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Energy Tomorrow Blog

The Benefits of Exporting U.S. Crude Oil

american energy  exports  trade  Economy  jobs 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 19, 2015

The 40 year-old oil export ban has been a hot topic in Congress the last few weeks. And as the Senate took up discussion today on the benefits of open trade on global prices, the geopolitical case for ending the ban were made clear.

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Making the Most of the U.S. Energy Revolution

energy policies  exxonmobil  trade  energy exports  fracking  taxes  tax revenue 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 13, 2015

UPI – U.S. policymakers are called on to adopt the energy policies necessary to take advantage of the new era of abundance, the chairman of Exxon Mobil said.

Some energy companies with a focus on exploration and production are advocating for a repeal of a ban on the export of some domestically-produced crude oil. The ban was enacted in the 1970s in response to an export embargo from Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Exxon Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson led the drive, telling an audience at The Economic Club in Washington D.C. current policies are out of step with the energy landscape in the shale era.

"It is time to build policies that reflect our newfound abundance, that view the future with optimism, that recognize the power of free markets to drive innovation, and that proceed with the conviction that free trade brings prosperity and progress," he said in a Thursday address.

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The Energy Revolution – The View From the White House

oil and natural gas development  access  president obama  congress  energy policy  economic benefits  trade  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 26, 2015

The president’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) understands the significance of the U.S. energy revolution quite well – reflected in the energy chapter of its recent 2015 Economic Report of the President.

The chapter should be widely read by policymakers, from the president and Congress on down, because it notes the role of surging domestic oil and natural gas production in the ongoing energy revolution. From there it’s possible to identify needed policies for the future.

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Energy is Redrawing U.S. Trade Picture

trade  american energy  fracking  exports  pipelines  small business 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 6, 2015

Wall Street Journal: The U.S. oil boom is redrawing America’s trade picture. Petroleum imports accounted for less than 20% of the nation’s trade deficit last year, down from more than 40% only five years earlier, according to figures for 2014 released Thursday. But the overall U.S. appetite for overseas goods didn’t diminish over the period, which started with the global economy’s first full year of expansion after the 2007-09 recession. Imports of just about everything else have surged as Americans substitute other goods for foreign oil, leaving a growing trade deficit. “If we hadn’t had this oil boom I think our deficit would be lot larger than it is right now,” said IHS Global Insight economist Patrick Newport. “It’s a game-changer.”

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Politics vs. Jobs – EPA and Keystone XL Edition

keystone xl pipeline  environmental protection agency  epa  state department  transcanada  canadian oil sands  oil imports  trade 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 6, 2015

EPA’s 13th-hour ambush of the Keystone XL pipeline and the project’s environmental reviews by the U.S. State Department looks like more of the political gamesmanship the Obama administration has used to keep the pipeline on hold for more than six years. But perhaps EPA overplayed its hand.

As we pointed out, EPA’s letter urging officials to “revisit” the State Department’s Keystone XL conclusions is awkwardly and perhaps suspiciously late. State has done five separate environmental reviews, with the last one completed more than a year ago. This week, while other involved federal agencies weighed in on the pipeline’s merits from a national-interest standpoint, EPA lobbied to revisit established science

Second, the agency’s assertion that the current global price of oil affects the State Department’s environmental conclusion – that Keystone XL would have no significant impact – is oddly at odds with the agency’s position that the current global price of oil has no effect on EPA’s own policymaking decisions.   

Third, EPA did some manipulating of what State said about Keystone XL’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions – its letter citing only the largest numbers in State’s range of possible effects. A reasonable conclusion is that there’s a whiff of politics, for strategic effect, in EPA’s doings.

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U.S. Energy – For Jobs, Government Revenue, More Trade

american energy  Economy  jobs  trade  manufacturing  exports  policy  ethanol  rfs34  keystone xl pipeline  fracking 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 3, 2015

NPR: As the economy continues to recover, economists are seeing stark differences between people with high school and college degrees. Four-year college graduates are nearly twice as likely to have a job compared to Americans who just graduated high school and stopped there. But economists say that doesn't mean everybody needs a four-year degree. In fact, millions of good-paying jobs are opening up in the trades. And some pay better than what the average college graduate makes.

