Posted October 1, 2014
The Washington Post: Is a four-year college degree worth it? Generally yes, but the results vary quite a bit across majors — and can even vary widely within majors.
That’s the takeaway from new research by Brad Hershbein and Melissa Kearney at The Hamilton Project. The authors analyzed Census Bureau data to find out which college majors earned the most and the least. Topping the list are the engineering fields, to no one’s surprise. Some of the least-earning majors are related to education, theater and art. Over a lifetime, the median expected earnings for a drama or theater arts major is lower than that of someone with a two-year associate’s degree.
But the report found that regardless of major, “median earnings of bachelor’s degree graduates are higher than median earnings of high school graduates for all 80 majors studied. This is true at career entry, mid-career and end of career,” the authors write.
Posted September 30, 2014
Good LNG news yesterday: Dominion’s Cove Point LNG export terminal received federal approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). More from The Hill:
Dominion Resources Inc. will be allowed to liquefy and export up to 5.75 million metric tons of natural gas per year from its existing Cove Point compressor station on the Chesapeake Bay.
The decision follows a ruling in March by the Energy Department that the terminal may export gas to countries with or without a United States free trade agreement.
Dominion plans to have the $3.8 billion terminal up and running by June 2017. New construction would be on the same footprint as the existing site, the company said.
“We are pleased to receive this final approval that allows us to start constructing this important project that offers significant economic, environmental and geopolitical benefits,” Diane Leopold, president of Dominion Energy, said in a statement.
“Dominion is dedicated to constructing a safe, secure, environmentally compatible and reliable export facility.”
Posted September 29, 2014
Washington Post (Robert J. Samuelson): One of the economy’s good-news stories is the oil boom, a derivative of the natural gas boom. When the drilling techniques used to tap vast new reservoirs of natural gas were applied to oil, they yielded similarly astounding results. Since 2008, U.S. oil production has increased from 5 million barrels a day (mbd) to 8.3 mbd in 2014. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says it could go to 9.6 mbd by 2019.
By all logic, we should be working to sustain the boom. We aren’t, and therein lies a classic example of how good policy is held hostage to bad politics and public relations. What would promote continued exploration is a lifting of the current U.S. ban on exporting crude oil. Let producers sell into the world market. But that seems (wrongly) an unjustified giveaway to industry. The public perceptions are atrocious.
Posted September 26, 2014
UPI: A study finding the U.S. energy boom is reaching other economic sectors gives credibility to the industry's stance, the American Petroleum Institute said.
A study from IHS Global Insight, commissioned by the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance, finds total labor income generated by employment in industries across many aspects of the energy sector supply chain could reach $60 billion in 2025. That's a 46 percent increase from 2012.
"America's rise as an energy superpower is creating an economic ripple effect of fast-paced growth, higher wages, and new jobs," API Vice President for Economic Policy Kyle Isakower said in a statement Wednesday. "API released its own survey of 30,000 vendors and supporting businesses in every single state that that help deliver affordable energy to U.S. consumers."
Posted September 25, 2014
Observer-Reporter: For nearly an hour, Stephen Moore expended a lot of energy speaking about energy and the economy – and their inextricable link.
“You cannot understand economics unless you understand energy,” he said in his opening. “The industry is carrying the rest of the U.S. on its shoulders. Without the energy boom going on, there would be no economic recovery at all.”
Moore is a chief economist for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research think tank from Washington, D.C. And his thoughts made an audience in the hundreds think Tuesday morning, as Shale Insight 2014 kicked off its two-day conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
This is the fourth annual Insight, and first conducted outside Philadelphia. It is organized by North Fayette Township-based Marcellus Shale Coalition, which supports oil and gas exploration companies and their supply chain partners in Marcellus Shale, the world’s largest natural gas deposit.
Posted September 24, 2014
The Washington Post: The crude oil boom in the western United States has changed the way states do business. North Dakota is growing so rapidly that the legislature is considering returning to special session to make big investments in new infrastructure. Wyoming now receives more than half its tax dollars from oil and gas companies paying to extract fuel. And big parts of Colorado, California, Texas, Oklahoma and a handful of other states increasingly rely on the energy industry for jobs.
Domestic production peaked in 1986, at 283 million barrels per month, according to the Energy Information Administration. In September 2005, domestic production hit a nadir of just 126 million barrels a month. In the last decade, technological advances, including the increasing production from hydraulic fracturing, has reversed that 20-year decline in crude oil production.
Today, production is back up to 256 million barrels a month, according to the latest EIA figures.
Posted September 23, 2014
FuelFix Blog: From steel pipe manufacturers to companies that produce sand and gravel, the U.S. shale boom is buoying businesses far removed from the oil and gas fields, a new study finds.
These companies are benefiting from the huge investments needed to explore, produce, process and transport oil and gas unlocked from previously inaccessible dense rock formations through advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, according to the findings by Houston-based energy analyst firm IHS.
The boom has been most generous to companies working in states with the most oil and gas activity, but the economic boost has also trickled down to steel-makers and machine tool manufacturers based in regions with no production, the report said.
Posted September 22, 2014
Washington Examiner op-ed (Karen Harbert): America's economic recovery is being fueled by energy. Increased natural gas production is at the center of our energy revolution, creating new opportunities at home and abroad.
Not long ago, conventional wisdom was that America’s natural gas production would decline over time. Terminals were planned and built in anticipation of the need to import natural gas from overseas. Now, these facilities are either being converted to export terminals or are idle.
Obviously, things have changed — and for the better. The combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling made accessing unconventional oil and gas much easier, safer, and cost effective. More and more formations were discovered, and now, natural gas extracted from shale makes up over one-third of total U.S. natural gas production. Over time, this trend will continue to increase to about half of our natural gas production by 2030.
Posted September 19, 2014
Posted September 18, 2014
Associated Press: A Texas oil and gas boom fueled by hydraulic fracturing and new horizontal drilling techniques has generated a record $1.26 billion this year to support K-12 public education.
The San Antonio Express-News reports (http://bit.ly/1r2AJT0 ) that the Texas General Land Office released the fiscal 2014 figures on Wednesday. Office spokesman Jim Suydam said the boon is due to a rapid increase in drilling on state lands, including acreage on the Barnett Shale and the Eagle Ford Shale.
The money comes from the state's Permanent School Fund, now valued at more than $34 billion. The fund is generated by oil and gas royalties, lease rentals, bonuses and other sources. Only the fund's interest can be spent.
Lease income surged sevenfold in 2014 as compared to 2013, and lease bonus income jumped 86 percent over the same period.