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
Posted December 12, 2013
Shale Gas a Boon to Public Health
Breaking Energy (Dana Bohan): You’ve probably heard that the United States is experiencing an unprecedented energy boom that is transforming our economy, enhancing our energy security, and creating a manufacturing renaissance — all thanks to hydraulic fracturing and the development of America’s massive oil and natural gas resources. But what you probably haven’t heard is that shale development has an added bonus: it is rapidly reducing emissions of all kinds, which translates to massive public health benefits.
A new report by University of California-Berkeley climate scientist Richard Muller puts the health benefits of natural gas in the spotlight, concluding that “air pollution can be mitigated by the development and utilization of shale gas,” and because of this, “environmentalists who oppose the development of shale gas and fracking are making a tragic mistake.”
Read more: http://bit.ly/1gt6PnI
Posted December 11, 2013
Remember the Energy Crisis? Fracking Fixed It
Newsday (Paul Greenberg): Energy Crises used to come as regularly as flu seasons, some years or whole eras worse than others. Let's see, there was the Energy Crisis of 1973 and of 1979 and of the years in between and after ... till the whole era, aka the Carter Years, might as well have been one long Energy Crisis.
Why? Largely because each successive wave of shortages was only aggravated by government-supplied remedies that were going to cure them -- from price controls to tighter regulations on the oil industry and on a once free market.
Daniel Yergin is one of the more prescient students of the oil industry, and of the American economy in general. He's one expert whose analyses have proven so reliable over the years that they almost restore the once assuring connotations of the word Expertise, which has acquired a suspect sound over the years. And no wonder. One after another, the experts' "solutions" for the Energy Crisis did nothing but make it worse.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1bEvJNC
Posted December 9, 2013
Why Obama Should Thank the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
National Journal (Amy Harder): The oil and natural-gas industry probably won't ever get a thank-you card from President Obama, but he has a few big reasons to be grateful for the fossil-fuel boom.
America's vast resources of oil and natural gas have enabled Obama to move forward on aggressive policies, including tougher environmental rules and Iranian oil sanctions, which he would not have been able to do nearly as effectively without them.
The International Energy Agency predicts the U.S. will surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oil-producer in 2015; and, by the end of this year, the Energy Information Administration says we'll surpass Russia as the biggest natural-gas producer.
"I've joked before that for the last 30 years, our national energy policy has been implicitly predicated on a low-cost, trustable supply of natural gas," said Jason Grumet, president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, who advised Obama in his transition to the presidency in 2008. "It is incredibly fortunate that it showed up in time."
Read more: http://bit.ly/1aP7BDD
Posted December 5, 2013
America’s vast offshore energy reserves present an opportunity to improve our economy, increase our energy security and create tens of thousands of jobs. According to a new study, opening the U.S. Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to offshore oil and natural gas development could turn that opportunity into reality. API’s Director of Upstream Erik Milito and the National Ocean Industries Association’s Randall Luthi outlined the study for reporters today. Milito:
“Oil and natural gas production off our Atlantic coast is a potential gold mine. Developing oil and natural gas in the Atlantic could put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work, make us more energy secure, and bring in needed revenue for the government. But none of these benefits will appear unless the federal government follows pro-development energy policies.”
According to the study, oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic OCS between 2017 and 2035 could:
- Create nearly 280,000 new jobs along the East Coast and across the country.
- Result in an additional $195 billion in new private investment.
- Contribute up to $23.5 billion per year to the U.S. economy.
- Add 1.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to domestic energy production, which is about 70 percent of current output from the Gulf of Mexico.
- Generate $51 billion in new revenue for the government.
Posted December 4, 2013
A Pivotal Moment in U.S. Energy History
Global Energy Initiative (Jason Bordoff): We are at a transformational moment in energy history. Just a few years ago, all energy projections forecast increased imports, increased scarcity, and increased natural gas prices. Today, we’ve shifted from scarcity to abundance. U.S. oil production has increased by 2.5 million barrels per day (B/D) since 2010. This year, the United States overtook Saudi Arabia as the largest producer of liquid fuels (including crude oil, natural gas, and biofuels) in the world. U.S. oil imports are at their lowest level in 25 years and are projected to continue declining. The natural gas outlook is even more striking. New geological surveys and production data continue to surprise to the upside. And multi-billion-dollar terminals proposed not long ago to import natural gas are being flipped to export instead.
