The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - June 30, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted June 30, 2011

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Texas Shale Lessons: Twenty years ago, the Barnett Shale in North Texas was virtually unknown. Today, it's the largest producing natural gas field in the United States with output exceeding 4 billion cubic feet a day. What's more, the Barnett Shale has added a new dimension to the North Texas economy, supporting thousands of jobs and generating millions in tax revenue for local governments and school districts. One recent study prepared for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce found that drilling and production activity in the Barnett was supporting more than 110,000 jobs across the region. And a study by this author a few years ago calculated that Barnett wells and related equipment had added $6 billion to the local property tax base. In South Texas, where new oil wells are being drilled in the Eagle Ford Shale, the unemployment rate has fallen to half the state average while sales tax receipts have jumped 70 percent. The Ithaca Journal: Natural Gas is Best for Our Future: Too often, the debate about hydraulic fracturing falls prey to clever Hollywood-style gimmickry that neglects to inform and educate. With that said, it is refreshing when scholarly studies are conducted to shed light on a complex topic. It is particularly important for those in public office who would otherwise respond to passionate, vocal advocates. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released a study which attempts to remove the bias and provide scientific objectivity. It highlights the significant role natural gas will have on the future of transportation, energy production and greenhouse gas reduction. The point here is that natural gas has been and will remain a friend to the environment. The natural gas industry has an impressive safety record in New York, principally because of the strong tradition of regulatory oversight and a healthy respect for the environment by all concerned. The state Department of Environmental Conservation's three-year SGEIS process for addressing high-volume hydraulic fracturing is simply a continuation of that tradition. When issued in final form, the SGEIS will serve as a roadmap throughout the natural gas industry for safe and environmentally friendly shale development.

The Hill's Congress Blog: Cost of EPA Rules will be Extraordinarily High: As our nation continues to struggle to regain its economic footing, we need policies that energize job growth. It is no surprise that a number of states are challenging numerous recent regulations coming out of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has been trying to usurp states' rights to control the air permitting process for new industrial and power projects...Not only does this reduce manufacturing growth and the supply of energy, but it also destroys jobs. Earlier this year, the EPA finalized its emissions rules for industrial, commercial and institutional boilers and process heaters, Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) and other standards. These regulations set emission limits for boilers and incinerators used in the industrial and manufacturing facilities of businesses that employ thousands of people in multiple industries. Some of the businesses that are severely affected by these standards include petroleum refiners, extractors of crude petroleum and natural gas, manufacturers of lumber and wood products, rubber and plastics products, pulp and paper mills, chemical manufacturers, and steel works among others. These rules also affect small businesses and the operations of commercial buildings, colleges and universities, hospitals and medical centers, city and municipal buildings, and others. These standards will impact more than 200,000 boilers and incinerators, and while the Clean Air Act authorizes regulation of these types of sources, the cost to implement the rules as published by EPA this past March will be extraordinarily high. Overall, the EPA itself estimated that complying with their rules would cost $5.8 billion in capital, and around $2.2 billion annually.

Additional Resources:

Business Wire: Helix Well Containment Group Significantly Expands Deepwater Capabilities

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.