The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Winning – At Energy

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 18, 2017

Nearing the end of the Trump Administration’s first 100 days (April 29), American energy has been a big winner. Consider these developments:

  • Executive orders issued to hasten approvals of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, reversing the previous administration’s position.
  • An executive order expediting environmental reviews and approvals for high-priority infrastructure, including energy projects.
  • A sweeping executive order to promote common-sense regulation and more efficient oversight, supporting U.S. energy competitiveness – again, reversing the previous administration’s approach.
  • Congressional progress toward repealing unnecessary initiatives of the previous administration, including the Bureau of Land Management’s flawed and duplicative “venting and flaring” rule and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s anti-competitive Section 1504 rule.

All represent a significant shift in Washington’s approach to the new reality brought by America’s energy renaissance. All signal a new embrace of safe and responsible domestic oil and natural gas development. All inherently acknowledge that growing U.S. oil and gas production can continue benefiting American consumers, businesses and manufacturers with affordable, reliable energy that supports economic growth and strengthens U.S. security – while playing the major role in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation falling to their lowest levels in nearly 30 years:

co2_emissions_power_sector

This is the backdrop for positive energy trend lines. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects U.S. shale oil production in May to increase 124,000 barrels per day to 5.19 million bpd, the largest monthly rise in more than two years. EIA also projects that natural gas will be the largest source of electricity generation this summer, which no doubt is a market response to the cost and environmental advantages of natural gas:

elec_generation_by_source

Otherwise, we also see energy benefiting the U.S. as a tradeable commodity, bringing wealth from other countries into ours. This includes the growing global popularity of U.S. liquefied natural gas, crude oil and finished petroleum products:

chart: EIA exports finished petroleum products

The U.S. energy resurgence also has boosted trade with our North American neighbors, Canada and Mexico.

Again, the larger point is the sea change in Washington’s energy approach, which is sending positive market signals for future investments, planning and projects. The right path for U.S. energy is one that builds on recent progress to help secure benefits for years to come – as opposed to an obstructionist path that would roll back that progress, negatively affecting virtually every part of our society with restricted choices, rising prices and consumer uncertainty.

Given the new administration’s broader effort to foster free markets, needed are policies and actions that increase U.S. access to global energy markets, leveraging gains in domestic oil and natural gas production. In the U.S., energy investors need greater certainty in federal approval/permitting processes – especially in the face of efforts by an anti-progress minority to delay and obstruct important delivery infrastructure such as pipelines – to foster private capital spending.

The foundation for all of the above is access to U.S. reserves that will help support new production growth.  API President and CEO Jack Gerard:

“U.S. energy leadership is generating major economic benefits for American families and businesses. Shale energy supported 2.1 million jobs in 2012, and that number is projected to increase to 3.9 million jobs by 2025, including 500,000 manufacturing jobs.  Increased energy production and infrastructure investment could create hundreds of thousands of additional jobs. … With forward-thinking energy policies, we can ensure the U.S. energy renaissance continues to provide benefits for American consumers, workers and the environment.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joins API after spending 16 years as national editorial writer in the Washington Bureau of The Oklahoman newspaper. In all, he has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years, including six years as sports editor at The Washington Times. He lives in Occoquan, Virginia, with his wife Pamela. Mark graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in journalism and earned a masters in journalism and public affairs at American University. He's currently working on a masters in history at George Mason University, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor in the Communication Department.