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.

Wisconsin Energy Citizens calls out environmental fear mongering


Categorized in: Infrastructure, Wisconsin

Energy Citizen Bill Jaeck of Franksville wasn’t buying the misleading information in a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel guest column trashing oil pipelines. He responded with this letter to the editor, Environmental Scare Tactics, to set the record straight.

Here’s part of what Bill wrote concerning Eric Hansen’s claim that pipelines threaten Wisconsin’s water resources:

Our nation’s economy is finally recovering from the economic collapse of 2008, and the last thing we need is a spike in energy costs. Pipelines have been in this state for over 60 years, and despite Hansen’s scare tactics, we still have plenty of good drinking water, our skies are blue and I can afford to heat my home.

When baseless attacks on oil and natural gas go unchallenged, we set ourselves up for policy decisions that will weaken our energy security, hinder economic growth and job creation, and inflate our energy bills. Nice job Bill, more Energy Citizens should follow your example and speak out when they are confronted with the unsupported rhetoric of anti-energy activists.

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A Winter Wish for Energy Infrastructure


Categorized in: Infrastructure, Wisconsin

Energy infrastructure can help keep utility bills low for Wisconsin families, with cost savings that look especially attractive as the winter season continues.

Wisconsin households use 15 percent more energy than the national average, but fortunately, because we have relatively low utility rates, we end up paying about 5 percent less than average. We need to protect this advantage by investing in pipelines and other cost-effective energy infrastructure that will supply us with high-quality, but low-cost energy.

Wisconsin families don’t need higher utility bills. Allowing energy companies to expand our network of pipelines and other energy infrastructure is one sure way to bring us a joyful holiday season!

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Understanding Energy Infrastructure in Wisconsin


Categorized in: Infrastructure, Wisconsin

Learning about energy infrastructure might not be common among young students, yet understanding what it is, how it works, and what it means to Wisconsin’s energy security is critically important.

When protestors are up against new pipelines, they are opposing the safest way to transport natural gas and oil to Wisconsin consumers – blocking the most efficient energy sources and opportunities for households to save up to $1,300 on energy bills.

In addition to pipelines, there are other crucial energy infrastructure components we need to understand, including storage facilities, compressor stations, ports, and many others. To help you get the information you need, Energy Citizens has put together some handy factsheets including this one on our national infrastructure picture – Energy Infrastructure 101.

Understanding the what, why and how of energy infrastructure ensures that students can make well-informed, balanced decisions when they enter the job market and become the leaders of the future. Take a look and begin gathering the information you need to know to understand how important energy infrastructure is to our daily lives.

A Holiday Wish for Energy Infrastructure


Categorized in: Infrastructure, Wisconsin

Energy infrastructure can help keep utility bills low for Wisconsin families, with cost savings that look especially attractive as holiday season spending starts to pile up.

Wisconsin households use 15 percent more energy than the national average, but fortunately, because we have relatively low utility rates, we end up paying about 5 percent less than average. We need to protect this advantage by investing in pipelines and other cost-effective energy infrastructure that will supply us with high-quality, but low-cost energy.

The holidays are expensive enough; Wisconsin families don’t need higher utility bills. Allowing energy companies to expand our network of pipelines and other energy infrastructure is one sure way to bring us a joyful holiday season!

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


Categorized in: Vote4Energy, Wisconsin

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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin’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, Wisconsin Energy Citizens can make a difference.

Let’s Talk Energy Infrastructure


Categorized in: Infrastructure, Wisconsin

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 Wisconsin. 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.

The energy we use in Wisconsin comes to us through pipelines and other infrastructure. If we fail to expand this infrastructure, then our families and local businesses could suffer. Opposition to new pipeline projects also costs our state the jobs and boost to our economy that can result when companies invest in building them here.

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 Wisconsin and our nation.

Time to Reform LNG Export Rules


Categorized in: LNG, Wisconsin

In Washington, D.C., there isn’t much that Democrats and Republicans agree on. But Energy Citizens know that good energy policy is bipartisan. That is why there is strong support on both sides of the aisle for revamping the rules governing liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.

Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress realize that we are in a new era of energy abundance. Thanks to the shale revolution, the U.S. is the top natural gas producer in the world. The regulations that once governed LNG exports just don’t make sense today.

Rules that impose onerous restrictions on LNG exports are hampering our nation’s ability to fully emerge as a global energy player. American natural gas is being denied greater opportunities to be sold to willing buyers around the globe.

These restrictions hurt our nation in a few different ways. If it were easier to sell LNG overseas, it could help sustain U.S. production – supporting jobs and creating economic growth right here at home. American LNG can also strengthen our security by providing our allies with a new source of energy to help meet their needs. This weakens unfriendly nations that use their natural gas exports to gain geopolitical leverage.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are considering language to streamline the export process. Unfortunately, this much-needed update could die if Congress fails to pass final legislation before it adjourns for the year. Energy Citizens need to let our members of Congress know that we don’t want them to neglect this important issue.

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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