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Good News for Our Energy Security

Energy independence, here we come!

Fuel Fix blog reports that “the United States produced enough energy to satisfy 84 percent of its needs in 2013, a rapid climb from its historic low in 2005…”

What’s behind this surge in energy production?

“[The Energy Information Administration] attributed the nation’s rising energy security largely to the increased production of oil and natural gas, which has been fueled by the domestic shale boom. The rise of new drilling and production technology, namely hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, has allowed companies to tap more reservoirs deeply buried in dense rock formations.”

This oil and natural gas production has dramatically reduced our reliance on other nations for the fuel we need. In fact, we are producing so much that we are now able to export oil and natural gas. If the government removes its restrictions on energy exports, we can begin reducing other nations’ reliance on unfriendly energy suppliers like Russia.

The shale revolution has done great things for America. It’s strengthened our energy security. It’s created jobs. Now it’s time to use our resources to do great things for the world.

Ethanol Mandate Hurting Shrimpers, Gulf of Mexico

The problems with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are clear: higher food prices, damage to engines, and increased costs to consumers. Now Louisiana shrimpers are finding out just how damaging this policy is for their livelihoods (and the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem):

“Louisiana's spring shrimp season is officially open, but what should be a time to celebrate the annual kickoff of a key driver of the coastal economy is now overshadowed by a looming threat to the Gulf of Mexico's fragile ecosystem. The ‘dead zone’ -- a Connecticut-sized area of low oxygen water that kills off marine life -- continues to grow in size due to U.S. ethanol policy and is threatening this year's harvest and the coastal economy.”

Why does the ethanol policy cause this?

“The Renewable Fuel Standard continues to require that increasing amounts of biofuels be blended into the nation's gasoline supply. As more than 80 percent of the mandate continues to be met by corn ethanol, farms across the Midwest have converted an additional 13.5 million acres to grow corn -- a particularly resource-intensive crop. For instance, while corn was planted on 23 percent of U.S. cropland in 2009, it received 40 percent of the fertilizer used across the nation. As the corn crop expands to meet the requirements of the RFS, it demands a greater amount of fertilizer, which then runs off into the Mississippi River and ultimately makes its way into the Gulf of Mexico. The end result is catastrophic.”

Check out the rest of the article to see just how the RFS is harming the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem and those who rely on it to make a living. The only solution to this problem is for Congress to repeal the RFS. 

BOEM Takes First Step Toward Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced on July 18 that oil and natural gas producers could apply for permits to conduct seismic testing off the south- and mid-Atlantic coast. Meaning the more than 30-year old ban on offshore energy production in those regions could be coming to an end.

The American Petroleum Institute welcomed the decision, but also urged that sound science be used in determining the restrictions that will be placed on the test procedures. API Upstream Director Erik Milito said:

“Offshore energy exploration and production in the Atlantic could bring new jobs and higher revenues to states and local communities, while adding to our country’s capabilities as an energy superpower. Now that the decision to issue permits has been made, we urge the administration to move quickly so that surveying operations can begin next spring.

“We remain concerned by the lack of scientific support for certain requirements the administration wants to impose on seismic surveys in the Atlantic. Operators already take great care to protect wildlife, and the best science and decades of experience prove that there is no danger to marine mammal populations.

“Restrictions that have no scientific basis can easily discourage exploration, private investment and job creation. Regulators should rely only on sound science when setting permit requirements.”

A 2013 study by Quest Offshore found that developing Atlantic OCS oil and natural gas resources could create 280,000 jobs, add $23.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy, and generate $51 billion in cumulative government revenue.

If you would like more information on offshore production and seismic testing, check out API’s website.

Energy Citizens Speak Out: August 2014

Energy Citizens have actively been speaking out about important energy issues across the country. Check out a few of the most recent letters to the editor that have been published in their local papers:

The Times Leader – Don’t Chase Natural Gas Industry Out of PA with Severance Tax

“Our state is lucky to have the energy activity that we have. Let’s not tax it to death.

Legislators need to reject calls to impose a severance tax on the shale gas operators who are creating so many jobs here.

Proponents of this severance tax claim that the tax won’t have any big effect on shale gas drilling here. They seem to think that businesses don’t respond to taxes and regulation. They should look at New York. That state has done everything possible to stop shale gas drilling. Because of the hostile environment, New York hasn’t experienced the type of job creation, economic growth and new government revenue that we’ve seen in Pennsylvania.”

- Maria Gillette, Carbondale, PA

Fredericksburg News

“In Virginia, the vast majority of horizontally drilled wells use only nitrogen for fracturing. Nitrogen is an inert, non-greenhouse gas that comprises 78 percent of the air we breathe. It's the opposite of a ‘toxin.’

