Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted June 12, 2019
The U.S. energy revolution continues to surge ahead – but you might not know it from some recent headlines: “The Shale Boom Is About To Go Bust” (Oil Price.com); “Oil Wells Aren’t Producing as Much as Forecast” (Wall Street Journal); “U.S. Oil Production Is Headed For A Quick Decline” (Oil Price.com)
Actually, domestic natural gas and oil production continues to expand. See API’s most recent Monthly Statistical Report. For some of the same reasons economists are so bad at predicting recessions, sometimes analysts may struggle to accurately project where U.S. energy is heading. After all, the shale revolution’s prospects have been underestimated since it launched.
Posted June 11, 2019
We’ve warned before (see here, here and here) that the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its mandates for ever-increasing ethanol use put consumers at risk. And that the administration’s recent decision to allow summer sales of E15 fuel – a blend containing 50 percent more ethanol than the E10 gasoline that’s widespread across the country – is an ineffective approach to addressing concerns with the RFS that will only serve to make things worse. Now, we can add another report to the long list of evidence that the RFS needs to be sunset – this time coming from the non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).The GAO recently reviewed the effects of the RFS and found that requiring the use of corn-based ethanol and biodiesel in gasoline supplies hasn’t lowered pump prices or significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions – two of the main goals of the flawed RFS program. In fact, the review finds that gas prices outside of the corn-rich Midwest likely increased because of the program. To make matters worse, the review also found that there has been little, if any, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – a main selling point used by proponents to justify the program.
Posted June 10, 2019
From the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico to Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, the U.S. has not just the resources but an industry with the technology and skill to develop them safely.
Take for example the North Slope of Alaska, an area poised to re-emerge as a “super basin” following discoveries like Willow, Pikka and Liberty. The resurgence has been great news for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, or TAPS — backbone of Alaska energy and critical pillar of U.S. energy security. TAPS throughput is ticking up, and new finds in National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, or NPR-A, could singlehandedly increase its volume by 18 percent. ...
On so many levels, U.S. energy security, and our national security, is tied to keeping Alaska energy strong.
Posted June 6, 2019
Following past White House precedent, President Trump recently designated June 2019 as National Ocean Month in recognition of the ocean’s role in supporting the U.S. economy, national security and environment, while recommitting to safeguard its vital resources.
The U.S. offshore energy industry wholeheartedly supports the sentiments in the president’s proclamation and demonstrates this day in and day out.
Posted June 4, 2019
Some important points as the U.S. House Select Committee on Intelligence meets this week to talk about the impacts of climate change on U.S. security interests, global humanitarian conditions and other issues.
First, U.S. security is the responsibility of the U.S. military, which is the largest government user of energy, ranking ahead of many countries in overall energy use. More than any other energy sources and by a wide margin, natural gas and oil power America’s military.
Second, U.S. national security is directly tied to having access to safe, reliable, abundant energy and also decreasing dependence on energy supplied by other nations. Thanks to the U.S. energy revolution, resulting in record oil production, America’s dependence on others has fallen significantly since 2006.
Third, on the humanitarian issue, U.S. natural gas and oil offer a golden opportunity to lift regions and even entire countries out of energy poverty – with power for electricity that’s unavailable to nearly 1 billion people on earth and clean fuel for home heating and cooking, which about 2.7 billion people currently live without.
Posted June 3, 2019
The administration’s decision to allow summer sales of E15 fuel – a blend containing 50 percent more ethanol than the E10 gasoline that’s widespread across the country – is a disappointing and ineffective approach to addressing concerns with the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
EPA’s rulemaking that extends the RVP waiver, effectively lifting a ban on summertime E15 sales, only worsens risks for U.S. consumers – given repeated warnings that pushing more E15 into the fuel supply could harm the vast majority of vehicles on the road that aren’t designed to use it, as well as engines in motorcycles, boats and lawn equipment for which E15 is incompatible. All to help farmers struggling under the weight of the administration’s own harmful trade tariffs.
It may seem obvious, but apparently it needs stating: EPA should be most concerned about the interests of U.S. consumers as it forms policy, not cleaning up messes caused by the administration’s flawed trade policy.
Posted May 31, 2019
The stage and podium banners at the Alaska Oil and Gas Association Conference in Anchorage this week had a simple, direct message – “Alaska: Back On The Map.” Certainly, the U.S. will be stronger, more secure and prosperous if the energy in Alaska and the Arctic offshore are developed to their potential.
This was the main point of keynote remarks by API President and CEO Mike Sommers (speech video here) – that an energy-strong Alaska makes America energy strong. The critical factor, Sommers said, is securing access to reserves – in the Alaskan offshore, the designated development zone of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s (ANWR) coastal plain and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).
Posted May 30, 2019
A new Colorado law handing more control over natural gas and oil operations to municipalities, authority that used to reside with the state, risks another law – the law of unintended consequences – that could deal a serious blow to one of our country’s leading energy-producing states.
This week the city of Broomfield became the seventh Colorado community to impose a ban on new natural gas and oil development since introduction of Senate Bill 181, which became law last month. …
Before SB 181’s passage, industry warned the law could disrupt responsible natural gas and oil development by hatching a patchwork, unpredictable regulatory system across the state – with the unintended consequence of imperiling energy development and jobs and economic growth. Regulatory uncertainty can chill sizeable investments in new operations that often have significant lead times
Unfortunately, that uncertainty appears to be growing in Colorado – with national implications because the state ranks sixth in both natural gas and oil production.
Posted May 29, 2019
The headline of the opinion piece in the Orange County Register caught my eye – and should get the attention of everyone in this country:
“Fracking saves low-income Americans’ lives”
The article is based on research published earlier this year, which calculated that lower heating costs associated with surging domestic natural gas production averted 11,000 winter deaths in the U.S. each winter from 2005 to 2010.
Read on for details, but this research makes the critically important connection between abundant energy and Americans’ well-being.
Posted May 24, 2019
There’s lots to know and understand from a new NOAA study on U.S. methane emissions from 2006-2015, starting with the study finding that there has been “major overestimation” of industry’s methane emissions trends in some previous studies.
While U.S. natural gas production has increased 46 percent since 2006, scientists found “no significant increase” in total U.S. methane emissions. During this same period, the NOAA study found only a “modest” increase in emissions from natural gas and oil activity. (In the context of surging natural gas production – emissions intensity, or emissions per unit production – industry emissions are even smaller.)