Posted September 18, 2013
In a piece in Forbes, contributor Michael Lynch writes that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is “one of the worst-designed government policies since we had caverns full of surplus cheese.” Yeah, that’ll leave a mark.
Yet, Lynch's characterization is on target in the case of the broken, out-of-touch RFS – with its ever-rising mandates for ethanol use that are propelling us toward the refining “blend wall” and potential harm to consumers and the broader economy. Bob Greco, API’s group director of downstream and industry operations, detailed the “reality gap” reasons the RFS should be repealed in a conference call with reporters – reasons that also back industry’s request that EPA reduce the total renewable fuels volume requirement to a level below 10 percent of overall gasoline demand for 2014.
Posted September 17, 2013
A new, comprehensive study by the University of Texas showing methane emissions from natural gas drilling are a fraction of estimates from just a few years ago vouches for industry efforts to reduce methane emissions, suggests existing regulation is working and that an additional regulatory layer isn’t needed.
The UT study, sponsored by a group of interests that includes the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and a number of natural gas producers, examined 150 production sites across the U.S. with 489 wells, 27 well completion flowbacks, nine well unloadings and four well workovers.
Posted August 15, 2013
Posted August 12, 2013
Posted August 7, 2013
Now for a change of pace: Kudos to EPA for deciding to give the oil and natural gas industry more time to install emissions controls on storage tanks.
Phasing in the deadline for controls on volatile organic compounds emitted by storage tanks – through April 2015 instead of the original deadline about two months from now – is encouraging because it recognizes industry’s willingness to make its operations cleaner under realistic and fair regulation, while also suggesting the agency can be responsive to industry’s reasonable points of view (more below).
Posted June 21, 2013
Study: Tier 3 Sulfur Rule Would Do Little to Improve Air Quality - http://bit.ly/19YBiXp
Although the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Tier 3 gasoline sulfur rule could cost billions, a new study from ENVIRON International Corporation found that it would do very little to reduce fine particulates and improve air quality, API Director for Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman told reporters yesterday.
EPA Acknowledges Pavillion Study Deficiencies – http://bit.ly/14OceP1
After two years of study in Pavillion, Wyoming, the EPA has yet to demonstrate any evidence of hydraulic fracturing linked to groundwater contamination. This echoes former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s comments from 2011 that “there is no proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.”
Posted June 13, 2013
Wall Street Journal – U.S. Oil Notches Record Growth
In the latest sign that the shale revolution is remaking world energy markets, the WSJ cites BP’s 2012 Statistical Review showing crude production in the U.S. jumped 14 percent last year to 8.9 million barrels a day. (subscription publication).
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Pennsylvania to See $202.47 Million in Per-Well Fracking Impact Fees
A new Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission report notes that more than $200 million from hydraulic fracturing impact fees will be distributed to local governments across the state. Bradford County in the state's northeast will collect the most at $7.3 million while Washington is second at $4.7 million. Lycoming and Tioga counties follow with $4.4 million each.
Posted May 30, 2013
Later this year EPA is expected to propose stricter ozone standards that could lower the current 75 parts per billion (ppb) limit to 60 ppb. First, a map showing areas of the country (in red) that exceed current 75 ppb standards, enacted in 2008:
Posted May 30, 2013
One of the frequent arguments from ethanol supporters is that the United States should simply follow the lead of Brazil and use a lot more ethanol in our fuel supply. Indeed, Vice President Joe Biden was full of praise for Brazil during remarks in Rio de Janeiro this week:
“You’re tapping your enormous natural resources, but also getting a greater share of your energy from clean and renewable energy sources than any other country in the world. The rest of the world looks at you with envy, at the progress you’ve made. The hemisphere has much to learn from your experience.”
Posted May 20, 2013
Time to set the record straight on EPA’s premature approval of E15 fuel for the marketplace – necessitated by EPA administrator nominee Gina McCarthy’s recent inaccurate and misleading responses to Senate questions about E15 testing. McCarthy was asked:
“Was EPA aware of ongoing (Coordinating Research Council) testing on engine durability, fuel pumps and other engine components? Why not wait until that test was complete before making a decision? Because in the aftermath it looks like the decision was, at best, premature. The CRC data shows millions of approved vehicles are in danger of engine damage.”