Posted June 10, 2014
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s Sunday piece highlighted a conversation he had a few weeks ago with President Obama, during which the president talked about energy and climate change. A few things stand out:
The president signaled that climate policy should consider the real-world roles that are being played by various energy sources, saying:
“… we’re not going to suddenly turn off a switch and suddenly we’re no longer using fossil fuels, but we have to use this time wisely, so that you have a tapering off of fossil fuels replaced by clean energy sources that are not releasing carbon.”
Sounds reasonable, given the forecast of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook – that fossil fuels’ share of total U.S. energy use will be 80 percent in 2040, down only slightly from where it was in 2012 (82 percent). Oil and natural gas, which supplied 63 percent of the energy we used in 2012, are projected to supply 61 percent in 2040. Oil and natural gas are America’s energy today and tomorrow.
Posted June 6, 2014
America has a clear choice on energy. An historic American energy revolution is in progress -- thanks to vast shale reserves safely developed with advanced drilling technologies, industry innovation and leadership. This revolution is creating jobs, strengthening our economy and making our country more secure and muscular in the world. With the right energy choices the revolution can continue and grow.
Yet, somehow, Washington is conflicted. While the Obama administration embraces the shale revolution as integral to its all-of-the-above energy strategy, it advances policies fraught with the potential to needlessly hinder it. Instead of taking actions to enhance America’s energy renaissance, the administration is engaged in a regulatory march that quite likely could diminish it. Sustaining this energy revolution should be a no-brainer – not the brain-bender the administration is fostering with muddled vision and contradictory statements.
During a conference call with reporters this week, API President and CEO Jack Gerard discussed inconsistencies between what top administration officials say about U.S. energy development and what the agencies under them are doing to U.S. energy development.
Posted April 14, 2014
Much is written about the macro-economic effects of public policy, including energy policy. America’s oil and natural gas industry supports 9.8 million jobs – 5.6 percent of total U.S. employment – and contributes $1.2 trillion to national GDP, according to a study by PwC. But what about the state impacts? Over the next couple of weeks we’ll push out a series of posts focusing on selected states to examine energy’s more localize economic effects, as well as other energy-related issues.
Let’s start with Kentucky, where energy means jobs.
Posted April 7, 2014
Take a good look at the chart below – brand-new from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The green line disappearing into the horizontal axis between the years 2030 and 2040 is what U.S. energy self-sufficiency looks like.
This is a big, big deal – a goal of every U.S. president since Richard Nixon more than 40 years ago: the point where domestic production exceeds imports, which EIA never included in any of its projections. Until now.
Because of surging tight-oil production – oil from shale and other tight-rock formations, developed with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – the agency is including in its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook a high-production scenario under which net imports would reach near-zero between 2030 and 2040.
Posted April 2, 2014
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that total net U.S. energy imports declined last year to their lowest level in more than 20 years – reflecting two energy positives for America: growth in domestic oil and natural gas production and increased exports of finished petroleum products. EIA:
Total U.S. net imports of energy, measured in terms of energy content, declined in 2013 to their lowest level in more than two decades. Growth in the production of oil and natural gas displaced imports and supported increased petroleum product exports, driving most of the decline. A large drop in energy imports together with a smaller increase in energy exports led to a 19% decrease in net energy imports from 2012 to 2013.Total energy imports declined faster—down 9% from 2012 to 2013—than in the previous year, while export growth slowed. Crude oil production grew 15%, about the same pace as in 2012, which led imports of crude oil to decrease by 12%, accounting for much of the overall decline in imports.
Posted February 10, 2014
The top of Pew Research’s annual survey of the U.S. public’s top issues priorities looks a lot like last year’s – and the survey for 2012, and for 2011 and for 2010. This year, as in each of those previous years, Americans told Pew that strengthening the economy and improving the job situation should be the top priorities for President Obama and Congress.
The specific percentages vary from year to year, but boosting the economy and creating more jobs are consistently at the forefront of most Americans’ thinking. Unfortunately, the January jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates continuing difficulty on both fronts. Although the economy added 113,000 jobs in January, the figure was short of the 180,000 or so jobs expected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Yet, while total U.S. non-farm employment rose just 0.1 percent from December 2013 to January 2014 and has grown 1.7 percent from January 2013 to January 2014, the jobs picture for oil and natural gas extraction is something different – and better. Sector employment rose 0.9 percent to 206,000 jobs last month over December 2013 and has increased 6.6 percent (12,800 jobs) since January 2013.
Posted January 30, 2014
President Obama, during his State of the Union address to Congress this week:
“… one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy. The ‘all the above’ energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working … “
Yes, “all of the above” is working. It refers to embracing all energy sources – oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, renewables and others. That the approach is working is seen in the United States’ increasing energy self-sufficiency. And America is more energy self-sufficient because we’re less reliant on others – chiefly thanks to surging domestic oil and natural gas production.
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 16, 2013
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) offered a preview of its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook that will come out next spring, and the second slide in Administrator Adam Sieminski’s presentation is an attention grabber, charting how expanding domestic oil production will reach historic levels in 2016 – 9.6 million barrels per day, a mark set in 1970.
Posted December 13, 2013
There’s much to mine from ExxonMobil’s 2014 energy outlook, but here’s a quick analysis: In a world of increasing energy demand, the future looks brightest for countries that have significant energy reserves, modern industries that can find and produce from those reserves and policies that allow them to be major players in the global marketplace. For the United States that would be check, check and … check back later.
ExxonMobil’s William Colton and Kenneth Cohen highlighted the annual report that looks to global energy demand and supply out to the year 2040. Key projections and charts:
Demand – The world’s energy demand is expected to increase 35 percent over 2010 levels by 2040. Most of the demand growth will come from the developing world. ExxonMobil projects flat demand growth in developed nations despite expanding economies due to technology and energy-use efficiencies.