URGENT ACTION VIRGINIA: Oppose Anti-Energy Amendments


Categorized in: Infrastructure, Jobs, Virginia

Governor McAuliffe and anti-energy agitators are pushing burdensome new regulations in the state legislature that are meant to stop Virginia energy development. They would add new layers of red tape and regulation, resulting in economic harm, lost jobs, and even higher energy costs.

Because this issue is advancing fast, please email your Virginia Senator now.

We must oppose the loud voices of radical anti-energy activists who are pushing their agenda in Richmond. It’s critical that Virginia Energy Citizens stand up for local energy development.

We must oppose the loud voices of radical anti-energy activists who are pushing their agenda in Richmond. It’s critical that our industry workforce stand up for safe energy development here in Virginia.

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?

Boaters Want the Ethanol Mandate Fixed


Categorized in: RFS, Virginia

Are you ready for more ethanol in our fuel?

Thanks to the EPA’s decision on the Renewable Fuel Standard, we could soon see fuel with ethanol blends over 10%. That could pose a lot of trouble for many consumers. As Bill Cochran reports in the Roanoke Times, boat owners are especially upset over this:

The Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) has delivered 24,000 comments from recreational boaters to EPA headquarters in Washington urging the agency to stop adding more ethanol to the nation’s gasoline supply. Ten percent ethanol blends are common, and federal officials are considering 15 percent. Most new outboard engines are designed to operate on up to 10 percent ethanol. More than that can damage engines.

While the EPA is no longer taking comments on its ethanol decision, members of Congress have introduced legislation that would fix this problem. HR 5180 is supported by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. This bill would cap the amount of ethanol that must be blended into our fuel. Energy Citizens should make sure that every member of the Virginia congressional delegation supports this much-needed bill.

Pro-Energy Policies Good for Virginia


Categorized in: Domestic Oil, Infrastructure, Jobs, Natural Gas, Virginia

The American energy revolution has provided many benefits to our nation. Thanks to policies that encourage energy production, U.S. oil and gas development has surged over the past decade. The American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard explains in an op-ed for the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star how this has done a lot of good in the U.S. and around the world:

Increased production of U.S. oil and natural gas has added stability to world markets, exerting downward pressure on prices and reducing the influence of less-stable producing regions.

Heating and electricity costs are also down, providing breathing room in family budgets and giving a competitive edge to U.S. businesses, whose manufacturing costs are now 10 to 20 percent lower than those of many international competitors.

But we can’t just coast on our success. America’s status as a world energy superpower can either grow or wither based on specific policy choices.

As Gerard points out, for the energy revolution to continue, our nation needs to embrace policies that will further encourage oil and gas production. These include allowing oil and exploration off of Virginia’s coast, creating opportunities to build new pipelines and other energy infrastructure, reforming or ending the ethanol mandate, and not imposing burdensome new restrictions on hydraulic fracturing.

Pursuing these policies will ensure that American energy production remains strong for years to come. That’s good news for Virginians and everyone else in the United States.

Fighting the Ethanol Mandate


Categorized in: RFS, Virginia

H.R. 5180, the Food and Fuel Consumer Protection Act, was introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-6) at the beginning of 114th Congress. At a time when there seems to be so much division in Washington, it’s good to see Democrats and Republicans working together to fix the federal ethanol mandate.

H.R. 5180 would address some of the problems with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). When written, the RFS assumed that Americans would use an increasing amount of fuel every year. That’s why the law mandated that an increasing volume of ethanol must be blended into this fuel. However, gasoline consumption has gone down, and the law, as it exists now, mandates that an unworkable volume of ethanol be blended into fuel. If this law is not changed, we could see gasoline with an ethanol content above 10% being forced on consumers. Use of these higher ethanol blended gasolines could void the warranties of many vehicles because it could harm engines.

In a statement upon the introduction of H.R. 5180, Rep. Goodlatte discusses some of the problems this situation could cause for consumers:

The ethanol mandate is operating outside of the confines of reality. Mixing greater amounts of ethanol into the fuel supply decreases fuel efficiency, sending motorists to the pump more frequently. It can also lead to costly trips to the repair shop for families, businesses, and farmers to fix the damage caused by higher ethanol blends to some vehicles and small engines, like lawn mowers. Forcing more ethanol to be blended into the fuel supply than consumers want, or that engines can safely handle, makes little sense.

H.R. 5180 will cap the volume of ethanol that must be blended into fuel. This is a commonsense fix to the flaws of the original RFS legislation.

