Posted September 8, 2014
A final word on a recent op-ed attack on hydraulic fracturing by a Natural Resources Defense Council policy analyst – an especially glaring example of the way the anti-fracking crowd often kicks the facts to the curb while trying to undermine public support for safe, responsible drilling, the No. 1 reason for America’s energy revolution.
Quick review. We’ve already shown that federal and state regulatory regimes – with industry standards – are protecting the environment, drinking water supplies and communities. We’ve detailed how horizontal drilling has been around for decades, that advanced fracking is safe and beneficial, and that the resulting surge in natural gas production and use is largely responsible for reducing U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to their lowest level since 1994.
Now let’s talk jobs – one of our favorite subjects because the oil and natural gas industry supports 9.8 million of them, or about 5.6 percent of total employment in this country.
Posted September 3, 2014
Following up on last week’s rebuttal of a truth-challenged attack on hydraulic fracturing in a USA Today op-ed, in which we detail how federal and state regulation, combined with industry standards are protecting the environment, water supplies and communities.
The op-ed by the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Amy Mall opens by posing a false choice for Americans: economic and energy security from development using fracking or safety. It continues:
… a controversial new extraction technology known as "fracking" — combined with unprecedented exemptions for the industry from bedrock federal environmental and public health laws — has fueled a recent explosion in domestic oil and gas development. And safeguards have not kept pace.
Fracking isn’t new. Earlier this year the U.S. marked the 65th anniversary of the first commercial use of hydraulic fracturing. Fracking pre-dates McDonald’s, diet soft drinks, credit cards and more – even Barbie. It’s a fact, and saying otherwise is dishonest.
Posted August 29, 2014
Supply matters. The impact of the U.S. energy revolution on global supply, with real benefits reaching consumers, is seen we head into the Labor Day weekend. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports the U.S. average retail price for gasoline on Aug. 25 was the lowest price on the Monday before Labor Day since 2010. EIA explains:
The recent decline in gasoline prices largely reflects changes in crude oil prices. In June of this year, the Brent spot price reached its year-to-date high of $115/barrel (bbl), then fell to $102/bbl on August 22. Current Brent prices are below their August average level over the past three years, which ranged between $110/bbl and $113/bbl.
This parallels another EIA report, crediting the surge in U.S. crude oil production with a more stabilized global crude market:
Record-setting liquid fuels production growth in the United States has more than offset the rise in unplanned global supply disruptions over the past few years … U.S. liquid fuels production, which includes crude oil, hydrocarbon gas liquids, biofuels, and refinery processing gain, grew by more than 4.0 million barrels per day (bbl/d) from January 2011 to July 2014, of which 3.0 million bbl/d was crude oil production growth. During that same period, global unplanned supply disruptions grew by 2.8 million bbl/d. U.S. production growth, the main factor counterbalancing the supply disruptions on the global oil market, has contributed to a decrease in crude oil price volatility since 2011.
More simply, supply matters. Because crude oil is traded globally, every additional barrel of U.S. production going into that market has impact.
Posted August 29, 2014
New York Times: THREE RIVERS, Tex. — Whenever overseas turmoil has pushed energy prices higher in the past, John and Beth Hughes have curbed their driving by eating at home more and shopping locally. But the current crises in Ukraine and Iraq did not stop them from making the two-hour drive to San Antonio to visit the Alamo, have a chicken fried steak lunch, and buy fish for their tank before driving home to Corpus Christi.
“We were able to take a day-cation because of the lower gas prices,” said Ms. Hughes.
The reason for the improved economics of road travel can be found 10,000 feet below the ground here, where the South Texas Eagle Ford shale is providing more than a million new barrels of oil supplies to the world market every day. United States refinery production in recent weeks reached record highs and left supply depots flush, cushioning the impact of all the instability surrounding traditional global oil fields.
Posted August 28, 2014
Despite the hyper-partisanship currently flourishing in Washington, there is a potential tie that binds: American energy.
