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 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 6, 2016
Good to hear President Obama extolling some of the benefits of the U.S. energy revolution this week in North Carolina, starting with security and consumer benefits. Both are firmly linked to surging domestic oil production – which of course is why the United States leads the world in oil and natural gas output. The president:
“Remember when we were all concerned about our dependence on foreign oil? Well, let me tell you, we’ve cut the amount of oil we buy from other countries in half. Remember when the other team was promising they were going to get gas prices down in like 10 years? We did it. … So we have been able to shape an energy policy that’s good for families, good for your pocketbook.”
Indeed, producing more oil and gas here at home has had great impact on U.S. energy security and security overall. The United States is stronger in the world today because it is less dependent on others for imported energy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), net imports stood at 4.6 million barrels of oil per day in 2015 – lower than any year since they were at 4.2 million barrels per day in 1985. EIA projects that in 2040 net crude imports will drop to about 1.5 million barrels per day.
Posted July 5, 2016
A newly expanded Panama Canal is open for business.
It’s noteworthy, as federal official say, that the enlarged canal can handle the vast majority of the world’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers while significantly shortening travel time and transportation costs for U.S. LNG suppliers to key overseas markets. This is huge for U.S. LNG exports, offering another strong argument for swifter federal approval of pending LNG export projects.
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 20, 2016
New polling information that details American voters’ views on energy issues in this election year will be unveiled during an event tomorrow morning hosted by API:“Energy and the Election: What Voters Think.” You can watch the event live, starting at 9 a.m., at www.vote4energy.org.
Posted June 7, 2016
With the presidential primary season winding down talk has already shifted to how parties may work together under various scenarios, such as this piece from the Washington Post. Unsurprisingly infrastructure made the list of five issues ripe for a deal.
“Another long-standing goal for centrists in both parties has been a major federal investment in highways, railroads, ports, water systems and other physical infrastructure.”
There is broad, bipartisan support for repairing and expanding our infrastructure, and there are certainly plenty of projects in need of federal involvement, but adequate government funding is not the only problem facing infrastructure in America, politicians also need to address the inadequacies of government approval for infrastructure projects. As the Wall Street Journal noted last week:
“Overall, more than a dozen projects, worth about $33 billion, have been either rejected by regulators or withdrawn by developers since 2012, with billions more tied up in projects still in regulatory limbo.”
Posted June 3, 2016
As social media really wants you to know, today is National Doughnut Day, so whether you spell it long or go with donut for short, here are an "energy dozen" to take in while enjoying your tasty treat.
Posted May 18, 2016
The average American household has saved almost $750 in annual energy costs compared to 2008, according to recent data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Greater availability of domestic oil and natural gas, made possible by hydraulic fracturing, has helped drive down prices for gasoline, electricity and home heating.
Keeping affordable, reliable energy moving to families and businesses requires infrastructure -- pipelines, storage, processing, rail and maritime resources. Candidates often make infrastructure development a centerpiece of their economic plans, promising to create jobs and modernize the U.S. transportation system by improving roads, bridges, rail networks and airports. Energy infrastructure should be on that list. Shovel-ready projects abound in the energy sector.
Posted May 16, 2016
We kick off “Infrastructure Week 2016,” a seven-day focus on America’s infrastructure needs, sponsored by more than 100 trade associations and business and labor groups, with a conversation API President and CEO Jack Gerard and Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions, had last week with reporters covering a range of infrastructure and energy policy issues. Highlights below.
Gerard and McGarvey framed the infrastructure discussion by pointing out the way new pipelines, pipeline expansions and other projects are needed to harness America’s energy revolution and spread the benefits of the new energy abundance – to consumers, workers, businesses and to the betterment of the environment – to all parts of the country.