Posted April 28, 2016
Bringing home recognition of the U.S. energy renaissance and its benefits to policymakers in Washington is critically important. Sustaining and growing the domestic surge in oil and natural gas production depends on forward-looking leadership and sound policies.
No less critical is increasing Americans’ buy-in on the golden opportunity to foster economic growth well into the future, create jobs, produce consumer savings and strengthen U.S. standing in the world, all thanks to more home-grown energy – and all occurring as the United States leads the world in reducing carbon emissions.
Posted April 27, 2016
BOEM’s DC meeting that followed others this month in New Orleans, Houston and a number of localities in Alaska, was an information smorgasbord. They had a video overview of the methodology in developing the leasing program that will guide offshore energy development from 2017 to 2022. They also had a number of tables with printed handouts, where BOEM staffers were available to talk about topics ranging from protected species to the human environment to acoustics in the water.
I asked a staffer if it was possible that someone knowing little to nothing about offshore energy and leasing could wander into BOEM’s meeting, watch the video, absorb the information handouts, talk to BOEM representatives and then submit an informed comment on the leasing proposal. “Yes,” he said. Neat.
BOEM had a number of laptops set up to receive electronic comments. I submitted mine the old-fashioned way, writing them out longhand on a form. I labored to print legibly.
Certainly, BOEM has been meticulous in developing its proposed leasing program. The final version that will come out early next year will say a lot about U.S. energy leadership and vision and the future of American energy. That’s how critically important our offshore reserves are.
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 25, 2016
API’s Vote4Energy event earlier this month unveiled a number of energy policy recommendations for the Democratic and Republican platform-writing committees. Let’s focus on one – a call for the repeal or significant reform of the flawed federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
We’ve posted on a number of issues with the RFS, which range from the negative economic impacts that could result from breaching the “blend wall” to possible risks to vehiclesfrom using higher ethanol-blend fuel E15, to the program’s failure to establish a viable domestic cellulosic biofuels industry – one of the main reasons the RFS was created in the first place. Americans are clued into the RFS’ shortcomings and are concerned – reflected in recent polling. API’s Frank Macchiarola, group director for downstream and industry operations:
“Since the inception of the ethanol mandate a decade ago, the United States has undergone an energy transformation from a nation of energy dependence and scarcity to one of energy security and abundance. It is well past time to reform outdated energy policies to reflect the energy realities of today and tomorrow. … Simply stated, this is bad public policy that creates a potential harm to the American consumer. And, it must be fixed. The American people agree.”
Posted April 22, 2016
Modern wastewater treatment facilities are the first responders in the transformation of used water – from urban and suburban runoff, agriculture and the daily needs of every man, woman and child – into water that’s usable again.
Enter energy. No one should be surprised that the process of wastewater treatment takes lots of energy. The Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant that serves the District of Columbia and parts of Maryland and Northern Virginia, the third-largest plant of its kind in the world, is the largest single-source consumer of electricity in D.C. As we’ve noted throughout this series, electricity generation is increasingly being fueled by clean-burning natural gas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects that this year, for the first time ever, natural gas will be the United States’ leading energy source for power generation. Bottom line: Energy is fundamental to clean water for all.
Posted April 21, 2016
U.S. Senate passage of energy legislation is an important step forward in the effort to sustain and grow a U.S. energy revolution that’s making America more energy secure, benefiting consumers and helping the environment.
For the first time since the energy renaissance materialized, both houses of Congress have passed bipartisan, comprehensive energy-assisting legislation. The initiatives signal a commitment to matching energy policy with the new U.S. energy reality, one in which the United States is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas. They also suggest lawmakers recognize that, on a bipartisan basis, voting Americans support more domestic energy development – as well as candidates who do the same.
Louis Finkel, API executive vice president, talked about the advancing legislation and the opportunities that are being provided by American energy during a conference call with reporters.
Posted April 20, 2016
Americans in the building construction trades know the importance of new energy infrastructure. Building things is what they do. In recent years they’ve recognized the value of partnering with the oil and natural gas industry on infrastructure projects to deliver energy, create jobs and boost the economy – all benefits of America’s ongoing energy revolution.
At this week’s Washington legislative conference of North America’s Building Trades Union, NABTU President Sean McGarvey listed energy infrastructure among the union’s top priorities in 2016 and noted the importance of forming partnerships to advance shared goals, such as infrastructure:
“There are other ways, too, in which our unions are building that go beyond the jobsite, such as building a new labor-management paradigm in the United States through formal partnerships with entire industries and individual companies.”
Nowhere is this dynamic more timely and important than in the effort to build new natural gas pipelines in the Northeast, where constricted capacity historically has contributed to higher energy costs during peak winter months.
Posted April 19, 2016
Some important context before a discussion of a flawed emissions report from EPA, which follows below.
The United States is the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas – largely thanks to safe and responsible hydraulic fracturing and advanced horizontal drilling. Natural gas production reached a record high level of 79 billion cubic feet per day in 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (chart), while total U.S. energy output increased for the sixth consecutive year.
The increased natural gas production and use is critically important, as it is the key factor in reduced carbon emissions during a period of U.S. economic expansion – a break with historic precedent noted by the New York Times. Indeed, the United States is leading the world in carbon emissions reductions, largely thanks to its energy revolution.
Posted April 19, 2016
The United States has about 25,000 miles of navigable waterways and channels – vital transportation infrastructure for the delivery of raw materials and products that American consumers count on every day. Yet, as vital as these waterways are, they don’t always get as much attention as highways, roads and railroads.
With Congress likely to take up legislation that will include funding for waterways in the next month or so, it’s a good time to link that debate with the critical role water-borne commerce plays.
Posted April 14, 2016
Take a look at details of API’s energy policy recommendations to the two political parties from this week’s Vote4Energy event. They include access to oil and natural gas resources and an approach to oversight that fosters the goal of safe and responsible energy development.
Access is critically important, especially when you’re talking about developing offshore oil and natural gas reserves. Today, 87 percent of offshore acreage under federal control remains off limits to energy development.
Energy Tomorrow is a project of the American Petroleum Institute – the only national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry – speaking for the industry to the public, Congress and the Executive Branch, state governments and the media.