The Problems with the Ethanol Mandate

Categorized in: Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, National, New England, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, RFS, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

It has been ten years since Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates the use of biofuels such as ethanol. Rep. Billy Long of Missouri has an excellent op-ed examining the ways this legislation failed to live up to expectations:

Despite their pure intentions, 2007 policymakers’ economic predictions have proven inaccurate and the overall program has fallen short. Concerns over gasoline usage decline have taken priority over those of inflated fuel demands, and innovations of new cellulosic biofuels has come more sluggishly than hoped. The Environmental Protection Agency has continuously adjusted the mandated fuel additive volumes downward in light of lower demands. 

So while dependence on foreign oil sources declined as hoped, RFS cannot claim credit. Also, experts like those from the National Academy of Sciences, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Congressional Budget Office cannot conclude that renewable fuels have delivered on lessened greenhouse gases. 

As Rep. Long points out, the RFS has not worked as predicted. In fact, its ethanol mandate could cause significant problems for consumers.

It is good to see growing bipartisan support in Congress to address these issues. One bill, HR 5180, would cap the amount of ethanol that must be blended into our fuel. This legislation is a good start to begin fixing this flawed mandate. Have you asked your member of Congress to support it?

Local Battle Loom in 2017

Categorized in: Colorado, Domestic Oil, Infrastructure, Jobs, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, National, New England, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Happy New Year! We’re excited about the opportunities in 2017 for Energy Citizens to support job creation, strengthen our nation’s security, and keep energy affordable.

All eyes are now on Washington, but the fact is that we must prepare for challenges across the states. As part of a larger effort to shut down American oil and natural gas, anti-energy activist plan to battle critical pipeline projects and pro-energy policies at the local level.

“The opposition is going to be much more local, much more focused.” — Anti-Energy Leader Jane Kleeb

But communicating to government alone will not win the day. We also need to reach out to members of our communities… to friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and our social networks. It’s important that we talk about why energy is important to us and why we need policies and leadership that support American energy development.

As a first step in highlighting the importance of energy to our local communities, it would be great if you would share your story. How is American energy helping your family, community, and state? Share why you’re standing up for American energy.

As we move forward, we’ll be asking you to share your views—and your story—with others so that pro-energy voices can be part of policy discussions.

Natural Gas Brings Economic, Social and Environmental Benefits to Colorado

Categorized in: Colorado, Natural Gas

Clean, affordable natural gas is important across our nation, and Colorado is one of our nation’s leading producers. In many states, natural gas is increasingly being used to generate electricity that powers businesses, lights schools, and heats and cools homes.

Natural gas has also helped revive U.S. manufacturing, and it is used extensively in agriculture, so it helps put food on our tables.

The economic benefits of domestic natural gas are matched by environmental benefits. America’s carbon emissions have fallen to levels not seen for decades in large part because of the increased use of natural gas to generate electricity. We are making more progress fighting climate change than any other nation. Gina McCarthy, the head of the EPA, called natural gas “a game-changer with our ability to really move forward with pollution reductions.”

Time to Reform LNG Export Rules

Categorized in: Colorado, LNG

Colorado is the nation’s 6th leading producer of natural gas. Natural gas developed in Colorado supplies energy for our local needs, as well as helping other states warm their homes and keep the lights on. Shouldn’t the benefits of Colorado natural gas have the opportunity to reach even further—to trading partners around the world?

Colorado is the nation’s 6th leading producer of natural gas. Natural gas developed in Colorado supplies energy for our local needs, as well as helping other states warm their homes and keep the lights on.

The increased use of natural gas to generate electricity has also helped our nation dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions. In 2015, carbon emissions from power generation hit their lowest levels in more than 20 years.

Shouldn’t the benefits of Colorado natural gas have the opportunity to reach even further—to trading partners around the world?

According to a study from Carnegie Mellon University, increased U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) could help importing countries reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions. The availability of natural gas from the U.S. could also make many nations—especially in Europe—less dependent on Russian natural gas.

So what’s holding us back? The simple answer is: red tape. A draconian federal review and permitting process prevents LNG from efficiently reaching export markets around the world. More than half of LNG export applications have been sitting with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awaiting approval since 2014 or earlier.

In addition, needed energy infrastructure projects—such as pipelines and export terminals—are frequently delayed or stopped altogether because of regulations and political pressure from anti-energy activists.

