Posted November 25, 2013
The Telegraph: The once-sleepy town of Williston sits on the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers in the US state of North Dakota.
Five years ago, Williston had a population of 12,000 and was slowly dying on its feet – an agricultural hub marked out from the plains only by the grain silos that stand silhouetted against the big North Dakota skies.
The fall-out from a brief oil boom in the mid-1980s had left the town with sky-high debts and a main street filled with empty shops and peeling facades. Young people looking for jobs skipped town at the first opportunity.
Today, Williston is booming once again. Its streets are filled with bustling commerce and trucks, its bars, restaurants and supermarkets groaning with customers.
Sudden advancements in the oil drilling techniques known as fracking have reinvigorated the small northern town, its population swelling to an estimated 30,000 as people pour in from across the United States in search of work in hard times.
Read more: http://bit.ly/17NWHRs
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
Posted November 7, 2013
Read more: http://on.wkyc.com/1b6PXyW
Posted November 6, 2013
Posted October 29, 2013
Op-ed: Exports Bring Myriad Benefits
Houston Chronicle (James Clad): After the Arab oil embargo of 1973, America's energy dependence became the most obvious flaw in our superpower status.
Now, thanks largely to the shale revolution, domestic U.S. oil production is pushing imports to a 25-year low, holding down global prices despite Asian demand and Middle East/North Africa supply disruptions.
While the U.S. seems set to displace Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer by 2020, our natural gas production has lifted our geopolitical gravitas. Now the world's largest natural gas producer, the U.S. is poised to take a growing profile as a gas exporter.Read more: http://bit.ly/18zur0R
Posted October 24, 2013
U.S. Carbon Emissions Hit Lowest Level Since 1994
USA Today: In a bit of encouraging climate news, the U.S. government reported Monday that U.S. emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels were lower last year than at any time since 1994.
Driven by efficiency gains, an unusually warm winter and a switch from coal to natural gas, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions actually declined 3.8% in 2012 even though the U.S. economy grew 2.8% that year, according to new data by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Department of Energy.
This emissions decline was the largest in any year that had positive growth in per capita gross domestic product (GDP) — its economic output — and the only drop when GDP rose at least 2%.Read more: http://ti.me/1eNNHNA
Posted October 23, 2013
Marcellus Shale Gas Growing Faster than Expected
Wall Street Journal: PITTSBURGH — Natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale region is growing faster than expected, according to a new federal report issued Tuesday.
Marcellus production has now reached 12 billion cubic feet a day, the Energy Information Administration report found. That's the energy equivalent of about 2 million barrels of oil a day, and more than six times the 2009 production rate.
For perspective, if the Marcellus Shale region were a country, its natural gas production would rank eighth in the world. The Marcellus now produces more natural gas than Saudi Arabia, and that glut has led to wholesale prices here that are about one-quarter of those in Japan, for example.
Read more: http://on.wsj.com/1cedUYl
Posted October 22, 2013
Domestic oil and natural gas development is a key driver of America’s economy and global energy security, API’s director of upstream and industry operations Erik Milito told reporters yesterday. Access to offshore resources currently off-limits in the Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico could supply even more of the energy and jobs Americans need. Milito:
“Americans are eager to put more of our offshore energy resources to work. If exploration and development is allowed to safely expand to new areas, domestic oil and natural gas could provide more energy, jobs and government revenue than ever before.”