The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today -- February 24, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted February 24, 2011

Bloomberg: EPA Overhauls Boiler Rules After Complaints About Cost: The Obama administration said it issued pollution rules for industrial boilers that are 50 percent less expensive than regulations proposed last year that drew industry opposition. The Environmental Protection Agency's final rules for boilers and incinerators will provide health benefits comparable to the previous standards while cutting costs, EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy said today on a conference call with reporters. The EPA had estimated the earlier rules would cost $9.5 billion, while the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners set the cost at $20 billion and as many as 300,000 lost jobs. The agency's revamping of the rules followed President Barack Obama's pledge to review regulations that companies call excessive and a court order to act by this week. "We've done a great job," and the agency is "pretty comfortable" with the revised rules, McCarthy said. The regulations remain too costly to business, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. The rules will have an "immediate, negative impact on manufacturers' bottom lines at a time when they are trying to rebound economically and create jobs," Aric Newhouse, senior vice president for policy and government relations for the Washington-based trade association, said in a statement. The American Petroleum Institute, the biggest U.S. lobbying group for the oil and gas industry and a critic of the rules proposed last year, said it welcomed the EPA's efforts to change the regulations. "API is committed to work with the agency during its reconsideration period to ensure that the final rule protects the environment while allowing businesses to create jobs and get Americans back to work," Howard Feldman, director of science and regulatory policy at the Washington-based group, said in a statement today before release of the rules.

The Hill: House GOP to push administration on offshore drilling amid unrest in Libya: Key House Republicans plan to argue next month that the Obama administration should act swiftly to issue offshore oil-and-gas drilling permits amid the political unrest in Libyla and other countries. The House Natural Resources Committee said Wednesday it is holding two hearings in March on what Republicans have termed the administration's "de facto moratorium" on deepwater oil-and-gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The administration has issued no deepwater permits since the last year's BP spill, and has slowed the pace for shallow-water projects. The Interior Department, which is in charge of issuing permits, has said it will begin issuing deepwater permits once drillers are able to prove they're complying with a series of new safety regulations. But Republicans and some drill-state Democrats have slammed the administration for not yet issuing deepwater permits, and for slowing the pace of shallow-water permitting. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has even put a hold on a key Interior Department nominee over his drilling concerns.

The Houston Chronicle: One condition: Capacity needed to get the oil out: The Eagle Ford shale, a vast oil and natural gas play in South Texas, will become one of the state's fastest-growing areas for new business and job creation over the next decade, experts said Wednesday. That's if they can get the oil out. Pipelines already are full, and companies are having to truck it out or ship it by rail. Jumps in leased acreage and in drilling permits signal the rapid advance of the Eagle Ford as an energy-producing area, experts said at a meeting of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers in San Antonio. The activity in the Eagle Ford started with drilling in gas regions and has moved into oil-producing regions, generally in the northern part of the play, as oil prices have jumped, said Ramona Hovey, senior vice president at DrillingInfo, an information company specializing in oil and gas. Drilling permits issued jumped to 944 for 2010 from 94 permits issued two years earlier, according to Railroad Commission data.

Additional Resources

ShopFloor.org: EPA Overreaches Again with New Regs on Industrial Boilers

Forbes: Memo To The EPA: Don't Mess With Texas!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rayola Dougher is senior economist at The American Petroleum Institute (API), where she analyzes information, manages projects and develops briefing materials on energy markets and oil industry policy issues. She is the author or co-author of economic research studies covering a diverse range of topics including crude oil and petroleum product markets, gasoline taxes, energy conservation and competition in retail markets. In addition to testifying before federal and state legislators, she has participated in numerous newspaper, radio and television interviews on a wide range of issues affecting the oil industry, including crude oil and gasoline prices, industry taxes and earnings, exploration and production, and refining and marketing topics.

Prior to joining API, Rayola worked at the Institute for Energy Analysis where her research focused on carbon dioxide related issues and international energy demand and supply forecasts. Rayola holds a Masters degree in Economic Development and East Asian studies from the American University and a degree in History and Political Science from the State University of New York at Brockport.