Posted May 11, 2016
Some points for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to consider when it meets next week to review the Obama administration’s proposed 2017-2022 program for offshore oil and natural gas leasing.
First, offshore oil and natural gas production historically has played a major role in overall U.S. energy output. In 2010 more than 30 percent of U.S. oil and 11 percent of U.S. natural gas was produced in the Gulf of Mexico. So, while it’s great that the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that Gulf production will increase to record high levels in 2017, every American must recognize that reaching record Gulf output next year would result because of leasing decisions made a decade or more ago.
In that context, let’s be clear: The federal offshore leasing program must reflect energy leadership and vision, and it must be focused on fostering opportunity. It must not reduce America’s offshore energy potential by keeping key offshore areas off the table for development.
Posted April 14, 2016
Take a look at details of API’s energy policy recommendations to the two political parties from this week’s Vote4Energy event. They include access to oil and natural gas resources and an approach to oversight that fosters the goal of safe and responsible energy development.
Access is critically important, especially when you’re talking about developing offshore oil and natural gas reserves. Today, 87 percent of offshore acreage under federal control remains off limits to energy development.
Posted April 12, 2016
In terms of energy policy, the United States is at an important crossroads. The ongoing American energy renaissance – which has seen domestic crude oil production surge 88 percent between 2008 and 2015, and natural gas output increase 48 percent since 2005 – has changed the U.S. energy story from one of scarcity and limitations to one of abundance and opportunity. With that opportunity comes responsibility to make policy choices to sustain and grow the country’s new energy momentum.
That’s the backdrop for an important Vote4Energy event on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., where API will present its energy policy recommendations to the platform-writing committees of the Democratic and Republican parties. The event will be livestreamed here beginning at 8:30 a.m. API President and CEO Jack Gerard:
“The United States is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas, and as a result of greater use of clean-burning natural gas and cleaner, more efficient fuels, we are also a world leader in reducing carbon emissions and other air pollutants. We have a proven model for achieving environmental progress without sacrificing jobs, economic growth, energy security or consumer affordability. Our political leadership has the opportunity to continue, and expand upon, the American energy revolution.”
Seizing the opportunity we have because of our new energy abundance is critically important. Details from API’s platform report will be released Wednesday, but they surely will include policies to advance safe and responsible domestic energy production, the need for a fair regulatory approach that avoids unnecessary duplication and recognizing that the country’s energy and environmental goals are best met through private innovation and investment in cooperation with government. Gerard:
“The goal of a national energy policy must be to ensure a secure supply of abundant, affordable and available energy for the American people in an environmentally responsible manner.”Tune in for the event on Wednesday morning and join the conversation on Twitter by using the #Vote4Energy hashtag.
Posted February 4, 2016
With the president scheduled to put forward his last budget next week, here’s a short list of principles that should guide energy policy – because all will help sustain and grow the ongoing U.S. energy revolution. They include: reliance on industry innovation that has been the driving force behind America’s energy renaissance – innovation that launched the surge in shale energy production, prompting increased natural gas use and resulting in lower carbon emissions; embracing the successful, free-market approach to energy and economic growth while lowering emissions by basing decisions on sound science; and allowing more opportunities for energy exploration and development.
Erik Milito, API’s director of upstream and industry operations, talked about the policy pathway to energy growth and American prosperity during a conference call with reporters.
Posted December 11, 2015
Then there’s this from Alaska: Falling oil revenues have the governor in that energy-rich state asking his legislature to plug a $3.5 billion hole in the state budget by imposing a small income tax (Alaska hasn’t had one for 35 years), other tax hikes, budget cuts and a reduction in the annual dividend Alaskans get from the state’s Permanent Fund.
Now, it might not bother you much that Alaskans soon could be paying higher taxes. But there’s another story playing out in Alaska and other places that should trouble all Americans: Access to U.S. energy is being restricted – by policy and regulation – in ways that could imperil America’s energy revolution and the generational opportunities that are being created by that revolution.
