The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - March 23, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted March 23, 2011

Hawaii Reporter: Five Simple Steps to Cut Down On Gas Costs: Gas prices are rising across the country -- and the primary reason is the cost of making fuel. While both supply and demand for gasoline have risen in the United States, the worldwide demand for crude oil is up and the supply of crude oil is down. Middle East turmoil and loss of supply have further tightened markets. The increased crude oil costs and higher mandates for ethanol have made gasoline more expensive to make. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that you can take to offset higher gas prices and keep more money in your wallet. Here are five of them. Investors.com: Obama: Drill, Brazil, Drill!: While leaving U.S. oil and jobs in the ground, our itinerant president tells a South American neighbor that we'll help it develop its offshore resources so we can one day import its oil. WHAT?!? With Japan staggered by a natural disaster and a nuclear crisis, cruise missiles launched against Libya in our third Middle East conflict and a majority of U.S. senators complaining about a lack of leadership on the budget, President Obama decided it would be a good time to schmooze with Brazilians. His "What, me worry?" presidency has given both Americans and our allies plenty to worry about. But in the process of making nice with Brazil, Obama made a mind-boggling announcement that should make even his most loyal supporter cringe: We will help Brazil develop its offshore oil so we can one day import it. We have noted this double standard before, particularly when -- at a time when the president was railing against tax incentives for U.S. oil companies -- we supported the U.S. Export-Import Bank's plan to lend $2 billion to Brazil's state-run Petrobras with the promise of more to follow.

AP: ND lawmakers support 'fracking' for oil production: North Dakota lawmakers are supporting an oil production technique called "fracking" that is driving western North Dakota's oil boom. Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. It is a process during which water and some chemicals are pumped underground at high pressure to help break up shale rock formations and allow the oil to flow. North Dakota's Senate on Monday gave final approval to a new state law and resolution that supports fracking. The law declares fracking is an "acceptable" process for recovering oil and gas. The resolution asks Congress to continue to allow state officials to regulate it. Northwood Sen. Gerald Uglem says fracking has been going on for years in North Dakota. Grand Forks Sen. Connie Triplett says the process doesn't pose a threat to drinking water.

Richmond Times-Dispatch: GOP governors criticize Obama on energy regulations: Twenty Republican governors, including Bob McDonnell, have written to President Barack Obama outlining concerns over recently adopted and pending regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which they say could seriously impact energy supply, reliability and affordability. "The uncertainties caused by international events that are well beyond the administration's control are further compounded by the unreasonably aggressive regulatory agenda being pursued by the" EPA, the letter states. They push for using this country's oil and natural gas, but discourage the administration from tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, saying it should only be used when the nation faces both international crisis and domestic decline in resource capacity. "Not only will domestic extraction of oil and natural gas hedge against the uncertainties of the global oil market, but a lifting of the de facto moratorium on oil drilling could also stimulate the creation of thousands of stable jobs in a sector that can propel our economy forward in uncertain times," states the letter, dated March 18.

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.