Posted October 2, 2013
California Can Protect the Environment While Sharing in a Financial Bonanza
The Globe and Mail: Hydraulic fracturing — fracking — has been used to extract oil and natural gas from shale rock for decades. But technological improvements in recent years have made the process far more efficient. It’s expanded use in states like North Dakota, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Colorado has sparked an energy revolution that is pushing the United States toward energy independence. It has also sparked major controversy over environmental concerns, nowhere more so than in California. On Sept. 20, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation regulating fracking. In this essay below, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, like Brown an environmentally oriented Democrat, makes the case that energy development and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive.
A 21st-century oil and natural gas industry in Colorado is recognizing that more rigorous regulations translate into broader citizen acceptance. This evolution, and the joining of innovations like horizontal drilling with long-accepted practices like hydraulic fracturing, is moving America toward energy independence.
In the process, we are improving the quality of the air, as well as beginning to fight back against climate change. Colorado has a proud history of leadership and innovation in the deployment of clean energy technologies. We have laws in place that require utilities to produce as much as 30 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Read more: http://bit.ly/GzZbrG
Posted September 25, 2013
Guest Editorial: Keystone Pipeline System Operating for Years
Sun Advocate: Here's a little-known fact: The Keystone pipeline system has been transporting oil sands from Canada to U.S. refineries in the Midwest for three years -- with no major leaks and, more importantly, no major complaints from environmentalists. …
The fact is that the Keystone XL pipeline is simply an extension of an already existing program that is working well, creating jobs and expanding U.S. manufacturing. It should be an easy, and quick, decision for any president concerned about the economy.
Read more: http://bit.ly/15tQTxq
Posted September 24, 2013
New Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz often is asked how quickly his department will consider applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to non-free trade agreement nations that are pending before his agency. Department approval of an LNG export permit for Dominion’s Cove Point, Md., facility earlier this month probably won’t give Moniz a reprieve from such questions.
That’s because after approving four LNG export applications over the past two and a half years – including three so far this year – there’s some talk that the U.S. has entered an LNG export “sweet spot” – the point where some argue that the cumulative natural gas the approved facilities are authorized to export, about 6 billion cubic feet per day, wouldn’t significantly affect domestic prices.
Posted September 18, 2013
Editorial: U.S. Right to Approve Cove Point LNG Export License
Washington Post: SOME BUILDING projects may be shovel-ready. Others are shovel-desperate: they are reasonable proposals that make economic sense and boast private backers but are being slowed or blocked by interest groups leaning on the government.
One that belongs in the second category is a plan to convert a natural gas import plant, an expensive facility in Cove Point, Md., that’s sitting idle, into one that can handle exports to gas-hungry Japan and India. The Energy Department approved the plan last week, but in Baltimore on Tuesday, a coalition of environmentalists and citizens groups promised to prevent the project from getting the 60 or so additional signoffs it needs. They should find a better use for their time.
Posted September 13, 2013
Texas Oil Production Could Outpace Iran, Iran and Kuwait in a Few Years
International Business Times: Texas oil production continues to surge as the fracking boom frees up previously unreachable oil, and a recent report finds that if the state were an independent country, it would rank 10th overall in production, according to the American Enterprise Institute.
Based on international oil production numbers released by the Energy Information Administration, the current pace of annual increase in Texas was 30 percent or more, indicating production could surpass 3 million barrels per day by early 2014 and reach 4 million barrels per day by 2015.
In 2010 Texas, if it were its own separate country, would have been the 20th largest oil-producing country in the world. The rapid increase in oil output over the past few years is attributed to the extraction of unconventional shale oil in the U.S.Read more: http://bit.ly/18WXvRL
Posted September 12, 2013
Fracking Moves U.S. Crude Output to Highest Level Since 1989
Bloomberg News: U.S. oil production jumped last week to the highest level since May 1989, cutting consumption of foreign fuel and putting the U.S. closer to energy independence.
Drilling techniques including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, pushed crude output up by 124,000 barrels, or 1.6 percent, to 7.745 million barrels a day in the seven days ended Sept. 6, the Energy Information Administration said today.
Rising crude supplies from fields including North Dakota’s Bakken shale and the Eagle Ford in Texas have helped the U.S. become the world’s largest exporter of refined fuels including gasoline and diesel. Texas pumped 2.575 million barrels a day in June, according to the EIA, enough to rank it ahead of seven members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Read more: http://bloom.bg/15Tv3Ol
Posted September 11, 2013
Obama Administration Allows More natural Gas Exports
Fuel Fix Blog: The Obama administration on Wednesday authorized a fourth company to broadly export U.S. natural gas, giving Dominion conditional approval to sell the fossil fuel abroad after processing it at a Maryland facility.
The Energy Department’s decision means that as long as it secures other required permits, Dominion Cove Point will be able to sell as much as 770 million cubic feet of natural gas per day for the next 20 years to Japan and other countries that do not have free-trade agreements with the United States.
With the Dominion Cove Point decision, the Obama administration has now authorized 6.37 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas to be sold to non-free-trade nations.
Read more: http://bit.ly/17QBo0W
Posted September 10, 2013
Fracking, the Poor and Adding to Americans’ Disposable Income
Wall Street Journal (editorial): Last week we reported on a study showing that the U.S. oil and natural gas revolution may be the country's best antipoverty program, and the evidence keeps coming. A new report from IHS Global Insight estimates that fracking added the equivalent of a cool $1,200 to real household disposable income on average in 2012.
Lower costs for raw materials were passed on to consumers via lower home heating and electricity bills and lower prices for other goods and services. Wages also increased from a surge in industrial activity. On present trend, IHS predicts that unconventional oil and gas will contribute more than $2,000 a year by 2015 and $3,500 by 2025.
Overall the industry lifted economic growth by $283 billion last year.
Read more (subscription publication): http://on.wsj.com/13GJtDS
Posted September 6, 2013
U.S. Oil Production Reaches Highest Level in 24 Years
Fuel Fix Blog: U.S. oil production last week hit its highest level in nearly a quarter century, as companies seek to capitalize on high oil prices, according to federal data.
Domestic oil production hit 7.621 million barrels per day in the week ending Aug. 30, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its latest weekly update.
That surpassed the 7.609 million barrels per day production mark set the week prior and was the highest production total since October 1989, when production averaged 7.644 million barrels per day.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1ad7bcL
Posted August 30, 2013
Benefits of Fracking Will Be Tested in Syria Attacks
Forbes: Oil prices are surging on concerns that a U.S.-led attack on Syria could disrupt global oil supplies. West Texas Intermediate crude traded at $110.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange this morning, after rising more than $3 a barrel on Tuesday. Less than two months ago, oil sold for less than $100.Gasoline prices have risen the most in six weeks at a time when forecasts had indicated they would be falling because of seasonal decline in demand.
It’s a pretty typical market response to geopolitical unrest in the Middle East. The concern, of course, is that any escalation of the Syrian conflict will expand to include other oil-producing nations, particularly Iran. Iran has the power to control the all-important Strait of Hormuz, through which about 17 million barrels of oil pass each day — roughly one fifth of the world supply.
But this time things are different, at least from the U.S. perspective. The implications of a supply disruption are muted because domestic production is at a 20-year high, driven by the hydraulic fracturing boom. U.S. inventories are flush.
Read more: http://onforb.es/15jNSjt