Gas formations that aren't well suited for nitrogen-only fracturing use a combination of water, nitrogen, sand and about 2 percent additives. Additives include household and food products like guar gum (a gelling agent used in ice cream), surfactant (a friction reducer found in toothpaste), biocide (a bacteria-control substance used in municipal water treatment), sodium chloride (table salt), isopropanol (a viscosity booster found in deodorant) and citric acid (lemon juice)…”

- Curt Teaster, Stafford, VA

The Cap Times

“The reality is that, thanks to technology that brought us hydraulic fracturing, places right here at home such as North Dakota are able to produce the energy we need to power our nation’s economy. This is a very good thing until you realize that we need to have infrastructure to keep up with rapidly increasing production of resources such as oil and natural gas. That is the reason for the Enbridge expansion project — to increase the pipeline’s capacity to transport all of the new oil coming from the Bakken as well as Canada.

The Enbridge pipeline expansion is a smart strategy that is necessary to keep the American economy growing and recovering. I fully support this project.”

- Richard Tooley, Marshall, WI

Let friends and neighbors know about the energy issues going on in your community. Write a letter to the editor today! Email your Energy Citizens coordinator at renee@energycitizens.org to learn more.

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Keystone XL Status Report - More of the Same

Read this article: Gov. Heineman says he’ll take his time studying Keystone XL report.

How much time does will the Governor need to see what has been obvious to Energy Citizens all along – KXL is a crucial piece of U.S. energy infrastructure that would not only help meet our energy demand but also create jobs and grow our economy.

Gov. Heineman doesn’t have to read the whole 2,000-page document. He can just glance at the Executive Summary his own Department of Environmental Quality has prepared. Look at these NDEQ reported findings:

  • Construction and operation of KXL could have minimal environmental impacts in Nebraska.
  • Any impact on aquifers from a release would be localized and Keystone would be responsible for the cleanup.
  • Construction would result in $418.1 million in economic benefits and support up to 4,560 new or existing jobs in Nebraska.
  • The project would generate $16.5 million in use taxes from construction materials and $11 million - $13 million in local property tax revenues in the first year of valuation.

Does it really take a lot of study to say yes to that?

KXL opponents are not wasting any time, of course. They still say no, clinging to their baseless objections to the pipeline.

Energy Citizens have been waiting for Keystone XL for four years now. So we hope Gov. Heineman will send his recommendations to the President before another 4 years pass.

Keystone XL Hearing on Tap After NDEQ Releases Draft Report

A public hearing, preceded by an open house informational session, has been set for December 4 at the County Fairgrounds in Albion, Nebraska. This meeting will give citizens a chance to learn more about and provide input on a 600-page report just released by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. It covers the environmental, social and economic effects of the Keystone XL pipeline route in NE.

Many Energy Citizens will undoubtedly jump on this opportunity to once again show their support for the Keystone XL pipeline. It is encouraging that the State Department is expected to attend the hearing and we hope that after more than four years of waiting, approval could be just around the corner.

Check out these great pictures of pipe stockpiled in anticipation of KXL construction. It is ready to go, and so are the American people. If you have a chance, go to the meeting in Albion and tell them that.

Jobs in Jeopardy with Keystone XL on Hold

With plenty of backing from hard-core environmental groups, a handful of landowners are suing the State of Nebraska, seeking to block the recently passed law that would pave the way for Keystone XL.

But Gov. Dave Heineman makes it clear that this lawsuit will not stop the process of finding a new, environmentally safe route for the pipeline. As he says, if the state stopped every project every time they got sued, “we’d never get anything done.”

And a company in Georgia is adding workers to support their product line that make oil sands extraction better for the environment. Thousands of Georgia workers could eventually be employed in this industry—the company is still hiring engineers to help with their work.

Energy Citizens in every state are concerned about the long-term economic effects of the Keystone XL delay. The longer we wait, the more jobs we put at risk.

NDEQ Announce Public Hearings on Keystone XL. Join Us Today.

Nebraska's DEQ announced four hearings to discuss the Keystone XL route through the state.  We encourage all Energy Citizens to attend and learn more about the route and why this makes America and Nebraska stronger.  The hearings details are below.  Email us at Renee@energycitizens.org for more information.

Wednesday, May 9th from 4 – 7 PM at the O’Neil Community Center located at 501 S. 4th St.

 

Thursday, May 10th from 4 – 7 PM at the Neligh-Oakdale High School gym located at 600 J St.

 

Wednesday, May 16th from 4 – 7 PM at the Boone County Fairgrounds located at 11th and Fairview Avenue.

 

Thursday, May 17th from 4 – 7 PM at the Central City Community Room located at 1515 17th St.

If approved, the Keystone XL Pipeline will not only provide our nation with much needed energy security, but will also immediately create 20,000 good paying construction jobs. All without cost to the American tax payer.

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will soon be holding public hearings in your area to hear from citizens like you about the impact and benefits of building this important pipeline.  

Anti-Keystone XL activists are sure to show up in large numbers at these public hearings on the newly proposed Keystone route. Energy Citizens who care about this important piece of America’s future energy security need to attend as well, to show lawmakers and regulators that most Nebraskans - and other commonsense energy supporters around the nation – want to see the pipeline built.

Do no pass up this opportunity to learn more about the new route and testify on behalf of Keystone XL.

RSVP today and we will contact you with more information on how you can get involved.

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