Posted October 26, 2015
A couple of reactions to last week’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approval of drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) – which we’ll link to a larger conversation about the Obama administration’s oil and natural gas policies.
First, it’s good that BLM has cleared the way for ConocoPhillips to move forward with a $900 million project that includes construction of an 11.8-acre drilling pad in the 23 million-acre NPR-A. The Greater Mooses Tooth Unit (GMT1) project could host up to 33 wells and could reach a monthly production peak of 30,000 barrels per day. America needs the energy, and producing oil from the vast reserve that was originally set aside for energy development almost a century ago is a welcome step. ConocoPhillips’ Natalie Lowman:
“It’s good news. We’re pleased they issued the permit and the right-of-way and now we’re seeking a funding decision.”
BLM approving this one drilling permit prompts another set of reactions, starting with: It’s about time. And: What about energy development in the rest of the oil reserve?
Posted October 22, 2015
Recent reports assert that some of the world’s oil suppliers have had a strategy to curtail the U.S. energy revolution – and that the strategy has worked, citing U.S. Energy Information Administration data showing U.S. production in decline. Bloomberg this week:
After a year suffering the economic consequences of the oil price slump, OPEC is finally on the cusp of choking off growth in U.S. crude output. The nation’s production is almost back down to the level pumped in November 2014, when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries switched its strategy to focus on battering competitors and reclaiming market share.
Market decisions by major suppliers certainly have impact. Yet, focusing attention on factors beyond U.S. control misses factors under U.S. control that have a clear bearing on the trajectory of domestic oil production, economic growth and American security.
We’ll name a couple: continuing the outdated ban on U.S. oil exports and regulatory and process roadblocks that limit access to energy reserves and production. What we have is an administration whose self-sanctioning approach to U.S. energy is hurting American competitiveness in the global marketplace, to the benefit of other producers.
Posted September 29, 2015
U.S. oil and natural gas companies continue to lead in investing in the domestic economy, with five companies among the Progressive Policy Institute’s top 25 in 2014 U.S. capital expenditures.
ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum and Hess lead an energy production/mining sector that invested $43.6 billion in 2014, closely following the $48.7 invested by telecom/cable.
That’s great news for the U.S. economy which, as the PPI report details, needs investment to expand. PPI calls the top 25 its “investment heroes” because “their capital spending is helping to raise productivity and wages across the economy.”
Posted September 25, 2015
The Washington Post reports that a coalition of environmental activists wants the Obama administration to stop new federal leasing for oil and natural gas development. Notwithstanding the broad energy, economic and security benefits produced by America’s energy revolution, the opportunity to secure America’s future and significant air quality progress, their position is simple: Keep it in the ground.
The position also is extreme, anti-progress and anti-modern – though hardly surprising. There’s a small but loud element that has little interest in safe and responsible energy development or in constant improvement of operational and environmental safety. Rather, it opposes development altogether. Their recent push is the latest sign of an agenda that would put America in retreat economically and in the world.
What’s surprising is that these activists actually concede that Americans want oil and natural gas. They acknowledge consumer demand for oil and gas – affordable, reliable and portable fuels that make life less harsh, healthier and more prosperous – but they want government to choke off that demand by cutting supply.
Posted August 27, 2015
For as long as most younger Americans can recall, the United States has been barred from exporting crude oil – a self-inflicted sanction that’s at odds with our historical role as a global leader in both free trade and oil production. For them, that’s the way it has always been – the U.S. unilaterally excluding itself from the world’s most important energy marketplace.
Yet, history, economics and security imperatives all argue that it shouldn’t stay that way. Rather, U.S. oil exports policy should be restored to its former posture, to realign policy with this reality: America’s shale energy revolution, the most recent in a series of world-changing energy events, affords the U.S. a great opportunity, and that the U.S. should pursue every means possible to harness that revolution’s benefits – including resuming the export of domestic crude.
To start, policymakers must acknowledge a couple of things: First, that maintaining the oil export ban that was imposed after the 1973 embargo is hurting U.S. competitiveness in the global economy and limiting the benefits that could and should accrue to an energy superpower.