We need a more sensible path forward. Fortunately, both chambers of Congress are considering provisions to streamline LNG export applications. Several Colorado legislators have voiced their support for LNG exports.

But now we need unified action from Congress. Before the end of the year, the Senate and House must find a shared path forward that opens up new global markets for natural gas from Colorado and other states.

We’ll keep Colorado Energy Citizens informed about progress on this critical issue.

Let’s Talk Energy Infrastructure

Categorized in: Colorado, Infrastructure

How does oil and natural gas get from the ground to consumers? Pipelines, tankers, trains, and compressor stations – this network makes up the energy infrastructure that provides consumers like you and me with affordable energy every day. Without them, the American energy renaissance would come to a halt.

That’s why Energy Citizens is launching a campaign to highlight the importance of energy infrastructure to Colorado. We need to band together to expand the energy infrastructure system. With the growth in American oil and natural gas production over the past decade, it’s critical that we build new infrastructure to meet our nation’s needs.

Colorado’s energy future depends on new infrastructure projects. Our state is a leader in oil and gas production. If we can’t transport the resources produced here, then our economy could suffer. Expanding pipeline capacity and improving other infrastructure is a vital way to help keep Colorado’s economy thriving.

With the right policies, we could see energy infrastructure investments of $120 billion every year for the U.S. That will support 1.15 million jobs and contribute $27 billion in new revenue for our schools and communities.

By updating and building new energy infrastructure, we’ll be supporting the energy renaissance that has done so much to support working families, grow our economy, and strengthen Colorado and our nation.

Election Day is just a few weeks away – have you contacted your candidates yet?

Categorized in: Colorado, Vote4Energy

We’re down to the wire. Election Day is just around the corner and our candidates need to know that if they fail to support American energy development, they will lose our votes.

It’s up to us to make energy part of the debate during this historic election year. We cannot continue to elect lawmakers who want to hold us back with overreaching regulations, higher taxes, and bans on energy. Instead, we need leaders in office who know how important oil and natural gas development is to our economy, our communities, our environment, and our energy security.

If you haven’t already, make sure you contact your candidates today to let them know how important energy is to Colorado and to our nation.

Energy is not a partisan issue. In fact, a recent poll showed that a majority of voters from both political parties support:

  • A national energy policy that ensures a secure supply of abundant, affordable, and available energy for the American people in an environmentally responsible manner.
  • Increased production of oil and natural gas resources located here in the U.S.
  • Increased energy infrastructure.

These are all issues that are critical to Colorado’s energy future. It’s time to push past the fear and anti-energy rhetoric of the vocal minority. These opposition groups keep pushing for job-killing, economy-destroying measures. And too many candidates are attacking oil and natural gas, yet offering zero solutions for our nation’s energy future.

Tell candidates you want to hear their plans for supporting American energy! And make sure you show up to vote on November 8.

Together, Colorado Energy Citizens can make a difference.

What the experts say about LNG exports

Categorized in: Colorado, Florida, Illinois, LNG, Michigan, National, New England, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin

Energy Citizens has been a big supporter of increasing U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for some time now.  We think the potential economic and geopolitical benefits of selling more of our abundance of domestically produced natural gas abroad are huge.

We are far from alone in that belief.  Here are a few examples of policymakers, economic studies, and think tanks discussing the benefits of LNG exports:

“We welcome the prospect of U.S. LNG exports in the future since additional global supplies will benefit Europe and other strategic partners.”President Barack Obama, in a joint statement with European leaders

“An increase in U.S. exports of natural gas, and the resulting price changes, would have a number of mostly beneficial effects on natural gas producers, employment, U.S. geopolitical security, and the environment.”White House Council of Economic Advisers

“The U.S. will be a reliable, market-based supplier to global markets, and that’s not only good for our energy security, it’s good for the energy security of our partners and allies around the world.”Robin Dunnigan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy, U.S. State Department

“The president has full and unquestioned authority to approve energy exports by executive action without Congress.  The Natural Gas Act says the Department of Energy makes the decision on export permit approvals, and the law presumes exports are in the public interest.  The administration can and should move faster on approving export permits.”Former Secretaries of Energy Bill Richardson and Spencer Abraham

“…the U.S. was projected to gain net economic benefits from allowing LNG exports. Moreover, for every one of the market scenarios examined, net economic benefits increased as the level of LNG exports increased.”Department of Energy-commissioned study, 2012

