Posted May 5, 2015
During months of public discussion of improving the safety of transporting crude oil by rail, we’ve stressed the need to let science and fact-based analysis guide development of a holistic strategy that would have the best chance of producing tangible safety benefits.
Unfortunately, new rules published last week by the Transportation Department – featuring requirements for sturdier tank cars and electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes – are a mixed bag that will do little to prevent derailments in the first place.
Instead of working to ensure the integrity of the tracks and to eliminate human error as much as possible, both of which would help prevent accidents from occurring, it seems federal officials at times opted for the optics of appearing to make progress. In the case of the ECP brakes, it’s a technology that experts say doesn’t significantly improve safety – which is the goal. To add to the 99.99 percent safety record in the transport of hazardous materials by rail, a more comprehensive approach that focuses more attention on prevention is needed.
Posted April 23, 2015
Posted March 25, 2015
Posted January 5, 2015
Posted December 22, 2014
Posted August 19, 2014
We’ve posted recently on potential roadblocks to the progress America’s energy revolution is providing – posed by administration policies and new regulatory proposals (infographic). Among them are proposed stricter standards for ground-level ozone that could put 94 percent of the country out of compliance, potentially impacting the broader economy and individual households.
Looking at the possible state-level effects of a more stringent ozone proposal in North Carolina, Ohio and Louisiana reveals a clearer picture of potential impacts on Americans’ lives. Kentucky, already at the forefront of a coal-related regulatory push, could see significant economic harm from a new ozone standard, according to a National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) report.
Posted August 11, 2014
API has put together a new infographic that captures the breadth of this administration’s policies – especially an ongoing regulatory push from EPA – that could slow progress that’s being built on America’s energy revolution. (Click here to pull up the PDF.)
Here’s the thrust: The administration’s policies and regulatory efforts are hindering needed energy and economic progress. It is delaying infrastructure, such as pending liquefied natural gas export projects and the Keystone XL pipeline. It is sustaining the broken Renewable Fuel Standard and its ethanol mandates, which could negatively affect consumers and the larger economy. It’s threatening new regulation that would needlessly impact the refining sector, while advancing a stricter ozone standard that would put virtually the entire country out of compliance.
Posted May 21, 2014
Eye-catching headline this week in The Hill: “EPA races to finish Obama rules.” First reaction: Haste makes waste – and when talking about regulation that could affect America’s dynamic, game-changing energy revolution, the goal should be sound policy, not speed. The Hill:
Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are racing to churn out new regulations before the clock runs out on President Obama’s term. … Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle say they are concerned by the broad sweep of the EPA’s regulatory agenda, even though the agency says it is merely enacting the laws that Congress has passed. “I recognize that EPA has to do this, but I think EPA is sometimes stretching the limit too far in how aggressive they’ve been moving,” said Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who has distanced himself from the president’s environmental and energy policies as he runs for reelection in his energy-rich state.
Posted December 20, 2013
Merry Christmas, Texas, From Your Oil and Gas Industry
Forbes: “Texas has recovered 100 percent of the jobs lost during the recession and added 597,000 beyond the previous peak in August 2008.” – Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs
On Thursday, December 12, the Texas Comptroller’s Office released a report detailing the current state of the state’s budget. The report was titled “Tracking the Texas Economy – Key Texas Economic Indicators”. But given the content of the report, a better title might have been:
“Merry Christmas, Texas, From Your Oil and Natural Gas Industry”
According to the Comptroller, the state ended its 2012-2013 biennium with a surplus of more than $2.6 billion, almost three times the previously projected amount of $964 million. The reason why? Because the Texas oil and natural gas industry’s tax payments were more than $2 billion more than anticipated.
Read more: http://onforb.es/1i8lWU5
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