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Energy Today - April 8, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted April 8, 2011

Wall Street Journal: Canadian Oil to the U.S. Rescue: It might surprise many to learn that America's largest oil supplier is not located in the Middle East. It is actually Canada, which supplies the United States with more than two million barrels of the 11 million barrels of oil it uses each day. With a major spike in oil prices now retarding America's economic recovery--and a tide of populist frustration across the Middle East that could put groups implacably hostile to the West in control of that region's immense supplies of oil--Canada's vast petroleum deposits are more important to the future of U.S. energy security than ever before. GoErie: Kelly: Marcellus Shale Development Key to Energy Independence: A recent report released from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection showed that, despite claims to the contrary, hydraulic fracturing does not threaten the safety of drinking water. This report flew in the face of efforts by some to quell the public's enthusiasm for Marcellus Shale development by invoking fear that was rooted more in fiction than fact. While it's important that we closely oversee the energy development process, we can't let overregulation get in the way of our efforts to safely and responsibly harness our natural resources. For too long, the government has tied the hands of America's energy industries, sacrificing progress for the sake of protectionism. We can strike a balance that will both expand domestic energy production while keeping our environment safe if, and only if, we set aside our agendas and approach the table sincerely and honestly.

Oil & Gas Journal: House Passes Upton's Bill to Halt EPA's GHG Regulations: The US House approved Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton's (R-Mich.) bill aimed at halting the US Environmental Protection Agency's imposition of greenhouse gas limits under the Clean Air Act by 225 to 172. The Apr. 7 action came a day after the US Senate cast a 50-to-50 tie vote on a similar bill, just 10 votes short of what was required for approval (OGJ Online, Apr. 7, 2011). "Our thoughtful, bipartisan solution reins in an EPA gone wild whose bureaucrats are oblivious to the nation's economic woes and soaring unemployment," Upton said following the House's vote. "EPA's regulatory bonanza will cause already soaring gasoline prices to rise even higher as refiners are caught in the EPA's web of costly regulations."

Detroit News: Auto Companies Speak Out Against Fed. Ethanol Proposal: A group representing major automakers told a Senate panel this morning that the industry opposes a proposal to require nearly all vehicles to run on a high blend of ethanol by 2016. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers - the trade association representing General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC, Toyota Motor Corp. and eight others - opposes a bill sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, that would require 90 percent of all vehicles to run on E85 - a blend of 85 percent ethanol - by the 2016 model year. Shane Karr, vice president for government affairs, said the mandate "would cost consumers more than $2 billion per year" for flex fuel vehicles if automakers passed on the full cost "even though consumers will have little or no access to alternative fuels. Therefore, such a mandate is essentially a tax with little consumer benefit."

Additional Resources:

Questions and Observations Blog: Our Energy Future Should Involve a Lot of Shale Gas-If Our Government Will Allow It

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.