“The overall macroeconomic impacts of higher LNG exports are marginally positive, a result that is robust to alternative assumptions for the U.S. natural gas market.”Department of Energy-commissioned study, 2015

“Natural gas-producing states could see employment gains as high as 60,000 to 155,000 jobs; and large manufacturing states, such as California and Ohio, will see employment gains upwards of 30,000 to 38,000 jobs in 2035.”ICF International

“Expanded demand for U.S. natural gas internationally will be a net positive, resulting in greater U.S. natural gas production, increased investment, enhanced GDP growth, rising incomes, and more jobs.”Small Business Entrepreneurship Council

“For the United States, LNG exports offer an opportunity to produce and sell more gas without paying more at home.  Growth of US LNG exports will benefits the US economy and are unlikely to affect the price of natural gas in the United States.”Atlantic Council

This is a great opportunity for U.S. economic growth, and an important issue for Energy Citizens to mention in their contacts with elected officials, who can push through approval of LNG export projects.


Voters Want Candidates to Support American Energy

Categorized in: Colorado, Vote4Energy

A recent nationwide poll showed that a majority of voters in both parties support:

  • A national energy policy that ensures a secure supply of abundant, affordable, and available energy for the American people in an environmentally responsible manner.
  • Increased production of oil and natural gas resources located here in the U.S.
  • Increased energy infrastructure.

In addition, a majority of voters from both parties agree that increased access to America’s oil and natural gas resources could stimulate the economy, create jobs, and lower energy costs.

The bottom line is, most American voters support domestic energy and they are more likely to support candidates who are committed to producing more American oil and natural gas.

Colorado is strongly positioned to benefit if our nation and state elects pro-energy candidates. We are among our nation’s leading producers of oil and natural gas—and we can go further. Increased access to energy resources, as well as expanded energy infrastructure to transport fuel, will add jobs and contribute to our economy. But to get there, we need to elect leaders who will support energy development, not throw barriers in its way.

Have you taken the opportunity to write to your candidates to let them know that you support energy—and will only vote for pro-energy candidates? Energy Citizens makes it easy for you to contact your candidates when you follow this link.

Catching up with the competition on LNG exports

Categorized in: Colorado, Florida, Illinois, LNG, Michigan, National, New England, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin

America’s wealth of natural gas, produced by hydraulic fracturing and other high-tech oil and gas industry innovations, presents us with a tremendous global export opportunity in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. But as this recent Forbes article – U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas Exports Reach A New Market And Continue To Climb In 2016 – points out, our success in this lucrative economic sector is anything but assured.

Yes, the just completed Panama Canal expansion could help more easily transport U.S. LNG to foreign markets. But we still have to overcome political challenges here at home that hold back crucial approvals of pending export terminal projects. As Forbes puts it:

Yet, our LNG exporters, and those policymakers that critically want to support them, can never relax. The global LNG race is intensifying every day, with market growth booming post-2017, right when our projects are primed to take off. As we have entire groups of Americans ill-advisedly celebrating blocked U.S. LNG export projects (here), more shady suppliers [such as Iran or Russia] are also celebrating the decreased competition from such an attractive supplier like the U.S.

Increasing exports of American-made LNG could create as many as 450,000 new jobs by 2035, according to an ICF International study.  Energy Citizens need to make it clear to our political leaders that we want timely approval on a process that will make those exports – and those jobs – a reality.

Why the U.S. Needs Expanded LNG Exports

Categorized in: Colorado, Illinois, LNG, Michigan, National, New England, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin

Thanks to hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. is the world leader in natural gas production. If we want to maintain this title, however, we need the right federal energy policies. One of the most important things that Congress could do is overhaul our outdated laws governing liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.

If U.S. natural gas had easier access to international markets, it could be a huge boost to production here. That increased production means more jobs and greater economic growth. An ICF International report on LNG exports concluded that “the net effects on U.S. employment from LNG exports are projected to be positive with average net job growth of 73,100 to 452,300 between 2016 and 2035, including all economic multiplier effects.” That report went on to say, “The net effect on annual U.S. GDP of LNG exports is expected to be positive at about $15.6 to $73.6 billion annually between 2016 and 2035.”

Members of Congress recognize this problem. Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are considering provisions to streamline LNG exports. However, legislation needs to be finalized before Congress adjourns for the year. Energy Citizens need to contact our members of Congress and tell them that we don’t want them to forget about LNG reform.

If Congress fails to act, it could stifle our energy industry and hurt working families across the U.S. We can’t afford to let this happen.