Posted December 27, 2013
The long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline and whether President Obama will agree with a strong majority of Americans who believe that the full project is in the U.S. national interest landed on a couple of year-ending lists of top energy issues, here andhere, no doubt reflecting the politics surrounding the pipeline’s five-year federal review.
Much of politicizing has been fueled by opponents who say stopping Keystone XL will stop oil sands development. The U.S. State Department disagreed in its most recent review, citing key economic factors that argue oil sands will get to market with or without the Keystone XL. The dynamic already is at work.
Last week, Canada’s National Energy Board recommended approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline to bring as much as 525,000 barrels a day of oil sands from Alberta to British Columbia. At the same time others are making plans to build loading terminals to service oil sands-bearing railroad cars. Demand for supply is driving the infrastructure needed to deliver that supply.
The question for the U.S. concerns the impact of Washington’s never-ending deliberation over the Keystone XL, even as other infrastructure for delivering oil sands moves toward reality.
Posted December 26, 2013
Though there are compelling, Economics 101-type reasons the U.S. should lift its dated ban on crude oil exports and help clear the way for the export of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG), opponents of both continue to misunderstand the way global energy markets work – as well as the significant benefits accruing to the United States from free trade.
You’ve probably heard the rhetoric: Keep American oil and natural gas locked up here at home for U.S. consumers.
This misses the essential fact that crude oil is traded (and priced) globally, and that limiting LNG exports will only limit U.S. participation in an important, developing market – while effectively denying our country the infusion of overseas wealth in exchange for valuable American commodities.
Posted December 12, 2013
In the spirit of the holiday season, we take stock of more of the gifts our country’s oil and natural gas bounty is able to present to every American – certainly, gifts that keep on giving!
First, let’s acknowledge that oil and natural gas are the energies of our lives. No hyperbole there. Oil and natural gas are the source of energy-intense fuels for transportation as well as warmth in the winter and cooling in the summer. They’re also the building blocks for a number of products we use every day, making our lives more modern, more comfortable and safer. Every day 143 U.S. refineries convert an average of 15 million barrels of crude oil for these uses and more.
For 9.8 million Americans, the oil and natural gas industry supports their employment – directly, indirectly in supporting industries and across our economy in jobs that wouldn’t exist without oil and natural gas development. Now, let’s get to those presents.
Posted December 10, 2013
Saw the tweet from energy author/scholar Daniel Yergin on the startup of TransCanada’s Gulf Coast Pipeline, linking the crude oil hub in Cushing, Okla., with refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Certainly, the shot of President Obama standing in front of stacks of steel pipe last year is a reminder that he went to Oklahoma to illustrate his administration’s support for the 485-mile project.
Yet, commercial startup of the project also reminds that the Gulf Coast Pipeline is part of the larger Keystone XL project, which would allow more Canadian oil sands to be delivered to U.S. refiners. The Keystone XL’s northern portion remains on the drawing board and workers idle on the sidelines after more than five years of federal review.
Posted December 6, 2013
Say Anything Blog’s Rob Port has a suggestion for workers in different parts of the country who are dissatisfied with how much they’re earning in their present jobs: Come to North Dakota.
As Port and economics/energy blogger Mark J. Perry point out, North Dakota’s thriving economy, driven largely by surging oil and natural gas development (thanks, fracking!), is producing outrageously low unemployment – and rigorous competition for workers. You don’t have to be Milton Friedman to recognize that economic growth + worker demand = growing wages.
Posted December 5, 2013
America’s oil and natural gas industry is a top job creator – hence its total employment impact of 9.8 million jobs or 5.6 percent of total U.S. employment, according to PwC. That’s jobs in the industry itself and jobs that exist because of industry activity and investments. In a fair discussion of our industry’s ability to generate jobs and paychecks that benefit millions of Americans, basic economic s teaches that they all count.
Some seem to miss that last point. A Washington Post Wonkblog piece focuses narrowly on jobs in industry and industry support activities. Yet, we know from North Dakota, Texas and other states that oil and natural gas activity is fueling employment across a variety of sectors – employment that would be much smaller or non-existent without energy development. PwC found that for each direct oil and natural gas job, nearly three others were supported elsewhere in the U.S. economy.
Posted November 26, 2013
Here’s wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving while offering a few of the reasons we can all feel blessed because of America’s energy present and future – which the men and women of the oil and natural gas industry help deliver.
Let’s start with the fact America is enjoying a renaissance in home-grown energy production, thanks to advances in technologies and techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Last month these played a big role in helping domestic oil output to exceed imports for the first time since 1995. Because of fracking and other technologies, more of America’s vast oiland natural gas reserves can be developed to generate fuels that provide about 62 percent of the energy Americans currently use. That’s energy that makes our lives possible – that will power our lifestyles and economy in the future, according to government projections.
Posted November 14, 2013
Earlier this year an ICF International study found that exporting U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) would have dramatic national impacts on jobs, economic growth and revenue generation for government. Now a second ICF study shows what the impact of LNG exports would look like on a state-by-state basis. They’re huge:
- LNG exports could contribute as much as $10 billion to $31 billion per state to the economies of natural gas-producing states such as Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania by 2035.
- Producing states could see employment gains as high as 60,000 to 155,000 jobs in 2035.
- Non-producing states also will benefit, partly because of the demand for steel, cement, equipment and other goods used in natural gas development. ICF said states including Ohio, California, New York and Illinois will see gains to their economies as high as $2.6 billion to $5 billion per state in 2035.
- In terms of jobs, large manufacturing states like California and Ohio will see gains of 30,000 to 38,000 in 2035, ICF says.
Posted November 14, 2013
Congratulations America. You’re (Almost) Energy Independent
Politico Magazine (Daniel Yergin): For four decades, whenever the American political debate turned to energy, the discussion was all about shortage and scarcity, a reality that haunted the United States ever since the global oil crises of the 1970s.
That conversation is over.
And now the unconventional energy revolution—newly accessible supplies of shale gas and oil—is creating a new discourse on energy that is changing politics and policies. All of this represents what Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz calls a “new mentality” about America’s energy position, with a new political language to match.
Posted November 8, 2013
When President Obama talks about creating jobs, growing the economy, expanding exports of U.S. goods and strengthening the middle class, as he did Friday in New Orleans, most Americans are with him. And so is the oil and natural gas industry. As he said in April, creating jobs and opportunity for Americans should be our “true North.”
The president used Friday’s speech to make the case that needed improvements to the nation’s infrastructure – roads, bridges, ports and more – is a path to increased prosperity.