Online Book Provides Great Overview of Texas Energy

Categorized in: Hydraulic Fracturing, Texas

Several Texas non-profits and trade associations have united to publish a new valuable online resource, Oil and Natural Gas in Texas.

Texas Energy Citizens should be encouraged to read this publication and share it with friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and others. It provides in-depth descriptions of:

  • How fracking, drilling and refining work.
  • Who regulates Texas oil and natural gas operations.
  • How air and water are protected.
  • How the energy sector benefits Texas communities.

In recent years, advances in fracking and horizontal drilling have enabled expanded access to oil and natural gas resources in many areas around the state. For the first time, many Texans are seeing energy operations in their communities—and understandably, they may have questions. This publication aims to answer questions and address concerns.

People familiar with Texas’ energy know that operators have a long history of safe operations. Extensive precautions are taken to ensure the safety of communities, energy workers, and the environment. In addition, energy operations are tightly regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). All of this is detailed in the book.

Energy Citizens aims to promote honest, fact-based conversations about American energy—how oil and gas are developed, and how American-made energy benefits our nation. Oil and Natural Gas in Texas is a great tool to help you have these conversations.

STEM Education and the Future of Energy Jobs

Categorized in: Jobs, STEM, Texas

It’s no secret that the energy sector has hit a rough patch. In 2015, the industry lost an estimated 250,000 jobs nationwide, and many Texas companies are scaling back operations.

But even in this downturn, the Houston Business Journal reported that GE Oil and Gas—the energy arm of multinational industrial giant GE—is hiring aggressively. GE Oil and Gas recognizes the long-term strength of the industry—and the company is investing in its ability to improve oil and natural gas operations through technology and data analysis.

“We’re investing in unique and different kinds of data professionals,” Jody Markopoulos, COO of GE Oil and Gas, told the Houston Business Journal. “They come from all walks of life… It might be someone from a marketing [background] who understands the price of oil, or it might be someone from technology who understands the design practices and principles.”

STEM Education is Critical to Energy

The energy sector could add another 1.3 million jobs by 2030, with tens of thousands of positions opening up in Texas. Many of these jobs will require advanced training and education in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math.

Experts in software development and data analysis will be central to improving energy operations. In addition, engineers, geologists, chemists, and other scientific personnel will help advance America’s energy industry—and enable our nation to continue to be the world’s leading energy producer.

Fortunately, Texas has a strong educational system, with many great K-12 school districts, strong community colleges, and top-tier universities. Now we need to encourage young people to pursue college degrees and community college certifications in STEM fields—and set their sights on a career in the energy sector.

LNG Exports Will Benefit Texas—and the World

Categorized in: LNG, Texas

Texas natural gas clearly delivers many benefits to our state—and our nation. It helps keep heating and electricity costs down, and the increased use of natural gas is lowering U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas development also supports tens of thousands of jobs in the state.

Now we have a chance to add jobs, grow our economy, and help our allies around the world—all by exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG).

According to recent studies, if the U.S. moves forward with a robust LNG export program, as many as 155,000 Texas jobs could be created by 2035. All told, LNG exports would contribute more than $31 billion to the state’s economy—and bring new public revenues to Austin and our communities.

In addition, exporting LNG will lower our nation’s trade deficit and enable us to help friendly nations. Many countries around the world, without their own natural gas resources, want access to American natural gas. Our European allies especially do not want to be dependent on hostile or unstable nations, such as Russia, for natural gas supplies.

At the end of 2015, Congress lifted a decades-old ban on oil exports, but more must be done to support LNG exports. Congress needs to pass legislation that sets hard deadlines for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to review and process permits. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says that the DOE can work faster if mandated to do so.

The next administration will have the opportunity to lead on this issue. We encourage you to reach out to your legislators, ask where they stand on LNG exports, and let them know that energy issues matter to you.

Let’s Talk Energy Infrastructure

Categorized in: Infrastructure, Texas

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 Texas. 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.

Texas’ energy future depends on new infrastructure projects. Our state is the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the country. 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 Texas’ 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 Texas and our nation.