This transformation is not only a U.S. story. New technologies mean that what were once challenging sources of oil and gas can now be tapped economically from the oil sands in Canada (and potentially Venezuela), the ultra-deepwater “presalt” off the coast of Brazil, and many other parts of the world. Iraq, parts of Africa, and elsewhere are poised for sharp increases in production.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1gk7ms9
Posted December 2, 2013
The Remarkable Shale Oil Bonanza in ‘Saudi Texas’
AEI Carpe Diem Blog: The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new state crude oil production data this week for the month of September, and one of the highlights of that monthly report is that oil output in America’s No. 1 oil-producing state – Texas – continues its phenomenal, meteoric rise. Here are some details of oil output in “Saudi Texas” for the month of September:
Oil drillers in Texas pumped out an average of 2.726 million barrels of crude oil every day (bpd) during the month of September, which is the highest daily oil output in the Lone Star State in any single month since at least January 1981, when the EIA started reporting each state’s monthly oil production.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1bdF6iQ
Posted November 21, 2013
The Strange Debate over LNG Exports
UPI Analysis: WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 -- The debate over exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas is exceedingly strange. In Washington one sometimes hears calls to limit imports of given goods or services but limits on exports?
When U.S. President Barack Obama talked of doubling U.S. exports in five years in his 2010 State of the Union Address, some said this was an unrealistic objective but nobody said it wasn't a worthy goal, particularly to support the United States' economic recovery.
Since Adam Smith, of course, economists have understood that restrictions on imports or exports reduce overall national welfare. But the politics of imports and exports are different.
The costs of allowing imports are generally borne by identifiable firms and their workers but the benefits of imports are typically widely dispersed and thus effectively invisible.
Exports have an opposite dynamic. Increased export sales directly benefit identifiable firms and their workers. Any costs are typically spread thinly and invisibly over the whole economy.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1h5umeF
Posted November 19, 2013
America Needs its Shale Energy and Hydraulic Fracturing Provides It
The Hill: In just a few short years, the United States has become the world’s number one oil and natural gas producer, and is well on its way to no longer relying on energy from countries that are historically hostile to U.S. interests.
For the average family last year, this energy transformation meant $1,200 in the form of lower energy bills, at a time when hard working American families desperately need a break. The benefits of the shale energy revolution have already been tremendous. On top of lowering costs for fueling our cars, heating our homes and running our factories, it may have saved America from slipping into a depression. After all, natural gas producing shale is the single most dramatically expanding part of the U.S. economy supporting the highest number of new jobs.
Energy is not an end unto itself; it is a key economic input to a more prosperous future for all Americans. If not for the shale revolution, we would not be reaping the benefits of the rebirth of the manufacturing sector that both of our parties see as key to rebuilding our economy. One recent study concluded that U.S. has added over 500,000 manufacturing jobs since the shale revolution began.
This shale revolution is completely dependent on two consistently improving American technologies: hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Without these two key technologies, all of the benefits we all experience every day would stop, our domestic energy resources would remain off limits from U.S. citizens, and the manufacturing jobs rebirth will end.
Read more: http://bit.ly/If4fCM
Posted November 8, 2013
Fred Siegel: Fracking, Poverty and the New Liberal Gentry
Wall Street Journal: The transformation of American liberalism over the past half-century is nowhere more apparent than in the disputes now roiling a relatively obscure section of upstate New York. In 1965, as part of his "war on poverty," President Lyndon Johnson created the Appalachian Regional Commission. Among the areas to be served by the commission were the Southern Tier counties of New York state, including Broome, Tioga and Chemung. The commission's central aim was to "Increase job opportunities and per capita income in Appalachia to reach parity with the nation."
Like so many Great Society antipoverty programs, the effort largely failed. The Southern Tier counties remain much as they appeared in the 1960s, pocked by deserted farms and abandoned businesses, largely untouched by the prosperity that blessed much of America over the past five decades.
Beginning about a dozen years ago, remarkable improvements in natural-gas drilling by means of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, seemed to promise a way out of poverty. The massive Marcellus Shale Formation under New York and Pennsylvania has proved to be "the most lucrative natural gas play in the U.S.," Business Week recently noted, because the shale produces high-quality gas and is easily shipped to New York and Philadelphia.
In Pennsylvania, a state long familiar with carbon production through oil drilling and coal mining, Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell backed fracking during his tenure from 2003-11, and the state has experienced a boom in jobs and income. Between 2007 and 2011, in Pennsylvania counties with more than 200 fracking wells, per capita income rose 19%, compared with an 8% increase in counties with no wells, as petroleum analyst Gregg Laskoski wrote for U.S. News & World Report in August.
Read more: http://on.wsj.com/1hrdrUJ