Thanks to advanced technologies, entrepreneurial risk-taking and abundant oil and natural gas reserves, U.S. energy is on the rise: We’re the world’s No. 1 producer of natural gas and likely to be No. 1 in crude oil production next year, according to the International Energy Agency. Our energy revolution is creating jobs, boosting the economy and increasing America’s energy security and influence in the world. It’s also a bridge to bipartisanship.
API Executive Vice President Louis Finkel touched on these themes in a recent op-ed for the Reno Gazette-Journaland in a presentation before the Nevada state convention of the AFL-CIO.
Posted August 28, 2014
A USA Today op-ed this week on hydraulic fracturing by the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Amy Mall is such an achievement in dishonesty it’ll take multiple posts to unpack it all. So stay tuned. For now, let’s look at the opening, tone-setting paragraph of Mall’s piece and the way it deploys a false choice to try to undercut public support for fracking, the very basis of America’s ongoing energy revolution. Mall writes:
We all want economic and energy security. But recklessly ramping up U.S. oil and gas production is not the answer.
Mall starts with a truth – in an otherwise seriously truth-challenged piece. Yes, Americans very much want economic and energy security.
Posted August 20, 2014
North Carolina is about to join America’s energy revolution. This week the state’s Mining and Energy Commissions (MEC) conducted the first of four scheduled public hearings on proposed hydraulic fracturing regulations, the final adoption of which could allow fracking as early as next spring.
The MEC hearings mark the close of a two-year process to lift a 2012 moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina. The presence of vast shale reserves and the marriage of safe, responsible hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling launched the U.S. energy revolution – with stunning results. The U.S. is now the world’s leading natural gas producer and could become No. 1 in oil output next year, according to the International Energy Agency – generating thousands of new jobs and boosting the national economy.
While North Carolina doesn’t have energy-bearing shale deposits as large as those in Texas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and other states, it has enough to create jobs and help its economy.
Posted July 28, 2014
In a new update to its drilling productivity report from last week, the Energy Information Agency said North Dakota's Bakken and Texas' Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale are quietly generating more than a million barrels of oil per day each–comprising at least a third of total U.S. daily oil production. Shale oil drilling generated the equivalent of nearly 90 percent of the U.S.'s total energy needs in 2013, according to EIA figures.
Mark Perry, an economist at the University of Michigan and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, crunched the EIA's numbers even further. His analysis suggests the output of the combined three oil fields is actually exceeding 4 million bpd, which would make them the world's fifth largest oil producer by volume.
"In all of human history, there have only been ten oil fields in the world that have ever reached the one million barrel per day milestone," the economist wrote in a recent blog post. "Three of those ten are now active in the US–thanks to the advanced drilling techniques that started accessing oceans of shale oil in Texas and North Dakota about five years ago."
Posted July 9, 2014
Hydraulic fracturing is a proven, safe technique that has been used since 1949 in over one million wells right here in the U.S. As a result, America is now the number one producer of natural gas in the world, and by 2015, it is expected that we will take the top spot in crude oil production. Of course, with this success, come both benefits and challenges.
Posted July 1, 2014
Oh, New York. As if your six-year-old moratorium on hydraulic fracturing – an unforced error that’s costing thousands of jobs and dynamic growth – isn’t bad enough for your economy, now there’s a court ruling extending the opportunity for dubious policymaking to the local level, potentially impacting state residents who can least afford it.
This week’s decision by the state Court of Appeals, that towns and municipalities may ban hydraulic fracturing within their borders, looms as a new frustrating turn for landowners. Especially those in the Southern Tier, an economically starved belt of counties along the Pennsylvania border.
It’s hard to see how energy development – that could save family farms, provide good career paths for the region’s young people and boost the regional economy – wouldn’t be chilled by the prospect of a string of localized bans. For New York property owners, the ruling could mean that economic development will continue to be something that happens in Pennsylvania, not at home.