Posted January 27, 2014
Free America’s Energy Future: Drop Washington’s Counterproductive Oil and Natural Gas Ban
Forbes (Doug Bandow): For years people have been told to expect a dismal energy future. But because of rapid free market innovation, Americans now can look forward to a future of energy abundance. The U.S. could even become a leading exporter—if Washington gets out of the way.
Successive presidents and Congresses imposed controls, approved subsidies, created bureaucracies, and issued proclamations. The most common commitment was to achieve “energy independence.” But President Ronald Reagan set the stage for today’s energy advances by unilaterally eliminating oil price controls and pushing Congress to drop natural gas price and use restrictions.
His successors, however, have regressed back to expensive social engineering. George W. Bush declared war on the common light bulb. Barack Obama poured billions into the coffers of well-connected alternative energy firms, several of which, such as Solyndra, have gone bankrupt. And everyone continued to support the authoritarian Gulf kleptocracies, led by Saudi Arabia, to ensure access to imported oil.
Yet an energy revolution is underway. Observed Mark P. Mills, an Adjunct Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, “The game-changing technologies that have emerged involve hydrocarbons: natural gas, oil, and coal.” Major advances have been made in locating and extracting resources—such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking—and operating in more distant and hostile environments.
Read more: http://onforb.es/1f7kRXN
Posted January 17, 2014
David Ignatius has an important column in the Washington Post this week on America’s energy boom –the result of greatly expanded domestic oil and natural gas production and an “all of the above” approach to energy policy. Ignatius writes:
For decades, Americans have talked about “energy policy” as if it were the political equivalent of a migraine. The phrase connoted pain — in ever-rising gas prices, costly government schemes and dependence on imports from precarious Middle East regimes. But recent developments involving energy production and technology have been so astonishing that they should puncture this long-running pessimism. The amazing fact is that, on nearly every front, America’s energy prospects have improved in ways that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. In the energy marketplace, President Obama’s vision of an “all of the above” strategy is actually happening. Production of oil, gas and alternative energy is rising, even as demand begins falling for these energy sources — all thanks to new technology. The market forces driving these changes are so powerful that even politicians probably can’t screw them up.
Ignatius highlights data we’ve previously seen from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), projecting that the U.S. will produce nearly 9.6 million barrels of oil per day by 2016, a level not seen since 1970 – thanks largely to vast shale deposits and advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
Posted January 16, 2014
Oil Boom Brings Cash and iPads to School District
USA Today: COTULLA, Texas — In Cindy Ochoa's fourth-grade reading class, a dozen students peer quietly into their iPads, perusing an online version ofEncyclopedia Britannica for a research paper on U.S. states.
"You see how quiet it is?" Ochoa says. "They're in their own worlds."
A few years ago, the iPads would have been unthinkable, an unreachable expense in a dirt-poor school district. Today, all 1,300 students in the Cotulla Independent School District have access to new iPads. Their parents no longer have to spend money on school supplies. They ride around in new buses.
Once one of the poorest districts in Texas, Cotulla is today one of the richest because of the state's oil boom.
Read more: http://usat.ly/1dzv3vz
Posted January 16, 2014
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy laid out a road map for energy policy yesterday. Energy Works for US focuses on nine energy areas including removing barriers to increased domestic oil and natural gas production, modernizing the federal permitting process, regulation reform, and ensuring a competitive workforce.
Chamber CEO Tom Donohue spoke on America’s energy renaissance and opportunities for the future:
“Energy is absolutely essential. We have an opportunity to transform our country from one that is dependent on imports to an energy exporter. The U.S. has such energy reserves; we shouldn’t be reliant on foreign sources.”
Posted January 15, 2014
America’s Energy Boom
Real Clear Politics: WASHINGTON -- For decades, Americans have talked about "energy policy" as if it were the political equivalent of a migraine. The phrase connoted pain -- in ever-rising gas prices, costly government schemes and dependence on imports from precarious Middle East regimes.
But recent developments involving energy production and technology have been so astonishing that they should puncture this long-running pessimism. The amazing fact is that on nearly every front, America's energy prospects have improved in ways that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago.
