Posted February 4, 2014
Free the Keystone XL Pipeline, Mr. President
Los Angeles Times: Welcome to the "year of action." In last week's State of the Union address, the president vowed to do whatever he has to help the economy, even if that means working around Congress: "What I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Some require congressional action, and I'm eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still, and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do."
The White House has touted the fact the president has a "phone and a pen" and he's not afraid to use them.
The president also vowed to cut red tape, and not for the first time. In 2013's State of the Union, he insisted that "my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits." And in 2012: "In the next few weeks, I will sign an executive order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects."
Read more: http://lat.ms/1eRaGFu
Posted February 3, 2014
Posted January 28, 2014
Manufacturers to D.C.: Make Us a Can-Do Nation Again
Real Clear Politics (Oberhelman/Timmons): President Obama has highlighted manufacturing in his past two State of the Union addresses. Two years ago, he cited an agenda that “begins with American manufacturing” as part of a broader “blueprint for an economy that’s built to last.” Last year, he reiterated manufacturing’s critical importance to economic recovery, stating, “Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.” Odds are manufacturing will make another appearance this year, with familiar rhetoric that receives bipartisan applause. Unfortunately, rhetoric alone won’t get the job done. We need policymakers to do what manufacturers in the United States do every day: Make tough decisions that get results.
This year, we are issuing a challenge in advance of the State of the Union address. Over the next year, the president and Congress, in partnership with manufacturers and the entire private sector, must work together on a broad-based agenda to spur long-term economic growth and employment. If we do, we can:
Create more than 20,000 manufacturing jobs per month;
Grow industrial production by at least 4.5 percent annually; and
Grow the economy by at least 3.5 percent annually.
Read more: http://bit.ly/MbgZwi
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 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 January 8, 2014
Two big stories have caught our attention the past two days. First, America’s trade deficit has sunk to a four-year low thanks to falling U.S. imports and increasing exports:
- America’s Trade Deficit is Shrinking. Thank Fracking. http://wapo.st/1cB2eMg
- U.S. Growth Picture Brightens as Exports Hit Record: http://on.wsj.com/K71y72
- Trade Deficit Falls to 4-Year Low: http://lat.ms/1cP1AYf
- How the Booming Oil Patch Helps U.S. Trade: http://buswk.co/1lBmfXY
And second, the growing number of voices calling for ending the decades-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports:
- Murkowski Joins Growing Chorus Calling to Lift Ban on Crude-Oil Exports: http://bit.ly/1eHRzze
- Is Free Trade in Energy Finally on the Horizon? http://bit.ly/1cZzu0W
- U.S. Chamber CEO – End Ban on Crude-Oil Exports: http://bit.ly/1dgBjZ3
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."