Virginia Benefits from Expanding Energy Infrastructure


Categorized in: Infrastructure, Virginia

Affordable energy is critically important to every Virginia household’s financial well-being. That’s why it’s vital that we stand up for expanding America’s energy infrastructure.

Without pipelines, tankers, trains, and other types of infrastructure, the energy we need could not reach us in our homes or businesses. The U.S. is now the top producer of petroleum in the world, but this production would come to a halt without an infrastructure to transport and store oil and natural gas.

How does this infrastructure benefit Virginians and every American? Check out our website. You’ll see how properly investing in energy infrastructure over the next 12 years will:

• Support over 1.1 million jobs
• Produce $75 billion in labor income
• Contribute $120 billion to the national economy every year
• Increase government revenue by $27 billion

Let’s make sure that Energy Citizens in Virginia and around America show strong support for new pipelines and other energy infrastructure projects.

Fighting the Ethanol Mandate


Categorized in: RFS, Virginia

Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia has teamed up with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to introduce H.R. 5180, the Food and Fuel Consumer Protection Act. At a time when there seems to be so much division in Washington, it’s good to see Democrats and Republicans working together to fix the federal ethanol mandate.

H.R. 5180 would address some of the problems with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). When written, the RFS assumed that Americans would use an increasing amount of fuel every year. That’s why the law mandated that an increasing volume of ethanol must be blended into this fuel. However, gasoline consumption has gone down, and the law, as it exists now, mandates that an unworkable volume of ethanol be blended into fuel. If this law is not changed, we could see gasoline with an ethanol content above 10% being forced on consumers. Use of these higher ethanol-gasoline blends could void the warranties of many vehicles because it could harm engines.

In a statement upon the introduction of H.R. 5180, Rep. Goodlatte discusses some of the problems this situation could cause for consumers:

The ethanol mandate is operating outside of the confines of reality. Mixing greater amounts of ethanol into the fuel supply decreases fuel efficiency, sending motorists to the pump more frequently. It can also lead to costly trips to the repair shop for families, businesses, and farmers to fix the damage caused by higher ethanol blends to some vehicles and small engines, like lawn mowers. Forcing more ethanol to be blended into the fuel supply than consumers want, or that engines can safely handle, makes little sense.

H.R. 5180 will cap the volume of ethanol that must be blended into fuel. This is a commonsense fix to the flaws of the original RFS legislation. Besides Rep. Goodlatte, the only other member of Congress from Virginia to cosponsor this bill thus far is Rep. Morgan Griffith. Let’s make sure that every member of the Virginia congressional delegation supports this legislation, too.

Virginia Benefits from Expanding Energy Infrastructure


Categorized in: Infrastructure, Virginia

Affordable energy is critically important to every Virginia household’s financial well-being. That’s why it’s vital that we stand up for expanding America’s energy infrastructure.

Without pipelines, tankers, trains, and other types of infrastructure, the energy we need could not reach us in our homes or businesses. The U.S. is now the top producer of petroleum in the world, but this production would come to a halt without infrastructure to transport and store oil and natural gas.

How does this infrastructure benefit Virginians and every American? Check out our website. You’ll see how properly investing in energy infrastructure over the next 12 years will:

  • Support over 1.1 million jobs
  • Produce $75 billion in labor income
  • Contribute $120 billion to the national economy every year
  • Increase government revenue by $27 billion

Let’s make sure that Energy Citizens in Virginia and around America show strong support for new pipelines and other energy infrastructure projects.

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.

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Expanding Virginia’s Energy Infrastructure


Categorized in: Infrastructure, Virginia

Efforts to build new pipelines in Virginia have come under fire from a small group of extremists in the state. If the campaign to block these pipeline succeeds, it will not only hurt Virginia’s economy, it will also hurt the environment. Miles Morin of the Virginia Petroleum Council explains in an op-ed for the Roanoke Times:

Pipelines transport affordable, clean-burning natural gas that has helped lower both utility costs and emissions. The Energy Information Administration reports that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions dropped 12 percent below 2005 levels last year, largely due to “increased use of natural gas for electricity generation.”…

Pipelines are one of the safest, most efficient ways to transport the energy families and businesses need. The most recent data show liquid pipelines transported 16.2 billion barrels of crude oil and petroleum products at a safety rate of 99.999 percent in 2014, while the safety rate for the nation’s 300,000 miles of natural gas pipeline is also 99.999 percent.

Virginia needs its energy infrastructure to grow in order to keep up with the American energy revolution. Our nation is producing more oil and natural gas than it has done in decades. To take advantage of the benefits that this energy production provides, Virginia needs more pipelines. Energy Citizens should do all they can to ensure that these vital infrastructure projects get built.