Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted May 24, 2018
Let’s add some needed perspective in the ongoing discussion of U.S. gasoline prices – even as Washington politicians try to exploit them for their own agendas. The latest political play: Senate Democrats want the president to cajole other nations into producing more oil to increase supply in hopes of moderating things at the pump.
Certainly, increasing global crude supply is important, because in the past doing so has put downward pressure on the cost of crude, the No. 1 factor driving gasoline prices.But, since we’ve seen how much lower and less volatile prices have been the past four years, thanks to the growth of U.S. oil production, wouldn’t it be smarter to encourage greater oil production here at home? Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski
Posted May 22, 2018
Washington is known for partisan political skirmishing, so it’s not surprising that a group of Senate Democrats is trying to score political points against this year’s tax reform legislation by suggesting that lowering the corporate income tax rate has been linked to the recent rise in gasoline prices.
Let’s straighten them out on a couple of important things about gasoline prices, which have nothing to do with tax reform.
First, per-barrel costs for crude oil – the No. 1 factor in the cost of producing gasoline and diesel – have risen due to a tighter global oil supply/demand balance and lower inventories compared to last year. Second, with a strong economy, U.S. petroleum demand has run at its highest levels since 2007 and was up by more than 750,000 barrels per day in April, compared with one year ago. Next, as they do every year around Memorial Day, the start of the summer driving season, Americans are traveling more, which could raise demand further. Finally, although gasoline prices have increased recently, they’re still lower than where they were four years ago, largely because of increased domestic oil production.
Posted May 22, 2018
Hurricane Season 2018 finds our industry, the refinery and pipeline sectors and associated industries prepared to protect energy production facilities and infrastructure that are vital to keeping Americans well supplied, even during severe weather conditions.
That was the message from natural gas and oil and other energy-related sectors during a conference call with reporters. The 2017 hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, confirmed the importance of pre-event training, established emergency protocols, coordinated communications and overall preparation – which our industry and others already are undertaking as June 1, the official start of hurricane season, approaches. API was joined on the call by the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA), American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), American Gas Association (AGA), Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) and the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA).
Major weather events test preparations; we and our energy partners are focused on being as prepared as possible for this season.
Posted May 17, 2018
We hope you’ve seen “Brainpower,” API’s new ad highlighting the smart technologies and data analysis that natural gas and oil use to safely and efficiently bring Americans the energy that empowers their modern lives while also meeting seemingly impossible challenges.
“Brainpower” also is about natural gas and oil deploying technologies and innovating to get cleaner and help the United States reduce its emissions, leading to cleaner air. The women and men of natural gas and oil are focused on this. They want other Americans to know that they care – about lowering emissions and the environment – because they’re members of the community, too. You’ll see it in behind-the-scenes interviews conducted during the “Brainpower” ad shoot.
Posted May 16, 2018
For some time we’ve stressed that offshore oil and natural gas production is compatible with a variety of other ocean uses such as fishing and tourism – and most significantly, with the U.S. military’s need for open-water areas to conduct training exercises, advanced weapons testing and the like. Industry has a long track record of developing offshore energy in a manner that successfully coexists with the military’s needs in the Gulf of Mexico and other areas.
The same would be true in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico if a moratorium on offshore development there, in place since 2006, is allowed to expire in 2022 – creating access to key new areas for safe exploration and development of strategically important oil and natural gas. A new analysis by the Defense Department agrees.
Posted May 15, 2018
Posted May 11, 2018
Protecting the environment is a core industry value. The environment belongs to everyone, and our companies and their employees are committed to producing natural gas and oil as safely as possible. This commitment includes preserving habitat and looking out for wildlife.
In this 2016 post and this post earlier this year, API colleague Kate Wallace detailed how companies have monitored elk populations in Wyoming and polar bears in Alaska, created artificial reefs off the Gulf Coast, developed pollinator gardens and bee sanctuaries and more. Companies also worked across five western states to create conservation areas for the lesser prairie chicken and preserve habitat for the sage-grouse. Our commitment is backed up by action.That’s why we’re optimistic a constructive and comprehensive plan can be crafted to take care of the dunes sagebrush lizard in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico while also maintaining critically important natural gas and oil production in the region – which would be unlikely if a new effort to list the lizard as endangered under federal law succeeds.
Posted May 11, 2018
Working together works. Colorado’s just-completed legislative session proved that the natural gas and oil industry, state regulators and other stakeholders could collaborate on effective energy regulation that strengthens safe and responsible natural gas and oil production – benefiting the state economy and individual Coloradoans.
This session we saw legislation passed to bolster protections for mineral and royalty owners, increase fees for stationary sources of air pollution, enforce the state’s call-before-you-dig program and ensure safe and orderly processing of certain kinds of naturally occurring radioactive waste – all supported by our industry.
Posted May 10, 2018
The facts that crude oil prices are up 9 percent since the end of March and that crude oil currently accounts for 57 percent of the consumer’s price for gasolinemean that consumers have felt the impact at the pump of relatively large and sudden changes. As domestic crude oil prices recently increased above $70 per barrel for the first time since November 2014, let’s revisit current oil market fundamentals and other factors that have elevated prices.
By understanding the drivers of prices, American consumers may be more aware of how U.S. policy outcomes – such as more domestic natural gas and oil production, a strong U.S. dollar, low price inflation, avoidance of tariffs, quotas and other protectionist measures that undermine free trade, and peaceful international relations – could help put downward pressure on crude prices that ultimately benefits consumers.
Posted May 8, 2018
There’s no denying that North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been very good for U.S. energy over the years. Yet, whether we will be able to say the same about NAFTA 2.0 years down the road is an open question.
That’s because the Trump administration has signaled a key NAFTA provision safeguarding U.S. energy investments in Canada and Mexico shouldn’t be included in a revised agreement. It’s an outcome that would be a significant setback for our energy and security interests.