Posted September 21, 2015
The third in a series of posts on the intersection of energy development and policy and the pursuit of climate goals. Last week: The Clean Power Plan’s flawed approach in the energy sector and the role of increased natural gas use in improving air quality. Today: The impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard and federal ethanol policy.
A decade ago Congress passed legislation creating the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – requiring escalating volumes of ethanol in the U.S. fuel supply – that was intended in part to help reduce crude oil imports while capitalizing the supposed environmental advantages of ethanol.
Crude oil imports indeed have been falling since 2008. But, as we’ve detailed before, virtually all of the decrease is due to rising domestic crude oil production, not the RFS. Thanks to vast domestic shale reserves and safe hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas – which by far has had the most to do with reducing U.S. net crude imports.
Posted September 18, 2015
Below is the second in a series of posts on the intersection of energy development and the pursuit of climate goals. Yesterday, API President CEO weighed in on the administration’s Clean Power Plan and its flawed approach of picking winners and losers in the energy sector. Today – rising natural gas use plays a key role in falling emissions of carbon dioxide – even as levels of methane and ozone decline.
Talk of climate change and climate-related goals is everywhere. We pay special attention when the climate talk turns to energy development – because there’s a great climate story stemming from America’s energy revolution.
Let’s start with emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). The U.S. Energy Information Administration tells us that monthly power sector CO2 emissions in April were the lowest for any month since April 1988. That’s a 27-year low.
Posted September 17, 2015
Below is the first of a short series of posts on the intersection of energy development and efforts to meet climate-change goals. In this post, API President and CEO Jack Gerard comments on the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and its flawed approach of picking winners and losers in the energy sector.
On Monday, Aug. 3, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced sweeping new carbon regulations for power plants. By Wednesday, Aug. 5, the government announced carbon emissions from power plants in April 2015 reached a 27-year low.
Did the costly, top-down mandates of the Clean Power Plan really work that quickly? Of course not. The dramatic emissions reductions are the result of market forces that have nothing to do with heavy-handed government regulations and everything to do with the fact that the United States is the world’s leading producer of natural gas.
Posted June 2, 2015
The Huffington Post (Sean McGarvey): The American job market is the best it's been in six years, according to the latest government data. The jobless rate is below 6 percent for the first time since 2008.
And in 2013, the United States became the world's top producer of oil and natural gas – surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia.
This U.S. energy boom is creating many new jobs here in America, and it's a leading contributor to American workers' vaulting out of the unemployment line and into the middle class. Our leaders must continue to support domestic energy exploration, which is proving our nation's strongest job-growth engine.
According to the American Petroleum Institute, investments in updating U.S. energy infrastructure alone could generate an estimated $1.14 trillion in capital investments – creating both jobs and energy savings from now until 2025.
Posted October 23, 2014
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s new report on U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions details the major role in reducing CO2 emissions that’s being played by increased use of clean-burning, affordable natural gas.
While U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions ticked up slightly last year (2.5 percent), mainly because colder weather led to greater heating demand over 2012, EIA says 2013 emissions still were 10 percent lower than they were in 2005. Wider use of natural gas in electricity generation is a key reason.
Posted September 23, 2014
Environmental groups want more regulation targeting methane emissions from oil and natural gas production. While this is what environmental groups often do, the new methane alarm is especially curious given the fact situation.
This is reflected in the dramatic decline in emissions of methane (CH4) from 2006 to 2012, according to EPA’s Inventory of Greenhouse Gases – 39.4 percent to be exact. This occurred while natural gas production was growing 37 percent during the same time period, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
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.
Posted April 10, 2014
Legislation that would accelerate U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – by approving a backlog of more than 20 export permits pending with the Energy Department and expediting future permit requests for export to World Trade Organization members – cleared an important hurdle in the U.S. House this week.
“In the last few weeks, new proposals have won bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, and we are optimistic that members will come together on efforts to harness the full economic and strategic power of America’s energy exports. The U.S. is the world’s top producer of natural gas, and allies around the globe are looking to America for leadership on energy issues. Now is the time to tear down our own bureaucratic hurdles to trade, create thousands of new American jobs, and strengthen our position as an energy superpower.”
Posted April 4, 2014
It’s hard to overstate the significance of the role that abundant, clean-burning natural gas had in bringing U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to a 20-year low in 2012. While the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expected 2013 emissions to inch up – mostly due to increased coal use in electrical generation – the projected level still would be more than 10 percent below where emissions were in 2005.
While lowering CO2 emissions is talked about in various circles, the fact is the United States already is doing it, thanks largely to natural gas – 60 percent of the U.S. total produced with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
Posted March 24, 2014
U.S. Energy Boom May Signal New Export Era
Los Angeles Times: In a Louisiana swamp several miles upriver from the Gulf of Mexico, about 3,000 construction workers are building a massive industrial facility to liquefy natural gas, preparing for a new era when the U.S. will begin exporting energy around the globe.
The $12-billion project is one of the largest single industrial investments in the nation, part of a massive transformation of the energy sector that has led to a boom in drilling, transportation and refining from coast to coast.
Five years ago, the idea of exporting U.S. gas and oil was not only unheard of, but, in the case of most U.S. crude oil, illegal. At that time, the United States was facing a future of dwindling domestic supplies and vulnerability to foreign producers. It was anxiously building facilities to import natural gas, worried about ever-higher prices and building much of its foreign policy on the need to secure energy supplies.
But U.S. energy production has boomed with the technological revolution of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, and the ability to tap newly accessible massive reserves. The nation surpassed Russia in 2009 as the largest producer of natural gas and is expected to zip past Saudi Arabia next year to become the largest oil producer in the world.
Now, the U.S. energy industry is pushing for a new era of exports.