The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - July 8, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted July 8, 2011

CNBC: John Felmy on CNBC's Power Lunch: API chief economist John Felmy and Seth Hanlon at the Center for American Progress discuss whether Washington should remove oil subsidies to reduce the deficit. Felmy argued the industry doesn't receive subsidies, but rather provisions in the tax code that every industry receives to deduct business expenses. When asked if API would support eliminating some oil tax breaks in exchange for increased access, Felmy said such a bargain represents "a false choice. All you need to do is open up those areas, you'll generate hundreds of billions of dollars in terms of [government] revenue [and] hundreds of thousands of jobs." Specifically, Felmy warned about the timing of the proposed tax break repeal, arguing the move would raise expenses for fuel suppliers at a time of $4 gallon gas. He added, "It's not a time to be repeating Jimmy Carter's mistakes and raising taxes." The Daily Caller: Oil Stimulus Drains Away: The White House decision to sell 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has failed to stop the upward march of oil prices, or to stimulate the economy. Prices for crude oil and gasoline dipped on the June 23 announcement, but have subsequently risen because expanding economies in Asia and South America are bidding up the market price, according to oil industry analysts. "Crude prices are back to where they were," said Rayola Dougher, senior economic adviser at the American Petroleum Institute. "It was just a temporary blip." Prices won't come down, she said, until the federal government allows greater use of new energy resources being found in the United States and Canada. We need policymakers to face the facts, and make sure we have reliable, affordable supplies of fuel," she said.

The Houston Chronicle: Valero Refinery Gets a Boost from Eagle Ford Shale: Drilling in the Eagle Ford shale isn't just transforming the South Texas oil patch. The boom also is bringing change to the refinery that's closest to the drilling: Valero's Energy Corp.'s Three Rivers plant. The Valero refinery began taking in Eagle Ford crude just late last year. Now the 100,000-barrel-a-day plant is processing about 35,000 barrels of Eagle Ford crude oil daily, a total that's expected to rise to about 50,000 barrels a day by year's end. The boost in Eagle Ford drilling and changes at the Valero plant have prompted local officials to adopt and copyright a new slogan for the city: "Three Rivers -- Heart of the Eagle Ford Shale." "We have a location advantage," said Harry Wright Jr., vice president and general manager of Valero Three Rivers Refinery. Using more locally produced crude oil will enable the Valero refinery to reduce costs and boost profit margins. The less expensive Eagle Ford crude will, as its use increases, replace more expensive foreign oil that arrives at Gulf Coast ports such as Corpus Christi and is then sent by pipeline to the refinery.

The Hill's Congress Blog: Time to Start Jobs, Not Spend Reserves: In February, I wrote a column encouraging President Obama to end his moratorium on gulf drilling and restore the thousands of jobs that have been lost as a result. In May, I wrote another column pointing out that the president talks about a strong domestic energy policy, while his actions send the opposite message. The president has advocated energy policies that stifle our oil and gas production and that kill American jobs. Since he took office, gas prices have doubled. And, he hired an energy secretary who admits to wanting to "boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." Now, we see his energy policies take a turn for the worse. I was shocked to read that the president ordered the release of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The amount he called for was the largest in history: 30 million barrels in 30 days. The Reserve is intended to be used for a supply emergency. The White House is claiming that the disruption of Libya's supply constitutes an emergency.

Additional Resource:

Energy In Depth: New York Confirms Safety and Economic Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing

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.