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Yes, Keystone XL is in the National Interest

keystone xl pipeline  economic benefits  jobs creation  president obama  canadian oil sands  bakken shale  trade  infrastructure  senate  congress 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 31, 2015

The long trail of “process” excuses for not approving the Keystone XL pipeline is coming to an end.

Five U.S. State Department reviews – all of them basically saying Keystone XL won’t significantly affect the environment – done.

Public hearings – done.

A new pipeline route through Nebraska – done.

By Monday, federal agencies must weigh in on whether Keystone XL is in the national interest. It is, as we’ll get into below.

The point is, after more than six years of process and review by the White House, we’ve come to the end of the processing and the reviewing. The administration stretched to 76 months a pipeline approval process that typically takes 18 to 24 months. It turned Keystone XL into a political football, punted here and there for reasons that clearly weren’t in the national interest.

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Rhetoric vs. Action – Exports Edition

crude oil production  exports  trade  economic benefits  gasoline prices  president obama  congress 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 23, 2015

Earlier this month, then-White House advisor John Podesta said the Obama administration is unlikely to do more on the U.S. crude oil export ban beyond the Commerce Department’s recent effort to clarify the rules for exporting ultra-light crude known as condensates. Podesta told Reuters:

“At this stage, I think that what the Commerce Department did in December sort of resolves the debate. We felt comfortable with where they went. If you look at what's going on in the market and actions that the Department took, I think that ... there's not a lot of pressure to do more.”

It’s a strange conclusion given the weight of scholarship that says America’s 1970s ban on crude exports should be lifted – to spur domestic production, create jobs and put downward pressure on U.S. gasoline prices. It also would solve a growing mismatch between supplies of light sweet domestic crude and a refinery sector that’s largely configured to handle heavier crudes. ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance, speaking recently at the Center for Strategic and International Studies:

“(The condensates decision is) a help. … I question whether we’ll ever grow to a million barrels a day of condensate production, so it helps, but it doesn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t answer the issue that we’re going to have coming at us as a nation … crude that our refineries cannot refine. So it’s a help, but by no stretch does it solve the problem. We have to address the bigger issue.”  

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Keystone XL and Trade

keystone xl pipeline  economic growth  canadian oil sands  trade  exports  imports  infrastructure  president obama  state department 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 22, 2015

During his State of the Union speech President Obama talked about expanding trade and building up the middle class. Both good objectives. And, while a president’s annual message to Congress usually is full of goals that are mostly aspirational, both of these are attainable – through energy.

First, the president could work to end the ban on the export of domestic crude oil, a relic of the 1970s and an era of U.S. energy scarcity. A supply of light sweet crude, mismatched for a refinery sector largely configured to handle heavier crudes, would be able to reach overseas markets. This would help support domestic production and jobs – many of them well-paying middle-class jobs – while benefitting our trade balance.

Likewise, the administration could stop slow-walking approvals for planned U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities to export LNG to non-free trade agreement nations – again, spurring domestic production and jobs and improving America’s trade bottom line.

Both would increase the U.S. presence in global energy markets – expanding world supply, helping allies and strengthening American foreign policy – all consistent with our country’s status as an energy superpower.

Second and more specifically, the president could approve the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s needed energy infrastructure that would bring more than 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada and the U.S. Midwest, support tens of thousands of U.S. jobs – good middle-class jobs – and help strengthen the U.S. energy/trading relationship with Canada, our No. 1 source of imported oil.

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The Possibilities of Resilient American Energy

us energy  gasoline prices  crude oil  exports  trade  economic benefits  oil and natural gas production  keystone xl pipeline  fracking  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 16, 2015

Bloomberg: Ending restrictions on U.S. crude exports could cut gasoline prices as much as 12 cents a gallon, a Columbia University study co-written by a former adviser to President Barack Obama has concluded.

Without the partial ban, domestic production might increase as much as 1.2 million barrels a day by 2025, making the U.S. more resilient to global supply disruptions, according to the study.

“Easing energy export restrictions does not raise gasoline prices for consumers,” Jason Bordoff, a former energy and climate adviser to Obama who is now director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, said in a telephone interview.

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