In the energy marketplace, President Obama's vision of an "all of the above" strategy is actually happening. Production of oil, gas and alternative energy is rising, even as demand begins falling for these energy sources -- all thanks to new technology. The market forces driving these changes are so powerful that even politicians probably can't screw them up.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1b47dCg
Posted January 15, 2014
Some eye-popping numbers from a new report by API and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines:
Liquid pipeline operators delivered 14.1 billion barrels of crude oil and petroleum products by interstate pipeline in 2012
Liquid pipeline operators operated 185,599 miles of pipeline in 2012 including 57,051 miles of crude oil, 64,024 miles of petroleum product, and 59,853 miles of natural gas liquid pipelines
Liquid pipeline operators spent more than $1.6 billion on integrity management in 2012 evaluating, inspecting and maintaining their pipeline infrastructure
Liquid pipeline releases are down 62% from 2001 to 2012
Barrels released from liquid pipelines are down 47% from 2001 to 2012
Corrosion as a cause of releases from liquid pipelines is down 79% from 2001 to 2012
Third-party caused damage to liquid pipelines is down 78% from 2001 to 2012
As API Pipeline Director Peter Lidiak put it:
“Pipelines are a vital part of this nation’s infrastructure and will be critical to creating jobs, growing our nation’s economy and securing our bright energy future… Statistically, pipelines have an almost 100 percent safety record and reaching a perfect record of safety.”
Posted January 10, 2014
America is experiencing an energy renaissance thanks to abundant domestic oil and natural gas, much of it developed from shale and other tight-rock formations through advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. As API President and CEO Jack Gerard outlined earlier this week, energy is at the heart of freedom and opportunity, and U.S. energy wealth could be the driver of a new era of American prosperity:
“Energy is fundamental to our society, and thanks to American innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, our nation stands among the world’s leaders in energy production and is poised to be THE leader if we get American energy policy right. The question before us today is whether we have the vision and wisdom to take full advantage of our vast energy resources. The energy policy choices we make today are among the most important and far reaching policy decisions we will make in the 21st century. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape, realign and reorder the world’s energy market and improve domestic prosperity to an unprecedented degree. But only if we get our nation’s energy policy right today.”
Posted December 30, 2013
Vaclav Smil’s Graph of the Year: The Natural Gas Boom
Washington Post: "[There are] too many choices possible, but here is one epoch-making trend: as the post-2008 rise of hydraulic fracturing drove U.S. natural gas prices down and increased the supply (in 2013 the U.S. will be again the world’s largest natural gas producer) oil and gas prices, traditionally moving in tandem, have diverged significantly. History is being made."
Posted December 23, 2013
State Already Taxes Oil in many Ways
San Francisco Chronicle (Catherine Reheis-Boyd): Tom Steyer, the San Francisco billionaire environmentalist, has launched a campaign to increase taxes on energy production in California. He thinks oil companies are allowed to "siphon California resources without providing any meaningful return to Californians."
Beginning an education campaign on inaccurate claims doesn't bode well for the quality of the educational experience.
To claim Californians receive no meaningful return for the oil we produce is puzzling. Oil companies in California generate $6 billion in tax revenues for state and local governments, according to an analysis by Purvin & Gertz in 2011. While it's true California does not have an oil severance tax per se, California taxes oil companies and oil production in a variety of other ways.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1kzQ4aP
Posted December 19, 2013
Mexico’s Energy Reform Will Benefit U.S.
USA Today (Peter Schechter and Jason Marczak): Last Thursday, Mexico's Congress passed the final hurdle to approve amendments to its constitution that herald a deep, positive change for the country. With all the bad news coming out of most everywhere else in the world, it is a relief to see a part of the western world where politics remain constructive.
The energy reform proposal will bring dramatic advances to Mexico's energy market, allowing private investment in the country's oil and gas sector for the first time since former President Lázaro Cárdenas nationalized oil in 1938. The reform will have profound economic implications for Mexico and the international energy supply equation.
It is also a coup for President Enrique Peña Nieto,47, who successfully built a coalition with his main political rivals to pass the reform. In a move reminiscent of Nixon's trip to China, this youthful president of the same party that 75 years ago nationalized Mexico's natural resources accomplished a reform previously considered the third rail of Mexican politics. Indeed, the Peña Nieto administration is able to provide the United States and Europe with a Harvard Case Study on leadership, partnership and putting citizenship before partisanship.
Read more: http://usat.ly/19VwttE