Posted April 24, 2014
Washington Post: If foot-dragging were a competitive sport, President Obama and his administration would be world champions for their performance in delaying the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Last Friday afternoon, the time when officials make announcements they hope no one will notice, the State Department declared that it is putting off a decision on Keystone XL indefinitely — or at least, it seems, well past November’s midterm elections. This time, the excuse is litigation in Nebraska over the proposed route, because that might lead to a change in the project that various federal agencies will want to consider. The State Department might even decide to substantially restart the environmental review process. This is yet another laughable reason to delay a project that the federal government has been scrutinizing for more than five years.
Posted April 23, 2014
Posted April 21, 2014
Posted April 14, 2014
Posted April 8, 2014
Posted April 7, 2014
U.S. Energy Boom Lifts Low-Income Workers Too
Wall Street Journal op-ed (subscription required): Mayors, governors and economic-development officials love natural-resource jobs—and today's North American energy revolution has been providing a lot of them. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of new jobs in the oil and gas industry (technically a part of mining) increased by roughly 270,000 between 2003 and 2012. This is an increase of about 92% compared with a 3% increase in all jobs during the same period.
The people of New York and other states that have so far declined to take part in the boom might like to know what they are missing because these jobs pay well. The BLS reports that the U.S. average annual wage (which excludes employer-paid benefits) in the oil and gas industry was about $107,200 during 2012, the latest full year available. That's more than double the average of $49,300 for all workers.
At the other end of the wage spectrum are waiters and waitresses in food services nationwide earning about $16,200 a year, workers in the accommodations industry with average pay of $27,300, and those in the retail trade with average wages of $27,700. But the evidence from the oil boom regions is that energy development lifts wages for low-income workers too.
Posted April 1, 2014
With Europe’s dependence on Russian gas impeding diplomatic efforts, it’s time to reconsider outdated policies that are keeping the U.S. from becoming an energy exporter.
U.S. lawmakers don’t drive around in 1970s-era cars, yet they don’t seem to mind energy policies that are equally out of date. Attempts to export shale oil and gas, for example, have run smack into legal and regulatory barriers as old as a Gran Torino.
Energy companies have been urging Congress to lift the lid on exports and start treating oil and gas again like any other commodity that’s freely traded in world markets. Tapping global demand for U.S. shale oil and gas, they say, will spur domestic production and create even more jobs in a sector that’s already racked up robust employment gains.
Posted March 28, 2014
The Keystone XL pipeline has been delayed by Washington way too long – more than five years and counting – but we haven’t lost our sense of humor.
At a Vets4Energy event supporting the Keystone XL, Gary Doer, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, recognizing the U.S. military veterans in the audience, remarked that the two countries are old friends. “Ever since the War of 1812 we’ve been allies together,” said Doer, noting the little war during which Canada helped the British. “I won’t get into that war, but …”
U.S. Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota good-naturedly cut him off: “We won that war!”
Posted March 27, 2014
Associated Press: WASHINGTON -- America's cities are still growing, with the population boom fueled by people picking up and moving to find jobs in energy production across the oil- and gas-rich areas west of the Mississippi River.
New 2013 census information released Thursday shows that cities are the fastest-growing parts of the United States, and a majority of the metro areas showing that growth are located in or near the oil- and gas-rich fields of the Great Plains and Mountain West.
Neighboring cities Odessa and Midland, Texas, show up as the second and third fastest-growing metro areas in the country. Sara Higgins, the Midland public information officer, has a simple explanation: oil. "They're coming here to work," Higgins said.
Energy production is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, the Census Bureau said. The boom in the U.S. follows the use of new technologies, such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, to tap oil and gas reserves.
Posted March 26, 2014
A Vets4Energy press event in support of building the Keystone XL pipeline underscored the link between North American energy security – based on increased domestic production and a stronger partnership with Canada, our No. 1 source of imported oil – and national security. The pipeline would be a significant part of an energy strategy that could see 100 percent of the United States’ liquid fuel needs supplied domestically and from Canada by 2024.
This resonates with men and women whose mission often involves ensuring the safe flow of energy around the world. Retired Rear Admiral Don Loren:
“I believe that everybody realizes that there is a relationship between the flow of energy, the access to energy and national and international security. … Having unbounded energy resources, not (being) dependent on foreign energy sources, it gives us tremendous military strength and capability.”