticket prices also seem to have increased recently and outpaced the return of passengers – for example, with recent price spikes for airfare to some attractive destinations.
Posted April 22, 2021
As the White House hosts the Leaders Summit on Climate, it’s important to reiterate the natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to address the climate challenge while also supplying the affordable, reliable energy our country counts on every day. Industry’s goal is to engage with President Biden and Congress on those parallel priorities.
Meeting the climate/energy challenge is at the heart of API’s Climate Action Framework – with an emphasis on “action.” Americans, as seen in new polling, expect our nation to tackle both in a workable, common-sense manner, and the framework details just such a plan of action – from endorsing a government price on carbon to carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), methane regulation and more.
Key in the Climate Action Framework is accelerating technologies and innovation, such as CCUS, to support global leaders’ goal of meeting the world’s growing need for energy while also advancing a lower-carbon future.
Posted April 22, 2021
This year, efforts to advance environmental progress and economic growth feel more urgent than ever. America’s post-pandemic recovery requires energy for transportation and everyday use, and our long-term climate goals demand immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
These dual challenges are complex but not incompatible, and with the flexibility and scope of an economywide approach, the U.S. can deliver lasting solutions for sustainable human development.
API’s recently released Climate Action Framework establishes a roadmap for public policies and industry initiatives that can accelerate economy-wide emissions reductions, while expanding access to affordable, reliable energy. America has a strong track record of climate leadership, and with ongoing investment in technological innovations and a commitment to collaboration, we can achieve meaningful results.
Posted April 21, 2021
Soon after the 2020 election we noted that results showed U.S. voters are mostly moderate and practical and want sensible solutions to key issues facing the nation, which Democratic pollster Mark Penn wrote is driven by common sense over ideology. Americans’ views on energy certainly fit that construct.
New polling by Morning Consult on behalf of API underscores the point and provides important context for Washington policymakers as they debate the twin issues of energy and climate.
Posted April 15, 2021
EPA’s latest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report shows continued progress in lowering U.S. emissions. A good deal of this progress can be attributed to increased use of domestic natural gas. Some key numbers stand out:
Total GHG emissions fell 1.7% from 2018 to 2019 and have decreased 11.6% since 2005; emissions from the electric power sector have fallen 12.1% since 1990 and 33% since 2005; methane emissions from natural gas systems have decreased 4% since 2005 – even as marketed natural gas production over the same period increased more than 90%; emissions from abandoned oil and natural gas wells have fallen 2.9% since 1990, 8% since 2005 and 9.5% since 2018 – reflecting reductions in the official estimate of unplugged, abandoned wells.
EPA gives significant credit for the 1.7% emissions decrease noted above to growing use of cleaner natural gas.
Posted April 15, 2021
API’s primary data for March 2021 suggest that petroleum markets demonstrated a measured recovery following the winter emergency disruptions that affected oil supply, trade and inventories beginning in mid-February.
Notably, total U.S. petroleum demand of 19.1 million barrels per day (mb/d) decreased seasonally but showed resounding strength in rural gasoline demand that increased by 632,000 barrels per day over February.
Posted April 14, 2021
Timely, accurate reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – by our industry and all emitting sectors of the economy – is critically important for our country’s efforts to address the risks of climate change. That’s why enhancing the consistency and comparability of our industry’s GHG reporting is one of the main elements of the Climate Framework action plan API unveiled last month.
As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) increases its focus on climate and ESG (environmental, social, governance) reporting, let’s just say that the natural gas and oil industry is on it. Not only do we see the value of reporting to stakeholders and the importance of accurate, transparent GHG reporting in developing sound, we want to drive it.
Indeed, industry is well-positioned to be a reporting leader; we’re not newcomers to it.
Posted April 13, 2021
The Biden Administration’s goal of modernizing the nation’s infrastructure – including roads, bridges, rail and ports – is something that all Americans can support. At API we have long touted the compounding benefits of upgrading our nation’s infrastructure. The positives go well beyond material enhancements to include creating new jobs, helping communities nationwide, improving efficiencies throughout the economy by reducing congestion and delay, and – in the case of pipelines – bolstering safety and environmental performance.
Early outlines of the Administration’s plan include ambitious goals and many strengths. But it’s important to note that it misses an opportunity to take an across-the-board approach to addressing all our country’s current and future infrastructure needs, including modernizing the pipelines that power our modern lives.
Posted April 8, 2021
When President Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline in January, it was more than just canceling an important piece of energy infrastructure. It was a setback for the U.S.-Canada energy and trade relationship that has benefited both countries economically and in terms of their security in the world.
A new ICF study assessing U.S.-Canada cross-border petroleum trade finds that there is growing integration of North American energy markets, which in turn leads to lower costs for consumers and increased energy security for both countries. Frank Macchiarola, API senior vice president of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs, talked about the study’s findings during a virtual conference hosted by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
Posted April 6, 2021
The Biden administration’s pause in new natural gas and oil leasing on federal lands and waters continues to look like a hard sell, not only in energy-producing states but also with traditional Democratic allies in organized labor.
We’ve talked about potential negative effects of the administration’s policy on leasing and have warned against even greater impacts to the economy and American energy security if the pause becomes a permanent ban on federal leasing and development (see here, here and here). Projected impacts from a full-on ban on leasing and development in an analysis by OnLocation include approximately 1 million jobs could be lost – nearly 120,000 in Texas, more than 62,000 in New Mexico and more than 48,000 in Louisiana – foreign oil imports could increase 2 million barrels per day; and carbon dioxide emissions could increase 5.5%
Similar concerns surfaced as the U.S. Interior Department (DOI) held a forum on the federal oil and gas program. At the public session, Frank Macchiarola, API senior vice president of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs, noted that federal lands and waters account for 22% of U.S. oil and 12% of U.S. natural gas production and urged DOI leaders to recognize the importance of this production to U.S. energy security, economic growth and continued environmental progress.