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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Stricter Ozone Rule = Nonattainment for North Carolina

ozone standards  epa  regulation  economic impacts  emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 14, 2014

Earlier this month the National Association of Manufacturers issued a report measuring the potential impacts of a new, stricter ground-level ozone air quality standard that’s being proposed by EPA. The estimated national results are economically devastating: reduction of U.S. GDP by $270 billion per year, 2.9 million fewer job equivalents per year on average through 2040 and potentially increased natural gas and electricity costs for manufacturers and households.

The picture is the same on a state-by-state basis. Over the next few days we’ll highlight some of the individual state impacts from the report, starting with North Carolina.

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Warning Signs: Roadblocks to Progress Ahead

regulations  epa proposals  ozone standards  refineries  rfs34  emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 11, 2014

API has put together a new infographic that captures the breadth of this administration’s policies – especially an ongoing regulatory push from EPA – that could slow progress that’s being built on America’s energy revolution. (Click here to pull up the PDF.)

Here’s the thrust: The administration’s policies and regulatory efforts are hindering needed energy and economic progress. It is delaying infrastructure, such as pending liquefied natural gas export projects and the Keystone XL pipeline. It is sustaining the broken Renewable Fuel Standard and its ethanol mandates, which could negatively affect consumers and the larger economy. It’s threatening new regulation that would needlessly impact the refining sector, while advancing a stricter ozone standard that would put virtually the entire country out of compliance.

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Domestic Energy’s Broad Benefits

american energy  fracking  Economy  jobs  Environment  emissions  lng exports  keystone xl pipeline 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted August 4, 2014

USA Today: The U.S. energy industry is booming. As new technologies make oil easier and more affordable to extract, the United States is poised to become the world's leading oil producer as soon as 2015, according to a 2013 study by the International Energy Agency. At the same time, proven oil reserves — the estimated quantities of oil that can be extracted under existing conditions — have also risen. In 2012, the U.S. had more than 30.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, up 15% from the year before.

Ten states accounted for nearly 80% of the U.S. proven oil reserves as of the end of 2012. Texas was the state with the most proven reserves, totaling more than 9.6 billion barrels of oil, or close to a third of all U.S. reserves. Based on the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) data on proved oil reserves, these are the most oil-rich states in the country.

Unsurprisingly, the states with the highest totals of proven reserves are also among the states producing most oil. Of the 10 most oil-rich states, all but one were also among the states with the most production activity as of 2013. Together, these 10 states accounted for more than 2 billion of the 2.7 billion barrels of oil produced last year. Offshore drilling, not attributable to any state, accounted for much of the production not coming from these states.

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Bearing the Weight of EPA’s Regulatory Push

epa regulations  emissions  ozone standards  economic impacts 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 31, 2014

A couple of new warning lights concerning EPA’s regulatory approach in proposed standards for power sector emissions as well as the anticipated standard for ozone. In both cases the agency appears poised to regulate without thoroughly reckoning potential impacts that could harm the economy and individual consumers.

First, there’s EPA’s effort to regulate power sector emissions – with carbon pollution guidelines proposed for existing power plants, on top of the already proposed guidelines for new electric utility generating units.

Howard Feldman, API’s director of regulatory and scientific affairs, testified at EPA field hearings this week that the agency’s proposals could result in higher energy costs, impacting the oil and natural gas industry’s international competitiveness and negatively affecting the broader economy. Feldman also warned that the proposals could set a precedent for EPA incursion into management of the power sector that’s beyond its authority under the Clean Air Act.

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Adding Up the Benefits from Harnessing U.S. Energy

crude oil  exports  trade  bakken shale  fracking  emissions  oil sands 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 30, 2014

Washington Post Editorial: Quietly but wisely, the Commerce Department has decided to allow the first exports of U.S. crude oil since Congress imposed a ban on such sales (except to Canada) in the 1970s. To be sure, the agency’s ruling amounts to redefining crude in a way that applies only to a form of ultralight oil that U.S. refineries are ill-equipped to process. The executive branch couldn’t do much more than that to expand crude exports without congressional permission. Still, Commerce’s move is a step in the right direction because resuming oil sales abroad could help the U.S. economy reap the full fruits of the shale revolution that has propelled this country back into the top ranks of global oil and gas production.

