Posted December 7, 2016
It’s hard to overstate the importance of America’s fracking-led energy renaissance – to our economy, individual households, energy security, the environment and to America’s ability to shape global events for the good. That last point is being underscored right now.
Posted September 12, 2016
Posted July 12, 2016
The sound approach to energy regulation in the U.S. – one that provides appropriate oversight to oil and natural gas development without unnecessarily impeding progress – continues to be a major theme at the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) annual conference in Washington.
Tesoro President and CEO Gregory J. Goff raised the point with his Day 1 keynote speech, calling for transparency, fairness and accountability in federal regulation:
“Consumers, companies and the economy all benefit when government policies are well-reasoned and balanced. America is blessed with an abundance of affordable, reliable energy. It must not be squandered. Allowing the forces of the free market to operate will continue to benefit society. Government should be a facilitating partner in this positive economic force, not a roadblock to it.”
Posted May 31, 2016
Politico has an interview out today with Iain Conn, chief executive of the British energy and services company Centrica. Let’s look at a couple of the points that he makes.
Posted May 4, 2016
The progress the United States is making toward its climate goals starts with clean-burning natural gas.
Increased domestic natural gas production and its use is the primary reason the United States leads the world in reducing carbon emissions. It’s the keystone for a workable strategy to advance climate goals while sustaining economic growth and prosperity – the U.S. model. The U.S. Energy Department’s Christopher Smith, last week in Houston:
“A big part of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that we’ve been able to manage in the United States is due to the fact … we’ve got trillions of cubic feet of natural gas that we are going to be able to produce safely, and our domestic supply has gone from one of scarcity to one that has enabled us to use more natural gas in baseload power consumption.”
Posted March 22, 2016
We’ve read the articles about how affordable natural gas – much of it from the Marcellus Shale in next-door Pennsylvania – has benefitted New York and specifically New York City. So it’s puzzling to hear about a recent effort in New York to block expansion of an Upstate natural gas storage plant in the name of a “climate emergency,” as one activist put it – puzzling because natural gas is doing more to reduce U.S. emissions than any other fuel. The New York Times reports:
“The irony is this,” said Phil West, a spokesman for Spectra Energy, whose pipeline projects, including those in New York State, have come under attack. “The shift to additional natural gas use is a key contributor to helping the U.S. reduce energy-related emissions and improve air quality.”
Unfortunately, this is an example of out-of-the-mainstream activism at work, threatening to roll back important American progress on emissions that has occurred during a period of economic growth and rising domestic energy output. We say this is out of the mainstream because we reckon the real alarm would sound among New Yorkers if access to affordable natural gas got harder for lack of infrastructure – pipelines, pumping stations, storage installations and the like.
Posted March 21, 2016
Interesting weekend remarks from the Energy Department’s deputy secretary on U.S. oil and natural gas exports to Europe – especially so because DOE is the key federal agency in allowing domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects to proceed.
Energy Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall was speaking at a forum hosted by the German Marshall Fund in Brussels, Belgium, when she discussed the dramatic change in energy markets caused by the U.S. shale revolution. Sherwood-Randall:
“What’s really changed in the global energy landscape is American abundance of supply of both oil and gas. … We are now poised to become significant exporters of both oil and natural gas. We began the export of natural gas just last month, and we are also beginning to export oil.”
Posted December 4, 2015
Part of the U.S. success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the significant drop in emissions of methane, the primary component in natural gas, from development operations. Since 2005, methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells have plummeted 79 percent – with technology and innovation allowing industry to capture more of a product that can be delivered to consumers. This has occurred even as U.S. natural gas production has steadily climbed, thanks to shale, safe fracking and horizontal drilling.
It’s a shining chapter in a success story that shows how free market forces have taken the lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in this country. In turn, the U.S. is leading the world in reducing GHG emissions.
No matter. Despite these advances, EPA is proposing additional methane regulations on oil and gas wells and transmission. Unfortunately, more regulation could mean less – less fracking, less energy and, quite possibly, less progress in reducing emissions.
Posted July 9, 2015
So, Facebook has posted an announcement that its newest data center near Fort Worth will be 100 percent powered by a wind farm that’s being built near Wichita Falls, Texas. Of the wind farm Facebook says:
Construction on the project is already under way on a 17,000-acre site in Clay County, just 90 miles from the data center, and we expect it to begin delivering clean energy to the grid by 2016. 200 MW is more energy than we will need for the foreseeable future, and we're proud to have played a role in bringing this project to Texas.
No question, this is a good example of one way that big wind figures into an all-of-the-above approach to energy – one in which America ensures its energy security into the future by harnessing all available energy sources.
Posted July 6, 2015
USA Today (editorial) – Fracking — the practice of cracking open underground oil and gas formations with water, sand and chemicals — has rescued U.S. energy production from a dangerous decline. Any debate about banning it should take a hard look at what that would cost the nation and at facts that aren't always part of the discussion.
Those facts are spelled out in a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency on fracking and groundwater. One of the harshest charges against fracking, often leveled with apocalyptic intensity by its foes, is that it indiscriminately contaminates vital drinking water supplies.
The EPA's timely report essentially said that's overblown.