Posted December 9, 2013
Why Obama Should Thank the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
National Journal (Amy Harder): The oil and natural-gas industry probably won't ever get a thank-you card from President Obama, but he has a few big reasons to be grateful for the fossil-fuel boom.
America's vast resources of oil and natural gas have enabled Obama to move forward on aggressive policies, including tougher environmental rules and Iranian oil sanctions, which he would not have been able to do nearly as effectively without them.
The International Energy Agency predicts the U.S. will surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oil-producer in 2015; and, by the end of this year, the Energy Information Administration says we'll surpass Russia as the biggest natural-gas producer.
"I've joked before that for the last 30 years, our national energy policy has been implicitly predicated on a low-cost, trustable supply of natural gas," said Jason Grumet, president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, who advised Obama in his transition to the presidency in 2008. "It is incredibly fortunate that it showed up in time."
Read more: http://bit.ly/1aP7BDD
Posted December 2, 2013
The Remarkable Shale Oil Bonanza in ‘Saudi Texas’
AEI Carpe Diem Blog: The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new state crude oil production data this week for the month of September, and one of the highlights of that monthly report is that oil output in America’s No. 1 oil-producing state – Texas – continues its phenomenal, meteoric rise. Here are some details of oil output in “Saudi Texas” for the month of September:
Oil drillers in Texas pumped out an average of 2.726 million barrels of crude oil every day (bpd) during the month of September, which is the highest daily oil output in the Lone Star State in any single month since at least January 1981, when the EIA started reporting each state’s monthly oil production.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1bdF6iQ
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 October 28, 2013
With colder weather creeping across the country, we think of the energy the U.S. oil and natural gas industry is providing for Americans’ lives, including heating homes and businesses. So when the Energy Department blog highlighted ways to “energize your neighborhood” with a series of energy-themed pumpkin stencils in time for Halloween – but didn’t include any for the sources of 62 percent of the energy Americans use – we thought maybe it was some kind of holiday trick.
Never fear, we've got the treats: Energy Tomorrow’s own pumpkin-carving stencils to fill in the gaps. "Energyween" anyone?
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 10, 2013
U.S. Poised to Pass Russia as World’s Largest Petroleum Producer – and the Bakken is Helping Make That Happen
Dickinson Press: The U.S. is poised to pass Russia as the world’s top oil and gas producer, according to a new report, and North Dakota’s congressional delegation said they believe it is largely due to the state’s Bakken energy play.
Citing U.S. Energy Information Administration and International Energy Agency numbers, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that the U.S. is poised to overtake its former Cold War rival in the production of oil and natural gas sometime later this year.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., on Wednesday joined Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., in citing North Dakota’s booming Bakken shale play — which also spills over into Montana and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan — as a key contributing factor.
Read more: http://bit.ly/GIcFSK
Posted October 9, 2013
A tactic used by ethanol backers trying to defend the relatively defenseless Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is attempting to frame the RFS debate as one between America’s oil and natural gas companies and renewable energy.
That’s faulty for a couple of important reasons. First, we’re Big Ethanol’s biggest customers, buying billions of gallons a year, as a useful additive in E10 gasoline. Second, our companies are for renewables, not against them, investing $81 billion in renewables and carbon-reduction efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 2000 and 2012 – nearly as much as all other U.S. industries ($91 billion) and more than the federal government ($80 billion).
Posted October 2, 2013
California Can Protect the Environment While Sharing in a Financial Bonanza
The Globe and Mail: Hydraulic fracturing — fracking — has been used to extract oil and natural gas from shale rock for decades. But technological improvements in recent years have made the process far more efficient. It’s expanded use in states like North Dakota, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Colorado has sparked an energy revolution that is pushing the United States toward energy independence. It has also sparked major controversy over environmental concerns, nowhere more so than in California. On Sept. 20, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation regulating fracking. In this essay below, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, like Brown an environmentally oriented Democrat, makes the case that energy development and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive.
A 21st-century oil and natural gas industry in Colorado is recognizing that more rigorous regulations translate into broader citizen acceptance. This evolution, and the joining of innovations like horizontal drilling with long-accepted practices like hydraulic fracturing, is moving America toward energy independence.
In the process, we are improving the quality of the air, as well as beginning to fight back against climate change. Colorado has a proud history of leadership and innovation in the deployment of clean energy technologies. We have laws in place that require utilities to produce as much as 30 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Read more: http://bit.ly/GzZbrG
Posted September 23, 2013
Manage Risk, Reap Reward: With Good Rules, Fracking for Natural Gas and Oil Can Be Safe, Profitable
The Columbus Dispatch: When a former U.S. energy secretary tells a Columbus audience that hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and natural gas from shale formations can be done in a clean, safe way, that it’s all a matter of fixing errors in the process, that should inspire confidence.
And that’s obviously great news for Ohio, which has started to benefit economically from advances in this extraction process. Because of the newly accessible supply of natural gas, consumers have seen the cost come down after spiking in 2008, and prices could stay in the current range for decades.
Steven Chu, energy secretary under President Barack Obama from 2009 until this past April and now a Stanford University physics professor, was the keynote speaker on Tuesday at a conference by America’s Natural Gas Alliance. He called it a “false choice” to say that the U.S. has to choose between the environment and inexpensive natural gas.
Read more: http://bit.ly/16tlbKE
Posted September 20, 2013
Encouraging words on shale development via hydraulic fracturing this week from former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and former Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
First Salazar, who as Interior boss was the lead federal official on access to U.S. onshore and offshore oil and natural gas reserves. From coverage of Salazar at the Domenici Public Policy Conference in Las Cruces, N.M., by the Las Cruces Sun-News:
"(Hydraulic fracturing) is creating an energy revolution in the United States alone," Salazar said. He recognized the concerns many environmentalists have with the process, often called fracking, that pumps high-pressured water into holes drilled in the ground to extract gas and oil. Environmentalists are concerned the process contaminates water and air quality, along with other environmental impacts. "I would say to everybody that hydraulic fracking is safe," Salazar said.