Skip to main content

Energy Tomorrow Blog

Making Offshore Operations Even Safer

offshore safety  center for offshore safety  macondo well  oil spill response  oil spill prevention  gulf of mexico  deep water drilling  industry standards 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 9, 2015

Three zeroes stand out in the first annual performance report by the Center for Offshore Safety (COS), the oil and natural gas industry-led initiative to promote continuous offshore safety improvement following the 2010 Macondo incident: Zero fatalities, zero loss-of-well-control incidents and zero oil spills equal to or greater than 10,000 gallons in Gulf of Mexico operations.

More »

Safe, Abundant Energy for America’s Future

safety standards  safe operations  offshore energy development  oil and natural gas  shale energy  crude oil  liquefied natural gas  exports  ethanol  renewable fuel standard 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 8, 2015

NOLA.com: Five years after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil and gas industry can respond and contain well blowouts offshore faster than ever before, said Don Armijo, CEO of the Marine Well Containment Co. But he said work remains to make sure containment equipment keeps pace with industry's push to drill in deeper waters.

Armijo, who spoke Tuesday (April 7) at a business lunch at The Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans, said Marine Well Containment Co. has the equipment to respond to oil gushers in up to 10,000 feet of water. The industry will outgrow that equipment, he said.

"We know there has been drilling proposed in areas much deeper than 10,000 feet of water," Armijo said. "That's the big thing. How do we actually get the technology put together so we can be deeper? These are the kind of things that are on our minds all the time."

More »

Listen to Vehicle Manufacturers on E15

e15  ethanol  renewable fuel standard  rfs34  engine safety  blend wall 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 4, 2015

Let’s update an informative chart that’s critical in the continuing discussion of E15 fuel and the ethanol mandates of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

It lists, by vehicle manufacturers and model years, whether a specific manufacturer recommends operation of its vehicles on E15, which contains 50 percent more ethanol than the E10 fuel that’s prevalent across the country. We’ve posted the manufacturers/model years grid a number of times (including here and here), but this chart s updated to include the 2015 model year.

More »

The Facts and the RFS

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  ethanol  e15  engine safety  consumer confidence  epa  blend wall 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 25, 2015

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its mandates for increasing use of ethanol continue to be debated publicly – in Congress, where lawmakers could vote to repeal the dysfunctional program and in places like Chicago, where service stations could be forced to carry higher-ethanol blend E15 fuel.

The Fill Up On Facts website is a great resource on the RFS, ethanol mandates and related issues. Information is available on the RFS itself, as well as problems that have made the program and its ethanol mandates untenable – like the refining “blend wall,” potential risks to vehicle and equipment engines and impacts on food prices.

More »

Balancing Safe Energy, Environmental Protection

shale energy  safe operations  hydraulic fracturing  horizontal drilling  fracking  safety standards  economic benefits  pennsylvania 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 22, 2015

Small business owner Laura Ross in Washington, Pa., has a stake in safe energy development and environmental stewardship.

In the new television ad below, Ross talks about how her café and other businesses in town have seen an economic boost because of nearby energy development. But she’s also mindful of the environment, because her business carries items produced by local farms. The fact that hydraulic fracturing has been done safely for more than 65 years is reassuring to her and her patrons.

More »

Putting the Brakes on Chicago’s E15 Mandate

e15  ethanol in gasoline  renewable fuel standard  rfs34  consumers  engine safety  economic impacts 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 16, 2014

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his allies on the city council deserve credit for putting a stop – for now at least – to an ill-conceived proposal that would mandate the sale of higher ethanol blend E15 fuel at city service stations.

We say ill-conceived because, as argued here and here earlier this year, the E15 requirement could be full of risk for consumers and small business owners – while mainly benefiting ethanol producers. Recently, AAA urged Chicago lawmakers to vote against the ordinance.

More »

The Impacts of Bad Policies on Great Cars

renewable fuel standard  e15  ethanol in gasoline  engine safety  epa 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 17, 2014

Saw a tweet last week from Jalopnik, a website “obsessed with the cult of cars and everything that moves you,” and it reminded me of an important point in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) debate.

First, Jalopnik doesn’t actually do a car-of-the-year award because it considers them to be so much media hype. The tweet was a little jab at car awards. Still, Matt Hardigree, the site’s editor-in-chief, says the ’94 Miata really is a great, classic car.

Which leads to our point about the RFS: If you’re a lucky owner of a vintage Miata, don’t let E15 anywhere near its fuel tank.

More »

EPA is Late, Late, Late

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  ethanol  refineries  e15  engine safety 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 5, 2014

A couple of quick observations on issues related to the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

First, the ethanol use requirements for 2014 now are 11 months late. The requirements from EPA were supposed to be issued by Nov. 30 of last year, so that refiners could plan this year’s operations to comply with the RFS’ ethanol mandates. Instead, they’ve been forced to try to divine what EPA might require. Now, with roughly 330 of the year’s 365 days passed, the guessing game turned absurd long ago.

More »

The Holistic Approach to Rail Safety

regulation  energy safety  infrastructure  crude oil 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 3, 2014

About a month ago, API President and CEO Jack Gerard stressed the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to develop new federal rules to govern the shipment of crude oil by rail – the soundest way to improve the North American rail network’s already strong 99.998 percent success rate:

“API supports a rule that ultimately improves the safety of rail transportation in North America through a holistic approach while allowing for the continued growth of the energy renaissance that has created and supported millions of jobs across the U.S. and Canada.”

The goal is realizing actual safety improvement. Industry is highly motivated in the quest for safety. Hess Corporation’s Lee Johnson, rail logistics advisor:

“My view has always been that I think the oil industry is maniacally focused on safety because of the consequences of failure in anything. … Everybody is very safety conscious, safety trained and well-equipped.”

With those stakes, developing the best safety rules possible is the objective. Industry believes improving safety is a multi-faceted endeavor – requiring enhanced prevention, mitigation and response measures – and it should be science-based.

More »

Safe Fracking Benefits America

fracking  hydraulic fracturing  safety standards  economic benefits  greenhouse gas emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 3, 2014

Following up on last week’s rebuttal of a truth-challenged attack on hydraulic fracturing in a USA Today op-ed, in which we detail how federal and state regulation, combined with industry standards are protecting the environment, water supplies and communities.

The op-ed by the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Amy Mall opens by posing a false choice for Americans: economic and energy security from development using fracking or safety. It continues:

… a controversial new extraction technology known as "fracking" — combined with unprecedented exemptions for the industry from bedrock federal environmental and public health laws — has fueled a recent explosion in domestic oil and gas development. And safeguards have not kept pace.

Fracking isn’t new. Earlier this year the U.S. marked the 65th anniversary of the first commercial use of hydraulic fracturing. Fracking pre-dates McDonald’s, diet soft drinks, credit cards and more – even Barbie. It’s a fact, and saying otherwise is dishonest.

More »