Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted November 5, 2014
As the political parties sort through the results of this week’s mid-term congressional elections, let’s hope neither misses the unmistakable, bipartisan support from the American people for the ongoing energy revolution in this country. In their votes and in data from new election-night public opinion polling, it’s clear Americans see energy policy as a uniting point that can help break Washington gridlock while continuing to revitalize the country’s economy.
These topics and more came up during a conference call API President and CEO Jack Gerard conducted with reporters in the election’s aftermath. According to Gerard, the overarching lesson from Tuesday’s vote: Energy wins. Gerard:
“We need elected leaders who understand what’s at stake and who are willing to set aside outdated assumptions and partisan talking points to work together on safe, responsible and fact-based energy policy. In that regard, we hope that President Obama will take this opportunity to work with the new Congress on smart energy policies that grow our nation’s still shaky economy, create well-paying jobs and maintain our nation’s global energy leadership.”
Posted October 10, 2014
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has another report on oil imports that underscores the incredible sea change in America’s energy picture – due to increased domestic production of oil and natural gas. EIA says net imports of energy as a share of energy consumption fell their lowest level in 29 years for the first six months of 2014.
This is a snapshot of America’s energy revolution – the fundamental shift from energy scarcity to abundance that would have been unthinkable less than a decade ago. The shift is the result of surging oil and natural gas production using advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, harnessing oil and gas reserves in shale and other tight-rock formations. Safe, responsible energy development has made the United States the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer, and the U.S. could become the world’s top producer of crude oil related liquids before the year is out, the International Energy Agency reports (h/t Financial Times.com).
Posted October 9, 2014
Getting a handle on the size of America’s petroleum reserves and their energy potential can be a brain-bender because of the different ways resources are defined and the different ways resource estimates are used.
Example: A Bloomberg piece this week suggests there’s something afoot when producers talk about a resource estimate that’s different from the one they’re required to report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as part of the agency’s oversight of the investing sector. Not at all. Two different concepts, two separate uses
Posted October 3, 2014
Here’s the president, lauding the lift America’s domestic energy revolution has provided the nation’s economy in a speech this week in Illinois:
“The first cornerstone is new investments in the energy and technologies that make America a magnet for good, middle-class jobs. So right off the bat, as soon as I came into office, we upped our investments in American energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and strengthen our own energy security. And today, the number-one oil and gas producer in the world is no longer Russia or Saudi Arabia. It’s America. For the first time in nearly two decades, we now produce more oil than we buy from other countries. We’re advancing so fast in this area that two years ago I set a goal to cut our oil imports by half by – in half by 2020, and we’ve actually – we will meet that goal this year, six years ahead of schedule.”
It’s good to hear the president talking about the benefits to America of resurgent oil and natural gas production here at home. He’s right: The United States is the world’s No. 1 producer of natural gas and is poised to be No. 1 in oil production. He’s also right that this domestic output has cut imports significantly, putting America on a path to zero net imports in the foreseeable future – a good bench mark for something everyone wants: genuine U.S. energy security.
Now let’s talk plainly.
These energy developments and their benefits have occurred without much help from this White House. They’ve happened even as the president’s actions and those of his administration have fallen well short of his “all-of-the-above” rhetoric on energy.
Posted September 15, 2014
It’s one thing to talk about energizing the U.S. economy, it’s another to walk the talk. America’s oil and natural gas industry is doing that, with four companies ranked in the top 10 of the Progressive Policy Institute’s list of leaders in U.S. capital spending in 2013.
ExxonMobil ($11.07 billion), Chevron ($10.56 billion), ConocoPhillips ($6.35 billion) and Occidental Petroleum ($5.5 billion) ranked in the top 10 in U.S. capital spending – expenditures for plants, property and equipment. Also significant: The same four are in the top 10 of cumulative U.S. capital spending over the three years (2011-2013) PPI has compiled its “investment heroes” list.
Posted August 28, 2014
Despite the hyper-partisanship currently flourishing in Washington, there is a potential tie that binds: American energy.
Thanks to advanced technologies, entrepreneurial risk-taking and abundant oil and natural gas reserves, U.S. energy is on the rise: We’re the world’s No. 1 producer of natural gas and likely to be No. 1 in crude oil production next year, according to the International Energy Agency. Our energy revolution is creating jobs, boosting the economy and increasing America’s energy security and influence in the world. It’s also a bridge to bipartisanship.
API Executive Vice President Louis Finkel touched on these themes in a recent op-ed for the Reno Gazette-Journaland in a presentation before the Nevada state convention of the AFL-CIO.
Posted August 4, 2014
Members of the U.S. House and Senate are weighing in with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on the administration’s new five-year oil and natural gas leasing program, and the message is fairly simple: open more of the outer continental shelf (OCS) for exploration and development.
Interior has begun work on the new leasing program that will cover 2017 to 2022. The plan is critical to offshore development because it lists areas where the federal government could hold auctions for oil and natural gas drilling leases. It lets energy companies know where to concentrate research efforts that guide bids on specific lease blocks. Currently, 87 percent of the offshore area under federal control is closed to development.
Posted July 30, 2014
The quest to encourage better behavior from Russia continues. President Obama and the European Union this week announced new sanctions to protest Russia’s involvement in Ukraine, measures that focus on Russia’s energy, arms and finance sectors. The president:
“Today … the United States is imposing new sanctions in key sectors of the Russian economy: energy, arms, and finance. We’re blocking the exports of specific goods and technologies to the Russian energy sector. We’re expanding our sanctions to more Russian banks and defense companies. And we’re formally suspending credit that encourages exports to Russia and financing for economic development projects in Russia. At the same time, the European Union is joining us in imposing major sanctions on Russia – its most significant and wide-ranging sanctions to date.”
Meanwhile, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Europe needs to stand up to Russia, which will be easier to do if Europe diversifies its energy supplies:
“They need to understand they must stand up to [Russian President] Vladimir Putin. The reluctance has to do with European dependence on energy from Russia.”
Laudable sentiments and goals, but America can do more than impose targeted and inherently limited sanctions. The U.S. can do more than talk. America can do more to provide effective help for her friends and to diminish the influence of adversaries. Through energy, American energy.
Posted July 23, 2014
There are three connected points in a new poll of registered U.S. voters on domestic oil and natural gas development that should resonate in Washington: Strong majorities of registered voters support more domestic drilling and production, they don’t think the federal government does enough to encourage development of domestic resources and they’re inclined to vote for political candidates who support oil and natural gas development here at home.
AP Upstream Group Director Erik Milito talked about the survey of 1,012 registered voters and issues related to increasing access to domestic oil and natural gas reserves during a conference call with reporters:
“Voters from across the political spectrum want to find and tap the vast oil and natural gas resources waiting to be discovered off our shores. Our industry stands ready to do the job safely and responsibly, and the benefits to our economy and our national security are impossible to deny. All the federal government needs to do is say, ‘Yes.’”
Posted July 15, 2014
A couple of highlights from the first day of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) annual energy conference, both of which can be used to underscore the need for policies that help sustain and grow America’s energy revolution.
First, International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven suggested exuberance over the U.S. energy boom has risks because energy security is more than just ample supply:
“In periods of abundance we must challenge ourselves with questions. And so I ask you, is your energy security as security as you or I think? … Energy security is about much more than supply. … Although things look bright at first sight, there’s no time for complacency.”