Texas Could Benefit from LNG Exports

Categorized in: LNG, Texas

No one—businesses, consumers, or government—benefits from unreasonable delay and uncertainty. Waiting drives up costs, discourages investment, and creates inefficiencies. If new products, supplies, or services cannot enter the marketplace, competition and its benefits are undermined.

Of the 25-plus applications to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to export natural gas, more than half have been awaiting approval since 2014 or earlier. There is no reasonable excuse for such delays.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) was first exported in 1959 . It is a safe practice and enables U.S. natural gas to reach trading partners around the world. The potential benefits of LNG exports include:

  • U.S. job creation.
  • Contributions to American economic growth.
  • Support for strategic alliances abroad.

As the nation’s leading producer of natural gas, Texas has the most to gain if our nation streamlines and accelerates LNG exports. More than 155,000 jobs could be created  over the next two decades if our nation expands LNG exports—with the support of a more sensible regulatory framework.

While Congress has moved forward to make positive regulatory changes that will support LNG exports, lawmakers need to finish the job. Before the end of the year, both chambers of Congress must unite to finally pass legislation that will truly make a difference.

Stay tuned. We’ll call on Texas Energy Citizens to raise their voices on this issue when the opportunity arises.

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

Categorized in: Texas, 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 Texas 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 Texas’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, Texas 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.


Texas Energy Development and Water Use

Categorized in: Hydraulic Fracturing, Texas

As the name implies, hydraulic fracturing—fracking—is a process that requires water (“hydro”).

In a nutshell, here’s how fracking works: A combination of water, sand, and other components are pumped deep underground to create millimeter-thick fissures in shale and release oil and natural gas.

Unfortunately, anti-energy activists have seized on water usage as a way to attack and try to stop fracking. Especially during a drought, it can be alarming to hear that fracking a well in West Texas can take anywhere from 264,000 to 2.6 million gallons of water.

But these figures need to be understood in context. Water use for Texas fracking represents less than 1% of total water usage in the state. By comparison, irrigation uses 56% and municipal use—i.e., for households—uses 26 %.

Or consider that in the summer, the average golf course uses between 100,000 and 1 million gallons of water per week . Once a well is fracked, it can produce for years—with no more required water.

Investment in Water Conservation Technologies

When you look at the big picture, the energy sector is not a large consumer of water overall. Nevertheless, energy companies are increasingly recycling and reusing water and developing new technologies to conserve water.

For instance, energy companies are developing ways to treat and use brackish water—naturally occurring saltwater—which isn’t generally suitable for municipal or agricultural use. In another example, one company is helping the city of Odessa upgrade its water treatment facility—and is using treated wastewater for energy development.

Notably, one state energy regulator, Christie Craddick of the Railroad Commission of Texas, cited the benefits of minimal government interference in driving innovation around water conservation. “The opportunities with industry doing it themselves without government interference, I think, are the real opportunities. Over-regulation is what kills an industry overall.

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.

Make the Renewable Fuel Standard a campaign talking point

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

The Houston Chronicle recently ran an editorial that urges the next administration and Congress to take a hard look at what the newspaper calls the “ethanol happy hour.” In Blended fuels: The fuel standard has created unintended consequences and is ripe for overhaul Chronicle editors write that one thing has gone unnoticed – the blend wall:

That figurative barrier is called the blend wall – the threshold beyond which the U.S. gasoline supply contains more than 10 percent ethanol. Oil industry and small government advocates point to the wall in criticizing the Renewable Fuel Standard, a decade-old law requiring an increasing volume of ethanol and other renewable liquids in the nation’s fuel supply.

Automakers say they can’t guarantee that any but a few of their engines will run properly on mixes of less than 90 percent gasoline, and many fuel suppliers say it’s difficult and expensive to comply with the federal mandate.

Renewable Fuel Standard biofuel mandates could cause a lot of problems, among them potential economic harm. Like the Chronicle, Energy Citizens believes the RFS needs to be fixed.