The origins of the ban lie in the long-gone political and economic issues of the Nixon era. Specifically, the United States banned oil exports in response to the declining domestic production and Middle East supply shocks of that time, which, together with the then-existing system of U.S. price controls, made it seem rational to keep U.S.-produced oil at home rather than let it flow to the highest bidder on the world market. The world has changed dramatically since then; with U.S. production booming, this country is in a position to move the world market. Yet some still defend the export ban on the grounds that it holds down the price of crude to U.S. refineries and, by extension, the price of gasoline at U.S. pumps.

new report by IHS Global explains why that thinking is outmoded. 

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The RFS Is Broken And E85 Is No Solution

rfs34  renewable fuel standard  e85  ethanol  gasoline  epa  carbon emissions  fuel economy  blend wall 

Bob Greco

Bob Greco
Posted June 18, 2014

Almost half of 2014 is behind us, and yet EPA still hasn’t finalized the ethanol requirements for this year. This is not a recipe for predictability and reliability in the gasoline markets, and the administration’s inability to meet the congressionally-mandated deadline of November 30th is a clear example of how unworkable the RFS is.

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About What the President Said …

oil and natural gas development  safe operations  hydraulic fracturing  methane emissions  access  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 10, 2014

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s Sunday piece highlighted a conversation he had a few weeks ago with President Obama, during which the president talked about energy and climate change. A few things stand out:

Realistic Policy

The president signaled that climate policy should consider the real-world roles that are being played by various energy sources, saying:

“… we’re not going to suddenly turn off a switch and suddenly we’re no longer using fossil fuels, but we have to use this time wisely, so that you have a tapering off of fossil fuels replaced by clean energy sources that are not releasing carbon.”

Sounds reasonable, given the forecast of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook – that fossil fuels’ share of total U.S. energy use will be 80 percent in 2040, down only slightly from where it was in 2012 (82 percent). Oil and natural gas, which supplied 63 percent of the energy we used in 2012, are projected to supply 61 percent in 2040. Oil and natural gas are America’s energy today and tomorrow. 

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U.S. Emissions Have Dropped and Manufacturing is More Competitive – Thanks to Natural Gas

american energy  fracking  hydraulic fracturing  Environment  emissions  manufacturing  jobs 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted June 4, 2014

EIA Today in Energy: U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2013 were 10% below the benchmark year of 2005. Emissions in 2013 were roughly 2% above their 2012 level and 1.5% below their 2011 level, when emissions were 8.6% below the 2005 level. Recently released state-level data through 2011, calculated from the State Energy Data System (SEDS) and aggregated here by Census regions, show different parts of the country generally experiencing this downward trend, but at variable rates by region.

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Tapping America's Energy Opportunities

energy exports  lng exports  fracking  emissions  crude oil production  shale energy 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted May 15, 2014

CNBC (Spencer Abraham/Bill Richardson): Once again the world is looking for America's leadership in unsettled times. Our diplomats have limited options to combat Russia's annexation of Crimea, but they can take greater advantage of a new tool in their toolbox that no administration has had for generations — U.S. energy abundance. American energy exports will not only create economic opportunities here at home but will provide strategic geopolitical advantages abroad.

The crisis involving Ukraine and Russia highlights the need for American energy leadership. Russia remains the world's largest exporter of natural gas, supplying 30 percent of Europe's imports. Countries on Russia's periphery, many nearly completely dependent on Russian supply, pay exorbitant oil linked prices. Many are NATO allies.

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The Geopolitical Benefits of American Energy

american energy  Energy Security  global markets  jobs  lng exports  emissions  keystone xl pipeline 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted April 28, 2014

Breaking Energy: Two timely research studies from think tanks inside the Beltway address energy security with particular focus on America’s new role in rearranging the established global energy order. This order is in flux precisely because of the renaissance in the American energy sector ignited by its shale (tight) oil and gas boom. Over the last decade, US crude oil and natural gas production has risen significantly. According to EIA projections in its AEO2014 Reference case, US natural gas production will continue to grow, increasing by 56% between 2012 and 2040. Similar gains are projected for US oil production.

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