Stephanie Catarino Wissman
Posted July 28, 2016
In Pennsylvania, the energy revolution has been very, very good to the commonwealth. Marketed natural gas production, which exceeded 4.5 trillion cubic feet in 2015, more than double output from just three years earlier:
Over the past half-decade, fees paid by industry to the commonwealth have totaled more than a billion dollars. Much of the money stays at the local level and is distributed to the counties and municipalities with the most shale wells. The top beneficiaries for 2015 included Washington County ($5.68 million), Susquehanna County ($5.25 million) and Bradford County ($4.92 million). Even in a down year for the industry, revenue to the commonwealth totaled $187.7 million.
Posted July 27, 2016
Thanks largely to increased use of domestic natural gas, U.S. energy-related carbon emissions in 2015 were 12 percent lower than they were in 2005 – even though the economy last year was 15 percent larger than it was a decade before. EIA says the carbon drop is mostly because of changes in the electric power sector, where natural gas has become the leading fuel for generation. EIA reports that CO2 emissions from electricity generation were the lowest since 1993:
The larger point is one we’ve made a lot lately – that while there’s a lot of talk about the need to advance climate goals, the United States already is doing it with a big assist from abundant, affordable domestic natural gas. It’s a model that is working, even as the U.S. develops more energy here at home and as our economy grows.
The U.S. leads the world in reducing carbon emissions, which is a win in anyone’s book.
Posted July 21, 2016
Reducing government regulation found its way into a number of the speeches at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, and this is especially important to the future of America’s energy renaissance.
Along with cutting government red tape in leasing and permitting of energy projects, establishing a common-sense approach to energy regulation will help encourage the private investment and innovation that are driving the surge in domestic oil and natural gas production.
More on that below. First, remember that as the U.S. continues to lead the world in oil and gas production, we’ve seen economic benefits, cost savings for consumers, lower crude oil imports that have helped make America more energy secure and carbon emissions reductions that lead the globe.
Posted July 15, 2016
When approximately 4,700 delegates and alternates gather in Cleveland next week for the Republican National Convention, energy will play a major role – powering the Quicken Loans Arena, transporting delegates and support staff to and from “The Q,” running television broadcast equipment, cooking food, supporting high-tech communications and much more.
Think about energy’s role this way: Without modern energy supplied by oil and natural gas, the event would bear a strong resemblance to the GOP’s 1860 convention, when Abraham Lincoln was nominated at the Wigwam in Chicago.
Posted July 14, 2016
CNBC has put out its annual ranking of America’s top states for business, an analysis based on a number of things including metrics for workforce, infrastructure, access to capital and quality of life. Another of those metrics, cost of living, caught our eye because energy was part of the calculation. Indeed, in CNBC’s ranking of the country’s 10 most expensive states to live in, the cost of energy to residents a key factor.
Five members of that dubious top 10 are New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, and energy costs there are higher than they need to be. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), those states and neighbors Maine and Vermont all had costs for residential electricity and natural gas that exceeded national averages this past winter. Of course, these states are located in a part of the country where more energy infrastructure (see previous posts here and here) could positively impact energy costs.
A couple of charts show the cost being borne by consumers in those states, in part, because there’s inadequate natural gas pipeline infrastructure to meet home heating and power generation needs during peak winter months.
Posted July 13, 2016
John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, had some important things to say at this week’s U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) conference – noting that fossil fuels will remain the world’s dominant energy for decades to come and that the idea of America leaving its oil and natural gas reserves in the ground is “unrealistic.” The first point is a fact-based projection by EIA. The second is a rational conclusion, given the first.
Now, on to something else from Holdren’s speech – his discussion of what he called the “energy-climate challenge.” Holdren:
“Without energy there is no economy, without climate there is no environment and without economy and environment there is no well-being, there’s no civil society, there’s no personal or national security, there’s no economic growth.”
The challenge – providing the energy we need in an environmentally responsible way – certainly is a complex task. The great news is the U.S. has found a model that provides both economic growth and advances climate goals: an abundant supply (thanks to fracking) of low-cost natural gas.
Posted July 7, 2016
We frequently post on the potential risk to U.S. energy production and the benefits the American energy revolution is generating for the economy and individual households from the administration’s regulatory push and government red tape (see here, here and here). There might not be a better current example of the potential regulatory impact on U.S. energy than new rules for natural gas transmission and gathering lines proposed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
Consider: According to a study by ICF International, measuring the impact of PHMSA’s proposals, for 2,200 small pipeline companies across the country the annual cost of complying with the new regulations would come close to what the companies earn from gathering line fees. That’s impact – impact on small businesses and impact on energy development associated with the work those companies do.
Posted July 1, 2016
When you see the significant economic, consumer and climate benefits to the U.S. from increased use of natural gas, it’s quite a puzzle when some won’t take “yes” for an answer – yes to lower energy costs, yes to infrastructure jobs, yes to carbon emissions reductions. Unfortunately for Massachusetts residents, that’s the path the state legislature appears to be taking. More below. First, a review of how clean-burning natural gas is making life better across the rest of the country.
Let’s start with reduced household energy costs, which are helping to lower Americans’ cost of living, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In constant 2015 dollars, EIA says average annual energy costs per household peaked at about $5,300 in 2008 then declined 14.1 percent in 2014.
Posted June 16, 2016
When it comes to making actual progress on climate through the reduction of carbon emissions, basically there are two groups: talkers and doers.
Talkers spend much of their time filibustering on the need to reduce emissions through central government planning – bureaucratic programs, new layers of regulation, onerous pricing mechanisms and more – while criticizing those who don’t rush to embrace Washington climate think.
As for the doers, they’re already reducing emissions. Our industry is part of this second group.
Posted June 14, 2016
Advanced hydraulic fracturing – the foundation of America’s historic, game-changing energy revolution – is under attack. On the presidential campaign trail, in conversations in Washington and other places, fracking faces ideologically motivated challenges from those who ignore its science and misrepresent its safety record.
It’s critically important that we have an honest conversation about hydraulic fracturing because it is responsible for at least 2 million wells and up to 95 percent of new wells being drilled – accounting for more than 43 percent of oil and 67 percent of natural gas production. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that fracking, which now accounts for about half of U.S. dry natural gas production (14 trillion cubic feet or Tcf), will account for 69 percent of production in 2040 (29 Tcf).
This is significant because increased use of clean-burning natural gas is the primary reason the United States is leading the world in reducing energy-associated carbon emissions. Without fracking and the natural gas produced by it, the United States would be with the other nations of the world who’re in search of climate solutions.