Posted June 6, 2018
For months, ISO New England CEO Gordon van Welie has had a consistent message: insufficient natural gas infrastructure continues to put the region’s customers at risk of service interruptions during periods of peak demand that often coincide with extreme weather conditions.
Posted June 1, 2018
The decision by the Trump administration to impose tariffs on imported steel, including key allies Canada, Mexico and the European Union, is the wrong direction for U.S. energy policy. While the full effect of these tariffs on steel-intensive business—and the U.S. economy—remains to be seen, the impacts will ripple through the natural gas and oil industry, compromising energy production and posing a threat to America’s national security.
Posted May 1, 2018
While the Trump administration continues to sort out who will or won’t be subject to steel and aluminum tariffs, the under-reported aspect of the larger tariff-trade story is the potential impact of the tariff exemption process on U.S. industries that use lots of steel – including ours.
The reality is that businesses and industries that rely on imported steel to complete important projects efficiently and economically are in the middle of a nightmarish, bureaucratic mishmash only Washington could foist on private enterprise. That is, the laborious application for an exemption from the steel tariff – an import duty that could end up impacting consumers and our nation’s energy security.
To understand what’s going on, start by imagining the world’s largest snarl of red tape. It might look something like the world’s largest ball of twine, only red.
Posted September 13, 2016
The situation in North Dakota with the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) – with various groups trying to shut down construction of a legally permitted project that’s already 60 percent finished – is about more than a pipeline, infrastructure needs, economic growth and job creation. It’s about more than U.S. energy security, which the project will strengthen. It’s about the rule of law in this country.
Posted April 25, 2016
During a speech last week to labor union officials, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo talked big about the need for big infrastructure in this country. Gov. Cuomo mentioned the building of the Erie Canal in the 1800s, the interstate highway system that was launched in the 1950s and the construction of big bridges. The North America’s Building Trades Unions audience cheered and clapped warmly when Cuomo called for the vision and leadership needed for America to once again build big infrastructure:
“We built this nation into the greatest nation on the globe with our hands and sweat. That was the American way. We were tough, we were gutsy, we were daring, and there was no challenge that we wouldn’t take on, and we built this country and we regained that spirit of energy and positivity and ambition. … We can do these big projects. We did do these big projects … The George Washington Bridge, the Verrazano Bridge, hundreds of miles of subway system under New York, an 80-mile aqueduct built in the 1800s just to get water to New York City. We never said no …”
The next day, Cuomo’s administration said no – to the proposed $683 million Constitution natural gas pipeline. No to infrastructure – privately financed at that. No to the construction jobs wanted by the folks who cheered the governor the day before. No to consumers in New York state, who’d benefit from abundant, clean-burning natural gas, piped into a number of the state’s southern counties from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale.
And some wonder why so many Americans are cynical about politicians.
Posted April 6, 2015
MarketWatch: U.S. oil production is on track to reach an annual all-time high by September of this year, according to Rystad Energy.
If production does indeed top out, then supply levels may soon hit a peak as well. That, in turn, could lead to shrinking supplies.
The oil-and-gas consulting-services firm estimates an average 2015 output of 9.65 million barrels a day will be reached in five months — topping the previous peak annual reading of 9.64 million barrels a day in 1970.
Coincidentally, the nation’s crude inventories stand at a record 471.4 million barrels, based on data from U.S. Energy Information Administration, also going back to the 1970s.
Posted February 10, 2015
EIA Today in Energy: The increase in U.S. shale and tight crude oil production has resulted in a decrease of crude oil imports to the U.S. Gulf Coast area, particularly for light-sweet and light-sour crude oils. These trends are visualized in EIA's crude import tracking tool, which allows for time-series analysis of crude oil imported to the United States.
Historically, Gulf Coast refineries have imported as much as 1.3 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of light-sweet crude oil, more than any other region of the country. Beginning in 2010, improvements to the crude distribution system and sustained increases in production in the region (in the Permian and Eagle Ford basins) have significantly reduced light crude imports. Since September 2012, imports of light-sweet crude oil to the Gulf Coast have regularly been less than 200,000 bbl/d. Similarly, Gulf Coast imports of light crude with higher sulfur content (described as light-sour) have declined and have been less than 200,000 bbl/d since July 2013.
Posted October 31, 2014
Fox News:Why is the White House Delaying the Keystone XL Decision?
Read more: http://bit.ly/1pbMGbR
Posted June 10, 2014
New York Times: DENVER — An impassioned national debate over the oil-production technique known as fracking is edging toward the ballot box in Colorado, opening an election-year rift between moderate, energy-friendly Democrats and environmentalists who want to rein in drilling or give local communities the power to outlaw it altogether.
If they make the ballot in November, an array of proposals will be among the first in the nation to ask a state’s voters to sharply limit energy development. Some measures would keep drilling as far as a half-mile from Colorado homes. Others would give individual communities the right to ban fracking.
The ballot measures reflect the anxieties that have accompanied a drilling boom across the West. As drilling sites are built closer to playgrounds and suburban homes in communities along Colorado’s northern plains, residents and environmental groups have called for more regulation and have pushed for moratoriums on drilling.
But in a bellwether state like Colorado, where views on drilling vary as much as the geography, the measures could ignite an all-out battle involving oil companies, business groups and conservationists that pulls in millions in outside money, sets off a rush of campaign ads and spawns lawsuits for years to come. That is why Gov. John W. Hickenlooper and other Democratic leaders are working feverishly on a compromise that would give communities more control of energy development in their backyards while keeping the fracking issue off the ballot.
Posted May 16, 2014
Add the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) to the list of American working men and women who want President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline for construction. The Washington Examiner reports that IBEW President Edwin Hill sent letters to a number of Democratic senators, urging the pipeline’s construction. The Examiner quotes from Hill’s letter:
“At a time when job creation should be a top priority, the KXL pipeline project will put Americans back to work and have ripple benefits throughout the economy. … From pipe manufactured in Arkansas, to pump motors assembled in Ohio and transformers built in Pennsylvania, workers from all over the United States will benefit from the project. … Although America is slowly recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression, unemployment rates remain high, especially in the construction industry.”
Americans in the construction trades look at the Keystone XL as more than a job – it’s a lifeline for people who’ve seen their work recover slowly from the recent recession.