Posted May 9, 2016
With new government data showing that U.S. carbon emissions in 2015 were 12 percent below 2005 levels, it might be time for some to take “yes” for an answer – that yes, on reducing carbon emissions, the United States is showing the way for the rest of the world with abundant, clean-burning natural gas.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says despite the fact the U.S. economy was 15 percent larger in 2015 than it was in 2005 (inflation-adjusted numbers), energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were lower last year than they were 11 years ago.
Posted May 5, 2016
According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. consumers will spend $2.4 billion on Mother’s Day flowers this year. Of Mother’s Day shoppers, more than 66 percent will give flowers to a mom or stepmom, wife, daughter, sister, grandmother and others.
Facilitating this Mother’s Day activity? Energy.
Posted April 29, 2016
Energy is in just about everything we use and in nearly everything we do. Energy for the chemicals and component parts. Energy in manufacturing processes. Energy for mobility. Yet, because everyone is busy, there’s not a whole lot of time to reflect, and much gets taken for granted. That book you read – energy. The medical technology that keeps you healthy – energy. A night at a ballgame – energy. And more.
In our 2016 look at the energy that supports and powers modern living, the goal is to get more folks to pause and wonder: “Where did that come from?” And: “What makes that go?” In virtually every instance the answer is energy – oil, natural gas and things made from them.
We depend on oil and gas because there’s nothing like them for energy content, portability and adaptability. They’re in chemicals and products all around us: plastics, clothing, medicines and more. Leave them in the ground? Only if you think you’d enjoy a world that’s colder, harsher and less healthy, a world that’s smaller because travel is greatly restricted – one in which millions are relegated to poverty, with near-zero opportunity to change their lives’ trajectory.
Today let’s focus on one of the basic necessities of life: shelter. According to Habitat for Humanity, 1.6 billion people worldwide live in substandard housing and 100 million are homeless. So, that roof over your head – what did it take to build that? First, some home-building basics.
Posted April 25, 2016
API’s Vote4Energy event earlier this month unveiled a number of energy policy recommendations for the Democratic and Republican platform-writing committees. Let’s focus on one – a call for the repeal or significant reform of the flawed federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
We’ve posted on a number of issues with the RFS, which range from the negative economic impacts that could result from breaching the “blend wall” to possible risks to vehiclesfrom using higher ethanol-blend fuel E15, to the program’s failure to establish a viable domestic cellulosic biofuels industry – one of the main reasons the RFS was created in the first place. Americans are clued into the RFS’ shortcomings and are concerned – reflected in recent polling. API’s Frank Macchiarola, group director for downstream and industry operations:
“Since the inception of the ethanol mandate a decade ago, the United States has undergone an energy transformation from a nation of energy dependence and scarcity to one of energy security and abundance. It is well past time to reform outdated energy policies to reflect the energy realities of today and tomorrow. … Simply stated, this is bad public policy that creates a potential harm to the American consumer. And, it must be fixed. The American people agree.”
Posted April 22, 2016
Modern wastewater treatment facilities are the first responders in the transformation of used water – from urban and suburban runoff, agriculture and the daily needs of every man, woman and child – into water that’s usable again.
Enter energy. No one should be surprised that the process of wastewater treatment takes lots of energy. The Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant that serves the District of Columbia and parts of Maryland and Northern Virginia, the third-largest plant of its kind in the world, is the largest single-source consumer of electricity in D.C. As we’ve noted throughout this series, electricity generation is increasingly being fueled by clean-burning natural gas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects that this year, for the first time ever, natural gas will be the United States’ leading energy source for power generation. Bottom line: Energy is fundamental to clean water for all.
Posted April 21, 2016
U.S. Senate passage of energy legislation is an important step forward in the effort to sustain and grow a U.S. energy revolution that’s making America more energy secure, benefiting consumers and helping the environment.
For the first time since the energy renaissance materialized, both houses of Congress have passed bipartisan, comprehensive energy-assisting legislation. The initiatives signal a commitment to matching energy policy with the new U.S. energy reality, one in which the United States is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas. They also suggest lawmakers recognize that, on a bipartisan basis, voting Americans support more domestic energy development – as well as candidates who do the same.
Louis Finkel, API executive vice president, talked about the advancing legislation and the opportunities that are being provided by American energy during a conference call with reporters.
Posted April 20, 2016
Americans in the building construction trades know the importance of new energy infrastructure. Building things is what they do. In recent years they’ve recognized the value of partnering with the oil and natural gas industry on infrastructure projects to deliver energy, create jobs and boost the economy – all benefits of America’s ongoing energy revolution.
At this week’s Washington legislative conference of North America’s Building Trades Union, NABTU President Sean McGarvey listed energy infrastructure among the union’s top priorities in 2016 and noted the importance of forming partnerships to advance shared goals, such as infrastructure:
“There are other ways, too, in which our unions are building that go beyond the jobsite, such as building a new labor-management paradigm in the United States through formal partnerships with entire industries and individual companies.”
Nowhere is this dynamic more timely and important than in the effort to build new natural gas pipelines in the Northeast, where constricted capacity historically has contributed to higher energy costs during peak winter months.
Posted April 14, 2016
Take a look at details of API’s energy policy recommendations to the two political parties from this week’s Vote4Energy event. They include access to oil and natural gas resources and an approach to oversight that fosters the goal of safe and responsible energy development.
Access is critically important, especially when you’re talking about developing offshore oil and natural gas reserves. Today, 87 percent of offshore acreage under federal control remains off limits to energy development.
Posted April 12, 2016
In terms of energy policy, the United States is at an important crossroads. The ongoing American energy renaissance – which has seen domestic crude oil production surge 88 percent between 2008 and 2015, and natural gas output increase 48 percent since 2005 – has changed the U.S. energy story from one of scarcity and limitations to one of abundance and opportunity. With that opportunity comes responsibility to make policy choices to sustain and grow the country’s new energy momentum.
That’s the backdrop for an important Vote4Energy event on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., where API will present its energy policy recommendations to the platform-writing committees of the Democratic and Republican parties. The event will be livestreamed here beginning at 8:30 a.m. API President and CEO Jack Gerard:
“The United States is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas, and as a result of greater use of clean-burning natural gas and cleaner, more efficient fuels, we are also a world leader in reducing carbon emissions and other air pollutants. We have a proven model for achieving environmental progress without sacrificing jobs, economic growth, energy security or consumer affordability. Our political leadership has the opportunity to continue, and expand upon, the American energy revolution.”
Seizing the opportunity we have because of our new energy abundance is critically important. Details from API’s platform report will be released Wednesday, but they surely will include policies to advance safe and responsible domestic energy production, the need for a fair regulatory approach that avoids unnecessary duplication and recognizing that the country’s energy and environmental goals are best met through private innovation and investment in cooperation with government. Gerard:
“The goal of a national energy policy must be to ensure a secure supply of abundant, affordable and available energy for the American people in an environmentally responsible manner.”Tune in for the event on Wednesday morning and join the conversation on Twitter by using the #Vote4Energy hashtag.
Posted April 8, 2016
Like nearly every other facet of American life, baseball runs on energy. Not the stuff that keeps Bryce Harper’s motor running. Energy that illuminates stadiums, runs concessions and delivers fans and players to the ballparks. Playing its role in the energy mix for our National Pastime – oil and natural gas.