Posted June 10, 2013
House legislation requiring a new federal offshore leasing plan that includes areas off South Carolina and Virginia is the best way to create new access to federal oil and natural gas resources sooner rather than later. Later – much later – is likely under the current federal plan, which would keep lease sales from happening until 2017 at the earliest. Because of the time it takes to develop offshore resources, that means actual production wouldn’t occur until 2024 or even 2027.
Creating access to areas that currently are off-limits is critical to U. S. energy security, job creation and economic growth. Access leads to exploration, which results in the oil and natural gas development that’s vital to President Obama’s pledge to increase domestic production under his all-of-the-above energy strategy.
Posted June 4, 2013
President Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline turns on whether he believes the full project is in the U.S. national interest – whether he thinks it is good for our country’s national security, our energy future and our economy. The facts, the science and the American people say it is.
The last part first. The Keystone XL choice has obvious political implications. Over the almost five years the project has been under federal review, Americans have come to understand the Keystone XL’s importance, and they are rendering their opinion, as voters, in the strongest terms: Building the full Keystone XL is in the national interest.
Posted May 31, 2013
The U.S. Energy Information Administration has a new report that details the decline in sales of oil and natural gas from production on federal lands (2003-2012). Key points:
- Sales of crude oil from federal lands, onshore and offshore, decreased 5 percent in fiscal year 2012 (ended Sept. 30) to 596 million barrels from 629 million barrels in FY 2011. That includes an 8-percent decrease in offshore volumes, partially offset by an 8-percent increase in much smaller onshore volumes.
- Natural gas sales from federal lands decreased 7 percent in FY 2012 to 4,262 billion cubic feet (bcf) from 4,584 bcf in FY 2011. Offshore volumes were down 19 percent, while onshore was virtually unchanged.
- Sales of all fossil fuels produced on federal lands (also including coal and natural gas plant liquids) fell by 4 percent in FY 2012.
Posted May 30, 2013
Washington Post – Allow U.S. Natural Gas Exports
A newspaper editorial urges new Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to act swiftly on applications to export liquefied natural gas: “We are confident that any even-handed consideration will lead Mr. Moniz to the same conclusion that so many experts have already embraced: that allowing the country to sell its bounty to the world will leave it and its trading partners better off.”
National Geographic – Monterey Shale Shakes California’s Energy Future
With the U.S. government estimating as much as 15.4 billion barrels of oil could be locked in the Monterey play, a state that has been a leader in clean energy could see a different energy future unfold, NatGeo reports. One study found that development of shale energy could add as many as 2.8 million jobs by 2020 and increase tax revenue by $4.5 billion.
Posted May 23, 2013
Gasoline prices have been rising with the approach of the summer driving season – up to about $3.66, according to AAA – pushed there by rising crude oil prices. U.S. consumers need help. And they could get it – if the administration pursued a number of energy policies to put downward pressure on global crude costs, while abandoning other choices that could harm consumers.
API Chief Economist John Felmy’s reporter briefing Thursday focused attention on two paths: one that will increase domestic production of oil and natural gas and one that won’t. Unfortunately, the administration – via proposals to increase energy taxes and a new wave of questionable regulation – looks headed down the wrong path, a recipe for disaster for American energy:
Posted May 23, 2013
Richmond Times-Dispatch – Warner, Kaine Introduce Bill to Allow Offshore Energy Leases
Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine want the current offshore drilling moratorium lifted off the coast of their state. Under their legislation, leases for offshore oil and natural gas drilling as well as wind farms could take effect in 2020.
Fuel Fix Blog – W.Va. to launch New Oil, Natural Gas Job Training Center
Two West Virginia colleges are opening training facilities focused on oil and natural gas development. Both schools will house indoor and outdoor laboratories to simulate drilling operations and will offer a variety of training programs to prepare students for jobs in the industry.
Posted May 21, 2013
Kudos to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Ron Wyden for a series of hearings on natural gas issues, including Tuesday's on the impacts of exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG). It’s vital that policymakers understand the scope of America’s natural gas wealth – thanks to hydraulic fracturing – so they can make decisions that will let this wealth work for Americans. The export of LNG is a prime example.
Currently, the Energy Department is considering 18 applications for U.S. facilities that would export American LNG to friends and allies overseas. Studied analyses have projected broad job and economic benefits to the U.S. from LNG exports (here and here), with a new report this week dispelling the notion that exports would significantly impact domestic prices. These reports strongly suggest that government should approve the remaining LNG applications and not try to pick winners in the private market.
Posted May 15, 2013
Lots to like in President Obama’s remarks earlier this week from New York:
“When it comes to energy, not only have we been able to double our production of clean energy, but even in terms of traditional energy, we will probably be a net exporter of natural gas in somewhere between five and ten years. And so the idea of the United States being energy independent – which seemed far-fetched as recently as 10 years ago – now is actually a possibility.”
As well as those from Texas earlier this month, where he talked about job creation and driving economic momentum:
“… we've got to make America a magnet for good jobs. … And even as we’re working to reverse the trend of communities that have been hard hit with old manufacturing leaving, we’ve got to propose partnerships with local leaders in manufacturing communities to help attract new investment in the infrastructure and the research that will attract new jobs and new businesses, so that communities that have been knocked down can get back up and get back on their feet. And we’re poised for a time of progress – if we’re willing to seize it. … American energy is booming. But we’ve got to keep moving forward, and we’ve got to make sure that Washington is not administering self-inflicted wounds when we’re making progress.”
Posted May 13, 2013
The Associated Press has this look at momentum for exporting U.S. natural gas, driven by an abundance of natural gas from shale via hydraulic fracturing. Bill Cooper, president of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, tells AP:
“LNG exports are a huge opportunity for the United States economy, our workers and our geopolitical relationships with countries such as Japan that are seeking to import natural gas. LNG exports will create jobs, increase government revenue and benefit consumers.”
Cooper is right. Studies – like this one for the Energy Department and this one by ICF International – show how America’s wealth in natural gas from shale could support demand here and overseas, to America’s benefit in terms of job and economic growth.
Posted May 13, 2013
Associated Press – Natural Gas Export Plans Stir Debate
The AP highlights describes the natural gas export debate, which is being driven by an abundance of domestic supply. Sen. Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said officials should seek a "sweet spot" for LNG exports — allowing enough to spur drilling and increase gas supplies, but not enough to create export-driven price hikes.
Free Enterprise – Interior Secretary: Hydraulic Fracturing is "Essential"
Free Enterprise’s Sean Hackbarth recaps Secretary Sally Jewell’s recent testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee during which she stated that hydraulic fracturing is an “essential technology” that “can be done safely and responsibly.”